Sunday, July 27, 2014

I Love Cats eHarmony Video

A lot of people say they love the cats eharmony video.  What they are referring to is the video of a fictional young lady called Debbie crying over her love of cats. The video went viral and changed the life of the real-life person who performed this at 2 in the morning in her home.  Her name is Hartmann.

This video explains what happened.  What she said in the video is also transformed into a funky sort of song which you can see a second video on this page.


She says that she fooled 27,000,000 people by which he means that most people who watched the video actually believed that her name was really Debbie and that she was both intelligent and crazy about cats and presented this very soft and endearing and for some people charming personality to the public. I'm sure there were a lot of young men who wanted to go out with her on a date as a result of this video. You will see that, as mentioned, the video changed her life as it lead to employment together with a certain amount of celebrity which every young person today craves.

This is the songify version:

Google Algorithm: Conflict Within the Ranks?

I'm going to argue that within the beautiful, colourful and airy confines of Google offices worldwide, there are frequent conflicts with regard to the way the infamous Google algorithm is written.  The algorithm is a mathematical formula upon which computers work out which websites are the best and therefore which websites rank the best in a Google search.

The great difficulty is working out what the best website is. You can't just rely upon page rank (PR) which itself relies upon quality inbound links to the website in question, because there are ways and means to get inbound links which do not reflect the fact that the website is good.  Just advertising your website extensively will create more hits and therefore more inbound links. Your site may be as good as the next site but if you are advertising your site more than the next one you'll get more inbound links so if Google ranks a heavily advertised website better than another website which is not promoting itself, it is making a mistake.

Google search results are changing all the time, perhaps on a daily basis.  Real people check out real sites to see whether they are good.  But surely it is highly subjective as to what a good site is? Certainly one criteria is how fast the website loads but this is only one criteria which measures a good site from a bad one.

The most important factor is the content of the site. This is far more important than anything else and the quality of a website's content is going to be based upon a subjective decision by an individual. Of course, it is not entirely subjective but there must be a subjective element within the assessment and it is that which I believe causes conflict and argument within Google.

And you can't tell me that within Google there is not going to be some hidden agendas. Some people might prefer something other people dislike. Some people might wish to promote websites that other people don't wish to promote and vice versa.  Search results on Google are vital to many website's success.

There is bound to be at least argument and I say there is almost certainly going to get some conflict between people about the adjustment required to refine the Google algorithm. You could argue, that the algorithm has not improved over all these years. Constantly tweaking something does not automatically result in an improvement. It is quite easy to make things worse when you constantly adjust because you mess around with the integrity of the algorithm.

It is slightly worrying to website owners knowing that we don't know what is behind changes to Google's algorithm. There's a lot of guesswork and some of it is correct but at the end of the day people are chasing their tails trying to work out how to improve their search results. The next day things change again. The next day people scratch their heads again working out what went wrong and how to beat the system. You can't beat the system.

Like I said, I believe, or it would not surprise me, there is a certain amount of conflict and argument about what the algorithm should churn out in search results. The Google algorithm is the most important aspect of the entire business. There are probably too many people working on it which in itself is more likely to result in conflict. There are too many employees at Google because Google is too rich -- I'm jealous actually ;) . Perhaps the company is no longer lean enough.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Black Cat With Icy Blue Eyes

If you are searching for a picture of a black cat with icy blue eyes you have one on this page. The big question is whether it is a genuine photograph or whether there has been some element of photo shopping, which I suspect.

This cat is listed on page about the Ojos Azules cat, which is a blue-eyed cat that has a coat which is not normally associated with blue eyes. Coats which are normally associated with blue eyes are white or partially white because the piebald gene both removes pigmentation from the hair strands and from the iris of the eye.

 It is highly unusual to see a black cat with this colour of blue eyes. Do you think this is a fake? I do but who cares? It's still a good photograph and a very handsome cat which fits the bill.

Cat Thin Fur Above Eyes

I will keep this very short because I only want to say one thing about the cat who has thin fur above the eyes. Quite a few people search for this, looking for answers. It is not possible to provide a complete answer unless you are a veterinarian and the cat is in your presence. However, in my estimation, people who search for information about why their cat has thin hair above the eyes are referring to something that is normal and unrelated to health. The coat immediately above the eyes is, in my experience, more sparse in terms of hair strand density, than any other part of the body except the tips of the ears.

So if you are searching for information about what you perceive as a lack of sufficient hair above the eyes you're probably looking at something that is completely normal. That said you need to observe other behaviours and symptoms to confirm it. If, for example your cat is scratching or over-grooming above the eyes or around the face then you have to conclude that there is some sort of parasite infestation causing irritation and therefore scratching and hair loss around the eyes.

But without more; without any further signs or symptoms or indications and provided the cat is behaving normally and eating well while defecating and urinating normally, then I think you can conclude that a thin coat of hair above the eyes is perfectly normal.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Much Loved Cat Born with Double Disability

Mr White is all-white and deaf because of it. White cats can be deaf and they can blind too. The gene that creates all-white coat can affect the hearing and eyes. Mr White has odd-eye color too (but a faint difference judging by the photos). This is called: heterochromia iridum.

Kangaroo cat Casper White

He is also a "Twisty Cat" or Squitten or there is another name: Kangaroo cat because he uses his hind legs, back and tail much more than normal due to deformed forelegs. He is described as a Kangaroo cat. The genetic defect is called "radial hypoplasia"

I may have misguidedly rolled all three types of cat into one because apparently a different genetic mutation produces the Kangaroo cat to the Squitten but the end result is much the same: forelegs which are much less robust and useful forcing the cat to adapt by using other parts of the body to compensate.

Mr White lives in Australia and is much loved by Sharon Abdallah. She is seeking some help to raise funds it seems to see if something can be done to improve Mr White's life going forward - see her new FB page. Not much activity as yet.

Mr White should live as long as any other cat. He just has a couple of disabilities that slows him down a bit. Jumping down is probably almost impossible.

Interestingly the chief vet of RSPCA Victoria reports that he has seen several cases annually, which gives us a clue as to how common radial hypoplasia is.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Somali Cat In Garden (Denmark)

The photo was taken by Finn Frode.  Finn is (was) a regular visitor to PoC. He has written some nice articles for the site one of which is on his catio. The cat is, "Caithlin" posing in the sunshine - a Somali - long haired Abyssinian. The image links to his Flickr photostream and more examples.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Facebook Animal Cruelty Photographs

Am I the only one who has become resistant to looking at shocking photographs of animal abuse on Facebook?  When I visit the site searching for cats it takes me to a column of animal photographs of various kinds, some of which are cute and some are funny, but interspersed between the cute and funny is the horror of extremely cruel images of animal abuse from far-off countries.

As I said, I am becoming or have become resistant to them which means I don't like to look at them. I don't think it does any good actually to constantly show them because there's not a lot we can do about it other than donate money to animal rescue centres in the places where the cruelty takes place and spread the word about the good work they do.

Set against that, looking at these pictures, which I now avoid, a person becomes inured to the cruelty or the images remain in one's head which makes life worse.  That is something to avoid.

I wonder whether Facebook should do something about this.  These big websites seem to allow anything.  It's carte blanche, do as you please. All they are concerned about is getting more and more people to visit and say something.

Do you think it's a good thing to show nasty pictures of cruel animal abuse in order to highlight it or do you think there are some downsides to this which should be addressed?

Cat Cruelty on PoC


148,000 FB Likes - Mother Cat Cuddles her Kittens (photo)

Mother cat cuddles her two kittens

This photo is oriented upside down on Facebook! Perhaps it is better upside down. Perhaps it was deliberately twisted upside down (180%) to make it look better.

Here it is upside down:

Mother and kittens

I have also cleaned it up a bit. The color balance was off slightly.

Colloidal Silver To Treat Cat Illness. Good or Bad?

There are two schools of thought about the efficacy of colloidal silver in the treatment of a variety of feline diseases but essentially focusing on viral and bacterial infections.

What is interesting is this. Every webpage that recommends the use of colloidal silver as a health treatment for cats (including FIV) contains information from people which is anecdotal.  It is from people who have used colloidal silver either on themselves or a pet and sometimes a cat, or the information comes from a supplier of the product.  Amongst suppliers, the product's wondrous properties tend to be overhyped as an alternative to "expensive" veterinary care.

Colloidal silver treatment for cats

On the other side of the coin there is one organisation which is against the use of colloidal silver. The organisation is the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). It took me a little while to find this information and the relevant webpage whereas by contrast there are many pages of information from users or sellers which, in general, recommended the product.

The FDA state on their webpage from 11th February 1997 (which is now an archived page and may of course be out of date) that they have received reports that products containing colloidal silver were being promoted for use in the treatment of various conditions affecting companion animals.  The product was also found on dairy farms.

The FDA state unequivocally that:

FDA is not aware of any substantial scientific evidence that supports the safe and effective use of colloidal silver ingredients or salts for any animal disease condition.

As for the use of colloidal silver in food producing animals the FDA states that this constitutes a potentially serious public health concern.  With respect to companion animals they say that the use of colloidal silver to treat serious illness could potentially endanger the health of the animal in delaying prompt veterinary treatment.

In short, this product is not approved by the FDA for use in any animal species.  At the time they were continuing to investigate the promotion and use of this product in animals.

As can be seen, the official assessment of colloidal silver is a complete rejection which is in stark contrast to either rather vague information from users or heavily promoted information from suppliers and manufacturers.

It has crossed my mind trying it myself to treat Charlie's chronic sinusitis because my veterinarian, regrettably, has not got a handle on the problem, which puts the onus on me to do something about it but of course I will not take any steps that are in anyway risky.

I think most people would agree with me if I said that colloidal silver should not be used unless there is some overriding reason based upon science or hard evidence which recommends it to the cat owner.

Do you have any personal supporting evidence?

Sunday, July 13, 2014

FROM DR. ALLAN SIMON, Co-Director of Paw Project-New York

DR. ALLAN SIMON, is Co-Director of Paw Project-New York and a member of the AVMA. He says this:

"It will be obvious to all that the AVMA is on the wrong side of this declaw debate. This may harm the AVMA`s standing nationwide, which in turn may harm its members.... When the majority of cat owners realize that they have been mislead by their favorite veterinarian, they may change vets or look at veterinarians in a negative light. What will the AVMA do when 60 Minutes, Oprah, etc do a piece on the pain and other issues that cats may have for the rest of their lives after being declawed? What happens when the evidence is presented and the AVMA is asked to respond? Not a pretty picture!! What happens when veterinarians are attacked again by the news media, this time picturing them, and with good cause, as being cruel to cats...? I think that most people will not want to hear the AVMA`s canned response. Come on AVMA! Step up before the damage is done."

Is this a hint of dissent within the ranks of the AVMA?

The AVMA already looks foolish and unscrupulous in supporting declawing. They support it by failing to decry and denounce it. The AVMA leaves the door open to their vet members to declaw and the vets like it and demand it even though it is in clear conflict with their oath and principles. The door should be slammed shut if integrity is to be returned to the veterinary profession in America. It is time to ban declawing in America.

Goldfish Handbag

Here is a goldfish handbag photographed at the Brit Awards:

Goldfish handbag

Comment from one FB visitor:

Cruel maybe next time someone could put her in a plastic bag and carry her around,see how she likes it!!!

What has this got to do with cats? It is about attitude. If celebrities do this to animals it devalues animals and encourages people who admire celebrities to treat animals as accessories and inanimate objects.

That mentality can then be carried forward to how we relate to the domestic cat, which translates to a lack of respect and lowering standards of cat caretaking.

Goldfish handbags are bad. It has been manufactured by a person who has no scruples with regard to animal welfare. The person carrying it has the same lack of scruples and concern. They are more concerned about standing out and being noticed.

As for goldfish, we are just learning that fish feel and remember more than we realised. One day fishing will be seen as cruel.

Almost 60% of Swedes Prefer Dogs

In a study carried out by the Swedish insurance company Folksam, it was found that 58% of the 2,000 people taking part in the study had a preference for dogs. 

The figure is boosted by the fact that people in an older category, namely aged 56 to 79, preferred dogs even more.  63% of people in this category preferred dogs.

In the 14 to 35 age category 50% of people preferred dogs so it becomes a 50/50 split in this younger age category.

Even 55% of women preferred dogs while 60% of men preferred dogs. This would seem to go against the general trend in North America where there is certainly a preponderance of women who prefer cats.

The president of the Swedish kennel club says that dog people tend to prefer being outdoors which indicates to me that the Swedish spend more time outdoors then North Americans but that is a rather rash thing to say and may well not be true.

It is difficult to explain the Swedes' preference for dogs. I think the key factor is that more Swedish women preferred dogs which as mention goes against the grain so any assessment as to why the Swedish preferred dogs would have to look at that aspect of the survey I believe. In a crude sense it indicates that Swedish women are more masculine than America women.


Saturday, July 12, 2014

Stealing Kittens from a Shelter. What Next?

This must be a first. Thee young men stealing two kittens from an animal shelter. It seems despicable.  When you think that animal shelters often struggle to keep going and are dependent upon the adoption fees which are relatively modest it is the worst kind of petty crime to steal from an animal shelter.  

Three kitten burglars

They are non-profit. If someone steals from a big corporation it is equally bad in the eyes of the law but on a moral basis some people could argue that it might be justified because, after all, big corporations are sometimes rather immoral organisations anyway.  But from a shelter which is non-profit and doing some good work it seems extraordinary to me.

The burglary took place at SAVE in Princeton, New Jersey, USA. The trio of 19-year-old men attempted but failed to steal 2 kittens from the animal shelter.

Fortunately, two of them were caught in the act while a third gave himself up which is rather strange. I am not sure what his motive was. I don't think it was out of honesty.

One of the shelter volunteers who was outside in the backyard saw one of the burglars running out of the back of the shelter with a kitten in his hand.  He caught the burglar red-handed by pinning him down and recovering the kitten. The police were called and they turned up shortly thereafter.

The other kitten was also recovered and both were unharmed.  The person gave herself up was Corey Thompson (left in photo).  The other two alleged burglars were Hamza Cheema and John Moore (right in photo).


Friday, July 11, 2014

Should the Mountain Lion Distribution Map Be Redrawn?

I am just flagging up the thought that it may be wise to redraw the existing distribution map of the mountain lion.  The classic map which sets out the areas where the mountain lion is found in North, Central and South America including Mexico may need to be redrawn and in this instance I am writing about the United States of America.

Camera trap photo of mountain lion

The reason why I am suggesting this is because I am consistently receiving on my website reports of mountain lions in the states of North Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky and Louisiana (Louisiana is near the edge of the existing range but not in it). Of these four, the North Carolina sightings are more frequent and this state is the farthest east of the four.

I do not believe that these are escaped pets but of course they might be.  Alternatively they may simply be genuine wild mountain lions which have migrated from the West to extend the distribution of this wild cat species in North America.

The classic distribution in North America tells us that the mountain lion is only found in the western half of America and Canada.  The division between West and East is not a straight line but it is a clear division nonetheless indicating that there are no mountain lions in the eastern half of America. This appears to be incorrect.

There is a pocket, an island range, of the mountain lion in Florida as we know. This is the Florida panther. I wonder whether the map should be redrawn to include some pockets of "island ranges" in the states referred to above?

Risk Factors for a Broken Human-Cat Bond

Risk Factors for a Broken Human-Cat Bond

This is a cross-post from the main site (to spread the word).  It's actually an important subject because it goes to the heart of what is troubling people in the world of domestic cats, namely, unwanted and abandoned cats who are relinquished to local shelters because of a breakdown in the relationship between the owner and cat.

There are what experts describe as “risk factors", which if present in a home occupied by a domestic cat and a person indicates that the relationship between the person and the cat may fail leading to the abandonment of the cat to a local shelter.

In round terms and generalising somewhat, these risk factors center around the attitude of the person before adopting a cat and during the early part of the adoption process i.e. during the first 6 months of the relationship.

Before a person adopts a cat they really should be aware of what looking after a cat entails and in addition they should be aware of what natural cat behaviour is and how to allow it in the home. Accordingly, if a person adopts a cat casually, particularly a young kitten in the first 6 months of her life then the chances of success are weakened.  You can add to that another risk factor namely whether the young cat is neutered or spayed.  If the cat isn't then once again the risk is higher for an abandonment.

You can see where this is going. This is about a person who adopts a cat rather casually. The person likes the appearance of a young kitten because, after all, they are very attractive. It is the spur of the moment adoptions without due consideration which are more likely to lead to failure because adopting a cat is not like buying a motorcar or any other inanimate object. You have to look after the cat for the life of the cat and that takes quite a lot of input and some money. When that dawns on people later in the day some of them might not like it and some don't have sufficient patience to see it through.

The same rather casual approach to cat adoption and caretaking is carried over into veterinary care. Another risk factor is whether or not the cat is taken to a vet at any time during his or her stay with their new caretaker.  If not at all then it indicates that the owner is either neglectful or without funds and this scenario points to a possible abandonment of the cat to a shelter.

Perhaps the most important risk factor or the most significant is whether the person who adopts a cat has fixed and entrenched views about how her cat should behave in the home. If those views are incorrect and centred around what the person wants and likes with a disregard for the need of a cat to express natural behaviour then once again the relationship between cat person is heading towards a breakdown, at least potentially.

You can actually change the title from "risk factors for broken human-bond" to "the sort of person who is likely to abandon their cat".  That person will adopt the cat/kitten casually without sufficient research and without sufficient funding and not be that keen about keeping a cat or unsure and uncommitted.  They may be ambivalent about it.

By contrast, a person who has thought long and hard about adopting a cat for the life of the cat and has ensured that they have sufficient funding to manage veterinary bills and all overheads while also having studied to a certain degree cat behaviour and the need to provide an enriched, calm and pleasing environment for their cat, will succeed.

FIV Positive Declawed Cats Are Vulnerable to Life Threatening Infections

This is an instructive story from the Paw Project-Utah.  The story concerns a cute and beautiful long-haired tabby cat whose name is Jules. Jules is a declawed cat (front declawed). He was treated by Paw Project-Utah to remove two bone fragments left behind after the declaw operation. It is not uncommon for this rather crude and I say botched operation (by design) to leave bone shards in the paw which can become infected and develop abscesses.

Jules a declawed cat with FIV

Sadly, Jules is also FIV positive, which compromises his immune system.  If you combine a bacterial infection in the paws with a weakened immune system you can see where it might lead: a potentially very serious health situation which could be fatal under certain circumstances.

Paw Project-Utah were able to raise money quite easily for the operation; in fact, within 72 hours which indicates a wonderful base of supporters against declawing.

Jules's story indicates to us that there are many possible complications and side-effects, some of which are unforeseen, to the declaw operation.  I hope people take heed of this instructive story.

Deadly Feline Virus Will Ravage Feline Population on Hawaiian Island

Maui, Hawaii, is as I understand it, the second largest of the Hawaiian Islands and we are told in a news article that the rather nasty feline disease (and one of the worst feline viruses) called panleukopenia or panleuk for short has been confirmed to be present in a cat from a populated, central area of the island.

The director of the local Humane Society's veterinary service, Miyasaki-Kim, said that the identification of feline panleukopenia in such a highly populated area means that they are unable to stop the spread of this virus.  He says that the disease will have a big impact upon their shelter on the island.  What he's saying is that there's going to be a lot of feline euthanasia, I suspect, on the shelter.

In all eight cases have been identified.  It is rather sad and ironic that this news follows on from an earlier report that the authorities on adjacent island, Kauai,  had decided to instigate a mass trap-neuter-release program on feral cats because they were having a damaging effect upon the seabird population and no doubt seabirds are a major feature of these islands.

It appears that Hawaii is set to see an increase in the death rate of their cats one way or another which I find very sad.

Feline panleukopenia is commonly called feline distemper.  From infection to death can be as short as 3 to 5 days.  This disease acts very quickly.  It is a multi-symptom disease.  It is a highly contagious disease.  In addition the virus can survive in carpets and other areas for over a year.  The virus can be killed by bleach-sodium hypochlorite.

I'm not sure that the director of the local Humane Society is being accurate or perhaps he's being too pessimistic about the spread of the disease.  Vaccination is the most effective method for prevention which begs the question of whether there has been sufficient vaccination for this disease amongst the feline population on the island.

No doubt they will be ensuring that all their cats are vaccinated.  The vaccination process takes up to 12 weeks and there is a need for annual booster vaccinations or biannual vaccinations.  There are plenty of things to do to prevent the spread of this disease so my impression is the prognosis for the feline population on this island is rather pessimistic.



New Zealand: Cat Food Manufacturers In Catfight!

NestlĂ©, which sells Purina and Friskies cat food products is fighting with Mars, which makes Whiskas cat food products.  They are doing this fighting in the New Zealand High Court.

Firstly, it is rather ironic that pet food manufacturers are fighting over the quality of their products because it is far more commonplace for consumers to be criticising petfood manufacturers about the quality of their products particularly dry cat food, over which the current argument is taking place.

Whiskas dry cat food is stated by Mars to have the highest protein levels of all the dry cat food that is sold in New Zealand.  NestlĂ© states that the claim is misleading because this cat food product has only above average levels of protein which is in fact stated in small print on the packaging. That is their claim and allegation. Mars stands by their promotion.

Both of these multinational companies miss the point altogether namely that the dry cat food products which they manufacture are far too high in carbohydrates which makes the food inherently unsuitable for the domestic cat.  This product is claimed to lead to feline diabetes, urinary tract infections and a permanent state of mild dehydration.

These companies should not be bickering about how much protein is in their dry cat food.  They should be focusing all their energies on dramatically improving their product.  It is outrageous and negligent for these multinational companies to consistently manufacture products used by millions of cat owners which are inherently unsuited to cats but which are highly suited, by reason of convenience, for the owners.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Tilting Windows Are A Danger To Cats

Tilting Windows Are A Danger To Cats - a cross post to spread the word.

I'll be honest and say that I'm not completely sure how tilting windows hurt and kill cats but they do. I'll have a guess at how it happens.  A cat uses the window as a means to go outside and come back inside.  On returning the cat jumps onto the window and it swings upwards and the cat ends up near the edge of the window where she becomes trapped between the tilting window and the window frame.

The reason why a cat might jump onto the window itself rather than the windowsill is because a tilting window can be in a horizontal position and provide a flat surface.  A cat will not realise that this flat surface is not solid.  Instead it is like a seesaw.  When the cat jumps onto the flat surface the window rapidly swings upwards at one end and somehow the cat finds herself at the edge of the window at which point the window PVC edge of the window slams down onto her as she is trapped against the window frame.

Picture by Ruth aka Kattaddorra
The picture above shows one such window where a cat was trapped and her back was broken by the window.  The cat was rescued by the RSPCA but could not be saved and was euthanised.  It happened in the UK where tilting windows are quite commonplace particularly for double glazed windows.

If you click on the link at the top of the page you go to another page on the same subject written by Ruth who was the person who created the image on this page and who has experienced at first hand the tragedy of a cat being trapped in the tooting window.  The window was not hers.  The accident happened at a neighbour's home.

Cats can also be trapped in doors that are slammed shut. A cat runs through a door and at the same time the owner slams the door shut accidentally trapping her cat.

Embossed Tabby Cat!

This is a strange but arresting tabby cat photo. Either it is the lighting or it is photo-editing but this impressive tabby cat looks like he is embossed onto the background. It is probably a bit of both. It might be ring lighting. This is a flash light that encircles the camera lens and which provides this sort of lighting. However, you normally see the ring light in the eyes. The cat looks flat. Two dimensional.

Click here to see the original. Photo by nebojsa mladjenovic.

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