Internet Cats Will Never Die
There's a famous New Yorker cartoon that features a pooch facing a PC and quipping to his fellow canine that "On the Internet, no one knows that you're a dog. But the sad doggone truth is that if you're a dog on the Internet, no one cares, because the geeks who rule the Web are focused on felines.
The digital landscape is saturated with cats. On his Diary of Numbers blog, back in 2010, Aaron Santos, physics professor and author of "How Many Licks?" made the rough calculation that there are about 1.3 billion cat pictures on the Internet.
Since then, the Internet has quintupled in data size, so that number could now be 6.5 billion. That would be nearly one cat pic for every person on Earth. Which helps explain why Purina, makers of Friskies cat food, estimates that a staggering 15% of all traffic on the Web is cat-related. And it's not just photos. There are videos, like the ones starring Maru, the Japanese cat who loves boxes, which have been viewed over 200 million times. There are cat stickers. And there are millions of cat memes — pictures overlaid with text captions, like the LOLcats of "I Can Has Cheezburger" fame. Read More
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When it comes to cats and cat shows, temperament is key
One of Donna Graveline's most gorgeous British shorthair cats, was back home in Massachusetts while she and Willow Wick Figgie Bobbin Ewok and his impossibly-soft-looking chocolate-colored fur and playful temperament competed in the NauTICAts cat club's annual cat show at the Augusta State Armory.
The seven-month-old kitty batted at a scratching post mounted on one end of a judging table as judge Francine Hicks, of Lisbon Falls, looked and felt him over head to tail. He also played with a feather toy the judge flicked in front of him. It was the second day of his first show. Graveline said he was "a mess" Saturday, but by Sunday he had relaxed and, as long as he didn't go too long without some play time, seemed happy to be there. "They have to like it," she said of what makes a good show cat. "I have a beautiful cat I can't show, because she just can't handle it."
A cat can even be disqualified if its temperament is bad enough. Plus, biting a judge probably isn't the best way to win best of show. "Not every cat can be a show cat," agreed Hicks, a regional director of the International Cat Association who has judged cats for some 13 years. Read More
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It's Time for a "Cattitude" Adjustment: PetSmart Charities(TM) Survey Reveals Changing Feelings About Cats and Cat People
Goodbye, crazy cat lady. Hello, cool cat parent. A new survey released today by PetSmart Charities™ reveals that while the gap in the way we perceive cats and dogs remains huge, most people think that negative stereotypes about cats and cat people are wrong and that changing these stereotypes will help more cats get adopted. PetSmart Charities commissioned the nationwide survey of more than 1,000 Americans in February to learn whether or not cats' popularity in Internet videos and memes is actually benefiting them in real life -- especially homeless cats who face an uncertain future in shelters.
A majority of respondents said cats are intelligent, loving, cuddly and attractive, but negative stereotypes like "moody," "stubborn," "aloof" and "grouchy" also sprung to mind. Fewer than half thought cats were protective, loyal, or friendly. Meanwhile, most respondents described dogs as friendly, loyal, protective and loving. The survey also showed that negative stereotypes affect perceptions of cat owners and cat lovers. Most pervasive is the "cat lady" -- nearly half (49 percent) of survey participants still buy into this stereotype. Read More
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Spring's Four Common Hazards to Cats (and Other Animals)
Spring-time brings more pleasant weather, flowers and blossoming trees. It also brings "Spring fever" as cats want to go outside...or perhaps sample those beautiful flowers and plants you've brought into the house!
No one likes to associate Spring with hazards, but as a cat owner, it's always helpful to understand the four most common hazards to your cats and other animals:
So Beautiful, but So Toxic ... Plants
While many of the plants that we commonly keep in our gardens are beautiful to look at, these same plants can be poisonous to your cats. Many of us bring in these cut flowers for bouquets: Lilies are one the most common poisonous plants found in bouquets and in gardens, but there are many other types of plants that can be poisonous to our dogs and cats as well. Rhododendrons, azaleas, Japanese ewe, foxglove, tulips, oleanders, castor beans, chrysanthemums and many other types of plants can all be very toxic to unsuspecting curious cats and other pets. If you have a vegetable garden, make sure you don't have any of the plants from the nightshade family where the cats can get to them (that includes tomatoes and eggplants).
You Don't Need to Poison Your Yard...or Your Cats!
Every home owner wants the greenest yard in the neighborhood, but if you use fertilizers and insecticides on your lawn and/or garden/plants, you run the risk of exposing your cat(s) and other pet(s) to toxic poisons. Even if they don't go outside, you can bring it into the house on your shoes, and then they pick it up on their paws. There are many organic fertilizers, flea and other insecticide solutions, and yard treatments that you can buy at your local garden shops. Nematodes are one of the best solutions for fleas, fire ants and mosquitoes (see below).
Fleas, Ticks and Mosquitoes...Oh My!
Spring is also the time of year when fleas, ticks, mosquitoes and other parasites populations increase...and like to find new homes on your cats and other pets. Not only are they a nuisance, but they can carry disease. Cats also can get heartworms from mosquitoes, so make sure you don't let any water outside become stagnant. If it does, put vinegar in the water to kill the larvae.
Diseases such as Lyme disease, ehrlichiosis, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, and many others can be transmitted by ticks. Fleas can transmit diseases such as tapeworms, cat scratch fever (to people), and even bubonic plaque.
Nematodes can be sprayed on your yard to kill fleas, mosquito larva and fire ants (another hazard if you live where their mounds can quickly grow after rains). They are non-toxic microscopic worms that eat the larvae and fleas/ants. Inside the house, you can use cedar beds and also put down diatomaceous earth to kill fleas. You can learn more about that online.
Can Cats Sneeze?! Ah...choo!
Just like people, cats can have allergies too! Not only from fleas and other parasites, but from plants, and blooming trees! They can start to scratch, lose hair, have runny eyes, and oh yes, sneeze! If you have any questions, call your vet.
Pet Insurance for Peace of Mind
Having pet insurance can help you have peace of mind in case you do have an emergency and need to visit your vet.Embrace Pet Insurance offers a range of solutions from your kitten to your older cat. Don't wait for an emergency to happen...get your cat or kitten insured today!
Always keep the Pet Poison Hotline handy - in case you have questions.
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James Bowen to Open Bob's World Cat Café in London
James Bowen and his cat Bob have been capturing hearts ever since A Street Cat Named Bob: And How He Saved My Life was first published in the UK in the spring of 2012. The book has since become an international bestseller. There are reports of a movie deal, and just last week, news broke of a licensing deal for Bob themed merchandise. I'm a huge fan of James and Bob, and for me, it's been a joy to watch this unlikely success story of a former drug addict and his rescued cat unfold. James and Bob's latest venture will be a cat cafe in London.
James envisions the cafe as a safe haven for "not only cats that need the love, but for the people who love cats, too." The café will provide a home for homeless, abused or unwanted cats, and a safe haven for people who love the Bob series, and other like minded individuals, to come in and have tea, coffee and refreshments while being surrounded with cats. Proceeds will go towards UK charities Cats Protection, The Blue cross, The Big Issue Foundation, and Quick Reads. Read More
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