Cats are good at a lot of things – landing on their feet, looking abnormally adorable, making blooper videos, and eliciting high-pitch voices from women. According to 19th-century Army Lt. H.H.C. Dunwoody, our feline friends also have quite a practical skill up their sleeves … err, paws, as well: predicting the weather.
In an 1883 book entitled "Weather Proverbs," Dunwoody touted cats as a more reliable way to predict the weather than meteorologists. 131 years later, many of us are still left awkwardly dressed and ill-prepared for weather our local meteorologists failed to predict.
According to Dunwoody, we shouldn’t be looking to people for weather advice. We need to look at animals. Though he lists a number of animals who display certain behaviors prior to inclement weather, he placed an emphasis on the prophetic abilities of cats.
“Cats have the reputation of being weather wise," Dunwoody wrote. "It is almost universally believed that good weather may be expected when the cat washes herself, but bad when she licks her coat against the grain, or washes her face over her ears or sits with her tail to the fire."
Here, according to Dunwoody, is how to interpret weather forecasts from your little kitty:
- - When cats sneeze, it is a sign of rain.
- - When a cat scratches itself, or scratches on a log or tree, it indicates approaching rain.
- - The cardinal point to which a cat turns and washes her face after a rain shows the direction from which the wind will blow.
- - When cats lie on their heads with mouths turned up, expect a storm.
- - When cats are snoring, foul weather follows.
The next time your cat does this, you'll know she isn't looking for attention. She's telling you to grab your raincoat:
Michigan State University researcher Laura Reese, Ph.D., has been studying a Detroit animal-welfare issue for more than a year and has crunched responses from 75 nonprofit animal agencies.
In the first academic study of Detroit’s dog and cat overpopulation problem, the MSU political science professor estimated the number of city strays at 7,500 dogs and 18,000 cats.
Reese said that would mean there are about 54 stray dogs and 129 stray cats per square mile in Detroit’s 139 square miles.
Detroit mayoral spokesman John Roach was asked how often he sees stray dogs and cats, and he replied, “Occasionally, but not frequently.”
Reese emphasized that whether the number is 3,000 or 50,000 (both are previous estimates), the magnitude of the problem is not really what matters. “What’s important is tackling it, with other animal welfare issues," she said. “It’s a sign of disorder in the community.”
TETHERED DOGS FOUND FROZEN
“For the city and its residents to move forward and get out of the current crisis, we need to get out of these disorder issues, whether it’s abandoned buildings or roaming animals," Reese said. "Psychologically, it does not help the city move forward.”
Her study says Detroit needs to do a better job of taking care of stray animals. Public education is also needed in providing care for animals, because tethered dogs have been found frozen to death in backyards.
Detroit Police Department spokesman Sgt. Michael Woody said the city’s animal control division has nine employees: four animal control officers, three supervising officers who monitor the building and handle the animals, one veterinarian, and one investigator.
HIRING MORE ANIMAL CONTROL OFFICERS AND INVESTIGATORS
Woody said the department was never operating at full capacity and now has the money to hire more staff. He said that 10 animal control officers will be hired next month, and that over the next three months, the department should get an additional four investigators.
“Last year, we had 703 dog bites and we had one investigator doing all that work,” Woody said. “The upswing to all of this is we are recognizing the need for the additional manpower in that area.”
Source: Detroit News, Huffington Post
Two former employees have sounded an alarm regarding conditions for animals at the Humane Society of Washington County. The two women stated this week that concerns for health and safety of the animals were ignored when the facility decided to become “No Kill.”
“They mistreated animals, adopted out sick animals, and had a mass euthanization in one day,” the women told ABC7.
The decisions by new management that came on board in January 2013 was fixated on making the facility a “no-kill” shelter. The results – there were too many cats, many of them sick,” a former employee says.
Amanda Surber is now showing evidence of what she believes is cruelty to animals at the hands of those who are supposed to protect them.
Amanda is not alone in her claim, WJLA reports. At least two former employees are saying the humane society mistreated and adopted out sick animals.
One of those workers has filed suit saying she was wrongfully terminated when she refused to keep the shelter’s secrets.
For two-and-a-half years, Amanda Surber was an animal care technician at the Humane Society of Washington County in Hagerstown, Maryland. Then in January 2013, new management declared the intention to become a “No-Kill” shelter and did not consider the reality that “there were too many cats, many of them sick,” she told ABC7 reporters.
“The overcrowding, the best way to describe it, it looked like a concentration camp. The way they were stacked on top of each other, we would have five to six cats in a cage.”
Former volunteer Andrea Carroll says she witnessed the same conditions.
“Forty cats would be coming in every day. We had nowhere to put them. They’re sick; diseases were spreading that we can’t treat.”
Surber says the mistreatment ran the gamut from cats with infections and disease to, “in one case, more than 100 being euthanized in one day.”
“We had to go room to room to put these animals down. You can’t kill 130 animals in an hour and expect it to be humane,” she says.
“They did not have the welfare of the animals in mind. They were more concerned with getting the number of euthanasias down at whatever cost," Surber says.
Surber says she was then asked to sign a non-disclosure form. When she refused, she was fired.
ABC7 states that they were allowed “inside the society” to view the animal-adoption rooms, which were clean and not crowded.
Declining an on-camera statement, the Humane Society said, it denies the allegations and will defend itself in court, the station reported.
There are a number of ‘cat islands’ around Japan that draw cat lovers from all over the world; in late September, Aoshima became a focus of attention on the Internet, drawing a number of visitors from all over Japan, according to The Japan News.
On a sunny autumn day, dozens of cats were lounging behind and on top of walls. When people come around, the cats approach them for food. Pictures were taken, posted on the Internet and re-posted on blogs.
Since then, the Ozu city government’s Nagahama branch states it has not stopped receiving phone calls from cat lovers who are eager to visit the island.
Aoshima doesn’t have accommodations, restaurants or even vending machines, but it has become a paradise not only for cats, but also for cat lovers.
Sayumi Nagamori, 23, who traveled from Sanuki said, “I can observe their natural life here.”
Currently, a ferry—the only means of transportation—connects Aoshima and Shikoku twice a day. Ferry Captain Nobuyuki Ninomiya told The Japan News, “I seldom carried tourists before, but now I carry tourists every week, even though the only thing we have to offer is cats.
During World War II, the island’s population increased due to an inflow of evacuees. It peaked at 655 in 1960. Since then, the majority have left the island to find jobs. The 15 remaining non-feline residents range in age from their 50s to their 80s. Four of them are fishermen, and most of the others are pensioners.
THE CAT EXPLOSION
According to the islanders, about a decade ago, the number of islanders fell below 50, and the number of cats began to increase due to abandoned cats breeding unchecked.
There are many vacant houses left that serve as comfy, safe hideouts. They are also free from traffic accidents as there are no cars on the island.
Fisherman Hidenori Kamimoto, 63, says, “They bother me because they sometimes sneak into my house. But there’s nothing we can do about the increasing number of cats."
In October on a ferry, I saw eight visitors, including a woman on a solo trip and a couple. They spent their day on the island photographing or feeding the cats.
Kafumi Munehira, 50, from Mihara, Hiroshima Prefecture, had spent the night in the city of Ozu to catch a ferry at the Iyo-Nagahama Port the following morning to Aoshima. She stayed on the island for nine hours until the evening.
“I’m overwhelmed by how many cats there are! There are nothing but cats here, and I don’t mind that at all,” she said.
There is no mention on any of the islands of plans to attempt to curtail the exploding feline population.
MORE “CAT ISLANDS”
“Cat islands” exist in and outside Japan and help support the tourism industry. Tashirojima is home to 86 people and about 100 cats, and is called “Cat Heaven Island."
Cats were first brought to the island to keep mice at bay from the silkworm farms. But when industry left the island, so did the human population, states Mail Online.com. Fishermen there regard cats as the gods of a good catch. There is even a cat shrine.
On the island of Malta, cats, which were aboard a ship to ward off rats, began breeding, and currently there are about 800,000 cats—double the population of islanders.
Every year, about 20,000 Japanese visit the Mediterranean island, many just to see the cats. Visitors can reportedly feed cats within a conservation area managed by a volunteer group.
No dogs are allowed on the “cat islands” and it is made clear that they are not welcome. It is likely most dogs are smart enough to not want to be on an island ruled by semi-feral cats.
The Los Angeles County Health Department is warning residents about interacting with feral cats after a case of typhus was reported in Manhattan Beach.
The identity of the victim was withheld, and details about how the individual contracted the disease were not disclosed by the agency.
The Health Department advises that the best way residents can prevent the spread of the disease is to keep their pets isolated from feral cats and their fleas, a widely known carrier of Typhus.
Pets should be kept inside and current with their flea medication, officials say.
Animal owners should also spay or neuter their pets to prevent breeding with feral cats.
Madeline Bernstein, President of spcaLA, adds that homeowners should place screens over building access holes, secure external trash storage, and eliminate any outdoor food sources.
By 11:30 p.m. the Palos Verdes Patch posted, “ Typhus Reported in the South Bay ... Rancho Palos Verdes officials warn pet lovers to stay away from feral cats.”
MOUNT WASHINGTON RESIDENT SURVIVES MURINE TYPHUS
Following are some excerpts from a case of Endemic Murine Typhus in the Mount Washington area of Los Angeles in 2011, posted on the Highland Park Patch. The victim’s name is Paul Nawrocki. Paul said he never heard of Murine Typhus until he nearly died from it.
One Sunday at the end of March 2011, Paul thought he’d come down with the flu. “By Wednesday, I was really sick,” said Paul, who remembers that he couldn’t keep anything down, even water. “I knew something was seriously wrong so I went to the doctor [on Thursday].” Paul’s wife Jill remembers that in addition to fever, chills and other flu-like symptoms, Paul “couldn’t lay down flat because he couldn’t breathe.”
“By Friday night, says Jill, “Paul’s fever had spiked to 105 degrees, his blood pressure had dropped alarmingly, and his blood oxygen levels were so low he was danger of hypoxia, which can cause hallucinations, seizures, comas and even death. His liver had shut down, his stomach had shut down, and he had internal bleeding.” Less dramatically, Paul had also developed a rash on his chest. And it was the rash that finally gave Dr. Pocock the clue to the disease. Paul had Endemic Murine Typhus.
What Is Murine Typhus?
According to the County of Los Angeles Department of Public Health, Endemic Murine Typhus is an infectious disease caused by bacteria (either Rickettsia typhi or Rickettsia felis) that is transmitted by the bites of infected fleas. Joe Ramirez, a Health Specialist with the Vector Borne Disease Surveillance Unit, said that any animal can carry infected fleas but the highest percentage is found on infected rats, opossums and feral cats.
Feline-loving Paul had started feeding a pair of wild cats that had appeared in his back yard, reported the Patch.
Mamoru Demizu stole to feed feral cats fresh chicken and fish, and "not the cheap stuff,” he told arresting officers in Izumi city, western Japan.
The 48-year-old man said he spent up to 25,000 yen ($242 USD) per day on his cats, according to the December 13 report by the Telegraph.
"He said he felt happiest when he rubbed his cheek against cats," the officer said.
Mamoru Demizu is suspected of at least 32 separate instances of breaking into houses to steal cash and jewels, in order to come up with the money.
Demizu, who is unemployed, kept one animal at his home in Izumi and about 20 in a nearby warehouse, while feeding 100 more strays that lived in the neighborhood, the police said.
There was no information available on what charges were filed against him.
San Francisco police are actively searching for a man they say grabbed a woman’s cat carrier, which contained her two cats, and threw it into the bay for no apparent reason.
Reports show that the woman was walking along a pier when a man approached her, took all of her belongings, and proceeded to throw them into the water.
"She started screaming, people heard that, then he picked up the cat carrier with her two adult cats in it and hoisted that into the bay," said animal control Captain Vicky Guldbech. “"She's still very distraught so getting information from her is very raw. She’s still very traumatized by the event.”
The incident took place around 4:20 p.m. on November 25th, and police have now released surveillance video of the man to help identify him. They say the suspect is a white male, around 6 feet tall, was wearing a black hoodie, and had a skateboard.
At the time of the incident, Captain Le-Ellis Brown of Animal Control echoed Guldbech’s statement, saying that that they were barely able to speak with the woman because she was so upset over what had happened.
"The owner was so distraught last night that we weren't really able to talk to her," said Brown.
Authorities arrived at the scene and retrieved the woman’s belongings from the water, but they were too late to help the cats. Both of the adult felines died after being tossed into the bay.
NOTE: All videos SF Appeal.
A formal complaint has been filed in federal court on Nov. 25 by the owners of San Diego Puppy, Inc., a retail pet shop located in the city of San Diego. The suit attacks the citywide ban on the sale of dogs, cats, and rabbits at pet stores, which was passed on July 10, 2013.
The lawsuit was filed by David and Veronica Salinas, the owners of the pet store, against the City of San Diego, the San Diego Humane Society, the San Diego Animal Defense Team, the Animal Protection and Rescue League, and the league's lawyer, Bryan Pease, for their “unified effort” in passing the Companion Animal Protection Ordinance, which prevents commercial pet sales in pet shops in the city.
The ordinance was aimed at closing “puppy mills” (none of which is in the city of San Diego) and claims that commercial breeders, often located in the Midwest, have been found to ignore health requirements and humane standards.
However, the Salinas' complaint contends that there are already laws in place to protect against neglect and mistreatment by breeders. Adding to that, Salinas states in the document that all dogs sold at San Diego Puppy, Inc., come with a certificate of health.
According to the San Diego Puppy complaint, the business was irreparably harmed by the ordinance. It is the only retail “pet store in the city that is/was selling purebred and other high-quality puppies that are not purported to be from a rescue or shelter retail facility.”
It also rejects the claim made by proponents of the bill that San Diego Puppy buys, and later sells, dogs from auctions or imports them from other countries, according to the Reader. To the contrary, they claim to deal directly with licensed breeders who are subject to governmental regulations, the complaint states.
Attorneys for Veronica and David Salinas say the ordinance was the result of a unified assault by “activist organizations, coupled with the pre-existing antipathy on the part of certain City councilmembers.”
Among the activist organizations listed is the San Diego Humane Society, which, according to the complaint, raises more than one hundred million dollars under the “guise of helping homeless pets,” then uses that money to push for legislation such as the Companion Animal Protection Ordinance, the Reader states.
The complaint also contends that the Companion Animal Protection Society (CAPS) targeted two members of the San Diego City Council, Lorie Zapf and Marti Emerald, knowing that these Councilmembers had “anitpathy” toward animals, and their antipathy caused them to pursue adopting an ordinance.
Salinas’ complaint says that Councilwoman Emerald is quoted in the news, stating erroneously and inappropriately that “unsuspecting consumers here in San Diego and in other places also pay the price” of purchasing offspring of unhealthy, inbred dogs from substandard breeding facilities, dubbed “puppy mills” by activists.
The suit contends Councilwoman Emerald also stated without any basis in fact as applied to San Diego Puppy that, “[consumers] are coming in, they’re paying top dollar for these animals.Then they get the dogs home and they get sick, and the vet bills start rolling in.”
The complaint points out that “she cited no authority, facts or statistics for her incorrect assertions.”
Victoria and David Salinas state that, by filing the lawsuit, they hope to rescind the ordinance and at the same time keep longtime animal-rights activists such as Attorney Bryan Pease from “annoying, harassing, trespassing, threatening or otherwise violating the peaceful operation of the business owned by Plaintiff David Salinas, and from threatening, harassing or annoying any employee or officer of such businesses.”
“Say No to Dog or Cat Meat” is the newest ad campaign by Animals Asia, a pet advocacy group that has been leading efforts to stop the Asian dog meat trade (which also includes cats). The campaign has just posted 279 new anti-dog eating advertisements across China in train stations, bus stations and elevators in 14 major cities from Beijing to Shezhen.
In compelling scenarios, each ad shows someone putting chopsticks over a malnourished stray or beloved family pet. The ads warn of health and safety issues related to eating the meat of stolen or stray pets and the fact that you might be chewing on the dead body of a child’s beloved companion.
"Cat and dog meat sold in restaurants is often sourced from stolen domestic animals and strays snatched from the street," one ad variation says. "Don’t pay for this cruel and dirty industry with your own health. Be healthy, say no to dog and cat meat.”
An estimated 5 million dogs are slaughtered for human consumption every year, according to Animals Asia. They are crammed into filthy, small wire cages with other dogs. The animals suffer from the moment they’re brought into the highly unregulated dog-meat industry and as they exit it — often killed by electrocution, hanging or being beaten to death.
In May, the Asia Canine Protection Alliance (ACPA), a coalition of animal-protection organizations, was formed to end the dog meat trade in Asian countries like Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam.
Right now, Animals Asia is tackling the cruel Chinese dog and cat trade and is focused on reminding Chinese consumers to “Be Healthy. Say No to Cat and Dog Meat” and to “prompt people to re-evaluate why they’d eat animals they might otherwise consider friends not food.”
The ads have already created quite a buzz on Weibo, the Chinese version of Twitter, reports Animals Asia. “The good news is that awareness is spreading. The reaction we have had from the public to the posters has been incredible as has been the willingness to further share the message."
From tiny babies to octogenarians, cats have caused injuries to 84 people who required hospitalization in the last fiscal year, and victims spent from 38 days to two days in the hospital being treated for those attacks cats, according to Australia’s Dog and Cat Management Board annual report.
But South Australians between 50 and 74 (39 people) were attacked the most, sometimes resulting in serious infections that require specialized medical procedures, reports the Herald Sun.
The number of cat attacks in SA causing serious harm jumped from 63 from the previous 12 months and 55 in both of the two preceding years, according to the Herald Sun.
Three babies or toddlers (0-4 years) had a hospital stay because of a cat attack, but no children aged 5-9 did. Ten victims were aged 50-54 and 10 others were 60-64.
Eleven people aged 80 or more, were hospitalized after a feline confrontation.
A typical cat bite is usually on the hand or wrist and will puncture the skin because of the animal’s sharp teeth, the report revealed.
Both cat bites and scratches could become infected. "While exact figures are uncertain, approximately 16 per cent of the patients (attacked by cats) who come to an emergency department may have an infection,'' said Royal Adelaide Hospital Director Critical Care Services Associate Professor Geoff Hughes.
Dog attacks resulting in admission to hospitals - mostly bites causing bruising, puncture wounds or lacerations - rose by five to 235, with victims spending an average of 2.3 days in care.
The number of dog attacks reported in 2012 to councils was 1320, down 34 on the previous year. Not surprisingly, children were the most common victims.
Source: Herald Sun