For “Mammal Monday”:
65 Cats protect artworks at Russia museum
“The three million works of art at the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia, are protected from rats and mice by a small army of about 65 cats rescued from the streets.
The museum, which is one of the largest in the world, draws millions of visitors every year, but few see the feline rodent killers who are restricted to the basement. The four-legged guards are fed and pampered by three people who work almost full-time tending to the cats.
"They're not just mascots, they're really employees of the Hermitage and they play a very important role," says Irina Popovets, who spends six hours a day caring for the felines.
The tradition of having cats at the Hermitage dates back to 1745, following a decree signed by Empress Elizabeth, daughter of Peter the Great.” From: http://www.cbc.ca/news/offbeat/story/2012/07/05/hermitage-museum-russia-cats.html
Cats playing chess.
Why We Should Never View Vaccines as Harmless This applies to dogs, too
- A beloved family cat in Colorado is dying of a type of cancer very likely caused by a vaccine. Hozart, who belongs to the Gorden family of Colorado Springs, has developed vaccine-associated sarcoma (VAS), probably as the result of a feline leukemia vaccination.
- The Gordens have spent thousands of dollars to save their pet, but things don’t look good for Hozart. The family wishes they had been told the risks vs. benefits of the vaccines he was given. They had no idea the FeLV vaccine is linked to cancerous tumors in cats. Nor did they know indoor-only cats like Hozart have no need for the vaccine.
- Rabies vaccines (which Hozart was given at the same time) have also been linked to VAS in cats, but since those vaccines are required by law, our recommendation is to never give more than one vaccine at the same time.
- Whether your pet is a cat or a dog, it’s important to learn about veterinary vaccines – which are core, which are non-core, which vaccines your pet truly needs -- and how often.
- Dr. Deborah Germeroth, a veterinarian in Colorado Springs puts it this way: "There's no cookie-cutter recipe for animal vaccines, but you don't need everything under the sun," Just because you can, doesn't mean you should."
Ask for a vaccine titer test. This test will measure your cat’s immunological protection against diseases for which he was vaccinated during his first year of life (his ‘kitten shots’). You can’t add immunity to an already immune pet, so don’t keep vaccinating.” Complete article at: http://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2012/07/04/pets-vaccine-dangers.aspx
From me: My daughters beloved Pomeranian, Snuggles had just been vaccinated before he got sick. Just because they haven’t had a reaction in the past, doesn’t mean they won’t another time.
Prime was vaccinated in her leg. The vet said that was so if she had a reaction to it, they could just take off her leg and save her life.
Declawing procedure had been a botched job
Question to Dr. Fox: “Patches was about 18 months old when we adopted him -- a puffball of white and gray patchy fur.
We noticed three things about him: First of all, he didn't make sounds. Second, he was terrified of anything that looked like a broom or dust mop. Third, his paws hurt him if you touched them.
Those clues told me that he had had a less-than-happy past and that his declawing procedure had been a botched job. His paws were tender his whole life. The other things, like making sounds, appeared after we talked to him and soothed him. I think he conquered his fear of the household equipment.
I always felt sorry that he had been declawed. In fact, I think they cut off half of his front paws. It is an atrocity that this remains common practice.”
Answer: “I believe that you are correct that Patches had a trauma-filled life before his adoption. Never purring or making other vocalizations can be a sign of post-traumatic stress disorder in cats, which Patches confirmed by starting to speak when he felt secure in his new environment.
As for his tragic paw mutilations, I find it abhorrent that cats continue to be declawed by veterinarians, even when purportedly less painful, more advanced surgical techniques are used. I document many of the harmful consequences on my website, DrFoxVet.com. Laypersons will also do this claw-removal using physical restraint and wire cutters, which I regard as felony animal cruelty.”
The Number 1 Reason Dogs Visited the Vet in 2011
“Ear infections are always near the top of the list of conditions that send dogs and their owners to the vet each year.
- Ear infections are different than simple ear inflammation. The symptoms are the same except there is almost always a gooey discharge when infection is present.
- There are fungal and bacterial ear infections. The most common fungal agent is yeast. Ear infections can be caused by both pathogenic and non-pathogenic bacteria.
- Accurate diagnosis of ear infections is important. An ear culture will identify the type of bacterial organism involved and the best medication to treat it.
- Preventing ear infections in your dog – even if he’s prone to them – is easier than you may think. It’s about being consistently diligent in cleaning and drying your pet’s ears as often as they need it.
Preventing Ear Infections is Easier than You Think
Some dogs are much more prone to ear infections than others. If your dog has a tendency to have problems with her ears, I recommend checking them daily or every other day at a minimum.
Wax or other debris left in your dog's ear canal is the foundation for infection.
The rule is to clean your pet's ears when they're dirty. If there's lots of wax accumulating every day, they need to be cleaned every day. If your dog's ears don't produce much wax or collect much crud, you can be less vigilant and clean them less often.
If you think your pet might already have an ear infection, it's important to have your vet check him out before you begin a cleaning regimen. Infections often lead to ruptured eardrums, in which case special cleaners and medications will be required.
For taking care of healthy canine ears, my favorite cleaning agents include:
- Witch hazel
- Organic apple cider vinegar and purified water, mixed equal parts
- Hydrogen peroxide
- Green tea infusion (using tea that has been cooled, of course)
- Tea tree oil greatly diluted in purified water (for dogs only – never cats)
Notice alcohol isn't on the list. That's because it can cause burning and irritation, especially if there's inflammation.” More at: http://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2012/07/02/top-10-dog-medical-conditions.aspx
What Do California Condors, Gray Wolves, and Black-Footed Ferrets Have in Common? National Parks Are Helping Them Recover
“Did you know that California condors once ranged throughout the skies of western North America, but by the 1980s, fewer than ten remained? Or that gray wolves used to roam much of the United States until habitat loss and predator control programs virtually eliminated them? Now, both species are starting to making a comeback, in large part due to the efforts of the National Park Service, in conjunction with other federal agencies and partners.
National parks protect some of our country’s most treasured landscapes and provide places to rebuild populations of plants and wildlife that have suffered due to human activities such as habitat destruction, over-hunting, and environmental pollution. Restoring native species also benefits the wider ecosystem, since each species plays an important role in the overall functioning and health of its community.
Check out NPCA’s new GeoStory—an innovative multimedia tool with photos, videos, and maps of the parks—to learn how several national parks are bringing back species that had been lost in those regions.
You can also watch one of the highlights of the Geostory below: NPCA’s new, moving video of one Park Service superintendent’s bond with the wolves he helped reintroduce into Yellowstone.” http://vimeo.com/43724806
On This Day:
U.S. takes San Francisco, Jul 9, 1846:
An American naval captain occupies the small settlement of Yerba Buena, a site that will later be renamed San Francisco.
Surprisingly, Europeans did not discover the spectacular San Francisco Bay until 1769, although several explorers had sailed by it in earlier centuries. When Spanish explorers finally found the bay in that year, they immediately recognized its strategic value. In 1776, the Spanish built a military post on the tip of the San Francisco peninsula and founded the mission of San Francisco de Asis (the Spanish name for Saint Francis of Assisi) nearby.
The most northern outpost of the Spanish, and later Mexican, empire in America, the tiny settlement remained relatively insignificant for several decades. However, the potential of the magnificent harbor did not escape the attention of other nations. In 1835, the British Captain William Richardson established a private settlement on the shore of Yerba Buena Cove, several miles to the east of the Mexican mission. That same year the U.S. government offered to purchase the bay, but the Mexicans declined to sell.
In retrospect, the Mexicans should have sold while they still had the chance. A little more than a decade later, a dispute between the U.S. and Mexico over western Texas led to war. Shortly after the Mexican War began, U.S. Captain John Montgomery sailed his warship into San Francisco Bay, anchoring just off the settlement of Yerba Buena. On this day in 1846, Montgomery led a party of marines and sailors ashore. They met no resistance and claimed the settlement for the United States, raising the American flag in the central plaza.
The following year, the Americans renamed the village San Francisco. When the Mexicans formally ceded California to the United States in the 1848 Treaty of Guadalupe, San Francisco was still a small town with perhaps 900 occupants. That same year, however, gold was discovered at the nearby Sutter's Fort. San Francisco became the gateway for a massive gold rush, and by 1852, the town was home to more than 36,000.”
Wimbledon tournament begins, Jul 9, 1877:
“On July 9, 1877, the All England Croquet and Lawn Tennis Club begins its first lawn tennis tournament at Wimbledon, then an outer-suburb of London. Twenty-one amateurs showed up to compete in the Gentlemen's Singles tournament, the only event at the first Wimbledon. The winner was to take home a 25-guinea trophy.
Tennis has its origins in a 13th-century French handball game called jeu de paume, or "game of the palm," from which developed an indoor racket-and-ball game called real, or "royal," tennis. Real tennis grew into lawn tennis, which was played outside on grass and enjoyed a surge of popularity in the late 19th century.
The Wimbledon Championships, the only major tennis event still played on grass, is held annually in late June and early July.”
When Misty needed to go out first thing, it was raining again. I had to go with her as she balked at the drips coming off the roof, so we both got wet. Then the rain stopped.
I fed the cat and dog their breakfasts, but when I went to feed ‘Fishy’, the blue cichlid, he had passed away. Before I rescued him, when he was in that jug for two days, he had jumped out of it, and sustained some bruising. He didn’t seem sick, but he didn’t eat well. I kept a close eye on the bruise to make sure it didn’t develop a fungus, or something, but I guess it was all too much for him. I think I did everything I could, so it is a big disappointment to lose him. RIP Fishy!
Time goes so fast, all I did was dispose of Fishy, clean out the aquarium, changed sheets, did some laundry, cleaned a bit, cooked up another batch of tomatoes, and messed about on the computer. Not much to show for the day.