Texts from Mittens: The Halloween Edition

Posted October 23rd, 2014 by admin

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The Halloween season is upon our pal Mitty and his neighbor, Drunk Patty, won’t stop stopping by with costumes for him! Well, one might be OK — part of it anyway.

Mom wants Phil and me to stay in another room on Halloween night, once again denying him of fun. And all these kids get to trick-or-treat, why can’t he have a bucket of treats? Clearly, this is the worst holiday ever.

Here are some of Mittens’ Halloween frustrations:

“No taco costume.”

“Treats, please.”

“Wake me up when Halloween’s over.”

Click here for the entire library of Mittens posts on Catster.

Click here for the Texts from Mittens site.

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Click here for Mittens merchandise!

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Read more by Angie Bailey:

About the Author: Angie Bailey is an eternal optimist with an adoration of all things silly. Loves pre-adolescent boy humor, puns, making up parody songs, thinking about cats doing people things and The Smiths. Writes Catladyland, a cat humor blog, Texts from Mittens (birthed right here on Catster) and authored whiskerslist: the kitty classifieds, a silly book about cats wheeling and dealing online. Partner in a production company and writes and acts in comedy web series that features sketches and mockumentaries. Mother to two humans and three cats, all of which want her to make them food. 

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    7 Cats Survive a Real Life House of Horrors

    Posted October 23rd, 2014 by admin

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    It sound like a Halloween horror movie — an abandoned house, filled to the brim with skulls, skeletons, and bodies of both the dead and the dying. Unfortunately the inhabitants of this disused home in Alberta, Canada, were not human actors. They were cats, and this house of horrors was their reality.

    “The neighbor thought that there was only 25 cats initially,” explains April Oakes of Infinite Woofs Animal Rescue Society, who first learned of the home after reports of cats being hit on a nearby highway. “Once we got there we realized the severity of the situation. There were a lot more cats than we thought.”

    One of the less graphic photos from the scene. Courtesy April Oakes, Infinite Woofs Rescue Society

    The house had been unoccupied by humans for seven years, but when rescuers entered the abandoned structure earlier this month they found evidence of hoarding along with the decaying bodies of 39 cats, and 70 sick ferals who were almost dead.

    Abandoned by humans, the cats took over this home. Courtesy April Oakes, Infinite Woofs Rescue Society

    “Most of them were either showing signs of distemper or they were very injured,” says Oakes.

    Faced with the worst animal hoarding situation the rescue had ever seen, Infinite Woofs called the Alberta SPCA and veterinarians. Oakes says the recommendation for most of the cats was euthanasia. Sixty-two had to be put down. Of the 109 cats in that house, only seven survived.

    “They were put into quarantine kennels,” says Oakes. “Some were showing signs of upper respiratory problems, so they were put on medications, but are now available for adoption as farm animals.”

    Oakes is hoping to place most of the surviving ferals as barn mousers. ”A lot of people are hesitant to adopt a feral cat, but what these guys really need is a nice clean and warm barn or shop to live in.” 

    Six of the survivors are truly feral cats. They don’t like to be touched by humans, and are not used to eliminating in a litter box. Despite their wild ways and distrust of people, these cats will need someone to provide them with a warm barn, bed, food, and water for the rest of their lives as outdoor cats.  

    Only one of the survivors is social enough to have a chance at life as a pet.

    Satin is the only survivor who isn’t totally feral. She now has a second shot at life as a companion animal. Photo courtesy: Infinite Woofs Rescue Society

    Satin is actually a nice cat, so we think that she was dropped off at the location. It happens all the time; people just drive out to the middle of nowhere, drop cats off and drive away.”

    Oakes explains that abandonment of unaltered cats definitely contributed to the growth of the cat population inside the home in the seven years since the hoarder left. She hopes humankind will learn from this gruesome tale and realize what really happens when animals are discarded on the side of the highway.

    “And I think we all need to be aware of our neighbours. If you see something that’s not right, don’t be afraid to call the authorities.”

    Unfortunately in this case, no one called for help until the human who created this problem had already been gone for seven years. 

    According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, one of the signs of animal hoarding is a deteriorating home. While it’s hard to know what state the house was in before its human occupant left, we do know that it was filling up with garbage long before the cats were left alone. 

    The hungry cats sought refuge where they could. Courtesy April Oakes, Infinite Woofs Rescue Society

    “The cats may have brought in some bedding, but they didn’t bring in all those empty cat food cans by themselves,” says Oakes. 

    Seven years ago someone was living in that house with those cats, and it’s very likely that at least one person outside the home had suspicions about what was going on inside it. It’s believed the home’s former occupant was moved to a seniors’ facility — but no one made a phone all to ensure the abandoned cats were taken care of. 

    According to the ASPCA, loved ones of animal hoarders are often reluctant to call the authorities because they fear the hoarder will get into trouble, but if someone had reported the conditions of this home years ago the 109 cats who were found in this house of horrors would not have suffered the way they did. 

    Infinite Woofs Animal Rescue is still trying to trap two feral cats who remain on the abandoned property. The seven survivors have been fixed, vaccinated, and microchipped and are ready for adoption. Infinite Woofs is waiving the adoption fees for the feral barn cats. After all they’ve been through, these terrified animals deserve to find a home. 

    About the author:  Heather Marcoux is a freelance writer in Alberta, Canada. Her beloved Ghost Cat  was once her only animal, but Specter the kitten and GhostBuster the dog make her fur family complete. Heather is also a wife, a bad cook and a former TV journalist. Some of her friends have hidden her feed because of an excess of cat pictures. If you don’t mind cat pictures, you can follow her on Twitter; she also posts pet GIFs on Google +.

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      National Nut Day: What Nuts Are Safe for Dogs to Eat?

      Posted October 22nd, 2014 by admin

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        KUALA LUMPUR – Islamic authorities in Malaysia are conducting a probe into a controversial “dog patting” event aimed at removing the stigma regarding men’s best friend in the multi-ethnic Muslim-majority country.

        Iranian dog-lover Andia caresses a puppy

        Credit: Getty Editorial

        The event, titled “I want to touch a dog” and held in a park on the outskirts of the capital Kuala Lumpur Sunday, encouraged patting dogs — seen as unclean in Islam — and reportedly drew hundreds of Muslims, raising the ire of religious leaders.

        Islamic authorities said they would investigate the event, while a Muslim leader, Nooh Gadut, said the event was an attempt to insult clerics.

        “Don’t try to create a culture that is opposite to Islam,” he was quoted by local media as saying.

        The Muslim organiser, Syed Azmi Alhabshi, 30, had said his intention was to help people overcome their fear of dogs and promote compassion towards animals.

        AFP was not immediately able to contact him or religious authorities for further comments Tuesday.

        Many Malaysians, who are active social media users, posted positive comments about the event online.

        “This is so heart warming to see a good change in my home country,” one Facebook user said, while another remarked: “I was so happy to see so many happy dogs, eager-to-share dog owners and above all the predominantly Malay Muslim crowd who really embraced the whole thing.”

        Muslims who patted dogs last Sunday took part in a special washing ritual at the end of the event.

        The Southeast Asian country generally practises a moderate brand of Islam, but conservative views have gained increasing traction in recent years with minorities complaining of what they see as Islamisation.

        MORE ON PAWNATION: Puppy-Sized Spider Romps in Rainforest

         

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          “The exploitation of pets is much more cruel, in its hypocrisy and sophistication, than any other form of animal exploitation,” Charles Danten wrote in the opening salvo of his recent op-ed screed published in the Montreal Gazette.

          And why does he say this? To start with, Danten says that the bond we “impose upon” our pets forces them to remain infantile and never enjoy autonomy and full emotional maturity. This, Danten argues, causes a vast array of psychological problems such as phobias, aggression, and stress-based illnesses. Never mind that commonly accepted archaeological evidence indicates that it was the animals who chose to throw in their lot with us, not us capturing and “breaking” them to our will.

          Danten says any curative treatments for these psychological problems and illnesses are “doomed to fail” because the diseases have their root in a relationship concept that is inherently flawed.

          Not only that, but Danten, a former veterinarian (who is now apparently enjoying a second career as a shill for PETA), argues that animal health care in itself is a form of abuse because hey, animals can’t understand “whatever good intentions are behind veterinary medical care.”

          Did you get that? Animals get sick because we’re crazy. Curative treatments won’t do any good, but that’s okay because veterinary care is abuse.

          Wait, what?

          Struggling to survive on the streets is totally so much better than being “tortured” by living indoors with people who give you a great, stimulating environment and lots of love and care, right? Photo CC-BY-SA lysinewf

          Oh, but it gets better. Danten says that “convincing, large-scale quantitative studies” show that the health and happiness of pet owners is no better and perhaps even worse than that of non-pet-owners, and that any studies proving otherwise are only showing a “short term effects of the placebo type.”

          Wow, Doc, care to name some of those studies? Please. I’m all ears.

          I have to say that I agree with a couple of Danten’s assertions. Overbreeding has resulted in truly horrific health consequences. The problem is worse in dogs than it is in cats, primarily because dogs that were originally bred to do a job are now being bred to a show standard (case in point: Bulldogs, who can’t even reproduce or give birth naturally), but cat breeders may give them a run for their money if the cat fancy doesn’t act to stop the madness of kitten mills and breed standards that penalize cats that look like cats rather than mutant dolls.

          Overvaccination has also caused untold misery, particularly for cats. A lifestyle-appropriate vaccination and/or titer protocol designed by an owner and veterinarian working together saves lives, but I think the whole “every vaccination, every year, for every cat” thing is ridiculous. A growing number of vets agree with me on this.

          Oh, the horrors! Somebody call the ASPCA, for this cat is surely being tortured … or not. Photo CC-BY-SA Sibel

          But to call spaying and neutering “mutilations” and allege that it makes animals “easier to control” but causes the animals themselves “untold misery”? That’s just crap! Anyone who has spent any time at all in a veterinary career should be ashamed of themselves for saying that.

          To accuse the people who run and volunteer at no-kill shelters of “only pleasing themselves” by keeping animals who, Danten assumes, will never be adopted because of “unredeemable physical or psychological flaws,” is shameful and a bald-face lie. Not only is he maligning shelter workers, he’s perpetuating a belief that keeps millions of wonderful shelter pets from finding homes.

          Oh, but don’t worry: Danten says you can stop this “barbarism” and “cruelty” by being sure that once your beloved pet dies, you never adopt another one.

          Well, Doc, I hope you’ll be following your own advice.

          What do you think? Are we exploiting our cats by keeping them in our homes and caring for them? Is the relationship between a person and a pet fundamentally exploitive? Share your thoughts in the comments.

          Learn how to live a better life with your cat on Catster:

          About JaneA Kelley: Punk-rock cat mom, science nerd, animal shelter volunteer and all-around geek with a passion for bad puns, intelligent conversation, and role-play adventure games. She gratefully and gracefully accepts her status as chief cat slave for her family of feline bloggers, who have been writing their award-winning cat advice blog, Paws and Effect, since 2003.

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            Cat Doesn’t Like to Lose

            Posted October 22nd, 2014 by admin

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            It’s a simple game, but that doesn’t matter to Buffy. This cat is determined to win, and she’s not what you’d call a graceful loser.

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            MORE ON PAWNATION:

            Cat Takes Over Baby Swing

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