Hi Fellow Cat Lover,

This month is off to a "great" start:
My computer crashed! So, this issue is just a tad
late, since I had to start from scratch to find some
interesting news. All the files I had been saving
are on the dead computer! If I can recover the drive,
I'll pass along anything that hasn't gotten too old,
in the next issue.

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NEWS
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You've heard of designer dogs? Well, now there are
designer cats, too.

The latest one was produced through several breeding
combinations with the ordinary domestic cat, the African serval,
and the Asian leopard cat. It is called the Ashera.

Standing 4 feet tall when up on its hind legs, it's the
largest, rarest and most exotic domestic cat in the world.

If you want one, be prepared to wait... about a year...
but that's OK. You might need the time to save up the fee:
a cool $22,000 to $28,000.

But you also get 10 years of visits from a professional
animal behaviorist, just in case the cat becomes aggressive.

There is another designer cat I was going to tell you
about, but I lost that file. From memory, all I can tell
you now is that this one never grows beyond 2 pounds!

It, too, is very expensive, but "only" about $2,000.

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Cat Population - Out of Control?

One thing I noticed this past year is the enormous increase
in kittens showing up at our local shelters as well as all over
town, scampering around streets, alleys and yards.

Initially, I thought it was just due to an increase in the
irresponsible ways of humans. But I just learned that this
is happening all over the country... possibly the world, if
anyone is taking notes.

And the rescue people are busier than ever, unable to even
come close to catching up with local feral cat populations.
People couldn't be causing the problem that fast.

As it turns out, this surge in new kitties may be due to
global warming. Normally, cats reproduce about twice a year.
But they can have 3 to 4 litters a year in warmer zones.
So, as our climate warms up everywhere, so do the cats.

What can we do about it? According to the Humane
Society of the United States (HSUS), the best thing cat
owners can do is to get their own pets spayed and neutered.
And that includes any kittens that may be produced or show
up at your house.

A friend of mine has a good idea: Even though she has no
pets, she likes to contribute to her community by doing
something useful, such as getting one animal spayed every
year. It might be a cat or dog owned by a neighbor who
can't afford it, or she might capture a stray to fix and
release.

Her philosophy is that if everyone did this, we could make
a dent. The HSUS says that if all owned pets were altered,
even that would make a large impact.

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Global warming may be responsible also for an increase in
the flea and tick infestations pet owners are seeing now.
Parasites tend to thrive in warmer climates, and that has
typically meant that plagues were more common in, say, the
tropical zones of our planet.

But as the planet warms up everywhere, we could be in for
some unusual outbreaks of diseases that we've never seen
in our formerly cool locations. It's already become evident
that West Nile Virus is showing up more often, and that is
spread by insects. Lyme disease is more common now, too. And
that is spread by ticks.

The scary thing is that "The Plague" we read about in history
class was spread by fleas. And that's one disease we CAN
get from our pets.

What can we do? Certainly, it's a good idea to be diligent
about using flea preventives, but it's also important not
to go overboard out of fear. It's easy to overdose our pets
with too many chemicals. Consult your vet about a sensible
plan to help prevent fleas.

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WEB SITES
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Now here's a guy who knows how to train cats. This is a
web site worth visiting!

http://www.so-you-want-to-train-your-cat.com

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Now you can send email messages with cat (or dog) "videos,"
customized by you:

http://www.petcentric.com/doggiemail/?id=24269994


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A SMILE FOR YOU ;-)
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http://www.mypetvideos.tv/watch/249lgcm
(Kitten jumping off sink, lands in....)

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Do you have any interesting stories to share about your
cats? Send them in and I'll put them here in
this newsletter. (Include your name and website
if you have one, and I'll give you a "plug" for
your website. Or, anonymous is OK, too. It's
up to you.)

===================================

If you ever want to review past issues,
here is where they are stored:
http://www.ymlp.com/pubarchive.php?catsgalore

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