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felinehelpline @ live.com
(Thanks to Maggie for sending these two stories in.)
Black Cats Tell All, a nonprofit book and initiative to
raise black cat awareness, has experienced some publishing setbacks and
did not make it off the drawing board in time for the holidays. However,
it's nearly ready for its debut and should be available very soon.
contributed a story to this book myself, about my black cat, Toledo.
He's a good example of the problem, known as "black cat syndrome," which also affects black dogs, and results in more black animals
being euthanized than any others.
Check out their Facebook page for updates and advisories as well as some highlights from the book:
Most Common Poisons for Cats
Welcome to the first Kitty Times of 2017
I hope you had a wonderful holiday season and are on track to enjoy a great new year! I look forward to sending you more information, stories and helpful links in the coming year.
Here are some animal holidays for January:
January is Walk Your Pet Month, as well as Adopt a Rescued Bird Month.
Jan. 2 National Pet Travel Safety Day
Jan. 20 Penguin Awareness Day
Jan. 21 Squirrel Appreciation Day
Jan. 22 National Answer Your Cat’s Question Day
Jan. 24 Change a Pet’s Life Day
Update on Peaches
Peaches, as you may recall from previous issues, is my paralyzed kitty. He is doing quite well and staying healthy with a good attitude. Animals are incredible that way. They are capable of becoming depressed, but overall, they do seem to take life's changes in stride and move on. We could all take a lesson.
Thanks to Annie and her yoga instructions, I am also doing some excercises with Peaches, which help to relieve his leg spasms as well as maintain some muscle tone.
I'm still working on a wheel chair for him, but some issues remain to be worked out. I'm ready to scrap my first effort as my latest attempts seem to be coming along better, built from designs I found online. One is assembled from parts that have been "3-D printed." If you haven't seen that process, it's quite fascinating. Our local public library recently acquired a 3-D printer and made holiday ornaments last month to see what they can do with this equipment. I submitted the wheel chair plan that I found online and the library "printed" the brackets. That was the easy part. I'm still working on the metal parts, but the local hardware stores just don't carry the right sizes of items I need. It's taken me several weeks already to find substitutes that might work - with minor modifications.
The design I'm most excited about, though, is the one that uses PVC pipe (basically plastic water pipes). It's inexpensive and fairly easy to assemble, once the pieces have been procured and cut to size. The design itself is offered by its author specifically for the do-it-yourself crowd. I'm not ready to share my photos yet, but here's one from the website, so you can see what my goals are:
And this one shows the other design with 3-D printed brackets:
Health and Behavior
Here is a kitten named Apollo. He was rescued in western Nebraska last week by a kind-hearted person who brought the hapless kitten into the house and out of the cold. He has a disorder called Cerebellar Hypoplasia, or "CH," also known as wobbly kitten syndrome. CH is a non-progressive, non-contagious neurological condition due to certain kinds of damage at or before birth, such as trauma, poor nutrition of the mother while pregnant, or the presence of distemper in the mother. The severity of the condition varies from one kitten to another, from mild lack of coordination to major inability to walk normally. My cat, ChaCha, is a CH cat and can't walk across a room without falling over or walking into something. At times, his muscles suddenly seize up and he flips in mid-air without warning.
The main thing to remember about CH is that it is NOT A DISEASE. It's brain damage. Affected cats are not mentally deficient and are as healthy as any normal cat, with the same life expectancy. There is no treatment, but love and patience can help these cats live happy lives. (Thanks to Amy for sending this in.)
The link below shows a cat in an uncomfortable predicament, but the narrator thinks it's funny. Please take a look, enjoy it if you like, but please be advised that this is not a fun experience for the cat. She is not in "ecstasy" as they think. As a newly minted feline behaviorist, I can tell you, this is a sress situation. The cat is clearly frustrated as she tries to make the discomfort stop. She is well socialized with her humans, which will prevent an attack, unless they refuse to quit. If they can't give it up and do get bitten or scratched, they may be surprised, angry, or even decide to punish the cat. Please learn to recognize your cat's signs of discomfort so you can respect their need to "make it stop."http://themeowpost.com/she-scratches-her-cats-back-but-the-response-she-gets-in-return-just-watch-i-never-expected-this/
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