Melanie: June 2008 Archives

I've been following the growth of the 3 Sumatran Tiger Cubs born at the Auckland Zoo. Yesterday, I posted a video of the cubs at 10 days old. This video is of the cubs at 12 days old by themselves in the den while the mommy, Molek is in another den. They are getting so chubby, their little bellies look very full as they nap and wait for Molek to return.

Other posts I think you might be into:

12 cats that will be extinct by 2020

Christian the Lion remembers his human friends after he was released in the wild

Six diseases caused by dry cat food

See a 400 lbs African Lion hug and kiss his rescuer!

Recently, I blogged about the 3 Sumatran Tiger Cubs born at the Auckland Zoo. That video showed the cubs when they were 6 days old. Now they are two weeks old and looking plump and cute. Still no word as to the sex of the cubs. Here is a video of the cubs at 10 days old with their mom, Molek.

Other posts I think you might be into:

12 cats that will be extinct by 2020

Six diseases caused by dry cat food

See a 400 lbs African Lion hug and kiss his rescuer!

These ringtones will drive your cat crazy...

Picture-34.jpgAnother reason to keep your cats indoors! Residents near the Orlando Airport have reported that their cats have gone missing. A mysterious animal caught on tape could be the reason. The animal looks like a coyote or feral dog. Coyotes have been known to hunt down cats for food.

Surprisingly, the resident interviewed by Local 6, Leah Smith said she still leaves her kittens outside even though 24 cats in her area have disappeared. "Our older cats stay indoors now," Smith said. "The kittens don't roam around but we do check everyday to make sure we've got everybody back on the front porch."

What? you check every day? a lot can happen to a kitten in 24 hrs! is she crazy? The last thing I would do if there was a cat eating animal in my neighborhood is leave my cats outside! A kitten is just an appetizer, if the coyote finds more than one in her backyard, well it is just a buffet dinner of furry cuteness! What is she thinking?

Other posts I think you might be into:

12 cats that will be extinct by 2020

Six diseases caused by dry cat food

See a 400 lbs African Lion hug and kiss his rescuer!

These ringtones will drive your cat crazy...

Christian_WithGeorge_Color.jpgThese two guys, Ace and John bought a lion cub from Herod's of London in the 1960's and named him Christian. But Christian, although quite tame, got too big and British officials would not allow them to keep him. So with the help of George Adamson, the first human to establish the idea of wildlife conservations, they took him to Africa to learn how to live in the wild at Kora National Park.

Now this story is already pretty interesting, in the 60's apparently you could buy a wild animal at a department store and take him home with you. But the story gets even better, after this lion was taken out to Africa, and was taught how to be a wild cat, Ace and John went back to Africa to see him. They were told by George, the man who trained him to be wild, that he had not been seen for 9 months. Which means that Christian has fully adapted to life in the wild. They were told that Christian won't remember the two men because it had been so long since he saw them last.

reunion1_t.jpgHere is where it gets really interesting. The night before John and Ace were to arrive at the camp out side the conservation area where Christian now lived, Christian, his lionesses and their cubs all showed up at the camp. Christian was waiting for John and Ace on top of a rock! According to George Adamson, who spent significant time with lions in the wild, he believed that lions have a mysterious, telepathic communication ability with humans. This was proof of that, Christian, who had no reason to come back to camp, returned with his pride to meet with his human friends.

This video shows Ace and John meeting with Christian and you can actually see Christians face change when he sees his old friends, then he runs to them and embraces them. This video shows the human like emotions that a lion is capable of feeling. Apparently, after the video, the three friends hung out at camp until the middle of the night when Christian returned to his pride leaving Ace and John exhausted.

Read the full story, complete with quotes and facts Christian, the lion who lived in my London living room. I'm trying to get a copy of the full length DVD - but for now, I've found video clips of the movie. Christian, the lion who thought he was people.

Look for the part when the lion first spots them at 0:35 secs. He recognizes Ace and John immediately! Then as he runs to them, you can almost feel Christian's excitement!

Other posts about Christian the Lion:

Christian playing with Ace and John (video)

Interview with Ace and John, July 31, 2008

Christian the Lion: The Movie Parts 1 and 2

Christian the Lion: The Movie Parts 3 and 4

Christian the Lion: The Movie Parts 5 and 6

Christian the Lion: The Movie Parts 7 and 8

Christian the Lion: The Movie Parts 9 and 10

Other posts I think you might like:

12 cats that will be extinct by 2020

Six diseases caused by dry cat food

See a 400 lbs African Lion hug and kiss his rescuer!

These ringtones will drive your cat crazy...

Two+Cute+Kittens.jpgA story of three little ferals found by Alma and Nikki, who left a comment here. They found three feral kittens but don't have the time to socialize them properly so they are asking for help.

I was a little surprised to find out that a number of feral cat organizations don't actually provide shelter to ferals that are found. Their focus is on trap neuter and return, which is very noble and a very important part of feral cat care. But what do you do if you find 3 kittens too small for adoption, but that you can't care for? Where do you take them?

Most shelters will euthanize them. They get killed just because they are feral. Horrible. Everyone knows that feral kittens can be socialized and they make great companions. Neo, my own cat was a feral kitten and I have never known a more loving cat in my life!

So what do you do? The first thing, is take precautions, sometimes they carry diseases and if they bite you or break the skin, you will have to see a doctor. But if the kittens are small enough, their hiss is much worse than their bite so you will be safe from any diseases they might be carrying.

But they have to be checked out by a vet right away. It is easy to get attached to found kittens but if they are sick, you may not be able to tell right away and when the symptoms do show up, it will be a very sad day if you have to euthanize them. Sickness in cats from fleas is a big problem for feral kittens.

So here is what you do if you find and catch feral kittens.

1. Handle the kitten with towel. Wrapping a towel around the kitten will keep you from getting scratched and biten.

2. Keep them contained. They are small and can run and hide far out of your reach if they get scared. A dog cage or cat carrier would work well.

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3. Groom them using a brush or comb for cats. Their mothers groom them, so if you start, they will transfer their parental dependency onto you which helps them become socialized.

4. Take the kittens to a vet for a complete check up. Your vet might also be able to suggest families that have just lost cats that would be willing to care for your ferals and keep them.

5. If you can't keep them or if you are not around much to socialize them, the only thing you can do is find someone who can take them or contact your local shelter. If the local shelter won't take them and care for them until they can be adopted, they will be able to provide information on the nearest feral cat shelter. But before you take them anywhere, ask what their policies are, you might end up taking the kittens to their death!

Unfortunately there isn't that much support for feral kittens who need shelter. It is up to the people who find them to take charge of their futures. Make sure they are healthy and provide food and shelter and socialize them. And in some cases, find a new home for them. There really is a void out there for people like Alma and Nikki, who find kittens and want to help them, but can't keep them.

I'll keep you posted on the outcomes of these 3 kittens.

It's a good week for tigers in the news! Yesterday, it was revealed that three Sumatran tiger cubs were born at the Auckland Zoo. Today, the Alaska Zoo announced the arrival of two Amur Tigers. They had three Amur tigers that died of old age and received these two 4 year old brothers Korol and Kunali yesterday. Amur Tigers or Siberian Tigers are one of the 12 endangered big cats.

They were on the "red-eye" from New York to Alaska and arrived in a bit of a grumpy mood as you'll see in the video below. But the zookeepers are confident they will like their new home because it more closely resembles their natural environment of the Russian Far East. Amur or Siberian Tigers are the largest of the wild cats at up to 500 pounds and they live 15 - 20 years. Here's to the long life of Korol and Kunali! Read the full story about Alaska Zoo gets 2 new rare Amur tigers from N.Y.

Other posts I think you might be into:

12 cats that will be extinct by 2020

Six diseases caused by dry cat food

See a 400 lbs African Lion hug and kiss his rescuer!

These ringtones will drive your cat crazy...

You may have heard that the Sumatran Tiger is on the endangered species list and is expected to become extinct by 2020. But thanks to Molek, the female Sumatran tiger at the Auckland Zoo, the Sumatran Tiger Population increased by 3 cubs less than a week ago. The zoo had 2 Sumatran tigers, Molek and a male named Oz who is the father of the cubs. Now they have 5 healthy and happy Sumatran tigers.

The keepers have stayed away from Molek and her cubs for the past week so that they will have a chance to bond. But yesterday, the keepers went inside the tiger enclosure to get the first footage of the tiger cubs. Molek is a very confident and content mom as you can see in this video.

The Auckland Zoo has a Web Camera they call a CubCam so you can watch them grow and interact with each other and their mom. Read more about New Zealand zoo reports birth of 3 rare Sumatran tiger cubs.

flood_victems_rescuedd_cats.jpgIowa is under many feet of water and the Humane Society of the United States together with local shelters has been working to rescue people and their pets. See a slide show of some of the rescued pets and their people.

But there is so much more to be done. The animals need your help. Here is a list of donations as of today. But this list will keep changing. Check Iowa City Animal Care and Adoption Center for updated lists of needed items.

Donations List: The most urgent need is for large outdoor kennels for dogs, the chain link kind. Please drop kennels off between 12-3 at Barn #1. These don’t have to be new kennels, but in good working condition. Other needs are: medium, large and extra-large dog collars and harnesses; 6 ft. long heavy (1”) nylon dog leashes; cat havens; small (ceramic is best) food and water dishes for inside cat cages; copy paper; photo paper for Kodak Easy-Share camera; hand sanitizer; liquid hand soap; kitchen sponges; towels and sheets to use as bedding/cat cage covers; monetary donations to purchase medications, medical expenses, and care for animals with special needs.rescued_cat.jpg

Donations can be dropped off at the Fairgrounds between 10:00AM and 5:30 PM daily. Donations to the Friends of the Animal Center Foundation for both regular and emergency animal care can be made online or mail to Friends of the Animal Center Foundation at PO Box 1345, Iowa City, IA 52244-1345.

Routine Number: 319-356-5295

Phone Number for Emergency Animal Rescues Only: (612) 219-8510

It is so important to have an evacuation plan ready before these disasters happen. Find out how you can prepare your cat for evacuation.

Other posts I think you might be into:

12 cats that will be extinct by 2020

Six diseases caused by dry cat food

See a 400 lbs African Lion hug and kiss his rescuer!

These ringtones will drive your cat crazy...

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Be prepared to take your cat with you if you have to evacuate your home. If the area is unsafe for humans, it's unsafe for cats too. It is a myth that animals can take care of themselves in a disaster. I know you hear stories about families being reunited with their pets after a disaster but those stories are rare. No one hears about all the cats that perish in floods, fires and other disasters that you might have to evacuate your home for. Your family will be calmer and happier during this time of crisis if they have their beloved cat with them.

So what do you do if you have to evacuate?...

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No animal should be part of a show, I disagree with circuses, and anything where the animal is made to perform unnatural acts for human entertainment. So when Siegfried and Roy stopped performing I thought that was a good thing. And I still do.

But now that they are in the news again, I did a little digging, I thought I would find evidence that Siegfried and Roy abused their cats, but I could not find one bit, even though PETA claims they abused the tiger that attacked Roy. I couldn't find the evidence they refer to.

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Attack, that's an interesting word. I believe that if a tiger really wants to attack, the victim would be dead. Tigers are big, strong and have jaws that can crush bones. If Roy was attacked, he would be dead. I have to side with Siegfried on this one, in a CNN interview, he says the cat was moving him like a mother tiger picks up her cub to protect him. Maybe the tiger sensed he was having a stroke and was trying to protect him, I don't know.

But what I do know is that these guys let tigers walk freely in and out of their homes. Roy kisses these cats on the mouth, cuddles them, rides them, and the cats seem completely fine with it. Apparently, the pregnant tigers let Roy stay with them while they give birth and even drop the cubs in his lap! These cats are so well taken care of that they put some house cat owners to shame. They have a huge yard to play and relax in and they are also welcome inside the home.

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Siegfried and Roy even have their own breeding program so these cats survive extinction. That's why they are in the news again. They've acquired five new cubs that the duo will hand raise to become part of their breeding program. So far they've increased the world wide Royal White Tiger population to 200 and 38 of them live in Las Vegas.

So whatever might be said about Siegfried and Roy, you can't dispute the fact that they are helping to preserve the dwindling wild cat populations of the world. The video is a slide show of their 5 new cubs. So cute.

Other posts I think you might be into:

12 cats that will be extinct by 2020

Six diseases caused by dry cat food

See a 400 lbs African Lion hug and kiss his rescuer!

These ringtones will drive your cat crazy...

The Wild Sand Cat is found in the deserts of North Africa and the Arabian Peninsula. They prefer to live in sand dunes but have been spotted in mountainous regions too.

During the heat of the day, Sand Cats burrow in sand dunes and come out at night to hunt smaller mammals, birds, reptiles and insects. Because they are slightly smaller than a housecat, they stalk their pray and get in really close before striking.

With their round little heads, large ears and pointy little noses, they look like a cartoon drawing of a cat. They have furry feet to protect against the hot sand and they have thick, dense fur to protect against the blazing sun. I was mesmerized when I saw this video. Check out the very tiny little hiss. Make sure your speakers are on for it!


CUTEST CAT IN THE WORLD!!! - These bloopers are hilarious

Pictures_of_cat_groomed_and_posing.jpg If you've ever thought about traveling with Kitty, but don't want to stay in some of the dumps and dives out there that allow pets, finally, there's an alternative! Hilton Hotels and Resorts are going Pet Friendly this summer. You can plan your trip to include Kitty, rather than leave him at home with a petsitter. If you book you'll have to pay an extra fee, and basically take care of your pet as you normally would at home, feed, clean up, and exercise. It's just that now you get to do it while on vacation.

(I wonder if the Hiltons decided to become pet friendly to set an example for Paris Hilton, "Ok Paris, this is how you are supposed to treat animals..." They should have done this years ago!)

It seems like this service is geared more toward dogs than cats, but cats are invited, I even read the fine print to make sure. It's nice to see that hotels are becoming more open to the idea that people love their cats and want to travel with them.

When I'm away from home, the only thing I really miss is Neo. But I can't imagine what I'd do with him or what he'd be like staying a hotel. Would he like to site-see? He's leash trained so I suppose I could take him for walks, but I imagine I'll end up carrying him most of the way. I guess I could leave him in the hotel room, but then I'd feel guilty that he was there in a strange room all by himself. No, I definitely wouldn't do that, if I was going to leave him alone, I'd leave him at home with a sitter.neo talking.png

This is what I'd do, we'll go to the beach, he'd have a nice fluffy towel to sleep on, under an umbrella, I'd read a book and scratch him under the chin while he slept right beside me. When we get hot, we'll go for a dip, he's pretty good in the water, he doesn't seem to mind getting wet so a beach vacation would be perfect for us. I'll keep him on a leash and let him walk where it is safe or carry him if the area is too crowded. I think he'd be ok as long as I was with him.

But I know a lot of cats that might get too stressed out being in that kind of environment. You'll have to make the decision for yourself, if your cat is way too nervous or unpredictable, it might not be a good idea to take him vacationing. Every cat has a different temperament. My thoughts on the subject are, unless you are willing to spend some serious quality time with your cat while on vacation, it's best to leave him at home. While a resort might allow cats, it may not be the best idea for your cat.

Other posts I think you might be into:

12 cats that will be extinct by 2020

Six diseases caused by dry cat food

See a 400 lbs African Lion hug and kiss his rescuer!

These ringtones will drive your cat crazy...

This cat loves boxing, gizmo starts boxing when there is a fight on TV. Very funny.

feral-kitten.jpgWith the steady decline in the economy, more and more people are abandoning their cats. Shelters are overflowing with cats that people can no longer care for. That's why June is Adopt a Shelter Cat Month at the ASPCA. I can't imagine having to give up Neo for any reason, but the truth of the matter is that many families are having to give up their pets at a time when they need them the most.

It is in hard times that we turn to others for support, including our furry children. They offer ease from the stresses of life - a purr and a cuddle go a long way to make one feel better - but what if you couldn't afford to pay for your dear little furry friend's food, litter, and vet care? What if you had to take food off of your own plate or the plates of your biological children to feed your cat? What would you do?

Unfortunately, in these difficult economic times, people are faced with those questions and many of them are leaving their cats behind when the bank forecloses on their house, or abandoning them when they have to move into apartments that don't allow pets. Many of these cats starve to death, or forage for food in unfriendly neighborhoods and become wild.

pictures_of_wild_cats_domesicated.jpgBut there is an alternative, many food pantries and food banks are stocked with pet food. There are even pet food banks, ask your local animal shelter about pet food programs in your area. You can still get enough food to feed your cat and continue to enjoy his company a little while longer, maybe even until this crisis is over.

But if you are faced with the horrible decision to have to leave your pet behind, take your cat to your local ASPCA or cat shelter. June is adopt a cat month, so your kitty will surely find a nice home to go to if you are no longer able to care for him. You can rest assured that your cat will not starve to death, nor will it have to scrounge for food, and become a nuisance to the neighbors.

If you are not faced with this dilemma, you have the power to help others who are not as fortunate, who need your help to keep their cats. You can donate money, supplies or your time to shelters in your area. Just go to Shelter Source and see what their wish-lists are and donate what you can.

Other posts I think you might be into:

12 cats that will be extinct by 2020

Six diseases caused by dry cat food

See a 400 lbs African Lion hug and kiss his rescuer!

These ringtones will drive your cat crazy...

These cats have such beautiful fur! Savannahs are gorgeous cats with wild cat markings. Beautiful. Momma Cat wants to give the kitten a bath but baby wants to play. Too cute!

Other posts I think you might be into:

12 cats that will be extinct by 2020

Six diseases caused by dry cat food

See a 400 lbs African Lion hug and kiss his rescuer!

These ringtones will drive your cat crazy...

Swan_lake_picture_of _feral_kitten.jpgSwan Lake in California is home to hundreds of feral cats. Some have been abandoned by their humans and some are feral and have formed a colony there. But this isn't a sad story about feral cats, this story will have a happy ending because of some wonderful cat lovers who have opened their homes to these cats.

Two teens in California, Elizabeth Lloyd and Devon Powell with the help of their parents and Corona residents Beth Kohler and Ray Deese have taken in dozens of strays and feral cats. They have also paid out of pocket expenses to have the sick ones cared for and all of them spayed or neutered.

Swan_Lake_pictures_of_orphaned_kitten.jpgThe group has worked tirelessly to trap and rehabilitate kittens and older cats. The kittens and the tame adult cats are available for adoption for a fee of $25.00, which will be returned to you once you show proof you've had your adopted kitten neutered.

Visit Teens Helping Adopt Needy KatS to see the cats for adoption, fill out an application form and sign the adoption contract. You can donate money, time or supplies to help these good people and their sweet little feral cats. If you would like to make a donation to help cover the costs of spaying and neutering, contact AAA Animal Hospital in Corona at 951-371-7117 and tell them your donation is for the Swan Lake Account. Every little bit helps so donate whatever you can.

In addition to helping these cats, the group is working with Alley Cat Allies, and the Riverside Department of Animal Services. Their goal is to have a trap neuter, return program for the other wild cats so they will live out their days wild and free at Swan Lake. They are waiting to hear from Swan Lake management - I'm not sure why they didn't already approve. Trap, Neuter, Release programs are the only way to successfully take care of feral cats humanely.

It makes me so happy to see stories like this about good people making an effort to help cats rather than bulldozing right over feral cats or paying residents to kill feral cats when in fact, feral cats exist because of humans. Keep up the good work, Kudos from FaceKitty!

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It's that time of year when people start thinking about summer vacations. But what to do about Kitty? Cats are very social, even if your cat keeps to himself, he will still miss you when you are gone. Human contact is essential while you are away. Your cat doesn't know why you are gone, just that he is by himself right now and the days are long and quiet.

Some vets offer a boarding service and there are advantages to leaving your pet with a vet. Obviously, if anything goes wrong, your cat will have immediate medical care. If your cat is older or has a medical condition, a vet boarding kennel might be perfect. However, some drawbacks of a vet is that your cat could be exposed to illnesses and it could be very stressful for your cat to be away from home in a cage with other animals around.

So if you don't have a friend or relative who can come over to spend time with kitty and feed him, you might consider getting a petsitter. To find a good petsitter, check out Pet Sitters International, or National Association of Professional Pet Sitters. There are also several private cat sitters that may not belong to either of these organizations but are equally responsible and will take good care of your cat. If you want to hire a pet sitter, here are some tips for selecting the right pet sitter for you and your cat...

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