We all know what it’s like — you’re trying to get something done when your pet, beloved as he or she is, has decided to be really annoying in insisting on treats.
Finn the cat was in this position recently when his pet, Piper the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, had her eye — or more likely her nose — on a small bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch on the kitchen counter. Piper couldn’t reach the tasty snack, so Finn climbed up, fished out a piece of cereal one at a time and dropped them for his loyal canine companion. (Finn himself had no interest in the sugary cereal, lacking in meat as it is.)
This should settle any remaining questions about where cats and dogs stand relative to each other:
Homeless kitten from UK has rare condition, is neither male nor female
A kitten rescued by a shelter in Warrington, about 20 miles west of Manchester, was originally listed as female and given the name hope. However, during a routine exam, a veterinarian found Hope does not have reproductive organs, according to The Guardian.
“There’s an outside possibility of some ectopic ovarian tissue hiding away internally but we think this is extremely unlikely … This is so rare that there isn’t really a commonly used term for this condition, but it is effectively sexual organ agenesis,” said Fiona Brockbank, senior veterinarian at Cats Protection in Warrington. “While this means we don’t have any previous cases [on which] to base our knowledge of how this will affect Hope in the future, we spent time monitoring this cat to ensure they can urinate and defecate appropriately before they were considered ready for rehoming.”
Hope’s condition is so rare it doesn’t have a name, but shelter manager Beni Benstead told the newspaper that shouldn’t dissuade potential adopters. Hope is very friendly with other cats at the shelter and “has been a delight to care for.”
The saga of a “big cat” spotted on Long Island this week has come to an end with the animal’s capture.
Authorities believe the cat is a Eurasian Lynx and was a pet who escaped or was abandoned by his owner. The frightened feline was first spotted on Wednesday in Central Islip, Long Island, a suburb that stretches for 118 miles just south of New York City.
“Scared the daylights out of me,” Diane Huwer, a self-proclaimed cat lover who was the first to encounter the lynx, told the local ABC affiliate.
The area encompasses two counties and is one of the most densely populated places in the U.S. with more than 7.6 million people. It’s one of the worst places in the world for a wild cat to be abandoned, with heavy traffic, ubiquitous environmental noise and endless shopping plazas surrounded by labyrinthine residential neighborhoods.
It’s illegal to own wild animals in New York, and the cat’s “owner” likely would have kept it without a proper enclosure to avoid attention from authorities.
The lynx’s sightings made the headlines in the New York papers, as well as coverage by local TV news and online publications. It went viral on social media, with users trying to determine what kind of cat it was from the handful of blurry photos witnesses were able to snap. Some media coverage suggested it was a true big cat. (Here at PITB, we thought it was possibly a Savannah cat or an American lynx.)
Local authorities searched fruitlessly for three days and were about to give up early Saturday morning when someone spotted the wild cat in a residential neighborhood and called police.
The hungry feline was pawing through garbage cans next to a house in Central Islip. Authorities said the young lynx was friendly and socialized to humans.
“He was rubbing his face on the cage, looked like he was a friendly cat and from the tips we’ve gotten,” Frankie Floridia of Strong Island Animal Rescue said. “It seems these people have had him since he was a baby.”
Veterinarians have named the lynx Leonardo de Catbrio and said he’s about a year old. Despite his ordeal, the 40-pound cat was not malnourished or dehydrated, and the vets who gave him a check-up said he’s in good health. They’re waiting on lab results to confirm his species.
“Someone obviously had it as a pet,” the SPCA’s Roy Gross told Newsday. “These are wild animals, not the type of animals anyone should have. … They don’t belong in captivity this way.”
In the meantime, police, the state Department of Environmental Conservation and the SPCA are looking for Leonardo’s “owner,” who faces misdemeanor charges and a fine of up to $1,000 if he or she is convicted. They’re sure to have questions about how the person acquired a wild cat, let alone a non-native species. It’s been illegal to “import” wild animals since the Wildlife Act of 1976, and the illegal wildlife market has been a scourge on law enforcement and conservationists alike.
Eleven is a silver tabby who’s been returned to the shelter twice by would-be adopters, and staff at the shelter are appealing to the public to find her a forever home with patient humans.
The four-year-old with bright green eyes has been with Battersea Cats and Dogs in south London since April. Her rescuers say she takes a while to adjust to new surroundings, and they believe that’s why Eleven was returned twice within days. If Eleven’s failed adopters had been more patient, shelter staff said, they would have discovered she’s a loving lap cat once trust is established.
They hope to place her in an “understanding home” with people who “will give her the time and space to settle in, as she would be a wonderful addition to a home.”
“Eleven needs her own space when she’s settling in, so she can hiss and swipe if pushed into interactions that she is not ready for,” a shelter spokesman told the Mirror. “She expects respect, but once given she will reward you with plenty of love. She is a super clever cat, who enjoys learning and she will sit on command for a treat of course.”
The following is a Very Important Message from Buddy the Cat:
I’m going to share a story with you, and it may shock you to your core, but I promise it’s true and it’s a good thing.
You see, as handsome, meowscular, singular, charming, delightful, smart, full of personality and meowscular as I am (did I already say that?), I’m what the British call a moggie. A feline of no particular breed. A “standard issue cat.”
“But Buddy,” you’re thinking. “That’s impossible! How could such an awesome cat as you be a ‘plain old’ moggie?”
Well, I am. That’s why I invented the Buddinese breed, to make myself seem more exotic. But the truth is, Big Buddy adopted me, and my effortless charm and huge personality are a combination of genetics and growing up in an environment where I was doted on, played with, socialized, exposed to lots of different people and places, and just as importantly, given delicious, quality yums to eat.
The reason I’m telling you all this is that you don’t need to spend $5,000 on a Bengal or $20,000 on a Savannah to have an awesome cat. You should be slapped and sterilized if you give that much money to a breeder, let alone when there are so many kitties who need homes.
What I’m trying to say is that, as Adopt A Cat Month comes to a close, your local shelter has its own Buddies waiting for you. Go meet them!
They might not seem like Buddies. They might be depressed that their owners surrendered them, shocked that they’re in a shelter, and muted from spending 90 percent of their time in tiny enclosures. But they are Buddies, I assure you, and if you give them a chance to flourish like Big Buddy did for me, they’ll reveal themselves as the awesome little buddies they are.
They just need a home, a human or two who will care about them, and a little love. Oh, and toys. Lots of toys. And turkey. Some of them may prefer other types of food, and they’re wrong about that because turkey is the best, but if they like lesser foods like chicken, salmon or beef, well, give it to them!
Once your Buddies realize they are in their forever homes and they aren’t going back to the shelter, things will revert to the Natural Order™, your cat will come to expect excellent service, and you will be designated as an official servant to a member of felinekind, which is the highest honor a human could hope for.
So go on! Get your Buddy! He’s waiting for you, and you’ll make every bit of difference in his life.
Panda the cat would have suffered a brutal death in the jaws of a trash compactor if not for an eagle-eyed can collector who spotted the handsome tuxedo among the trash.
The little guy was literally double-bagged in a blue plastic bag and a larger trash bag, then thrown in a dumpster in the Bronx. There were holes in the inner bag where Panda had tried to claw his way out — and bits of plastic bag caught on his claws — but he had been unable to free himself.
Thankfully, someone looking for cans to recycle opened the outer bag, saw Panda and called 911. NYPD cops brought Panda to the ASPCA Animal Recovery Center in Manhattan, where staff began treating him for malnutrition, skin disease and a “minor gastrointestinal infection,” the Daily News reported.
Despite all he’d been through — the neglect, abandonment and trauma of being tossed out like a piece of garbage — Panda was “sweet and social” with his rescuers.
They placed him in a foster home under the care of 22-year-old Abigail Jasak, who decided to keep him after he quickly made himself at home and won over Jasak and her roommates.
“Initially I had no intention of adopting him,” Jasak told the Daily News. ”Then I realized how comfortable he was around us. He already believed he was home.”
Jasak told the paper she was disturbed by the casual cruelty of tossing a cat in the garbage.
“There are other options,” said the Pace University student. ” You can bring it to a shelter. I truly cannot comprehend how someone threw away such a sweet cat.”
Big Buddy’s note: I’ve been to the ASPCA’s Upper East Side facility and visited in 0 B.B. (Before Bud, aka 2014) while I was looking to adopt. It’s a beautiful, incredibly clean, bright facility where each animal has significantly more space than they would in a normal shelter, and the staff are friendly and helpful. As awful as Panda’s situation was, I’m glad they were able to help him and pair him with a human who really cares for the little guy.
Happy Mother’s Day to all our readers! We hope you’re all enjoying family time on this day.
Our Mother’s Day story for today comes from a shelter in Rancho Santa Fe, California, where a four-day-old sphynx kitten was brought after her mother rejected her and her litter mates. The others died but little Cleopatra clung to life as staff at the Helen Woodward Animal Center nursed her back to health.
Six days later the shelter welcomed a heavily pregnant stray they called Ballerina, and three days after that, Ballerina gave birth to a litter of three.
Ballerina is an “extremely affectionate” mother, so staff thought there was a good chance she’d look after Cleopatra. Within minutes of meeting, the mom cat “adopted” the orphan kitten. Photos show the little sphynx kitten nursing from her new mom alongside her furry siblings.
Ballerina “didn’t just take to her, she fell in love with her,” shelter foster supervisor Erin Schmitt said.
Shelter staff say Ballerina is “in love with” her new kitten. Credit: Helen Woodward Animal Center
Cleopatra’s making good progress. She’ll need a few more weeks to recover before she’s ready for adoption. Credit: Helen Woodward Animal Center
Cleopatra was only four days old and tiny when she was brought to the shelter. Credit: Helen Woodward Animal Center
“Animals are amazing,” Schmitt said. “It’s as though Ballerina sensed a need in Cleo and decided to not only provide her nourishment but provide her all the love she’d been missing.”
Ballerina and her litter will be available for adoption soon. We hope she gets taken into a new home with at least some her babies. Anyone in the San Diego area interested in adopting can find adoption applications here, or call (858)756-4117.
Bad call, dude
The top law enforcement official in Licking County, Ohio, proposed “a feral cat season” to help control the number of free-running cats in the county of almost 177,000 people.
Bill Hayes, the county prosecutor, offered the “solution” during a forum for county commissioner candidates. Hayes, who was previously a lawmaker in Ohio’s state legislature, is challenging the Republican incumbent for the executive role.
While his opponent recommended trap, neuter, return programs and cooperation with local shelters, Hayes thinks shooting cats is a viable way to deal with the approximately 130 cat colonies spread out over the almost 700-square-mile county in central Ohio.
“This won’t be very popular,” Hayes conceded. “We have a squirrel season, various seasons. It would seem to me if you’ve got an animal that’s not a pet for anybody, you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do to make the situation better.
“A feral cat season if you need to. You gotta do what you gotta do.”
Staff at the county’s Humane Society pointed out that harming cats is illegal in Ohio.
“We encourage Prosecutor Hayes to review the Ohio Revised Code sections regarding animal cruelty,” the Licking County Humane Society wrote in a statement. “Feral and homeless cats are living beings and they deserve humane solutions to their overpopulation problem.”