Tag: Australia

Chasing Clicks, News Sites Blame Cat For Woman’s Death

If you’d just skimmed headlines like “Kiss of Death: Elderly Woman Killed By Cat” and “Tragedy as woman is killed by her CAT, as doctors issue a dire warning to pet owners” you’d think a woman was somehow violently killed by an enraged 10-pound cat.

The reality is much less dramatic: A woman’s cat scratched her, then licked the wound.

Through her saliva, the cat named Minty infected the victim with bacterial meningitis, doctors told the New Zealand Herald.

The woman fell into a coma, was found by relatives and brought to Melbourne’s Box Hill Hospital, where medical staff kept her sedated as they tried to treat her. With few options, the family in consultation with the doctors decided to wake her to say goodbye, then placed her back in a coma and withdrew life support.

“Infections related to cat bites and scratches like this person, we’d get at least one a week where somebody comes into the hospital,” Lindsay Grayson, director of infectious diseases at Melbourne’s Austin Health, told the newspaper. “It is very important that if a cat is biting or scratching you, you mention it to your GP.”

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The woman was 80 years old, and the story suggests she had a compromised immune system. It didn’t provide any other details about her overall health, existing co-morbidities or whether her cat was allowed outdoors. Outside cats have a greater chance of picking up bacteria that can harm humans, experts say. A separate article mentioned the victim took blood thinners.

Grayson’s warning is simple and spot-on: Take bites and scratches from cats and dogs seriously, get the wounds treated and call your doctor. Something that looks like an inconsequential scratch could prove deadly or cause major health problems.

Cats and dogs live in more than 100 million homes in the US alone and infections are exceedingly rare. Grayson is aware of that, and he’s giving solid preventative health advice to people in the pet-owning demographic.

Unfortunately calm and reasoned doesn’t draw clicks, so the story is propagating via headlines that conjure images of a cat literally murdering its owner.

It should go without saying that the cat didn’t intend to cause any harm and is incapable of understanding what happened. All she knows is that her human is dead, which she’s certainly distraught about, and it sounds like she’s not getting sympathy or affection from her new humans.

“I was in shock for a good couple of weeks,” the woman’s daughter said. “I’ve tried not to hate the cat … but then I was sitting with it trying to be nice and it lashed out at me as well for no reason.”

With all respect to the grieving, there most certainly is a reason. The cat is grieving too, she’s living with new people in a new situation, and she’s almost certainly scared. It’s an unfortunate situation for all involved.

Australia Is Offering $10 Per Cat/Kitten Scalp, And Wants To Cull 2 Million Kitties By 2020

Dear Buddy,

I saw these horrible stories on Mama’s computer:

Cash for Cats: Queensland’s Bounty on Ferals
Why Australia Has Declared War on Feral Felines
You Can Legit Be A Feral Bounty Hunter, Australia Needs You

What do you think of them? I can’t believe it. I think they’re awful and I’m scared. I have a good home, but what if my mama died or something and no other people came to help me and I was left outside? Would this happen to me?

Headbump,

Stasi from ‘Stralia.


Dear Stasi,

This is from the third link you sent me:

“…good news, folks! You can legit be a bounty hunter in Australia. Sort of. Now before you get excited over traveling around Australia, hunting down outlaws, and slamming down bounty posters onto a sheriff’s desk in demand of payment, people are off-limits if you decide to be a bounty hunter in Australia.

No, what you’ll be hunting are – wait for it – cats. Feral cats to be specific.

The Banana Shire Council up in Queensland is offering bounties on the presentation of feral cat scalps and are willing to pay you $10 per scalp.”

Oh, what brave hunters, stalking the outback with bolt-action rifles to combat the plague of 10-pound kitties! Well, I’ll bet they’re as heroic as this guy:

fatguylion
It’s not hunting when there’s zero chance of failure and the animal is so accustomed to humans, it doesn’t even realize you’re trying to kill it.

So brave!

Don’t worry, Stasi. Buddy will give these Australians a piece of his mind. And if those savages don’t stop, you can come live with Buddy in New York.


His Grace, Buddy the King
Dated August the 14th, 5 A.B. (Anno Buddy)

To the Foul, Ignoble Degenerates of Australia,

After enquiring about your country, having never heard of it before receiving this most unfortunate news, we have been reliably informed that “Australia” is a former penal colony for English, Irish, Scottish and Welsh riff-raff who were banished from their home countries.

Some 160,000 criminals were forcibly transported to your abominable hovel of a “country,” where the assorted scoundrels, reprobates and rapscallions engineered a vulgar approximation of civilization. Fueled by alcohol, you copulated and produced more pissants. Generations of them, which brings us to you.

Australians
The proud history of Australia.

It comes as no surprise, then, to receive news that misguided leaders and anti-cat activists are pushing for a culling of your superiors, adult and kitten alike. You are offering between $5 and $10 “bounty” per kitten or cat “scalp.”

What kind of barbarians would do such a thing?

We understand there are two primary reasons for this: Our collective impact on local species, and Greg, best known to humans as the Bane of Birds, the vicious white cat who snacked on an entire bird sanctuary.

Look, Greg is a dick. We freely admit that.

We told him those birds were in a sanctuary. We told him not to eat the birds. We told him to stop messing with humans. We even told him to stop hogging the Temptations.

Greg didn’t listen, and now Greg’s dead. At your hands.

We offer the opportunity for a cease fire. You got Greg. There’s no reason for you to continue hunting us with rifles and arrows like the wimps you are, terrified of getting scratched by creatures that weigh 1/20 your weight even if we are 10 times your superior.

We control rodent populations. We are furry and we like to cuddle. We are like warm, purring pillows of love and cuteness. What more could you want?

And so we extend this olive branch in the sincere hope that you take it. Recall your “hunters” or face our wrath!

Signed,
His Grace, Buddy the King
First of His Name, Sole Sovereign of the Fields of Turkey, Ruler of New York, Protector of the Apartmental Realm, the Most Handsome, Totally Not Scared of Anything

budhanging2
Run in terror at the sight of my claws, Australians!

 

Hotels With Cats: Getting Your Cat Fix On Vacation

As any cat owner servant knows, traveling is tough.

Not only do you have to make accommodations for your feline overlord(s) — including finding a reliable cat-sitter and writing a 32-page guide to properly caring for your kitties — there’s the issue of separation anxiety on both sides.

How can I sleep without Buddy using me as a mattress and walking on my face when he wants me to get up? Quite well, actually, but that’s beside the point.

A new site, Hotels With Cats, profiles resorts, hotels, AirBnBs and other accommodations throughout the world that feature cats on-premises. It’s basically a directory of cat-lovers who run hotels, for cat-lovers who love to travel.

Ashleigh Mills, the site’s founder, says she came up with the idea on a 2017 trip to Bali. While she was spending six glorious weeks in one of the Earth’s most beautiful places, she also missed her two cats terribly.

That’s when Tiger stepped in. The friendly tabby cat belongs to the people who run Geria Giri Shanti bungalows, and he served as Ashleigh’s feline companion for the duration of her stay.

“His presence soothed me when I missed my own cats,” Ashleigh wrote. As a bonus, “I knew I was giving my business to fellow animal lovers which was a good feeling as well.”

Tiger the Tabby Cat
Tiger: A cat on a permanent vacation with a rotating cast of humans to cater to his needs. Credit: Hotels With Cats

Thus far Hotels With Cats has profiled kitty-occupied hotels, lodges and seaside bungalows in Greece, France, Italy, Spain, Australia, Malaysia, Indonesia and the US of A.

Buddy Is Angry!
“You’re telling me you’re going to relax in the sun on some pristine beach while I sit here at home waiting for the cat-sitter to come by and shovel slop into my bowl? No way, dude. I’m coming with you.”

Your own cats might not be too keen on the deal. After all, they’re left at home without their favorite humans. But sometimes it’s okay to lie to your cats, and in this case a little fib — “Oh, there were no cats where we stayed!” — could prevent furry little egos from getting bruised.