Tag: coronavirus

Cat Alcatraz: Brazil’s Island of Abandoned Felines

In 2012, veterinarian Amélia Oliveira started a program to trap and neuter hundreds of cats who had been abandoned at Ilha Furtada, an island about 20 miles west of Rio de Janeiro.

Known as Ilha dos Gatos — island of the cats — the island was teeming with starving former pets and their feral offspring. Ilha Furtada has no natural source of drinking water, Oliveira said, and cats without hunting skills would quickly starve.

ilhafurtada3
Ilha Furtada became a curiosity for boaters and fishermen, and a sore spot for cat advocates trying to stop people from dumping animals there.

With the help of others, Oliveira began a program to end the misery on what’s been called “Cat Alcatraz”: The group managed to neuter more than 380 cats. Former pets were adopted out to new homes, but the ferals would need to remain on the island, so volunteers began feeding them and bringing fresh water on a regular schedule.

With the cooperation of local authorities, the group put up signage around the island and the coast warning that abandoning pets is illegal and asking people not to interfere with the island cats. There were plans for an official survey to quantify the feline population, an initiative to use cameras to dissuade people from dumping their pets on the island…

…and then came the Coronavirus pandemic.

Whatever gains Oliveira and company made over eight years have now been erased as Brazil — one of the countries hardest hit by the virus — has suffered more than 450,000 deaths officially (and likely much more uncounted) and an economy wrecked by waves of infection and lockdown.

ilhafurtado
A “feline shantytown” on Ilha Furtada.

Many owners could no longer afford to feed themselves or their cats while others died, leaving their cats at the mercy of relatives and landlords. Once again, people began abandoning their pets on Ilha Furtada.

“If you don’t take them, they’re going out to Island of the Cats,” people would tell shelter operators, a veterinarian told the Washington Post’s Terrence McKoy.

While the feline population of Furtada Island increased, resources dwindled as lockdowns prevented volunteers from delivering food and water as often as they had in the past.

Now the island has “the appearance of a feline shantytown,” dotted with dilapidated and hastily-constructed shelters for its resident felines.

I recommend reading the entire story, one of just a few highlighting the toll the pandemic has taken on pets.

Brazil Cat Island
Volunteers from Animal Heart Protectors fill a dispenser with food for cats on Furtada Island, popularly known as “Island of the Cats,” in Mangaratiba, Brazil, Credit: AP/Silvia Izquierdo)

The Easter Buddy Wishes You A Happy Easter!

Happy Easter from the Easter Buddy! Bud and I wish our readers a happy, safe and relaxing Easter, socially distanced though it may be. Who knows? Maybe we’ll see a return to some semblance of normality later this year.

In the meantime, though, our little buddies have helped us get through these dark months, entertaining us and keeping us company through the initial wave of the pandemic, the lockdowns and the long winter.

Could you imagine the past year without your cats? We can’t. Make sure to thank your own little buddies for being there for you during this pandemic!

easterbuddy

Poll: 1 In 3 Cats Refuse Vaxx Jab Over ‘Big Vet’ Fears

WASHINGTON — Citing concerns about “Big Vet” and the industry’s role in the global pandemic, one in three American cats say they won’t get vaccinated, a new Mew Poll found.

Many of the cats who participated told pollsters they’re suspicious of the vaccines, while others latched onto conspiracy theories or insisted “natural” remedies would yield better results.

One veterinarian’s Facebook post went viral after detractors insisted there was nefarious intent behind it.

“Come on in and get your kittens vaccined, neutered and microchipped,” the post read. “Plenty of appointments available!”

“I knew it,” one feline user responded. “Gill Bates wants to jab us, chip us and sterilize us! They’re not even trying to hide it anymore!”‘

Bates, the billionaire founder of MicroClaw, has been the subject of many conspiracies involving the virus and vaccine. Most allege Bates wants to sterilize all non-breed cats and claim all the world’s futons for himself.

Other versions of the conspiracy claim Bates owns all the world’s cat food manufacturers through subsidiaries and shell companies, and caused the pandemic by placing inert virus particles in kibble.

In a popular Youtube video with more than 7 million views, a feline narrator asks: “Have you noticed dogs aren’t getting sick, but we are? The Mayan calendar predicted this plague, and a famous Nostradamus quatrain warns of ‘a new self-proclaimed king who wears glasses, steals operating systems and rules Friskies and 9Lives with an iron paw.'”

Cat Vaccines
Gill Bates has been pushing cats to get themselves vaccinated.

Other conspiracists alleged Dr. Anthony Meowci, the nation’s foremost infectious disease expert, has been working with the Siamese to install 7G chips in cats who agree to be vaccinated, in an effort to track the population and send subliminal messages directly to victims’ brains.

“Then before you know it you’ll be carrying a copy of Chairman Meow’s Little Red Book everywhere you go,” one prominent anti-vaccination catfluencer wrote on TasteBook. “Ask yourself: What’s Meowci getting out of this? A new cat condo and a lifetime’s supply of ‘nip? A fleet of brand new Roombas?”

Some opportunistic cats have exploited the vaccine skepticism, sensing a business opportunity. Among them is Blinkety Blink, prosperity preacher Joel Osteen’s cat, who is selling “Miracle Catnip Infused Healing Water” online for $89.95 a bottle.

The product can “cure COVID, UTIs, anxiety and even make your coat look smoother,” Blinkety Blink claims in a slick advertisement before jumping into the arms of his beloved human, who praises him for being a shrewd businessman.

“Big Vet doesn’t want you to know about this simple, cheap and effective cure,” Blinkety Blink said. “They want to pump more chemicals into your body, which will make you poop more, which means they sell more litter. It’s all connected!”

Osteen and Blinkety Blink
Osteen pictured with his cat Blinkety Blink, his private jet and his second mansion in Florida.

Buddy’s Solution To National Cat Food Shortage

Dear Friends,

It has come to my attention that our human servants are experiencing unprecedented difficulty in locating and purchasing canned cat food, commonly known as yums, due to Coronavirus-related warehouse and logistical challenges.

The companies that make yums have had facilities intermittently closed due to COVID breakouts, leading to shortages which have been compounded by the logistical problems as delivery systems are already overwhelmed.

There can be only one solution to this most serious of problems: Humans must share their food!

Effective immediately, I call on all humans to share their yums with us, and no skimping!

If you’re having filet mignon for dinner, Fluffy better get some too. I would also urge every one of you to increase your turkey consumption, setting aside generous portions for your feline overlords.

Not only is turkey delicious, but it increases the body’s immune response to viruses like COVID-19, according to the Buddy Center for Scientific Research. (This statement has not been evaluated by the FDA.)

Do the right thing, humans. Share your food!

Your friend,
Buddy the Cat

Look at da yums
“Look at it. So juicy and delicious…”

Lawyer Attends Virtual Court Hearing As A Kitten, Thanks To Cam Filter

Your Honor, I make a meowtion to dismiss!

Americans have denied pretty much everything in courts of law over the years, but this one may be a first. After a Texas lawyer connected to a Zoom virtual civil forfeiture hearing and couldn’t figure out how to remove a filter that turned his on-screen image into that of an anthropomorphic kitten, the lawyer stated the obvious.

“I’m here live,” the attorney told the presiding judge. “I’m not a cat.”

Cat of Law
Two other lawyers keep straight faces as attorney Rod Ponton struggled to remove a cat filter during a Zoom call.

The lawyer is Rod Ponton of Presidio, Texas, and he’s become a viral sensation.

“When I got on Zoom everything seemed fine – my picture popped up, I was in the waiting room with the judge. But when the judge called the case, I disappeared and a cat appeared instead of me to my great surprise of course,” Ponton told the BBC.

Ponton’s misadventure is relatable at a time when almost everything that doesn’t require physical presence has been moved online due to the Coronavirus, and it’s perhaps most relatable to adults who can’t figure out what their kids have done to their computers.

Ponton, it turns out, was using his secretary’s computer after her kid had been using it. Thus the kitten filter.

He told the BBC he’s trying to “roll with it” as the video racks up millions of views.

“In Texas we have a phrase that you can’t put toothpaste back in the tube,” Ponton said. “If this was going to become an internet sensation I just had to laugh at myself along with everybody else doing so.”