Tag: rescue

Kitten With No Sex Organs Up For Adoption, Plus: Cat Proves The Dog Is HIS Pet (VIDEO)

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.”

Study: Even Experienced Caretakers Give Cats ‘Unwelcome Affection’

By chance, one of the first things I saw Tuesday in my post-wake-up browsing was a short video of three guys standing in a triangle formation, each of them with a puppy. A drum recording began, and the men began drumming an overturned pot in the middle with the puppies’ paws.

The dogs, of course, had no idea what was going on. They were confused and stressed. Then I saw this from the official TikTok page of Imperial Point Animal Hospital in Delray Beach, Florida:

That’s a veterinarian abusing a kitten.

It might not be overt abuse. She’s not hitting or screaming at the poor cat. But she’s taking a sentient being with its own feelings, likes and dislikes, comforts and discomforts, and using it as a toy for clicks and likes on social media.

I thought about that when I read the newest study from Nottingham Trent University and the University of Nottingham, which looks at the way people interact with their cats and how their behavior may or may not align with what cats prefer and what they’re comfortable with.

Although Bud and I have a deep bond formed over more than seven years of spending time together, establishing trust, mutual respect and love, he would tear my face off if I did to him what the vet tech is doing to the kitten in the above video.

And you know what? He’d be justified, once he got over the shock and wondered if I’d been replaced with a doppleganger.

The UK study involved more than 100 felines at Battersea Dogs and Cats’ London cattery, with scientists recording interactions between humans and cats via a GoPro camera in a large pen where people can interact with cats one-on-one. There were 120 human participants of various ages and from different walks of life. Each person interacted with three cats separately.

Researchers looked at whether the cat or the human initiated interaction, where the human touched the cat, whether the human restrained the cat, and the cat’s response.

They also collected information on each human participant, such as how many cats they have at home and how long they’ve been caring for felines. Human participants rated themselves on how well they know cats and how well they take care of them.

They used a system that corresponds to the below image to grade physical affection. The image is mostly self-explanatory, but to be clear, the green areas are where cats like to be touched, the yellow areas are “meh,” and the red areas are no-go zones for most cats:

greenyellowredcatareas

In earlier studies, the team established what many cat caretakers know: Allowing cats to initiate physical interactions, going easier and lighter on petting, letting cats control how long the interactions last, and avoiding any kind of restraint are “best practices” for petting cats. They reaffirmed that scratching cats under the chin, rubbing their cheeks and forehead are “the best ways to increase their affection and reduce aggression.”

That might seem obvious, but in research there’s an important distinction between knowing something (or thinking you know it) and proving it with research. It’s important to prove it, and to forgo assumptions, to produce credible and repeatable experiments.

Animal behaviorist Lauren Finka, lead author on the new study, said although the above may seem like common knowledge among experienced caretakers, that’s not always true, and it’s not always reflected in their behavior.

“Our findings suggest that certain characteristics we might assume would make someone good at interacting with cats—how knowledgeable they say they are, their cat ownership experiences and being older—should not always be considered as reliable indicators of a person’s suitability to adopt certain cats, particularly those with specific handling or behavioral needs,” Finka said.

We should point out here that these are “best practices” for establishing a healthy, trusting relationship with cats, and taking their feelings into consideration. Lots of people might force their cats to do things without much push back, but that doesn’t mean the cat is happy. No one’s perfect, and there are always things we can learn about how to do better by our furry friends.

Finka also said she hopes people who run shelters and rescues take the research into consideration. That’s because some people run into the same problems I did: When you’ve never had a cat, and/or you don’t fit the profile of what people think a “cat person” is or should be, you could encounter resistance or skepticism from shelter staff.

One volunteer at an animal shelter asked me if I was adopting a kitten for my kids or girlfriend, because it didn’t occur to her that I’d want a cat. Some shelters require references from a veterinarian, which you can’t get if you’ve never had a pet before.

“Importantly, within shelters, we should also avoid discriminating against potential adopters with no previous cat ownership experience,” Finka said, “because with the right support, they may make fantastic cat guardians.”

For us, it’s more confirmation of what we’ve always believed: The more you take your cat’s feelings into consideration, and treat the little one with the respect he or she deserves, the happier your cat and the deeper your bond will grow.

UPDATE: Kaya The Kitten To Spend Another Week In Shelter’s Care Before Adoption

UPDATE, 12/1: To Rescue says Kaya the kitten is “healing nicely” after surgery on her eyes, but will remain with her foster family for another week before she’s cleared for adoption. Kaya was examined by a veterinarian on Nov. 30 and was given the all-clear. She’ll stay in foster care until she’s finished with her medication.

Original post:

Several readers asked for a follow-up about Kaya the kitten after our earlier post about her.

The shelter To Rescue turned to the internet for help after not a single potential adopter showed interest in Kaya, who has a congenital facial malformation but is otherwise healthy.

Kaya had successful surgery on her eyes on Nov. 16 and has been recovering in her foster home, where she continues to be her natural, playful self, shelter staff say.

She was scheduled for a follow-up vet visit today, Nov. 30. We’ll update as soon as we hear anything else.

If you’re interested in adopting sweet Kaya, you can visit the shelter’s site and fill out an adoption application.

Shelter Has Received ‘Zero Applications’ For Kaya The Kitten, Who Needs A Home

Kaya is a 5-month-old kitten with a congenital facial abnormality, which is almost certainly the reason why adopters have passed her over.

Now To Rescue, the shelter in California that’s been taking care of Kaya, has turned to the internet for help.

She has been through a lot in her short life but that hasn’t stopped her from being super affectionate and playful,” the group’s Facebook page says. “She gets along great with her foster families other cats and dogs. She is so deserving of a wonderful forever home. Kaya has received zero applications, we are hoping that her story will continue to be shared so she can find her forever home.”

Kaya recently had surgery to “relieve her discomfort in her eyes,” but the shelter’s staff say it’s a “one time procedure” and she won’t require any more surgery or special care beyond routine veterinary needs. She’s already spayed, vaccinated, dewormed and chipped, and now she’s living with a foster family, where she gets along with the resident cats and dogs.

To Rescue is located in Montclair, about 35 miles east of Los Angeles. If any of our California readers are interested in Kaya, or know someone looking to adopt a kitten, you can download an adoption application on To Rescue’s site.

Not that this should be the reason anyone adopts Kaya, but given how popular unusual cats are on Instagram and TikTok, an adopter with a solid eye for photos and videos could probably turn her into a social media star. I wouldn’t be surprised if little Kaya has her own considerable fan club before long.

Kaya the kitten. Credit: To Rescue (Montclair, California)

National Cat Day Is Tomorrow! PLUS: ‘Cat Man’ Meows 55 Times In Court

National Cat Day is tomorrow, Oct. 29!

While the day was founded in 2005 by an animal welfare advocate and the ASPCA to raise public awareness about the number of shelter cats who need homes, it’s expanded into an opportunity for people to show their cats off online and do something special for them. The day’s founders also recommend a range of ways to celebrate from adopting a new cat, to volunteering at a local shelter, to pampering your own feline.

I’ll be celebrating by giving Bud some catnip and a special treat, and spending extra time playing with him. After he’s tired out, he’ll probably enjoy one of his favorite activities — climbing on top of me and taking a nap.

The Cat Man Cometh

A man accused of brutally murdering his mother and aunt was thrown out of court on Tuesday for repeatedly meowing.

Nicolas Gil Pereg meowed when Judge Laura Guajardo asked him his name and ID number at the beginning of the court hearing, then kept on going, vocalizing a total of 55 times and ignoring a warning from the judge before she lost her patience and had him tossed.

“Mr. Gil Pereg, before the entry of the jury I warned you that if you wanted to remain in the courtroom, you should do so in silence, with respect and decorum,” Guarjardo said in a surreal scene, as the disheveled man continued meowing.

The so-called “cat man” allegedly killed his mom and aunt when they flew in from Israel to visit him in 2019, according to local media reports. Gil Pereg, who lived in a dilapidated home with 37 cats and several dogs, is accused of burying their bodies in shallow graves less than four feet deep on his own property, then reporting them missing to local authorities.

He’s performed his unimpressive approximation of a meow in earlier court trials, and asked to be moved from prison to a psychiatric unit. In addition, he petitioned the judge to allow him to have his cats with him in psychiatric care.

During earlier hearings, he stripped his clothes off and urinated in front of the judge, according to the Daily Mail. Before the murders, he had assumed the name Floda Reltih — Adolf Hitler backwards — for an indeterminate period of time, reports say.

Gil Pereg’s attorneys argue he’s not sane, but so far there’s no indication the court is buying it. A 2020 evaluation by criminal psychologists described Gil Pereg as a “hostile, evasive, challenging, ironic and confrontational person.” The accused murderer is manipulative, the forensic psychologists said, and only expresses emotions toward his pets.

The prosecutor warned the trial’s six jurors “not to be fooled” by the eccentric man’s behavior, saying his calculated actions after the murders show he fully understood “the criminality of his actions.”