It’s been a good week in our neck of the woods but instead of talking about what The Tribe has been up to, I want to talk about what some fantastic folks in our community have been up to to help our shelter with it’s specific needs due to COVID. I also hope to inspire you to help your local shelters as well.
Our Human is a great fan of our animal shelter, Panhandle Animal Shelter. Our shelter director, Mandy Evans is amazing and has created programs in our little community that have gone national. Our Human wrote an award winning article about one of these programs called “Home to Home” and this innovative way to keep kitties in homes and out of the shelters is only one of many fantastic ways Panhandle Animal shelter is working to keep humans together with their furry family members.
Our Human heard the shelter director speak last week and one of the things she talked about was the specific challenges of running a shelter during COVID. The most pressing issue was that they couldn’t do the medical treatments for kittens and cats because they didn’t have enough surgical gowns. They brought patterns to the meeting and asked for help.
Now our Human is useless when it comes to sewing but she’s pretty good at marketing so she got the word out. And which group jumped into action right away? It was the pet loving folks who belong to her lost pet social media group, Bonner County Critter Finders. Now she should have figured that a community of folks that volunteer their time to get the word out about lost and found pets would be first in line to help the shelter and so they were.
Thanks to wonderful humans like these, our shelter will be able to do the medical work they need to do. There are many other things we can do to help our shelters during these difficult times. For instance, shelter disinfectant is hard to come by. Our shelter is able to obtain only a third of the disinfectant products they need and this affects how many animals they can take.
I’m setting my human furiends a challenge (I’m exempting the felines because our lack of opposable thumbs limits our purrticipation). Download the pattern and sew a surgical gown for your shelter or, if you’re sewing challenged like my Human, call your shelter to find out what specific needs you can help with that are caused by COVID.
That’s it for this week, kitties be kind to your humans, life is a bit stressful these days!
Bend woman’s animal-detection dog reunites cats with wildfire evacuees
There were many people in Oregon who were evacuated quickly to escape the fires and due these hasty evacuations, some pets were left behind.
One human couldn’t stand to hear the stories of lost pets. Katie Albright, a trained missing pet recovery specialist joined forces with other likeminded humans to help find missing cats.
Her team went into homes that other humans couldn’t access to look for lost cats. Her sidekick, Franklin, a 3-year-old dachshund/beagle mix is her most valuable team member. She trained Franklin in cat detection through the Missing Animal Response Network.
She and Franklin were successful in locating lost cats on that mission. They continue to volunteer their services in other areas as well.
We give Katie and Franklin our Paws Up Award!
A Cat Census?
Sometimes you humans cause me to scratch my head! This one is a head scratcher for me. There are folks purrticipating in the DC Cat Count, sifting through 6 million photos and sorting out the cats and counting each one.
Despite the advances in modern technology there is no computer program that will sort the cat photos out of all the photos so the humans have to do the tedious job themselves, one picture at a time.
Why are they doing this? The DC Cat Count is looking to get an estimate of just how many felines there are in the District. Lauren Lipsey with the Humane Rescue Alliance says getting an accurate cat population number will help her organization manage feral cats in the city. The group operates animal shelters and provides animal control services in D.C. and is partnering with the Smithsonian on the cat count project.
She said, “If we don’t know the baseline population of cats, it makes it impossible to measure the effectiveness of various population control policies or strategies.”
Also, we felines get a bad rap from some humans who say we kill billions of birds and small mammals. This count will provide a more scientific approach to those allegations.
Researchers placed cameras in 1,530 locations, strategically sited across the city. Each location was surveilled for 15 days, for a total of 22,950 days of observation. Of the roughly 6 million photos captured, about 20% are of cats.
Needless to say, the cameras caught more than cats. The most common being dogs, squirrels, deer, rats, and raccoons. There were also some rarer urban inhabitants: flying squirrels, coyotes, beavers, and at least one bobcat.
Now the researchers are going through each photo to eliminate duplicate shots of the same cat. Once that work is done, a few months from now, the team will be able to model cat density throughout the
While the final analysis of D.C.’s cat population is still months away, McShea and Lipsey say there is at least one data point that stands out, in terms of cats’ impact on the environment. There were very few cats in the city’s largest parks, where wildlife could be most threatened by the presence of cats. For example — D.C.’s biggest, wildest park, Rock Creek Park, was “almost absent of feral cats or semi domesticated cats,” according to McShea.
The cat count project will be complete in 2021, at a total cost of $1.5 million, funded by a number of nonprofits and charities. Meowza, sometimes I wonder how you humans spend your time and money!
Questionnaire survey identifies potential separation-related problems in cats
The first questionnaire survey to identify possible separation-related problems in cats discovered that 13.5% of all sampled cats displayed potential issues during their owner’s absence, according to a study published April 15, 2020 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Daiana de Souza Machado, from the Universidade Federal de Juiz de Fora, Brazil, and colleagues.
Now this feline could have told you we miss you humans when you’re gone but in defense of these humans doing the survey, so many studies have been conducted on owner separation problems in dogs and very little work has been done to see how we felines feel! There is a common belief that we cats are happy being left alone for long periods of time, but the most recent research suggests that we are far more social than you humans realize and we are deeply bonded with our humans..
The results of this survey were interesting. 13.5% of cats showed at least one trait of separation related problems (destructive behavior was the most frequently reported)
Other behaviors or mental states identified were: excessive vocalization (19 out of 30 cats), inappropriate urination (18 cats), depression-apathy (16 cats), aggressiveness (11 cats), agitation-anxiety (11 cats) and inappropriate defecation (7 cats).
There is still more work to be done in this study but I am thankful that there are humans willing to dive into the emotions and reactions of felines.
Checking in on the Disneyland Cats
There is quite a clowder of cats at Disneyland and there are folks who are concerned about how the felines are surviving. The good news is that Disneyland loves having the cats around as they do an excellent job of vermin control. These felines even have quite a large fan club. On Instagram, @disneylandcats has more than 85,000 followers, and the handle has another 16,000 on Twitter. You can follow the #disneylandcats hashtag on either platform and find a fan page on Facebook.
There’s even a website devoted to all things cats at Disneyland. DisneylandCats.com has profiles of each cat with some real information about each one. Ned, for example, is a domestic longhair who hangs out on the grounds of the Disneyland Hotel. The site is so popular that you can buy T-shirts that say “We try to forget it was all started by a mouse” and “Beware of hitchhiking cats.”
“The cats are taken care of by the park’s workers with help from local veterinary clinics,” Kyle Jaeger reported. “There are feeding stations and shelters where the cats receive routine veterinary care, including flea treatments, spaying and neutering, and vaccinations.”
So I think it’s safe to say that the Magic Kingdom is still magical for it’s resident felines.
Ice fishing, feline style
We have humans that enjoy ice fishing in our neck of the woods but I’ve never heard of felines trying it until now. This kitty from Korea is trying her best to capture a carp under the ice in the lake.
This poor feline, named Marilyn, is beyond frustrated. I doubt that she was happy having her unsuccessful fishing trip uploaded to her You Tube and Instagram accounts either. I’m guessing Marilyn earned a few more viewers to compensate her for her frustrated fishing expedition.