Miscellania


This first story has been all over the Internet, so apologies if you’ve seen it elsewhere. A cat in England has taken to riding the bus each morning. It’s a brief ride (one stop only) that takes the feline suspiciously close to a fish-and-chip shop. One blogger argues that only an escaped lab cat could navigate public transit, a feline Mrs. Frisby as it were. Catmanager thinks the blogger doesn’t know enough cats.

A story from earlier in year tells of Tama, a cat appointed honorary stationmaster of a Japanese railway station. Although the original news story doesn’t seem to be available, a photo and some text from the original article are preserved at this blog.

From one of catmanager’s favorite feline Web sites, Purr-n-Fur, a profile of the resident cats of the Ft. Smith, AK, Trolley Museum. Purr-n-Fur also has several stories of cats taking nonpublic means of transportation such as airship, military vessel, methanol tanker, and spaceship.

Advertisements

Here are some photos of a raw-feeding method that seems acceptable. 🙂 Catmanager can’t tell what type of cat is shown, but it might be a fishing cat (Prionailurus viverrina) rather than a house cat.

Catmanager has been wondering about the recent spate of cat attacks in the news. Are cats finally putting into action their plan for world domination? Is this a new meme? Or is it just springtime?

  • 15 February 2007: In South Africa, a “‘very aggressive’ cat was put down after it tried to attack its owner. Rabies has not yet been confirmed.” (That quotation was all I could find on this story; it appears at the end of a piece on dog attacks.)
  • 25 February 2007: A caretaker at the Denver Zoo is mauled to death by a jaguar.
  • 7 March 2007: In Idaho a woman was hospitalized after receiving more than twenty bite wounds from her cat.
  • 12 March 2007: In Nebraska two stray, possibly feral, cats attacked a family in their home. Three people required medical treatment. No word yet on whether the cats tested positve for rabies.
  • 13 March 2007. From YouTube a video of your comely local news reporter being scratched by a cat while broadcasting live. (The station ran a follow-up the next night in which they provide more details of the cat’s medical condition.)

Aside from the horrendous incident at the Denver Zoo, these stories are trivial. Yet, with the exception of the South African story, they are all over the news. Scores of media outlets covered the Idaho story. According to Google News, seventy-eight outlets have already covered Nebraska attack. Perhaps the zoo attack, with its fatal outcome, has made cat-attack stories seem suddenly “relevant.” Perhaps it’s just a blip.

Catmanager wonders if the issue has filtered down to veterinary practices? Are you hearing about these stories from your clients? Are people expressing more concern than usual about whether their cats might be dangerous? More interest in declawing (please try to talk them out of it)? Let me know!

University of Wisconsin veterinary student Sara Greenslit has somehow found time to complete a first novel, The Blue of Her Body. The book was awarded the 2006 Starcherone Fiction Prize. A short piece on Greenslit, a third-year student at UW who also holds an MFA from Penn State, can be found here. Her novel is published by Starcherone Press.

Christie Kieth (Dogged Blog) writes in the San Francisco Chronicle about her experience losing her dog to kidney failure and the high cost of veterinary medicine generally. She quotes VIN founder, Dr. Paul Pion throughout the story.

Healthy Pet, a company that owns veterinary hospitals in the eastern United States, announced that it has acquired six practices in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut.

Missouri’s state veterinarian is resigning.

Veterinary Laboratories Agency (U.K.) and Applied Biosystems announced a partnership to produce and market avian influenza detection kits. The kits will be marketed for research use only and have not been approved in the United States or Europe for diagnostic use.

NPR’s Talk of the Nation today included a segment with Lawrence Anthony, who has recently written a book, Babylon’s Ark: The Incredible Wartime Rescue of the Baghdad Zoo, about his efforts to save the animals at the Baghdad Zoo after the U.S. invasion. (An excerpt of the book is available at the Talk of the Nation Web site.)

A cow in India has been eating chickens.

Catmanager tried for at least ten minutes to come up with something witty to say about this, but frankly it’s depressed the glibness right out of me. Thanks to Deb for posting the link over on VSPN.

NPR recently ran a story on animal hording. All of us in the veterinary industry have encountered collectors. Nice to see the problem getting some national attention.