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Archive for May, 2008

Cats on the toilet? Not my toilet, thank you. 

I’m not comfortable with the idea of sharing my toilet seat with my two cats (sorry guys!) so I glaze over products and ‘how-to’ videos for cat toilet training. And I can just imagine the first time my husband discovered a kitty potty seat on our toilet. No thanks.

However, this toilet belongs just to the cats. Take a look at the CatGenie, a completely separate self-flushing kitty comode.

I thought I’d share this discovery for anyone with a kitty litter box, which has gotta be pretty much all cat owners unless you only have barn cats. I have run this by my technical advisors  who looked at the videos with me. They were very curious about it and said they would be willing to give it a try.

This is made to be installed in your bathroom or laundry room with a simple hookup to the waterline. There is NO cat litter as we normally think of it. It uses permanent washable granules that last up to 6 months. It apparently never needs changing because it is washed and sanitized. There is a scooping, washing and drying process that happens with a touch of a button. (We are the ‘touch of a button culture’ aren’t we?) Then there’s an SaniSolution that completes the process. They seemed to have thought of everything.

This product made by PetNovations is rather impressive. The product site is so well produced that it will answer all of your questions with short, simple videos.

If the $300 price tag seems high (cat toilets weren’t really on my priority list either) consider how much we spend in cat litter over the years….very heavy cat litter that we lug in from the store and ends up polluting the landfills.

From their site: “Last year, cat owners in the US purchased 1.7 billion dollars worth of litter. That’s about 8 Billion pounds of litter in one year. Since 1947, when this mined clay was first used for cats, the amount of contaminated litter now in landfills has piled to incalculable amounts. Hundreds of millions, perhaps billions of tons of this waste product continue to pollute the environment. CatGenie offers a clean, safe solution.”

Take a look at this product (no I don’t have any affiliation with this company; nor do Marco or Polo although they are orange tabbies, too).

What do you think? Would you buy one?

 

 

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I met with my advisors (see My Mewses) at our regular board meeting this morning and we all agreed that “Here Kitty” as our blog name just doesn’t portray the correct image. It evokes the similiar sounding cotton-candy name of “Hello Kitty’ and we’re not about ‘Pink’.

While we love a good time, it’s not all fluff and fur here. We’re out to save the world!–or at least a few cats.

“Global Cats” was the original blog name as a close observer could tell by the domain. But in some reckless moment we all thought that “Here Kitty” would be more catchy. Now it just doesn’t seem right. For one thing the blog is directly associated with our main headquarters at Global Cats. This blog is the satellite extension and newsroom of the main office.

It was a unanimous decision (and you know how hard it is to get everyone to agree on something). Therefore, be it known that on this day, the 27th of May, 2008, the official name of “Here Kitty” has been changed to “Global Cat Blog & Newsroom”.

 

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Shelley Thayer recently spent seven grueling months in the Nevada desert where she and dozens of others worked to save 800 cats found starving in a remote compound. (The photo here shows her with Beignet, a poodle she rescued after Hurricane Katrina.)

Thayer works for the Best Friends Animal Society, headquartered on 30,000 acres in Angel Canyon, just outside Kanub, Utah. Best Friends operates the nation’s largest sanctuary for homeless animals. It provides adoption, sterilization and educational programs.

Thayer’s job takes her to emergency animal rescues around the country in what they call the rapid response effort.

“My role is different in each rescue,” said Thayer. “It can range from training volunteers, setting up dog and cat runs and triage centers to administrative work and animal care.”

Typically she will travel to a rescue, spend whatever time it takes to see it through, then have a few weeks off before the next phone call.

This most recent cat rescue has been dubbed “The Great Kitty Rescue” and is being called the largest successful cat rescue in American history. Thayer said it was heartbreaking to see 800 sick and terrified cats that were so desperate for food and water they were trying to dig under the electrified wooden fence that held them.

Yet, she said there also were many success stories, and although 79 cats didn’t make it, nearly all of the remaining cats have found homes.

“It was a case of a hoarding situation,” Thayer said. “It was a very tough rescue, the temperatures could be 120 degrees during the day and into the teens at night. The cats walked on inches of feces and many of them were emaciated and hard to find because they were clearly fearful of people.”

All but 250 cats were adopted and those have found temporary shelter at Best Friends, where they are undergoing rehabilitation so they will be adoptable.

“They’re at a training school and many have gone from fearful to lap cats. This is new work and we never dreamed we would be doing this,” said Thayer.

Thayer began her career as an animal rescuer two years ago when she left her home in California for New Orleans to help with rescue efforts for the pets left homeless in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

It was an experience that changed her life.

“I told my husband I would be gone two weeks,” said Thayer, who was working in marketing at the time. “Then two weeks turned into four, which turned into six and five months later I came home. Best Friends asked me to stay while I was there and hired me to stay until we pulled out.”

After New Orleans, she found herself in Reno, Nev., where a hoarder had 1,600 rabbits living in squalor in her backyard. Although many couldn’t be saved, rescuers found homes for the remainder. Five hundred found a new home at the Great Lakes Rabbit Sanctuary in Whittaker.

Best Friends also stepped in to take 22 of Michael Vick’s dogs. The former NFL football star was sent to prison late last year for running a dog fighting operation.

“These dogs are now in rehabilitation and those that were once cowering in the corner are now playing,” said Thayer.

Thayer, who is in the process of moving closer to Best Friends headquarters, said she has found her dream job.

“The only detriment is that it takes me away from my own pets,” said Thayer, who is the owner of a Katrina dog and six cats.

The fact that she’s saving animals from horrific situations helps keep the animal lover from getting depressed by what she encounters.

“It’s one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever done,” she said. “I just try to find the positive in every negative situation.”

Best Friends operates through memberships and donations. Memberships are $25 a year and include a subscription to their magazine Best Friends, a general-interest animal magazine. For more information, visit the Web site at www.bestfriends.org.

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I had to make a new category for this bizarre story. It’s been around a few weeks, but I just couldn’t pass up making a comment about it.

First of all, there is a black cat was named Sooty. When poor Sooty died, his ashes weren’t just scattered off some landmark bridge and out to sea. Something reasonable I suppose if you are into that kind of thing. No, Sooty’s ashes (not all, just some) were placed in a diamond press, exposed to temperatures of 3,000 degrees celsius and placed under one million pounds of pressure for two weeks.

Assuming these are real people who make a living doing this, this is all in a day’s work. LifeGem is a company that takes animal and human ashes and turns them into gems. But apparently, Sooty’s owner had a request that was even a first for them. She wanted him to become a diamond.

Sooty is believe to be the only diamond in the world created from a pile of ashes. Not just a regular diamond either, Sooty had to be a black diamond to match her coat. The company created a new technique to achieve this aim. Of course they did. All it takes is money.

This is just creepy. Transforming the dead into jewelry. What am I missing here? How does this even remotely memorialize a pet? If remembering your beloved animal is the goal, then a really nice framed photograph would do that. Make a scrapbook of Sooty’s cute photos. Bury him in the back yard and put up a little headstone. But a diamond ring from his ashes? Pet cemetaries are too excessively indulgent in my opinion, nevermind cloning your pet so you can have an exact replica. Dead cats turned into diamonds falls into the same category.

Misplaced priorities combined with too much money. If you want to memorialize your cat, donate all that excess money to a worthy cause.

Read the whole story   Sooty’s owner, who runs a bingo hall somewhere in North Devon, UK, apparently has other dead cats she’s wears.

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The Torre Argentina Cat Sanctuary is an incredible place where dedicated volunteers have been working since 1994 to create a sanctuary for Rome’s abandoned cats. Here’s the introduction from their Roman Cats website. “Here at Torre Argentina our feline friends (which now number approximately 250) have found respite from the chaos and traffic amongst the oldest temples in Rome (400-300 BC). Volunteers from different countries, who created the shelter, work here seven days a week. You can take a look at our ‘history’ section about the origin of our sanctuary, or learn more about the ‘work’ we do here at Torre Argentina. Or…just look around and before you leave don’t forget to visit our CatShop…every item we sell is helping a cat in need! Thank you for visiting the Roman cats.”

To help, you can ‘adopt at a distance’ to help these cats. They also have some very nice products, including jewelry, books, a t-shirt and calendar that help support their efforts.

This was a definite add on my Global Cat map.  which placemarks extraordinary stories of news and stories of cats and their humans around the world.

Wikipedia’s entry of Largo di Torre Argentina which is a square in Rome that hosts four Republican Roman temples, and the remains of Pompey’s Theater, has a section specifically about the Cat Sanctuary. Tours are given daily.

Visit the Cat Sanctuary website at: http://www.romancats.com/index_eng.php

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In diplomatic and other compounds in Iraq, it is illegal to have a cat. Go figure. Last year over 7,000 cats were trapped and of these, more than 5,000 were killed. In the Mesopotamian cradle of civilisation where cats were first domesticated, most are well-fed and respected by the locals but there is no safety net for the abused.

Apparently the biggest threat to cats’ survival is not roadside bombs, but American contractors who think the cats are somehow a threat to humans.

 Simba is one of the lucky few to have found her rescuer. She now lives in England in an undisclosed location.

Here’s the story: “It is cloak-and-danger work, which means the 35-year old woman only wants to be known by her first name, Louise. But she has spent tens of thousands of pounds over the past four years adopting pets.

This is Simba who she rescued from Bagdad and took to England. To cope with the costs, she has set up a website, Baghdad Cat Rescue .”

Read the rest of this amazing story.  Simba has been placed on my Global Cat map.

Know any good Rescued Cat stories? They don’t have to be as dramatic as this one. Share your story here.

 

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If your feline is an ‘in and out’ cat and it’s just gotten too dangerous out there, consider a feline enclosure. Here’s some examples of the entrepreneurial spirit combined with this niche need. 

From the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: “For years Mike and Candice Jewett have had a soft spot for abandoned and disabled cats. Among their 11 felines, two have just three legs and one lacks a colon. Until a few years ago, their cats wandered happily about their southern Maine rural community.

Then, “We lost a cat to the road and then another one was attacked by what we think was an owl, but we’re not sure,” Mr. Jewett said.

The victim of the attack survived, but the vet bills topped $1,000.

So the couple created an outdoor enclosure connected to the house that kept their kitties safe but still allowed them to travel freely in and out of the house to enjoy the fresh air and sunshine.

Mrs. Jewett told a colleague at work about their project, and the co-worker asked for one. Then another friend wanted one, too.

There was so much demand for the enclosures that the couple in 2002 founded Safe Kitty (safekitty.com), and now delivers products to cat owners in 26 states, including Pennsylvania. Sales have been so swift that the Buxton, Maine, company relies solely on word of mouth and the Internet to sell its enclosures.”

Another entrepreneur, “Joe Balsleys got into the “cat hotel” business when he wanted to get his cat’s litter box out of the house. The retired Navy pilot who lives in Escondido, Calif., ended up with an outside enclosure that also protects his cats.

“People don’t want to let their cats outside anymore because there are too many problems,” he said. “They get run over. They get poisoned. They get into fights.”

His company, Wet Winds of California Inc. (outbackbarneys.com), has developed circular enclosures that range in size from 4 to 6 feet high and are 32 inches in diameter. They are connected to the house through a custom-made pet door installed through a sliding glass window. Prices range from $234-$295 and several can be connected to make a larger network of outside cages.” Read the whole story.

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