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Posts Tagged ‘cat’

My children’s book is written. I hesitate to call it ‘done’ because I’ve revised it so many times already. But it’s resting comfortably as I practice the art of writing query letters. Who knew that would be harder than writing the book?

While the cats were sleeping I started another blog – The Dead Cats Society, same name as my book. Don’t be fooled by the name. It really isn’t about cats. The blog, I mean. It’s for writers and word geeks.

Check it out at: http://deadcatssociety.wordpress.com/

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The Mewsers voted unanimously to give me the time to write this report. I know I’m supposed to be working on my book rather than blogging, but they agreed that this story is too important not to post. After I ramble on a bit, you can read an email from a contact I made in China about what the government decided to do to clean up Beijing for the Olympics. Officially, stray cats became an ‘image issue’. Puzzling, isn’t it? And apparently feeding stray cats in China is a subversive activity.

My Chinese contact wanted to remain anonymous and sent a detailed reply to my email even though my blog was blocked on this person’s computer.

A couple of weeks ago, I was so innocent. I began researching ‘cats in China’ stories before the Olympics thinking that it would be an interesting sidebar to all the Olympic hoopla. Right away though my research turned up horrifying accounts of cat cleansings in Beijing. Actually, you’d be hard-pressed to find much positive information for cats in China.

One of the main stories I read was in London’s DailyMail called “Olympics clean-up Chinese style: Inside Beijings shocking death camp for cats” by Simon Perry. It was a shocking, disturbing account. I wanted to report on this, but I did not want to simply regurgitate someone else’s news story and pass it off as true in the same way I don’t forward hysterical emails without checking Snopes.com.

I wanted to do some more research, but when I read the cryptic note at the end of Mr. Perry’s article indicating that his sources had to remain anonymous, I was wary as to whether to proceed with what could be a dangerous investigation into the back alleys of Beijing.

But the Mewsers are dauntless and intrepid reporters and they encouraged me to follow through, especially in such matters involving their brother and sister cats. It has taken several weeks to confirm this story, but you can read for yourself an account directly from someone who has personally observed this activity in Beijing.

Note: I must say that after watching the opening ceremonies of the Olympics with its display of breathtaking beauty and artistry intricately woven together with off-the-charts technology, it made it even harder to juxtaposition what goes on behind the scenes in China.

The very public Olympics display and the secretive cat cleansings seem to illustrate the two opposing faces of China better than anything I can think of. If the Chinese want to change their image with the world, then they must understand that brutal removal and extermination of innocent cats in the name of ‘housecleaning’, makes no sense and only further damages their image. I would encourage an ‘official’ reconsideration of this senseless and shameful activity.

The Olympic cat cleansing stories have been circulating since March, 2008 but here is the latest update from the email I received this last week from China:

 
Thanks for your mail to me. Sorry for keeping your waiting, as I have been quite busy recently to care of several sick cats at same time.
 
Sharing with you for the below information:
 
As Olympic is coming, Beijing Government doesn’t take action on behave of themselves, but they seems delivered oral brief to street’s manangement to clean up stray cats in each community. 
 
The street’s management asked the catching cats team of government to take the cats off without any notice to any of the cats feeders. They have sent the cats to the shelter of government, put them for a while ( within 15 days) if no body adopt them, they will put down the cats ( They don’t have any ways of telling people to adopt the cats, even they locate in very far and rural place which are not easy to find ) or they will send the cats for experimental purpose.
 
Attached pls find two photos of two animal shelters in Beijing, one is for Chaoyang district, one is for Haidian district ( without any notice at the door/entrance ).
 
The above mentioned actions were happened in early July:pls see the below quoted mail which I sent to other cat friend: 
 
 
Here in the city there have been several catching stray cats accident happening in early July, there are several catching cats actions happened all over the city, focusing in Chaoyang district, which is the Nestle stadium located.
 
Such campaign hasn’t get any media coverage before hand, so that we haven’t know anything till the happening. They just want to do secretely and no body can stop them in advance.
 
 So far we know there are the below places in the city has happened the accident:
 
1.In Huayan li area ( near Nestle stadium ). July 04: more than 10 cats were taken away by the catching cat team of government, now the cats are being kept in Chaoyang Animal Shelter,  the feeders and other cat friends will go to ask back of them tommorrow.
 
2. No 35 North Garden Road, Haidian district ( near nestle stadium), belongs to army, July 04. around 18 cats were taken away by the soldiers. More than 30 soldiers with big sticks in hands, beaten and drove the cats into cages, and taken them to Chaoyang animal shelter, all the cats are being fed by an old lady over 70 year old, she is too old to stop the action from soldier, only asked back two cats from the catching. she is feeling so sad, as she feeds them each day, and most of the cats are friendly.
 
3. At least  other two communities around Nestle stadium had same accident in recent days.
  
In FengTai District, 北京装甲兵工程学院, July 03: over 20 cats were beaten to death. 
 
For the first two accidents are both happened around my place, so that I know they are true.
 
Some people who hate animal borrow this opportunity to hurt cats, there was another accident happened in An Hua Li July 27, the street management blocked the cat holes with cement + metal net with welding, cat lovers tried to open it, but second day the holes were blocked again. cats are inside and crying over day and night,,
 
There is a news link about it:
http://www.morningpost.com.cn/article.asp?articleid=139898
 
All are not so positive to stray cats in Beijing… 
When forward my message, please omit my name and address.

And that is the very sad state of affairs for Chinese cats.

Comments welcomed. 

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Here’s a rescue story of a different sort in case you missed this. A house cat adopts and nurses a baby panda. Cat belonged to the zookeeper at an Amsterdam zoo. This cheered me up and I hope it will you too.

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This posting is in response to reader’s comment made this morning about how I dealt with a dangerous feral cat.

“I appreciate your taking the time to write your comments in regards to the feral cat. You are obviously passionate about this issue. However, please note several things here. This is not a decision that I made lightly. Indeed, I spent several months feeding this cat and trying to talk to him. In every way I tried to deal with this cat in a compassionate manner. If you read my series of blog postings, you can see that I was very concerned about doing this right. It did not turn out the way I wanted, but I was honest enough to post the real outcome when I could have easily avoided it.

I have had many, many cats over my lifetime (60 years) and have fed, and yes, spay-neutered many strays and ferals. Anyone who knows me personally knows that I am not a cat murderer, as you have labelled me. This cat defied all my previous experience with cats. I’ve never encountered anything like this gray cat.

I truly believe in the TNR approach and will continue my efforts in this way. However, these are the issues I had to consider in making my decision:

  1. Feral, gray cat attacked my two tabbies in such an agressive manner that they had deep puncture wounds on their legs and face. These were infected and required antibiotics. This happened three times.
  2. Each of these attacks were more vicious than the previous one. It reached point where I could no longer let my own cats outside, because I was in fear for their lives.
  3. I had to consider that the behavior of this cat might due to more than hormones and that he could be rabid, making him a serious threat to the welfare of my family and the other cats in our area, some of which are ferals which I am taking care of.
  4. One of these ferals on our property has new kittens, which I was also trying to protect.

These issues weighed more in the balance of things when I made my decision. I admitted to calling Animal Control right here on my blog where I’ve been chronicling the story about this cat. If you take a moment to read these postings, you would realize that I’m not a heartless person.

As much as I love cats and will do everything I can to help all cats, ferals, strays, etc. I will not endanger the lives of my own cats or my family by harboring a dangerous animal.

Addendum: I did not go to Best Friends site to ask what to do about this cat, because obviously I had made my decision. I went there in hopes of having a rational dialogue with others who had maybe encountered a similiar situation.

The keyword here is rational dialogue. Emotional attacks on others, not knowing all the circumstances, does not help create an atmosphere of learning and growth. If we are to learn from our experiences, then we must learn to listen to each other before judging.”

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The face of compassion

It’s fire season in California and the latest one in our area was the Humboldt Fire, which was close enough to us to tinge our sky hazy yellow.

The fire destroyed over 20,000 acres around Chico and Paradise. The entire town of Paradise (a beautiful place that lives up to its name) had to be evacuated. This included evacuating all of its animals too, a successful mission due to the efforts of the local animal disaster rescue groups.

I am always amazed at the dedication of the firefighters and volunteers who give 200% of their time and energy. The North Valley Animal Disaster Group, based out of Chico evacuated over 400 animals during this fire along with the help of United Animal Nations and the Yuba Sutter Domestic Animal Disaster Assistance.

This is my small voice of appreciation for their efforts. If I have left out any group or individuals who valiantly assisted in this rescue, please let me know. Here are a few photos from the rescue groups.

 

Humboldt Fire rescue effort

 

 

Needs no words

Emergency Animal Rescue Service, a division of United Animal Nations shared these beautiful images below.

 

EARS volunteer extraordinaire Jamie Peters took charge of the cat house.

 

Awwwwh....a happy ending

 

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Gray Cat with yellow eyesI’m on Day 5 of feeding ‘Mean Kitty’. I put the food where I can watch him from the window when he decides to come out of his hiding place to eat. He won’t let me come out on the porch while he’s there. As stealthily as I try to open the door and tiptoe out, he turns to leave, checking me out over his shoulder in hopes I’ll go away and let him eat in peace.

I still don’t have a name for him although I’ve had two suggestions. ‘Rambo’, from a blog friend and ‘Fuzzy’ from my granddaughter. I’ve been contemplating Benjamin Moore paint color names for shades of gray since they always have such creative descriptions. Not only is his color gray, his very presence is ‘gray’. He’s not handsome or likeable and fights with my cats (who are very handsome and likeable) which makes this naming job even harder.

Should I name him something that fits him as he is….or find a name he could live up to?

A little gray paint color research turned up these results: Benjamin Moore: Carolina Gull, Heather Gray, Silver Marlin and Cashmere. I don’t think so.

On to Sherwin Williams gray paint names: Mystical Shade, Soulmate, Gibralter and Outerspace. More creative, but I certainly don’t envision this cat as my Soulmate although he might be from Outerspace.

There was an Laura Ashley gray called Chimney Sweep. I can’t even imagine painting a room that color! More designer colors turned up Ralph Lauren’s Pewter, Sweatshirt, Basalt and Storm. Hmmm. Maybe Storm.

Lowes/Valspar paint colors looked more promising. Although Cement, Overcast, Asteroid and Meterorite didn’t work for me, but there were three others that might work.  Jasper , Slate and Legend.

So I’m taking a poll with my new polldaddy widgety thing here to test it out. Pick a name you think would fit this feral cat — the color of a dark storm cloud in a perpetual bad mood.

I can’t post a photo of ‘mean kitty’ because he won’t let me get anywhere near him yet, so you have to use your imagination. He’s solid gray, no other markings as far as I can tell. On an RGB color scale, he’d be a 38.3, 38.3, 38.3.

 

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www.zoomimages.comHe doesn’t start a fight with my cats every day, so I forget about him sometimes, but last night I heard that screechy cat noise that makes you realize all cats aren’t far removed from the jungle, even my adorable mewsers. The amplified ‘fingernails on the chalkboard’ sound came from the front porch. When I opened the door, the mean ol’ cat scooted away, glancing back over his shoulder. Nervous, I think.

I’ve been contemplating the ‘cat whisperer’ approach. You know, try to communicate with him….let him feel that we could be friends–if he would let us. So lately, whenever I encountered him, I tried the same voice as I use with my cats. The voice that makes me sound like a cartoon character. Silly, but effective. My cats seem to lap it up.

When MeanKitty hears my ‘silly kitty’ voice, he stops and peers (glares?) at me with those creepy yellow eyes. I don’t want to get too friendly with any creature with wierd yellow eyes. My philosophy is that it could help him mellow out. Couldn’t hurt, could it?

But my approach is two-fold. I’ve also taken a step towards trapping him. I found someone here in town who does a Trap/Neuter/Release program. She takes them to a clinic to get neutered, get shots and Frontlined, all for only the cost of the surgery. I’ve got an appointment to pick up the cage and get instructions this evening.

The woman who does this is basically a one-woman show in this area.  She been doing transport services to deliver and pickup cats to a clinic 60 miles away–for 12 years. I’ve used her in the past for my own cats. When I realized she was the same person that handles the TNR program I began to ask questions about why she has to go 60 miles away to get the cats taken care of.

Her answer? That’ll be for the next posting. Also stay tuned for updates to “Mean ol’ cat.”

 

 

 

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