Pet Care – 4th of July Safety Tips

Leo_America's Cat; Photo by A. Jones

Photo by A. Jones

For many people, nothing beats lounging in the backyard on the Fourth of July with good friends and family—including the four-legged members of the household. While it may seem like a great idea to reward Rover with scraps from the grill and bring him along to watch fireworks, in reality some festive foods and products can be potentially hazardous to your pets.

The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center offers the following tips:

  • Never leave alcoholic drinks unattended where pets can reach them. Alcoholic beverages have the potential to poison pets. If ingested, the animal could become very intoxicated and weak, severely depressed or could go into a coma. Death from respiratory failure is also a possibility in severe cases.
  • Do not apply any sunscreen or insect repellent product to your pet that is not labeled specifically for use on animals. Ingestion of sunscreen products can result in drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, excessive thirst and lethargy. The misuse of insect repellent that contains DEET can lead to neurological problems.
  • Always keep matches and lighter fluid out of your pets’ reach. Certain types of matches contain chlorates, which could potentially damage blood cells and result in difficulty breathing—or even kidney disease in severe cases. Lighter fluid can be irritating to skin, and if ingested can produce gastrointestinal irritation and central nervous system depression. If lighter fluid is inhaled, aspiration pneumonia and breathing problems could develop.
  • Keep your pets on their normal diet. Any change, even for one meal, can give your pets severe indigestion and diarrhea. This is particularly true for older animals who have more delicate digestive systems and nutritional requirements. And keep in mind that foods such as onions, chocolate, coffee, avocado, grapes & raisins, salt and yeast dough can all be potentially toxic to companion animals.
  • Do not put glow jewelry on your pets, or allow them to play with it. While the luminescent substance contained in these products is not highly toxic, excessive drooling and gastrointestinal irritation could still result from ingestions, and intestinal blockage could occur from swallowing large pieces of the plastic containers.
  • Keep citronella candles, insect coils and oil products out of reach. Ingestions can produce stomach irritation and possibly even central nervous system depression. If inhaled, the oils could cause aspiration pneumonia in pets.Puppy warns of Firework Safety
  • Never use fireworks around pets! While exposure to lit fireworks can potentially result in severe burns and/or trauma to the face and paws of curious pets, even unused fireworks can pose a danger. Many types contain potentially toxic substances, including potassium nitrate, arsenic and other heavy metals.
  • Loud, crowded fireworks displays are no fun for pets, so please resist the urge to take them to Independence Day festivities. Instead, keep your little guys safe from the noise in a quiet, sheltered and escape-proof area at home.

ASPCA’s Top 10 Pet Safety Tips for Halloween

The article below was published by the ACPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) website.  Feel free to click on the link for more information. 

No Scaredy Cats This Halloween: Top 10 Safety Tips for Pet Parents

Grey kitty in a witch's hat

Try not to annoy your pet, no matter how cute she looks.

 

Photo by A. Jones

Attention, animal lovers, it’s almost the spookiest night of the year! The ASPCA recommends taking some common sense precautions this Halloween to keep you and your pet saying “trick or treat!” all the way to November 1.

1. No tricks, no treats: That bowl of candy is for trick-or-treaters, not for Scruffy and Fluffy. Chocolate in all forms—especially dark or baking chocolate—can be very dangerous for dogs and cats. Candies containing the artificial sweetener xylitol can also cause problems. If you do suspect your pet has ingested something toxic, please call your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435.

2. Popular Halloween plants such as pumpkins and decorative corn are considered to be relatively nontoxic, but they can produce stomach upset in pets who nibble on them.

3. Wires and cords from electric lights and other decorations should be kept out of reach of your pets. If chewed, your pet might suffer cuts or burns, or receive a possibly life-threatening electrical shock.

4. A carved pumpkin certainly is festive, but do exercise caution if you choose to add a candle. Pets can easily knock a lit pumpkin over and cause a fire. Curious kittens especially run the risk of getting burned or singed by candle flames.

5. Dress-up can be a big mess-up for some pets. Please don’t put your dog or cat in a costume UNLESS you know he or she loves it (yup, a few pets are real hams!). For pets who prefer their “birthday suits,” however, wearing a costume may cause undue stress.

Trixie wears a skull bandana

A happy pet = a happy owner
Photo by A. Jones

6. If you do dress up your pet, make sure the costume isn’t annoying or unsafe. It should not constrict the animal’s movement or hearing, or impede his ability to breathe, bark or meow. Also, be sure to try on costumes before the big night. If your pet seems distressed, allergic or shows abnormal behavior, consider letting him go au naturale or donning a festive bandana.

7. Take a closer look at your pet’s costume and make sure it does not have small, dangling or easily chewed-off pieces that he could choke on. Also, ill-fitting outfits can get twisted on external objects or your pet, leading to injury.

8. All but the most social dogs and cats should be kept in a separate room away from the front door during peak trick-or-treating hours. Too many strangers can be scary and stressful for pets.

9. When opening the door for trick-or-treaters, take care that your cat or dog doesn’t dart outside.

10. IDs, please! Always make sure your dog or cat has proper identification. If for any reason your pet escapes and becomes lost, a collar and tags and/or a microchip can be a lifesaver, increaing the chances that he or she will be returned to you

Black Cats: Halloween, Legends and Superstitions

Witches’ Familiars and Other Longtime Superstitions about Black Cats

by Franny Syufy, Cats Expert

Black cats have played a major role for centuries in folklore, superstition, and mythology. Black cats in the middle ages were believed to be witches’ familiars, and some people even believed them to be witches incarnate. Many of these old superstitions about black cats exist to this day.
Explore the mythology and lore about black cats, witches, and other beliefs that carry on in the 21st century, especially around Halloween."A black cat crossing your path signifies that the animal is going somewhere." - Groucho Marx

Black Cats and Luck

Depending on one’s area of the world (and the century one lived in), black cats portend either good or bad luck. Here are some examples, a couple of them quite involved, with some tongue-in-cheek asides.

  • In Asia and the U.K., a black cat is considered lucky.
  • In Yorkshire, England, it may be lucky to own a black cat, but it is unlucky have one cross your path.
  • To dream of a black cat is lucky.
  • On the other paw, seeing a black cat in your dream indicates that you are experiencing some fear in using your psychic abilities and believing in your intuition. I wonder who makes up these things?
  • A funeral procession meeting up with a black cat is believed to forecast the death of another family member.
  • In 16th century Italy, people believed that if someone was sick he would die if a black cat lay on his bed.
  • In North America, it’s considered bad luck if a black cat crosses your path and good luck if a white cat crosses your path. In the U.K., switch the colors, I guess unless you live in Yorkshire.
  • Finding a white hair on a black cat brings good luck. Don’t pluck it though, or your luck may turn bad.
  • A strange black cat on a porch brings prosperity to the owner. (Scottish Lore)
  • A black cat seen from behind portends a bad omen. (And a black cat seen from the front is a GOOD omen?)
  • Ahhh…an explanation here: If a black cat walks towards you, it brings good fortune, but if it walks away, it takes the good luck with it.
  • If a black cat crosses your path while you’re driving, turn your hat around backwards and mark an X on your windshield to prevent bad luck. Oh my, what if you aren’t wearing a hat? Or you’re not carrying a felt-tip pen or lipstick? Please, don’t try this one at home! (Or while you’re driving.)
black kitten with big green eyes

Legend has it that a kitten born in May will be bad. With a face like that? Surely not.

More Lore about Black Cats

  • Sixteenth-century Italians believed that if a black cat jumped on the bed of an ill person, the person would soon die.
  • In Colonial America, Scottish immigrants believed that a black cat entering a wake was bad luck, and could indicated the death of a family member.
  • The Norse goddess Freyja drove a chariot pulled by a pair of black cats. Some versions of the tale claim they became swift black horses, possessed by the Devil. After serving Freya for 7 years, the cats were rewarded by being turned into witches, disguised as black cats.
  • A Roman solder killed a black cat in Egypt, and was killed by an angry mob of locals.
  • Appalachian folklore said that if you had a stye on the eyelid, rubbing the tail of a black cat on it would make the stye go away.
  • If you find a single white hair on your otherwise-black cat, it’s a good omen. In England’s border countries and southern Scotland, a strange black cat on the front porch brings good fortune.
  • Fisherman’s wives kept black cats while their husbands went away to sea. They believed that the black cats would prevent a disaster at sea. These black cats were considered so valuable that they were often stolen.
  • Sailors, who allowed the cat on ship, believed if a cat was thrown overboard it was  guaranteed to raise a storm and bring bad luck of all sorts.
    Sailor with a ship’s cat aboard the cruiser Olympia, ca. 1898

    Sailor with a ship’s cat aboard the cruiser Olympia, ca. 1898/Source: Independence Seaport Museum.

  • In Ireland, having your moonlit path crossed by a black cat was thought to foretell death in an epidemic.
  • It is considered bad luck to pass a black cat after 9 pm
  • To reverse the bad luck curse of a black cat crossing your path, first walk in a circle, then go backward across the spot where it happened and count to 13.
  • In North America, it’s bad luck if a black cat crosses your path and good luck if a white cat crosses your path. In Britain and Ireland, it’s the opposite.
    If a black cat walks towards you, it brings good fortune, but if it walks away, it takes the good luck with it.
  • In 16th century Italy, people believed that if a black cat lay on the bed of a sick man, he would die. However, they also believed that a cat will not remain in the house where someone is about to die – if the family cat refused to stay indoors, this was a bad omen.

 

Black Cats as Witches’ Familiars

Salem the Cat from the ABC show "Sabrina, the Teenage Witch"

Salem Saberhagen – Talking black American Short Hair Breed cat (voice of Nick Bakay) that lived with Sabrina, a pretty blond teenage witch (Melissa Joan Hart) on the fantasy comedy SABRINA, THE TEENAGE WITCH/ABC/1996-2003.

  • It was largely in the Middle Ages that the black cat became affiliated with evil. Because cats are nocturnal and roam at night, they were believed to be supernatural servants of witches, or even witches themselves, according to Glenda Moore.
  • Folklore has it that if a witch becomes human, her black cat will no longer reside in her house.
  • Some believe that black cats are witches in disguise, or witches reborn.
  • Others believe black cats are witches familiars (beings that aid witches in performing their craft). Not all familiars were black cats though; some were cats of other colors, dogs, pigs, or other animals.
  • For several centuries “witches” were rounded up, tried, and killed by burning or other violent methods; often their familiars were killed along with them.

Cats and Witches

  • Traits associated with cats include cleverness, unpredictability, healing and witchcraft, since in ancient times it was believed that witches took the form of their cats at night.
  • It was largely in the Middle Ages that the black cat became affiliated with evil. Because cats are nocturnal and roam at night, they were believed to be supernatural servants of witches, or even witches themselves. Partly because of the cat’s sleek movements and eyes that ‘glow’ at night, they became the embodiment of darkness, mystery, and evil, possessing frightening powers. If a black cat walked into the room of an ill person, and the person later died, it was blamed on the cat’s supernatural powers. If a black cat crossed a person’s path without harming them, this indicated that the person was then protected by the devil. Often times, a cat would find shelter with older women who were living in solitude. The cat became a source of comfort and companionship, and the old woman would curse anyone who mistreated it. If one of these tormentors became ill, the witch and her familiar were blamed.
  • A kitten born in May will be a witches cat.
  • Some believe black cats are witches in disguise.
  • Others believe black cats are witches familiars (beings that aid witches in performing their craft).

 

The Color BlackBombay breed of cat

  1. Black is one of the three basic colors of cats which Franny Syufy would call “pure.” The other two are red and white. All other colors and color patterns of cats are a combination of any two or three of these basic colors.The differences are all a matter of genetics, a very complicated study of the genes which are carried down from cat-to-cat. Cats with a dominant black gene are often (but not always) pure black in appearance. A cat with two parents, both possessed of a dominant black gene, will almost always be pure black. However, if either of these cats has a recessive red gene, the child may also carry it, a fact which accounts for the fact that sometimes black cats appear “rusty” in the sun.
  2. While many recognized breeds have been around for years, or are the result of naturally occurring genetic mutations, the Bombay is a result of years of selective breeding in an effort to develop a black “Parlour Panther.” It is the only recognized cat breed whose only acceptable color is black.Although stunning as sleek, black show cats with mesmerizing copper eyes, the Bombay is easily adaptable as a pet who will play fetch, guard your house, or even venture out with you on a leash.
  3. In addition to the Bombay, listed above, The Cat Fanciers’ Association allows solid black as a color option in 21 other breeds. The color description is fairly standard for all those breeds: BLACK: dense coal black, sound from roots to tip of fur. Free from any tinge of rust on the tips. Nose leather: black. Paw pads: black or brown.

The exceptions are:

Oriental – EBONY: dense coal black. Free from any tinge of rust on tips or smoke undercoat. Nose leather: black. Paw pads: black or brown.
Sphynx – BLACK: black. One level tone from nose to tip of tail. Nose leather: black. Paw pads: black or brown.
Ragamuffin – Although black is not specifically mentioned, the standard allows for “any color, with or without white,” so technically speaking, an all-black Ragamuffin would be allowed under the breed standard.

 

Black Cats and Halloween 

Why are Black Cats Associated with Halloween?

by Catherine Beyer

 

The connection between black cats and Halloween is complicated and frequently unclear. There are many claims made about connections, but many of them lack historical backing.

Witch flying on a broomstick with black cat, pumpkin and raven

Witch flying on a broomstick with black cat, pumpkin and raven

Witch Familiar

During the European witch-craze, witches were widely believed to keep familiars, which were malevolent spirits or demons that disguised themselves in the shape of animals and often fed off the witch’s blood. Cats were certainly considered potential familiars. After all, everyone had them to help control vermin population. But there were plenty of other animal familiars as well, including dogs, ferrets, birds, spiders, goats, toads, and hares, all of which could easily be found in the vicinity of most suspected witches.

Nature of Cats

Cats do have some qualities that can make them creepy to suspicious people. They are relatively intelligent, but they are also not terribly social with humans, unlike dogs. They’re harder to train and more often live on their own. They are naturally nocturnal, and humans naturally view nighttime as a time of danger before the invention of electric light because humans have terrible night vision.

Papal Bull Against Cats

Two papal bulls are sometimes pointed to as evidence of official persecution of cats. The first is the Summis desiderantes affectibus decreed in 1484 by Innocent VIII. This is the document commonly used to mark the beginning of the European witch-craze. However, while the document accepts the reality of witchcraft and threatens lay people with excommunication if they do not cooperate with Inquisition investigations on the matter, it doesn’t mention cats.
The second document is another papal bull, Vox in Rama, theoretically released by Gregory IX around 1232. The problem with this document is there’s doubt as to whether it actually existed. The first reference to it is relatively modern, a good 500 years after the reign of Gregory IX.

The Color Black

In Christian cultures, white is generally a symbol of goodness and purity, and black is a symbol of danger, corruption and evil. Any sort of black animal therefore could be more suspect than animals of other colors.

 

Natural Superstitions about Black Cats

Many urban legends state that Europeans have a long history of folklore vilifying black cats. In fact, there’s a wide variety of folklore about black cats, of which some are positive and some are negative.

Cat Worship in Egypt

The Egyptian Goddess Sekhmet

Egyptian goddess Sekhmet

It’s certainly true that cats were held in extremely high esteem in Egypt . However, there is absolutely no reason to think that things that happened thousands of miles away would color beliefs in northern Europe hundreds or thousands of years later. Some claim that the Church vilified cats to counteract their divine status in Egypt, but there’s no evidence of this, and it really reaches beyond common sense.
This belief presumes that large numbers of people in Europe had every aspect of their lives ruled by the Church, which is simply not true. There were all sorts of folklore that was not only separate from Christianity, but even ran counter to it.

Modern Tradition

Regardless of how black cats became associated with Halloween, the mere fact that it has become associated with Halloween is a reason for it to remain so. Seeing black cat decorations at Halloween reinforces the connection between black cats and Halloween.
As a comparison, consider the green-skinned witch often used in Halloween decorations. The first known depiction of a green-skinned witch was in The Wizard of Oz, a source that has absolutely nothing to do with Halloween. But, for whatever reason, we started making witches green in Halloween ornaments, and now it’s an accepted part of Halloween.

 

Cat Magic, Legends and Folklore

by Patti Wigington

 

Ever have the privilege of living with a cat? If you have, you know that they have a certain degree of unique magical energy. It’s not just our modern domesticated felines, though – people have seen cats as magical creatures for a long time. Let’s look at some of the magic, legends and folklore associated with cats throughout the ages.

Touch Not the Cat

In many societies and cultures, it was believed that a sure-fire way to bring misfortune into your life was to deliberately harm a cat. An old sailors’ tale cautions against throwing the ship’s cat overboard – the superstition said that this would practically guarantee stormy seas, rough wind, and possibly even a sinking, or at the very least, drownings. Of course, keeping cats on board had a practical purpose, as well – it kept the rat population down to a manageable level.

In some mountain communities, it is believed that if a farmer killed a cat, his cattle or livestock would sicken and die. In other areas, there’s a legend that cat-killing will bring about weak or dying crops.

The Egyptian goddess Bastet

The Egyptian goddess Bastet

In ancient Egypt, cats were regarded as sacred because of their association with the goddesses Bast and Sekhmet. To kill a cat was grounds for harsh punishment, according to the Greek historian Diodorus Siculus, who wrote, “Whoever kills a cat in Egypt is condemned to death, whether he committed this crime deliberately or not. The people gather and kill him.”

In both France and Wales, there’s a legend that if a girl steps on a cat’s tail, she’ll be unlucky in love. If she’s engaged, it will get called off, and if she’s seeking a husband, she won’t find him for at least a year following her cat-tail-stepping transgression.

Lucky Cats

In Japan, the maneki-neko is a cat figurine who brings good luck into your home. Typically made of ceramic, the maneki-neko is also called the Beckoning Cat or Happy Cat. His upraised paw is a sign of welcome. It is believed that the raised paw draws money and fortune to your home, and the paw held next to the body helps keep it there. Maneki-neko is often found in feng shui.

Maneki-neko, the Lucky Cat

Maneki-neko, the “beckoning cat,” is a Japanese figure who brings good luck to its owner

England’s King Charles once had a cat that he loved very much. According to legend, he assigned keepers to maintain the cat’s safety and comfort around the clock. However, once the cat fell ill and died, Charles’ luck ran out, and he was either arrested or died himself the day after his cat passed away, depending upon which version of the story you hear.

In Renaissance-era Great Britain, there was a custom that if you were a guest in a home, you should kiss the family cat upon your arrival to ensure a harmonious visit. Of course, if you’ve had a cat you know that a guest who fails to make nice with your feline could end up having a miserable stay.

There’s a story in rural parts of Italy that if a cat sneezes, everyone who hears it will be blessed with good fortune.

Cats and Metaphysics

Cats are believed to be able to predict the weather – if a cat spends the entire day looking out a window, it could mean rain is on the way.

In Colonial America, if your cat spent the day with her back to the fire, then it indicated a cold snap was coming in.

Sailors often used the behavior of ships’ cats to foretell weather events – sneezes meant a rain or a thunderstorm was imminent, and a cat who groomed its fur against the grain was predicting hail or snow and if it was frisky, the wind would soon blow.

Some people believe that cats can predict death. In Ireland, there’s a tale that a black cat crossing your path in the moonlight meant you’d fall victim to an epidemic or plague. Parts of Eastern Europe tell a folktale of a cat yowling in the night to warn of coming doom.

In many Neopagan traditions, practitioners report that cats frequently pass through magically designated areas, such as circles which have been cast, and seem to make themselves contentedly at home within the space. In fact, they often seem curious about magical activities, and cats will often lay themselves down in the middle of an altar or workspace, sometimes even falling asleep on top of a Book of Shadows.

Early Americans believed if a cat washes her face in front of several people, the first person she looks at will be the first to get married.

A strange black cat on your porch brings prosperity. – Scottish superstition

Leo sitting in the sun

Photo by A. Jones

 

 

After dark all cats are leopards. — Zuni proverb

 

National Trivia Day – Jan. 4

No trivia is too trivial.  Beat the winter of the doldrums and pull out the trivia board game for a round or two.

Mental Floss offers 54 Fantastic Facts for National Trivia Day.  Here’s a few below:

  • Some cats are allergic to humans.

    Cat sneezing

    Don’t ignore your cat’s sneezing and watery eyes. Find relief for your feline friend by visiting your local veterinarian.

  • If your dog’s feet smell like corn chips, you’re not alone. The term “Frito Feet” was coined to describe the scent.
  • Ingesting uncooked rice will NOT make a bird explode.
  • Forty is the only number whose letters are in alphabetical order.
  • The sum of all the numbers on a roulette wheel is 666.

 

Robert L. Franklin gives us 33 more facts for National Trivia Day.  Here’s a sample below:

  • Due to the placement of the voice box, human’s are biologically incapable of breathing and swallowing at the same time
  • Scotland’s national animal is the unicorn.
  • When written, the word “almost” is the longest word in the English language that has all of its letters in alphabetical order.
  • he last execution by guillotine conducted in France was on September 10, 1977. For comparison, Star Wars: A New Hope was released in theaters four months prior.
  • You are three times more likely to get a computer virus from a religious website than you are a pornographic one.
Betty White

Actress Betty White is older than sliced bread. Pre-sliced bread was not a thing until 1928, while Betty White was born in 1922.

 

  • On January 5, 1920, The Boston Red Sox sold the contract for pitcher George Herman to the New York Yankees for $125,000. You may know George Herman as “Babe Ruth.

Cat Funerals in the Victorian Era

For all you animal (especially those more fond of cats) and history lovers, this is an interesting article.

Mimi Matthews

Inconsolable Grief by Ivan Kramskoi, 1884.

During the early 19th century, it was not uncommon for the mortal remains of a beloved pet cat to be buried in the family garden.  By the Victorian era, however, the formality of cat funerals had increased substantially.  Bereaved pet owners commissioned undertakers to build elaborate cat caskets.  Clergymen performed cat burial services.  And stone masons chiseled cat names on cat headstones.  Many in society viewed these types of ceremonies as no more than an amusing eccentricity of the wealthy or as yet another odd quirk of the elderly spinster.  Others were deeply offended that an animal of any kind should receive a Christian burial. 

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Rabbit Facts

  • Contrary to popular belief, rabbits main food source is hay and leafy greens, not carrots!
  • Because of the position of their eyes, rabbits are able to see close to 360 degrees all around! However, they have a blind spot in front their nose.
  • Adult Rabbits have 28 teeth including 4 incisors. Their teeth grow continually for their entire life, but they are normally worn down through constant chewing.

Source: Animal Planet.  Check out Animal Planet’s Live Bunny Cam.  

Karl Szmolinsky and his rabbit "Robert", the World's Largest Rabbit

EBERSWALDE, GERMANY – Pensioner Karl Szmolinsky, who raises a breed of rabbits called giant grays, shows Robert 2, an 8.5kg giant grey who is 74cm long and has ears 25.5cm long, in the backyard of his house on January 15, 2006 in Eberswalde, Germany. Szmolinsky said his rabbits reach a maximum weight of 10.5 kg (23.1lbs.). (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

Top 20 Facts about Rabbits

Here is a list of the top 20 interesting facts about rabbits…

1. The World’s Largest Rabbit named “Darius” weighs approximately 50 pounds and is currently 4 feet, 3 inches. Although this might sound unbelievable, “Darius” is indeed a real rabbit that currently lives with its owner Annette Edwards from the UK. It has been reported that Darius thinks he is a dog.
2. The “most valuable” rabbit on Earth, “Darius”, is currently insured for around $1.6/million and has his own personal caretaker aka body guard. (Not that anyone would be brave enough to mess with a 50 pound rabbit anyhow.)
3. In the wild some female rabbits can produce about eight litters of bunnies per year.
4. The largest litter of bunnies every reported consisted of 24 kits.
5. Rabbits are natural runners and can reach speeds of up to 30 to 40 mph.
6. Domesticated rabbits that people raise do not open their eyes until they reach about 2 weeks of age.
7. Baby domestic rabbits are actually born fur-less.
8. Rabbits have 28 teeth.
9. The World’s oldest rabbit on record lived to be 16 years old.
10. The average lifespan of a domesticated rabbit is around 5 to 8 years.
11. Pet rabbits generally live longer than rabbits used for production and those living in the wild.
12. With the right guidance rabbits can be trained to live indoors perfectly.
13. In the UK the rabbit is the third most popular pet option.
14. The average heart rate of a rabbit ranges between 130-325 beats per minute.
15. It is estimated that over 2 million U.S. households own a pet rabbit.
16. Thousands of rabbit shows take place annually in the Continental United States alone, each year.
17. Male rabbits are referred to as “bucks” and female rabbits are referred to as “does”.
18. Believe it or not, a rabbit’s teeth never stop growing throughout its life.
19. Rabbits can jump up to 36 inches or higher.
20. In general rabbits are very clean animals that will groom themselves and even each other.

Check out this article on the topic of raising rabbits.

 

President’s Dogs

In honor of the American Humane Association’s Adopt-A-Dog Month, below are some famous dog owners and their pets.

James Buchanan, the only bachelor President, was accompanied at all times by Lara, his 170-pound Newfoundland, notable for a huge tail, an incredible attachment to his master, and the habit of lying motionless for hours with one eye open and one eye closed.

Lara, President Buchanan's dog

An illustrated picture of Lara, a male Newfoundland, was published in Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Weekly. The dog became a big celebrity.

Abraham Lincoln‘s first dog was Honey, an injured brown and white hound dog he found in a Kentucky cave and nursed back to health.  Five years before being elected, Lincoln’s constant companion was Fido, a floppy-eared, yellow mutt.  His wife did not want Fido tracking mud onto White House carpets and jumping on formal furniture, so Lincoln sadly agreed to leave Fido with friends in Springfield, IL with strict instructions to indulge him.  At the President’s funeral, Fido met with the grieving public, who felt like they touched the President himself by petting his dog.

Theodore Roosevelt was an avid outdoorsman, and his home was filled with many dogs. Skip, a mixed breed adopted on a hunting trip, was his favorite. Skip’s short legs made it hard to keep up with his master on horseback, so the President would scoop him up to ride on the saddle.  Eventually, Skip would jump on the back of Algonquin, the pony belonging to Roosevelt’s 7-year-old son, Archie. It was quite a sight to see a small dog riding a small horse around the White House grounds all by himself!  Although Skip was buried behind the White House, Edith Roosevelt had his casket exhumed and moved to their estate at Sagamore Hill in Oyster Bay, Long Island, explaining, “Teddy couldn’t bear to leave him there beneath the eyes of Presidents who might care nothing for a little mutt dog.”

Richard Nixon used his daughter Tricia’s black-and-white cocker spaniel named Checkers to improve his public image When it looked like he might be dropped as Eisenhower’s Vice Presidential nominee due to questionable funds and gifts to aid his political career, he responded to these charges in an emotional speech and said the family would NOT return the gift of Checkers: “The kids love the dog, and regardless of what they say about it, we’re gonna keep it!”

Lyndon Johnson loved his dogs: the white collie, Blanco, the terrier, Yuki, and two beagles. Him and Her (who made the cover of Life magazine). President LBJ's beagles, Him and Her, on the cover of Life magazine Lady Bird nixed his plan to bring the dogs to daughter Luci’s White House wedding, but he managed to sneak them in for official family pictures. Pawprints adorned the Johnson Christmas cards right next to LBJ’s signature. However, he damaged his reputation while trying to get the beagles to do tricks for photographers.  LBJ picked up Him by his big, floppy ears and pictures of the yelping dog hanging by its ears appeared in every major newspaper before the day’s end.  Johnson was severely criticized by animal experts and the public, but this didn’t discourage him from letting TV cameras film him and Yuki “singing” in the Oval Office.

Eyebrow raising photo of LBJ picked up his beagle, Him, by the ears

U.S. President Lyndon Johnson received much criticism when reporters photographed him picking up his beagle, Him, by the ears.

Gerald Ford was actually locked out of the White House one night when he took Liberty, his golden retriever, out for a late walk on the south lawn and forgot to alert the Secret Service agents. Picture the President in his nightclothes, standing next to Liberty, pounding on the second-floor door inside the hallway, and having searchlights trained on him and agents pointing guns at him!

Click the following to find out more Presidential Dogs:  Dog Lover Store website

Black Cat Appreciation Day — August 17th

Monique Balas | Special to The Oregonian By Monique Balas | Special to The Oregonian
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on October 29, 2011 at 6:30 AM

The black fur gene is recessive, so a cat must carry two copies of it to be black.
Scientists have found genetic mutations among several different kinds of cats that caused them to be black, meaning they are favored in nature.

Scientists also discovered that the mutations affect a gene related to one that’s resistant to HIV in humans, leading some to theorize that black cats may be resistant to disease.

In Europe, poor, lonely women often fed alley cats. When witch hysteria hit, many of these homeless women were accused of witchcraft, and their feline companions (especially black ones) were deemed guilty by association.

The Egyptian goddess Bast was thought to take the form of a black cat, so many ancient Egyptians owned black cats as a way to court her favor.

According to British lore, a black cat’s presence in a house will bring a young woman many suitors.

The British also believe that a black cat will bring its owner good luck, but coming across one accidentally brings bad luck.

Some people believe that plucking a single white hair on an otherwise ebony cat — without getting scratched — will make them lucky in love.

On Britain’s Yorkshire coast, fishermen’s wives believed owning a black cat would keep their husbands safe at sea.

 

 

Black cat trivia

1. Which English monarch was so devoted to his black cat that he insisted it be guarded 24 hours a day?

2. A black cat’s tail is thought to cure what ailment?

3. In Scotland, a black cat’s appearance on your porch is thought to bring what?

Answers:
1. King Charles I; the day after the cat died, he was arrested for treason.
2. Sty
3. Prosperity

 

Feline Facts: Cat Trivia For The Curious

Black Cat 150x150 Feline Facts: Cat Trivia For The Curious

A cat can be either right-pawed or left-pawed.

A cat can jump as much as seven times its height.

A cat can spend five or more hours a day grooming himself.

A cat can sprint at about thirty-one miles per hour.

A cat cannot see directly under its nose. This is why the cat cannot seem to find tidbits on the floor.

A cat has 230 bones in its body. A human only has 206 bones.

A cat has four rows of whiskers.

A cat in a hurry can sprint at about thirty-one miles per hour.

A cat is pregnant for about 58-65 days.

A cat sees about six times better than a human at night because of the tapetum lucidum , a layer of extra reflecting cells which absorb light.

A cat that bites you for rubbing his stomach is often biting from pleasure, not anger.

A cat uses its whiskers to determine if a space is too small to squeeze through. The whiskers act as feelers or antennae, helping the animal to judge the precise width of any passage.

A cat will almost never meow at another cat. Cats use this sound for humans.

A cat will clean itself with paw and tongue after a dangerous experience or when it has fought with another cat. This is believed to be an attempt by the animal to soothe its nerves by doing something natural and instinctive.

A cat will never break a sweat because it has no sweat glands.

A cat will spend nearly 30% of its life grooming itself.

A cat will tremble or shiver when it is extreme pain.

A cat’s arching back is part of a complex body language system, usually associated with feeling threatened. The arch is able to get so high because the cat’s spine contains nearly 60 vertebrae which fit loosely together. Humans have only 34 vertebrae.

cat on a cat tower
Cats are the only animals to voluntarily become domesticated. (Photo by A. Jones)

 

A cat’s brain is more similar to a human’s brain than that of a dog.

A cat’s brain is more similar to a man’s brain than that of a dog.

A cat’s ear pivots 180 degrees.

A cat’s field of vision is about 185 degrees.

A cat’s hearing rates as one of the top in the animal kingdom. Cats can hear sounds as high-pitched as 65 kHz; a human’s hearing stops at just 20 kHz.

A cat’s heart beats at 110 to 140 beats per minute, twice as fast as a human heart.

A cat’s jaws cannot move sideways.

A cat’s normal body temperature is 101.5 degrees F (38.6 C).

A cat’s sense of taste is keener than a dog’s sense of taste.

A cat’s tail held high means happiness. A twitching tail is a warning sign, and a tail tucked in close to the body is a sure sign of insecurity.

 

 

More Cat Trivia…

  • Cats cannot taste things that are sweet. A cat’s taste buds cannot detect sugar.
  • Kitty litter was originally made from sand. In 1948, however, it was discovered that clay was more absorbent.
  • Isaac Newton invented the cat flap door.

    black cat using a cat flap

    Issac Newton invented the cat flap.

  • Cats can see in the dark.
  • Abe Lincoln and Robert E. Lee supposedly loved cats. Rumor has it that Lincoln kept four cats in the White House.
  • While Abe Lincoln was quite the cat lover, Dwight Eisenhower was NOT a cat lover.
  • A cat purrs at the same frequency as an idling diesel engine. (Pretty cool, huh?)
  • Cats can run up to speeds of 30 mph!
  • Cats use their whiskers to determine if they can fit through a space.