Saturday, April 13, 2013

Protect the Strays?

As Finnegan was surfing the web today (of course he really surfs the web--he loves Facebook!), he and I discovered an interesting story in the Yahoo! news.

"How do you get this webcam to work?"

Why was the story interesting to Finnegan? Well, here was the title of the article: Fur Flying in Florida as Cat Lovers Push Law to Protect Strays.

The article talks about a proposed legislation in Florida that would create cat colonies to protect stray cats in particular areas. The idea behind this legislation is TNR, or "trap, neuter, release," as Becky Robinson (co-founder/President of Alley Cats Allies) calls it. Instead of trapping and killing stray cats, the cats would instead be vaccinated, fixed, and then released back into the wild.

We think this would be a great idea, but some people (particularly the environmentalist lobbyist in Tallahassee, Florida) are against the idea. They think that the strays should be put down because they "are a murderous menace to Mother Nature."

Finny's disapproval face.

Of course, though, they might have a slight point (see Kitty Murderers).

Finny is just wondering . . . shouldn't environmentalists care about all of nature--including the animals in it, particularly cats?

The reason Finnegan is so attracted to this article is because both he and his "brother" Samwise were both strays at one time. Sammie was born out in the wild and wasn't adopted until he was a few years old. Finnegan, on the other hand, had a family at one time, but they abandoned him and he lived as a stray until he found me, Rebecca.

Just think about this: if all strays were captured and put down, neither Sammie or Finny would be here today. Thank goodness for rescue owners and other people who have pity on stray cats.

All in favor of saving strays say, "Meow!"



Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Hey, Diddle Diddle, the Cat and the Fiddle

Many songs, rhymes, movies, and stories associate animals (particularly cats) with music or musical instruments. This is funny because, according to Charles Snowdon, Hilldale Professor of Psychology and Zoology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, animals don't enjoy human music.

Sammie doesn't appreciate the iPod music.

Pet owners seems to think that their pets like the same music they do, but this is not the case. Studies show that humans like to hear things within our vocal and acoustic range. Animals are the same way, and they enjoy their "species-specific music."

Natalie Wolchover from Discover News writes that, "To animals, human music falls into that grating, unrecognizable category. With vocal ranges and heart rates very different from ours, they simply aren't wired to enjoy songs that are tailored for our ears. Studies show that animals generally respond to human music with a total lack of interest. With this general rule in mind, Snowdon has worked with cellist and composer David Teie to compose music that is tailored to suit them."

Snowdon and Teie are currently working on composing music specifically for cats. The songs they have composed can be bought online at Music for Cats.

Maybe Finny and Samwise need some cat music to listen to. They certainly don't like our music!


Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Little Beggar

Most people think that dogs are the beggars of the domesticated pet world. Yes, dogs do have those large sad eyes, and can even be taught to beg for treats on command, but in my experience, cats are just as guilty of being little beggars to get whatever they want.

Exhibit A: Finnegan Chase.

Whenever I walk into the kitchen, he immediately begins to lace between my legs and cry for attention. He displays this frantic behavior usually before dinner, but he will beg for something to eat even after he's just finished a meal.

Doctors Foster and Smith explain to frustrated cat owners how to prevent cats begging during meal times. In their article, How to Deal with Cats that Beg, they state five ways to prevent cats from begging and to reduce begging behavior of it's already become a habit.

1. Make sure the cat has already been fed before you sit down to eat your meal.

2. Don't feed the cat from the table or any other eating areas.

3. Move the cat to a different place while you eat.

4. Don't leave food sitting out, even if it's wrapped.

5. Use a training device on the table to teach the cat that it is off limits. The article lists three Fosters and Smith training products that they suggest cat-owners use (X-Mats, Tattle Tale, and a Bridgeport Stoneware Feeder).

I think it's time for Finny Cease Begging Bootcamp, no? Gotta love the little beggar though.