Our Cats Shop

Cat Chat
By Chris Stalker V.N.

No news is good news?

I am beginning to wonder where the readers of OUR CATS have gone to as I write this latest offering of ‘Cat Chat’… I first began writing this Cat Chat column after I left OUR CATS in January 2006.

My vision for the column was that you – my fellow readers and exhibitors – would send in your contributions.

Over the past fifteen months or so, a small handful of subscribers have sent in their poems, stories, photos and news but recently, there has been a definite dearth of any communications arriving in my email inbox or falling through the letterbox!

Hence, I find myself scouring the Internet to bring you some ‘Cat Chat’ – much of which is news from the USA.

So, I would like to remind you that your contributions are very welcome – just get in touch! Please write c/o OUR CATS or email catnewsreporter@yahoo.co.uk

A cemetery for all the family!

The Calumet Park Cemetery in Merrillville, USA, will open a new section this spring where people and their pets can be buried in the same plots, said cemetery marketing director Rob Vogel.

Cat Radio may have to close

I wrote about the Cat Galaxy radio station in this column last year and was surprised to see a piece about it on the ‘ClickPress’ website on Sunday, March 25, 2007.

According to ClickPress, the Cat Galaxy, like many internet radio stations, will be waiting to see if the Copyright Royalty Board will be granting a re-hearing over a new royalty rate passed earlier this month.

The new rate set the minimum fee for non-commercial internet radio at $500 per channel per month, thus accepting the proposals of the RIAA-backed SoundExchange, a non-profit organisation that collects royalties for record labels and artists.

This decision could put an end to many internet radio stations as the new rate is well over 100% of even the most successful internet radio station’s revenue. For more information about Cat Galaxy visit their website at www.catgalaxymedia.com

Recalled pet food in USA

Several brands of pet food have been recalled in the USA amid fears of possible contamination. One report states that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has received more than 8,000 complaints to date. Many of the recalled products are being linked to gluten from China, which is a fragmented form of a grain.

Mistaken identity

I was saddened to read reports in several local newspapers about a cat that had been adopted from the Leigh Animal Sanctuary (now re-named Leigh Cats and Dogs’ Home following an investigation by the Charity Commission). The cat concerned, said to be a neutered male, was adopted by a gentleman called Paul Bennett.

Some weeks later Mr Bennett took the cat (now called Gadget) to the vets when its stomach became swollen, fearing it was sick, only to be told “he” was actually a “she” – and that his cat was pregnant. The 38-year-old insurance company manager sued the sanctuary’s boss, Linda Buxton, in the small claims court following the blunder.

Mr Bennett rang LAS to complain and then decided to take them to court to claim £144 compensation to cover the cost of the ultrasound and ten weeks of food and cat litter for the kittens. Altrincham County Court ruled in favour of Mr Bennett and Linda Buxton was forced to pay up.

This case of mistaken identity i.e. wrongly sexing a cat, was an unfortunate and costly error. However, I wondered if Mr Bennett had had a different job, would the case have come to court?

More cats than dogs?

Here’s a riddle for you: How is it that more families have dogs than have cats, but cats outnumber dogs as pets? The answer: Many families have more than one cat.

According to the American Pet Products Manufacturers Association, 41 per cent of U.S. households recently reported having at least one dog, while cats ruled in 35 per cent of households. Some families, of course, have both. But cats were by far the most popular pet, according to the same trade group, which reported recent figures of 78 million pet cats to 65 million pet dogs.

Paws in stripes!

Finally, a story from an online newspaper, the timesargus.com, caught my eye:

Six months ago a new programme designed to help both humans and pets was introduced in the USA’s Maine Correctional Centre. The Paws in Stripes programme places puppies and kittens with inmates for rehabilitation. “It takes the jail out of jail,” said Duncan, one of the inmates, who is serving a seven-year sentence for burglary.

Paws in Stripes is a partnership between the Animal Refuge League and the Maine Correctional Centre, with prisoners playing a major role in socializing kittens and puppies from the shelter. Susan Britt, director of the animal shelter, said she expected there would be tricky details to work out when the programme started in October, but that the concept seems to be working well for both the inmates and the animals.

Most animals stay a little more than a month until the shelter has space or finds them permanent homes.

Similar programmes are being applauded around the country as good for the animals and the inmates. “It gives them a living entity to interact with that cares for them. Perhaps they haven’t had that in their lives,” said David Frie of Delta Society, a national group that supports the therapeutic use of animals. “We know instinctively that when you interact with a dog or cat, you feel better. It changes the energy in the room.”