Tar on my cat paws
I came home today with tar on my paws. Mama panicked in case they were burnt too.
It was thick, black, sticky, stinky and matted into my fur. Mama held me and dipped my paws into vegetable oil right away as this is supposed to soften the tar.
She was able to get a big lump of it off, but holding me in one arm and trying to clean me wiv the other hand was proving too difficult, if not impossible.
Help from Nan.
So, Mama phoned the Nan (not on da banana fone). Mama wrapped me in a blanket and Nan soaked my paws in oil and used a Qtip to get in between my pads.
I was very good (mostly). After they cleaned what they could, the next stage was to cut off the fur that was really caked in the awful tar.
Nan was worried about which was fur and which was paw, so I shut my eyes and hoped for the best. It was okay she didn’t hurt me at all.
The final clean up
After all this they scrubbed my paws with washing up liquid and then rinsed with lots and lots of warm water.
Mama was much calmer at this point as she could see I had not burnt or hurt my paws.
I was a bit of a mess though! I had streaks of oil in my fur and loads of wet patches. I looked a bit pitiful Mama thought.
Because I was so good and let mama hold me in the blanket, and let the Nan clean me up without biting or scratching I got a big bowl of tuna.
What happens next?
I’m grounded because no-one knows where the tar was from. Mama says tar is really toxic for cats and we mustn’t be allowed to lick it.
If it hadn’t of come off Mama would have had to cover my paws with something. That would have been trouble so we are all glad it got sorted out.
Can cats and dogs predict earthquakes and other extreme weather events?
Charlie thinks “Yes, cats and dogs can predict earthquakes”
Many owners and some scientists believe that yes, animals do sense changes before an earthquake or extreme weather event.
Animals are more sensitive to electro-magnetic changes in the earth.
Animals may detect high-frequency sounds that are emitted prior to earthquakes and tsunamis.
Animals have been observed to flee before the extreme weather events occur.
According to The Daily Mail (article by Sarah Griffiths) March 2015 ‘animals can predict earthquakes’.
Griffiths states that:
- Animals CAN predict earthquakes: Scientists document behavioural changes with seismic activity.
- Scientists filmed the behaviour of animals in Peru before an earthquake and found that many fled to lower ground and holed up days before the event.
- Expert from Anglia Ruskin University said rodents are extra sensitive.
- Study suggests animals respond to disturbances in the ionosphere.
- Positive ions in the air lead to disagreeable side effects in animals.
Can cats and other animals predict earthquakes? The earliest reference of unusual animal behaviour before earthquakes.
There is anecdotal evidence of unusual or bizarre behaviour by animals before an earthquake that dates back to 373 BCE in Greece. (According to the US Geological Survey)
The Greeks observed that rats fled from the city of Helice days before the major earthquake struck.
Animal Planet documents theories about how cats and other animals might sense these impending seismic shifts, including the ability to detect the vibrations that occur before an earthquake, known as primary waves (P waves).
What do cats, dogs and other animals sense before earthquakes, tsunamis and extreme weather events?
Cats and other animals are more sensitive to earthquake-related electromagnetic field variations.
Dogs have extraordinary hearing and some scientists think that dogs flee from extreme weather events because they can hear the high-frequency sounds that are caused by earthquakes.
Dogs and other animals survived a Tsunami by fleeing before the event.
Why do pets show seemingly bizarre behaviour before earthquakes and extreme weather events?
These behaviours are driven by fear and are part of your pets’ natural survival instincts.
Cats and dogs may start exhibiting odd behaviours anywhere from weeks to seconds before an earthquake hits. Scientists question as to whether this behaviour is due to the weather events or other circumstances.
Pet owners’ may be certain themselves that their cat or dog was displaying very unusual behaviours not normally seen.
The National Geographic reports that “Sheldrake did his own study looking at animal reactions before major tremors, including the Northridge, California, quake in 1994, and the Greek and Turkish quakes in 1999.
In all cases, he said, there were reports of peculiar behaviour beforehand, including dogs howling in the night mysteriously, caged birds becoming restless, and cats behaving nervously, vocalising and hiding.”
Japan and the study of whether cats and fish can predict earthquakes
Japan is one of the world’s most earthquake-prone countries. The devastation has caused the loss of many lives and left enormous damage to property. Researchers in Japan have studied animals for a long time to try to discover what they hear or feel before the Earth shakes. They hope to use this knowledge to help predict earthquakes in the future.
Mitsuaki Ota, a professor of veterinary science at Azabu University states that “Electromagnetic waves are emitted before an earthquake happens. Animals have the ability to detect these electromagnetic waves,” Ota says. “Actually, the Thais showed that after last year’s Indian Ocean tsunami caused by an earthquake off the coast of Sumatra that not a single animal was killed by the wave. The only answer I can offer for that is that the animals detected the earthquake and then fled to safety.”
Companion Animal psychology has an article discussing animals and the prediction of earthquakes in Japan. They document that “Japanese scientists Hiroyuki Yamauchi et al (2014) conducted an internet survey of pet owners. As well as obtaining demographic information about pets, they asked about any unusual behaviour exhibited in the minutes, hours and days prior to the earthquake. The checklist included things like howling and barking (for dogs), vocalizing (for cats), trembling, being restless, and escaping.
Of those who reported unusual behaviours in dogs, they were most commonly observed immediately prior to the earthquake, in the seconds and minutes before it hit (60% of cases). 16.7% said it happened from 1 to a few hours before. In cats with unusual behaviour, 44.6% showed it immediately prior and 30.4% in the few hours before the earthquake. Some owners reported changes 6 or more days before (6.3% of dogs and 2.9% of cats with unusual behaviour).”
The Japanese continue their studies in the hope that our pets may help us to predict future earthquakes, tsunamis and extreme weather events and in doing so, saves lives.
Yamauchi, H., Uchiyama, H., Ohtani, N., & Ohta, M. (4). Unusual animal behaviour preceding the 2011 earthquake off the Pacific coast of Tohoku, Japan: A way to predict the approach of large earthquakes Animals, 131-145
Kirschvink, Joseph L. (2000). Earthquake Prediction by Animals: Evolution and Sensory Perception, Bull. Seism. Soc. Am., 90, pp. 312-323.
Quammen, D. (1985). Animals and earthquakes: This World, San Francisco Chronicle, April 21, p. 15-16.
Schaal, Rand B. (1988). An Evaluation of the Animal Behaviour Theory for Earthquake Prediction, California Geology, v41, n2.
Charlie ShortTails’s brother ‘Lando Enzo’
This is my very special brother ‘Lando Enzo’.
He is older than me and a clever cat. Lando is a tabby with spots that turn into stripes.
Lando loves to patrol the garden and no other cats are allowed into our patch.
He thinks he is special forces cat with ninja skills! He practises with his favourite toy smelly mouse.
Lando likes to stage watch from the window seat; this is also next to the radiator!
Lando is a very neat cat and is never seen with a muddy paw or face.
Why do female cats screech during mating?
It is well observed that the female cat will scream, screech or become very aggressive during or just after mating with the tom cat.
The reason for this aggressive behaviour is that the tom cat’s penis has little barbs or spines on it.
When the penis is inserted the spines lay flat, but when withdrawing the penis, the spines cause a raking action on the female’s cat’s vagina, causing pain, and so the female reacts by attacking the male.
Why does the tom cat’s penis have spines?
Female (virgin) cats who have not mated do not ovulate. The pain caused the first time the female cat mates causes shock, initiating the ovulation cycle (this will take a little over 24 hours to actually begin).
The female is then ‘on intense heat’ for around 3 days. A queen may mate as quickly as 30 minutes after the first copulation.
This all explains why the female cat is so angry and tries to swipe the male, and also why the male has to be very careful not to get injured -hence why he holds the female by the neck.
Origins of the Abyssinian Cat – breed history
Abyssinian cats are thought to have been the direct descendants of the scared Temple cats of ancient Egypt.
Modern cats have been compared to the mummified remains of cats from the tombs and also to the painted frescoes in the tombs and the evidence seems to support this belief.
Soldiers are said to have brought over the cats to Great Britain in the 1860’s on returning from Abyssinia; the popularity of the breed grew quickly.
During the two world wars lack of suitable food and feline leukaemia reduced the numbers severely in the UK.
Abyssinian cats are particularly popular in the United States.
Characteristics of the Abyssinian cat
Abyssinian cats have a long, lithe and slender and natural cat body shape.
They have large, very beautiful eyes which are almond-shaped, in a clear deep shade of amber, green or hazel.
The ears are prominent, erect and set wide apart, well cupped, and furry on their inner edges; ear tufts are desirable.
The tail is long and tapered and the paws are egg-shaped, the head is rounded with medium sized nose. Abyssinans are beautiful and regal cats.
The cats have a rich, golden brown coat (known as ‘usuals’) with a dark brown or black ticking; the tip of the tail is also dark brown or black, the hind legs also being darker, the paw pads are black.
Abyssinians may also have a ruddy, red or blue tinged coat.
In more recent years many other new colours have been introduced to the breed. These include fawn, chocolate, lilac, sex-linked red and cream, many new silver combinations, and even torties, although at present most of these do not have Championship status.
Common faults in the breed include: stocky body, spots and markings on the body and white upon the neck.
Personality of Abyssinian cats
Intelligent, gentle, inquisitive, very active and agile these cats make lovely companions.
Abyssinians often attach themselves to one member of the family and may take more time than some cats to form bonds with people.
They need a lot of stimulation and benefit from daily play and access to the outdoors. The cats love to climb and need to be able to jump and play; they need attention and may become sullen if they feel neglected.
Care of Abyssinian cats
Daily grooming i.e. rubbing the coat with a gloved hand should be sufficeint.
Pregnant females may need additional care as they remain very active; a litter of three to four kittens is usual. The kittens start life with darker markings which disappear after a few months.