The first evidence of companion cats comes from the island of Cyprus about 7,500 years BCE (Before the Common Era). This island is somewhat unique because even when water levels around the globe changed dramatically a land bridge to any continent never existed on the island. Thus, the only animals that lived on Cyprus came there by either swimming or flying. Given that cats are mostly loathe to swim in salt water, the only way cats got there was on ships, likely Phoenician ones. These ships were quite small, making cat stowaways unlikely.
Last week, the people who work here in Portland with me thought I had lost my mind. A client came in to ask for help placing a pregnant queen that she had found in her backyard. After concluding that she was quite healthy, FELV/FIV negative and very sweet, I ultrasounded her and found 5 kittens maturing normally.
Cats sleep unlike people and dogs. It may look as if they are fast asleep but the tiniest sound will rouse them to complete alertness. After about 10-30 minutes of this semi-sleep, they will fall more deeply asleep called paradoxical sleep because the brain waves during this time are oddly more like wakefulness. These 2 different patterns of sleep will alternate if sleep persists.
Portland, OR (April 7, 2016) – Cat Hospital of Portland and Portland’s Animal Rescue & Care Fund (ARCF) are partnering to present “Art From the Heart.” For the month of April, Cat Hospital of Portland will be holding a silent auction with artwork donated by local artists to raise money for ARCF and their very special rescue kitty, “Bronco Billy” who needs surgery. The “pawsitively” fun closing reception will be held at Cat Hospital of Portland on Friday May 6 from 6pm to 8pm-- wine and hors d’oeuvres will be served.
Thursday, October 29 is National Cat Day. Founded in 2005, National Cat Day was created to bring attention to the number of cats that are in need of adoption. Estimates reveal that there are approximately 4 million cats entering shelters every year with 1-2 million being euthanized. Often cats are overlooked and under-appreciated because they don’t usually have jobs like dogs. But cats still lower blood pressure, offer unconditional love and companionship, tons of laughs and alert their owner to danger. Many cats have been named heroes.
My 20 year old Woody has gotten pretty creaky in the last few years. He has arthritis. But he gets around with the help of some special arrangements, supplements and pain medication. He still jumps in my lap and onto the bath tub. Lots of our older cats have aches and pains and you can help them have a more comfortable time enjoying their older years. If you use words like “my cat’s just acting her age,” or “my cat has just been slowing down,” you are probably recognizing your cat doesn’t feel great. We don’t slow down or change what we do because we’re old, we change these things because it’s painful or uncomfortable doing them.
No matter if you live in Portland, OR or anywhere else in the USA, there are perils outdoors for your beloved kitties. In our urban setting, it’s obvious; cars, neighborhood cats, and feral cats. Out in the countryside, it’s coyotes, other wild animals including mountain lions, and often people with weapons. The problem with living indoors is often there’s nothing to do when you are a natural born hunter. Boredom is boredom no matter what species you are. Having nothing to do is a form of stress that we cat owners must be sure to prevent.
When I play with my cat Bo’s feet, he gets quite irritated with me. I didn’t adopt him until he was six years old so I wasn’t able to teach him to let me touch his feet. The pads of the front feet are rich with sensory receptors. The front cat paws are used in and hunting and manipulating food so need to be very sensitive. Between the pads there are the highest densities of nerve endings in the whole body. They produce tremendous sensitivity to speed and direction of movement across the pad.
Last year, a skinny old cat turned up one morning at our feline veterinary hospital. We are on a busy Portland street so it seemed like a particularly perilous journey. We brought her in and had a look. She wasn’t wearing a collar but looked clean and well cared for. She was quite sweet. We scanned her for a microchip and thankfully found one. The mystery grew deeper when her owner and address were in Washington DC.
By the time a cat is one year old, he has aged to 24 human years. Imagine if you were 24 years old and had never been to a doctor or dentist. Among other things, you would never have been able to go to school because you had not been vaccinated. Unless you were very lucky the condition of your teeth would likely be poor. You might be fat if your mom didn’t know how to feed you properly when you were very young. Measles, chickenpox, and whooping cough would likely have made you quite ill.