Captain's Cabin

Pirate Lord of the Platinum Coast
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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Woofie Wednesday and Wrascally Wabbits

A couple of news stories today. The first one from Rueters, is about a dog who did his duty, even after being shot.

BERLIN – A dog in Germany shot by a drunken man with a gun took swift revenge by biting off the end of the man's nose, authorities said on Monday.

Police said the armed man was snooping at night in the yard of a house in Stadtlauringen in northern Bavaria when he shot the Bernese mountain dog from point-blank range.

Before collapsing, the dog leapt at the 39-year-old man and bit off the end of his nose, a local police spokesman said.

Bleeding profusely, the man called police and was taken for treatment in a nearby hospital. His motives for being in the yard were unclear, police said.

Doctors removed a bullet from the dog's shoulder and discharged [him] from a clinic after an operation lasting several hours.

Now that is what I would call a GOOD Dog! He probably deserves a whole box of treats. Do they have Temptations for woofies? If not, what kind of treats they get?

Meanwhile, in Rio Rancho New Mexico, the Associated Press reports that A New Mexico woman with an affinity for rabbits has run afoul of the law after her rascally pets started multiplying like, well, rabbits. Rio Rancho police said Monday that Nancy Haseman was cited under an ordinance that allows five pets per household after an animal control officer found 334 bunnies hopping around in her yard.

The officer spotted the animals last month after a neighbor complained about rabbits eating her garden.

Haseman says her husband rescued a rabbit 12 years ago after a neighbor abandoned it, then the couple began rescuing more bunnies.

She says they kept the males separate from the females, but the males hopped the fence and things got "out of control."

Haseman says the couple hoped to help the animals.

Rescue groups have found homes for about half the Haseman rabbits.

That's lot of eastern bunnies! What? They in the west? Oh well, then that a lot of western bunnies!

(When the western bunny come bring treats? No one tell me 'bout this before. Needs investigating!)

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Tail Talk Tuesday

Once again, I have more "tales" that people believe about cats. Are they true or not?

1. Cats should have a litter before they are spayed.

This is not true. Cats that have a litter before they are spayed are not better for it in any way. In fact, spayed cats are healthier and have eliminated the risk for life-threatening uterine infections.

2. Street cats are always healthier than purebred cats.

This is not true. Both purebred and "street" cats can be unhealthy. Both can have diseases, however, many mixed breed "domestic" cats do not have many of the genetic diseases common in purebred lines.

3. All cats prefer canned food.

Some cats do but some cats will only eat dry food. I purr-fur canned myself, and so does tabby brofur!

4. Cats cannot be trained.

This is not true. Cats are very smart and can be trained to do tricks.

If you do not believe me, watch this crew of performing cats down at sunset in Key West...

Not to mention, look at how well they have that human trained to do stupid tricks!

5. Cats like tasty food.

Cats have poor taste buds and eat primarily based on their sense of smell. Trust me, if we had good sense of taste, grooming would probably not be so pleasant for us!

6. Cats will let you know when they are sick.

This is not true. We generally are very good at hiding that we are sick. This is a survival instinct, as we do not wish appear vulnerable to "prey". Often by the time we show you that we are sick, our disease or condition is quite advanced.

7. Cats don't need heartworm prevention.

This is not true. Cats can get heartworm disease, even indoor cats. Heartworm disease is spread by mosquitoes, which can come inside.

8. Cats don't need litter box trained – they naturally know where to go.

There is a natural instinct for many cats; however, not all cats understand the litter box concept. Usually a mama cat will teach her kittens. A feral cat, that has never used litter box before, might need to be shown how to use it.

9. Cats are happier and healthier when they are outdoors.

This is not necessarily true. Many cats - myself included - are happy being outside at certain times, especially when the weather is good. However during bad weather – we would all prefer to be inside. But cats are defiantly usually not healthier when outdoors. The average lifespan of strictly outdoor cats is estimated to be approximately 1 year of age; indoor-outdoor cats about 3 – 6 years and indoor only cats have an average lifespan closer to 13 – 15 years.

I am indoor-outdoor cat but I am very street wise and and have lived much, much longer than average indoor-outdoor cat.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Florida Cat Killer Arrested, Charged

18 year old Tyler Hayes Weinman was arrested and charged with the killing mutilating of cats in two South Florida communities.

He is charged with 19 counts of animal cruelty and improperly disposing of an animal body and four counts of burglary related to the deaths.

The teen, whose parents are divorced, lived in both of the communities where the killing occurred. Evidence seized in the case includes the finding of cutting tools in his room, evidence of scratch marks on his body and the use of a tracking device on his car which puts him in a close proximity to the scene of many of the killings.

An arrest report shows Weinman was arrested for marijuana possession and driving with a suspended license on May 15 in a separate incident, just days after authorities said their investigation into the cat killings began. He was also twice arrested as a juvenile, but authorities have not released the details of those cases.

Some people feel he is innocent and is being railroaded by the police...but certainly, the fact that the killing were limited to the two communities in which he lived and occurred during the time he was living in each, is pretty damaging circumstantial evidence.

In most cases, the bodies of the cats were left in plain sight for their families to find - near their homes, on sidewalks, in the front yards, sometimes even on their doorsteps. Despite the arrest, there have two more kills and police suspect the teen may have an accomplice. As such, the evidence in the case has been sealed by court order.

One pet owner, Donna Gleason, said her family cat, Tommy, was "partially skinned" and left dead in her yard.

"Part of his skin was missing underneath ... and part of his legs," she said.

Cats are being urged to stay inside until the person or persons responsible are caught.

If convicted, Weinman could face a sentence of 158 years in prison, State Attorney's Office spokeswoman Terry Chavez said.

"The cat killings weren't something I expected of anyone who's sane," said friend Vincent Warger, 18. "With him he was a nice guy. He was friendly. It's such a violent thing. I just couldn't see it happening from him."

Many people said similar things of Ted Bundy, a serial killer who is well known for his vicious attacks on humans in Florida. It is often noted that serial killers get their start by inflicting pain and suffering on cats before they move on to bigger prey.

Experts say cruelty toward cats, as opposed to other animals, can fulfill a deeper need for control. Cats, unlike dogs, can be more difficult to control. They don't come when they're called and are often more independent, said Dr. Randall Lockwood of The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and author of "Forensic Investigation of Animal Cruelty."

Currently the teen is under house arrest after being fitted with an ankle bracelet for electronic monitoring.

The teens father maintains his son's innocence.

He also expressed his condolences to pet owners who lost their cats. "We are cat owners ourselves. We love our pets," he said.

"We certainly understand the grief that other cat owners are going through, and we sympathize with them, but it is not our son," he added.

"We've seen him play with our pets for years and he's a great kid and he plays with pets and he's fine with them," he said.

This is also seen in serial Killer cases. Bundy for example worked as a crisis center volunteer, and was known for being quite popular and charismatic.

I doubt the police would have arrested this individual without a body of evidence against him. Hopefully, the person or persons responsible for these crimes are caught and are taken out of society at large, before they can move to killing humans.

Kitten discovered in Boston mailbox

I do not think this is what was meant by International Cat in Box Day....

From the Associated Press News Services:

Kitten in Mailbox BOSTON – Officials said a two-pound, eight-week-old kitten was dropped in a public mailbox in Boston and later found unharmed among envelopes and packages. According to the MSPCA Animal Care and Adoption Center, the kitten they're calling "Postina" likely was stuffed Friday through a small opening of the mailbox and dropped several feet below.

A U.S. Postal Service letter carrier discovered Postina on Saturday during a scheduled afternoon pick-up.

The MSPCA is offering Postina for adoption after several days of nourishment and a round of vaccinations.

Animal abandonment in Massachusetts is punishable by up to a $2,500 fine and 5 years in prison.

The MSPCA said there has been a 48 percent increase in pet owners citing financial reasons for surrendering their pets.

It cute kitten. I very happy it not hurt after being stuffed in mail box. What if someone had drop package on its head?

Friday, June 19, 2009

Diamond in a Box

Boxed Diamond

Here I am in box. I do not sit in box much, would much rather be up high. Now, if you put box up high, that would good.

Boxed Diamond

Oh no...what is that tabby brofur of mine up to now. Must go see! Later!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Woofie Wednesday Freebie

For those of you that have Woofies, my bean have made a mini-kit that you can get for FREE on her blog. It is called Patriotic Pup and it is furry cute:

Patriotic Pup Registered & Protected

You don't really have to be a woofie though to enjoy the kit. Their are five papers with bone and paw print motif, and while the bones certainly are woofie oriented, the paw prints can be used with cat too. And there is Uncle Sam's Hat sticker you can put on to make yourself look patriotic!

And the best part is, my bean make nice fireworks that do not go BOOM! and hurt our ears.

You also get 3 ribbons and 3 bows, 2 frames, 2 "Fireworks" flowers, 1 star curtain, 5 stick pins, 2 fireworks, and a flag sticker and 4th of July sticker, plus the Uncle Sam's Hat and two patriotic pup stickers.

And it free - because America is Land of the Free - so you just need to download!

Just go to Digicats to get the freebie!

And if you get your bean to dress you up with it, let me know so that I can seeeeeeeeee!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Tail Talk Tuesay

Today, I want to talk to you about some old wives' tales about cats. At first this issue confuse me, because I do not know of any old wives having tails. Horns and cloven feet, yes, but not tails - barbed, bobbed, or otherwise.

But then my bean laugh and say no, no, not THOSE kind of tails! So then it make more sense!

There are countless theories and ideas out there on cats and cat care. What should you believe? Is it true or is it merely an old wives' tale that has mutated as it has been passed along?

Listed below are several common cat myths, old wives' tales, and legends and the truth or lack of truth they contain.

1. Cats can suck the breath from a baby. – NOT true! Cats have no intentions or ability to suck the breath from a baby or anyone else for that matter. You should, however, be cautious of allowing a pet to sleep with a small child, in case of other inadvertent injuries.

2. Pregnant women should not scoop the litter box. – This has a lot of truth, but there is NO need to get rid of your cat. Toxoplasmosis is a parasite that a cat can carry without showing signs. This parasite, which can be acquired by handling their feces, is a concern for pregnant women because it can be detrimental to a developing fetus. While it is best for someone other than the pregnant woman to scoop the litter box, it is generally safe if scooped at least once every 24 hours. Pregnant women must also be cautious of this parasite when gardening and handling raw meat. Wearing gloves is best.

3. Cats cause schizophrenia. – This is NOT true! Pets are actually very helpful to the mental health of humans.

4. Cats can see ghosts. – There is no scientific evidence of this. We do have keener eyesight than humans, so we probably see things they can't and they think we are reacting to seeing a ghost.

5. If you have multiple male cats, they will spray and mark. – This is possible, but not necessarily true. Male and sometimes even female cats living by themselves will mark. Neutering before sexual maturity is the best way to prevent marking behavior.

6. Milk is good for cats. – A cat eating a high-quality food should not need milk. Cow's milk contains more lactose than a cat can tolerate, and will often cause diarrhea. If you insist on drinking milk, milk made for cats, such as Catsip, is best for you.

So now you know the truth about these old wives tales. Please note that no old wives were harmed in the writing of this article.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Preventing Heat Stroke

Another problem you might run into in the summer is heat stroke.

Heat stroke is a condition arising from extremely high body temperature (rectal temperature of 105 to 110 degrees Fahrenheit), which leads to nervous system abnormalities (such as lethargy, weakness, collapse or coma). Abnormally high body temperature (also called hyperthermia) develops after increased muscular activity with impaired ability to give off heat due to high heat and humidity or respiratory obstruction.

It is more common in dogs but can occurs in cats as well.

First of all, no pet - dog or cat - should EVER be left in a car unattended. Temperatures in vehicles can quickly soar past 120 degrees and will kill you.

If you much be kept in a PTU for any length of time, make sure you are in a well ventilated area at all times and out of the direct sun. If your human is uncomfortable in an area or room, than you probably are too.

Also, make sure you always have access to plenty of fresh clean water.

I do not like these Drinkwell Drinking Fountains they sell, because I do not like running water, but some cats do. If you are interested, Click HERE for a special offer from Pet Product Advisor and save $15 on A Drinkwell 360!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Summer Skin Care

Did you know you can get sunburned? If left outdoors too long, especially white cats or hairless cats, sunburns can develop. If left untreated, serious skin damage can occur.

There are 3 types of sunburns that might affect you:

1. Superficial partial thickness burns are similar to first-degree burns. Only the top layer of skin is involved. The hair (if present) may still be attached to the skin. The skin appears red and no blisters are seen.

2. Deep partial thickness burns are similar to second-degree burns. The surface layer and some deeper layers of skin are involved. Unlike in humans, these burns infrequently have blisters. The skin is red and some layers of the skin may be exposed.

3. Full thickness burns are similar to third-degree burns. The burn extends through all layers of skin and may even include tissue beneath the skin. Immediately after the burn, the skin may look like leather or the surface of the burn may appear white.

As expected, sunburn occurs in the summer months when animals at risk spend prolonged time in the sun.

White cats, thinly haired breeds and Sphinx cats are primarily at risk.

If you suspect you have a sunburn, veterinary care is recommended.

The diagnosis of a sunburn is based on the time of year and possible prolonged exposure to the sun. The skin will have characteristic signs of a thermal burn.

Blood tests are not initially necessary to make a diagnosis. Depending on the severity of the burns, blood tests may be done later to determine your overall health.

Treatment of sunburn is based on the severity of the burn.

Superficial Partial Thickness

# For these burns, the hair is carefully shaved from the burned area in order to ease treatment and better monitor healing.
# The wound is gently cleaned with povidone iodine or chlorhexidine.
# Topical creams such as silver sulfadiazine are quite effective in burns.
# Most superficial partial thickness burns can be treated on an outpatient basis with the remainder of treatment and care done by your caregiver.

You will probably have to wear one of those nasty collars so you will not lick the effected area.

Deep Partial Thickness

# For these burns, hospitalization is necessary.
# Intravenous fluids are necessary to provide hydration and needed electrolytes.
# Daily wound cleaning with povidone iodine or chlorhexidine.
# Daily bandage changes.
# Topical cream such as silver sulfadiazine.
# If over 15 percent of the body is burned, skin grafts may eventually be required.

Home Care

Cats do not burn as easily as people. More damage may have occurred to the skin than you may be able to initially see, which is why you should seek veterinary Care. After diagnosis and initial treatment, daily treatment with wound cleaning and topical medication may be necessary.

Preventative Care

For cats at risk, apply sunscreen - yup just like a human - before spending time outdoors. As in humans, it is suspected that repeated sunburns may result in permanent skin damage and even possible skin cancer, especially in white cats.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Diamond on Safari

As you can see, I finally get my bean to make me new blog layout. She is very talented bean, but she have been furry busy of late.

She is now making these Digital Scrapbook designs such as the "Lion Hunt" kit she use to make this blog layout. In fact, she make this design.

AND there is good news! You can even get this "Lion Hunt" for free. But act quickly because it only free through June 14th. After that is goes in her store.

To get this kit, click on this link -->Lion Hunt Freebie.

Please note that this tagger sized kit which is good for making things on the internet and for smaller printing jobs, like making cards, up to 5' x 7".

Do not worry. The silly mane she put on me is not part of the kit, so you do not have to worry your humans put one on you. I even remind her that Lionesses do not have manes, but she ignore me.

I hope you like my new safari theme layout. Now this lioness is going to take cat nap. Hah!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

Miss Diamond

(Tag done using the All Decked Out taggers kit from Digicats. Alpha courtesy of Free Digital Scrapbooking.)

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Tail Talk Tuesday

Kitty Cats

Today, I'd like to take a minute to appreciate one of our most beautiful features.... the Tail!

Your tail can vary in position from a graceful swirl around you as you sleep, an elegant lazy feather that floats behind you as you walk, or a perky straight antennae as you run to something with interest. It can also be a thrashing missile as you swish it back and forth.

Your tail is actually pretty amazing. Did you know that about 10 percent of your bones are located in your tail? That is right - up to 20 vertebrae! The vertebrae are enclosed by muscles that allow finely graded movements that lift the tail, move it from side to side, lower it or curl it around the body. Interestingly, the domestic cat is the only cat species able to hold their tail vertically while walking.

Like the cat, many animals use their tails to communicate with other animals. For example, the position of a wolf's tail can tell what kind of a mood he's in. A confident wolf holds her tail up high, and a frightened wolf holds her tail between her legs; a white-tailed deer shows alarm by flicking her tail; and horses flatten their tails between their legs when frightened and lash them back and forth when they are irritated or annoyed.

Likewise, your tail is a barometer of your feelings. A high vertical tail is a sign of happiness. If that high tail quivers from the base up, it indicates that you are really happy and excited. If that tail goes in the opposite direction and is tucked between the legs, then you are afraid or trying to avoid a confrontation.

Wagging your tail means various things, each wag is slightly different. Broad wagging, even whopping, indicates annoyance. You may be curled up next to your human enjoying a nice petting session when suddenly you decides that you've had enough. You will signal this to your human by swishing your tail up and down or its tip from side-to-side. If the human misses the signal, then you may bat at them with your paw, or worse, put the bitey on them, to make your point.

If you're really agitated, you will wag your tail rapidly back and forth from the base. This is a threatening signal to warn other cats (and humans) to back off. On the other hand, a tail that waves back and forth slowly and gently indicates that you're relaxed and happy.

Dogs are different of course, they wave their tails vigorously when they are happy, and slowly when they are tentative about something. No wonder it is so hard to get used to a woofie! We don't speak the same language!

Your may swish your tail when you're in hunting mode. By swishing your tail, you are trying to mesmerize your prey. Since you can't see your prey if it becomes still - our eye sight is geared to notice things in motion -- moving your tail initiates the slightest movement of your target, which you can then see. Mother cats train their kittens in the fine art of hunting by twitching the tips of their tails to provoke playful attacks.

Then there's that little tail flick, which involves just a quick movement of the tail. You may be resting at the foot of your bed and your human says your name and there it is - a little flick. Your eyes are closed and you appears to be sleeping, but you hear your name again, and there it is again – a little flick. That is to let the human know you hear them, even though you're pretending you doesn't. This is a movement of happiness and contentment. It means you trust your human enough to remain sleeping in their presence – and in our own way, we're letting the humans know that we hear them and that all is well.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Myth Monday - The Big Kahuna

Beach Blanket Bingo

Kahuna is a Hawaiian word, defined in the Pukui & Elbert (1986) as a "Priest, sorcerer, magician, wizard, minister, expert in any profession."

I am Cat Kahuna - Best of Cat Profession. At least in this house I am!

Forty different types of kahuna are listed in the book, Tales from the Night Rainbow. Kamakau lists more than 20 in the healing professions alone, including for example Kahuna la'au lapa'au, an expert in herbal medicine and kahuna haha, an expert in diagnosing illnesses.

With the revival of the Hawaiian culture beginning in the 1970s, some native Hawaiian cultural practitioners call themselves kahuna today. Others, particularly devout Christians, disdain the term. The word has been given an esoteric or secret meaning by modern followers of Max Freedom Long and Huna to emphasis a priestly or shamanic standing.

Many myths have grown up around kahuna. One is that kahuna were outlawed after the white man came to Hawaii. For the purpose of this discussion, it is useful to divide kahuna into 3 categories: "craft" kahuna, such as kalai wa'a, an expert canoe maker, and ho'okele, an expert navigator; "sorcerers" including kahuna 'ana'ana; and healers. Craft kahuna were never prohibited; however, during the decline of native Hawaiian culture many died out and did not pass on their wisdom to new students. As an example, when the Hōkūle‘a was built to be sailed to the South Pacific to prove the voyaging capabilities of the ancient Hawaiians, master navigator Mau Piailug from Satawal was brought to Hawaii to teach the Hawaiians navigation, as no Hawaiians could be found who still had this knowledge.

It is often said that the missionaries came to Hawaii in 1820 and made kahuna practices illegal. In the 100 years after the missionaries arrived, all kahuna practices were legal until 1831, some were illegal until 1863, all were legal until 1887, then some illegal until 1919. Since 1919, all have been legal, except sorcery which was decriminalized in 1972.

The first Christian missionaries arrived in 1820. The most powerful person in the nation, Ka‘ahumanu, did not convert until 1825. But it was not until 11 years after missionaries arrived that she proclaimed laws against hula, chant, ‘awa (kava), and Hawaiian religion.

As both healing and sorcery were based in prayer to the ancient gods, the kāhuna went underground for the next 30 years. During that same time, as a result of the high death rate among Hawaiians from introduced diseases, some died before they were able to pass on their wisdom. But many others quietly kept the traditions alive within their families.

King Kamehameha V came to power in 1863. He disdained the law and encouraged the revival of native practices. Many kahuna who had been quietly practicing came forward. On Maui, a group of eight Hawaiians founded the 'Ahahui La'au Lapa'au in 1866. They were not only kahuna, several were also members of the Hawaii Legislature. They interviewed twenty-one kahuna to compile a complete resource of prayers and remedies for the Legislative record. (These interviews have been republished in the book, Must We Wait in Despair? by Malcolm Naea Chun.)

In response to this and other initiatives, in 1868 the Legislature established a Hawaiian Board of Health to license kahuna la'au lapa'au. Kahuna practices including lomilomi massage and la'au kahea healing remained legal for the next twenty years. But the following year, "sorcery" was made illegal, and it remained illegal until 1972.

Both Kamehameha V and his successor, King Kalakaua, invited kahuna to come to Honolulu to share their wisdom. They compiled oral and written histories and documented the prayers, chants, hulas, and remedies for healings. Kalakaua convened groups of kahuna to consult with each other to preserve their heritage. This and many other moves by Kalakaua outraged the Christian residents. In 1887 they forced the “Bayonet Constitution” upon the King. The Legislature outlawed all kahuna practices, including "praying to cure," a law in effect for the next thirty-two years.

In 1919 the Legislature passed a law once again licensing kahuna la'au lapa'au to practice, and since then it has been legal to practice herbal medicine. The Legislature repealed the anti-sorcery laws in 1972 (well before the federal government’s Native American Religious Freedoms Act of 1979) and since then all forms of practice are legal.

In 2001, a licensing law was put in place which allows native practitioners to be certified by Papa Ola Lokahi and the community health centers (not the State). Some have come forward to be licensed, while others refuse to participate in what they see as fundamentally a Western process.

While all this legal maneuvering has been going on, many traditional practitioners have continued to practice as they and their ancestors have always done.

Let's Go Surfin' Now

The use of the term in reference to surfing can be traced back to the 1959 film Gidget, in which "The Big Kahuna", played by Cliff Robertson, was the leader of a group of surfers. The term then became commonplace in Beach Party films of the 1960s such as Beach Blanket Bingo, where the "Big Kahuna" was the best surfer on the beach. Eventually, it was adopted into general surfing culture. Hawaiian surfing master Duke Kahanamoku may have been referred to as the "Big Kahuna" but rejected the term as he knew the true meaning of the word.