Healing Paws

What does a cat from Poland, Russia and Denver have in common? All three happen to be known for helping their fellow four-legged friends.

Rademenesa is known as the nurse cat of Bydgoszcz, Poland. He had come into the animal clinic with an inflamed respiratory tract, from which was thought he wouldn’t recover. However, the vet nursed him back to health and that’s when the clinic noticed something amazing.

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Image – Rademenes on Facebook @Rademenes.CatNurse

He returned the favor and began to comfort, cuddle and even massage other patients in the clinic. Rademenesa became the official, well-loved, full-time clinic nurse and mascot.

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Image – Rademenes on Facebook @Rademenes.CatNurse

Rademenesa made news around the world but he hasn’t let fame go to his head, he still practices his healing magic with great love on the animals at the clinic. For updates on him and his latest ‘patients’ be sure to follow him on Facebook.

Black cats seem to have a knack for this, and the next cat is no exception. Lyutsik the disabled cat who hails from Perm, Russia came into the clinic as a kitten after having been found with a damaged spine and, although his back legs are paralyzed he proved that his disability wouldn’t stop him from helping other animals.

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ImagePK Perm

Смотрите, кто приходил в гости к Люцику- это самый известный в Перми чихуахуа Чарли @charli_perm. Если вы помните, Чарли лечился у нас с грыжей в позвоночнике, был прооперирован, восстановился, и теперь уже Чарли себя великолепно чувствует. Люцик позавидовал Чарли, что у него много нарядов от пуховика до свитеров и предпочел оставаться в стороне🐒😜 Добавляйтесь к @charli_perm , следите за его жизнью и ловите завтра #языкповторникам. Look , whom met Lucik in the last week! It is our patient who had similar problem with the spine. In one day he stoped to walk. After operation and a lot of care from his parents, he is good again! Lucik was envy of clothes of Charly because he has a lot of different coats and t-shirts, and Lucik decided stay behind without big interest. Add Charli @charli_perm and look at his style🐶🐶👕👟 #люцикклиникаклык #чихуахуа #пермь#ветеринарнаяклиника

A post shared by Клиника Клык🐾Пермь (@klykperm) on

Lyutsik has also been a blood donor and knows exactly who needs extra TLC standing by while they get injections and cuddling and purring to help patients heal.

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ImagePK Perm

Lyutsik is adored by staff who are inspired by his compassion, resilience and joy he brings to all the people and animals around him. He can be followed on the clinic’s Instagram page Klykperm.

Last but certainly not least is a handsome orange tabby named Ron who came to the Northfield Veterinary Hospital in Denver as a kitten from a feral cat colony and soon started comforting new, scared and sick animals. Ron’s skills made local news when he managed tame a large cat that was labeled too aggressive. Ron apparently sat on the cats carrier and in minutes had the cat purring and playing.

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Image – Northfield Veterinary Hospital

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Image –  Northfield Veterinary Hospital

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Image – Northfield Veterinary Hospital

Ron’s story was shared early this year, but it looks like he may be officially retired from his cat nurse duties at the clinic. Northfield Veterinary Hospital recently posted a picture on their Facebook page in February showing Ron happily adopted and settled into his forever home.

It is clear that the healing abilities of cats extend beyond that of helping humans, and their healing paws seem to be just what the doctor ordered.

Build it and they will Climb

Some lucky cats in Pittsburgh are about to get the ultimate cat fort. The Epic Cat Fort which is planned to be completed in March this year, and housed in the formerly abandoned St. Clements Church and school in Tarentum, will be over “40 feet by 80 feet” and consist of connecting catwalks. The fort is only a temporary exhibit, but for a short time it will be every cats dream and serve the purpose of showcasing adoptable cats from Animal Friends, a local animal rescue league.

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Build it and they will climb – Image: Phillip Rhodes

Cat lover and creator, Phillip Rhodes, is looking for help from volunteers, artists and sponsors to help complete the project which is set to be unveiled on March 10. If you lack the technical skills don’t worry you can always sign up for litter box patrol!

The Epic Cat Fort is also an event for the community, but people are asked to leave their cats at home. For more details on the event and how you can get involved be sure to check out their site here.

When The Vikings Came

Shrouded in myth, the Vikings have been regarded as both explorers and warriors but, much of what we know about them has changed including the role they played in helping  our four-legged feline friends make their way around the world.

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Recent studies into ancient cat DNA has revealed that domestic cats hitched a ride on Viking boats  (Photo: Shutterstock) Image ScienceNordic

Researchers actually know very little about how cats were ‘domesticated’ so the first large-scale study of ancient feline DNA presented this past September in the UK is a big first step towards understanding how our beloved house cats came to be. Eva-Maria Geigl, an evolutionary geneticist at the Institut Jacques Monod in Paris, and her colleagues analyzed mitochondrial DNA from the remains of 209 cats that lived between about 15,000 years ago and the eighteenth century AD, from more than 30 archaeological sites across Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

The first wave of cat expansion is something that most are familiar with – wild cats from the Middle East moved with early farming communities to the fertile Eastern Mediterranean. The cats were attracted by the rodents, who were attracted by the grains being stored by the farmers, and humans seeing the benefits they provided decided to keep the cats around. The discovery of a 9,500 year-old grave in Cyprus containing a cat buried with a human, suggests that the connection between felines and humans go as far back as 12,000 years.

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(Upper right) A human skeleton in Cyprus in a 9,500-year-old grave. Inches away, a cat was carefully buried, as seen in the lower section of the image.  Image – NBC News

During the second wave of expansion thousands of years later, cats descended from those in Egypt (It is generally thought that Ancient Egyptians tamed wild cats about 6,000 years ago) quickly spread throughout Eurasia and Africa. “A mitochondrial lineage common in Egyptian cat mummies from the end of the fourth century BC to the fourth century AD was also carried by cats in Bulgaria, Turkey and sub-Saharan Africa from around the same time.” It is very likely that sea-faring people like the Vikings kept cats on board their boats to help keep the rodent population down said researchers, who also discovered cat remains, with the same maternal DNA lineage present in the Egyptian cat mummies, at a Viking site in northern Germany dating to between the eighth and eleventh century AD.

Upon seeing the results of the first large-scale study of ancient feline DNA at the conference, Population Geneticist Pontus Skoglund from Harvard Medical School told Nature that he “didn’t even know there were Viking cats.” However, according to conservator Kristian Gregersen from the Natural History Museum of Denmark, the Vikings most certainly had domestic cats and that “people commonly wore cat skins by the late Viking Age.”

Interestingly this evidence seems to support the theory that two very popular and robust breeds the Maine Coon and the Norwegian Forest Cat, could have been brought to America and elsewhere by the Vikings. If you are wondering what that journey may have looked like be sure to click on the link or image below to check out this awesome, we wish it were real, flash-video by Joel Veitch.

VIKING KITTENS – by Joel

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Left or Right?

Here is a fun experiment that you can do at home which will determine whether your cat is left or right handed…or pawed. Just like humans cats tend to favor either the right or the left and, the more complex a task the more prevalent the favored paw becomes.

To perform this at home you will need treats, a glass and a willing cat. Maru and his sister Hana demonstrate in their video how to carry out the experiment.

In case you were wondering a genuine, controlled experiment by real scientists was carried out and they found that out of 42 cats studied preference was linked to gender “females had a greater preference for using their right paw; males were more inclined to adopt their left paw.” Some cats were even shown to be ambidextrous, switching from paw to paw, when the task was repeated over a few times. Besides the treat jar test they had the cats reach for a toy suspended overhead as well as moving along the ground.

Do try this at  home I tried this with Spinner, see video below, who used his right paw on all attempts, after he tried to stick his head in the glass. He clearly favors his right not even attempting to lift his left which is not quit in line with the study. However, I am not sure if right pawed male cats are more prevalent outside of the original study group or, that it has something specifically to do with the fact that Spinners has Vestibular Syndrome.

If you try this at home please leave a comment below letting me know the gender of your cat and outcome of the test.

Important Cat Jobs

This is why your cat sleeps so much. They are busy, very busy.

Tunnel Vision

With my planned post still evolving, and because it’s on the more serious side, I decided to get side tracked with this.

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Ozzy is an 8-year-old tom cat from Scotland – All Images itv.com Credit: SWNS

Ozzy got his unique condition after falling from a windowsill and hitting his head as a kitten. He is kept safely indoors but apparently sneaks out…and then can’t find his way back. Ian and Evelyn McDougall, aged 57 and 61, took Ozzy in after his accident and were taken by his resemblance to the hypnotized panther Baghera from Disney’s Jungle Book.

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Image itv.com Credit: SWNS

Owner Ian McDougall tells itv.com they took him in because he was the runt of the litter and they figured he has tunnel vision “he can look at one bit and then it’s a bit further away. It’s very comical when he’s chasing a fly. He’s got real character about him.”

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Owner Ian with Ozzy – Image itv.com Credit: SWNS

“He’s a bit daft at times but he is very friendly. The condition doesn’t hinder him in the house, he’s used to the house. He’s definitely a house cat.”

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Once home Ozzy started sleeping in their bed – Image itv.com Credit: SWNS

In June Ozzy got out unseen through an open door behind the owners son and was later discovered under a parked car. Ozzy was brought in to the ScottishSPCA frightened and suffering from some minor injuries to his neck but was cleaned up and treated. His owners were very relieved to spot him on the SSPCA Facebook page and bring him home. Apparently this wasn’t Ozzy’s first escape attempt, but it will hopefully be his last as he is reportedly now under even stricter house arrest for his own safety.

Cool Cats

Looking for a way of keeping your cats hydrated and cool in the summer? How about a DIY giant ice ball…with a happy face. From the same household who brought us cats enjoying a grid of boxes comes 10 Cats to Enjoy Ice Ball.

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Cool project…cool cats