Friday, August 1, 2008


You know your cat has a drinking problem when he won't drink out of his water bowl unless there's an olive in it! Actually, cats who are party animals generally prefer beer, and beer swilling among cats may be so prevalent -- although rarely discussed -- that for many years, there's been a law on the books in Natchez, Mississippi, forbidding cats from drinking beer!

"There's evidence that some animals have the urge to be intoxicated. Humans are not the only ones," says Dr. Mike Richards, formerly the head of AOL's Pet Care Forum and now co-owner of Mathews Veterinary Services in Cobbs Creek, Virginia.

"I always thought if animals had access to alcohol, there would be a lot more problems than there are," says Richards.

Still, you don't find many cats going to the Betty Ford clinic for treatment -- although they might need it. Alcohol is harder on cats than it is on dogs or people. Felines are not good at breaking alcohol down, and even a moderate dose may start a cat vomiting; more could cause them to collapse or go into a coma.

So, if your cat starts begging for some beer, treat her like an underage drinker, tell her she's acting like a mad catter, and that the bar is closed.


The age of that kitty in the window is very important. Some pet stores put kittens out to sell at around 7-8 weeks because they're smaller and cuter then. But if you want what arrives on little cat's feet to grow up to be a friendly healthy cat, your kitten should remain with her mother until she's close to 3 months old.

Still, she should be around people when young. The critical socialization period for kittens is between two to five weeks of age, at which time it's important that they have positive human interaction.

Of course it isn't just those three weeks that matter. Kittens handled from birth develop into warmer, cuddlier, almost dog-like creatures, while kittens lacking this human contact are more likely to become skittish and aloof.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

History and Mythology of Cats

Cats have been kept by humans since at least ancient Egypt, where Bast in cat form was goddess of the home, the domesticated cat, protector of the fields and home from vermin infestations, and sometimes took on the warlike aspect of a lioness. The first domesticated cats may have saved early Egyptians from many rodent infestations and likewise, Bast developed from the adoration for her feline companions. She was the daughter of the sun god Ra and played significant role in Ancient Egyptian religion. It has been speculated that cats resident in Kenya's Islands in the Lamu Archipelago may be the last living direct descendants of the cats of ancient Egypt.

Several ancient religions believed that cats are exalted souls, companions or guides for humans, that they are all-knowing but are mute so they cannot influence decisions made by humans. In Japan, the Maneki Neko is a cat that is a symbol of "good fortune". While in Islam there is not a sacred species, it is said by some writers that Muhammad had a favorite cat, Muezza. It is said he loved cats so much that "he would do without his cloak rather than disturb one that was sleeping on it".

Freyja — the goddess of love, beauty, and fertility in Norse mythology — is riding a chariot driven by cats.

There are also negative superstitions about cats in many cultures. An example would be the belief that a black cat "crossing your path" leads to bad luck, or that cats are witches' familiarsEurope in medieval times. Killing the cats aggravated epidemics of the Black Plaguerat populations down. The plague was spread by fleas carried by infected rats. used to augment a witch's powers and skills. This belief led to the widespread extermination of cats in in places where there were not enough cats left to keep

An exaggerated fear of cats is known as ailurophobia.

It is common myth that cats have nine lives, in some cultures it is seven. The myth is attributed to the natural suppleness and swiftness cats exhibit to escape life-threatening situations. Also lending credence to this myth is that falling cats often land on their feet because of an inbuilt automatic twisting reaction and are able to twist their bodies around to land feet first, though they can still be injured or killed by a high fall.