We all know that play is an important ritual in a cat household. It helps our kitties release all the pent up energy they would spend out hunting in the wild. When this energy is not released, it could lead to behavioural problems such as play aggression.
One Fast Cat is a cat sized hamster wheel designed to help indoor cats stay physically stimulated. We think it’s a great idea for breeds that are more ‘high energy’ such as Bengals and Sphynxes.
Their $10,000 goal on Kickstarter has already been met, so we’re looking forward to seeing this becoming available for purchase very soon! When’s the big dog version coming?
Ever since Tara the Hero Cat, we’ve been on the look out for more pet heroes. We’re featuring two this week, starting with a kitty called Smudge in Doncaster, UK.
5-year-old Ethan was playing in the front yard with his 2-year-old brother Ashton when three larger boys approached him. They wanted to pick a fight but Ethan chose to ignore them. Angered by Ethan’s silence, one of the boys pushed him to the ground. That’s when Smudge, the family cat flew out from under a car and jumped on the bully’s chest.
Smudge’s heroic reaction shocked the boys and they ran away crying. Smudge has been nominated for a National Cat of the Year award.
On the other side of the world in Indianapolis, USA, lives a Pit Bull named Ace.
13-year-old Nick was excited because this summer is the first he was finally old enough to stay at home by himself. One afternoon, Nick who is hearing impaired decided to take a nap in the afternoon.
Little did he know, his home caught on fire. Nick could not hear the smoke alarms going off as he was not wearing his hearing aides.
Thankfully, the family dog Ace woke Nick up by licking his face. He recalled, “I woke up and the entire house was covered with smoke and we ran out in the backyard.”
Nick was checked by medics at the scene and was given the all clear.
Our love for animals will forever grow because they don’t care about race, gender or money. They just want to be loved and will return the love in more ways than we can imagine.
It’s so great to see Frank the Dachshund so happy after years of mistreatment. This story is a great reminder that there are plenty of sweet dogs who need loving homes out there so seriously consider adoption if you’re about to expand your furry family.
If you are a cat owner, you may be familiar with the parasite Toxoplasma gondii (T. gondii) found in cat poop, which causes the infection Toxoplasmosis commonly known as Toxo.
People with a healthy immune system can fend off Toxo without much problem, but those with weak immune systems can get seriously ill.
So why is it that healthy immune systems can prevent the body from falling ill to Toxo? Well, T. gondii triggers an immune response in healthy humans which targets the parasites and kills them off. Scientists from the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Norris Cotton Cancer Center have discovered that the way the immune system attacks T.gondii is the same way the immune system should attack a tumour.
Leading scientist Professor David J. Bzilk states that T. gondii can “stimulate the exact immune responses you want to fight cancer”. Cancerous cells can shut down the body’s defense mechanisms, allowing these cells to multiply and spread. However, by introducing T. gondii to a tumour environment, it can reprogram the “immune system to clear tumour cells and cancer”.
Professor Bzilk and his team have developed a “cps” vaccine, a strain of T.gondii that is unable to breed in the host to test on mice and have shown promising results. Laboratory studies at Dartmouth Labs “found unprecedented high rates of cancer survival” in “extremely aggressive lethal mouse models of melanoma or ovarian cancer”.
The next step is figuring out if and how the vaccine will work in humans. Perhaps this humble and feared poop parasite might just be the key that helps eradicate cancer.