Why is it so important to protect bird species that are endangered by New Zealand’s cats?
Because our natural environment is arguably our greatest asset. And because the economic value of [our environment] has hardly been capitalized on, and it is continuing to rise at an exponential rate, as the rest of the world cursed by high population density sits in its own nest.
Read more. [Image: Alexis Madrigal]
Think you’re the first person to consider the offensive capabilities of cats and birds in a hypothetical war against
zombies space invadersenemies of the Holy Roman Empire? Think again!
Read more. [Image: University of Pennsylvania]
“Based on our research, we found that cats distinguish between the low- to mid-light wave spectrum — meaning purple, blue, yellow, and green, with blue and green being the strongest colors they see,” says Hutton. The architects beta-tested their design with their own cats, he adds: “They weren’t too fond of the power tools, but as soon as the assembly started they were all over the outdoor carpet we used for the interior insulation and began climbing in and out of the boxes.”
Read more. [Images: I HAVE CAT]
Maverick, a cat enrolled in the Pet Fit Club, was declared by his vet to be the biggest cat he had ever seen. His owners couldn’t help but give in to his cries for more food than he needed, until he reached the point where he was having trouble breathing. And even for a cat, he was sleeping too much.
Read more. [Images: PDSA]
The Walker Art Center is a contemporary art museum in Minneapolis, widely considered one of the country’s premier art institutions. The Walker is known for both experimentation and quality; it was the first museum, for example, to exhibit the work of Franky Gehry and Chuck Close and Joseph Cornell. Tonight, the Walker will host its latest experiment in experimental art: a film festival. Featuring cat videos.
Read more. [Image: Walker Art Center]
In 2011, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals behaved in a regrettably consistent manner: it euthanized the overwhelming majority (PDF) of dogs and cats that it accepted into its shelters. Out of 760 dogs impounded, they killed 713, arranged for 19 to be adopted, and farmed out 36 to other shelters (not necessarily “no kill” ones). As for cats, they impounded 1,211, euthanized 1,198, transferred eight, and found homes for a grand total of five. PETA also took in 58 other companion animals — including rabbits. It killed 54 of them.
These figures don’t reflect well on an organization dedicated to the cause of animal rights. Even acknowledging that PETA sterilized over 10,500 dogs and cats and returned them to their owners, it doesn’t change the fact that its adoption rate in 2011 was 2.5 percent for dogs and 0.4 for cats. Even acknowleding that PETA never turns an animal away — “the sick, the scarred and broken, the elderly, the aggressive and unsocialized…” — doesn’t change the fact that Virginia animal shelters as a whole had a much lower kill rate of 44 percent. And even acknowledging that PETA is often the first to rescue pets when heat waves and hurricanes hit, that doesn’t change the fact that, at one of its shelters, it kills 84 percent of supposedly “unadoptable” animals within 24 hours of their arrival.
When I contacted PETA for a comment on these numbers, Amanda Schinke, a spokesperson for the organization, sent a thoughtful and detailed response. In it she explained how “euthanasia is a product of love for animals who have no one to love them.” She called their killing a “tragic reality,” one that forthrightly acknowledges how “sometimes [animals] need the comfort of being put out of their misery — a painless release from a world in which they were abused and unwanted.” Noting that PETA, unlike many “no-kill” shelters, turns no animal away, Schinke added, “we do everything in our power to help these animals.” The harsh reality behind the grim numbers, she noted, should never be forgotten: “Millions of homeless animals are euthanized in animal shelters and veterinary offices across America because of simple math: too many animals and not enough suitable homes.”
But is this really a simple math problem?
Jaroslav Flegr is no kook. And yet, for years, he suspected his mind had been taken over by parasites that had invaded his brain. So the prolific scientist began to investigate, then asked: Could tiny organisms carried by house cats be creeping into our brains, causing everything from car wrecks to schizophrenia? Now, his science-fiction hunch is gaining credence and shaping the emerging science of mind-controlling parasites. Read more.
[Image: Michal Novotný]