The story of the week has to be Willow, the cat who went missing in Colorado 5 years ago and was found on the streets of Manhattan this week. The story spread like wildfire on major news outlets ranging from CNN to the New York Times to the Huffington Post. Thanks to a microchip implanted when Willow was a kitten, she will soon be reunited with her family, who had long since given up hope. This story certainly makes the case for getting your cats microchipped.
Details of what happened to Willow began to emerge late yesterday. The Gothamist reported that someone on a ski vacation fell in love with her and took her back home to New York, where she lived in Brooklyn. She was brought to New York’s Animal Care and Control because the person could no longer care for her. What remains a mystery, and what I find upsetting about this story, is why she wasn’t checked for a microchip when the person found her in Colorado. Even though this story has a happy ending after five years, that one simple check could have saved her original family a lot of heartache.
Cats that glow in the dark? It’s no joke. Susan Thixton of The Truth About Pet Food reports that researchers have genetically engineered cats to “carry a protein that defends them
from infection by the feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV). The cats glow because a jellyfish gene was inserted as well as the FIV-resistant gene.”
Steve Dale’s Pet World also reported on this study, stating that “Mayo Clinic researchers have developed a genome-based immunization strategy to fight feline AIDS (or FIV), and in the process to highlight ways to combat human HIV/AIDS and other diseases. The goal is to create cats with a built-in immunity to the feline AIDS virus,” according to the Mayo Clinic and Science Codex. “It’s great that cats are benefiting people,” says Steve, “and it’s likely this work will also help cats.”
The story about a New York city therapy cat named Tiger warmed my heart. Tiger and and his human Joan volunteer for Bideawee’s pet therapy program. The animal welfare organization sends animal-human pairs into health-care facilities and schools to improve peoples’ lives by allowing them to touch and pet, talk to, and spend time with various animals. Bideawee started its program in 1986. Some 90 dogs, four cats, and three rabbits visit New York patients, residents, and students, who welcome a break from the monotony or stress, isolation, and pain that can dominate their daily lives. Read more about the wonderful work Tiger does on The Main Street Wire.
We previously reported here that September is Happy Cat Month. Sparkle the Designer Cat has a slightly different take on what constitutes Happy Cat Month – among other things, she wonders why on earth the CATalyst Council would think taking your cat to the vet would make for a happy month for cats! Allegra and Ruby gave Sparkle’s modified list of 10 ways humans can keep their cats happy four paws up.
And what would Mews and Nips be without a cat video? I bring you Cat vs. Printer:
Have a great weekend!
Photo sources: photo of Willow from ABC News, photo of glow in the dark cat from Mayo Clinic science codex, photo of Tiger from Main Street Wire, photo of Sparkle from sparklecat.com.