“I love cats because I enjoy my home; and little by little, they become its visible soul.” ― Jean Cocteau

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Koshka’s Cat Stories

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There are hero’s that serve to protect our country every day. All the men and women who serve our country in the military risk their lives so that we may sleep soundly each night. Staff Sgt. Jesse Knott is just one of those hero’s. He risked his life while serving in Afghanistan but it’s the risk he took for a cat named Koshka that’s getting him attention these days. This is one of the amazing cat stories.

Jesse first met Koshka on base in the Maiwand District of Afghanistan. Koshka was the unofficial mouse catcher on base and, though there are many animal lovers stationed there, Knott noticed that Koshka wasn’t being taken care of like he sound have been. Jesse found the cat with his fur covered in paint on more than one occasion. Other times, he would find that someone had taken clippers and shaved portions of his back.
Koshka

Jesse was concerned for Koshka’s welfare so he made room for him in his office, even though soldiers aren’t allowed to have pets. The two became close and Jesse found comfort in having Koshka greet him each day as he went to work. The cat made himself at home, curling up on top of the file cabinet or stretching playfully over Jesse’s computer keyboard. Koshka seemed happy with the new living arrangement and Jesse felt good knowing he was keeping the cat out of harm’s way.

Then, on December 8, 2011, a suicide bomber targeted a military convoy near Knott’s base. Two soldiers, close friends of Jesse’s, were killed in the attack. It was a difficult time for Jesse and he found himself in a state of deep depression. One day, while sitting at the desk in his office, he broke down sobbing.

Suddenly, Koshka was at Jesse’s side. Jesse looked at Koshka with tears in his eyes. The cat offered comfort in the only way he knew how. He reached out his paw and pressed it to Jesse’s lips, then climbed in to his lap and curled up to share his companionship. That was the moment that Jesse decided that Koshka needed to leave Afghanistan.

"Koshka pulled me out of one of my darkest times,” Jesse said, “so I had to pull him out of one of his darkest places.”

The soldier was unable to get his feline friend on a military convoy, so he forged a plan with a brave local interpreter who agreed to take the cat to Kabul. The plan was risky. If the interpreter was discovered helping an American, the repercussions could be deadly, for he and Koshka. The journey to move the cat halfway across Afghanistan, through countless Taliban checkpoints, was fraught with danger. But, the interpreter got Koshka to the Kabul airport undetected. There, Knott’s family (huge animal lovers, as well) paid $3,000 to fly the cat to their home in Oregon.

Since Koshka’s rescue, Jesse has left Afghanistan and is stationed in Washington State. When his military service ends, he plans to reunite with the cat that helped him through one of his darkest times.

After traveling many miles across country, the love that saved them both will have come full circle.
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Friday, 23 May 2014

Cats and Dogs Friendships Stories

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We’ve all heard the saying “fight like cats and dogs” but, very often, we find that friendships are forged across species. Many cats and dogs co-exist together happily in homes across the globe. Sometimes, their bond is stronger than we realize.

March 2013
Cole_cat storiesIn Wilton, CA, a fifteen-year-old cat named “Cole” alerted a couple that their home was burning down. The door to the man and woman’s bedroom was closed to keep two of the dogs out but the couple heard Cole howling and scratching at the door. They awoke and opened the door to find the house filled with smoke.

The couple headed out the back of the home to find windows exploding and flames leaping out from the house. Cole headed in the other direction. Once the couple was safely outside, they saw both dogs running from the house . . . with Cole right on their heels! He had gone to find the dogs and usher them to safety!

A lot of cats would have hunkered down in a corner and hid from the strangeness of the smell. But, luckily Cole reacted loudly enough to wake the couple up and give them enough time to escape before the house was engulfed in flames. The extra act of finding his canine friends just proves that Cole is a true hero in his own right!

April 2013
Izzy is a little terrier mix who owes her life to Sammy the cat. Though the two live together in their house in Ohio, Izzy and Sammy’s owner says it might be a “leap” to call them “friends”. Often, Izzy can be found hassling the cat when it seems that all Sammy wants is a nice quiet nap. But, Sammy showed that his feelings for his canine companion actually run pretty deep.

It was a sunny Wednesday afternoon when Izzy wandered out of her yard for a little sight-seeing adventure. Unfortunately, the little terrier mix was attacked by a larger dog whose territory she wandered in to. The larger dog grabbed Izzy and shook her in its mouth, the sharp teeth puncturing her abdomen. That is when Sammy came running to the rescue!
Sammy put himself in front of the larger dog and puffed up and starting hissing. The big dog became distracted and dropped Izzy and went after the cat. At that point, the family was able to get Izzy to safety. Sammy got away be running up a tree. Ironically, Izzy often chases the cat but obviously Sammy felt some loyalty for his furry friend to place himself in danger of the bigger dog.

Izzy suffered a hernia, bruising and muscle trauma in addition to the punctured abdomen, but she is expected to make a full recovery. Thanks to Sammy’s life-saving efforts, Izzy will be able to chase and pester her for many more years to come!
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Though some might fight like “cats and dogs” many more, it seems, only wish to be friends. We could all learn a thing or two from our pets.
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Saturday, 17 May 2014

Cat Saves Baby’s Life

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My friend found an old newspaper article from 1898.. She finds these little snippets of history so intriguing! It is interesting to read about people’s daily lives back then and relate those events with how we live today.

This article that a friend came across was from the Ann Arbor Argus-Democrat and it was published on December 16, 1898. The caption read: “Cat Saves Baby’s Life”

A pet cat saved the life of an infant near Hooker Glen, NY, the other day by killing a large rattlesnake which was approaching the baby. The mother, Mrs. Robert Snow, had taken the child a short distance from her home and seated it on the grass while she picked berries. A large pet cat accompanied them, and the mother of the babe, alarmed at the rattle of the snake, turned around just in time to see the cat seize the reptile as it was about to attack the babe. The cat killed the snake instantly within two feet of where the child was sitting.
cat stories

Though this article was written a long time ago, it is certainly not the first time one of our feline companions as put themselves in danger to save someone we love.

In January of 2013, an Australian woman was woken by her hissing cat to find a python wrapped around the arm of her 2-year-old daughter.

The mother, Tess Guthrie, thought she was having a nightmare when the hissing sound began. The toddler was sleeping in bed with Tess at that time. Tess said she awoke to find the 6-foot python wrapped three times around her daughter’s arm. Tess moved to pry the snake off her arm but, before she could, the nonvenomous python bit the toddler three times on her left hand.

Her daughter, Zara, was screaming and there was blood everywhere from the bite wounds. The cat continued to hiss and crouched low in front of the snake; in an “attack” position. The cat and python seemed to “square off” with the cat hissing continually.

Tess called for help and waited for someone to arrive. Not once during that time did their loyal family cat leave Zara’s side. Only after help arrived and the toddler was extracted from the python’s grip, did the cat finally stop hissing.

Zara was taken to the local hospital where she was treated and released. The coastal python (or “carper snake”) was captured by local wildlife officials and eventually released back in to the wild.

Snake invasions are nothing new down under, but Tess will never forget the terrifying events of that night. It was a shocking way to wake up from a deep sleep. Tess is so thankful that her cat was there to alert her of the danger her child was in and take the protective stance it did toward the snake. She is convinced her cat was protecting her child in the best way it knew how.

Our feline friends offer such love and companionship but it is a whole other gift when they protect us with their lives as well.
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Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Stories of three incredible cats

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They say that cats have nine lives. But, the truth to that statement is revealed when you hear of a cat escaping certain death . . . and walking away unharmed! These stories show how incredible cats can be.

September 2013
Wasabi was chasing a mosquito around owner Stephanie Gustafson’s apartment when she chased the insect right out the window. The problem was that Stephanie lived on the 11th floor of an apartment building in Juneau, Alaska.

Stephanie watched in horror as Wasabi fell from the window. She ran downstairs immediately and found the poor cat huddled about 15 feet away from the building next to a metal box. She was bloody and soaked from the rain. Wasabi was quiet and her paw was limp. Stephanie rushed her to an emergency veterinarian clinic for midnight X-rays.

Wasabi was found to have a fractured radius and some broken bones in her elbow. After getting a cute pink cast on her paw, Wasabi began the healing process. In six weeks, she was back to her old playful self. Curious as ever!

Gloucester the cat

March 2012
In Boston, Brittany Kirk owns a white fluff-ball of a cat named “Sugar”. Sugar has always been very laid-back and calm. So, when Brittany moved to her 19th floor high rise on Storrow Drive, she wasn’t surprised when Sugar just settled in and simply starting grooming herself.
Brittany was in for a shock when she realized that her normally quiet cat went to investigate the window. After falling between 150 and 200 feet, the workers at the Animal Rescue League examined the cat. Though Sugar was found to have minor bruising on the lungs, she had no broken bones or cuts and no serious injuries at all.

JULY 2011
In New York, the owners of an Upper West Side apartment reported that their cat fell 20 stories and crash landed on the pavement. Gloucester, better known as “G” to his owners, walked away with barely a scratch.

Gloucester’s owner, Barry Myers, adopted “G” when he found him in an abandoned building over sixteen years ago. It was Fourth of July weekend, when members of Barry’s family mistakenly left a window cracked when they went away for the long weekend holiday. Barry and “G” had lived in the apartment for years and Barry claims that “G” has never seemed interested in the window. He has never peeked his head out or leaned out to get a better view of something . . . nothing at all. So, it was a mystery why “G” decided that this was the weekend he was going to investigate closer.
Passersby, who witnessed the cat falling, call it a “miracle” that he simply got up and walked away.

Wasabi Cat

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According to a local veterinarian, when you are 10 floors or above, you actually have an increased chance of surviving the fall because you have a chance to right yourself and get ready to land. Cats are able to relax, orient themselves in a flying squirrel position with the legs spread out, and it slows their descent. It truly is amazing when you think about it. No wonder they say that cats have nine lives!
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Friday, 2 May 2014

Cassidy -The Cat Who Saved His Own Life

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In  
One busy morning, a client rushed into a veterinary hospital where I was working with an injured cat. He had seen the cat in the neighborhood for weeks and had tried unsuccessfully to befriend it. Following a trail of blood he found the injured and scared cat under his house. He carefully rescued and rushed him into the hospital. We assumed the cat was feral.

He was very thin, dirty, flea ridden and had a badly broken leg. Because he was in such terrible physical shape the decision was made to euthanize him. His rescuer and veterinary staff felt that it wouldn’t be fair to amputate the leg and release him to fend for himself. It was a sad moment and I was thinking about the horrible fate of homeless animals. I had just given Cassidy a tranquilizer and sat by his cage talking to him. Although we hardly knew him, it was important that he not leave this world unloved.Then he purred and licked my hand, hardly the actions of a feral cat.

Cassidy2This cat needed a second chance. I began to think that if he was euthanized, it might be the end of the story – that he would die a nameless stray cat, a victim of animal cruelty. Animals need us to be their advocates and that is why I decided to speak up on his behalf. I asked the doctors if they could reconsider, this was not a feral cat, but a loving and sweet cat and that deserved a second chance. We tested him for FeLV/FIV and Xrayed his leg. He had been shot several times.

When stable, the cat now known as Cassidy, had his leg amputated. The surgery was uneventful but afterwards Cassidy began to have seizures. Following the seizures, he was unable to hold his head up and had severe neurological issues. Round the clock monitoring was needed to make sure he got his medications, ate well and was kept clean. This was a project that the entire staff helped with. Often he could be found in the arms of staff members who just wanted to hold and love him. Slowly he began to have more control of his head and limbs and could eat without assistance, but he was still unable to walk. A remarkable cat, Cassidy remained cheerful and sweet throughout his ordeal, purring loudly. I decided to take him home to do physical therapy. In the weeks of rehabilitation at my home, we fell more in love and I decided to adopt him.

Cassidy’s loving and calm nature has made him many friends. He was inducted into the Oregon Animal Hall of Fame, an award given by the Oregon Veterinary Medical Association for his bravery and contributions to society. Later that year Cassidy was awarded a Diamond Collar award by the Oregon Humane Society! When not spreading joy in the community, Cassidy can be found snoozing happily with his human and cat family who clearly adore him!

 
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Thursday, 1 May 2014