In October 2013 a fire devastated the Anamosa Cat Adoption Center and up until now there has been little good news.
I was pleased to hear through KCRG.com news that a new home has been found for the cat shelter.
The original shelter was at 118 South Elm Street, Anamosa and although none of the cats were killed it was several days before they were all found.
The Fire Service did a great job making sure all the cats survived but it took a small army of volunteers wandering the streets and setting traps to finally get all the cats back safe and sound.
The New Home
The shelter, known as SAINT Rescue is volunteer based and they have started moving into new premises at 16th Avenue Southwest in Cedar Rapids.
It has taken a bit of work to split up the building into separate rooms but it is all starting to come together now.
The building is being shared with another organisation, Animal Resource Foundation, which specializes in distributing pet food that has been donated.
Are The Cats For Adoption
At the moment there are 38 cats in the shelter with 7 of them left from the fire. I am sure that if anyone in the area is looking to provide a good home to one of these cats then you would be very welcome.
They will be holding an open day from 11am to 4pm on March 29th and everyone is welcome to come along.
Catios ( cat patio enclosures) (self build and ready to assemble items) are hitting the news right now (well at least in some areas any way).
Why would you want a catio built?
Catio is the fancy name for a good old fashioned cat enclosure. This can be something as simple as a fenced in area of the garden, or something far more elaborate as appeared in a recent news article. The major construction in that article took quite a few hours of work and was built up by adding onto it bit by bit.
The reasons for buying/ building one of these, whether it be from kit or from scratch, or indeed buying one ready made are two basically.
1) Keep the cat from harm. Many cats are indoor cats from the start and would probably not fare well at all if they were to wander outside. A catio gives the best of both worlds. Confined to a safe area yet able to get some taste of the great outdoors. Proper fresh air, sunlight and I am sure an improvement in quality of life.
2) Protecting the environment. In the US alone it is said that the number of small birds killed by domestic cats runs into the billions every year. I know for a fact how few birds we get in our garden and can only put it down to the presence of Mollie and Gracie (though I only ever have seen them catch mice).
Keeping cats indoors is probably the only way to be sure that yours is not adding to the death list of birdlife but a catio would seem to me to be the ideal compromise.
So how do you go about getting a catio?
How good are your DIY skills? There is nothing particularly complicated in the building of these structures, some wood, netting, perhaps some piping and a little time is all you need. You could have a purpose built adventure playground for your feline friend of whatever shape and size you wanted. There are also people advertising plans for catios.
Perhaps you are not that way inclined? There are some great ready made/self assembly catios featured at Amazon for example. Ranging in all sizes and prices. Some are perhaps a bit small to my way of thinking but I am sure they serve a purpose.
Sizes from this
Right up to this
So whatever your budget, if you are unhappy about your cat venturing into the big wide world, and you want to consider how to control a cat humanely then a catio might just be the answer to your dilemma.
Elf cats are an extremely rare breed indeed and an Arizona woman featured on ABC15.com recently as a specialist breeder. I must confess that I had never come across them before and was even more surprised to see the number of websites devoted to them.
What are Elf Cats?
Elf cats are simply a cross between the Sphinx cat and the American Curl cat. The Sphinx is a hairless breed (which suits people who are allergic) but it is prone to heart problems. This is a result of inbreeding. Crossing the two results in a hairless cat but without the associated health difficulties. The American curl has a good strong bone structure and the result is a cat better able to withstand more rigorous conditions, although it is still advisable to avoid strong sunlight for any length of time
The appearance has been likened to a cross between Dobby (from the Harry Potter films) and Legolas (from The Lord of The rings) or at least that is what the Daily Mail says in an article just a few days ago!
When I said that they were rare then I was not joking, it would seem that there are only about 100 in existence.
As a result of their rarity then they certainly are not cheap. Expect to pay about $2,000 dollars for one. There are only a few bred each year also so if you do want one you will have to be quick.
Where Can I Get one?
I looked up the details of the breeder at http://www.elfkittens.com/ (Vanyar Elf Cats) and it would seem that there may be a kitten available but an alternative site http://elfkittens.com/home implies differently.
Elf cat kitten
A cat like this should not just be bought for its novelty value, like all animals they deserve a good home and ownership should not be taken lightly. Both site I mentioned above give good advice on care of these unusual cats and also where to get one and how to adopt one from the right people. You can find this at http://www.elfkittens.com/aboutus.html
I would love to hear from you if you are lucky enough to have an Elf cat.
The Elf Cats Arizona breeder is Angela Orton at the site I have mentioned previously.
Photographs of the Elf Cats are strictly copyrighted. Many thanks to Angela for permission to put them here
It is ironic that a zoo is asking for Christmas trees for it’s large felines when just a few days before we cat owners were looking for ways to keep our cats out of Christmas trees. Cats and ornaments are not always such a good mix!
That is the situation however at Linton Zoo in Cambridgeshire.(CBBC) It would seem that the lions there are particularly fond of Christmas trees for some reason. An appeal has been sent out as a result for any old, unwanted Christmas trees to be donated to the zoo, thus solving two problems in one go.
I am not sure what the situation is in Cambridgeshire but round here the trees are collected for recycling by the local council but in some areas disposal can be a bit of a problem.
What Are The Trees For?
So what happens to the trees that are donated to the zoo? Those that are without roots are simply put into the enclosure as they are. It would seem that the big cats enjoy rolling on them and actually cuddling up to them. If they are too dried out then they are used in the bio-burner system at Linton to provide extra hot water and heating.
If the trees still have their roots on them and are alive then they can be planted to add to the greenery in the enclosure and improve the surroundings.
A spokeswoman for Linton Zoo said that they were very pleased and the response had been
“fantastic.Greenery is very important to our animals, so live rooted and growing trees can be given a second chance at life by being planted in one of our animal enclosures.”
As an aside this matches a similar appeal at Berlin Zoo (Washington Post) but this is for the elephants, which seem only too happy to eat the trees as a supplement to their diet. The only difference was that these trees came direct from the growers.
There was a worry that if they came from the public then ornaments such as baubles and tinsel might accidentally end up on the menu, which would definitely not be good for their digestive system.
The lions and the elephants shared one thing in common, they both seemed to like the strong smell of the Christmas trees.
To the subject of keeping your domestic cat out of the tree then it a bit like training cats to stay off counters. Maybe later in the year I will research a few more tactics you can explore to keep your own cat away from the festive decorations. When it is all over then you can donate your Christmas tree for big cats knowing you are making a large feline very happy.