Caturday felid trifecta: The Mother Lode of cat gifs, a rescued cougar cub, and a dog that saves cats.

Pinterest has a huge page of kitten gifs for your delectation; I’ll give just three:

Kitten fight! (no kittens were harmed in the making of this video):

Feeding time:

Mom scares her kittens:

 

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From Z00Borns, a video and photos of rescued five-week-old cougar cub:

A tiny, orphaned Cougar cub has briefly taken up residence behind the scenes at the Oregon Zoo’s veterinary medical center.

The cub, described as “loud and rambunctious” by zoo vet staff, was recently rescued by Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife officers, after a landslide separated the young Cougar from its mother. After a short stopover in Portland, the cub will be headed to a new permanent home at the Minnesota Zoo.

“It was the victim of a landslide that occurred on Sunday [April 23] in Pend Oreille County,” said Rich Beausoleil, WDFW Bear and Cougar specialist. “A member of the public found it the day after in the mud and called WDFW.”

. . . “In most cases, we try to arrange for orphaned cubs to go directly to their new homes,” [zookeeper Michelle] Schireman said. “But in special situations, and depending on whether we have space, we sometimes take care of them at the zoo until their health has stabilized. It’s a lot to ask of our staff, but everyone here is incredibly dedicated to helping wildlife. Our vet staff and keepers have been taking shifts to make sure this little guy receives around-the-clock care with feedings every four hours.”

Now why are the cubs spotted (like most wild felids) but lose their spots when older? If the cubs must be camouflaged, but adults not (they have no predators), why bother to lose the spots? Evolutionary inertia?

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Finally, the Guardian has the story of Molly, a dog that deserves to have no asterisk as it’s trained to rescue cats:

Molly is the world’s first trained cat detection dog. Her job is to rescue missing moggies. We had been looking for a dog with a particular temperament and intelligence to join our team of pet detectives for 18 months. We had scouts out and had spoken to the country’s top breeders.

. . . We needed a quick learner; one small enough to fit into the nooks and crannies cats hide in. Mostly, we needed a dog with no desire whatsoever to chase cats.

I came up with the idea in 2014. I had been doing the job for 20 years and my business, Pet Detectives, was getting around 30 calls a week about missing cats. When cats go to ground, they go into a comatose-like state and if they are not found quickly, within a fortnight, they often don’t survive after being rescued.

 

I first met [Molly] in February 2016, at the home of Medical Detection Dogs, the charity that would help train her. We had already rejected 12 dogs without seeing them. Three others didn’t make it through initial training: one was too timid, one got car sick and the other was too inclined to chase.

. . . She had to be “cat-tested”, so we took her to a farm with a dozen cats to see if she would chase them. She didn’t even bark. Her focus was on interacting with her handler.

Her training took nine months with experts, including two doctors of canine behaviour. This had never been done before. She was a quick learner. The first phase was lab training, where we taught her to isolate scents. She then worked with a behavioural specialist who taught her to understand signals and commands. The final stage was teaching us to work together.

On assignments, Molly is trained to pick up cats’ scents from their bedding. When she finds the missing cat, she lies down to signal success, so as not to scare them, but you can see her trembling with excitement. She gets rewarded with her super-treat: black pudding.

Her first success was in February this year. A tri-coloured moggy had been sighted six miles from home on the roof of a garden shed. Molly quickly picked up her scent on the grass. I sent her across the back of 30 gardens until she started clawing at a fence. She charged across the lawn to a summer house and lay down. The cat was inside. The owners were over the moon and quite amazed by her.

. . . Molly has helped to rescue 11 cats so far, and our search success has increased by a third. She wears a fluorescent harness and has her own abseiling kit, which we once used to lower her over a 10ft wall. We’re getting special boots made to protect her feet in outbuildings where there may be nails or glass.

Colin Butcher and Molly: ‘She has helped to rescue 11 cats so far.’ Photograph: Mark Chilvers for the Guardian

h/t: Heather Hastie, Grania,

9 Comments

  1. Randy schenck
    Posted May 6, 2017 at 9:53 am | Permalink

    You have to love that dog. Great stuff.

  2. Sshort
    Posted May 6, 2017 at 10:39 am | Permalink

    OMg.

    If there is reincarnation (just hedging here) let me come back as a cat rescue dog.

    My superfood is peaty, smoky single malt scotch, though.

    Tricky.

  3. BJ
    Posted May 6, 2017 at 11:15 am | Permalink

    i just want to take this opportunity to promote the charity, Best Friends Animal Society. You can find their website here: http://bestfriends.org/

    Particularly, you should take a close look at the “sanctuary” link at the top of their page. The reason I donate to them several times a year is because, unlike most “shelters,” they give homeless cats and other animals a true home with love and care. Many of you will know my feeling about shelters and how they treat homeless and abandoned cats: it saddens and angers me greatly that they confine these poor creatures to 3 x 3 cages for the rest of their lives, and often eventually kill them. Even a “no-kill” shelter is usually consigning a cat to a life of misery and despair. Not only does this charity not do that, but they also do the absolute best they can to give their abandoned and homeless cats the freedom and love they deserve.

    Slight less off topic: reat gifs!

  4. David Coxill
    Posted May 6, 2017 at 11:44 am | Permalink

    Clicked on the Pet Detectives link ,there is a story about a woman who steals other people’s cats ,dog knows why she does it .
    Also a couple of years ago CCTV footage emerged of a woman putting a kitten in a wheelie bin.
    And if that doesn’t depress you enough ,there is a sick person in South London going around beheading cats .
    Off to watch some cat videos to cheer myself up.

  5. Posted May 6, 2017 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

    The baby cougar is so cute, I want to cuddle it! (This trait of mine must be disgenetic.)

  6. Ann German
    Posted May 6, 2017 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

    PCCE – on you of gastronomic delights, what, exactly (if you know) is black pudding?

  7. Posted May 7, 2017 at 6:21 am | Permalink

    In Ireland you can have both Black or White pudding for breakfast, Bury in Lancashire is famous for its Black Puddings (http://www.buryblackpuddings.co.uk/)
    Theres nothing better than a Black Pudding for your breakfast,with bacon and eggs + toast.


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