Ear-Tipping in Feral Cats

Have you ever heard of “ear-tipping”? I didn’t thnk so. I recently ran across a newspaper article that talked about “ear-tipping” feral cats in order to identify them as being either neutered or spayed. What a concept! I had always wondered how people would be able to recognize whether a feral cat had been altered or not.

Now “ear-tipping” is not at all like “ear-cropping” in dogs which is quite painful for the poor dog. “Ear-tipping” in feral cats only clips a small piece of cartilage off the top one of the cat’s ears Done under anaesthesia during the spay/neuter operation, the cat wakes up not even realizing that a tiny piece of one ear is gone.

Not all veterinarians practice “ear-tipping”, but, according to this article, there are several very good reasons one of them being that not all cats that land in shelters find forever homes:

Public Safety:

Ear-tipped cats have not only been spayed or neutered but have also been vaccinated against rabies and to be able to identify them as such enhances the safety of both human and animal communities.

Population Management:

Since ear-tipping helps manage a community’s cat population, it also promotes its general welfare.

Feline Protection:

The ability to identify cats that have already been altered saves both time and money, not to mention mistakenly going under the knife for a second time. And who would want that?

 That said, there is a downside to ear-tipping: humans are usually reluctant to adopt a cat with tipped ears since they consider the natural feline beauty to be marred by it. For this reason, many veterinarians will only tip the ears of cats that are truly feral.

What is my take on all this? I would rather lose the tip of one ear than lose my life. Miss Kitty lost most of her tail when it got caught in a wire fence, but Lovey loves her no less than any of us for it. If Lovey can love a cat with a stumpy tail, then other humans should be able to love a cat without the tip of an ear.

New Year doldrums

Well, I am in quite a little funk these days. Lovey has taken down the Christmas tree so there are no more bobbles for Indiana and I to play with, and the New Year celebrations are a thing of the past (although I didn’t mind that this year since our nuisance of new neighbor decided to set off fireworks which drove both Barkley and Rio, the two Border Collies, up the walls. Poor Rio tried to crawl under Lovey’s bed, but only managed to hide his head like an ostrich with its head in the ground, and Barkley sat at the back door barking every time a firecracker went off. Lovey tried to get him to go outside, but he would have none of it).

What to do? What to do? What to do? Winter is still upon us and even though South Texas is not in the throws of winter storms like the northern part of the country, we have had a few freezes lately so I have kept myself indoors, watching a lot of television. I like it when Lovey puts on the program with the vet from Michigan and I watch all those dogs getting themselves into all kinds of trouble, especially with a creature called a porcupine. One dog came back two days in a row! You would think he would have learned the first time with all those quills painfully sticking in his face. I only saw one cat getting himself into real trouble: he swallowed his toy and it got stuck in his intestin. Sorta tells you why we cats rule.

Television aside, I’ve been spending quite a lot of time helping Mumsey with her knitting. She’s into making baby blankets and the yarn is so soft I just love laying on it, to Mumsey’s dismay. I keep telling her I’m just making sure the blanket is soft enough for a baby. You know: product testing.

Well, it’s time for lunch, so I’ll sign off, for now.


Winter again

My friend Jessie Snowpaws wrote a nice little article about Feline Diabetes in her blog “The Fussy Feline”. Little did I realize how many cats suffer from this disease. Fortunately, we are all well and healthy in our household, including Lukey Longshanks with his queasy stomach. I am doing some research into Feline Diabetes and plan to write up a more in depth article on the matter.

I cannot believe that I have let so much time go by without posting! I guess I got lazy during the summer months: snoozing in the sun can do that to you. We had a rather pleasant Summer, I must say. Lovey was kept busy mowing the lawn, pulling the weeds out of the flower beds, killing the weeds out in the pasture. She is always very busy and, now that Winter is here, she will be busy with her chain saw cutting up fallen tree limbs to be burned in the fireplace.

Lovey promised she would put up the Christmas tree this weekend. I love the Christmas tree with all the pretty lights and shiny bobbles, and all the boxes for me to hide behind. I can spend hours underneath it just gazing up into the tree and swatting at a bobble or two, being careful not to swat too hard lest I send the bobble flying across the room to Lovey’s dismay. I think we’re going to have a nice Christmas this year. I am looking forward to Christmas Day dinner when we all get a taste of the turkey. Yum!

Domestic Longhair Siamese

As I lay on my favorite bench late yesterday evening, I got to think about my ancestry: part Domestic Longhair, part Siamese. I am not at all ashamed of being a “mixed breed” cat. On the contrary, I think it gives me quite the distinguished look with my long, silky coat, and dark chocolate points. Out of curiosity, and you know how curious us cats can be, I googled both breeds. (I love Lovey’s new laptop since I can turn it on by myself, if and when she leaves the cover open, that is. And typing is so much easier!) Did you know that the Siamese were the Royal Cats of Siam dating at least as far back as the fourteenth century? They were brought to the United States around 1890 and have been a popular breed of cat ever since. If you think that is impressive, the Domestic Longhair cat has been around for thousands of years, probably originating somewhere in the mountainous plateau of East Turkey. Anyway, I am very proud of my heritage and carry my plumed tail with all the dignity that I can muster.



The Escape Artist

Summer is here and it is getting hotter every day! Last Friday was the longest day of the year, being the Summer Solstice, and I got to stay out late, lying on my favorite bench, taking in the sounds of the evening: the two horned owls hooting to each other, the goats calling to one another in the falling dusk, and an occasional whicker from one of the horses. I love the country life: so peaceful. And I love sitting outdoors in the evening. Silly Nena wants to come out too, but she won’t go back in for hours on end, and that upsets Mumsie, Lovey’s mother. One time she almost had to stay out all night after Lovey (she’s my human mom) got tired of trying to catch her. I told her if she would just stay close to the house and not go venturing out into the wide open spaces. But Nena has a stubborn streak in her and wants to see it all. “I will go where I want to go,” she told me. “Ok,” I said. “Have it your way, but you won’t be allowed outside with that attitude.” And I was right. <G>

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