HOW BURMILLA CATS BECAME ANOTHER OOPS BREED

Here we tell the tale of feline fate and just how Burmilla cats became another “oops” breed
The Burmilla, a beautiful “oops!” breed with a stunning silver coat

Was this really an accident? Apparently so! Here we tell the tale of feline fate and just how Burmilla cats became another “oops” breed. A very beautiful one at that.

The History

It all came about when Sandquist, a male Silver Chinchilla Persian, and Fabergé, a female Lilac Burmese, had a one-night stand. However, this occurred just before the latter had a scheduled blind date with one of her own kind. When Fabergé produced her litter, the offspring didn’t look quite like her. That’s when the tryst became public news and Burmillas were eventually recognized as a new breed. The incident (oops! accident) occurred in England, in 1981. In 1984 the Burmilla Cat Club was formed. And by 1990 the breed had achieved preliminary Championship Status.

The Looks

The Burmilla has striking green eyes outlined in black and the ear tip is slightly rounded. Its dense, double, silver-toned coat is either short or medium-long. The fur is either tipped or shaded in an extensive range of hues, such as, black, chocolate, blue, lilac, red, caramel, apricot or cream. In addition, there are tortie variations of some of these.

The Personality

These fabulous felines are affectionate, devoted, playful and, just so you keep your fragile valuables well protected from mishap, slightly clumsy! They love to climb and survey their surroundings. Generally they get along well with children and other pets. To sum up…sweet, friendly, loyal and adventurous.

 The Care

Burmillas tend to shed a lot and should be brushed and combed frequently, especially the medium-haired variety.

Otherwise considered a pretty healthy breed with a longevity of 10-15 years, these cats are prone to polycystic kidney disease. This is a medical condition where cysts form in the kidneys which can eventually lead to renal failure. So, it is advisable to make sure they always drink sufficient water.

Together, let’s keep our precious pets healthy, happy and safe! 

TAKE LOST PETS HERE FOR MICROCHIP SCANNING

A microchip can be scanned at any time, day or night
If you find a lost pet, take it immediately to be scanned for a microchip. Photo curtesy of Big Creek Veterinarian Hospital, Ontario, Canada

If you see a dog or a cat hiding or roaming, with no visible ID, it just may have a chip. Remember, you can always take lost pets here for microchip scanning in the hopes that its owner can be located. 

Of course, this all depends if the animal in question is friendly enough so that you can transport it somewhere to find out if it is chipped. In the event that a microchip is found, hopefully the pet, owner and veterinary information is current. And, if that is the case, then a happy reunion is much more likely.

Around The Clock

Let us suppose you found the pet late in the day, or at night, after normal office hours. I see so many people posting online that they picked up a lost pet, but it’s late, and they are going to take it to a vet’s office first thing in the morning. Please don’t wait. Every hour that passes is time wasted. An owner, a family, is desperately searching for their furry companion. But where to go?

Where To Take Lost Pets For Microchip Scanning

Here is a list of places that will scan for a microchip, and they do not charge for this service. There is always somewhere open at any time of the day or night, at weekends and on holidays.

1. A veterinary clinic, open during official office hours.

2. Banfield Animal Hospital, located inside all PetSmart   stores, which has longer hours of operation than your   normal veterinary clinic. 

3. Other pet store chains also provide this service.

4. An emergency animal clinic. They are open 7 days a week,   365 days a year, during the hours your usual veterinary   clinic is not.

5. Your local privately-run animal rescue organization as well as the municipal shelter (also known as a pound).

Try To Avoid Municipal Shelters

Please take note that once you surrender a lost pet to the municipal shelter, the animal’s future will be uncertain. The pound is supposed to comply with a mandatory hold for a certain number of days in order to give the animal’s owner time to claim it. If it is not claimed within that time period, they can put it up for adoption. 

One Of My Pet Peeves

Unfortunately, there are reports every single day of pounds across the country that do not put a pet’s welfare first. They ignore these “hold” laws and have even put the animal down within hours of it being dropped off. Sadly, in other instances, it may be destroyed, even if it has a medical problem that is treatable and does not exhibit aggressive behavior.

A Pep Talk To Remember 

My tip for today: be responsible and do everything in your power to keep your pet(s) safe…not sometimes, not most of the time, but ALL of the time.

Together, let’s keep our precious pets healthy, happy and safe!  

CAT HERO ATTACKS DOG ATTACKING BOY

Tara the feisty feline hero attacks dog attacking boy
Tara the hero cat in the arms of his human sibling, Jeremy
Hero cat Tara became a YouTube sensation with 20 million views in five days
Tara in action giving chase after the roaming dog attacked Jeremy and mom Erica

Yes. You read it right! This is our first story to feature a feline, and the headline says, “cat hero attacks dog attacking boy”. Actually,  it’s pretty amazing. So amazing, in fact, that Tara became an internet sensation. 

This is all because footage from the home surveillance video captured the entire incident. And two days later it was seen by viewers across the globe. Most noteworthy is the fact that it became the first video in YouTube history to reach 20 million views in five days.

This Happened

The story with a mostly happy ending started off like this. On May 13, 2014, in Bakersfield, CA, four-year old Jeremy Triantafilo was happily riding his bike in the driveway of his home. All of a sudden, a neighbor’s dog (a Labrador/Chow Chow mix) ran up from behind, bit him in the leg and started pulling him backwards. 

Tara, the indoor/outdoor tabby cat that the family adopted six years earlier, heard the commotion and raced into action. The protective kitty ran towards the much larger canine at full speed and body slammed it. Jeremy’s mother immediately rushed outside to the rescue but was also bitten. That’s before valiant Tara chased the aggressive dog away. Unfortunately, little Jeremy needed 10 stitches to his left calf. 

Some Unexpected Publicity

Nevertheless, in spite of his injury, the youngster was ready for a different kind of adventure. Fortunately for him, a couple of days later he felt well enough to join Tara and his parents on national television, on The Today Show. 

Praise For Tara 

This feisty feline, who is typically just as sweet as can be, has won several awards for her bravery. In addition, she became the first non-human to be named Grand Marshal for Bakersfield’s Christmas parade in 2014. Then later, on January 1st, 2018, Tara and her family rode in the Rose Parade on the Lucy Pet Foundation Paws for Life float honoring several other heroic animals. Such worthy praise for a cat that saved a boy being attacked by a dog! 

Footnote

The young adult dog involved was surrendered by its owners to the local Animal Care Center. However, after the mandatory 10-day quarantine period for rabies, it was not put up for adoption.  And, sadly, due to its “vicious” behavior, it was euthanized.

Together, let’s keep our precious pets healthy, happy and safe!  

DO PETS SHARE YOUR DRINKING WATER?

The purity of the water we and our pets drink is essential to stay healthy
Is the water that you and your pets drink safe?

You share your home with your dogs and cats. You share your sofa. Maybe your bed. But do pets share your drinking water?

I am guessing you take precautions to drink water that is safe, but where does your pet’s water come from? Of course, there are plenty of options to choose from. They include tap water, purified water, spring water, de-ionized water, reverse osmosis water, high pH alkaline water, and hydrogenated water. Oh, did I leave any out? Oops! Distilled water.

A Double Standard

A number of people I know, including clients of mine, will only drink H20 if it’s packaged in a bottle. They use tap water for cooking purposes but they would never dream of quenching their thirst with it. However, they seem to think that tap water is good enough for dogs and cats.  They must say to themselves, “Fido and Fluffy don’t know the difference, do they?”

Lots Of Choices

There are plenty of choices when it comes to safe drinking water for both humans and pets. Here are some of them.

More likely than not, water straight from the tap is not the best option but that depends on where you live and where your water supply comes from.  It may also depend on whether your water has been tested, and by whom, and if you can depend on the accuracy of the results you are given.

Many people have a filter installed on their kitchen sink. Some get their water and ice from the refrigerator dispenser. Others use a refillable jug that has a replaceable filter to remove any impurities. 

Then there are those who prefer to buy one-gallon containers of “drinking” water, purified water or spring water from the local store. And, a number of us choose to avoid the bother of shopping for water altogether and would rather have it delivered to the doorstep.

Another option to consider is distilled water. And a growing number of consumers are making this switch because its purity is practically guaranteed.

Impurities To Avoid

Although the Safe Water Drinking Act sets safety standards for 126 contaminants, there are many, many more that are present in municipal water.

The contaminants that all living beings need to avoid include chlorine, fluoride, lead, aluminum, arsenic, radiological and pharmaceuticals. These are few of the potentially harmful substances that can cause cancer and other life-threatening illnesses.

The Cost Factor

Now, if you’re concerned about the cost of sharing your drinking water with your companion animals, please check this out. 

I am fortunate enough to have an Earth Fare store in my neighborhood. They are known for their pledge of offering food that is free of added hormones and antibiotics as well as artificial ingredients such as fats, preservatives, sweeteners, colors and flavors. Now to their innovative water section.

They have set aside a section where customers bring their own containers and use a dispenser to fill up with the type of Fresh Pure (freshpure.com) water of their choice. The added benefit is that it’s very economical because you are not paying for the plastic…just the water.

To Sum Up

Finally, all I ask is that whatever is best for you, taste-wise and expense-wise, you provide exactly the same for your pets. You certainly can share your drinking water with your pets. They don’t deserve anything less.   

Together, let’s keep our precious pets healthy, happy and safe!  

USE HEAD COLLARS CAUTIOUSLY

Use head collars cautiously to avoid injury if you are walking a reactive dog
This head collar is also sometimes called a gentle leader

So, what are the options available to pet parents with a dog that is reactive on leash? A head collar is just one of them. But you need to use head collars cautiously.

Also known as a gentle leader, this tool needs to be introduced with a lot of care and patience so that Fido does not become fearful.

How To Use Head Collars/Gentle Leaders

It’s only fair for me to start off by saying that I have not yet met a dog that likes being fitted with one. My experience is that at the outset, dogs will usually show some degree of resistance. However, that uncertainty is soon short-lived because of the overwhelming desire to go walkies!

The loop fits over the snout and two straps snap together on the back of the neck. It needs to fit snugly but never too tight. A dog still needs to be able to open its mouth sufficiently to allow for panting. The ring for connecting the leash is located on the short strap that hangs down the center of the dog’s chest.

Watch Out For Rolling Antics 

A lot of dogs act out on the walk and will roll around on the ground trying to get the head collar off. As an extra precaution, I will also use a regular collar and leash just in case that happens. 

One of my dog clients is a GoldenDoodle, very sweet, very playful and very comical. He loves to roll on grass and he can run like the wind. So, here is an instance where I prefer to pre-empt an unfortunate situation and use both restraints simultaneously.

Gentle Correction With The Gentle Leader 

A dog’s nose is a very sensitive area so any correction must be done cautiously. Pulling hard on the leash and jerking must be avoided at all costs to prevent injury.

To Sum Up

As I said at the outset, be careful when using head collars (gentle leaders). They only work well if both the walker and the one at the end of the leash are in harmony. Give it a try. It’s well worth the effort! 

Together, let’s keep our precious pets healthy, happy and safe!