The Scoop: Cats in the News
If you wanted to hear about Cats in the News this was the site to visit.
Content is from the site's 2002 archived pages providing just a glimpse of the type of cat news offered.
About Us (The Story of The Scoop)
Well, we're glad you asked! Here's how it all happened...
Once upon a time in a nearby town, a few individuals learned about a dog at a local shelter who had been there for quite a long time. For lack of a home and due to shelter overcrowding, she was—shall we say—scheduled to take "the bus" that weekend.
These few individuals stopped and thought to themselves: Of course, this is the way of the world. This happens every minute in every town in every counpy. But now wait...! Does that necessarily lessen the value of a single life?
At length, they decided that they would try a sort of experiment. Exactly how much does it take (if at all possible) to save just one dog? First a few emails were sent out. Then, upon requests, a few pictures and more descriptive emails were sent out. Then a whole story was composed and posted on the internet. The story of one dog became the story of two dogs, then two hundred, then two thousand, and by-and-by, the little experiment became The Dog Net and what you see here, an award-winning, online canine. feline, and swine newspaper that reaches over 4,000 animal lovers each day in 89 different counties!
So there you have it. What more can be said, except a quote from a great philosopher, inventor and magician:
"Invention, my dear friends, is ninety-three percent perspiration, . . . six percent electricity, . . . four percent evaporation, . . . and two percent Cat Nip."
— Willie Wonka (more or less)
Oh yes, the dog? Well, these days we hear she's living it up out on the counpyside. And she always gets a mysterious box of peats every year on her birthday from a few secret admirers.
Thanks for stopping by!
VOL. II - No. 7 - Summer 2002
Cat may become Newest Member of Parliament ...and how to tell if your cat wants to be President
LONDON (UK) —
LONDON (UK) — Never underestimate the suggestive nature of a cat. It would appear that a few kitties, concerned about the latest influx of dogs into congressional seats lately, have dropped a few subtle hints to parliamentary members of the House of Commons.
I don't even want to imagine what they dropped, but it sure did work!
Under the guise of controlling a recent invasion of mice (spotted in the dining room and other areas of the House of Commons), eight lawmakers backed the motion that a parliamentary cat be allowed to roam the building and "take care of business".
The motion, headed by Edinburgh West John Barrett, states: "It would be fiscally prudent for the Sergeant at Arms's Department to invest in a House of Commons cat to try to tackle this problem."
The full house will next decide if the matter should be taken further.
We're pretty confident that the cat will make it (in fact, we're already looking out for more open-window policies and we're bracing ourselves for some more Clean Hair Acts). But all-in-all we believe that this will open the door to cats all over the world, aspiring to run for office, to go places that they've never gone before.
No, Snags, I'm not referring to the refrigerator (isn't it obvious how high our chief editor aspires?)
So, for those of you who might be wondering if your friend, the cat, is ambitious enough to run for President, we now present...
The Top 8 Signs that the Cat May Run for President
8. "I LIKE SPIKE" is scrawled across the bathroom mirror in lipstick around election time
7. The cat suddenly becomes a big-shot investor in oil (cod-liver oil, that is), but meanwhile adopts the campaign slogan: "Real Clams For Real People"
6. When asked why there's a hairball on your pillow and where it came from, the cat replies, "I don't know... Ask Ollie North"
5. But when she's grilled about her involvement with kicking kitty litter all over the bathroom, she claims over-and-over again: "I don't remember, I don't remember..."
(Oops — wrong list. That's supposed to go into the "Top 8 Signs the Cat Wants to be CEO of Enron")
4. You realize that the Democat will never, ever agree on house policy with the Republicanary
3. You always hear cat muttering that the Labertarian is nothing but a "tree pee-er"
2. One day you look down at the grocery list and see the word "POTATO" scratched out and replaced with the word "POTATOE"
And the #1 Sign that the Cat May Run for President Is...
1. When questioned about allegedly lapping up toilet water when he was a kitten, he replies, "Yes, but I didn't swallow!"
Tabby Cat Rocks the Animal Cruelty Vote & Wins!
DENVER, Colorado (USA) —Strengthening the penalty for animal cruelty from "misdemeanor" to "felony" has come at no small price. But now Westy the tabby can rest a little easier knowing that his sacrifice ensured that any animal-torturing bonehead in the state of Colorado must now make a nice long visit to a concrete jail cell ...where he/she belongs!
On Friday, Governor Bill Owens signed a criminal omnibus measure containing a bill which defined the crimes of aggravated cruelty to animals as "knowingly tormenting, torturing or killing an animal"; and, most significantly, classified aggravated cruelty as a "Class 6 Felony" for the first offense and a "Class 5 Felony" for a second or subsequent offense.
Conviction of a "Class 6 Felony" could mean up to 18 months in prison; a "Class 5 Felony" carries the penalty of up to 3 years in prison. Both felonies carry fines of up to $100,000.
The new bill also classifies 2nd offense of non-aggravated animal cruelty as a "Class 6 Felony".
In other words, if a numbskull is convicted of knowingly hurting (or unknowingly killing or torturing) an animal once, it is a misdemeanor. However if the same numbskull gets convicted twice, that person is going to prison. Case closed.
"Cruelty to animals is simply inexcusable," Owens told The Denver Post. "This legislation sends a clear message that harming pets will not be tolerated.
"As a dog owner, I understand just how important and loved pets are in our lives," he added.
But lawmakers did not always agree with Governor Owens, which made passing the bill extremely difficult.
According to The Denver Post, the legislation twice killed animal cruelty measures, with opponents stating that more attention should be paid to child cruelty, instead. However, in the last moments of the session, a potent little measure entitled "Westy the Cat" was inserted into a sweeping, bipartisan-sponsored crime bill that dealt with a range of crimes from sexual assault to substance abuse.
Westy's Bill finally saw it's victory!
How a Cat Re-Wrote the Laws
Both Westy and the people who fought for him have not always seen victories like the one we see today.
Westy's sad tale begins at the hands of two violent teenagers, who decided to torture this helpless animal by setting him on fire and throwing him out a car window. Westy, being a typical kitty with a strong will to live, survived the painful ordeal ...but only after losing his left rear leg, his tail and both his ears.
"Westy certainly looked like a victim of warfare," said Jenny Pace, the first nurse to see the feline, in a memoir to the HSUS (Humane Society of the United States).
Her account of the night continues:
"A large tabby cat, he had third-degree burns over 40% of his body, which smelled of smoke and charred fur. His peppery coat had mostly melted onto his body, his hindquarters were burned to the muscle, and his whiskers singed away from the heat ... we weren't sure we could save Westy."
Westy's recovery entailed four grueling months of sterilized care as well as five operations. And through the entire ordeal, owners for this brave kitty were never found.
But, perhaps the biggest blow to everyone's morale came when the sentence was finally passed to the two teenage boys who were found guilty of setting Westy on fire: one night in jail and a fine of $500 apiece.
Things Eventually Looked Up
Ms. Pace, who took Westy home with her when he was fully recovered, decided not to stand by and watch another laughable penalty be given out to a perpetrator of such a terrible crime. She, Westy and many others began working together to try and change the existing Colorado laws.
"When Westy is not promoting animal rights, he enjoys his numerous toys, handmade quilts donated by his many admirers, and kitty beds - actually his favorite bed is a round cushion dog bed from GoodNightDog because he recognizes it's a designer item." Ms. Pace told the HSUS. "He, in short, behaves like a normal kitty, a minor miracle in itself."
So when the big day finally came for the "Westy the Cat" Bill to be voted on, a determined Ms. Pace - wielding a fiery-eyed kitty with 3 legs and no tail - marched to the Capitol and presented to the lawmakers little Westy: a tangible, flesh & bone & fur version of what they were voting about.
They were voting on life. And although it is not human life that Westy's Bill aims to protect, it certainly is legitimate life. Westy showed them that it's a life that feels pain, gives love, and has the ability to exhibit unbelievable bravery.
And they won. They won for everyone!
5 Little Kittens Love Dog
ALSO: Top 8 ways to avoid "Career Day"
LOGAN, Utah (USA) — This odd family was formed when Zsa Zsa's owner, Debbie Blau, agreed to take care of the orphaned kittens after their mother was killed by a dog...
"My momma was a gas..."
- Disco lyrics, 1975
...But this momma just has gas!
LOGAN, Utah (USA) — Meet Zsa Zsa the 5-year-old dachshund and her beautiful litter of kittens. Well, the five little kittens were not hers originally, but it's indisputable who they belong to now!
This odd family was formed when Zsa Zsa's owner, Debbie Blau, agreed to take care of the orphaned kittens after their mother was killed by a dog a week after giving birth to them. The blind and helpless little fur balls arrived at Blau's residence tucked into a padded cardboard box.
But when Zsa Zsa peered into the box and immediately began taking the purring babes up into her snout, Ms. Blau and her landlady Maureen Brown almost had kittens, themselves! They soon found that the little dog's intentions were to protect, clean (well, you get the picture), and even try to nurse the wriggling kittens.
“I can’t believe a dog would take to a cat like that,” Ms. Brown told the Herald Journal.
Historically, Zsa Zsa's maternal instincts have not been limited to creatures that have furry bodies, four legs, or even warm blood:
“She would bring home and take care of a snake,” mused Ms. Brown.
Dr. Melinda Hillegass, Zsa Zsa's vet, believes that her strong maternal instincts may be borne from the fact that she had a few litters of puppies before she was adopted by Blau.
“Sometimes there is that recognition like, ‘Hey, I know what these are,’” Hillegass explained.
Zsa Zsa has done a lot more than "recognize" these kittens. Just like any caring mother, she is very serious about making sure that the babes are safe, comfortable and as happy as possible.
“She will not leave them alone. She hasn’t since they got here,” Blau said. “She barely leaves long enough for me to take her outside to go to the bathroom.”
Uh, oh. A doting mother that has dog breath... What on earth are the kittens going to do when Career Day rolls around in kitty school?
We at CatsInTheNews.com are proud to answer that question by presenting this handy Top 8 List — as always, we do "Top 8" lists because there are some cats out there who learned how to count on their hind paws — that'll surely dissuade any teacher from making you bring your folks to the classroom!
The Top 8 Things to Tell a Teacher who Insists that the Folks Attend Career Day:
8. The way folks greet where my parents come from is to sniff each other's rear end
7. Mom might get upset thinking that we're taking her to the V-E-T — she gets a little crazy about things like that...
6. "I can't...the dog ate it." (Always keep them guessing with that one)
5. If we forget to give dad a treat for being a good boy, he might eat up all of the chalk or tear up the trash
4. Mom won't be able to make it that day because she's getting her nails clipped ...Er, I mean "manicured"
3. If I know dad, he'll just drool all over the pretty girls in the classroom
2. Ma always gets nervous in front of people ...and we all know that whenever she's nervous, she tends to take a big whizz on the linoleum
And the #1 Thing to Tell a Teacher who Insists that the Folks Attend Career Day Is...
1. "Like Father, Like Son!"
('cause, let's face it, if you've been raised by a doggie, you're certainly no angel)
HIT & RUN GOOSE ACCIDENTS
(and 9 other spange things that could knock you in the kitty...)
But unlike even the worst of drivers, these flying waterfowl don't honk before impact!
WINNIPEG, Manitoba (Canada) — As if watching out for cars, dogs, lightening, muggers and pigeon poo were not enough for us to worry about on the streets, now we need to keep our eyes peeled for out-of-control ducks!
13-year-old Shawn Hacking learned this lesson the hard way last week while riding his skateboard with a group of friends... when suddenly a goose flew up out of nowhere, crashed into his face and smacked him silly before flying off.
Hey...don't laugh too hard! Take a gander at this:
According to the the University of Wisconsin School of Biology, geese normally fly at speeds between 40-50 mph [64-80 km/h], and when migrating (in the typical "V" formation that you always catch the cat staring forcefully at) geese can reach speeds of up to 60 mph [94 km/h]!
"I was stunned," said Shawn, who hobbled home with two badly scraped knees, a sprained wrist, a ripped shirt and a red face where the bird's wing slapped him.
"It was so funny, but I felt sorry for him at the same time,'" recalled Shawn's skateboarding buddy Brent Bruchanski. "It flew out of nowhere and then... Wham bam!'"
The goose kept going, said the kids.
As if this story were not strange enough for you...
Snags and his new (friend?!), Guggenheim the Goose, have waddled through, pecked at, sniffed out and scratched up a few more bizarre things that you and your loved ones ought to be aware of avoiding, lest they smack you in the head. So for everyone's good health and posterity, we now present....
9 Strange Things that Could Knock You in the Kitty
The head of an anti-violencegroup in Sarasota, Florida punched out a referee during his 7-year-old son's flag football game. The popular slogan "Pull It, Don't Push It" apparently pertained only to little plastic flags that day. Source: The Washington Post, 29 Dec 2001
8. A lady fan of the Blackhawks hockey team got clocked with a puck...and now she's asking the team to hock up the bucks! The Blackhawks, the NHL and the woman (who suffered a blood clot on her brain, a deep gash on her head and a severed ear lobe when her face got struck by a foul puck) will soon be on the bench of a different kind of court (where, I'm afraid, the lawyers are the only ones with the pads). Source: "ABC News 7, Chicago".
7. A Cookie Monster at a theme park in Doylestown, Pennsylvania got kicked, punched and knocked down when she refused to pose for a picture with a 3-year-old kid. In other words, this tough cookie monster bit off more than she could chew when she had to eat a knuckle sandwich. Source: The Washington Post, 29 Dec 2001
6. Dr. John Webster, a distinguished Harvard Professor in the mid 1800's, hit a Massachusetts doctor over the head, after which he killed and dismembered the body. (And you thought Professor Struedelwort's Anatomy 101 class was going to be hard to "cut"!) Source: "The Book of Lists", Ch. 3, 1975.
5. This man's plans got befouled when a fowl ran afoul of his jowls: A duck that was minding its own business was hit by a man going 60 mph in a watercraft in Deerfield Beach, Florida. Both man and duck perished in the accident. Source: The Washington Post, 29 Dec 2001
4. An episode of "Lorne Green's Wild Animal Kingdom" got nipped in the bud when an alligator nipped Mr. Green in the boob! Source: Salter New Media
3. A man who was preparing asheep for sacrificial slaughter in Alexandria, Egypt was booted out of a 3rd story window to his death by said sheep ("Let the men that sacrifice kiss the calves" - Hosea 13:2, KJV. But we think it ought to read: "Let the men that sacrifice get it in the kisser .") Source: The Washington Post, 29 Dec 2001
2. A few female soldiers in the British Army have received free breast enlargements, courtesy of the Ministry of Defense, in order to improve the moral of the soldiers. Hence, enemies of the British Army will get knocked out by a bunch of knock-outs. Source: BBC News, Apr 2001
1. Last night I got hit in the mouth by a 100 mph dog sneeze and was sent flying to the bathroom to swallow a container of mouthwash. The only predictable attribute of these deadly doldrums is that they are always aimed at your face, and are timed for the precise moment when you are yawning, chewing, or blowing bubbles.
Source: Strange But True
YIKES! 18-lb Fur Ball Gets Stuck in Drain for 16 Days!
BLENHEIM (New Zealand) — Instead of griping about the huge fur ball in the drain, the folks involved in this story have actually gotten pretty happy over the situation!
Sound like a Drain-O® commercial gone bad? Sure... until we tell you that the "fur ball" has a tail, paws, whiskers and one of those pretty little kitty snouts that could melt just about anything (except, perhaps, a clogged drain).
Let's go way back to the afternoon of May 11, when our curious tale begins with an equally curious kitty named Chloe, who was seen probing about a construction site near her home...
It was on this day that construction workers had been commissioned to cap off the exposed ends of an underground 175mm [2-¾ ft] diameter storm water pipe on the site in order to prevent animals and debris from slipping into it during a rain storm.
And, it was on this same day that the curious Chloe would mysteriously disappear. The picture below pretty well illustrates what ended up happening to this poor kitty:
Chloe's owners, Lesley and Allan Butland, were desperate to find their beloved pet when she went missing. The couple hung posters up around the neighborhood and they called animal shelters and agencies, but no word was ever received on their cat. There was no way for them to know that Chloe had been buried alive.
So, for 16 days the 13-year-old kitty paced up and down the dark and slender tube that was buried one meter in the ground, and mewed her heart out for help. She was able to stay alive by lapping up the occasional droplet of water that would find its way through a gap in the cap of the pipe.
But let's not forget (the pervading theme that we keep seeing in so many felines' lives) that Chloe must have survived this seemingly hopeless predicament due to sheer will and determination. No matter how bad it looked for her, she did not give up.
And it's a good thing that Chloe did not give up, because no less than 16 long days later, her relentless mews were finally heard!
According to the Marlborough Express, when construction worker Michael Birtwistle went to work on Monday, he heard her cries first thing that morning. Her rescue was finally underway.
Mr. Birtwistle and two colleagues un-capped the pipe and crawled inside on their bellies. They discovered a bedraggled and emaciated Chloe, who was so sick that she could no longer move. The pads of her paws had become completely worn down from constant pacing. Half of her fur was gone and she had lost over half of her weight. This helpless creature that they were saving was also unable to see.
he rescuers had to use a piece of hooked wire to grab on to Chloe and pull her out. The effort took half an hour and a lot of concentration for them to catch her collar and pull her limp body up and out of the pipe.
The cat was rushed to a nearby vet clinic where nurses were shocked to discover that her temperature was so low that it would not even register on a thermometer! She was put on a heated intravenous drip and was given doses of vitamins and minerals.
But Chloe's rescue effort would not be complete without a home waiting for her. Because her owners had been so diligent in their attempts to find their lost kitty, the vet clinic was able to contact them right away.
"This has been their special case," a hopeful Mr. Butland said of the vet clinic. "They are going to make sure this cat lives."
"She is in a pretty sorry state at the moment. She was a big cat and she has lost half of her body weight. When they washed her she looked like a rat.
"But now she squawks and you tickle her and she purrs, which is wonderful. She is a courageous wee cat."
Cat Found Alive in World Trade Center Wreckage
Leia: "Aren't you a little short to be a stormtrooper?"
(Luke takes off his helmet)
Luke: "What? Oh...the uniform. I'm Luke Skywalker. I'm here to rescue you."
Leia: "You're who?"
- Star Wars IV
Editor's Note: The snippet of Star Wars script above is, in fact, relevant to our story: you might be interested in knowing that the cat, who the New York Post called "a miracle kitty", was no less alarmed than Leia when she found out that she was to be rescued by none other than a dog. Sure, she was rescued by a trained recovery dog, but that does not erase the fact that our lovely little kitty-in-distress fell into the loving, soft, slobbery snout of a rather happy doggie-dog...
Okay, with that out of the way (and with Snags, assistant editor of Cats In The News, fully sedated) we can proceed with our story:
NEW YORK CITY (USA) — Precious the Persian had no idea what was going on when the Twin Towers collapsed. The din, the quake and the eruption of confusion were completely foreign to this kitty who had never been out-of-doors. She did understand, however, that survival did not look good for her when the windows of the loft apartment where she stood shattered allowing a wave of flying glass, metal and dust to enter her home. This wave, she did somehow survive... along with the 18 subsequent days she endured trapped and isolated in the damaged building while suffering from dehydration and injuries to her eyes.
Precious had been at home by herself in the seven-story loft building close to the World Trade Center Towers on the Tuesday of the attack. Mr. and Mrs. Kerr, her owners, had left her there alone while they were out of town. In their absence, they had arranged for a house-sitter to stop by and check up on Precious at 10am that morning.
The house-sitter certainly did not show up to visit Precious. Nor did the Kerrs return home from their trip. Precious, suffering from smoke and dust inhalation and eye injuries from the glass, just waited in the abandoned building... and kept living. It is believed that she survived by lapping contaminated rainwater, for she had nothing fresh to eat or drink.
All would change for Precious when rescuers received a report of a cat crying atop one of the damaged buildings at the site. Responding to the call (and you know this part of the story), the rescuers sent a Search And Rescue (SAR) dog to the roof of the loft in order to bring the frightened Precious to safety.
She was immediately taken to a Suffolk County SPCA van that was being used to treat injured and exhausted SAR dogs.
Suffolk SPCA chief Roy Gross called Precious' survival "miraculous."
"This is the first good story we've heard," Gross told the New York Post. "She has sores on her mouth from drinking out of puddles. She's dirty and dehydrated and her eyes were injured, but she's going to be OK."
"It's unbelievable. It's a miracle. I can't believe she's alive," said D.J. Kerr, who owns Precious.
"She lost two pounds and her little paws are burnt on the bottom because the top of the building was so hot, but she's going to live," Kerr added with a smile. "I gave her her favorite food - sliced turkey. She was eating so fast because she was starved to death and she's drinking a lot of water . . . but she's so happy, she's just purring."
She's probably also rather happy to be able to finally wash out the pervading taste of doggie-slobber in her mouth ...it always seems to find its way to the mouth, doesn't it?