Australia has some of the most unique wildlife in the world and so much of it is at risk. The Spotted Quoll is just one such animal at huge risk from the relentless march of the introduced cane toad, a toxic creature to many of the native species. It's heartening to see efforts being made to save these beautiful animals like the Quoll from certain extinction. It seems nothing can be done to stop the cane toad which has swept from northern Queensland throughout the state into the Northern Territory and beyond. While we get concerned justifiably about the fate of elephants, tigers and rhinos, right here in our own country there are animals just as worthy of saving but they don't get the same publicity. In fact a lot of people wouldn't even know they exist which is such a shame. Let's hope there is a future for Australia's truly unique animals.
How smart are honey badgers ?
There is no doubt there are a lot of animals that are incredibly smart. The efforts of this honey badger to outwit his human are just incredible and his tenacity stunning........watch to see for yourself. Guaranteed it'll make you smile.
Henri visits the vet
Worlds oldest cat is 24
Wow 24 years old is some age for a cat isn't it. Poppy is the Guiness Book of World Records oldest cat in the world. Incredible age. Rueben will be 18 soon so every day he is with me is a blessing even though he can be very demanding wanting his cuddles. When he was about 10 a vet grandly pronounced that he "wouldn't make old bones", an opinion based on his arthritic state, however he has defied the odds and is close to double that age now. Having just lost Sasha at 16 thoughts of losing Rueben has been uppermost in my mind lately. What a sad day it will be to say goodbye to such an amazing cat.
The ideal cat litter box
Just recently I was at this huge pet superstore looking at litter boxes and some of the prices were just silly. With a multiple cat household dealing with litter box issues is a top priority. I'm blessed that all three of mine have been prepared to share one box but it's requires constant attention to make sure it's not smelly and is changed regularly. A simple open deep sided box seems to be the best option despite being tempted to try the lidded varieties that contain the smell. In the cats outside space I just bought a huge tray from Ikea years ago and it works really well because there is plenty of room for my big boys to move around in. Message here is don't be tempted by new fangled gadgetry your cat will probably hate it, won't use it and you'll be cursing you spent the money ! Having said all that I do like the idea of this hidden box which to my mind would give kitty some privacy as well getting the the whole box thing out of sight.
The horror of palm oil
It cannot be stressed enough the catastrophe that demand for palm oil is causing to the worlds pristine and fragile rainforest environments. The very real possibility that Borneo and Sumatra will create a wasteland where once some of the most fascinating and beautiful animals flourished. What can be done to stop this dreadful pillaging ? I believe it starts with education letting people know the facts of just what some of their everyday foods are made from. Palm oil forests are replacing many thousands of hectares of rainforest to supply the worlds insatiable demand for cheap oil for the manufacture of processed foods cosmetics and cleaning products and a lot of it comes from illegal and unsustainable sources. Palm oil is in everything and labels don't always say so I discovered, but it's a safe assumption that soaps, biscuits and mars bars, peanut butter just to name a few all have palm oil in them. Just recently I was overjoyed to find a brand of household cleaning product, Australian made, that actually said on the label that it was palm oil free so I bought it. If we consumers are given the right information on the labels we can then make a choice is we care about this issue, but how can you if you don't know. I'd like to see legislation to enforce manufacturers to label their products to include palm oil if it does.
Declawing your cat is inhumane
At first thought it seems like the answer to avoiding all those undesirable cat habits like scratching furniture but think again before you rush out and get your cat declawed. There is a reason why cats have claws and it's to defend themselves which is what nature intended. To declaw your cat leaves him without a way to defend himself and therefore vulnerable particularly if he goes outdoors. Just as desexing has an impact on the cats character and personality so does declawing. It's just plain barbaric and cruel especially when you realise that it involves taking the first joint from each toe so it's gratifying to know that in most countries around the world it is illegal. Apparently not in the US so I hope that will change for the sake of all cats.
It's hard to say goodbye to a loved pet so it was with a very heavy heart we made the decision to let our Sasha go. She had a soft tissue carcinoma that first appeared only a couple of weeks ago as a huge lump on her shoulder that appeared almost overnight. Tests came back as negative however a third test confirmed it was indeed cancer. She was an old girl maybe about 16 possibly more and we felt she deserved to leave this life with dignity not to suffer unnecessarily. Our vet was wonderful, so kind and compassionate which helped to make the experience bearable. There have been tears but we know we did the right thing in choosing the long sleep over pain and suffering. Goodbye old girl.
Cats detecting cancer
How do cats detect cancer ? It's intriguing isn't it. Of course it's well documented that dogs can and do find cancer in their humans but cats ? Reading about it opened my mind to the real possibility that cats can just like dogs with their extraordinary senses find cancer. Just imagine how much more precious your cat would be to you if you were saved from the nightmare of cancer because he found cancer just like some of these people.
Do you notice how when you are out and about just how many people are using iphones and texting ? I do. For a long time I've thought that a whole generation of young people who have grown up the technology we take for granted as a normal part of life will one day have no idea how to talk to each other. That conversation and intimacy will be a thing of the past if it isn't already. Call me old fashioned but I do not and never have sent a text to anyone and still only use my mobile phone if I go out alone and need it in an emergency. I'd rather look at the real world around me and talk face to face to friends and loved ones than text. When I found this short film it really spoke to me of what has become of people that their 'friends' on Facebook are more important the real world around them. Even worse people who text while they drive, really ? what is wrong with people.......
This is a must see and guaranteed, you will put your technology away even if it is only for a day.
Iberian Lynx painting
Just off the easel
'The Observation Deck'
acrylic 60 x 44cm
The Iberian Lynx is considered to be the most endangered wild cat on the planet and lives in a small habitat in Andalucia Spain. Drastically reduced rabbit numbers which are the main food source of these beautiful cats, road fatality, habitat loss, illegal trapping and shooting have all contributed to a grave situation. Captive breeding programs remain the only hope of averting what seems like certain extinction.
What's in a name ?
Have you ever noticed how your pet starts to acquire a host of names other than the one you originally gave him ? My three cats are called Sasha, Rueben and Fergus. Because of her short fuse and tendency for neurosis Sasha has earned herself 'physco black bean bag bitch from hell'. Rueben, well he has a host of names and as he gets older the names are growing out of his increasingly geriatric behaviour, such as, old thing, bum breath, piddle trotters, boney arse, stinky, and the list goes on. He doesn't care a bit just so long as he gets his cuddles. Fergus, has a tendency for weight gain because of his love of food so he has earned, big pig, jelly belly, chumpy chops, fatso and many more otherwise unflattering yet affectionate names. How many names has your pet got ?