Tag Archives | Pets

Virtual Bonding With Your Pets

It seems that new models of play are constantly emerging. Perhaps adaptable for babies as well, iPet Companion allows the user to remotely interact with and amuse household animals by manipulating toys in distant locations:

iPet Companion employs cutting-edge technology, robotics and digital connectivity that allows you to play with your pets by controlling unique robotic toys located in your home with a few clicks of your mouse.

A camera that captures all the fun lets you watch no-lag video of the cats as they chase, jump, pounce and grab at the robotic toys that are wired to respond instantaneously to your direction. There is even a way to interact with friends through a chat box making this a truly unique and engaging experience.

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Dead Cat Turned Into Remote-Control Flying Helicopter

I can't see how cats would be happy about this development ... Writes Deborah Netburn in the LA Times:
We've seen a lot of strange things on the Internet, but this dead cat turned into a remote-control flying helicopter may be the strangest yet. The cat helicopter was conceived by Dutch artist Bart Jansen, and debuted for the public at the KunstRai ArtFair in Amsterdam that ended Sunday. Jansen calls his creation the Orvillecopter and describes it as "half-cat, half-machine." The Orvillecopter is exactly what it looks like: A taxidermied cat with a plastic propeller attached to each paw. No animals were harmed for this project. The cat, who was conveniently named Orville, belonged to Jansen and died after he was hit by a car.
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Brain Scans Reveal Dogs’ Thoughts

Photo: Ildar Sagdejev (CC) Add one more expensive and unnecessary expenditure to the many made by obsessive dog owners: an MRI scan to reveal their innermost thoughts. Via LiveScience:
Fido's expressive face, including those longing puppy-dog eyes, may lead owners to wonder what exactly is going on in that doggy's head. Scientists decided to find out, using brain scans to explore the minds of our canine friends. The researchers, who detailed their findings May 2 in the open-access journal PLoS ONE, were interested in understanding the human-dog relationship from the four-legged perspective. "When we saw those first [brain] images, it was unlike anything else,"...
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Freeze Dried Pets

We all know one or two people who love their pets more than their family and friends. Now they can preserve their pets forever, reports Live Science:
Mike McCullough never intended to start freeze-drying beloved pets for grieving owners. But more than a decade ago, a friend of a friend asked the Fort Loudon, Penn., taxidermist to save his beloved dog from the grave or cremation by preserving the animal instead. McCullough agreed. Then he talked to a Wall Street Journal reporter about the process. It made the front page. Requests from bereaved owners started rolling in. Today, McCullough's taxidermy shop, Mac's Taxidermy, is one of a handful of places around the country that will preserve not only hunting trophies, but also the hunting dog. "It's a whole different game for us," McCullough told LiveScience. "You have to be a counselor, you know what I mean? It's tough."...
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How Your Cat Is Making You Crazy

catnapIs a microscopic, mind-altering parasite spread by cats responsible for car accidents, hoarding behaviors, and schizophrenia? Respected scientists are now saying that “crazy cat lady” disease is real and millions of people are infected. Shocker from Kathleen McAuliffe in the Atlantic:

Jaroslav Flegr is no kook. And yet, for years, he suspected his mind had been taken over by parasites that had invaded his brain. So the prolific biologist took his science-fiction hunch into the lab. What he’s now discovering will startle you. Could tiny organisms carried by house cats be creeping into our brains, causing everything from car wrecks to schizophrenia?

The parasite, which is excreted by cats in their feces, is called Toxoplasma gondii and is the microbe that causes toxoplasmosis — the reason pregnant women are told to avoid cats’ litter boxes. Since the 1920s, doctors have recognized that a woman who becomes infected during pregnancy can transmit the disease to the fetus, in some cases resulting in severe brain damage or death.

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San Francisco To Outlaw Pet Stores

sonia_real_puppy Kudos to San Francisco for its decision to crack down on an industry based on animal misery. The San Francisco Chronicle reports:

San Francisco’s ever-active Animal Control and Welfare Commission has renewed its push for a pet sale ban in the city – only this time, it even covers goldfish. The idea is to put the squeeze on puppy and kitten mills that supply pet stores, and to discourage “impulse buys” of hamsters and other small pets that often wind up being dumped at shelters.

“Most fish in aquariums are either mass bred” under inhumane conditions “or taken from the wild,” commission member Philip Gerrie said. That leads to “devastation of tropical fish from places like Southeast Asia,” he said.

The proposed ban, which the commission just adopted after a year of study, was expanded to cover animal breeders as well as pet stores.
As you might expect, it has local merchants like Ocean Aquarium owner Justin Hau dumbfounded.

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Meet Kenny, An Inbred White Tiger (Photos)

KennyVia Prose Before Hos:
Kenny is a white tiger ‘selectively’ inbred while in captivity in the United States. As zoo’s and exotic pet stores have increased the demand for white tigers, breeders have attempted to recreate the ideal white tiger — large snout, blue eyes, white fur — through relying on a limited pool of captive white tigers. The result? An astoundingly high rate of deformities and health issues. For example, Kenny is mentally retarded and has significant physical limitations.
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First Cloned Cat Turns Ten Years Old

Cat Clone AnniversaryIt feels like just yesterday that the first generation of cloned animals captured the headlines — now they are passing comfortably into old age (without any bizarre mutations, eyeballs spontaneously falling out, et cetera). Cloned pets turning ten is our generation’s Bob Dylan turning seventy. Via the Houston Chronicle:

Almost 10 years later CC, aka Copy Cat, is still in the College Station area. She has a mate, Smokey, and they live with their three offspring in a cat mansion built by Dr. Duane C. Kraemer, an A&M researcher who helped bring CC into the world.

CC and her family seem like perfectly normal cats, which disappoints many guests hoping to see something more exotic, said Kraemer’s wife, Shirley, the head cat wrangler.

A&M’s cat-cloning operation was an offshoot of the Missyplicity Project to clone a dog named Missy with funding help from a company that wanted to market pet cloning.

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