Friday Catblogging: About that study of feline & canine brains…

Embed from Getty Images
One may have read news accounts that contend of a recent study of cats’ and dogs’ neurons suggests dogs are more intelligent. News headline may suggest that, but in fact, the actual study doesn’t draw that conclusion for the results:

Dog people are gloating this week amid widespread reports that a recent study found dogs to be “smarter” than cats. But one of the scientists who conducted the research says it’s not quite that simple.

“We did not study their behavior, so we cannot (and do not) make any claims about how intelligent they are,” researcher Suzana Herculano-Houzel, an associate professor at Vanderbilt University, told HuffPost in an email.

So why all the headlines declaring dogs are smarter? Because although they didn’t observe behavior, Herculano-Houzel and her colleagues did observe the number of neurons in the brains of different animals, including two dogs and a cat….

Via Did A Viral Study ‘Prove’ Dogs Are Smarter Than Cats? Not Quite.

Friday Catblogging: Don’t Pet the Lion

Welsh rugby player Scott Baldwin extended an invitation, one that the lion predictably accepted:

Coach Steve Tandy had no sympathy for his player, suggesting Baldwin had ignored instruction and attempted to pet the animal.

“There was an incident with a lion, but in fairness it was nothing to do with the lion,” he said in a press conference, which was uploaded to YouTube.

“He did bite Scott but when you put your hand in a fence where there is a lion, then you will get bitten.

“It was pretty stupid on Scott’s behalf and he is pretty lucky. It was a good environment and we were told how far back to stand.”

Alaskan Lynx Family Visits Photographer’s Porch

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) – Anchorage resident Tim Newton awoke to the sound of something running across his deck in the area of Flattop, last Tuesday at 7:30 a.m. So naturally, he went to check it out.

Family of lynx on deck of Anchorage resident (photo Courtesy of Tim Newton Photography)

“I crept over to the window and opened the curtains a crack, and could see it looked like a cat,” he told Channel 2. But to his surprise it was no regular house cat.

“I started to think nothing more of it,” he said. “But then I noticed it had really big feet and little tiny hairs on its ears. So I knew then it was probably a lynx kitten – not a full grown cat.”

The very next thing Newton did was grab his camera.

“Normally when you see a lynx, you have just enough time to get your camera out, and then they’re gone,” says Newton. “So I was thrilled I could get a couple pictures of them playing on the deck. And I thought that might be the end of it.”

But that was not the end of it….

“Then I saw the grass… rustling,” he says. “It’s like in Jurassic Park! We got the velociraptors going through the bushes – well that’s what I saw. And lo and behold, one by one, all these baby lynx came to mama and shuffled out onto the deck, right in front of me, where I was standing behind the screen.”

In total, the family was made up of eight lynx – seven kittens and one mother….

Via Up close and personal with local lynx family @ KTUU.

Friday Catblogging: The Tiny Meows Coming From the Wall

Here’s a story with a happy ending:

Friday Catblogging: Nursery

LOS ANGELES — They are brought into shelters in crates, boxes and flower pots at this time of the year: Tiny, mewing kittens with eyes barely open, with pink, toothless mouths — and usually with no mother to nurse them.

And here’s what it takes to keep them alive: people to hand-feed formula through a syringe or tiny bottle every two to three hours around the clock, until the newborns are 4 weeks old. Most shelters do not have the resources to do this, so kittens younger than 8 weeks — the earliest age of adoption — are typically euthanized.

Not so at a stucco-sided facility on the north side of Los Angeles. Sophia Lim, one of its many volunteers, knows the routine. Hands clad in blue surgical gloves on a spring afternoon, she gingerly weighs a 4-week-old beige kitten named Osbourne on a small tabletop scale, then places him belly-down on her chest and holds a travel shampoo-sized bottle to his lips. A few minutes later, she moves on to one of the other 81 unweaned kittens who needed to eat….

Via A kitten nursery saves tiny lives in a city aiming to become ‘no kill’ @ Washington Post.

Friday Catblogging: Rescuing Cats From Super Tall Trees

As professional arborists, brothers-in-law Tom Otto and Shaun Sears are quite adept at climbing trees. The cats that they rescue are not. And with a plethora of trees—and cats—around Seattle, they decided to put their off hours to good use and return scared, stuck kitties to their worried owners. Working completely off donations, these two cat lovers are helping keep Seattle’s free-climbing felines grounded.