The Happy Cat A Quarterly Newsletter Published by Forgotten Felines, Inc. Spring 2010 vol. 2 no. 1 www.keysforgottenfelines.org The Purr*Fect Thrift Store Is Open For Business! Litter Pan 101 How to Keep Your Cat Happy Ben Schneierson Our Featured Volunteer Crime Solving Cats Cat Furr is New Forensic Tool For more information about Forgotten Felines, Inc. call 305-743-2520 Open For Business! PURR FECT THRIFT STORE Unwanted Items Helping Unwanted Cats We are excited to announce INTERESTED IN VOLUNTEERING? the grand opening of our If you would like to volunteer PURR*FECT THRIFT STORE a few hours a week in the located at 3850 Overseas Purr*Fect Thrift Store, please Highway in Marathon, directly call Forgotten Felines volunteer across from the City Park, in Sally at 305-896-0932. Training the historic Overseas Lounge will be provided. building. All items sold benefit INTERESTED IN DONATING? Forgotten Felines, funding our If you would like to donate your efforts to feed, medicate, spay 3580 Overseas, Marathon clean and working unwanted and neuter abandoned cats Across from the City Park household items, tools, and in the Middle Keys to prevent furniture, please call Sally at their over population. Open everyday 1-4pm 305-896-0932 to schedule a The Purrfect Thrift is volun- drop off time. All donations are teer run so hours vary 100% tax deductible. slightly. Be patient as we get our schedule formalized. In INTERESTED IN SHOPPING? the meantime, the store is Stop by the Purr*Fect Thrift consistently open between any time you see the OPEN 1-4pm, seven days a week. sign in the window, and Please stop in often to peruse always between 1 and 4pm. the wonderful items for sale. Purchase proceeds benefit Our selection updates daily. Keys area homeless cats. What We Sell at The Purr*Fect Thrift We DO accept and sell Small Appliances, Tools, Housewares and Furniture. Sorry, we DO NOT accept Clothes, Childrens Items or Large Appliances. Featured Volunteer Ben Schneierson FF: When did you join Forgotten Felines? BS: I joined two years ago. FF: What is your favorite volunteering activity? BS: Feeding the cats because they are so happy to see me. FF: What volunteer activity would you like to learn more about? BS: I would love to do more volunteering in the Purr*Fect Thrift Store. FF: What advice do you have for new volunteers? BS: Don’t give up. If it seems hard at times, remind yourself that the cats need you. FF: What is your dream for Forgotten Felines? BS: That all cats would have loving homes and not need our help any more. FF: Did you always like cats? BS: No. When I moved in with my girlfriend, her son brought home two cats. The one cat really loved me and through that special friendship, I learned to appreciate cats. FF: Thanks for your time. Keep up the great work! Practical Cats The Broadway musical, Cats, is based on the book Old Possums Book of Practical Cats, a book of poems by T.S. Eliot. The poems were written dur- ing the 1930s and included by Eliot, under his assumed name “Old Pos- sum”, in letters to his godchildren. They were collected and published in 1939 with cover illustrations by the author. Here are the first lines from one of the poems, “The Naming of Cats”: The Naming of Cats is a difficult matter, It isn’t just one of your holiday games; You may think at first that I’m as mad as a hatter, When I tell you a cat must have THREE DIFFERENT NAMES. The Prez Says Cat Eyes: Neighborhood Watch by Nancy Warner, President Sometime between the holiday season and 4. Help us. Prepare the cat for our volunteers hurricane season comes kitten season, and that to trap by feeding it at the same place and time sometime happens to be right now. Homeless of day for the days leading up to the trapping. and abandoned cats that we haven’t had the Leave clean food and water in a quiet, safe spot opportunity to trap and spay/neuter are now that the cat can find, then step away to give it prowling neighborhoods, looking for a good space. place to have their litters of kittens. It is during 5. Let neighbors know. Let your neighbors kitten season that Forgotten Felines needs your know that you are helping us trap a homeless cat help the most. We need you to be on the alert and that we need the area as quiet as possible in your neighborhood, keeping an eye out for during the trapping session. Loud noises, any new cats wandering around that you don’t children and dogs may scare the cat away for recognize. Here are some basics to turn you into the night. a grade-A neighborhood watchdog...er, cat: 6. Kittens. If you find a litter of kittens, call 1. Know the cats in your neighborhood. us immediately. Unless they are in unsafe Talk to your neighbors about any cats you conditions, leave them alone until we get don’t recognize and encourage them to keep there. Moving kittens away from their mother pets indoors. We don’t want to accidently trap poses several dangers to the kittens, including someone’s pet. malnutrition and anxiety. 2. Call us. If you see a cat that is homeless, call The most important thing you can do is us. We will help you through the next steps. If communicate with us. We can do our job best the cat looks fat (pregnant) do not wait to call us! when we have watchful eyes monitoring every It is important that we trap the cat BEFORE it has neighborhood in the area to spot abandoned its litter. It is much more difficult to trap it after. and homeless cats. You know your neighborhood 3. Keep your distance. Homeless cats get better than we do. If a new cat shows up, let us nervous when approached by humans. Please know. With your help, we can work together to let our volunteers make the first move. keep this kitten season mild. Kitty Quotes Everything comes to those who wait...except a cat. ~Mario Andretti Crime Fighting Kitties Cat Hair Could be the Next Forensic Tool http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/discoblog/2010/03/22/ You may think of your furry feline friend simply as a companion, but look closely and you will find that your whiskered pal also has the ability to be a crime-fighting supercat. A team of scientists has found that fur shed by cats can serve as forensic evidence, thanks to the DNA it contains. In fact, a man was recently convicted of second-degree murder in Canada after fur found on his discarded jacket matched that of Snowball–the victim’s cat. The telltale fur led to a 15-year prison sentence. Scientists say that it may soon become commonplace to use the genetic material in fur shed by cats to link perpetrators, accomplices, witnesses, and victims. As the researchers wrote in the journal Forensic Science International: Genetics: “Cats are fastidious groomers, and shed fur can have sufficient genetic material for trace forensic studies, allowing potential analysis of both standard short tandem repeat (STR) and mitochondrial DNA regions.” Veterinary scientist Robert Grahn and his team have already amassed a feline DNA database containing samples drawn from 25 distinct worldwide cat populations and 26 breeds. The resultant database of 1,394 cat DNA sequences gives scientists a baseline understanding of the overall genetic diversity of cats, so they can determine where to look for unique identifiers in the cat genome, and figure out how definative a match is. The new database focuses on mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), which is genetic material inherited from one’s mother. Grahn explained to Discovery News that aside from mtDNA, nuclear DNA–which is even better for identifying individuals–can also be found on those cat hairs that still retain their root bulbs or on skin particles that might stick to the oily fur when cats groom themselves. These natural oils, along with static electricity and the sheer volume of fur, mean that people who enter a property with a resident cat are like fur magnets. It is almost impossible to avoid having one or more cat furs cling to skin, clothing, shoes, bags and more. A forensic test using the STR technique, which looks at particular markers in the cat genome, has already been developed by forensic geneticist John Butler. Called the “Meowplex,” that test can be used in conjunction with this new mtDNA database to help cats throws crooks behind bars. For now, it’s the cats’ DNA database that is being built, but your doggy need not feel left out of this episode of “Paw and Order.” Scientists hope to add canine and other animal DNA into this mix later. Litter Box 101 www.best-cat-tips.com DID YOU KNOW? Your cat’s sense of smell is nearly 1000 times better than yours, so clean the litter box thoroughly at least once daily. Disinfect the pan and replace the litter entirely once monthly. If your cat does not respond to a clean litter box you may need to replace it. Old litter boxed can become scratched and permeated with a scent your cat finds unpleasant. Hooded litter boxes were designed for owners not cats. If your cat does not like going inside, try removing the hoods and rethink the location of the boxes. Litter boxes should be in a quiet, out of the way places with convenient access for your cats. Keep the boxes away from bright lights, loud noises, and vibrations from washing machines or furnaces. If your home has multiple floors, have a box on each level. Finally, do not put a litter box near the cat’s food dishes. Become a Forgotten Felines Volunteer Forgotten Felines is comprised of cat lovers who volunteer in the following ways: 1) FEEDERS: Monitor, feed and water a neighborhood colony of cats each day. 2) RESPONDERS: Respond to calls by rescuing injured or neglected cats. 3) FOSTER PARENTS: Foster baby kittens who have been separated from their mothers while they await adoption. 4) KITTY NURSES: Rehabilitate sick or injured cats. 5) TRAPPERS: Rescue homeless cats so they can be spayed/neutered and immunized. 6) DRIVERS: Drive contained cats to and from veterinary clinics on spay/neuter days. 7) BENEFACTORS: Donate tax deductible funds to pay for food and veterinary care for the homeless and abandoned cats. If you would like to volunteer in any of these ways, please give us a call at (305)743-2520. No experience needed, training will be provided.
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