Thursday, July 28, 2011

Fun Facts About Cats

Did you know:

- Cats are members of the Felidea family.
- A litter of kittens is called a kindle, and a group of cats is called a clowder
- Cats are the only animals that purr. They can purr at around 26 cycles per second which is the same frequency as an idling diesel engine!
- A cat's nose pad is as unique as a human fingerprint. No two nose prints are identical.
- A cat's hearing is much stronger and more sensitive than a dog's or a human's. Our hearing stops at 20 khz; a cat's at 65 khz.

- Cats have 32 muscles in each ear and can turn their ear very quickly to catch noise. Much faster than a very alert watchdog.
- A cat's sense of smell is about 14 times stronger than ours.
- Cats have over 100 vocal sounds, while dogs have only 10.
- Normal body temperature for a cat is between 100.5F and 102.5F.
- Cats drink liquid from the underside of their tongue, not from the top.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Last of rescued Bolivian lions roam free in Keenesburg

Twenty acres might not sound like a lot of territory to roam for a lion, but for a group of rescued lions who spent most of their lives inside cages - it most definitely is.

Back in February, 25 lions who were rescued from Bolivia arrived at the Wild Animal Sanctuary in Keenesburg. They had come from horrendous conditions as circus animals.

For the past few months, the cats have been rehabbing at the sanctuary, which is 30 miles northeast of Denver.

Tuesday, the final seven lions were released from their relatively tight quarters where they had been healing. They now have the freedom to roam 20 acres.

Fido helps children learn to read

Children struggling to learn to read make gains in literacy when they start reading aloud to specially trained dogs and their handlers, according to Jennifer Scarlett, co-president of the San Francisco SPCA.

She says the dogs help the students overcome the reticence they might feel around a teacher, and adds, they also don't correct the way you talk or correct your pronunciations. Many of the students were speaking English as a second or third language or were considered at risk students.

Scarlett writes: "The third- and fourth-graders studied showed progress in so many ways: their confidence grew, their anxieties diminished, and there were fewer classroom outbursts or pupils who had to be excused in the middle of class time. Some ADHD children seemed to get better at just sitting still. Best of all, the students who read with the dogs showed an interest in practicing reading and began to look forward to it."

Study: People with pets are happier, healthier

A recent study revealed that pet owners fared better, both in terms of well-being outcomes and individual differences, than non-owners on several dimensions," said lead researcher Allen R. McConnell of Miami University in Ohio.
"Specifically, pet owners had greater self-esteem, were more physically fit, tended to be less lonely, were more conscientious, were more extroverted, tended to be less fearful and tended to be less preoccupied than non-owners."