TIME animals

Quiz: Is Your Dog Crazy?

Take this quiz and find out

A dog’s brain and your brain have very similar chemistry and many similar structures. It stands to reason they work in more or less the same way—and break down the same way too. More and more, behavioral veterinarians are diagnosing problems as diverse as depression, anger, dementia and post-traumatic stress disorder in dogs. As with humans, treatment involves behavioral therapy and sometimes even drugs. But first you have to know if a problem exists at all. Here are some of the symptoms veterinarians consider in making a diagnosis.

 

TIME Art

Watch a Video of British Artist Banksy in Gaza

Several of Banksy's latest graffiti pieces are highlighted

British graffiti artist Banksy, known for his subversive street art, released a two-minute video from war-torn Gaza on his website Wednesday.

“Make this the year you discover a new destination,” it wryly says, in the style of a tourism video. But instead of sandy beaches, it offers viewers a glimpse of what a Gazan sees “well away from the tourist track”: tunnels, rubble and children gazing at some of the 18,000 homes destroyed last July in Israel’s Operation Protective Edge.

The video also spotlights several of Banksy’s latest graffiti pieces, including images of children swinging from a surveillance tower, a parent grieving over a child in a bombed-out setting, and a kitten donning a pink bow.

“A local man came up and said ‘Please — what does this mean?’ I explained I wanted to highlight the destruction in Gaza by posting photos on my website — but on the internet people only look at pictures of kittens,” Banksy writes.

“The cat found something to play with,” a Palestinian man says during the video. “What about our children?”

TIME animals

Helpful Cat Helps Dig Out Home Buried in Snow

Kind of ends up making more of a mess

Rudiger the cat is ready for battle. Its enemy? The four-foot snow drift blocking its front door.

It’s hard to tell whether Rudiger really likes the snow, or really, really hates its house. Either way the cat seems resolved to make a break for it before cabin fever sets in, and the lil kitty is forced to recreate The Shining (or maybe Alive) just to quash the monotony. With that specter hanging over its little head and no useful human help in sight, the cat is left alone to dig its way to freedom. No amount of icy paws or snow poised to avalanche into the foyer at any moment will stop its escape.

Despite the fact that Rudiger can’t use a snow shovel or even put mittens on its little paws, the intrepid feline spends the morning squaring off against the drift, patiently scratching away at the pile that towers over its head until sweet freedom is only a high jump away.

 

 

 

TIME Vietnam

Thousands of Rescued Cats May Have Just Been Buried Alive in Vietnam

Though illegal, cat-meat is in high demand in Vietnam as a delicacy

Thousands of cats that were seized by Vietnamese authorities appear to have been buried, and many seem to have been alive at the time.

“Three tons” of felines were found cramped together in bamboo crates in a truck after being smuggled into Vietnam from China to supply the country’s illegal cat-meat trade, Agence France-Presse reports.

They were impounded in the capital Hanoi, but authorities didn’t know what to do with the animals.

“Several of them had died, there was a terrible smell that could affect the environment and carried risks of future diseases,” said a police officer from Dong Da district. “Therefore, we culled them by burying them.”

Animal-protection groups had pleaded with the authorities to spare the cats, and had even started an online petition urging the Vietnamese authorities to “change their animal-handling policies.”

They believe many of the cats had still been alive when they were buried.

Though the consumption of cat meat, known locally as little tiger, is illegal in the Southeast Asian country, it is still considered a delicacy and is served in many restaurants.

[AFP]

TIME animals

This Man Turned His Home Into a Purr-fect Playground for Cats

He calls it the House of Nekko, meaning cat in Japanese

A builder from Goleta, Calif., has spent the past two decades converting his house into a kitty playground.

Peter Cohen spent tens of thousands of dollars building an elaborate home filled with colorful catwalks, hideouts, ramps and tunnels for his 15 rescue cats, the Huffington Post reports.

“I never intended to have so many,” he told the website Catster in an interview last year. “It is way too expensive and a tad too much work.”

Despite the expense, Cohen and his roommate are happy that they’ve built a safe and fun, and also very bright, feline haven.

“They give us unconditional love, and building the catwalks is one way of expressing my gratitude for that,” he said.

[Huffington Post]

TIME Pets

Petco Won’t Sell Chinese Dog and Cat Treats Any More

FDA is investigating whether treats led to canine deaths

Petco has announced it will remove dog and cat treats made in China from its stores, amid a U.S. investigation of the safety of animal snacks created in the country.

The Food and Drug Administration has received 4,800 complaints about pet illnesses related to jerky treats, including 1,000 complaints involving canine deaths, since 2007. Most of the complaints involve snacks made in China. The investigation is ongoing.

Petco becomes the first pet speciality retailer in the U.S. to pull the Chinese treats from its shelves. Its competitor PetSmart has said it will remove such treats from its stores by March, according to the Associated Press.

In lieu of China-made treats, Petco will continue to source treats from the U.S. and begin including new items from New Zealand, Australia and South America.

TIME Theater

Andrew Lloyd Webber Says Cats Will Return to Broadway

bows at the curtain call during the press night performance of "Cats" as Nicole Scherzinger joins the cast at the London Palladium on December 11, 2014 in London, England.
David M. Benett—Getty Images Nicole Scherzinger bows at the curtain call during the press night performance of "Cats" at the London Palladium on Dec. 11, 2014 in London.

And he wants to cast a Pussycat Dolls singer in the production's lead role

Andrew Lloyd Webber wasn’t pussyfooting around when he announced Monday that his hit musical Cats will return to Broadway.

Webber did not specify run dates or divulge further details about a New York production, though he did say he hopes to replicate the success of a recent revival of the musical in London’s West End, after a 10 year hiatus, the Guardian reports.

Webber added that he “greatly hoped” to introduce U.S. audiences to the newest performer in star role of Grizabellar, Nicole Scherzinger, a former singer for the Pussycat Dolls.

“She is what you might call an American theater babe,” Webber said of Scherzinger. “I do believe she is the most exciting musical theater artist I have found – well, that I have worked with – in very, very many years. I really do.”

Let the memory live again.

[Guardian]

 

TIME viral

Here is a Cat Playing Whac-A-Mole with Its Owner’s Fingers

They don’t allow cats in Chuck E. Cheese’s, after all

Today in pet owners who love their animals enough to risk losing digits, a cat plays Whac-A-Mole with its owner’s fingers as she pokes them through holes in a cardboard box. The cat seems to be having fun at first, but when the owner begins to increase the challenge, the cat gets a look on its face that we can only assume to mean, “why would you do this to me?”

It’s not clear whether this is a creative, homemade scheme for cat entertainment or a form of very benign torture. Either way, the cat’s going to have to try again for a better score.

TIME viral

This Cat’s Laser Focus and Determination as He Flicks a Piece a Paper Is Commendable

After a full minute he finally takes a break and just cuddles up with it

This is Paper Cat. All we really know about him is that he’s really into paper — or at least, he’s really into this one specific piece of paper. He flicks at it with the type of curiosity and determination that teachers dream of. His human tries a few times to get him to stop, but he’s all, I have a mission and I will not rest until it is completed.

After about a minute, though, he does rest, cuddling up with the paper and making sure to protect it – probably because he plans to continue his mission in a few minutes.

TIME animals

You Always Knew Your Cat Was Half Wild But Now There’s Genetic Proof

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Paula Daniëlse—Getty Images/Flickr RM

That kitty curled up on your lap is only one genetic step away from jungle killer

A new study on house cats has found that our feline companions are actually only semi-domesticated.

People began domesticating cats around 9,000 years ago but DNA researchers from Washington University in St. Louis found that house cats still have many of the same traits as their wild cousins. The fact that cats have retained the ability to hunt and survive effortlessly in the wild just underscores how little impact we humans have had on them.

Wes Warren, an associate professor of genomics at the university, told the Los Angeles Times, “We believe we have created the first preliminary evidence that depicts domestic cats as not that far removed from wildcat populations.”

That’s not to say humans haven’t had any influence on cats. We originally took them into our homes to hunt rodents and rewarded that behavior with food. According to researchers, this lead to eventual changes in a group of stem cells that resulted in more docile (but not fully domesticated) felines and produced colors and fur patterns that humans liked.

“Our results suggest that selection for docility, as a result of becoming accustomed to humans for food rewards, was most likely the major force that altered the first domesticated cat genomes,” researchers wrote.

Read more at the Los Angeles Times.

Read next: Celebrate National Cat Day With the Most Ridiculous Cover in TIME History

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