Google Chrome App Changes Trump Pics to Images of Kitties

trump-kittensAnti-Trump kitty lovers who are traumatized by the non-stop pics of the president-elect on the Internet are in luck, as Google Chrome now offers an app that will automatically change the pics of Le Donald into photos of adorable kittens.

The Make American Kittens Again app, which can be added to a Google Chrome browser, finds photos of Trump and automatically changes them to kitty pics, according to Business Insider.

Although this doesn’t work with social media sites, the app performs its meow-velous magic on news sites such as The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and others.

This begs the question: Will Trump now embark on a Twitter war with kitties? Well, he is known to be catty. (Sorry…I couldn’t resist. LOL!)

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Meownaste: Cat Yoga is the Latest Shelter Trend

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The “mewest” trend. Cat shelters across the U.S. are now offering yoga with cats, to promote the kitties available for adoption, and to help raise funds for their care. (Photo from CNN)

In an effort to draw greater awareness to the rescue cats available for adoption, a growing number of pet shelters in the U.S. are now offering yoga classes with kitties. The classes are available in Des Moines, Iowa, New York City, Mobile, Alabama, San Francisco and other towns and cities, and are expected to grow in numbers as this feline-tastic trend catches on.

One place where this is really popular is the Good Mews Shelter in the Atlanta suburb of Marietta, Georgia, which is home to about 100 rescue cats housed in a cage-free environment. Yoga aficionados get to bend and stretch amidst the felines, while their class fee is donated to the shelter.

Long-time shelter volunteer and certified yoga instructor Lisa Bass teaches the classes. She presented the idea to shelter director Lisa Johns, who thought it would be a great way to promote the kitties available for adoption while also raising funds for their care, and providing yoga lovers with a uniquely fun experience.

The classes are offered thrice monthly. In the three months since the classes started, they have become so wildly popular with the downward facing dog set that they sell out every time.

As a long-time yoga fan, I can attest to its many physical and mental health benefits. As my cats often join me when I practice at home, they can be distracting. But that’s the fun part, and I think this is a meow-velous idea that I hope other cat shelters get on board with.

NJ Closer to Cat Declawing Ban

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New Jersey is about to make history by becoming the first U.S. state to ban the declawing of cats, which animal welfare advocates applaud. (Photos from Wikimedia Commons and Alissa Wolf)

As I reported back in June, New Jersey was on the verge of passing legislation to become the first U.S. state to officially ban the declawing of cats. The Garden State is on the road to doing just that after Bill A3899 passed the Assembly on Monday, to much fanfare. I am proud to say that the bill was sponsored by my very own Assemblyman Troy Singleton (D-Burlington).

While there would be exceptions for legitimate medial purposes, veterinarians who declaw cats and people who seek these services could face a fine of up to $1,000 or six months in jail. Violators would also face a civil penalty of $500 to $2,000.

Animal welfare advocates and many of those in the veterinary medicine community have long derided declawing as highly inhumane. Not only is this akin to cutting off a human’s fingers just below the first joints, this can lead to a host of medical and behavioral issues. These include arthritis due to the effects on a cat’s natural gait; litter box avoidance due to the impact on their natural and innate need to dig; they may experience great stress due to their inability to defend themselves; and more.

Alternatives to Declawing

Clawing is normal, natural cat behavior that serves the purposes of relieving stress, enabling kitties to mark their territories, effectively stretch their backs and they just enjoy it.

In order to minimize destruction to furniture and other household objects, be sure to have lots of high-quality scratching posts around the house, placed in areas where kitties especially like to scratch. Make sure that these are tall enough for kitties to get a good stretch, and are composed of materials that are appealing to felines, such as rough sisal.

You might also consider taking your cat to a groomer or veterinarian for regular nail clippings, and ask them to teach you how to do this at home. Another option is Soft Paws, safe, comfortable vinyl claw caps that were invented by veterinarian Toby Wexler, and are available in a variety of fashionable colors and styles.

These enable cats to retract their claws, and can last for up to six weeks. Most cats get used to them quickly, and don’t even know they are wearing them. You can apply these yourself, or take your cat to a groomer who has experience with this, which is what I did with Murphy when he was a kitten.

Regardless, this is excellent news for kitties and those who love them, and I hope other states get on board with this.

Ollie Delivers Fresh Dog Food to Your Door

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Ollie delivers fresh human-grade dog food right to your door, along with a plan tailored to each individual dog. (Photos courtesy of Moxie Communications Group)

After New York-based entrepreneur Gabby Slome adopted her mixed breed pooch, Poncho, while traveling in Columbia, she was shocked at his rapid weight gain, despite that she was feeding him high-quality kibble. So she and her fellow pet lover colleagues Alex Douzet and Randy Jimenez got the idea to launch a unique dog food company called Ollie, which officially debuted on Oct. 5.

This is fresh, home-delivered, human-grade, vet-formulated food tailored to each dogs’ individual nutritional requirements, prepared in a USDA inspected and FDA regulated facility.

“Alex and I both had rescue dogs that were gaining a lot of weight,” Ollie CXO Gabby said, during a recent phone interview. “We were confused by the feeding guidelines on pet food packages. We are educated consumers. We didn’t understand until we started digging deeper. We wanted to give pet parents greater confidence in feeding their dogs. We were able to do this through a delivery and subscription model.”

As pet parents become more educated and savvy about their companion animals’ health and nutritional needs, and as pet obesity and food-related ailments are a growing concern, many humans are seeking more appropriate choices for their pets.

“What we found astonishing was a health epidemic among dogs in general; 60 percent are obese,” Gabby said. “Cancer rates are skyrocketing. No one was looking into the whys of this. Like the human world, the number one indicator is: what you eat affects your health.”

Gabby cited mass-produced product as a prime reason for the lack of nutritional value and, in some case, outright dangers inherent in popular pet foods.

“The major conglomerates own the pet food companies. There are many different channels that ingredients come through, based on profit models.”

She added that commercial pet foods may contain rendered ingredients, chicken meal, waste from the human food supply chain, wood chips, restaurant trash, grease, and even road kill.

“Even if they use good ingredients, they use so much processing that the foods come out in the end like cardboard,” she said. “Then they add a bunch of preservatives. It can sit for six months after production.”

Ollie works somewhat similarly to human home-delivered gourmet food services Blue Apron and Hello Fresh. However, there is no preparation involved.

“We are a refrigerated product,” Gabby explained. “It’s a low temperature cooked product that kills bacteria, but not nutrients. We use the process of MATH: modified atmosphere pressure packaging. This keeps fresh for up to two weeks in your fridge. We married a product company with a technology company. We ask dog owners about their pet’s weight, breed, age, allergies and other issues. We are able to do that at that level and be national.”

Ollie delivers weekly or bi-weekly in a package that contains the pet’s food, a tailored nutrition and feeding plan, and other tips for how to keep your dog healthy. Using customer data and feedback, Ollie constantly updates its formulas to ensure that each pet is always getting exactly the right portion, ingredients and food for their specific needs. The majority of the ingredients are sourced from the U.S.

“The meats are from U.S. family farms, and most of the fruits and veggies are from U.S. farms, while the chia seeds from Mexico,” Gabby said.

Meals start at $3 a day for small dogs, which is a small price to pay for convenience, and the health of your dog.

“People are busy and want the convenience of what they want shipped,” Gabby concluded. “It’s more convenient and a much healthier solution.”

Cesar Classics Filet Mignon Recalled Due to Plastic Pieces

Food Safety News reports that Mars Petcare has issued a voluntary recall of select containers of Cesar Classics Filet Mignon Flavor aftcesar-classics-filet-mignon-dog-food-copy-297x300er a handful of consumers reported finding small pieces of plastic in the food. The food is available in individual trays and variety packs.

The affected products have a lot code printed on the side of the trays that begins with 631FKKC or 631GKKC and best-before date between 08/04/18 and 08/05/18.

The containers found in variety packs have the following lot codes: 632D14JC, 633B24JC, 634A14JC, 634A24JC, 634B14JC, 634B24JC, 634E14JC, 635A24JC, 635B14JC, 636D24JC and 636E14JC.

While (thankfully) no pet injuries or illnesses have been reported thus far, the plastic particles can present choking hazards.

Mars is asking that retailers remove the products from their shelves, and that dog parents cease feeding this to their dogs immediately.

If you have any questions, you may contact the company at (800) 421-6456.

Happy Cat Month Cat Product Review: M.A.X. Cozy Curl Cat Scratcher from CatClaws

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CatClaws products include various scratchers and toys for the discriminating kitty. (Photos from Matrix Partners and Alissa Wolf)

In honor of Happy Cat Month, my furry assistant editors Murphy and Lily received a product from a company called CatClaws for their review.

But first, a little bit about Happy Cat Month. This was started by a grassroots Maryland-based group called the CATalyst Council, which includes members from the fields of veterinary medicine, shelter/animal welfare, organizations such as the Cat Fanciers Association, the media and commercial companies, dedicated to educating the public about and celebrating kitties. The group’s primary mission is to ensure that felines are well cared for, and valued as pets.

CatClaws is an Arkansas-based online retailer of unique pet products that was launched in the mid-1980s by Bill and Gail Seliskar. Bill previously owned a corrugated box company in Illinois. Upon noticing how much his cats loved scratching on the cardboard samples he brought home, he came up with the idea for a product called the Cat Claws Scratching Pad.

After initially selling this single product through magazine and newspaper ads, Bill and Gail expanded to offering a wide range of cat products. (The company also offers a smaller selection of dog items.)

They claim that the secret to their success is the certified organic Cat Claws Naturally Nip Catnip used with all of their cat products, which also include toys, beds and furniture, grooming supplies, bowls and water fountains, monuments and memorial products, gifts for pet lovers and a diverse slew of others.

Most of the products are made in the U.S., and the company also accepts submissions from other pet product makers.

Murphy and Lily were immediately intrigued by the M.A.X. Cozy Curl Cat Scratcher they received for their review, which you can see from the photo above. They especially enjoyed the catnip, which also attracted them to and encouraged them to scratch the product.

Made from sturdy corrugated cardboard and available in a variety of colors and designs, these offer kitties a place to scratch, sleep and play, and scratch mark − a major reason why cats need to claw. It’s a potential furniture savior. And at $13.95, the scratcher is also affordable.

So in honor of Happy Cat Month, Murphy and Lily give two paws up to CatClaws.

Obama’s Ban on Aerial Hunting in Alaska Angers Palin

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The new ban prohibits hunting from airplanes and helicopters. Photo from Wikimedia Commons

Animal welfare advocates have a new reason to cheer, as President Obama has just issued a sweeping ban on the barbaric practice of aerial hunting in Alaska.

This highly inhumane “sport” involves shooting at animals such as wolves, bears, and others that reside in Alaskan wildlife refuges from airplanes or helicopters. In many cases, the animals are lured into specific locations with food or are trapped, so that hunters can more readily locate and target them.Sarah-Palin

As a result of the new law, which the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service lobbied for, this will now be illegal in 16 refuges totaling 75 million acres within the state.

One prominent name who is a big fan of aerial hunting who is very peeved about this is former GOP vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin. While governor of Alaska, Palin spent $400,000 of the state’s money fighting such a ban. (Meanwhile, other states are considering similar bans.)

But apparently, the Obama administration believes that protecting wildlife from this shameless practice is more important than Sarah Palin’s idea of fun.

Hats off to President Obama!