Cat shuts down NY comedy club’s kitchen

After getting my first warm-blooded pets when I was 22 – cats I named Clark and Kent for reasons I can’t remember – I’ve been a long-time braunwynn.kittens.03student of cat behavior, and always preferred having at least two.

They entertain each other.

And are damn noisy at night.

Like any previous cats, Jacques and Cixous are not allowed on kitchen counters, tables and the like, but of course, they’re up there at night, as food safety video observation in Australia demonstrated about 10 years ago.

Health inspectors shut down the kitchen of the LOL New York Comedy Club last week after finding a cat roaming around inside, officials said.

The spot was given a failing grade — along with a catastrophic 75 violation points — after officials found “Live animals other than fish in tank or service animal present in facility’s food and/or non-food areas” on July 11, according to the Department of Health, which confirmed that the delinquent animal was a puss.

DNAinfo reports that along with the feline faux pas, the club’s kitchen received violations for not having a proper hand washing or dish cleaning cats.sink.jun.13facility. Inspectors also found that the location’s supervisor of food operations did not have a city-issued Food Protection Certificate.

The club reopened the kitchen the day after inspectors found the kitty, said Natasha Michael, a marketing assistant for the club. But she could not say who the cat belonged to.

Vietnam gang stole 4000 cats for meat

For reasons unbeknownst to me, we arrived home from swimming and Amy decided to put collars on the cats.

With bells.

She and the kid disappeared upstairs, leaving me to prepare our lunch of pork loin chops with a mixed berry sweet-and-sour sauce, stir-fried shitsu.cat.jul.13veggies and long-grain brown rain.

Unbeknownst to her, the cats almost ended up elsewhere.

But we live in Australia, not Vietnam, where police have arrested six men on suspicion of stealing as many as 4,000 cats over two years to sell for their meat.

The gang stole between four and six cats each night for two years, police in Vinh City said on Friday. They sold a kilogram of cat for $US3, and used the money to play online games, police said.

Although dog thefts are common in Vietnam, this is the first time a group of people have been arrested for stealing such a large number of cats.

The head of the gang, 26-year-old Nguyen Duc Dung, told police they caught the animals by baiting traps with pieces of fish and leaving them outside homes where they knew people kept cats.

Angry locals alerted the police after their pets continued to go missing. jacque.cat.jul.13The men were caught red-handed as they tried to catch more cats.

Cat meat is a popular delicacy in some parts of Vietnam, usually eaten barbecued as a snack and served with rice wine.

Dogs, cats, raw meat risk factors for ocular toxoplasmosis in Brazil

Ferreira, et al report in Epidemiology & Infection the aim of this study was to investigate risk factors for ocular toxoplasmosis (OT) in patients who received medical attention at a public health service.

Three hundred and forty-nine consecutive patients, treated in the Outpatient Eye Clinic of Hospital de Base, São José do Rio Preto, São Paulo state, dogcat2012Brazil, were enrolled in this study. After an eye examination, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) was used to determine anti-Toxoplasma gondii antibodies.

The results showed that 25·5% of the patients were seronegative and 74·5% were seropositive for IgG anti-T. gondii antibodies; of these 27·3% had OT and 72·7% had other ocular diseases (OOD). The presence of cats or dogs [odds ratio (OR) 2·22, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1·24–3·98, P = 0·009] and consumption of raw or undercooked meat (OR 1·77, 95% CI 1·05–2·98, P = 0·03) were associated with infection but not with the development of OT. Age (OT 48·2 ± 21·2 years vs. OOD: 69·5 ± 14·7 years, P < 0·0001) and the low level of schooling/literacy (OT vs. OOD: OR 0·414, 95% CI 0·2231–0·7692, P = 0·007) were associated with OT.

The presence of dogs and cats as well as eating raw/undercooked meat increases the risk of infection, but is not associated with the development of OT.

Truck crammed with 500 cats stopped en route to restaurants in China

Some 500 cats were discovered crammed into a truck during a routine check as it made its way to restaurants across China to sell the pets as meat.

The animals were rescued thanks to vehicle checks in Xuzhou, in the eastern province of Jiangsu.

Having pulled over the truck in what they assumed was a run of the mill stop, officers were shocked to find the horrific haul.

Officer Sun Hai, who helped rescue the terrified felines along with a colleague, said: ‘The driver said it was a full load of rabbit. 

‘But after we instructed him to uncover the load we were shocked to find a full load of living cats.’

Following the find the pair informed volunteers from a local animal protection centre who quickly arrived on the scene.

They cut open the bags with keys and knives to save the animals from suffocation and also bought water and food.

It is believed that the owner of the load refused to reveal where the cats had come from and it even took seven hours of negotiations to get him to hand them over to rescue teams.

The cats have now been transferred to an animal rescue centre at Tangzhang County, where they are being treated.

I can now blame all my personality traits on toxo; but cats probably aren’t causing Danish women to kill themselves

I’ve got a thing for the Danes.

The kid is named Sorenne.

But a new study in the Archives of General Psychiatry concludes that Danish women infected with the toxoplasmosis parasite were 1.5 times more likely to attempt suicide than their toxo-free counterparts.

Slate reports that when humans get infected—more often from rare meat and unwashed veggies than from cat boxes—the parasite settles into our muscles and brains and stays there, hidden from the immune system in protective cysts. About a third of people in developed countries are toxo carriers. The conventional medical wisdom is that toxo causes a brief mono-like illness in otherwise healthy people and becomes dormant thereafter.

However, a growing body of research suggests that toxo can subtly affect human behavior. Carriers are, then, more likely to try to kill themselves, and nearly three times more likely to die in car accidents.

The effects of toxoplasmosis vary by gender in rats and humans. Infected male rats become markedly more impulsive, females not as much. A series of small studies that compared personality tests in carriers and noncarriers found that men with toxoplasmosis were more “expedient, suspicious, jealous, and dogmatic,” whereas female carriers were warmer and more conscientious.

Chinese billionaire dies after eating poisoned cat stew: police

Chinese billionaire Long Liyuan died after dining on slow-boiled cat meat stew laced with the toxic herb Gelsemium elegans during a business lunch in the Guangdong province.

The case became an online sensation after the police said they had detained the local official, Huang Guang, who had also been hospitalized with food poisoning after the Dec. 23 lunch, in the city of Yangjiang.

The police now suspect that Mr. Huang slipped Gelsemium elegans into the stew while eating lunch with Long Liyuan, 49, who ran a forestry company, and another friend. To avoid suspicion, Mr. Huang apparently ate some of the stew himself. All three men were hospitalized, according to the police account, and Mr. Long died almost immediately.

The police discovered evidence that Mr. Huang had embezzled money from Mr. Long, and detained him on Dec. 30.

Careful with that cat: electric fence keeps Matilda the Algonquin Hotel cat from food areas

The lobby of New York City’s famed Algonquin Hotel has been surrounded with an invisible electric fence in hopes it will keep the health department happy.

The New York Times reports an electric fence was installed in late summer after someone called 311 and the health department threatened the hotel with action: keep Matilda the cat away from food service and dining areas.

Matilda is the latest in a long line of Algonquin cats going back to the 1930s. The first, a stray who wandered in off West 44th Street with as much elan as a famous guest, was known as Rusty or Hamlet. Since then, each cat has been succeeded by another with the same name, Hamlet for the males, Matilda for the females.

A spokeswoman for the health department, Susan Craig, said that the letter about Matilda was “automatically generated” and that the department “did not find evidence substantiating that complaint.”

She said that during a recent inspection, the hotel had explained the ins and outs of the electric fence “perimeter outside of the food service area to contain the cat.”

“Our food safety inspector acknowledged this,” Ms. Craig wrote in an e-mail, “and concurred that cats should be kept out of dining, kitchen or other food-preparation areas.” For all her mentions in newspaper articles, Matilda has never been mentioned in the Algonquin’s restaurant inspection reports from the health department.

What’s For Dinner: The Shine family and the separation between mainstream and food safety geeks

Real meals in real homes, from the Toronto Star (that’s in Canada).

Featuring a real doctor; a 54-year-old anesthesiologist who works in the sterile confines of a hospital where he’s also the operating room medical director.

Dr. Kevin Shine planned to show me how an “obligate carnivore” and his diabetic vegetarian wife get along on the food front.

He may or may not have realized that the most unusual thing about mealtime in his Oakville home is how involved the family’s cats Angel, Katanya, Sasha and Sam are.

The feline foursome eats on the spacious granite island in the kitchen. Their food bowls and automatic water dispenser are kept there so Rusty and Tino, two Cavalier King Charles spaniels, don’t get “a constant feast” (pic from Toronto Star).

The cats freely roam the countertop, even as Kevin’s wife Cheryl chops veggies for her spaghetti sauce on one end and lays out buns and salad fixings on the other.

A curious Katanya gives one crusty Italian roll a thoughtful lick.

“I’ll eat that one,” says Kevin with a shrug, explaining how this adored cat needed unusual jaw surgery to survive. “Katanya thinks she’s a person. She sits with us. She eats with us.”

The Shines don’t usually eat in the dining room, but they decide to do that tonight. They warn that the cats may sit on the table and sample the meal.

Their oldest daughter Elyse, 26, is at veterinary school in Edinburgh. The younger two live at home. Rebecca, 23, is a research coordinator at York University and hopes to do graduate studies in psychology. Connie, 20, is studying culinary nutrition at George Brown College.

An anesthesiologist, a vet student, a chef student and a possible shrink, and they’ve never heard of zoonoses.

“We are most entertaining and live in a very modest house full of cats and dogs as well so be warned!”

The modest home features a 16-foot dining table and seats 22 people.

BARF diet for pets endangers species

The BARF diet is rooted in the philosophy that all things natural are good, and that science or human experience cannot improve on nature.

The Biologically Appropriate Raw Food, or Bones And Raw Food, diet, also known as the "prey model," in which owners try to feed their pets critters similar to what they’d hunt in the wild, has resulted in a surge in illegal sales of raw wild game online, Florida wildlife investigators say.

USA Today reports that in 2010, its first year, Florida Fish and Wildlife’s Internet Crimes Unit logged 177 arrests and 92 warnings for cases involving illegally buying or selling wildlife or raw game meat online, some of it for pets.

Pet owners go on Craigslist and eBay, asking where they can score a squirrel, pheasant, rabbit, goose, duck, chicken, just about any game to feed their cats and dogs. Some seek raw fish, meaty bones and organs such as hearts, livers and kidneys — everything a growing carnivore needs.

"It’s happening nationwide," said Lt. George Wilson, head of the Internet Crimes Unit. "The philosophy behind it is feeding your pet a hormone-free, naturally grazed diet.

"We’re seeing solicitations for wild ducks, anything wild."

The Internet provides a way around having to pay taxes or pay for licenses to sell wild game, investigators say.

But these Internet outlaws skirt regulations that ensure meat is sanitary and comes from game hunted in-season. They threaten to create black markets for wildlife similar to what existed for alligators 50 years ago, Wilson said.

"It’s the unlicensed people that would be trafficking them," said Jim Deason, owner of Sweetwater Plantation, a farm in Bristol, Fla., that sells live deer for breeding. "Any of the people that I know, they’re pretty above board on things like that. If there’s anybody selling game, it’s probably going to be backwoodsy folks."
 

The truth about sleeping with cats and dogs

It was a come-and-meet-a- real-live Canadian event when I first met Amy in Kansas in 2005, and when I first told her that sleeping with her dog was a microbiological risk.

I also told her French food was overrated and she shouldn’t eat rare hamburgers.

She asked me out on a date.

In a study to be published in Emerging Infectious Diseases, veterinary scientists say sleeping with your pets increases the chances of contracting everything from parasites to the plague.

Andrew Schneider of AOL News reports most U.S. households have pets, and more than half of those cats and dogs are allowed to sleep in their owner’s beds.

Personal note: our dogs do not sleep in the bed, but the cats do, primarily in the winter when it’s too cold to go outside; in the summer we are of no use and the cats can disappear for days.

Drs. Bruno Chomel, a professor at the University of California, Davis, School of Veterinary Medicine, and Ben Sun, chief veterinarian for California’s Department of Health, say they wanted to raise the attention of people, as sleeping with a pet is becoming quite common, and there are risks associated with it, even if it is not very frequent.

The authors found that "the risk for transmission of zoonotic agents by close contact between pets and their owners through bed sharing, kissing or licking is real and has even been documented for life-threatening infections such as plague, internal parasites" and other serious diseases.

This study and several others show that disease from cats is far more prevalent, and often more serious.

The number of cats snuggling up with their owner is far greater, which may explain the larger number of people acquiring feline-spawned diseases, Chomel explained.

Sharing our resting hours with our pets may be a source of psychological comfort, but because pets can bring a wide range of zoonotic pathogens into our environment, sharing is also associated with risks, the authors of the current study reported.

• A 9-year-old boy from Arizona got the plague because he slept with his flea-infested cat.
• A 48-year-old man and his wife repeatedly contracted MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus), which their physicians eventually attributed to their dog. The animal "routinely slept in their bed and frequently licked their face," the California experts reported.
• A Japanese woman contacted meningitis after kissing her pet’s face.
• A study published last August in the journal Pediatrics tracked an outbreak of salmonella in 79 people between 2006 and 2008 that was caused by contaminated meat in dry cat and dog food.

Half of the victims were children, who CDC investigators said "might also have played with the pet food and then put their hands — or the food itself — in their mouths."