A vaccine for FIP? Compound GC376 may be the answer

There may be a vaccine to prevent FIP in the future. Researchers at Kansas State University, together with a medicinal chemist at Wichita University and Dr. Neils Pedersen at UC Davis, have been working on an FIP vaccine, and last week it was announced that they had licensed their compound GC376 to Anivive Lifesciences, which is a major step towards developing the compound into a commercial vaccine available to veterinarians.

Remember, though, that getting the compound to a pharmaceutical developer is just the first step. Clinical trials need to be run, and then the vaccine needs to be approved by the FDA before it will be available for sale. That will probably take a few years. But still…we may very well see a vaccine in our lifetimes that will prevent FIP in our feline companions!

Singas are Super: Bruce Lee dials 999

(Photo from the Daily Mail)

It’s not often you find a news story about a Singapura, but back in 2013 a Singa kitten in London named Bruce Lee managed to dial 999 and summon the police.

Next they’ll be wanting their own iPhones.

Other People’s Abys – Cleo closes down a pet store chain

I don’t know how I missed this, but better late than never. Back in January, an Abyssinian kitten was seen for sale in a pet store in Brampton, Ontario, Canada…for $1,300 CDN!

Braydon Dennee first saw Cleo during a trip to the mall. According to him (and his photos), “You could see every single bone in her body…She wasn’t fighting back. She was just getting beat up by this other kitten.”

I can well believe that one…after all, I also have a red/sorrel Abyssinian who gets bullied by another cat. Bad enough that Abys don’t do well in cages to begin with.

Cleo’s plight sparked an internet attack on PJ’s pet stores. And it’s true: PJ’s Pet Centres are going out of business. Not sure if that “by popular demand” is referring to the closing or their restocking pet food…but I’m going to pretend it’s the former.

The only thing that stops this story from being a truly happy ending is the fact that no one seems to know what happened to Cleo. According to the news articles I found, the store pulled her to aid in her “recovery.” but no one seems to know where she ended up. If anyone does know…I’d love to hear the rest of this story!

Aby-a-Day – 17 April: Pages 6 and 7 (Selfie Sunday)

Björn was interviewed by the Göteborgs-Posten last Thursday bay a reporter doing a piece about Migrationsverket and the “love migration process” and people like us who either have a partner trying to move to be with them or who are that partner, and an article was published in last Saturday’s paper (that’s the big paper of the week there, Saturday instead of Sunday, so you have two days to read it all).

This was the main photo they used on the web version of the story and in the newspaper itself.

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This is the front of the newspaper…

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Look who made it to page 1!

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This is the spread on pages 6 & 7 with sidebars about other aspects of Migrationsverket and Swedes waiting for their partners.

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Interestingly, this isn’t the first time someone I know has been featured on the front of a major publication.

Postcards from an Aby - Your Cat Magazine, Oct. 2012

Not only that…he also had a spread on pages 6 & 7! Björn and Jacoby…media superstars!

Aby-a-Day – January 13: Nous sommes tous Charlie (Cartoon Tuesday)

Last week, something terrible happened, which has affected cartoonists around the world.

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I consider myself a cartoonist. I’ve been drawing cartoons since I could draw. I actually even got in trouble in high school for controversial anti-Reagan editorial cartoons I did for the high school paper that were also published in the local paper on their “Under 20” page. Some people have said that the Charlie Hebdo cartoons were “asking for it.” Others have said that the cartoons were offensive/obscene/profane/bad, as if these had been painters or musicians or some other type of “real” artist who had been attacked, it would have been a bigger deal. But it’s not about WHAT you draw. It’s not about being offensive. It’s not even about liking the cartoons that Charlie Hebdo has been publishing since 1970. It’s about someone deciding that because they don’t like what you drew, you are worthy of killing.

And the way things are, someone could be offended by anything someone else drew.

5 guys who drew cartoons were killed because some other guys with guns didn’t like those cartoons. And that’s not right.

Nous sommes tous Charlie.

à la mémoire de:
Cabu (Jean Cabut)
Charb (Stéphane Charbonnier)
Georges Wolinski
Tignous (Bernard Verlhac)
Philippe Honoré (Honoré)
(ce sont les caricaturistes)
Bernard Maris (“Uncle Bernard”)
Elsa Cayat
Frédéric Boisseau
Michel Reynaud
Mustapha Ourad
Et les policiers:
Frannk Brinsolaro
Ahmed Merabet

(Click cartoon to embiggen, or you can view all cartoons in Slideshow mode on Flickr.)

Aby-a-Day – January 7: (Mostly) Wordless Wednesday (#JeSuisCharlie)

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The Yonkers 25 – Westchester’s Cats of the Year

The Westchester Cat Show was held last weekend in White Plains, NY. Every year at this show, the Westchester Feline Club honours a “Cat of the Year.” As you may recall, Jacoby was last year’s honouree

Jake and I weren’t able to go to the show this year, but I did want to share with you who the WFC selected as their Cat of the Year. It’s not one cat, but 25.

Back in April, Yonkers Department of Public Works employees discovered 25 dead cats hanging in plastic bags from tree branches and bodies of several other cats on the ground in a park along the Hudson River. Some of the cats had been dead for quite some time, but necropsies on three of them revealed that they had succumbed to blunt force trauma to the head. This is the worst animal cruelty incident in the history of Westchester County.

The Westchester Feline Club chose to honour the innocent “Yonkers 25” and bring light to a new awareness of the magnitude and effect of animal cruelty in local communities. I think Scarlett would be pleased that these murdered cats and kittens were remembered in her name. And now, thanks to Westchester, they will never be forgotten.

This crime was discovered, as I said earlier, on 24 April of this year, but no arrests were made until just three days ago, when, on 18 November, a Yonkers man was arrested and charged with three misdemeanor counts of violating environmental conservation law related to his alleged disposal of a kitten and two cats, which were among those discovered in the woods. He’s also facing two counts of animal cruelty. He faces up to one year in jail, a $500 fine or three years probation on the animal cruelty charges. The other charge can carry a sentence of six months behind bars.

That may not seem a fitting punishment for his (alleged) crimes…but in a way, it’s a miracle they finally caught this man at all! I wonder if the Westchester Feline Club’s award and subsequent publicity had anything to do with his apprehension?