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Gaynor Saxon 272 Kennedy Road Napier 06 842 1011 flashcatseditor@gmail.com ADVERTISING Zena Pigden 03 471 0626 zpigden@es.co.nz NATIONAL SECRETARY Chris Lowe secretary@nzcf.com 07 533 4347 TREASURER Marion Petley 259B Mill Road, Otaki 5512 06 364 6314 marion.petley@xtra.co.nz EDITOR The Official Publication of the New Zealand Cat Fancy Inc. Issue 56 Inside this issue 4 - 5 Is your Cat a Sourpuss? This could be why 6 - 7 An interesting article from the Historian’s desk A Step Back in History 9 Experts clash as to whether they count cats as a domestic species Are Cats really Wild? 10-11 Judges Update/Health & Safety 12 Be Aware! Flystrike 14-15 SHOWS Accross the Ditch 16 Happy you! Grumpy Cat Human Pain Relief Creams Fatal to cats 19 COVER PIC Fracted Design of the Clouded Leopard by Byrek, Deviant Art The purity of a person’s heart can be quickly measured by how they regard cats. ~Unknown 2016 SUBSCRIPTION APPLICATION I would like to subscribe to Flash Cats Magazine This subscription entitles me to Associate Membership of the New Zealand Cat Fancy Inc. I am enclosing $40.00 for four issues of Flash Cats. Please send them to the address below: Name: Address: Please copy or cut this form and post to: Executive Secretary Chris Lowe - 1614 Old Coach Road RD6, Te Puke 3186 New Zealand Views expressed in this magazine are not necessarily those of the New Zealand Cat Fancy Inc or its officials, and advertised products or services are not necessarily endorsed by the NZCF For permission to reproduce material in this magazine please contact the authors directly or talk to Gaynor Saxon on 06 842 1011


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The Official Publication of the New Zealand Cat Fancy Inc. Chair Chat One of the problems we’ve encountered as an organisation is that we are keen to support and promote our breeders. We want the public to always choose to buy pedigree cats from a registered breeder (preferably a registered NZCF breeder). So what do we do when a member of the public rings our Secretary and says “I’ve seen this ad on Trademe and the breeder says she is registered with the NZCF - but I can’t see her listed on the website - is she an NZCF breeder?” Because of the Privacy Act, Chris cannot disclose information about people’s membership status. Some genuine registered breeders choose not to be listed on the NZCF website and we cannot confirm that they are members, if someone asks. Unfortunately that only disadvantages our breeders and doesn’t do a thing to stop backyard breeders or former members from claiming to be registered NZCF breeders. So, we’ve decided to do something about it. You will see that our 2016 membership form will include a section stating that you understand that the NZCF may disclose information about your current membership status. The ONLY information that will be disclosed is whether or not you are a current financial member of the NZCF. Signing this section will be a condition of membership, just as agreeing to abide by our codes of conduct is a condition of membership. And speaking of forms…. we are about to update some of our forms and create them as fillable PDF forms that you can type directly into easily. Along with that, we will be accepting electronic signatures - that is, if someone types their own name into a form and then emails it from their own email address, this has the same legal status as a handwritten signature, removing the need to paste in a scanned signature or print, sign, scan and send the form back. Clubs - you can also accept a typed signature as a signature on a document (eg a show entry) that is emailed to you from the person’s own email address. This is in accordance with the Electronic Transactions Act of 2002. We hope this change will make things easier for members, clubs and judges (to name but a few!) who are completing forms, or signing contracts. Later in this issue you will see a full report on the workshop run by the Ministry for Primary Industry, which I attended as the NZCF representative. Please do have a look at it - we all need to have an understanding of the nature and purpose of proposed new regulations - and there is some concerning news for Scottish Fold breeders. Zena Pigden NZCF Chair Editor’s Note This year has flown by, with the show season almost over. Congratulations to all the successful cats, owners and breeders. Special mention must be given to all the breeders of our show cats as it’s their breeding expertise and ongoing devotion that makes our cats and kittens the success they are. Thank you to the contributors of reports and personal articles that have been submitted of late and we welcome any of your anecdotes, stories and any health issues that you might wish to share with the readers. It’s no small feat to source, collate and write interesting and varied articles. Many I find on the Web and much of the articles are compiled from several sites. Welcome to our new Portfolio Manager for Marketing and Publications, Zena. Your enthusiasm for and go-getter attitude in aquiring the necessary advertising to help make our publication Flash Cats a viable magazine is greatly appreciated. It is great to work with you. Gaynor Saxon Flashcats Editor FROM THE ADMIN DESK With one of my many other hats on, Administration & Finance Porfolio, I would like to say that we are still receiving far too many complaints, from the public and members. Can I please ask our members, breeders and judges to read again and reaquaint yourselves with the standards required in the NZCF Codes of Conduct for breeders, judges and members. Gaynor Saxon Vice Chair, Admin & Finance PFM Flash Cats 4 Issue 15/03


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www.nzcf.com IT PERSON WITH PROGRAMMING SKILLS The NZCF is looking for an IT person with programming skills (and ideally some knowledge of the cat world, but this is not essential) who will be willing to help us move our systems forward into the 21st century. We are keen to progress secure online payments, more effective and user friendly online forms, and if feasible with our current system, ways for our members to access information about their own cats or cats they have bred, on a read-only basis. This is a contract position - paid on the basis of hours worked. As we are a non profit society with limited income we need to work within our budgetary restrictions. An acceptable hourly rate is negotiable. If you are interested, please email the Secretary, Chris Lowe in the first instance with information about your qualifications and experience. If you know someone who may be interested feel free to pass this along to them. Email to: chris.lowe@farmside.co.nz NZCF LIFE MEMBERSHIP NOMINATIONS DO YOU KNOW SOMEONE WHOSE CONTRIBUTION TO THE NZCF OVER MANY YEARS, DESERVES ACKNOWLEDGEMENT? SHOULD THEY BE CONSIDERED FOR LIFE MEMBERSHIP OF THE NZCF? If so, please send your nomination(s) to the executive secretary chris lowe secretary@ nzcf.com with a biography of the person. Nominations will be considered by the executive council and if approved, will be placed on the ballot paper for the membership to vote on. All persons who are nominated for life membership will be considered life members when a majority (51% or more) of members voting support the motion. NZCF MEETING DATES 13-15 13-14 9 6-7 18-20 NOVEMBER 2015 FEBRUARY 2016 APRIL AGM 2016 AUGUST 2016 NOVEMBER 2016 FLASH CATS CLOSE-OFF DATES FOR CONTRIBUTIONS June Issue - 15 April 2015 September Issue - 15 July 2015 December Issue - 15 October 2015 March Issue -16 January 2016 Contact Gaynor Saxon (Editor) flashcatseditor@gmail.com Issue 15/03 5 Flash Cats


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The Official Publication of the New Zealand Cat Fancy Inc. THIS COULD BE WHY... How many times have you heard someone say, "Well, animals are attracted to antifreeze because there's a sweetness to it that they like."Nice try, but it strikes a sour note with cats because cats can't taste sweetness. All they can taste is salty, sour and bitter. Isn't that a crummy way to have to go through life? It would be for us humans, with 10,000 taste buds on our stubby little tongue. But for cats, with fewer than 500 taste buds, and dogs, with about 1,700 on that aisle runner tongue of theirs, no problem. With both species, aroma is the palatability trigger. If it passes their sniff test, it usually goes down. Texture is also an important factor and covers a variety of complex considerations, depending on whether the cat or dog is evaluating dry kibble or canned food. For cats, kibble comes in various sizes, shapes and textures, include balls, discs, cubes (with rounded corners) "X's," and "O's," for example. While an animal may approve of the size, he may not approve of the shape of the kibble. Then there's one more hurdle: what the surface feels like. Some kibble is smooth, some coarse; some IS YOUR CAT A SOURPUSS? is hard and some is softer. I'd bet that most dogs wouldn't give a second thought to all of that. Heck, they'll eat TV remotes, coins and road kill. Cats on the other hand, do give a second thought to all of that. And just to exasperate you even more, they'll give a third and fourth thought to it. Are there any cat owners among you who have an impressive collection of different foods in the cabinet? Look at all those hands go up! Canned food is usually less of a problem. It comes, basically, in two types. There's the loaf or pâte style and there's the stuff that's like a stew. Both dog and cat foods come in those forms. Dogs usually don't care, cats often do. I frequently hear cat owners say that their cat will only eat the pâte type. But the reason cats can't taste sweetness has nothing to do with aroma or texture. The receptor that recognizes sweetness involves two genes, and in cats one of these genes is dysfunctional. Researchers have isolated the dysfunctional gene, which has spawned some "chicken or the egg" debate. Are cats obligate carnivores because they have the defective gene, or did the gene become dysfunctional because they were obligate carnivores and didn't utilize it? Bottom line: your cat doesn't drink antifreeze because it's sweet; and just to contradict there are always some cats who will lick Antifreeze from a puddle on the ground. By the way, if your cat walks through a puddle of antifreeze and licks her paw, she'll likely ingest enough to kill her also. “Ethylene Glycol is highly toxic and because of its sweet taste it is especially appealing to pets but just one teaspoon is enough to kill a cat and a tablespoon will kill a dog. There's "pet safe" antifreeze on the market that uses propylene glycol as the active ingredient. It has a much higher toxicity threshold, thus is safer to use. Some pet owners panic upon seeing propylene glycol in dog food and treats, where it's used as a moistening agent. Two properties that make it suitable for antifreeze are that it has a low freezing point and can be safely ingested below its toxicity threshold. The toxicity is in the dose, as they say. **************** Flash Cats 6 Issue 15/03


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www.nzcf.com There have been many cases where pets have been intentionally poisoned with food that has been soaked in antifreeze. However, it is considered that these cases could be prevented if antifreeze wasn’t sweet tasting and included bittering agents.. If you suspect that your pet has been poisoned with this substance, it’s essential they see a vet straight away. Early treatment can often be effective but many pets that are left untreated unfortunately have to be put to sleep or die of kidney failure within days. skin absorption. Inhalation of the fumes can also cause dizziness. There is a new type of antifreeze available that contains PROPYLENE GLYCOL. Propylene glycol is much less toxic than ethylene glycol. An animal would have to consume a lot more of this type of antifreeze, a quantity that is unlikely to be available, to get sick or to die. The bottle’s label should tell you what is type of antifreeze it is. Some people who have vacation homes that they “close up” for the winter will pour antifreeze into toilets so the water doesn’t freeze. In this case, these people should always use the less toxic antifreeze (the ones with propylene glycol in it) because pets can drink out of toilets and can become poisoned. • • • • • • • • May note severely low body temperature Severe sluggishness (lethargy) or coma Seizures Lack of appetite (anorexia) Vomiting Oral ulcers/sores on mouth Salivation or drooling Kidneys are often swollen and painful, particularly in cats. ANTIFREEZE WHAT IS IT? Antifreeze is a bright yellow or green liquid with a slightly sweet smell. It is used in the radiators of cars, trucks and other motor vehicles. Antifreeeze works to keep the vehicle from overheating in the summer or freezing in the winter. When it’s added to the water in a radiator it changes the water’s boiling and freezing points. How much it changes depends on the ratio or concentration of antifreeze to water. SYMPTOMS AND TYPES Early signs are seen from 30 minutes to 12 hours after ingestion: • • • Nausea and vomiting Mild to severe depression Wobbly, uncoordinated or drunkenappearing gait (ataxia) or movement and knuckling Twitching muscles Short, rapid movements of the eyeball Head tremors Decreased withdrawal reflexes and righting ability Increased urination and increased thirst (polyuria and polydipsia) If you suspect that your pet has been poisoned with this substance, it’s essential they see a vet urgently. STAGE ONE Within 30 minutes ‘DRUNK’ STAGE TWO Within 12 hours Kidney Crystals Kidney Failure STAGE THREE WHAT’S IN IT? The main hazardous ingredient of antifreeze is ethylene glycol. What health and safety precautions do you need to think about with antifreeze? Ethylene glycol is very poisonous when swallowed. It will cause severe damage to your heart, kidneys and brains. It can cause death. Antifreeze can be spilled on the ground or leak from the radiators of cars and trucks. Because of its sweet smell animals may be attracted to it. Antifreeze is very poisonous, so licking or drinking the fluid can kill an animal. If you see a bright green or yellow liquid on the ground in the garage, driveway, parking lot, or street, keep your dog and pets away from the puddle and get it cleaned up quickly. When cleaning up antifreeze you need to wear gloves because ethylene glycol can cause damage to internal organs through • • • • • Other symptoms often develop 12 to 24 hours after ingestion of ethylene glycol (antifreeze): Symptoms are dependent on the amount of ethylene glycol (antifreeze) ingested Symptoms are almost always sudden (acute) Signs caused by ethylene glycol itself and its toxic metabolites are frequently fatal (metabolites - substances produced by the body’s chemical processes as it breaks down the ethylene glycol) Cats usually remain markedly depressed Cats typically do not exhibit increased thirst; producing only small amounts of urine; lack of production of urine is seen 72 to 96 hours after ingestion of ethylene glycol if left untreated. DEATH.... Issue 15/03 7 Flash Cats


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1953: THE JOAN THOMPSON TOUR "This issue of the Newsletter is dominated by the announcement of the greatest and most important event that has ever happened to the Cat Fancy of this Dominion. Mrs. JOAN THOMPSON is really coming ... " It's almost impossible to miss the excitement behind this announcement in the August 1952 NZGCCF newsletter. Mrs Joan Thompson, well-known breeder of Longhairs under the 'Pensford' prefix, one of only three Senior All Breeds judges in the UK at the time, and probably best-known to New Zealand cat fanciers as the author of a regular column in Our Cats magazine, was indeed coming to New Zealand and Australia to judge at shows. This was no small undertaking for a cat fancy only three years back in action after a 14-year recess and the newsletter moves on from singing the lady's praises to the practicalities of finding the £400 needed to bring her out from England. Although there was already a promise on-hand from Sydney for £150 members were encouraged to send what money they could spare right away and or advise what they would be able to send later. Clubs were invited to get in contact if they wanted Mrs Thompson to visit them during her stay. In another NZGCCF newsletter at the beginning of 1953 the 'Thompson Fund' still had £130 to raise and again there was no lack of encouragement for members to contribute: "To those who have not assisted so far, I would renew the appeal to share in this great effort." This event of such importance to the young Cat Fancy of New Zealand was being regarded as equally noteworthy on the other side of the world where in the November 1952 Our Cats it was announced that: "Mrs Thompson's assignment is a breathtaking affair and one without parallel in the history of the Cat Fancy since it involves sea and air journeys of well over 25,000 miles." She would be leaving England in mid-April to travel to Australia by sea, then travelling by air within the region, then finally arriving home by sea in the middle of August. Mrs Thompson explains her preparations for her departure (Our Cats, May 1953) including a delightful (and historically interesting) list of where many of her cats would be staying while she was away. Mrs Thompson's wonderfully detailed reports of her travels ran about a month behind the events of her tour, and in this case the latter half of the column is dated the 13th April and was written aboard the R.M.S. Orontes as they approached Gibraltar. Mrs Thompson details her outbound journey in her column (Our Cats, June 1953) including visits to Naples (16th April) and Pompeii, and Port Said (19th April) followed by a passage through the Suez Canal to arrive at Aden (23rd April) where she was very distressed at the condition of a Siamese cat she saw there. The Orontes sailed on to reach Colombo (29th April) and there Mrs Thompson noted British troops on their way to Korea before finally arriving in Australia at Freemantle (7th May) and being greeted by telegrams of welcome from Australian cat fanciers. There was a stop in Adelaide (11th May) before reaching Melbourne (13th May) where Mrs Thompson spent two days in a whirl of visits to cat fanciers at their homes (and her report mentions many cats by name) but eventually she sailed on to reach her destination, Sydney, on 16th May. The five days before the show were busy; being shown around the area, meeting cat fanciers, recording radio broadcasts, and attending meetings of the local clubs where she answered wide-ranging questions. When the show of the Cat Fanciers' Association of New South Wales finally began (22nd and 23rd May) it had 207 entries and is well covered by the report for the July 1953 issue of Our Cats. As usual the report is detailed, describing OUTBOUND the venue, naming and thanking people, and identifying cats, thus providing a wonderful historic record of the cat fancy through her eyes. At times Mrs Thompson's reports compare the exhibits with the equivalents in the UK effectively giving her worldwide readership a picture of where the Australasian cat fancy was in its development. After the show Mrs Thompson visited more places of interest (including sheep dog trials and Taronga Zoo) and more breeders, often making a point mentioning by name the cats she met. The association held farewell party for their visiting judge and on the 17th June she departed for New Zealand by seaplane: "We eventually took off just after dawn. It was a thrill rushing over the water with a frothy wake behind us and then soaring into the air like a seagull and wheeling round in a semi-circle over Sydney Harbour Bridge, which I had sailed under on my arrival ..." After her 7-hour flight Mrs Thompson landed in Auckland and was met by Mr R. Marshall, the Secretary / Treasurer of the NZGCCF. The social side of the visit was as active in New Zealand as it had been in Australia beginning that evening when there was a party to welcome her. The next day saw another radio broadcast in preparation for the 4th Championship show of the Auckland Cat Club which was being held over the 19th and 20th June. Mrs Thompson's report on the show mentions the show manager (Mr H. Downey) and her stewards by name and commends the latter for their assistance so that her judging, which began at 9am was finished by 7pm. There were just under 200 exhibits. The names (and often details of parentage) of the top exhibits AUSTRALIA NEW ZEALAND Flash Cats 8 Issue 15/03


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www.nzcf.com read like a breed history Who's Who of both Persians and Siamese in New Zealand, and the owners mentioned are also well-known names. On the second day the show was open to the public between 9am and 5.30pm and Mrs Thompson comments that: "One could hardly move during the afternoon and the Committee was very pleased with the public response which made a record gate." A couple of days after the show (22nd June) some of the winners - both people and cats - gathered for another radio broadcast with a large live audience and Mrs Thompson and the announcer discussed the cats as each was displayed to the audience. It must have made for interesting listening. From Auckland to Rotorua (one of the few truly tourist visits mentioned in the series of reports) then on to the Palmerston North Cat Club's first show. Here, as in other places, Mrs Thompson stayed with local cat fanciers and throughout she mentions how welcome she was made. The show in Palmerston North (27th June) was held in the Kiwi Hall and a number of the pedigree exhibits were ones Mrs Thompson had met in Auckland the weekend before. She comments that areas outside Auckland are "doing wonderfully well" to get new shows established given the scarcity of pedigree exhibits and praises the Show Manager, Mr H A (Bert) Hore, for his interest in her suggestions on how to improve the show. Her steward at the show was Mr Moran who "had motored all the way from Wellington" to help her. On the 29th June there was another evening event for the busy Mrs Thompson, this one reported by the local paper though by the time the report was published (30th June) the visitor from England was on her way from Ohakea (the Palmerston North airfield being flooded) to Christchurch, via Blenheim and what must have been quite a scenic flight down the Kaikouras. Despite the stop in Christchurch - where she was met by more cat fanciers and did yet another radio broadcast (it was her ninth on the tour thus far, and it wouldn't be her last) - that city was not her destination and the next day she was back at Harewood boarding a plane for Dunedin. She reports with amusement that the next plane she encountered was the smallest to date: "A little single-engined plane with seating for only six passengers awaited us. We hurtled over the grass runway and made a saucy take-off and what the plane lacked in size it made up in noise and vibration." Naturally the visiting judge was met by the local officials of the Southland Cat Fanciers' Club, whereupon she was taken out for lunch, a radio broadcast, a press interview, and on to a party in the evening. Not surprisingly Mrs Thompson comments that she enjoyed a welcome rest over the next few days. Exhibits in the club's fifth show (4th July) were mainly domestics but still Mrs Thompson details the winners in her report, and comments that Invercargill had an exceptional gate of £150. The return trip began only two days later with Mrs Thompson departing (6th July) for Dunedin where, as usual, she met with a number of local cat fanciers (and their cats) before flying on to Christchurch the next day. Mr Holmes, the secretary of the six-monthold Canterbury Cat Club looked after her in that city and mentioned that he hoped the club would run its first show the following year. Landing at Paraparaumu rather than the wind-affected Wellington on the last flight of her journey didn't stop Mr Moran from meeting her and she later (10th July) visited him at his home where she admired the quarters for the stud cat recently arrived from the UK. Her visits with other cat fanciers in the area quite naturally led to discussions about starting a local cat club. In Wellington on 11th July Mrs Thompson boarded the Ruahine for her month-long return voyage to England. Compared to the trip out on the Orontes the Ruahine had relatively few stops on the voyage to the UK, but the first was a stop off-shore at Pitcairn Island (20th July) and the day after (21st July) she reached Balboa, the Pacific entry to the Panama Canal. The next morning the ship began its 8-hour passage through the canal with a running commentary given by a local official. The last stop on the journey was at Curacoa Lyn and Bon Moran (22nd July) and then the Ruahine sailed directly for England. On the 9th August Mrs Thompson caught her first sight of home and reached her own home on the 10th August, some four months after she had left on her judging tour of the Antipodes. Our Cats (October 1953) proclaims: "Mrs Thompson has this year made history for the Fancy by travelling from England to Australia and New Zealand to fulfil judging engagements." Whether or not it was history-making in itself, it certainly was an exceptional effort and, sixty years later, her reports provide us with a wonderful snapshot of the New Zealand cat fancy in 1953 - the year of the Joan Thompson tour. o o o o o o NOTES & REFERENCES: Quotes and information from the NZGCCF newsletters via the NZCF Silver Jubilee book (1997). Auckland Cat Club Catalogue (1953) cover, courtesy of Valerie Sheldrake (UK). Quotes from Our Cats magazines are from issues indicated. Photo of Mr H A (Bert) Hore courtesy of Lois Shearman. Photo of Bon and Lyn Moran from the August 1953 Our Cats magazine. Many of the issues of Our Cats mentioned in the article are available online (along with many others) and the reports can be read in them in full. HOMEWARD BOUND Mr H A (Bert) Hore talmijane@gmail.com THE NZCF HAS MADE A COMMITMENT TO PRESERVING ITS HISTORY. IF YOU HAVE OLD PHOTOS OR DOCUMENTS YOU WOULD LIKE TO SHARE PLEASE CONTACT THE HISTORIAN, JANE WEBSTER at Issue 15/03 9 Flash Cats


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The Official Publication of the New Zealand Cat Fancy Inc. Flash Cats 10 Issue 15/03


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ARE CATS REALLY WILD ANIMALS? www.nzcf.com Are cats with us or against us? Experts clash over whether they count as a domesticated species. Are cats with us or against us? The question is understandable. Though cats have lived with us for nearly 10,000 years and are the world’s most popular pet, experts disagree about whether they’re actually domestic animals. Our feline companions don’t really need us, after all: They can hunt for themselves, and they go feral without human contact. A scientific paper published uncovered some of the first genes responsible for domestication—all in the cat genome—yet still referred to cats as “semidomesticated.” Other scientists vehemently disagree with that designation. An evolutionary biologist at the University of Oxford who has studied the domestication of pigs, dogs, and a variety of other animals believed that there’s no difference between a domesticated cat and a domesticated anything else, “Good luck trying to get a goat or a sheep to spend the night in your house.” At the heart of the debate is the heart of our relationship with cats. Sure, they were gods in ancient Egypt, but ever since a paranoid pope linked them to witchcraft in the 13th century, felines have been vilified as evil, unpredictable, and untrustworthy— stereotypes that persist even in this age of the adorable Internet cat video. So the question must be asked: Are cats just like dogs but in slinkier form, eager and able to be part of the human family? Or is there something truly feral about them— something wild and unknowable that will forever keep them from blending into our tribe? Put another way, are cats with us or against us? Even early legal scholars debated the question about our evolving relationship with cats and dogs, In 1894, a Baltimore man was arrested for stealing his neighbor’s cat. But as the judge prepared to sentence him, Maryland’s attorney general stepped in. “A cat,” he declared, “is not legal property. … It is as much a wild animal, in a legal sense, as are its relatives—the tiger and the wild-cat.” The judge was forced to let the thief go. In the eyes of the law, a man who had stolen a cat had stolen nothing at all. Scientists remain divided. Part of the problem is that they don’t agree on what “domesticated” means. For some, it’s as simple as being tame and able to live with people generation after generation, criteria under which cats easily qualify. But others propose more stringent standards: complex genetic and behavioral changes that transform a creature inside out. Do cats meet that bar? One biologist who was the senior author of last year’s cat genome study, starts with docility. Yes, he says, there are cuddly cats, but there are also a lot of skittish and aggressive cats—a wider spectrum of behaviors than seen in dogs. He also faults felines for being too independent. “Cats only come to you for affection when they feel like it,” he says. “They pretty much take care of themselves.” After all, if an animal doesn’t need us, has it really been domesticated by us? (Maybe not; scientists now believe that cats domesticated themselves.) And then there’s the fact that—to the chagrin of birders and other wildlife enthusiasts—house cats hunt nearly as well as their wild ancestors. “Dogs don’t have that ability,” “It’s been bred out of them.” they believe. These differences play out at the genetic level. When you look at the molecular signatures of domestication, there are 10 times more in dogs than in cats. That’s probably because dogs have been around humans a lot longer than cats—20,000 years longer, by some estimates. Cats, should really be thought of as a subspecies of wildcat, while dogs are more like their own species. Some don’t agree with this study. For one thing felines can be every bit as docile as their canine counterparts. You will easily find cats that are more affectionate than dogs, more seeking of human affection. It is also noted that cats have undergone a remarkable behavioral transformation since first entering human society. As opposed to their ancestor, the wildcat, which the naturalist H.C. Brooke once described as “probably the least amenable of all living creatures,” house cats are “love sponges,” as Ernest Hemingway called them—purring balls of fur more interested in curling up on your lap than in ripping your eyes out. Scientists even suspect cats have evolved particular purrs and meows that they use to communicate with human beings. Their intelligence may have evolved as well, though this is hard to prove because cats make terrible research subjects. Sourced from various websites Issue 15/03 11 Flash Cats


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The Official Publication of the New Zealand Cat Fancy Inc. Welcome to my first contribution to Flashcats as the Portfolio Manager Judges. Firstly I would like to take the time to say “Thanks” to all who took the time to vote in the recent elections to allow me to serve on EC. Having been a judge now for a number of years, I find myself on the other side of the fence never quite realising what that role covered. Not only do I get to juggle approving contracts, there is also the requirement to ensure our Junior Judges have a supervisor for their assignments at shows, that judges meet their requirements under both the judges manual and the show bylaws and by the same token clubs remember their responsibilities to judges. I get to work quite closely with the Shows Portfolio Manager Annette, who has previously held this position and I can draw on her experience and expertise within this area. At our recent EC meeting I brought a number of things to the table as part of my report including putting memos out to judges and clubs, which I will include in this missive. Other items include updatubg the steward and handlers list on the NZCF website, revamping the steward and handlers training, and after requests from all three regions, to look at running stewards and handlers schools in Auckland, Palmerston North and Christchurch. Please contact myself if you are interested in being trained as either a handler and/or steward, most probably in November which hopefully means some new faces on the floor at shows in time for next year’s show season. I also have some timely reminders for Clubs with regard to their responsibilities to Judges before, during and after shows. These include Show By-laws: 5.2 Catalogues may be provided to exhibitors upon benching their exhibits, and may be sold on the morning(s) of the show, provided they are not available to judges, stewards or handlers whilst judging is in progress. 6.6 Judges’ expenses are administered in accordance with the following: a. Clubs shall pay judges’ travel expenses, overnight accommodation costs and meals as appropriate, and if the judge has paid out any of those expenses, they shall be reimbursed to the judge by the club, no later than the opening of the show. JUDGES UPDATE also to judges invitations sent by the club to the judge, a copy must also be sent onto the PM. I have proposed creating either a Word document of pdf with fillable fields for both of these forms and to get them loaded onto the website. Then these can then be filled in by the club or judge and emailed to the appropriate party. Under the Electronic Transaction Act 2002 sections 22 and 24, by entering your name in the signature field, this would suffice as being signed by all parties. I have also received some judges’ contracts with only the judges’ name and TBA in some sections. If possible can all sections be filled out as completely as possible, before sending to the judge being contracted and then subsequently sent to myself. It pains me to hear feedback from members of NZCF referring to comments judges make in reference to cats they are judging. How a judge has interpreted standards and what I perceive, as conduct unbecoming when judges give credence to gossip, unfounded rumours and enter into debates with members of NZCF. I know that we are all only human,and although there are some expectations that judges should be seen to be above this, can we all remember that at the end of the day we are fellow cat people who love our cats, and our hobby. Thanks for taking the time to read through these reflections and reminders. Debs Armishaw PM Judges ................................................................................................................................... 6.7 Clubs must send a show schedule to all contracted judges at the same time as the schedules are sent to the intending exhibitors, and for overseas judges, a copy of the NZCF Standard of Points applicable to those classes in the particular judge’s assignment. 6.8 Within 7 days of the close of entries the club shall provide written advice to judges with more than 80 entries or less than 10 entries in a section, and by agreement between the club and the judge, such sections may be split into smaller ones or combined into a larger one, as required, and the club shall advise all exhibitors affected by such changes. 6.10 A separate room or area, away from the exhibitors and the public shall be provided by the club for the judges, and judges’ books shall be available for the judges at least 30 minutes before the scheduled start of judging, or else on the judge’s arrival at the show. Following this I would also like to remind Judges that they also have responsibilities to Clubs, Exhibitors and to the NZCF as a whole. 7.4 NZCF judges shall at all times meet the following requirements: a. Avoid conduct, actions, language or contact which may or does prejudice an impartial approach to judging or the status of a judge appointed by NZCF. 7.8 After completing judging of their sections officiating judges must meet the following requirements: d. If a supervising judge, ensure that the reports on the probationer or trainee judge(s) are completed on the day of the show, ready for dispatch to the Portfolio Manager (Judges). Judges are also reminded that by signing the membership form and the judges annual return, they agree to abide by all NZCF rules and regulations including the judges code of conduct. Following on from the above:- The Judges Invitation/Contract and Annual Return are currently word documents that needs to be downloaded, filled in and either scanned and emailed, or in the case of a hard copy must be returned to the PM. This applies Flash Cats 12 Issue 15/03


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www.nzcf.com “I thought I would touch base with everyone about the upcoming changes to NZ's Health Safety and well being laws. Its too soon to know exactly what they will be, hopefully there will be a lot of changes to what I have seen so far though!!!” Many of you will have seen that according to the lists we have seen excerpts of, cat breeding in New Zealand is one of the most dangerous jobs anyone can have!!! Even forestry workers (where there have been deaths) lead a safer lives than most of the members of the NZCF and Affiliate clubs where breeding cats is common, and very harmful, as dangerous as breeding snakes and crocodiles. When I googled for the injuries sustained by cat breeders, I could only find articles on injuries obtained on cats, not dished out by them, although I have been on the receiving end of the odd bite or scratch, its certainly not the norm for people to be killed by them.... For many years, I have had cats, or handled them as an owner and a vet nurse, and more recently grooming them. Its probably a good time to look at the risks associated with handling cats, even though they may not be as exciting as the NZ Government would have many people believe. First on my list is Zoonosis. A zoonoses is any disease or illness which may be passed on from a species to humans. (Zoonosis is the plural of zoonoses). One of the most common would be ringworm, a fungal infection of the skin, which forms that horrible circular red ring, with the slightly scaly itchy skin in the middle. It is a fungal infection, and is usually introduced via an injury to the skin. The worst part about ringworm is the incubation period being so long, that many people and animals may be infected by the original host before it becomes apparent. It then becomes a very prolonged and expensive battle to get rid of it. Spores can live in the environment for a very long time, thereby infecting more animals and people. Toxoplasmosis is another nasty bug we can get from our cats. It is picked up from the faeces of cats, usually due to poor hand hygiene. The spores of Toxo are released approx 3 days after being pooped out by the host, so the old adage of pregnant vet nurses not being allowed around cat litter boxes is slightly incorrect, unless the poo has been sitting around for a few days first, or the box hasnt been cleaned thoroughly. It is usually picked up by gardeners who dont wear gloves, as I found out many years ago. The majority of people have been exposed to it, mainly in their youth, especially if they spent any time playing in an uncovered sand pit (otherwise known as the communal litter box for the local cat population). If you dont wear gloves when you garden, or dont wash off the dirt thoroughly from under your fingernails, you may pick it up. Toxo on its own doesnt usually cause any problems, unless you are pregnant, or immune compromised. I became very ill, and the toxo count was off the scales when they tested my blood. I managed to contract Glandular Fever at the same time, which was why I ended up so sick. People who have Aids often have lesions on their faces, these are usually toxoplasmosis, but lesions can form on the liver, brain , in the eyes and other places. Another disease we can catch from our pets inculde parasites (external like fleas and internal like worms). Fleas obviously can be picked up from the enviroment, and worms can be picked up from poor hygiene (gardening and not washing hands), and petting an animal that had just licked its backside after elimination, then licking where you are petting, or licking your face!!! So, as far as I can tell, where cats are concerned, use gloves when gardening, wash hands thoroughly after playing with your cat or gardening (or playing in the sandpit), and dont let them lick your face, particularly around your nose and mouth!!! I also strongly urge you to clean your cats litter box daily, and try not to share plates when eating!!! Sue Mackay, NZCF Health & Safety Officer For any information on Health and Safety,contact Sue on: taralmador@gmail.com ALWAYS WEAR GLOVES WHILE GARDENING Issue 15/03 13 Flash Cats


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The Official Publication of the New Zealand Cat Fancy Inc. FLY STRIKE Be Aware We did a bit of research on this affliction and yes, it can occur in cats. I think the most important thing to note is that it can progress very quickly - eggs laid by flies can hatch out in as little as 12 hours and once the maggots are hatched they start doing damage. It is understandable that any normally vigilant breeder would not realise anything was amiss, until it was too late - as too late could be just a couple of days. Because it's uncommon most breeders wouldn't probably even think about the possibility, so we felt it was important to alert you all. Thank you Anita for sharing your very sad story with us. Today I learnt a devastating new lesson about the trials of cat breeding. This last weekend was the hot and humid Easter long weekend, and my 12 week old kitten was showing signs of diarrhoea. So on Easter Sunday, I phoned up the emergency Vet in my area, and he was checked over. He had a low temperature, smelly fluid from an ‘open’ looking anus, and not interested in food. He was dehydrated. The on call Vet gave him skin fluid under the skin, a shot for pain, and sent me home with electrolytes to dose him, orally, every hour. Monday morning he was a bit brighter, and the anal discharge had slowed down. Four am on Tuesday I went into the bathroom, where he was in the bath, on bedding with an electric blanket, and got him up to give him his fluids….and found tiny maggots around his bottom. Horrified, I washed them off with warm water, and dried him. He was in pain. I phoned the Vet at daybreak, and got the first appointment available, as he had gotten worse, and had trouble standing up. The Vet admitted him with my approval, to sedate him, and have a good look at the very inflamed rear end. She phoned me about an hour later to say she had shaved him, and discovered massive fly strike. The creamy skin shown in the following photos was a combination of infection and from the enzymes the maggots make, to easily digest the living tissue. This poor boy was beyond help, and was euthanized at my request. I have seen fly strike in sheep, but never heard it could be possible in cats. It is a fast, destructive condition, with very little visible symptoms. The bronze backed fly responsible is small, fast, and deadly. I am now setting up multiple fly traps, and all new litters will be in rooms with fly screened windows. PLEASE …Be very vigilant and check cats and kittens every day. Smelly fluid from an “open” looking anus is the only symptom. These photos were taken today. Only three days from the first symptom, which I took as just a ‘bit of diarrhoea” I feel so bad, but feel others should be told. (My Vet took these photos, and explained the damage shown) Anita Andrew My much loved baby before this tragedy. Flash Cats 14 Issue 15/03


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www.nzcf.com Issue 15/03 15 Flash Cats



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