Friday, November 26, 2010

Sudden Loss Of Microwave Leaves Local Cat Grief Stricken, Devastated

Edmonds, WA

Evelyn, a 7-year-old, spayed Domestic Long Hair whose microwave broke at the end of summer, said she finds life without it “difficult and uncertain” and says she has been devastated by the loss.

Evelyn told the Gazette her microwave, a 10-year-old General Electric named Jeff made a funny smell one evening and “just quit” on her.

At first she blamed herself for the microwave’s misbehavior, but later said she could find no catalyst for the event. Without the microwave Evelyn said it takes a grueling 3-4 minutes or more to heat water for her cocoa.

You don‘t really ever know when something is going to be ready” Evelyn said

“After 10 years together he suddenly refused to do what I asked,” she said of the microwave she’d shared a home with since buying the house back in 2000. “At first I was mad at him, then I realized he was dead.”

Asked in an interview whether she missed being able to easily re-heat coffee, leftovers or make microwave popcorn at will over the past months, Evelyn was unequivocal.

”I do (miss it), and it’s been a difficult time,” she said. “It’s a hardship. If I want something to eat I actually have to cook.”

Friends said making nachos at Evelyn’s home now takes “far too long”

“You don’t realize how easy your life is when you have a microwave, you take them for granted,” Evelyn said. “Everything is ready to eat in 1 or 5 minutes, but cooking without those certainties is terrifying.”

Friends of the microwave said before he died he’d told them he had “had enough” of Evelyn’s controlling behavior. He told friends he felt stuck in their relationship and was “tired of her pushing his buttons” all the time.

In her grief, Evelyn said she finds the inability to calculate exactly how long it takes to heat water up “terrifying” even when it comes to something as simple as making condensed tomato soup from a can.

"I can't even imagine having to actually use a stove" said one concerned neighbor

“I’ve got a wonderful community of people who are praying for me every day,” she said. “They call and offer to heat me up a burrito, but it’s not the same as having your own microwave,” she said.

Evelyn said she was unaware of the depth of Jeff’s feelings but did say at one point when he began routinely burning her microwave popcorn she’d offered to go to marriage and family therapy but said he refused to leave his spot over the stove.

Evelyn said she had “not yet” decided upon a make and model regarding a new microwave, but she did say she would possibly start looking at ads on craigslist, where many of her single friends had luck meeting appliances before.

Copyright The Kitty City Gazette

Monday, November 15, 2010

New Study Finds Food Habit Forming

Seattle, WA

A survey of about 500 Seattle-area cats revealed that of cats who eat food, almost a third worry about becoming addicted to it and wanting to eat it again. Those surveyed said they are now scared and dread becoming “just like everyone else.”

More than a third said that they'd heard that eating was a “good normal thing.” But nearly three-quarters reported that food made them happy, and more than half agreed with the statement, saying "I love it."

Twenty-five percent agreed that food seemed like a good thing to eat when hungry , and that when it came to addiction, the benefits outweighed the risks.

Foods like this are thought to be habit-forming

The survey was done in early December of last year by a graduate anthropology class in research methods taught by a group of University of Washington professors.

The research subjects were fed food, which was instrumental in stopping hunger and providing satiety. 70% of the cats surveyed said they would prefer eating food to small bits of plastic, dust bunnies, or pencil erasers.

"One of the most striking things we saw in the after-interviews was just how much cats liked food," said one of the assistants. "Once a cat ate food, it seemed there was an almost 90% chance they would want to eat again."

Twenty-five percent agreed that food seemed like a good thing to eat when hungry

Food, is believed to produce an initial pleasurable effect, followed by a “rebound” effect called hunger.

"We have not begun to understand the cognitive and social impact of food,” the survey said. “Those who become addicted to it will be looking for it three, maybe four times a day.”

Moggy, a 7-year-old, neutered, Domestic Short Hair who participated in the study said food appeared to be a clever way to "get energy and use it as a source of nourishment.”

“After the first time…I was hooked” said Moggy

Given the choice of eating nothing or eating food, 89% of cats surveyed chose food.

“Food is like methamphetamine for your stomach,” said another professor. “Once you eat it, you will always want more and the search for ever increasing amounts of food could lead to social withdrawal, apple fritter eating, and crime.”

Copyright Sharyn Thoma
Moggy Pic: Thanks to Jack

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Spike In Pumpkin Suicides Following Halloween Blamed On Depression

Edmonds, WA

Yesterday a 3-month-old pumpkin named Betty, who had been deployed for the previous weeks as a Decorative Hand-Carved Halloween Pumpkin, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in Lynnwood.

Early this morning a 4-month-old Pumpkin named Chuckles was found smashed dead in the street after an apparent jump from a two-story building. Hours later, another 4-month-old pumpkin was found dead by suicide.

These and another staggering 44 pumpkin suicides in the greater Edmonds area forced local cats to announce plans they were conducting an exhaustive investigation and review to identify remaining pumpkins who are or may be at risk for suicide at this time.

“The intense fear of being made into a pie can be a silent killer,” said Dr. Spankin

Statistics from the Bureau for Pumpkin, Squash and Gourd Health (BPSGH) show over 90 percent of pumpkins who die by suicide have a mental illness at the time of their death, and the most common mental illness is depression.

Mental health practitioners cite evidence of abuses (both physical and mental) inflicted by Humans during the Halloween and Thanksgiving season as major psychological contributors to the problem.

“Pumpkins at Halloween can feel taken advantage of,” said Dr. Brad Spankin, a 9-year-old, neutered Domestic Short Hair. He stated family members can often be totally unaware a problem even exists.

Chuckles’ friends now sadly mourn his death and say they wish they had seen the warning signs

“Being turned into a holiday decoration can leave (the pumpkin) unable to deal with a situation they perceive as humiliating, leading to depression,” he said.

Dr. Spankin started a pumpkin suicide survivor support group after his own Halloween Pumpkin committed suicide some 4 years ago.

Chuckles’ cousin Rita, who is a Gourd, said the stigma of being displayed as a Halloween Pumpkin had “finally gotten to (Chuckles).” She said Chuckles told her he was “feeling very hollow inside” just days before he leapt to his death.

Signs of depression in pumpkins can include both binge drinking and obsessive behaviors

Chuckles told friends he feared being made into pumpkin pie or having his seeds roasted and “could not take the stress” of an uncertain future any longer. He told others he felt “trapped” being kept on the family’s front porch, but sadly never sought professional help.

More than 38,000 leftover Halloween Pumpkins are believed to be still living in the Edmonds-Lynwood area.

Cats are working hard to reduce the stigma for pumpkins against seeking mental help, and plan on introducing a host of programs and campaigns aimed at convincing pumpkins to watch out for warning signs among their comrades and get counseling if they need it.

Copyright The Kitty City Gazette

Monday, November 8, 2010

Local Cat Beaten In Bar Fight Over Pretzel

Edmonds, WA

A local cat was beaten in a bar brawl that involved 6 cats Saturday evening, police said.

The cat, a 4-year-old, neutered Domestic Short Hair named Tater Tot is in satisfactory condition at Stevens Hospital.

The fight reportedly broke out after Tater made a “quick move” on the last peanut butter-filled pretzel left in the bowl on the barroom countertop.

Peanut butter-filled pretzels are tasty snacks with a sordid history of causing battles

"All of a sudden some guys surrounded Tater," said a witness. "One of them, who had a bald shaved head, started to tease him and told him he was cute. Then another cat appeared and he hit (Tater) in the face before taking the last pretzel.”

Witnesses said this started a physical argument between Tater and the cat, who hit him repeatedly in the face with a stainless steel drink muddler.

Other guests of the club allegedly helped to pull the two apart from each other. The rowdy cat took off into the men’s bathroom to eat the pretzel.

This Pug was kicked unconscious by a cat who then fled the scene

Early in the investigation it wasn't known what caused the fight, which broke out around 11:45 p.m. at Harvey‘s Lounge on Aurora Avenue.

Since that time witnesses have come forward to relate who had claim on the last pretzel.

Witnesses said Tater and another unidentified cat had been discussing (the pretzel) politely, saying “’you take it, no you take it,’” the witness said.

The fight occurred last night at Harvey’s Lounge on Aurora Avenue

A group of cats who had been watching grew angry at the discourse and forced their way to the bar to claim the pretzel and the fight broke out. One cat knocked a small Pug unconscious and repeatedly kicked him before fleeing the scene.

The manager said the cats involved were regulars at the bar but it was not clear to him who should have had the last pretzel.

Witnesses told police a cat later exited the men’s room breathing heavily and smelling like peanut butter with salt on his chin.

Copyright The Kitty City Gazette