Saturday, December 5, 2015

Yoga with kittens, NSAIDs in cats, Best in Show and profound statements on the internet

The internet seems fascinated by kittens. 

I’m not sure about you, but for some reason my experience of the end of the year is as if some invisible hand has reached down and dialled up the speed of life to eleven. Or turbo. Depending on your control panel. Which may not be the right phrase since it assumes, somewhere, that someone has control!

So it is interesting that Sydney Cat CafĂ© is launching aseries of pop-up yoga classes with kittens. It’s an interesting reflection on the way we think of animals, in particular cats and kittens. Due largely, I suspect, to their presence on the internet, people are seeking novelty experiences with kittens.

These kind of events are tricky, as whilst it’s lovely to be in the presence of cats, not all cats feel the same about us – especially when we come in multiples. As Professor John Webster said this week, “Our responsibility is to work towards systems in which human perception of animal welfare comes as lose to animals’ perception of their own welfare.”

On the medicine front, if you’re an AVA or ASAVA member, feline vet Richard Gowan is presenting a webinar on cats and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs this week. Register here.

On the canine front, SAT reader Kerry wants to share news about the Best In Show competition at the Beresford Hotel in Surry Hills this afternoon. More info here.

Finally (as in final topic, not "finally, this is what I've been waiting for all my life"), a scientific paper with a bit of swearing in it. Social media exposes users to hundreds, if not thousands, of “profound statements”, often with a “share if you agree” tag. Canadian researchers have worked out they can easily generate meaningless statements that sound a bit on the profound side, and found an association between the belief that these statements are profound, or very profound, and beliefs in conspiracies, paranormal activity and complementary and alternative medicine. You can read about the paper here.

On the topic of complementary and alternative medicine, I want to add one thing. This week I was called on to assist a client (of the human variety) with a medical emergency. When it became clear that she would not be able to get home by herself, I phoned her friends, her doctor (in the tradition of Western medicine) and her naturopath. It was her naturopath who turned up in the car – even though she herself was on the way to the airport – and accompanied the patient home.