Thursday, October 31, 2013

Hoax…or Real Life Mutant?!

It IS a mutant!!!
A genetic mutant, that is…

Although there doesn’t seem to be anything special about the cat in this picture her genetic code would suggest otherwise. This orange cat is a…(dun dun dun)….female!! Most orange cats are male due to the genetic requirements that females have to ‘inherit’ the orange color. Ok, so maybe the word mutant is a wee bit strong, it’s really more like genetic lottery winner!

“For a female cat to be orange she must inherit two orange genes — one from her mother (orange, calico, or tortoiseshell) and one from her father (who must be orange). A male cat needs only one orange gene, which he gets from his mother (orange, calico, or tortoiseshell). This is because the gene that codes for orange fur is on the X chromosome, and like humans, females have two Xs and males are XY. Genes on the X chromosome are said to be sex-linked.”, says Dee Walter Kruleski, a professor of biology and cat enthusiast. Dee also says there is additional genetic coding required for the tabby striped pattern in orange cats which makes this kitty even more genetically special!

According to Dee, these are some of the basic genetic codes for determining the color and pattern of a cat’s fur:
  • Agouti vs. non-agouti: Provides the lighter fur background with striped cats.
  • Black vs. non-black
  • Color deposition: Determines how pigment is deposited, and also affects eye color.
  • Dilute vs. non-dilute: Gray is a diluted form of black and tan/beige is a diluted form of orange.
  • Spotting: If two dominant genes are inherited, a cat will have white on more than 50% of their body. If a cat has one dominant and one recessive gene, then the cat will have white fur on less than 50% of their body. If she gets two recessive genes, there will be no white on the body!
  • White vs. non-white: Just one white gene and the whole cat will be white! It is called a masking gene. A white cat could have the genetics to be a calico, black or any color cat but the white gene hides the other genes’ expression and the cat appears all white. White cats are not albinos unless they have red eyes. Albino cats are extremely rare and albinism is the result of color deposition and not the white gene.
  • There are also genes for tabby stripping, silver tipping and seal-pointing.
All of this science and biology certainly makes you appreciate the beauty of your fanciful feline a little more, doesn’t it?

Michelle Brockman for
Jonah's Place 

References:, Dee Walter Kruleski

Thursday, October 10, 2013

The *OTHER* Use for Pumpkin…

Is it a Trick or a Treat?

As a pet owner you may have been faced before with the occasional canine or feline sick tummy. Upset stomachs can be just as uncomfortable for pets as they are for humans except there isn’t an over the counter remedy that is safe for them like there is for us. Or…is there?

One of our rescue kitties, Ruby, had a severe, and I mean severe case of diarrhea. Ruby was dewormed and checked out by the vet to make sure there was nothing else wrong. The vet gave her an injection to help but within 12 hours it returned with a vengeance! Since it was then after hours, I called our local emergency vet to get their suggestion. Since Ruby was stable and did not show signs of dehydration, the vet tech told me to give Ruby a teaspoon of plain canned pumpkin twice a day. Sure enough, by the next morning ‘business’ was getting back to normal!

Come to find out, many people use canned pumpkin for their pets’ digestive upsets – whether it be diarrhea or constipation. The plain canned pumpkin is full of fiber and good stuff that helps to regulate the digestive tract. Of course, if your pet has chronic tummy upsets they need to be seen by a veterinarian asap as this could be a sign of something serious going on. However, for the occasional occurrence or when nothing else seems to be helping, the plain canned pumpkin just might do the trick.

For kitties it is recommended to give 1 teaspoon twice a day until stools start to firm and the recommendation for medium dogs is 1 – 2 tablespoons. A general guideline could be 1 teaspoon per 10-15 lbs. of body weight. Be sure to use PLAIN canned pumpkin, and NOT pumpkin pie filling, there is a big difference.*

The verdict is in - I say Treat!

Michelle Brockman
Jonah’s Place

* Disclaimer: I am not a veterinarian and this article should not be used as a replacement for veterinary care or advice. This article is based solely on my personal experience and is for informational purposes only. This Disclaimer serves as notification of indemnity of Michelle Brockman and Jonah’s Place, Inc. for any results due to following this article and any advice contained therein.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Walking In The Dark

Have you ever had to take a ‘leap’ of faith? Have you ever made a decision that you felt in your gut was the right decision even though you did not fully know what the outcome would be? Have you ever been so downtrodden or distraught that your only option was to take life one minute at a time? I’m sure all of us have been in one of these positions at one point or another on our journey called life.

I like to call this Walking in the Dark. When, figuratively, you can’t see two feet in front of you but you move forward anyway. I had an experience this week that brought this saying to life in real time. I was walking in my backyard with the dogs when suddenly the floodlight that provided ‘night vision’ went out. I stood in my tracks for a moment pondering what the next move was going to be. We have a big yard with a lot of trees and I didn’t want to run into or trip over anything so I was a little hesitant at for a moment. But then a Bible verse came to my mind - We walk by faith, not by sight - and it clicked, “I know the general direction of the house and general location of the trees. I’ll put one foot in front of the other and slowly walk forward.”

Of course, I made it safely to the house with no injury. I was glad that I decided to ‘walk in faith’ instead of standing in the yard until dawn! This is just an illustration to make point but certainly it is this same formula that will lead us to success in most areas of life. When life is hard and we are facing uncertainty, we must put one foot in front of the other and walk, even if they are slow baby steps. The moment we stop walking is the moment we cease to truly live.

Walk On!

“For we walk by faith, not by sight.” - 2 Corinthians 5:7

Michelle Brockman
Jonah’s Place