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Protect cats by keeping them indoors and allowing them to go outdoors only on a leash and harness, into a securely screened-in enclosure, or into a yard with secure cat fencing. Cats can adapt well to living indoors if they get plenty of daily playtime to exercise both their bodies and their agile minds. Any cat who is urinating outside the litterbox should be taken to a veterinarian right away to rule out a urinary tract infection, which is very common and painful and can even be fatal. If nothing is medically wrong with your cat, he or she may be unhappy with the cleanliness of the box or lack thereof , the type of litter used, the location of the litterbox or the litterbox itself.

Some cats prefer covered boxes, whereas others prefer open-air boxes. Sprinkle catnip on them weekly to keep cats interested, and replace cardboard inserts when they wear out. Make sure your cat always has access to fresh, clean water. Scrub out water and food dishes daily, and feed cats twice a day.

One of the most important things you can do for your cat is to have him or her neutered or spayed as soon as possible. Puppies should be taken out at least every two hours or within half an hour after eating or drinking and guided to the same spot where they have relieved themselves before. Crate training is cruel and does not speed up the housetraining process. Locking dogs inside a crate deprives them of basic necessities, including the freedom to walk around, the opportunity to relieve themselves and the comfort of stretching out. While inside a crate, dogs are not learning how to make good decisions and interact better with their surroundings; instead, they are simply vegetating and killing time.


It can also cause serious health and behaviour problems, including aggression, withdrawal, hyperactivity, depression, separation anxiety and muscle atrophy. Being chained or penned outdoors, far from their families, is the cruellest punishment possible for dogs. In I started writing a historical novel, From the Wreck. It was going to be the story of my great, great grandfather, George Hills, who survived the wreck of the steamship Admella in George was trapped on the semi-submerged ship, just one mile off shore, for eight days and nights in the freezing Southern Ocean.

Of the people on board when it left Port Adelaide, only 24 made it back home. What would it be like, I wondered, to survive such an awful, traumatic event and then to live on for decades more? To marry, have children and grandchildren, to build a career. How would you keep your mind together after you had been through something like that? What help would there be for you at a time when Freud was still more than 25 years away from coming up with psychoanalysis? I wrote two drafts of this novel.

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There was cannibalism, infidelity, child death, spiritualism, a very nice cow, seances, insanity. It was flat. The first draft went in the bin.

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Then the second draft, which also included a ghost, went in the bin as well. For me, this story—ostensibly about mental illness in colonial-era South Australia, and the things we do to survive—only began to mean something when I started to write my obsession. I have been haunted, to a greater or lesser degree for my whole life, by the things we do to other animals.

I started writing my novel again. This time, the main character was not my great great grandfather, but an alien, a creature from another dimension who resembled, very closely, a giant Pacific octopus. Her home planet had been destroyed by human-like creatures. It was no longer suitable for anyone else.

35 Pictures That Show Life With Animals the Way It Is

It seemed a foolish hope, but I wondered if I could write something that would cause readers to have an attack of empathy for the wild animals around us. There has been a lot of guff spouted in the media in recent years about how literature builds empathy. Most articles on this topic riff off a couple of US studies from the past ten years. From this, we got multiple news stories saying that people who read literature are better people—kinder, more empathetic—than those who read thrillers, romance or sci-fi, or those who read no fiction at all.

And one of the major problems with trying to scientifically assess whether literature increases our empathy is that we have no scientific test of empathy. And until you resolve that question, how do we live coherently at home on this planet, any other kinds of stories are luxuries. There has been a lot of discussion lately about whether authors have the right to write from the perspective of people different to themselves, and those who argue yes generally emphasize how important it is to do your research, to understand the community, the history, the thoughts and feelings of your protagonists.

But do we even have any idea what animals know, think and feel? How much do cows suffer when we slaughter them?

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Does it matter? For a very long time, humans assumed that we had thoughts and feelings but all other animals did not, and that anyone who suggested otherwise was sentimental and un-scientific. Anthropomorphism—the transplanting of human traits onto non-human animals, the mistaking of their behaviors and motivations for our own—was something animal behaviorists dreaded. His life was one of calculation and endeavour, of learning and watching, remembering and trying.

He could be aggressive. He measured thoughtfully, practised speech with precise and prolonged dedication. Once when I wept, he flew to me, huddled against me, muttering softly.

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  7. It still seems vaguely seditious or presumptuous to write these things of another species. Because we have so little belief in the consciousness or capabilities of others?

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    A lot of experiments on animal intelligence have gone out of their way to show we are different to them, and that our difference is better. We set the rules for what made us special—only humans use tools, only humans plan for the future—and every time the rules got broken by an animal it turns out damselfish, alligators, some species of ants and pretty much every other animal uses tools; while ravens and chimps plan for the future , we moved the goal posts. Humans seem torn between two great longings—to prove that we are alone on this earth, and to discover we are not alone in the universe.

    We are endlessly reluctant to look around and see the myriad creatures who are, in so many ways, extremely similar to us. Instead we look out to space, where we are much less likely to find anyone who even remotely resembles us. We already know we share most of our DNA with so many other creatures on earth—why would our brains be completely and utterly different, as if dropped into our heads by God during creation rather than evolved from the same ancestors as the brains of apes?

    Are you sure you remember where you parked your car? So can chimps. Cooperation has been observed in chimpanzees, hyenas, rooks, parrots, monkeys, elephants, humpback whales and orcas.

    Pets and the city: Living with animals in crowded urban centres

    Even the octopus, the narrator of my most recent novel? Octopuses have a brain in each of their arms, and all of those brains operate independently but can also work in concert. Like so many animals, an octopus can differentiate one human from another. They like some, and others they hate. They are supremely good at adapting—to captivity, to warming oceans, to the tools they find around them; they shift shape and color and can make themselves disappear completely. If we can connect with them as sentient beings, it is not because of a shared history, not because of kinship, but because evolution built minds twice over. They are probably the closest we will come to meeting an intelligent alien. And how do all these animals feel about being ejected from their homes, about being starved, about not being able to find a mate? The fact that policy encompasses dog-related issues is a step in the right direction. Dog-related issues can be emotionally charged and cause rifts between neighbours.

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    According to the most recent census data , there are , dogs in Calgary. In , there were 98, properly licensed dogs in the city and by late August this year, there were 99, Edmonton and Cochrane are among the municipalities that have looked to the responsible pet ownership model for guidance when shaping their own policies and City officials have presented the policies to receptive audiences as far away as Australia. In Calgary and elsewhere, immigration and suitable housing are becoming fresh challenges, while municipalities face balancing the rights of pet owners with those of new, as well as disadvantaged, citizens.

    Calgary is now the fourth-largest reception point for new immgrants and refugees in Canada, says Rock.