SPOTLIGHT

Members At Work

WVC 89th Annual Conference. TICA Members Vickie Fisher, Sandy Hale, Anthony Hutcherson and Jean Wagner were busy at work in the TICA booth during the WVC Annual Conference March 5-9, 2017 at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. This vet conference is one of the largest annual gathering of veterinarians and veterinary staff in the world. 
 
 
Educating the Public About the Wonderful World of Pedigreed  Cats.  TICA members Anthony Hutcherson, Vicki Jeffers, Mary Kimelman, Judy Sugden,  Pam Flachs and Janet Spain  explain the process of creating distinctive breeds -- including the Bengal, Savannah and Toyger -- in a recent Vox Media story. Eminent feline geneticist Stephen O'Brien PhD, who led the Feline Genome project at NIH, is also interviewed in the story. Footage from 
AKC Meet the Breeds in NYC allows our members the chance to see how well received the cats were at this event earlier this year. Watch the complete story here. 



Behind the Scenes. Japanese production company Duo Creative Communications shot footage of Brigitte Cowell Moyne's Savannah cats for the show 'Thank You to Animal!' which will air March 29th at 7PM on Tokyo Broadcasting System (TBS).  Left:  Lila (Kirembo Dalila Ayo) strikes a pose for Japanese Savannah fans.  Right:  Lola Moyne is caught on camera playing with Baz (Kirembo Barack).

Have you worked on a project that helps promote better care and understanding of cats? We'd love to hear about it and share with other TICA members. Please send photos and information about any projects you are working on to marketing@tica.org.



Make Sure You're Eligible to Vote 
in Upcoming 2017 TICA Presidential Election

It's almost time to cast your ballot and make your voice heard in the upcoming TICA Presidential election. 

Voting will begin this October and results will be announced in December. Voting is an important, meaningful way to advance the issues you care about and the representatives you think can best achieve the results you want to see within TICA. A high turnout makes TICA more representative and ensures a strong and solid future for the organization. 

Have you checked to make sure you are eligible to vote?  To qualify to vote in the coming 2017 elections, TICA's By-Laws Article 13 Section 113.1, Qualifications, state: "Each member in good standing, one whose dues are paid and who has no outstanding indebtedness to TICA or to any TICA club, and who is/was not on the Temporary Suspension List on the qualifying date, who was a member in good standing 6 months prior to the first day of the month in which a ballot is to be mailed, shall be eligible to vote." 

To be eligible to vote in October, members are urged to make sure their membership is up to date and in good standing as of April 1, 2017 and that they have renewed their dues by May 1, 2017 to be eligible to vote beginning in October 2017.

Please be advised, members whose dues are not current and who wait until May 1, 2017 to pay them will NOT be eligible to vote this fall.


Paul Robertson and his cat Percy take to the road


 
Cat Clings on to Undercarriage 
of Owners 18-Wheeler 
For 400 Miles and Survives
 


Debunking the myth that cats would choose comfort over loyalty, St. Paul truck driver Paul Robertson's cat Percy proves the strong bond between owner and feline.
 
Robertson, who typically takes his cat to work with him on long-haul deliveries, recently lost his cat while recovering from a bout of food poisoning at a rest area in Ohio. While he was resting in the truck, Percy stepped on the power window switch and went for a stroll.
 
When he realized his cat was gone he turned to his extended family of friends on Facebook for help. He posted news of the situation along with a map to show his location. In addition to the outpouring of love and concern for his cat, Robertson's friends immediately joined in the search. They shared his post, called nearby animal shelters, created a Go Fund Me account to raise money for a reward, and one friend even showed up to help Robertson search the rest area in the rain.
 
After more than 24-hours of searching without any luck, Robertson regretfully returned to work and continued on the highway to make his freight delivery.
 
After driving 400 miles in snow, rain and dirt roads, Robertson was shocked to see a cold and miserable Percy emerge from underneath the truck. That's right, his feline driving companion rode in the undercarriage of Robertson's 18-wheeler going 70 miles per hour for 400 miles.
 
Following a warm bath and a trip to the vet for some medication to heal an eye infection, Percy happily reclaimed his co-pilot seat and now drives with Robertson in a truck with disabled window switches.

 
Cymric and Manx breed photos compliments of Larry Johnson, Johnson Photography

TICA  Celebrates Irish Cat Breeds 
In Honor of St. Patrick's Day
 
In honor of St. Patrick's Day, this March 17th, TICA celebrates the loveable breeds of Irish descent -- the Manx and Cymric , both recognized by TICA for championship competition in June 1979.
 
Together, the Manx and the Cymric comprise the Manx breed group. They differ only in coat length with the shorthairs known as Manx and the longhairs as Cymrics. Several colorful tales surround the origin of the Manx including one version where Noah cut off the cat's tail closing the Ark door as the rain began. Records however show the breed originated on the Isle of Man, a small isolated island in the Irish Sea. Inbreeding of the island population resulted in the lack of a tail becoming a common trait. The first picture of one appears in a painting from the mid 1700 to early 1800's. Manx were among the original breeds at the dawn of the cat fancy in the late 1800s as we find them in show records from that era. The mature Manx/Cymric is a round, heavy cat of medium size and resembles a bowling ball, with just a dimple where the tail would have been. Its long hind legs and lack of tail, gave rise to the moniker 'bunny cat'. 
 
Coloring Book PIJAC TICA Annual
 
Bill Reintroduced to Protect 
Pets of Domestic Violence Victims
 
In February 2017, the Pet and Women Safety Act, H.R. 909/S.322  was reintroduced by U.S. Senators Gary Peters (D-MI) and Dean Heller (R-NV). The bill is designed to protect victims of domestic violence , sexual assault, stalking and dating violence from emotional and psychological trauma caused by acts of violence or threats of violence against their pets.
 
Abusers use pets as pawns, and survivors tend to remain in abusive relationships out of concern for the welfare and safety of their pets. Pet-owning women entering emergency shelters often report that their batterer had injured, maimed, killed or threatened family pets for revenge or to psychologically control victims. Most domestic violence survivors report they are unable to escape their abusers because they are concerned about what will happen to their pets when they leave.
 
While a network of shelters exists to provide victims a safe place, there are too few domestic violence shelters nationwide that are equipped to house and care for pets. Only 3 percent of domestic violence shelters accommodate pets. As a result, victims are forced to choose between their safety and the safety of their pets, often leading to delay in leaving dangerous situations.
 
Sponsored by Senator Gary Peters (D-MI) and Congresswoman Katherine Clark (D-MA), the Pet and Women Safety Act is supported by almost 180 representatives from both sides of the aisle. Under H.R. 909, federal domestic-violence protections would also include threats and violence against pets. In addition, the bill would extend grant funding to domestic-violence shelters that provide pet housing and include any veterinary costs in restitution payments.
 
"The amount of love and support we get from our pets is invaluable," said TICA Legislative Committee Chair, Brigitte Cowell Moyne. "By ensuring that victims of domestic abuse don't have to make the decision between finding safety for themselves or staying behind to protect their animals, we can enable survivors to seek help and get a fresh start with their loving pets."
 
Please join TICA in supporting passage of the Pet and Women Safety Act of 2017 . If you are in the United States, please ask your Representative and Senators to help protect domestic violence survivors and their pets.

ASK TICA

Q. I've heard both the terms "spectator" and "visitor" used to describe those who attend cat shows and events. Is there a correct term we should be using?
 
A. The term spectator, Latin for spectāre meaning to watch, refers to those who can view something but can not contribute. While a visitor, also known as a visitant, signifies a guest or those who spend time with others for social pleasure, such as a welcome guest. A visitor also has the ability to become a participant. 

As we would like those who attend our events to feel welcome with the ability to contribute, the more appropriate term to use when describing people who attend a TICA event is visitor.

Do you have a question to ask TICA about breeding, shows or anything about cats in general? No question is too big or small to ask. Just send your question to Marketing@Tica.org and we will answer your question in a future issue of the newsletter.


 
New Research Finds Cats May Make
Better Search & Rescue Animals Than Dogs
 
Dogs, known for their keen sniffing ability, get a lot of credit for being good search and rescue animals. But, according to a new study published in the journal Applied Animal Behavior Science, cats may actually be better at discriminating between scents than their canine counterparts. This means cats may potentially be more effective at sniffing out bombs and missing people than rescue dogs.
 
A cat's skills at detecting scents comes down to genetics. Receptor proteins called VIRs can predict a mammal's ability to detect scents. Cats have approximately 30 of these receptor gene variants, while dogs only have about nine and humans have just two.
 
"Given the importance of olfaction in cat sensory perception, cats could be trained to discriminate between a variety of odors, therefore serving in working roles for detecting specific humans, medical scent detection, bomb sniffing, and drug sniffing," said Kristyn Vitale Shreve, co-author of the study.
 
In addition to their genetic advantage in detecting scents, a cat's ability to fit into tight places and maintain their balance might give them an advantage over dogs in a variety of search and rescue tasks. 
 
The downside, conversely, is the reputation cats have for being difficult to train. Many animal behaviorists however note that with the proper instruction -- including socializing a cat outside the home, finding rewards or experiences the cat most wants to work for, and the use of positive reinforcement to reward the behaviors you are trying to teach - cats could be trained to make superior search and rescue animals.

Motel 6
Viagen
Red Roof Inn
 
An Update from the WINN Foundation
 
The Winn Symposium Registration is Open: Our speaker is one of the foremost experts on FIP, Dr. Niels Pedersen. The 2-hour symposium on June 29th at the Fairmont Hotel in Chicago will be dedicated to current information about FIP. A special guest, Mr. Peter Cohen of Zen by Cats will give a short video presentation about Miss Bean and Smokey, two cats that have been participants in the clinical trial using a protease inhibitor drug for wet FIP. We expect a large crowd, so register early! Details and registration information can be found here.  Cat clubs that have donated $500 or more since July 1, 2016 - June 25, 2017 will receive one free registration for a member to the Symposium.

Two More Bria Fundraisers To Announce: 
Do you love Chocolate? Who doesn't? Rachael Benion is raising money for the Bria Fund for FIP Research for the month of March. You can order wonderful chocolate items (Dove Chocolate) through the   Cocoa Exchange and support finding a cure for FIP. If you search for a hostess, please put in first name: Bria, last name: Fund.
 
ParadisMaison.com has a "Rainbow Bridge" double-sided kitten black and white cushion cover available to order. All profits go to the Bria Fund for FIP research. Additional details and order can be placed online.
 
2017 Winn Grant Review: Winn Feline Foundation just completed our 2017 grant review in Las Vegas. Ten grant awards for a total funding of $216,017 will be announced shortly.
 


Coming Soon: Be on the lookout for Feline Health Bytes, a free webinar series on feline health topics featuring experts in veterinary medicine for cat enthusiasts everywhere, brought to you by VetVine.com, TICA and Winn Feline Foundation. Details can be found online at   www.tica.org and  www.winnfelinefoundation.org

T he recent TICA/WINN Foundation survey you may have responded to asking what issues were most important to you and if you would be interested in attending Webinars received more than 800 responses sharing members input. Thank you to all those who participated in the survey which will guide us in delivering a top-notch series about cat health.

Be on the lookout for our recent advertisement in Pet Age magazine (pictured above) announcing the Webinar series. Stay tuned for additional information on topics, dates/times and sign up details.  

Special Honored Recognition and Thank You's go to The New Culture Club, TICA and the TICA Siamese Breed Group for their generous donations to Winn Feline Foundation this February.

Image source_ Instagram user bobbyflay Bobby Flay and his cat, Nacho

Meet Nacho, Bobby Flay's Purr-fect Companion
 
If you have an Instagram account there's a chance you've met Bobby Flay's favorite feline companion, NachoFlay, a 2-year-old Maine Coon.
 
Flay says that until he moved out of his mother's house at 19, there were always cats in his house and admits that his mom is still obsessed with them. He observes that as an only child, the cats he shared his childhood home with were as close to him as siblings.
 
Nacho joined Flay thirty years after he moved out of his Mom's house. He reveals his fateful feline has rather unique qualities like playing fetch, opening doors, following him from room-to-room, and even travels regularly with Flay.
 
One of his favorite things about Nacho is that "he knows when I'm feeling a little under the weather or when I am having a case of the blues," said Flay in a recent CBS Sunday Morning interview. "He makes me a softer and more understanding person just by his presence and affection."

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