Is There A Link Between Owning A Cat And Mental Illness?

Is There A Link Between Owning A Cat And Mental Illness?Over the past few years, cats have increasingly attracted media attention due to a number of scientific studies reporting that a Toxoplasma Gondii (T. Gondii) infection is linked with mental health issues, including schizophrenia, suicide and intermittent rage disorder.

Dharma -- My Little Furry Angel

Dharma -- My Little Furry Angel of Peace and LoveNearing the lake on that warm September morning, I heard a tiny mewing sound. My first inclination was to ignore the cries. I've been through enough lately, I thought; I can hardly take care of myself. Meow! Meow! The insistent pleas continued.

Wild Horses Couldn’t Drag Me Away

Wild Horses Couldn’t Drag Me AwayI raised my hand in class at the University of Santa Monica and quietly shared that there was something I needed to own. I told the class that I’d had an extraordinary experience of personal healing in my life, and that I was a healer. That I had been working for a number of years on developing and refining my approach...

Watch Mom Teach Young Chimps To Use Tools

Watch Mom Teach Young Chimps To Use ToolsAnthropologists for the first time have captured on video wild chimpanzee mothers teaching their offspring to use tools to find food. The videos were made at termite mounds in the Nouabalé-Ndoki National Park in the Republic of Congo.

What Have Cats Ever Done For Us?

What Have Cats Ever Done For Us?The bird experts and authors of the book Cat Wars recently called for all free-roaming cats to be euthanised or kept on a lead. They argue that cats’ tendency to kill birds and small mammals has lead to a catastrophic decline in the numbers of these creatures.

The Science Says Gardening Is Good For You

The Science Says Gardening Is Good For YouAs the weather warms and days lengthen, your attention may be turning to that forgotten patch of your backyard. This week we’ve asked our experts to share the science behind gardening. So grab a trowel and your green thumbs, and dig in.

What Dogs See When They Watch Television

What Dogs See When They Watch TelevisionDog owners often notice their pets watching televisions, computer screens and tablets. But what is going on in their pooch’s head? Indeed, by tracking their vision using similar methods used on humans, research has found that domestic dogs do prefer certain images and videos.

Spying On Pets At Home With Pet Wearables

Spying On Pets At Home With Pet WearablesThe Williams’ residence in suburban Melbourne is home to three dogs and five humans. Life is often chaotic as each member of the household negotiates for space and attention.

Alleycat Acres Puts New Twist on Community Gardens

community gardens 8 16On a recent Monday evening in Seattle’s Central District, a handful of people gathered to work on a community farm. They pulled weeds, talked about the best ways to string up tomatoes, checked the progress of the greens and beans, harvested radishes and planted wildflowers.

Are Parakeets On Course For Global Domination?

Are Parakeets On Course For Global Domination?Love them or hate them, ring-necked parakeets have invaded Europe and they’re here to stay. Already a staple of many urban parks and gardens around the UK, some of these charismatic bright green birds are now so comfortable in their new surroundings that they will happily sit and feed from your hand.

Is Marijuana Really Getting Stronger?

Is Marijuana Really Getting Stronger?Cannabis continues to be the world’s favourite illicit drug with around 147m people using it annually. However, there are fears that the drug is becoming increasingly potent and that it could pose a public health risk. But how reliable is the evidence? And is it really getting stronger?

Why Don't Plants Get Sunburn?

Why Don't Plants Get Sunburn?The one fact about plants that most people probably remember from school is that they use sunlight to make their own food. That process, photosynthesis, means that plants are dependent on sunlight.

Becoming Family: Love Has No Time Limits

The Long WaitMowgli arrived at Best Friends Animal Society in Utah after being rejected by two shelters. On my day for volun­teering, I saw the eight-month-old malamute sitting off by himself, and I walked over to the fence to talk to him. When those mahogany eyes looked deep into my heart and touched my soul, I fell in love.

Why Are Some Bird Species So Successful In Cities?

Bold colours: Rainbow Lorikeets are among the most successful city birds. Kathryn Teare Ada Lambert, Author providedLife in the city can be stressful – for birds just as much as people. For humans, cities are expressly designed to put roofs over heads and food within easy reach, but the opposite can be true for many urban birds. They can find food and shelter harder to come by in the concrete jungle – with some notable exceptions.

A Brief History Of Telling Time

A Brief History Of Telling TimeWe live in a world where time is all important. Nanoseconds mark the difference between success or failure to make an electronic transaction and where we are continuously reminded of “the time”: of being early or late, of having missed an appointment or arriving “before time”. In today’s world, time now governs our life.

How Your Garden Could Help Stop City Flooding

urban gardening1 5 14Urban flooding represents the most common yet severe environmental threat to cities and towns worldwide. Future changes in rainfall extremes are likely to increase this threat, even in areas that could become drier.

Meet Your Hidden Housemates: Cockroaches, Oooh

The rather handsome Speckled Cockroach from north-east Africa has spread across the world with human assistance. Anthony O'TooleCockroaches are a very ancient group of insects. They have been around virtually unchanged in general appearance since the Carboniferous period, more than 300 million years ago. Technically speaking they are in the Order Blattodea (the same level of classification as, for instance, all butterflies and moths).

How Serious Is Inbreeding In Show Dogs?

How Serious Is Inbreeding In Show Dogs?A German shepherd with a sloping back that was awarded best of breed brought the dog show Crufts in for this year’s annual bout of criticism. Viewers took to social media to accuse the owner of animal cruelty by suggesting that its unusual shape meant the dog must suffer health problems brought on by inbreeding – something the owner denied.

Why Dog Breeds Aren't Considered Separate Species

Great Dane, meet Chihuahua. You have lots in common. Ellen Levy Finch, CC BY-SA

Dog owners might disagree, but as far as evolutionary biologists are concerned, all dogs are just dogs. It may seem odd that Canis (lupus) familiaris extends from rabbit-sized Chihuahuas to Great Danes which can be almost the size of a small pony, whereas seemingly much smaller differences place many animals into separate species or sub-species.

Organic Farming Techniques Are Closing Gap On Conventional Yields

Organic Farming Techniques Are Closing Gap On Conventional Yields

Some farmers have turned to less chemically-intensive techniques to reduce the negative impact of agriculture, such as organic farming, which has been shown to outperform conventional farming by many standards of environmental sustainability. The question is whether we can meet the demand for food, which is predicted to rise substantially in the next 50 years.

Are Energy Star Ratings A Good Idea For Homes?

Are Energy Star Ratings A Good Idea For Homes?Homebuyers respond well to green features such as solar panels, rather than stats and figures. If you’ve ever bought a home you’ll know the feeling of deciphering real estate advertising spin. But those advertisements traditionally don’t tell you about how much

Dogs Really Can Tell How Their Owners Are Feeling

Dogs Really Can Tell How Their Owners Are FeelingCan dogs tell when we are happy, sad or angry? As a dog owner, I feel confident not only that I can tell what kind of emotional state my pets are in, but also that they respond to my emotions. Yet as a hard-headed scientist, I try to take a more rational and pragmatic view. These personal observations seem more likely to result from my desire for a good relationship with my dogs.

Spare A Thought For Our Furry Friends This Christmas

Spare A Thought For Our Furry Friends This ChristmasChristmas is typically a time for celebrating and spending time with loved ones. But while we party, give lavish presents, and visit our families, we can sometimes overlook how some very important family members — our pets — might be affected.

Why Cats Are Fussy Eaters But Dogs Will Consume Almost Anything

dog drinking teaWhy Cats Are Fussy Eaters But Dogs Will Consume Almost AnythingAnyone who’s watched a cat throwing up after munching on grass knows that our feline friends aren’t natural plant eaters. So you might be surprised to discover that these carnivorous animals share some important genes that are more typically associated with herbivores. And this might help explain why cats aren’t always easy to please when it comes to food.

How Do Hummingbirds Draw In Nectar?

How Do Hummingbirds Draw In Nectar?Hummingbirds live life at incomprehensible speeds. Their flight acrobatics are amazing, maneuvering more like insects than birds as they flit around, flying upside down and even backwards. They’re a blur as they race between flowers. When they do pause to visit a flower momentarily, they’re licking 15 to 20 times a second to extract their nectar fuel.

When Is It Ethical To Euthanize Your Pet?

When Is It Ethical To Euthanize Your Pet?In the 1960s, I knew people who, before going on vacation, would take their dogs to a shelter to be euthanized. They reasoned that it was cheaper to have a dog euthanized – and buy a new one upon returning – than pay a kennel fee.

Preserving and Foraging: Depending on Nature for Food

Depending on Nature for Food: Preserving and ForagingLife, for foragers, can be more secure for the simple fact that they understand crop failures happen. Thus, we learn not to depend wholly on one type of food. The lovely thing about foraging is that there are always alternatives. In nature, there are usually plenty of options, and all of them are free.

What Horses Can Teach Us About Ourselves

Learning About Ourselves by Communicating with HorsesNews of my communications with the horses had spread in the small Costa Rican community. The horsemen, the veterinarian, and the cabin retreat employees were all aware of it. Some had reacted with apprehension, suspicious of my abilities, while others were afraid that I might be reading their minds, too.

Beyond Compost: 5 Ways to Get Your Soil Ready

The key to gardening is dirt. If you can grow good dirt now, you can grow good vegetables this spring. And you don’t have to run to the garden store to load up on boxes and bags of stuff to do it if you start early and think of it as a year-round project.The key to gardening is dirt. If you can grow good dirt now, you can grow good vegetables this spring. And you don’t have to run to the garden store to load up on boxes and bags of stuff to do it if you start early and think of it as a year-round project.

The Wonder of Worms In The Garden

The Wonder of Worms In The GardenThe key characteristic of the loving landscape is healthy, living soils which foster plant and animal health without artificial inputs. Compost, mulch and worms form the holy trinity of organic soil health.

Back to the Garden: Mulch, Mulch, and More Mulch

Back to the Garden: Mulch, Mulch, and More MulchBoth compost and mulch foster the life of the soil, and both are important components of the loving landscape. Sometimes they are confused for one another, but they are quite different animals.  Compost, which we talked about last week, is more nutrient rich than mulch. It’s full of life, and inoculates soil with that life.

Little City on the Prairie Steps It Up

small townA Latino family strolls leisurely through the park, immersed in conversation. Coming up fast behind is a blonde woman in designer exercise gear and earplugs, intent on maintaining her power-walking pace. Bringing up the rear is a young man with his Husky, both of them staring up at a patch of sun that has appeared from behind the clouds.

Just What Does The Loving Landscape Look Like?

Just What Does The Loving Landscape Look Like?So, let’s say we want to play nice with the rest of nature. Let’s say we want public parks, yards and gardens which exist for more than show, spaces which support a diversity of life, steward our resources wisely and are a joy to the eye. We’ve got to change the existing lifeless paradigm of lawn and hedge and disposable annual flowers.

Can Planting Flowers Help Bees Fight Parasites?

Can Planting Flowers Help Bees Fight Parasites?A growing body of research suggests some animals may derive medicinal benefit from plant chemistry, and perhaps even seek out these chemicals when sick. Could naturally occurring plant chemicals in flowers be part of a solution to the worrying declines of wild and managed bees?

Equine Encounters: Hearing The Horses Whisper

Equine Encounters: Hearing The Horses WhisperI share the treasure I have received in communicating with horses so that other people may better understand their inner world, and the ways it can help us understand our own. And for those who ride or own horses, I tell this story as another way for you to learn to trust what you hear when your horse needs to speak.

The Miracles Created by Nature (and Goats)

The Miracles Created by Nature (and Goats)The Posey homestead probably wouldn't strike most Americans as a vision of paradise. We lived on dunes dotted with creosote and mesquite bushes, cactus and yucca. Mostly, the land was bare sand. We had seven or eight inches of total precipitation a year...

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