May 13th 2006 #337

First Daughter Patti Davis
Two Cats and the Woman They Own

Patti Davis, the daughter of President Ronald Reagan, grew up with animals surrounding her. She learned early in life by observing her father, that animals were a special part of life.

Patti, a self-avowed dog person, didn't really adopt Aretha, her first cat. Aretha adopted Patti. When her second cat, Skeeter, moved in, Patti came to realize that she was now officially in thrall to two very demanding little felines. Fortunate for her, her brother Ron is sort of a "cat expert" and was "on call" for Pattie's many requests asking for assistance.

In Two Cats and the Woman They Own, Patti recounts how her life was changed for the better by living with and learning from her cat companions. In "The Mouse That Got Away" Patti learns a valuable lesson about hope, and in "The Little Scoundrel" she realizes just how wrong a first impression can be. Davis closes each charming vignette with a "Life Lesson."


Home Sweet Home, Where Bailey the Buffalo Roams
Jim Sautner, Bailey the Buffalo
For thousands of years, the majestic North American buffalo roamed freely over the wide-open Canadian prairies. Today, most of these brown, woolly beasts spend their time grazing on ranches - or in the case of Bailey, watching TV in the living room of an Alberta family's home.

Jim and Linda Sautner are the proud owners of Bailey, a nearly four-year-old bison, who has a penchant for spending his time inside the couple's home, about 20 kilometers west of the provincial capital of Edmonton. "My wife wouldn't let me bring my German shepherd puppy in the house one day, so I got even with her by bringing Bailey in," Mr. Sautner said on Wednesday. "He's made a mess on the carpet a couple of times, so now we bring out an ice-cream pail whenever he gives us that look."

The Sautners, who own 270 head of buffalo, have become used to having the 725-kilogram beast watching television in their lounge room. "He prefers to watch The Nature of Things," Mr. Sautner said, referring to a Canadian nature series.
The couple rescued Bailey as a baby, after the calf was abandoned by his mother. Along with farm hands, they bottle-fed Bailey with milk daily and their affinity for one another grew rapidly.

Christmas was especially memorable at the Sautners with 21 wide-eyed guests sitting down to a dinner of mashed potatoes and gravy, vegetables, and buffalo meatballs - with the furry giant snorting behind them.

Although the Sautners have lost more than $CAN1.6 million ($A1.5 million) this year on their buffalo meat business, the indirect result of a mad cow disease case that shut down much of Canada's beef industry, they have no plans to sell Bailey.

"He knows he'll never be buffalo burgers because he's an ambassador for the bison industry," Mrs. Sautner said.

The laid-back Bailey, who has been neutered, has been involved in some unusual promotional stunts, including showing up in the lobby of three-star hotels and climbing with Mr. Sautner to the top of a grandstand at the Calgary Stampede rodeo.


Animal Moms
Rae Ann Kumelos, Voice of the Animal
We share one very powerful characteristic with animals ­ all of us have a mom. This Mother's Day, discover our common kinship in qualities that transcend species.


Band Plays Music Dedicated to the Animal World
Dr. Jeffrey Levy, PET-ROX
Need a band to play YOUR animal charity event? Look no further than the aptly named Pet-Rox!

NYC veterinarian Jeff Levy founded the band and is the singer and rhythm guitarist. In fact, all of the musicians are involved with animals in some way ­ the bassist is a tropical fish hobbyist, the lead guitarist is a therapy dog handler, the drummer is a pet lawyer and the keyboardist is a zookeeper. The backup singers, a group of ladies called the Rox-ettes, include a cat rescuer and a veterinary surgeon. Past members include an animal behaviorist and even a pet psychic.

"The band has been together in various formations for about four years," Levy said. "We play rock and roll and blues, but only songs associated with the animal world around us."

A typical Pet-Rox set opens with The Monkees' "I'm Gonna Buy Me A Dog." You might hear The Beatles' "Octopus' Garden" or "Werewolves of London". Levy plays homage to the delta blues with "Little Red Rooster," "Hound Dog," "See You Later, Alligator" and Elton John's "Crocodile Rock." The band is also putting together some original material. One of the first songs, "Outta Here," relates to indoor cats pondering on the world outside.

Pet-Rox founder Dr. Jeffrey Levy makes house calls for your pet, and administers doctoring, acupuncture, and holistic therapies as needed. To book Pet-Rox, and for further information about the band, e-mail


Cat Stuck In Wall
Britt Savage
A cat stuck in a wall at a house under construction initiated his rescue when he caught the attention of a prospective buyer by meowing and waving his paw out a small hole.
The cat had gotten stuck behind the wall but found a gap between a gas pipe and the wallboard where he could stick out his paw. He was spotted Saturday by someone touring the house.

Collierville Animal Services supervisor Nina Wingfield said she heard a "hoarse meow" after she arrived at the house. "When he knew we were there, it was a very hoarse, frantic meow," she said.

Wingfield freed the feline by cutting away the wallboard with a knife. "He had his paw out touching not clawing the whole time, like he was saying 'Come on! Come on,'" Wingfield said.

She thinks the cat, which had been stuck without food long enough for his ribs to be showing, is a lost pet. The owners have until Friday to come forward and claim him before he will be offered for adoption to someone else. In the meantime, the animal shelter is calling him by a new name: Wally.


Talk With Your Animals
Joy Turner
"Big Boy" a main coon mix has an ongoing problem of urinating outside the litter box. Big Boy is one of 4 cats and explains that the reason he does this is he wants to stand out and be different.


Positive Discipline
Lynn Lott ­ Pup Parenting
Most of us have had some experience bringing up a baby, and Lynn explains how you can apply your successful child-rearing methods to parenting your pup-and turn your dog into a loving and responsible member of the family. Because for most dog owners, a dog isn't just a pet but a beloved family member.

Not only does the book takes effective child-rearing methods and modifies them to work with the canine set - represents an exciting breakthrough in dog discipline - it will also help you choose a breed that fits your family; it provides a simple test to assess a pup's personality; and an easy 5-step plan to bring straying behavior problems smartly to heel.


Flu Fears Spread to the World of Pets
Dr. Jim Humphries, Veterinary News Network
Cats and dogs were believed to be immune to the flu until 2004 when dogs showed the same signs as a flu virus strain found in horses. And the recent death of a cat caused by the Avian Flu Virus in Germany has raised questions about the transmission of various types of flu. Although recent studies indicate that cats can catch the bird flu, the disease is not transmittable from cats to humans or humans to cats. However, the viruses are changeable by nature. So the long answer is ­ we just don't know - it's a bit more complicated.


Spraying Cats
Annie Bruce, Good Cats Wear Black
Some cats will spray whether they have been fixed or not. Cats spray for many reasons. Some will spray when they smell the spray of another cat or even if they are indoors and just see a cat outside. You can help build up the confidence in your cat to help reduce the spraying. Make sure he gets daily exercise; scratching posts are a great way to do this, and make sure he is getting a balanced diet. If you suspect your cat is spraying but you can't see anything, use a blacklight. This will help isolate the spray area. When you do find an area, use a product like Get Serious to remove all odors so your cat won't be attracted back to the same spot. Feliway, a plug-in by Comfort Zone, is also a great way to help reduce the stress in your cat. You can leave this plugged in on a daily basis.


A Little Monkey Business
Brenda Royce - Monkey Love
Brenda Royce is currently the director of publications at the Los Angeles Zoo. In her first novel, which includes as many critters as humans, with names such as Grouch the Cat, Rocky the Boa and Tallulah the monkey-plus a freezer full of rats from, the heroine Holly is keeping herself afloat until her comedy showcase hits big, Holly juggles typing duties, animal husbandry, tax preparation and hair styling while getting dumped by her neglected boyfriend and inadvertently alienating friends and family. But that's all you are going to hear here ­ you have to go out and get the book yourself to find out what monkey business Holly and Tallulah find themselves in.


Disaster Preparedness Plans with Dr. Cindy Lovern
John Butler,

HURRICANE SEASON IS LESS THAN A MONTH AWAY. Losses suffered last year in terms of lives and property damage were enormous. People died because they wouldn't evacuate without their pets. Many pets left behind were lost forever.


Eulogy for a Lizard
David Alan, News Director, Kowl-Am/Krlt-Fm Radio
Like a lot of us who has lost a close loved one, I was going to keep my sadness inside, not mentioning my loss to anyone; especially to my wife and adopted daughter.
I know now for the very first time in my life, just how it feels and how it is so hard to convey this sadness to someone who has not yet fortunately experienced the loss of someone close to them. Besides, I wasn't going to tell anyone because I fell deeply in love with my lost loved one.

Obviously, at an age in the latter 50's, I was not going through a mid-life crisis, being well past that age and married. But when my adopted daughter, Corvette, gave me a young one-year-old Savannah Monitor Lizard, it was love at first sight!

He was beautiful to look at, being mostly tan in color with a light brown spot design, and with a tan-yellow background to his lizard skin. His skin was soft and smooth to the touch. My daughter named him "Hissy" because Savannah Monitors hiss loudly when they are disturbed. I simply called him, My Buddy.

My Buddy died recently of unknown causes at the young age of only two and half years. Mr. Lizard, as I sometimes called him, still had a lot of growing up to do. When he departed this world for lizard heaven, he weighed in at 9 pounds, and was 31 inches long. My Buddy, if he had been given the chance, would have lived a lot longer and grown quite a bit more in size. In fact, Monitors can live to 20 years-of-age, grow to a length of four or five feet, and weigh in at 20 pounds.

My wife and I had grown rather close to My Buddy in the past year and a half that he was with us. He spent a lot of his time on weekends lying in bed with me, napping, and watching TV. He often could be found on the big couch in the living room, next to or under my wife, covered up, all snuggled and warm. He also loved to bask in the sun in the dining room, and could be seen at times wandering around outside in the front and backyard clover or sunning himself on our back deck.

Mr. Lizard always looked forward to his daily warm bath. He could float and lounge in a warm tub for hours. I imagine, during quite a few of those warm baths, he was even sleeping. Hmmm, I wonder what he dreamed about. Speaking of sleeping lizards, when he slept, which was a lot, he slept on a heating pad, wrapping himself up in his Blankey. That's right, like most juveniles, My Buddy had his very own Blankey. He never traveled anywhere without it.

A traveling lizard? Yep, Mr. Lizard made the rounds to various locations in the South Shore area of Lake Tahoe and Carson City. While traveling, he stayed wrapped in his blankey, nice and warm, inside a small dog carrier. When he arrived at his destination, he would waddle out of the carrier, a leash put on him and he was good to go.
Everywhere My Buddy visited, all loved him, especially children. He never bit anyone and hardly gave anyone even a loud hissss!

Feeding Mr. Lizard was a joy! First of all, Savannah Monitor lizards are meat eaters. No greens for this lizard! My Buddy was fed every two to three days. When he was still a little guy, he was fed crickets and small live mice. It was fun watching him going after the crickets. He would be lunging at them; all the while crickets would be jumping all around and on him. As he got older and bigger, he was given his own food bowl, and just like a dog, would come to eat whenever I whistled! Upon hearing my whistle, he would waddle over to his bowl to find chicken, hamburger, steak, pork, and hot dogs. In fact, that lizard could swallow a whole hot dog in one gulp! He was also still eating live mice that were fed to him by hand. From time to time, My Buddy was also known to scrounge in the cat food bowls for an extra meal.

Unfortunately, after awhile My Buddy just wasn't himself. He began to sleep more and then he just would not eat. Now this was strange for Mr. Lizard, who was always looking for a meal. After he stopped eating, I immediately took him over to a Lizard Vet in Carson City, Nevada to have him checked out. The Vet said he was sick but did not know from what. And then, a short time later, and no matter what the Vet tried, My Buddy decided to give up his body and travel to a higher level. Now, if you had asked me if I believed in that reincarnation stuff, I would probably say "Maybe, who knows." But when it comes to Hissy, I know My Buddy will be back with us soon, probably as a cat. He always liked our three cats.

Listen to the 1/2 Hour ABRIDGED VERSION Podcast of this show (#337).


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