Weekly News Roundup 3/2–3/8

Cat-too you

German fashion model Kathrin Toelle found a unique way to keep her beloved cat close when she takes to the catwalk: She had a larger-than-life image of Gizmo, her 10-year-old Maine Coon cat, tattooed on her thigh. Getting a tattoo of your pet is not uncommon, but what makes this tattoo different is the ink. It’s made from Gizmo’s fur, and you can get one, too (with ink made from your cat’s fur, not Gizmo’s). A tattoo service in Switzerland called Skin46 will extract medically clean organic carbon from the human or animal hair sent in by clients and transforms the material into tattoo ink. The cost: $700, not including the tattoo. Not recommended for people with cat allergies.

What’s the fourth-germiest thing in your house?

A recent study done by NSF International examined 30 everyday items from 22 different households, and pet food dishes ranked fourth in the final list of germ hotspots. The top three were kitchen sponge/dishrag, kitchen sink, and toothbrush holder. It turns out that food bowls can serve as ideal breeding grounds for bacteria, mold, and yeast. But this information might also raise some confusion. It makes sense to wash a bowl of wet dog or cat food, but surely refilling dishes with dry food isn’t that big of a deal, right? Wrong.

Still number 1!

The University of California, Davis, continues to be ranked first in the world in veterinary science and second in agriculture and forestry, according to the 2018 QS World University Rankings by subject, released February 28. UC Davis has been ranked first in veterinary science since the field was added to the rankings in 2015, and second in agriculture and forestry since it was added in 2013. Coming in at number two is Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine. And rounding out the top three is the University of London’s Royal Veterinary Hospital in England.

Woman spends $19,000 for cat’s kidney transplant, then adopts the donor

A part-time teacher and writer at the University of Baltimore paid $19,000 for a kidney transplant for her 17-year-old cat, Stanley. Stanley recovered from the surgery and is still alive. At 17 years old, Stanley was near the end of his natural life before the surgery, but owner Betsy Boyd said she had no regrets. The kidney donor, a homeless two-year-old tabby named Jay, came through the operation just fine, too. Boyd was so grateful for the cat’s generosity that she promised to adopt Jay, whether or not Stanley survived, and now they all live together in Maryland.

More pet food recalls in Texas, Georgia, 3 other states following kitten deaths

Blue Ridge Beef of Eatonton, Georgia, recalled its “Kitten Grind” raw pet food after customers filed complaints with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) about two kitten deaths. The FDA confirmed one of those kittens died from Salmonella septicemia, blood poisoning caused by the bacterium Salmonella. The FDA tested one batch of the product and found the bacteria Salmonella and Listeria. The contaminated lot contains 20 cases, or 300 “chubs,” the tubes the product comes in. The recall affects Texas, Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee, and North Carolina.

NEWStat Legislation & regulation Interesting/unusual