Weekly News Roundup 6/1–6/7

World’s oldest cat celebrates 30th birthday

A British cat has been hailed as the oldest in the world—after celebrating his 30th birthday. The aging feline—named Rubble—has been with owner Michele Foster since she got him as a kitten on her 20th birthday in May of 1988. The pair have been inseparable ever since. Michele, 50, said that despite possibly now owning the world’s oldest cat she had never wanted to go down the record route as she didn’t want Rubble turning into a celebrity. She said, “He's a lovely cat, although he has gotten a little grumpy in his old age.” She said she was still extremely proud of her cat’s achievements. Rubble still has a way to go to beat the longest-living cat on record: Her name was Creme Puff, she was born on August 3, 1967, and lived until August 6, 2005—an amazing 38 years and three days.

Animal study show that binge eating could trigger alcoholism in adolescents

Due to heightened impulsivity and an immature inhibitory system, teenagers are often more vulnerable than adults to addictive behaviors including alcohol and drug abuse, anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating. To understand whether trying to quit a binge-eating habit might make young teens susceptible to using alcohol as a replacement activity, researchers examined how mice responded to the challenge when alcohol was present. The discovered that when adolescent mice were forced to abstain from binge eating for two weeks, their self-administered alcohol consumption was 6% higher than mice fed a regular diet. This suggests that to compensate for the lack of pleasure being derived from binge eating, mice may feel compelled to engage in other addictive behaviors like alcohol consumption.

Dog saved from euthanasia now a champion

A dog on the verge of being euthanized made the most of her second chance, becoming a champion. Stitch, an American Staffordshire terrier mix, was one day from being euthanized last December when Millie Sawyer came to her rescue. Sawyer, a foster mother for Habitat for Paws,  has saved more than 70 dogs. Sawyer found Stitch in 2017, two days before Christmas. “We got her at the very last minute," Sawyer said. Stitch was turned away from three homes before landing with Kaitlyn Johnson, who introduced the dog to the sport of fly ball, where dogs run a short course. “Two months in she runs a 4.35,” Johnson said. But Stitch really surprised Johnson when she ran a record time of 4.117 seconds—the fastest time for the Staffordshire class.

New Jersey could outlaw declawing of cats

A New Jersey legislator is sponsoring a bill that would make it illegal to surgically remove cats’ claws in the state. Cat owners who violate the act would face fines of up to $1,000 and/or a prison sentence of up to six months. State Senator Troy Singleton, the bill’s sponsor, describes the process as “a cruel practice that more often than not is done for the sake of convenience rather than necessity,” emphasizing the long-term medical and physical detriments sustained by declawed cats. Similar laws are on the books in Denver, Los Angeles, and San Francisco, where declawing has already been banned, unless the procedure is deemed necessary by a licensed veterinarian. If the proposed legislation moves forward, a veterinarian recommending a cat be declawed would be required to file a written statement with the New Jersey Department of Health and provide a copy to the cat’s owner. The only exceptions to the policy would be for any cat with existing or recurring illness, infection, disease, injury, or other conditions affecting him that relate to his claws.

Walk dogs, make a living, see the world

Amy Woldrich is traveling across the country in an RV, staying in a new city every month or two (she is currently in Austin, Texas). And she's able to do it thanks to her flexible and lucrative side gig as a dog walker for Rover, a popular dog-walking app. The selection process to be a dog walker is strict (The Wall Street Journal compared getting a dog-walking job to getting into Harvard), but once you're in, you can make a comfortable living. If you’re self-motivated and willing to put the hours in, there are plenty of dogs that need to be walked,” Woldrich, 35, said.  “I was speaking with a friend recently who was able to buy a house using her Rover income alone.” In addition to being a freelance pet photographer, Woldrich makes between $100 and $350 a week, walking between three to six dogs a day for about 30 minutes each, though she says full-time dog walkers can make a lot more.