Cat curiosities

Did you know that a cat's sense of smell is about 14 times greater than that of a human? Cats either roar (big cats) or purr (smaller wildcats and domestic cats), but no cat can do both. Your house cat can run up to 30 miles per hour, but can maintain that speed for only a few seconds. A cat's coat can tell you where and when his ancestors hunted: Cats with light, solid-colored coats evolved to hunt in grasslands, while cats with spotted coats were forest dwellers, hunting at dawn and dusk.

Snaky medicine

If you thought it was hard to give your dog or cat medication, think about pilling a snake. A Denver TV station recently reported that an 18-year-old king cobra had lymphosarcoma, which affects the scales in snakes. The snake had chemotherapy and was in remission afterward. To "pill" the 13-foot-long snake, Denver Zoo Associate Veterinarian Dr. Betsy Stringer consulted a veterinary oncologist at Colorado State University. They came up with a plan to insert a chemo pill in the throat of the snake's supper (a dead rat). The cobra took a treated rat every three weeks for five months.

AKC adds two breeds

Two breeds have joined the roster of AKC-recognized dogs: the Nederlandse kooikerhondje, below, in the sporting group and the grand basset griffon vendeen in the hound group. The kooiker (coy-ker), as he's known for short, is a medium-size dog created in the Netherlands to corral ducks for hunters. The 20- to 30-pound dogs have a medium-length red and white coat and a moderate activity level. The GBGV, as the grand basset griffon is known, is a low-slung scenthound that's friendly with other dogs and has a high activity level. The GBGV weighs 40 to 45 pounds and has a personality described as comical but stubborn.

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