Caturday felid trifecta: Cocaine serval; frozen kitten thawed and rescued; why cats are better than d*gs; and lagniappe

April 1, 2023 • 9:45 am

You might have heard about “cocaine bear”, but how about “cocaine cat”? Actually, it’s a serval, as recounted by this story from NPR. Click to read:

An excerpt:

The protagonist of this particular tale is a serval named Amiry.

The capture:

The big cat was kept as a pet and escaped from his owner’s car during a police stop in January, according to Anderson.

That’s when Hamilton County Dog Wardens (a division of Cincinnati Animal Care) got calls about what was thought to be a leopard spotted up in a tree.

Responders were able to retrieve Amiry and bring him back to the shelter, where the medical team called in an expert (whose credentials include working on the “Tiger King” case and the Zanesville tragedy) to identify his species.

The expert suspected Amiry was actually a serval, a long-legged, big-eared wild cat that is native to sub-Saharan Africa and illegal to own in Ohio. To confirm that, the medical team took a DNA sample — and also tested him for narcotics.

“Amiry tested positive for exposure to cocaine and the DNA test concluded he was indeed a serval,” Anderson wrote.

Here’s Amiry being tested; the caption is from the website:

Amiry the serval was rescued from a tree in Cincinnati in January. A DNA test confirmed his species, while a narcotics test confirmed his exposure to cocaine. Ray Anderson/Cincinnati Animal Care

The cocaine:

Why did the shelter test Amiry for drugs in the first place? The short answer is a capuchin monkey named Neo.

Last year, local animal control seized the monkey from his Cincinnati home after a veterinarian who saw videos of him believed he had ingested Xanax and/or cocaine and was in need of medical care.

Neo tested positive for amphetamines, underwent treatment and is now “safely in an undisclosed location,” according to Anderson. His owner was indicted on animal cruelty charges.

Since then, Anderson says it’s become standard protocol for the shelter to test for narcotics for any animal that is more “exotic” than the usual household pet.

“Of course, we also test for narcotics on any dog or cat displaying behaviors that would lead us down that path,” he added. “Amiry was extremely agitated at the time he was with us, which is understandable given what he had been through that morning, but we were able to sedate and treat before transporting to the [Cincinnati] Zoo.”

Anderson declined to elaborate on the specifics of the toxicology report, and said authorities are still looking for specific evidence that would indicate how the cocaine got into Amiry’s system.

“Given the nature of his capture, we cannot currently say if this intentional or environmental,” he added.

Here’s a video of Amiri and his owner (identity hidden):

Amiry was moved to the Cincinnati Zoo where he will become part of the Animal Ambassadors program. A bit more:

Amiry has been recovering from a broken leg, an injury he sustained while slipping out of the tree during his dramatic rescue.

Zoo officials said in a statement on Friday that his health had improved enough for him to move to the area of the Cat Ambassador Program, which aims to educate visitors about the importance of wild cat predators and raise money for cheetah conservation efforts.

The team there will monitor his recovery and help him acclimate to a new environment, a process they say is off to a promising start.

. . . “Amiry is young and very curious. He is exploring his new space and eating well, both great signs of progress,” said Linda Castañeda, the lead trainer of Cincinnati Zoo’s Cat Ambassador Program. “We are working on building trust and increasing his comfort as he adjusts to his new home.”

Amiry’s owner willingly signed Amiry over to animal authorities and has cooperated with their investigation, Anderson said, which is why they are not pursuing charges at the time.

“His owner was cooperative and paid for Amiry’s care until all ownership transfers were finalized, which is when this story went public,” Cincinnati Animal Care noted in a Facebook post on Thursday.

However, it says the case remains open pending additional evidence and that the Ohio Department of Agriculture is investigating as well.

Seriously, the owner had no idea how the cocaine got into that serval?


Since this post is from The Dodo, you know that it will turn out all right. And it did. Click to read:

The story:

On a construction site in the Bronx, a tiny kitten named Yankee hid among the rubble, fighting for her life. With nothing to protect her from the winter chill, Yankee was essentially frozen. She wouldn’t have lasted much longer, but thankfully workers on the site found her and contacted Puppy Kitty NYCity for help.”

“Construction workers heard her cries the day before and were looking for her,” Meagan Licari, president of Puppy Kitty NYCity, told The Dodo. “When they found her, she was freezing. When I got [there] her temp was so low it didn’t even register on a thermometer. She couldn’t pick up her head. I rushed her right to the emergency hospital.”

Here’s the poor thing being saved:


Yankee was so cold and fragile that she barely even noticed she was being rescued. She just let Licari take it from there. Once she was at the hospital, the vets sprang into action. She was freezing and starving, but once the little kitten started to warm up and get food in her belly, she slowly began coming back to life.

Yankee at the vet’s:


Licari was shocked and thrilled when Yankee began to transform into a playful little kitten. She truly was rescued just in time.

“It took her three days [in the] hospital to get back to normal,” Licari said. “She needed a lot of supportive care … She’s now the happiest girl!”

As soon as Yankee healed, her curious and spunky personality came out in a big way. Everyone knew she would make the best addition to a very lucky family, and it wasn’t long before she was adopted into her forever home.

See, everything is for the best in Dodo Land! Here she is, all warm and fed up:



From Linkiest, an obviously biased view, but one with which I concur:

I’ll give the reasons and a precis of each, but there’s more at the site (indented text represents quotes):

1. Grooming. Cats are like self-cleaning ovens when it comes to grooming. They groom themselves pretty much constantly and the only clean-up is the occasional hair ball.

2. The Litterbox.  Whether your cat is an indoor cat or an indoor/outdoor cat a litterbox is necessary and easy to deal with. You hide it in a place company rarely sees like a closet or laundry room and you clean it once a day.

3. Freedom.  Cats give you the freedom to be spontaneous. If someone calls and asks you to go out of town for the weekend you’re good to go without having to find a kennel to board your cat. You simply put out extra food, extra water and take off. Cats don’t really care if you’re gone for 2 hours or 2 days.

4. Expense.  Cats are just cheaper to own. Unless you have a sickly cat on your hands they are just plain cheaper. Their food is cheaper and they eat less of it so it lasts longer. They tend to need to visit the veterinarian less often as well.

5. Easy to Please.  I’ve never had a needy cat while every dog I’ve ever had has been needy in one way or another. As long as you feed them, water them and pet them once in a while cats are good to go. They don’t tend to ‘need’ to be hugged, petted or held constantly.

6. Cats Don’t Bark.  When cats hear something you’ll only know it if you’re watching them and see them shift their ears toward a noise. They certainly won’t bark incessantly at passing cars, kids playing or the mailman.

7. No More Mice. Not everyone lives where mice can be a problem but if you do then cats are awesome to have. Living in the country makes having a few cats a necessity.

I would add, as a subsection of #5, that, unlike d*gs, cats are not obsequious. Cats are more like humans: they have moods, and there are times they want to be left alone. D*gs, on the other hand, are like one’s servants, and have only one mood: needy.


Lagniappe: Click to read:

Yes, a cat becomes a bunny:

A one-eyed cat named Crash is the first-ever cat to win the Cadbury Bunny contest, making him the brand’s official “spokesbunny” for the year.

The chocolate company announced Crash’s win in a news release Tuesday. The lucky winner is an 8-year-old from Boise, Idaho, according to the release.

Crash was injured in a “devastating” car accident, according to the release. The accident left him “severely injured and left with one eye.”

While healing at a local shelter, Crash’s “quirky, outgoing personality” earned him the love of shelter staff, the release said.

As the winner of the Cadbury Bunny tryouts, Crash will star in the 2023 Cadbury “Clucking Bunny” commercial. He’ll also receive a prize of $5,000 for himself, as well as $5,000 “to the shelter of his choice,” according to the release.

. . . It is the fifth year of the Cadbury Bunny tryouts, but the first year the brand has specifically sought out rescue pets. Crash was chosen from thousands of entries, according to a March 6 news release from Cadbury. The adorable group of finalists included a chinchilla named Ande, a sheep named Timmy, and a duck named Ping.

Here’s Crash at the Bunny Tryouts; photo from Cadbury. (I haven’t been able to find the actual commercial online.)

And a video:


h/t: Ginger K., Matthew

11 thoughts on “Caturday felid trifecta: Cocaine serval; frozen kitten thawed and rescued; why cats are better than d*gs; and lagniappe

  1. Scooping litter only once a day is gross. And why keep the litter box anywhere but the shower or bathtub? That way any litter kicked out is confined and the scoopings are easy to flush (don’t know why anyone buys anything but flushable litter). Most importantly, leaving a cat along for two days is cruel and illegal in at least one state. (It’s illegal in Oregon to leave any animal untended for more than 24 hours.)

    1. I’ve seen some pretty disgusting litterboxes at people’s houses. It’s not always possible to keep them out of sight, especially if you live in a small apartment. And they smell, unless you clean them a couple of times a day. (Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had both a cat and a dog, and each has their advantages and disadvantages.)

  2. My recently passed cat, Isa, was what some would call a needy cat. She followed me around the house, and always cuddled closely with me at night. I am a side sleeper, and she always slept in front of my face. If I turned over, she crossed over to be in my face again. She also gave lie to the notion that cats don’t care if their humans are gone; when I left the house, I returned to face a scolding that was proportionate to the time I’d been gone. Once I left for a doctor’s appointment and ended up in the hospital for several days. When I got back home, Isa went into a snit that lasted two days. It took some intense attention and cuddling to get past her resentment.

    Actually, I really loved that about her. We bonded even before I left the shelter where I adopted her. She climbed into my arms from her enclosure and she was an affectionate companion until cancer took her from me. I miss her attention.

    1. My late cat Hecubus (1993-2011) was the same. He always slept on or at my feet in bed. There were times when he’d go off on his own but if I was watching TV he’d always want to be near me on the couch. If I was out late he’d be waiting for me at the door, and if I went away for a couple of days he’s be in a snit when I came home.

  3. Yecch. who wants a litter box in their house? And who wants an animal that DOESNT bark when it hears strange noises or observes strange things? Dogs have several kinds of barks, one of which says: there is someone breaking into our back yard.
    As for needy pets, dogs and humans meet each other’s needs. That’s pretty neat and very human. Yes, dogs are a much bigger responsibility, especially if you want to travel, but they dont mind hanging out with your friends for a while or seeing their kennel owner daily for walks, food, play, etc. When was the last time that, when you returned from work and entered your house, your cat ran down to greet you, jumped into your arms and licked your face? That is one of the best times for a dog owner. Not to mention that dogs get sad when owners go out without them. Or that they will readily go to their room if you tell them to, no argument. By the way, if a cat bites you, you have to run to the doctor to get the wound cleaned and get an antibiotic shot. Not so with dogs. Your puppy’s sharp teeth hurt like hell if they accidentally bit you when you are playing with them but you can just rinse it off and forget about it. Give me a nice shaggy dog who barks. Let the vet clean him or her up.

    1. One thing I discovered when we got our dog is the social aspect. You can take your dog out to parks and outdoor cafés and you meet other dogs and their owners, or total strangers will approach you to ask questions about the dog. Children always want to pet the dog. I’ve never known as many of my neighbours as I have since we got the dog.

  4. Operators of sewage treatment plants may not have a favorable opinion of flushable kitty litter.
    E.A. Blair: I hope you adopt another cat, soon.
    You cat people should have seen my dying aunt light up and become conversant when my 60 pound dog jumped up on her bed. Dogs are great company for older people.

  5. Another reason to have a pet cat. In Australia, in areas frequented by funnel-web spiders – specifically Atrax robustus (around Sydney) , which is the world’s deadliest, cats are great at gobbling up spiders that may accidentally venture into one’s abode. The spiders venom is toxic only for primates (and insects) and cats are immune.

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