Get to Know the Serval Cat: The Most Popular Exotic Pet Cat and 10 Other Small Wild Cats in the World

Get to Know the Serval Cat The Most Popular Exotic Pet Cat and 10 Other Small Wild Cats in the World

The Felidae or family of cats has two subfamilies, pantherinae and felinae. The pantherinae comprises of the tiger, jaguar, lion, leopard, clouded and snow leopards. The felinae are the non-pantherine cats. We have all known cats as domesticated companions, like our pet dogs, but did you know that they are only semi-domesticated? After a recent study, researchers have found out that there is only a slight difference between the genome of house cats from that of wildcats. Some pet owners are fascinated with the idea of having wild cats in their homes. One of the popular wild cats that attract pet lovers is the serval cat.

The serval cat is an African wild cat. It is medium-sized, has long legs and large ears. It is slender yet strong. Its long legs make it a tall cat. The fur pattern varies, but usually, it has black spots with a couple of stripes from the head to the neck and back. There are a few people who keep serval cats as exotic pets, but mostly, they are kept in zoos. These cats are still considered wild animals with special needs and inherited instincts that must be nurtured in a particular environment. There are states that even prohibit ownership of serval cats, while others require special licenses. Those who are considering having these cats as pets must be aware of the risks involved in keeping them at home. They may not be ideal for homes with children for they may play roughly using their claws and teeth. Here are other exotic cats. Some keep them as pets, while others choose not.

Bobcat

Bobcat

Like serval cats, bobcats are also medium sized but they are from North America. They are muscular and can be friendly when raised since their younger days. When aggressive, they can attack humans so they should be kept away from children.

Caracal Cat

Caracal Cat

Caracals are similar to serval in terms of behavior, but they are stockier. They can be as tall as 16 to 17 inches. They are called desert lynx and are found in Asia and Africa. When they play, they can be destructive. Do not expect them to initiate affection, for remember, they are still wild in nature.

Canadian Lynx

Canadian Lynx

The Canadian lynx is thickly furred and is found in parts if North America. They climb well and prefer to stay at high points. They easygoing and less moody, but they do not develop a rather devoted relationship with their owners.

Siberian Lynx

Siberian Lynx

The Siberian lynx can grow as tall as 24 inches and weigh 40 to 80 pounds. They are ideal pets because they have this dog-like personality. They love to walk on a leash and are active in nature, which means they might need more space so as not to break any valuable in your house.

Ocelot

Ocelot

The ocelots are native to South America. They have large eyes and nice markings, making them appealing as pets. They are small and a bit challenging to maintain for they have pungent odor and hardly pay attention to commands. Ocelots are now rarely used as pets.

Fishing Cat

Fishing Cat

Fishing cats love water. They are now endangered, so you might not take them as pets. They are medium-sized and found in South Asia. The fur is spotted olive gray with horizontal stripes. The face is long and the nose is flat. In the wild, they love to stay in wetland.

Geoffroy’s Cat

Geoffroy’s Cat

Geoffroy’s cats are small and native to parts of South America. They are among the smallest in the wild cat species, weighing only about 4 to 8 pounds when grown. They can adapt to extreme weather conditions and are used to make very rare hybrid, the safari cat.

Jungle Cats

Jungle Cats

Jungle cats are the largest cat species that are native to Asia. They are also used to make hybrid cats. They can live as long as 12 to 20 years and are nervous cats that are rarely kept as pets. These cats prefer privacy, like a quiet household or a big outdoor enclosure when captured.

Asian Leopard Cat

Asian Leopard Cat

These cats are elusive and shy, for they are nocturnal. They are best kept in large enclosures but they can be tamed to interact with owners. Asian leopard cats are responsible for the existence of Bengal cats. Some of their species are endangered so it might be difficult to obtain them as pets.

African Golden Cat

African Golden Cat

The African golden cat is a sturdy, powerful cat that can be as big as two domestic cats. They have short legs, a stout and big paws. They are forest-dependent and are rarely used as pets. It was only in 2002 that this cat breed was photographed, but it has been known for already 200 years.

Cats are popular human companions, but not all cat breeds. These wild cats are not recommended to be adopted as pets, simply because they have special needs. It may be expensive and difficult to care for them because they require special enclosures, diets and health care.

How to Open a Wine Bottle Without a Corkscrew. Try These 10 Random Items and You Will Be Surprised They Actually Work

How to Open a Wine Bottle Without a Corkscrew

A bottle of wine is equivalent to romantic moment with your special someone, fun times with friends, victory at work and a relaxing moment after a stressful day. So, you are ready for some merriment, only, you cannot open the precious bottle of wine. That naughty little corkscrew is missing and you can’t find it no matter how you try to search for it. We’ve all experienced this before, but in case it happens again, don’t fret as you can still enjoy your delicious wine. How to open a wine bottle without a corkscrew? Try these random items:

Shoe

Shoe

Your shoes are not just there to secure your feet or complete your outfit. You can use them for popping that cork without the use of a screw. To open your wine bottle with a shoe, place it onto the foot hole and then pound the shoe onto the wall. For best results, better be sure you are pounding against a stone-hard, rock-solid stone wall. Just make sure your feet don’t smell though or it may not be a nice experience.

House Key

House Key

You do not only open your front door locks with your house key but your wine bottle as well. To serve its purpose on the latter, stick the key on top of the cork, then twist the bottle to lift it. Now you can enjoy a nice glass of wine anytime even if your corkscrew is missing as you or your drinking buddies would surely have a key.

Screw

Screw

A screw may be paired with various items to open up a wine bottle. Simply screw in one on the cork using a screwdriver. Choosing a kind with a wider distance between the threads is ideal. Then, you are ready to lift the screw together with the cork either with the back of a hammer, a pair of pliers, or a rope wrapped tightly on the screw head. This is the perfect option if you’re a Handy Manny at home since you probably have the tools needed to get the job done.

Knife

Knife

Head to the kitchen and you’ll find another item that you can use for opening your bottle of wine. You knife is not just use for cutting various ingredients and breads as it can be an alternative for your missing corkscrew. Insert a small, jagged knife onto the cork and then, lift it with a careful twist. You have to be very cautious doing this because you could injure yourself if you are not careful.

Leather Bootlace

Leather Bootlace

Cowboys and cowgirls who love their leather boots would find another use for them. Tie a knot at the end of the lace. Insert the knotted part onto the cork using a sharp object, pushing it through. Then, lift the cork by pulling the lace up slowly but surely. If in case the knot pulls through, make a bigger knot.

Corn Cob Holder

Corn Cob Holder

Love eating corns? You probably have a corn cob holder with you. If you those with three pins and a nob, you can use one to gently pull up the cork from your wine bottle. Simply insert the pins onto the cork, slowly rotate your hand while pulling the nob up.

ScissorsScissors

Scissors are not just for craft making and cutting hair. They would also save the day when you can’t find a way to open that bottle of wine that you can’t wait to taste. Put one of a small scissors’ blades onto the cork until it reaches halfway. After that, you may start pulling the cork up by twisting the handles while applying pressure.

Nail Scissors

Nail Scissors

Just like a regular scissor, you could also use your nail scissors for removing the cork from the wine bottle. Cut two slits into the cork using a small knife. Use a pair of nail scissors to pull up the cork by biting through the slits.

Wire Hanger

Wire Hanger

Get that wire hanger from your closet and with a little tweak, it could serve as your corkscrew. Twist a cheap wire coat hanger to resemble the shape of a corkscrew and use it as you would a regular corkscrew. Or, you may also simply bend the bottom part of the wire hanger to make a 30 degrees angle. Then, insert the wire down the side of the cork, rotate it 90 degrees to grab the bottom part of the cork, and pull it out.

Bicycle Pump

Bicycle Pump

Got a bicycle pump? Nope, it’s not for your bike but for your wine. Use the air pressure from a bicycle pump to open your wine bottle by wedging it onto the cork before applying pressure. This method will easily yank out the wine bottle open if done properly.

Can’t believe you can open your bottle of wine with all the materials we mentioned? Go ahead and give any a try (even if you have a corkscrew within reach), just for the fun of it!

Ever Heard of This Fungal Disease That Affects Our Dogs? Here Are 10 Valley Fever in Dogs Facts

Ever Heard of This Fungal Disease That Affects Our Dogs

When our dogs get sick, we worry so much like as if they’re our kids too. They are a huge part of our family which is why we are always very interested about anything that would be related to our dog’s health. Among the diseases that we always watch out for are the diseases that we can’t really prevent. An example of which would be the Valley fever in dogs. Valley fever not only affects our dogs but can also affect us too, but CDC shows that it has a very low prevalence. That means this is more dangerous for your dog’s health than yours.

So, how serious is this disease anyway and what can we do about it? Is it even treatable? What are the causes? Can we prevent it? Let’s learn all about the basics of the Valley Fever.

It comes from the soil of the southwestern parts of the US.

It comes from the soil of the southwestern parts of the US.

Fungi are mostly found in soil. This particular fungi is very common in the deserts of Arizona, California, the arid portions of Texas, and the northern parts of Mexico due to fungi’s preference of the area’s temperature.

It is caused by a fungus!

It is caused by a fungus

Now you might just say that “oh are they caused by mushrooms?” Well no. Mushrooms are a kind of fungi, but these fellas aren’t the culprit for the Valley Fever. They have this name that’s so hard to pronounce, but for the sake of knowing, it’s named, Coccidioides immitis. It’s a kind of mold and we all know quite well that this kind of fungus can grow anywhere like in our foot, our shoes, socks,nails, walls of the house,  but they particularly thrive in places where it’s a bit moist like the soil. They reproduce quite quickly and even when they die they leave their spores lying where they used to grow. Contrary to other infections like bacterial and viral infections, this one doesn’t have any vaccine shots to counter it.

The spores can fly everywhere, which means it can affect your dog even when you’re not from the southwestern regions!

The spores can fly everywhere, which means it can affect your dog even when you’re not from the southwestern regions

Fungal spores are very light in nature and they can be easily carried off by anything like the wheel of a truck, the wind, dust particles. The worst thing about them is that they don’t get easily destroyed. It is nature’s way of fail proofing the ability of these organisms to reproduce given that it has a very short life span.

This infection can target dogs and even humans with weakened immune system.

This infection can target dogs and even humans with weakened immune system

It’s seen that not every dog or every human who inhales the spores are affected at all. Most of the time, those who have a other diseases that makes them have a weaker body would be more at risk with the infection.

It’s not contagious so you shouldn’t be worried so much of getting the infection from your dog.

It’s not contagious so you shouldn’t be worried so much of getting the infection from your dog.

There have not been any cases where the infection got passed on from a dog to a human or a dog to another dog. The condition is just limited to that of the infected individual. So you can hold your horses and just worry about your fury buddy for now.

There are two kinds of this disease.

There are two kinds of this disease

These two kinds can affect the body of the dog very differently. The first kind affects mostly the lungs therefore manifesting as cough, colds and the like. The second kind affects the bones and joint areas. The first kind is very easy to treat, but the second kind is more serious and more life threatening.

Among the most common symptoms are loss of appetite, cough, and difficulty breathing but not every dog would show signs.

Among the most common symptoms are loss of appetite, cough, and difficulty breathing but not every dog would show signs

Again, depending on the form of the infection, the symptoms may vary from one dog to another. There are more times when dogs show symptoms like cough, colds, problem in breathing. There are also plenty of cases when the dogs are lethargic. They are also observed to loss their appetite very suddenly.

Diagnosis can be done through blood test and x-rays.

Diagnosis can be done through blood test and x-rays

Like any disease, the best way to properly diagnose this is to let your dog undergo a series of lab test like blood test and x-rays. Blood works would reveal the antibodies that react to that particular fungus, while the x-ray can show up to what extend has been affected in the lungs area and even in the bones if your dog is affected with the second kind of this infection.

Treatments can be mostly of anti-fungal drugs depending on the severity.

Treatments can be mostly of anti-fungal drugs depending on the severity

Among the drugs used here are Ketaconazole, Fluconazole, and Intraconazole. They are administered orally, twice a day. But you have to be very cautious and make sure that everything is checked. Make sure your dog isn’t pregnant because the treatments can affect the unborn pups.

70% of dogs exposed to the spores don’t get sick.

70% of dogs exposed to the spores don’t get sick.

The best thing about this disease is that if your dogs are healthy, chances are they wouldn’t be affected by the disease even when they are able to inhale the spores. So it’s better if you keep your dogs healthy always in check to avoid problems like the Valley Fever.

Now that you have learned about the basics of the disease, it also important for you to know whether or not you can prevent it. The answer to that unfortunately is that we can’t prevent it. Spores are basically everywhere and unless you have bionic eyes, you won’t be able to detect it and almost all dog breeds are such huge fan of the outdoors, which means they would get exposed to the soil and the dirt from time to time.  As mentioned earlier, there aren’t any vaccines for this disease to, so the only way you can prevent it, is to keep your dogs healthy.

What are your thoughts about the Valley Fever? Do you have other questions? Let us know!

Varosha Cyprus Is Now Known as a Ghost Town, but There Are 10 Curious Facts about the Place You’ve Probably Never Heard Of

Varosha Cyprus Is Now Known as a Ghost Town, but There Are 10 Curious Facts about the Place You've Probably Never Heard Of

There are a lot of places in the world that used to be alive and booming. There were beautiful buildings, scenic spots and happy people. Sadly, with the turn of events, people decided to leave and abandoned the area. These places eventually became ghost towns with zero population. Varosha Cyprus is one of them. It is located in the southern section of Famagusta city. As of 2015, the place is still uninhabited by anyone.

Varosha literally means suburb.

Varosha literally means suburb.

The name Varosha has Turkish roots. It came from the word varos, which means suburb, downtown or town. In other languages like the Cyrillic script, varos also has the same meaning. Its location was perhaps the main reason why it was named as such.

During the 1970’s, Varosha was the number 1 tourist destination in Cyprus.

During the 1970’s, Varosha was the number 1 tourist destination in Cyprus

Despite being a small island country, Cyprus was popular amongst tourists, especially those who love beautiful beaches. Varosha offers just what foreigners are looking for. The increase in the number of tourists paved the way for more high-rise buildings to be constructed and hotels to spread like mushroom. From 1970 to 1974, Varosha became a hot tourist destination not just in Europe, but also around the world.

Famous people loved Varosha.

Famous people loved Varosha.

Due to its pristine beaches, vibrant community and booming tourism industry, not just ordinary people visited the place. Celebrities also frequented the city. Among the most popular people who loved visiting Varosha were Richard Burton, Raquel Welch, Brigitte Bardot and Elizabeth Taylor.

Varosha has a lot of beautiful places.

Varosha has a lot of beautiful places

The main feature of Varosha included the John F. Kennedy Avenue. It ran from Varosha to the port of Famagusta. The street was a home to high rise hotels including the King George Hotel and the Asterias Hotel. The Argo Hotel was located towards the end of JFK Avenue, and this is the hotel, which was said to be the favorite of Elizabeth Taylor. Leonidas was a popular shopping and leisure street located towards the end of JFK Avenue, and was also a huge favorite among visitors. The places had bars, restaurants and night clubs.

Turkish invasion of Cyprus drew people out of Varosha.

Turkish invasion of Cyprus drew people out of Varosha.

If not for the invasion of the Turkish forces, Varosha would have still continued to be alive and fully functional. At that time, it had a population of around 39,000. When the Turkish forces entered, Greek Cypriots withdrew their forces. This made the Turkish army advance even further. After hearing about the combat about to happen, the entire population fled in fear of being massacred. Most of the people fled to nearby provinces.

Plans to resettle the people back to Varosha were made, but all of them failed.

Plans to resettle the people back to Varosha were made, but all of them failed.

Over the years, there were plans to bring the people back to Varosha. However, none of the plans succeeded due to disagreements on both sides. The Annan Plan is one of the plans that were rejected by most Greek Cypriots. This was rejected via a referendum. Since 1974, entry to the area was barred by the Turkish government. Only a few people are allowed to enter such as the TSK personnel and some students whose dormitory is located in the area.

The European Court of Human Rights awarded money to some Greek Cypriots.

The European Court of Human Rights awarded money to some Greek Cypriots

After suing the Turkish government for what happened in Varosha, 8 Greek Cypriots were awarded 8,000 to 10,000 Euros. This amount was in payment for being deprived of their homes and properties as a result of the 1974 invasion. According to the court, Turkey violated the Article 1 of Protocol 1 of the European Convention on Human rights stating about the right of peaceful enjoyment of one’s possessions. It also violated Article 8 on the right to respect for private and family life.

Nature is reclaiming Varosha.

Nature is reclaiming Varosha.

Since people started to abandon Varosha, only old buildings and items that were not stolen were left. No one has dared to come back and start his or her life over again. This was great news for animals and plants that are comfortable with the natural environment in Varosha, Cyprus. Sea turtles started to lay eggs on sandy beaches and vegetation started to grow thick. This might not be the case soon though.

There are plans to reopen Varosha.

There are plans to reopen Varosha.

After many years of failed agreement, Varosha turned out to be a ghost city. No one dared to come back there, as it is very scary. Old buildings have now started to fall apart. Belongings of people who used to stay there are still around the area. Most of the valuable stuff has been looted though. It is a mess and with no hopes of reopening. Well, not for long. There are talks of reopening the area. Both Turkish and Greek governments have now started a path to a mutual understanding on opening the place. In fact, they believe that it could happen very soon. Representatives from the government said that it might just be a matter of time before the gates of Varosha are opened to tourists again.

Varosha could be an eco-city and a model for sustainability.

Varosha could be an eco-city and a model for sustainability

Now that plans of reopening Varosha are underway, people behind it are taking things a step further. They believe that the new Varosha could be a model for green technologies. It will most likely harness the energy coming from the sun in running the city. This plan has garnered the support of many people on both sides.

Whether plans of reopening Varosha, Cyprus become successful or not, the point is that we should learn a lot from what has happened in the city. No matter how vibrant a city is, it can still end up being a ghost town if people are driven out of it for different reasons. The worst part is that it has happened in many places outside Varosha and it could still continue to happen.

10 Defects and Conditions That Exist on Most Inbred White Tigers. Heard About Down Syndrome on Tigers? There are More.

10-defects-and-conditions-that-exist-on-most-inbred-white-tigers-heard-about-down-syndrome-on-tigers-there-are-more

White tigers are endangered species. There are only few of them, which is why inbreeding is practiced in order to protect their kind. This is done by breeding brother to sister, father to daughter, mother to son and so on. While there’s a chance to produce a white tiger from breeding one with an orange tiger, the percentage is very slim. The ratio is 1 white tiger can be produced in 4 cubs. While inbreeding white tigers can keep the species of white tigers alive for the next generations, this could also lead to various conditions, defects and negative effects to the offspring including down syndrome on tigers. Here are some of them.

Cross Eyes

Cross Eyes

All of the white tigers have this eye condition, whether it is obvious or not. The reason for this is that the gene that causes the tigers to be white is also the culprit for wiring the nerve of the eye to the wrong side of the brain, thus resulting to them being cross-eyed. Due to their eye problem, they tend to be more dependent to their owners or masters.

Immune Deficiency

Immune Deficiency

The immune system of most white tigers is not as strong as those that were not inbreed. If their immune system is compromised, it would be easier for them to get sick, which could eventually lead to death. This is why many white cubs die at their young age.

Cleft Palates

Cleft Palates

This is a condition in which there’s a gap or opening on the roof of the mouth. The abnormal development of the cub while inside the mother’s stomach cause this. There are also causes in which cubs don’t have palates at all. Cubs with this condition would have difficulties nursing and they could easily drown as the milk could get into their nose. These cubs are often euthanized.

Scoliosis of the Spine

Scoliosis of the Spine

This causes the backbone to curve instead of being straight and the condition can be mild to severe. It could have a huge effect on the tiger’s life as it could cause difficulties in breathing, swallowing, digesting and doing regular activities. Pregnancy can also be difficult for female white tigers with this condition.

Short Lifespan

Short Lifespan

Because of the various deformities and health conditions that white tigers have, they may not live longer like the average tigers. As mentioned, Kenny the tiger with down syndrome died at only 10-years old. Not only that, many of his siblings died at a young age, while others were stillborn or they were dead when they were born.

Photophobia

Photophobia

While it may sound like this type of phobia is a fear for photos, this is not what it means when we talk about the white tigers. This means that their eyes are sensitive to light due to the incorrect wiring of the optic nerve to their brain. For this reason, when they are exposed to light, they may feel uncomfortable or even pained due to photophobia.

Parkinson’s Syndrome

Parkinson’s Syndrome

This is a degenerative disease affecting the movement of the white tiger. Shaking, hardening of the muscles, slowness and movement difficulties are some of the most common symptoms of this. Since this is a degenerative disease, it means that it would worsen over time and it could greatly affect the life of the tiger. Overtime, its effect may no longer be just in its movement, but in its behavior and brain as well.

Facial Deformities

Facial Deformities

This is also very common to inbred white tigers. We’ll go back to Kenny once again. He is an example of these deformities as he has the features of one with down syndrome like its large skull, face that looks like a bulldog and eyes far apart. Other facial deformities include crooked stick that are sticking out. Since white tigers are usually raised and bred to be displayed to the public, those with deformities are usually destroyed since they cannot be presented due to their looks.

Club Foot

Club Foot

This is a defect on the feet in which they may be turned inwards or outwards. Due to this deformity, it wouldn’t be possible for them to walk straight with their feet. Rather, they may either walk on their ankles or on the side of their feet. Like those with facial deformities, white tigers with club could be destroyed.

Down Syndrome

Down Syndrome

A white tiger named Kenny was known to be the first tiger with down syndrome. Its facial features resemble that of one with this condition, although this is still being debated since it results from a third copy of chromosome 21, when tigers only have 19. Nevertheless, aside from his down syndrome features, he also had limited physical capabilities and he died at 10-years old, which was half the lifespan of an average tiger in captivity. His parents were brother and sister.

Although white tigers are rare, do you approve of their inbreeding even if it means that the cubs would most probably have these defects and conditions?

Cinder Cone Volcano Facts

A cinder cone is a volcano contained volcanic cinders (small particles of hardened lava).  A straight shot of lava in the air is caused by gas bubbles that erupt from a vent. This fire fountain can create hundreds of meters of the high shot. When lava erupts from a vent, it will quickly cool and fall nearby vent. By the time, the one is formed from this event around the crater. For more information about cinder cone, I summarize the cinder cone volcano facts.

Facts about cinder cone

The simplest type of volcano is cinder cone that can be free-standing volcanoes. The cone created by this eruption only contains a pile of particles which includes the flowing of lava. Unfortunately, the cinder cone cannot stand high like other volcanoes which are rare to have height until 250m. Besides, the creating of cinder cone itself is also influenced by factors surrounding including the gravity and atmospheric pressure. The cinder cone formed in Mars, for example, seems twice bigger than the earth have as the lower atmospheric and gravity will push the particles over a larger land. Many countries also have famous cinder cone like:

  1. Fox Crater, Queensland, Australia
  2. Caburgua-Huelemolle, Chile
  3. Paricutin, Mexico
  4. Lava Butte, Oregon, USA
  5. Kawah Cocoa located in British, Columbia and Canada
  6. Kawah Amboy which is located at San Bernardino County, California and USA
  7. Eruptions

Since the cinder cones height is not high compared with volcanoes, the eruption is also the small one. The lava will erupt from the small vent which come up into the air. During the eruption, a beautiful sparkle looks dramatic when the eruption happened.

Time of forming cinder cone

Unlike mostly volcano which needs hundred years, the cinder cone doesn’t need a long time to develop. One of the most famous cinder cones is Paricutin. The eruption happened in 1943, but shockingly the cinder cone formations can be built only in 9 years to reach such a wonderful high, 1,200 feet. Another great fact about cinder cone is Mauna Kea which is located in Hawaii. The volcano has 100 cinder cones around the mountain.

The Effects of Cinder cone to human population

As the cinder cone cannot create a high eruption as volcanoes do, still it will produce ash, smoke and gas. Some bad effects still appeared like the Paricutin in 1943 which cover 100 square kilometres of farmer’s field in nine years. Five villages were covered by ash and rock and several hundreds of people should be saved to new locations. However, a small eruption like the Little Springs Volcano’s didn’t occur a displacement, the communities take advantages by farming as the ground after the eruption happened is quite good and fertile.

Aside from those advantages and disadvantages, people surely must be careful of the eruption which sometimes cannot be predicted to avoid victims. Indonesia is one of the countries which has many cinder cone.  Bromo is one of the active cinder cones. People thought if this cinder cone is not active, but in 2004 a sudden eruption happened and killed two tourists tragically.