Adopt Me! One-Eyed Cat Found Inside a Car Engine Is Looking for Love

Home: Some pets never have one to call their own. We’d like to help change that by introducing you to an adoptable pet every week. Today, in honor of Adopt a Shelter Cat month, meet Fannie, a one-eyed kitty who earned her name through an unfortunate set of circumstances.

The 7-year-old cat, now in the care of the Michigan Cat Rescue, was caught inside a car’s engine, specifically under the fan belt — hence the name Fannie. She had been trying to stay warm, when a person heard her cries. It took a little teamwork, but people got together and took apart the engine, which set her free.

“Unfortunately her eye was punctured and damaged so badly it had to be removed,” says the rescue’s president and founder Nancy Hutchinson. “She was adopted once into a really nice home but her owner suffered a stroke and passed away so she has returned to us by a friend of the woman.”

Although Fannie is missing an eye, she’s just like any other cat. “She is a lap cat, she is very sweet, very friendly and loving,” Hutchinson says. “She likes to sit and look out of a window. She is quiet and gentle and loves to be around people.”

The rescue hopes it won’t be too long before Fannie’s luck changes. “We hope the right home will come along for her again,” Hutchinson adds. “She has had a tough life.”

If you think Fannie is the feline for you, fill out an adoption application on the Michigan Cat Rescue’s website. To learn more about the organization’s work and available cats, visit its Facebook page.

Holy sheep! India-China 1967 dispute may have been triggered by petty argument over animals

The current India-China standoff over Doka La, a disputed territory between China and Bhutan, will hopefully not escalate further. But a similar border dispute between India and China over Sikkim in 1967 may have been triggered by something trivial.

According to a report in Hindustan Times, missing sheep and yaks may have been behind the conflict between India and China in 1967. The report says that besides allegations of territorial intrusions, a missing flock of 800 sheep and 59 yaks may have triggered the conflict.

Another India Today report says that after China complained of a herd of sheep being stolen in Sikkim, a group of Indian protesters — including then MP Atal Bihari Vajpayee — drove a herd of around 800 sheep to the Chinese Embassy on Shantipath in New Delhi.

Some of the protesters had even carried placards saying, “Eat me but save the world.”

A complaint from the ministry of foreign affairs (MFA) in Beijing to the Embassy of India in China on 26 September, 1965 described the protesters as “a mob of Indian hooligans”.

Even though the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) in India responded to the plaint saying that India knew nothing of the missing yaks and sheep, the dispute escalated and the military standoff took the lives of over 80 Indian soldiers and around 300 to 400 Chinese troops.

This is probably a good example of how a petty dispute can escalate into a deadly military conflict.

The worrying part is that China on Tuesday ruled out a compromise in the military standoff with India in Doka La, and put the onus on New Delhi to resolve the “grave” situation.

Chinese ambassador Luo Zhaohui said “the ball is in India’s court” and it was for the Indian government to decide what options could be on the table to resolve the standoff.

Asked about remarks by official Chinese media and think-tanks that the conflict can lead to a “war” if not handled properly, the ambassador told PTI: “There has been talk about this option, that option. It is up to your government policy (whether to exercise military option).”

The Chinese government is very clear that it wants peaceful resolution, he asserted, adding that the withdrawal of Indian troops from the area is a “pre-condition” to peace.

Snakebite: A ‘neglected tropical disease’

Snakebite affects the lives of around 4.5 million people worldwide every year; seriously injuring 2.7 million men, women and children and claiming some 125,000 lives, according to the Global Snakebite Initiative.

As a result, many are disabled, disfigured or paralyzed. These conditions practically take victims out of the workforce and cause financial hardships in the poor communities where most of them live.

Last month, the World Health Organization (WHO) listed snakebite envenoming as a “category A neglected tropical disease (NTD)” — WHO’s highest possible ranking for an NTD.

With over 70 species of venomous snakes in Indonesia, snakebite is widespread, especially for people who live and work in rural areas.

Several entertainers died in the past year because they were bitten while performing with venomous snakes.

In April 2016, for example, Irma Bule, a well-known local dangdut singer, was bitten by a king cobra while dancing with it during a concert in Jakarta. She died later in a hospital as a result of the bite.

Until recently, there were almost no records of snakebite cases in Indonesia because most victims are poor and live in remote places where transportation and medical facilities are lacking.

When they are bitten, victims tend go to a local dukun (healer), who uses various traditional methods to “cure” them. Some of them survive and some do not, but their fates are not recorded.

Even if medical facilities were available in rural areas, most of the staff in such areas are poorly trained and ill-equipped to deal with snakebite.

Furthermore, outdated treatment practices, such as sucking, cutting and the use of the tourniquet, are still used, despite its potential to cause serious complications.

Retraining of medical staff is, therefore, an urgent priority.

As humans increasingly encroach on wild areas, this creates the potential for even more snakebites.

Certain species of snake, including cobras, show up in people’s gardens and houses once developers destroy their natural habitats.

Some species are even moving into suburban and urban areas, where there are new sources of food and hiding places for them, particularly where accumulated rubbish and food stores attract rats.

In Java, the white-lipped pit viper and the Malayan pit viper are responsible for large numbers of snakebite cases, mostly because they are stepped on, especially at night.

Other major groups of venomous snakes in western Indonesia include cobras, kraits, Asian coral snakes and sea snakes.

In eastern Indonesia, taipans, Papuan brown snakes, and death adders, which tend to be associated more with Australia, are responsible for cases of snakebite, many of which prove to be fatal.

The best treatment for a venomous snake bite is with species-specific anti-venom, since there is no such thing as generic anti-venom.

Anti-venom is expensive and treatment using it requires the skill and expertise of trained medical staff. Recovery can take weeks or months.

In Indonesia, however, anti-venom is in short supply and suitable only for treatment of bites from three species of venomous snake: the spitting cobra, the banded krait and the Malayan pit viper.

The anti-venom in Indonesia is ineffective for treatment of bites from other snake species. It also needs to be stored in a refrigerator, which is a problem in Indonesia’s remote areas where the electricity supply is at best sporadic.

Anti-venom production involves immunizing horses with snake venom, and then refining their blood to produce anti-venom.

Doctor David Williams, head of the Global Snakebite Initiative and leader of the Australian Venom Research Unit’s (AVRU) snakebite project in Papua New Guinea (PNG), has high hopes for a new type of anti-venom that is now being produced and tested in PNG.

It appears to be effective, safe and about one-tenth the cost of “horse serum” anti-venom.

Fortunately, Indonesia has Tri Maharani, a doctor and specialist in disaster medicine and a pioneer in attempting to address the problem of snakebite in Indonesia.

She has collected snakebite data from hospitals in Java.

The number of snakebite cases recorded is considerable — several hundred bite victims were admitted to just one hospital in Central Java last year, according to the data.

Tri estimates that the actual total number of snakebite cases throughout Indonesia may run into the tens of thousands every year.

Assisted by a small group of experts, Tri prepared a snakebite management manual for medical staff, which contains information that is expected to replace many of the outdated treatment methods still being taught to Indonesian medical students.

She has also held snakebite management workshops in Java and elsewhere.

The Health Ministry, the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI), the Remote Envenomation Consultancy Services (RECS) Indonesia and the Indonesian Herpetological Society are also involved in supporting Tri’s work.

Research indicates that some snake venoms contain components that are valuable in the treatment of serious illnesses, so there are potentially lucrative business opportunities with the sale of snake venom.

The development of a credible snakebite management program in Indonesia will need full government support and financial backing if it is to be realized.

At the very least, there is a new sense of optimism that the widespread but hidden problem of snakebite is at last being addressed for now and that many more lives will be saved.