NEWS & FEATURES
Have you heard the woofest mews?
Have you heard the woofest mews?
By ALMA J. BUELVA
DINAGAT Islands was declared rabies-free province by the Department of Health and Department of Agriculture-Bureau of Animal Industry along with 10 other municipalities.
The declaration marked the Philippines' observation of World Rabies Day last September 28 and also heralded the week-long celebration of Animal Welfare up to October 4 (World Animal Day)
Declared rabies-free zones are seven municipalities from Dinagat Islands (Basilisa, Cagdianao, Dinagat, Libjo, Loreto, San, Jose and Tubajon. The municipalities of Agutaya and Balabac in Palawan also became rabies-free zones. In Batangas, the Municipality of Tingloy was also declared rabies-free.
The Department of Health and Department of Agriculture are jointly working to make Philippines rabies-free by 2020.
Dr. Raffy Viray from the health department said they need to obtain at least P500 million budget for 2016 to cover the anti-rabies vaccination needs of all patients.
“We are pushing for more budget next year to fight rabies. We are five years away from the 2020 rabies-free Philippines target. We are halfway there, but sustaining the rabies-free status will be the harder part of the battle,” Viray told government officials gathered during the awarding of rabies-free zones.
Rabies from dog bites continues to be one of the leading cases of death in the country. On average, 200 to 300 Filipinos die from rabies each year. There are 400 animal bite centers nationwide.
The declaration of the new rabies-free zones brings to 35 the current municipalities in the country where the public health problem has been eliminated.
The National Rabies Prevention and Control Committee, a multi-sectoral committee being chaired by the DA-BAI, is tasked to work on eliminating rabies while promoting animal welfare and preventing animal cruelty. The committee is also tasked to increase public awareness on the importance of vaccinating dogs against rabies.
The Global Alliance for Rabies Control (GARC) is urging countries to develop appropriate investment strategies to eliminate human rabies. The disease is mainly transmitted to humans through the bite of an infected dog and is widespread in low-income countries. Pilot programs have successfully demonstrated that elimination of rabies is achievable through mass dog vaccination campaigns, supported by improved access to post-exposure prophylaxis (post-bite treatment) to people immediately after a suspected dog-bite.
THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT RABIES
* Rabies is a major public health problem affecting mainly the rural poor and marginalized populations.
* Rabies to continues to kill around 59,000 people every year. Almost 40 percent of victims exposed to dog bites are children under the age of 15.
* Vaccinating 70 percent of dogs in rabies affected areas is sufficient to eliminate canine rabies worldwide, at a much lower cost than post-exposure medication.
* Over 95 percent of human cases of rabies are due to dog bites and, unlike many other diseases, the control methods and vaccines required to tackle this neglected disease are available.
* Vaccines have existed since Louis Pasteur successfully vaccinated 9-year-old Joseph Meister in Paris in 1885.
* Today, 160 people die every day from this horrific disease.
* World Rabies Day marks the anniversary of the death of Louis Pasteur.
Experts urge governments and international funders to get on board to eliminate human deaths from rabies and make rabies history.
THE CATS are out of the bag and are ready for battle. Expect the biggest
cat fight ever as three cats vie for the alpha position in this country
In the yellow corner is Mar Rocat from the current catministration who
finds formidable foes in Jejomeow Binay from the opposition and Grace
Paw, who is running as an independent just like a cat should.
Rocat has been caterwauling about nothing but how he will continue along the straight path (to the food bowl) carved by the present ruling cats from a scratching post.
The former head of the Department of Interior and Locat Government, Rocat runs under the Liberal Catty, which enjoys the biggest cattery nationwide.
His whiskers tell him he has the early but solid support from the cities of Catloocan, Catbalogan, Catanduanes and even Catvite City. Will more cat cities follow Rocat down the straight road?
Jejomeow is the brazen and oldest cat in the 2016 alpha cat race. This cat knows every alley of Macatty City, where each year of a cat's nine lives deserves a sweet celebration. Jejomeow said no cat is without proper shelter in Macatty.
As the official bet of the United Nationalist Catlliance, Jejomeow is trying to make every wide-eyed cat in the country believe that his bare paws built Macatty and he can do the same for the
Grace Paw, for her part, also decided to run because furveys showed that she is the most favored catdidate to be the next alpha cat in the Felinepines.
Critics have questioned her pedigree, but Paw, with unsheathed claws, declared that she too can scratch and dig a straight path and make
inclusive growth a pawsibility.
Paw has the support of the Nakittysta Party
(NP), Nationalist Paws Coalition (NPC), National U-Kitty Party (NUP) and also the Makameowyan bloc.
Meanwhile, qualified cat voters expect to hear in the coming months how the
three catdidates would lower vet bills and incat tax, bring the prices of
cat condos down, increase mouse supply, expand sleeping hours, and promote
cat spas, among others.
The Catmelec, on the other hand, vowed that the upcoming alpha cat election
will be modern and odor-free—as long as everybody guards the sanctity of the
By ALMA J. BUELVA
THE cats have moved in to Katipunan! Uchi No Neko (The Cat House) has officially opened the doors to its cafe and 9-suite cat hotel on a generous 200-square-meter space right in the middle of the busy school and restaurant row.
The seventh cat cafe in Metro Manila, Uchi No Neko tries to top the usual amenities and offerings one would expect from a cat cafe by having a full-service kitchen, floor-to-ceiling cat suites, a cattery, a separate events and ala carte area, and a shifting schedule for its cats.
For P300, one can commune with cats, mostly rescued puspins, for two hours. The cover charge comes with a full cat-themed bento meal, drink and desert.
Uchi No Neko's cats came from the business partners or individual rescuers and organizations like the Philippine Animal Rescue Team (PART). As resident cafe cats, they get to enjoy about 100 meters of catwalk above the cafe and play area. The cats can romp around the artificial turf or in the screened outdoor garden where they can watch cars and people pass by.
Unless still very young, the cats have been either neutered or spayed and are vaccinated against common health threats. Some have one of their ears clipped as an indication that they have been fixed.
As members of the Uchi No Neko family, the cats enjoy their own quiet, air-conditioned cattery away from the public's eye. They “work” in batches of 14 or more for at least two hours at the cafe before the staff dutifully take them back to the cattery and then reintroduce another batch of cats to play with customers.
Visitors to Uchi No Neko should get a kick out of the cat-inspired bento meals, pastries and coffees. The kitty onigiri, spam musubi and beef teriyaki are just some of the choices available daily. To make the cat-themed dining complete, Uchi No Neko has customized cat-shape tables and chairs.
The interiors, walls, décor and everyday objects all have something “catly” to tie them all up into a haven for cat lovers.
Uchi No Neko's architectural design and execution were done by Ms. Ali Dalisay. But the creative brain behind this new enterprise is Cha Lacsamana who designed the furniture and also hand painted some of the intricate murals with her friends. It is perhaps the artist in her that inspired her to offer Uchi No Neko's upper floor as a gallery for cat artwork from different artists. She currently hosts the limited works of Geneva David, the young lady who paints cats by the dots to help her raise her own clowder of puspins.
Next to the events and ala carte area is the 9-suite air-conditioned cat hotel which charges P450 a night per cat. Guests must provide food and litter for their own cats. People can check-in at least 3 cats in one suite. Uchi No Neko's staff will look after the guest cats 24 hours.
The view from the street doesn't give much justice to the beautiful interior and exciting experience that Uchi No Neko hold. One must step inside to see that this is a thoughtful cat cafe with elevated standards for the good of the cats and guests alike. If you are a cat lover, Uchi No Neko should be your next pitstop.
* One stormy afternoon at Taiwan's Houtong Cat Village