Since medieval times, the myth that black cats are bad luck has hung around, making believers jump out of the way when a black cat crosses their path (and, in the worst cases, kill black cats). This belief most likely came about in the Middle Ages when widespread fear of witchcraft took over. Because of their nocturnal nature, cats were believed to be a witch’s sidekick (or a witch in another form), and black cats got an especially bad rap. When Did Black Cats Becom Bad Luck? If you go back even further in history, black cats represented good luck. The Egyptians were one of many civilizations to worship cats — they even had a goddess who took the shape of one. In maritime lore, black cats have traditionally been symbols of good luck. Sailors welcomed them on board for their mice-catching prowess, and they served as reassurance that the ship would have a safe passage home. In Scotland, a black cat showing up at your doorstep is a sign of prosperity. Women who have a black cat included in a photo are more likely to find a suitor in Japan. And in parts of England, a black cat is sometimes given as a lucky wedding gift to the happy couple. Research from the National Institutes of Health has found a gene mutation associated with black cats that may give them resistance to certain diseases. It’s the same as a gene found in some humans that gives them resistance to HIV, and researchers are hopeful about the possibilities this link could hold for treating diseases in animals and humans. FEARSOME FELINES Of course, cat lovers know that this is all very silly. Black cats make great pets! You don’t have to look far to find evidence that others agree. DEBUNKING THE MYTH
MYTHICAL CATS OF THE WORLD Tails From the Past Most owners will tell you their cats act like ancient deities. Majestic, scrupulous, and utterly unpredictable, these fascinating creatures have long captured our imaginations. Even before cat videos took the internet by storm, humans have been idolizing felines, placing them alongside some of their most important mythological figures. BASTET — EGYPT Of course, a list of mythical cats has to start with Egypt. While many people know the pharaohs and their followers thought cats were sacred, you may be surprised by how deep the connection goes. The earliest depiction of Bastet, the feline deity of protection, is a lion-headed woman in battle. But, over the course of 2,000 years, Bastet evolved to resemble the domesticated, pointy-eared cats we know and love today. 招き猫 (MANEKI-NEKO) — JAPAN Legend has it that in the 17th century, a monk living in a small temple in Edo (now Tokyo) was struggling to survive, but he still split his meals with his cat, Tama. One day, Lord Nakaota li got caught in a rainstorm while hunting and took shelter under a tree near the temple. Nakaota spotted Tama near the temple, and the cat raised its leg, beckoning the noble
to come toward him. Curious, Nakaota complied, stepping out from beneath the tree just before a bolt of lightning struck it down. The lord’s life was saved, and to this day, the Maneki-Neko (the beckoning cat) is a symbol of wealth and good fortune.
Around here, we’re fans of all felines (and all animals, for that matter), and we happen to think black cats are pretty darn cute.
FREYA’S SKOGKATTS — NORWAY In Norse folklore, the goddess Freya had a unique means of travel: a chariot pulled by two cats. These were skogkatts, or Norwegian Forest cats, that were only a little larger than your average house cat. Still, these small felines towed Freya around battlefields as she gathered warriors to send to Valhalla. On top of being the goddess of war, love affairs, and magic, Freya may well have been Midgard’s first cat lady.
MEET WAYLEN! TeamMember Spotlight
at Surface Creek has been really supportive in showing him the ropes.
We couldn’t be happier to introduce you to our newest veterinary technician, Waylen Dorscher.
lients Spreading the Word Thanks so much to these clients who referred new patients to us the past two months: After bringing his cows in for a checkup last year, Waylen saw what a great place Surface Creek is for pets and people. When he noticed we were looking for an extra hand, he knew that being part of the Surface Creek team was the perfect opportunity for him. He’s already shadowed Dr. Susie for some goat ultrasounds (they made a visit to check on Waylen’s goats) and says it’s been really great to learn from such a skilled vet. Waylen says the whole team Waylen grew up showing livestock at our local fairs. A self-described cattle person, he entered his first cattle show at age 11 and has been showing ever since. Last year, he made the jump to raising livestock in addition to showing them. He now has cattle, sheep, and goats under his care.
Waylen’s favorite part of the job so far has been meeting and getting to know people’s pets. He’s grateful for the hands- on experience he’s been able to take advantage of and loves helping the team tend to patients. Since graduating from school, Waylen has been so excited to learn from experienced folks like Dr. Susie and Dr. Jeff so he can continue to grow his skills. He’s particularly interested in genetics and learning more about how technology can improve animal care and showmanship.
He’s happy to be part of the community and especially happy to be at Surface Creek Vet Center, so make sure to say hi the next time you’re in the clinic.
Waylen was born and raised in Grand Junction but recently made the move to Cedaredge.
This recipe from Momofuku Milk Bar chef and “Master Chef” judge Christina Tosi makes great use of those extra Halloween goodies. It’s a quick and easy way to both elevate and get rid of unwanted leftovers. Leftover Candy Snack Mix
Jacinda & Peter Markawitch
Inspired by Food & Wine Magazine
Rebecca & Matt Drbohlav
1/3 cup dry milk powder
2 cups mini pretzels, coarsely broken
6 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup light brown sugar
12 oz mini candy bars, such as Snickers, chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
2 tbsp granulated sugar
1. Heat oven to 275 F. 2. In a large mixing bowl, fold together pretzels, sugars, milk powder, and butter. 3. Spread mixture on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 20 minutes. 4. Let cool for at least 30 minutes and mix in candy bar pieces before serving.
PRST STD US POSTAGE PAID BOISE, ID PERMIT 411
WWW.SURFACECREEKVETERINARYCENTER.COM | 970-856-4474
17800 HANSON RD. CEDAREDGE, CO 81413
Our 8th Annual Dog Jog! inside this issue
Amazing Cat Tales
When Did Black Cats Become Bad Luck?
Team Member Spotlight
Clients Spreading the Word
Leftover Candy Snack Mix
Green Up Your Camping Trip
5 WAYS TO MAKE YOUR CAMPING TRIP MORE ECO-FRIENDLY
pollute the water. Stay away from waterways while brushing your teeth, and avoid sunscreen and bug sprays that are water-soluble or toxic to animals. 3. TRY DIY Making your own snacks and buying in bulk can help you avoid single-use plastic packaging, which inevitably becomes trash. Try baking your own granola bars and securing them in beeswax wrap, tossing homemade snack mixes in reusable Stasher bags, and bringing bulk oats for breakfast in repurposed jars. 4. COOK SMART Ditch gas when you camp by packing in a battery- or solar-powered burner to start your fire without harmful chemicals. If you’re cooking over the campfire, be sure to burn smart, too. Tossing aluminum cans or random trash in with your kindling can pollute both the air and the food you’re making. 5. PACK IT OUT “Leave no trace” is the camper’s motto. Ideally, you should leave your campsite pristine apart from extinguished coals and flattened grass. Bring reusable bags to pack out your trash and other items to recycle and/or compost. Food scraps don’t always biodegrade quickly in nature — in fact, according to The Guardian, banana peels can take two years to decompose. There’s nothing quite like spending a few days in nature, enjoying the fresh air, lush trees, and peace and quiet. If campers do their part to preserve the health and beauty of our national parks, everyone can enjoy them for years to come.
During the 35-day government shutdown that stretched from late 2018 to early
2019, National Park Service workers were stuck at home without pay. Meanwhile, Yellowstone National Park trash cans overflowed with fast food wrappers and plastic water bottles; broken sleds and beer cans piled up in the Lassen National Forest; toilets in Yosemite National Park backed up and dumped waste into the places we’ve deemed most precious. Months later, our national parks are still struggling, but nature lovers can take steps to be more eco-friendly while camping in any outdoor setting this fall. Here are five green ideas for your next campout: 1. SAY NO TO NEW Before you leave town, inventory everything you’ll need for your trip. If gear is on the list, try repairing what you have, borrowing from a friend, or buying used equipment before you head to REI. Using what you have leads to less eventual waste. 2. GO NATURAL When choosing soap, toothpaste, makeup, sunscreen, and bug spray for camping, always pick natural options that will biodegrade quickly and won’t
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