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National Cat Day raises awareness of homeless cats



National Cat Day

ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) — In case you didn’t know, October 29th is National Cat Day!

Feline fans are likely using this day to spoil their favorite pets. But the day also means an effort to raise awareness about a problem many cats and rescue organizations are facing.

Cat playing with toyNational Cat Day started in 2005 as a way to raise awareness of homeless cats and as we found out, those rescue organizations could use a hand.

According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, each year approximately 3.2 million cats enter shelters in the United States with 1.6 million getting adopted.

In Rochester, almost all the shelters are at capacity with many more cats waiting for a space.

“The need is very prevalent in all of our rescues in town right now,” said Michele Quandt with Camp Companion. “Animal control, Safe Haven, Paws and Claws, we’re all full.”

Safe Haven Pet Rescue has around 50 cats available for adoption, with seven more that arrived Tuesday. Paws and Claws says its having a hard time at keeping up with the number of incoming cats and is currently caring for 135 felines. They’re not alone.

“Camp Companion has 218 cats in our care right now,” said Quandt. “We have 56 cats waiting to get in, and that doesn’t include the lost/founds that we have.”

The best way to help out your local shelters is to adopt a cat, but that may not be an option for everyone. So Cat sittingthere are other ways to help.

“Helping to promote the ones that need a home, becoming a foster home, becoming an advocate for a cat that’s living outside,” said Quandt. “All those things are things that any individual can do. You don’t have to be from a rescue to be a rescuer.”

You can also sponsor a couple bags of cat food or cat litter. You could even sponsor a litter of kittens or an individual cat.

“National Cat Awareness Day is really important,” said Quandt.” “It’s important for people to truly understand the need for them to step up in our community to adopt a cat, foster a cat. Just to help be a solution for the problem that we encounter.”

Quandt adds that for every one cat that gets adopted, there are 10 more waiting for a home.

Another great way to help maintain and control the animal population is to spay and neuter your pets.

If you’re interested in adopting a cat or maybe just looking, you can visit any animal shelter in your area.


By Sarah Gannon

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9-year-old genius to graduate university




Laurent Simons

(CNN) – A child prodigy from Belgium is on course to gain a bachelor’s degree at the tender age of 9.

Laurent Simons is studying electrical engineering at the Eindhoven University of Technology (TUE) — a tough course even for students of an average graduate age.

Described by staff as “simply extraordinary,” Laurent is on course to finish his degree in December.

He then plans to embark on a PhD program in electrical engineering while also studying for a medicine degree, his father told CNN.

His parents, Lydia and Alexander Simons, said they thought Laurent’s grandparents were exaggerating when they said he had a gift, but his teachers soon concurred.

“They noticed something very special about Laurent,” said Lydia.

Laurent was given test after test as teachers tried to work out the extent of his talents. “They told us he is like a sponge,” said Alexander.

While Laurent comes from a family of doctors, his parents have so far not received any explanation as to why their child prodigy is capable of learning so quickly.

But Lydia has her own theory.

“I ate a lot of fish during the pregnancy,” she joked.

The TUE has allowed Laurent to complete his course faster than other students.

“That is not unusual,” said Sjoerd Hulshof, education director of the TUE bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering, in a statement.

“Special students that have good reasons for doing so can arrange an adjusted schedule. In much the same way we help students who participate in top sport.”

Hulshof said Laurent is “simply extraordinary” and praised the youngster.

“Laurent is the fastest student we have ever had here,” he said. “Not only is he hyper intelligent but also a very sympathetic boy.”

Laurent told CNN his favorite subject is electrical engineering and he’s also “going to study a bit of medicine.”

His progress has not gone unnoticed and he is already being sought out by prestigious universities around the world, although Laurent’s family wouldn’t be drawn on naming which of them he is considering for his PhD.

“The absorption of information is no problem for Laurent,” said his father.

“I think the focus will be on research and applying the knowledge to discover new things.”

While Laurent is evidently able to learn faster than most, his parents are being careful to let him enjoy himself too.

“We don’t want him to get too serious. He does whatever he likes,” said Alexander. “We need to find a balance between being a child and his talents.”

Laurent said he enjoys playing with his dog Sammy and playing on his phone, like many young people.

However, unlike most 9-year-olds, he has already worked out what he wants to do with his life: develop artificial organs.

In the meantime, Laurent has to finish his bachelor’s degree and choose which academic institution will play host to the next stage in his remarkable journey.

Before that, he plans on taking a vacation to Japan for an undoubtedly well-deserved break.

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New award to honor arts and activism named after Lena Horne




Lena Horne

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Gang members slam BMW into rival and his 8-year-old son in Harlem




Gang members slam BMW into rival and his 8-year-old son in Harlem

Two gangbangers aimed their BMW like a missile at a father and his 8-year-old son on a Harlem sidewalk in a horrifying incident captured by video distributed by police Thursday.

The BMW — driven by a man police believe is a member of the Gorilla Stone Bloods Gang — was zeroed in on the father, a rival gang member, said cops.

Around 3:45 p.m. Nov. 6, the boy and his father were walking on W. 112th St. by Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd. when the BMW jumped the sidewalk and slammed into them both, said cops.

Father and son were both knocked through a gate.

The BMW driver then backed up — and its driver and passenger, also believed to be a gang member, jumped out of the car and ran toward the father and the son.

One of the attackers slashed the father, identified by sources as 32-year-old Brian McIntosh, who’s served prison time for robbery and bail jumping.

McIntosh and his son went to Harlem Hospital. Miraculously, the boy escaped serious harm.

McIntosh was so adamant about refusing to help police catch his attackers that the young boy’s mother had to file a police report alleging he was the victim of a crime, police sources said.

Cops released video of the attack, and ask anyone with information about the suspects to call Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS.


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