Animals In Entertainment: Freddie Mercury’s Cats

The award-winning 2019 film Bohemian Rhapsody starring Rami Malek as Queen’s lead singer Freddie Mercury, was not far from the truth at all when one scene showed Freddie (Malek) phone calling his fiance/wife, Mary, to subsequently talk to each and every cat in their household while away on tour.

Many interviews with friends and family describe that this was actually a common behavior of the late singer.

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Throughout the course of Mercury’s life, he had owned 10 cats. Dorothy, Tiffany, Tom, Jerry, Goliath, Lily, Miko, Oscar, Romeo, and his favorite Delilah.

Delilah was adopted in 1987 (the same year he was given his HIV/AIDs diagnosis) and was so close to Mercury’s heart that the song “Delilah,” on the 1991 album Innuendo, is said to have been written by Mercury in her honor.

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Freddie Mercury is depicted with a cat on his head and shoulders

Although the majority of the cats were adopted from shelters, (way to go Freddie!) only one was given as a gift. “Tiffany” was a purebred who had been gifted to Mercury by his ex-fiance/wife and forever friend, Mary. (Although Mercury proposed, an official wedding never took place. However, he considered Mary his common-law wife, since none of his male partners could ever compare to her in Mercury’s eyes.)

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Mercury and cat Tiffany

After revealing his bisexuality, Mary offered to mother a child for Freddie, to which he replied that he would rather have another cat.

The 1985 album Mr Bad Guy created by Mercury, was in fact dedicated to his cats.

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“This album is dedicated to my cat Jerry – also Tom, Oscar, and Tiffany, and all the cat lovers across the universe – screw everybody else!” said Mercury.

In 1991, Donald McKenzie, a friend of Mercury’s, obtained photos of Freddie’s feline friends and painted them on a silk waistcoat, which he wore for the filming of the “These are the Days of Our Lives” video.

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Freddie Mercury would make sure that each cat had a Christmas stocking full of toys and treats.

Mercury’s boyfriend Jim Hutton recalled the day when Goliath kitty went missing from the Garden Lodge Mansion property. “Freddie became frantic, and in deep despair he hurled a beautiful Japanese hibachi through the window of the guest bedroom.”

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Freddie Mercury, Mercury’s boyfriend Tom, and kitty “Dorothy”

Jacky Smith, director of the Official Queen Fan Club explained that, “They did get ordinary cat food at times but mostly it was fresh chicken and fish prepared for them.” Smith also included that photos of his cats would also often appear in the Queen’s club newsletters.

According to Rolling Stone, Freddie Mercury would spend hours trying to paint with watercolor a portrait of his beloved Delilah. His love for her ran so deep that it has been reported that one of his last actions while on his deathbed, was stroking her fur.

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Freddie Mercury looks in on little Romeo

Farrokh Bulsara a.k.a.”Freddie Mercury”

* September 5, 1946 – November 24, 1991 *

Check out this home movie of a day in the life of Freddie Mercury at Garden Lodge. Video includes Freddie following his cats around and sneaking a peek-a-boo at his boyfriend gardening.

 

The Mainely Pets Foundation

It is rare to find individuals who genuinely enjoy their jobs. Those who wake up everyday with a sense of duty and with a keen, open eye for the next step in their pursuit of their passion. As rare as these individuals are, it is even more rare to find people who dare to take that passion further.

For a small group of Veterinary Doctors in Maine, providing outstanding care for every animal that came into their office, simply wasn’t enough. The sense that more could be done in helping animals and their owners, became a powerful driving force that did not go unheard.

DVM Oonagh Wack

 

DVM Brian Graves
DVM Douglas Andrews

 

So in August of 2017, DVMs Oonagh Wack, Brian Graves, Doug Andrews and a handful of other individuals, created a non-profit foundation.

This foundation brought together their passion, committment, and talent for veterinary medicine. With their collaborative minds they created a very unique organization.

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They recognized that more animals are in need of medical care than just the ones that come into their exam rooms. They also recognized that not every one is able to afford that medical care for their pets in need.

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Their process is incredibly simple. With approval of a submitted application, Mainely Pets Foundation will help pet owners and rescue groups, cover the cost of medical care.

If you have found yourself in a tough financial situation, and your animal needs immediate medical care; do not let your pet suffer and please reach out to this organization.

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Bubba

I’m sure most of you remember Bubba from my “Tips From Bubba” series.

Bubba had a tremendously painful gum disease which caused him to experience pain all day and night and especially when he ate. Bubba’s pain was so bad that he immediately would turn away when offered food. The cost of care to even begin correcting his Stomatitis was tremendous. That was where Mainely Pets Foundation stepped in.

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Bubba asks for fresh water from the tub faucet shortly after his mouth surgery

If you live in the state of Maine in the US, and are in need of financial aid for your pets medical care, you can submit an application request by clicking this link.

To donate to this amazing foundation and help them to continue helping pets like Bubba, click here.

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If your pet needs help, please reach out. There are other foundations similar to Mainely Pets in the U.S., that can help residents off all states. The Pet Fund is one example. There are also MANY foundations country-wide, that aim at covering spay/neuter costs. In fact, that number is so great, I would not be able to list them all in this post, so if you’re animal is in need of spay/neuter help, call a local veterinarian in your area or a local animal shelter who will be able to tell you more.

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Lakes Custom Creations

Lakes Custom Creations is a budding new business that combines lifelong passion and experience in woodworking and customizations, along with a love for pets.

Started by husband and wife, Jason and Kate Lake, Lakes Custom Creations makes unique products geared towards pets.

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Raised bowls with built-in food storage  

Each product is handmade in Maine and primarily uses Maine pine when building each product. Hardwoods can be used at a higher cost. 

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Standard templates can be used should a person want a more standardized look, however customization is an option as well. Customization can include specific sizing measurements and decorative painting or personalizations such as pet’s names.

Although pet products are not the only thing that they can make. Additional products include signage,

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kitchen racks, festive decor, and more!

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“We can make just about anything out of wood.,” says co-founder Kate Lake. “In fact, our motto is: Let your inspiration become our creation.”

More products can be found here in this Etsy link.

Shipping is not included in the price of the product and is paid for by the purchaser. It is for that reason that products can be shipped anywhere across the globe so long as the purchaser is willing to pay for shipping costs.

Please be aware that if being shipped outside of the U.S., it is common for arrival delay due to the Customs process when entering/exiting countries.

Click this link for Lakes Custom Creations Facebook page. Also, orders can be placed directly via email at lakescustomcreations@gmail.com. To receive a 10% discount on pricing, mention that you saw it here and give the code FFF10 when placing your order.

Animal Abuse In America

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I have anxiously awaited the writing of this post. Although many statistics, information, and ideas come about with this subject, I’ve postponed writing until the right words could shine through.

Chances are, the people reading this are not the ones abusing and neglecting animals. However, those reading this are still impacted by animal cruelty. The disgustingly horrific photos and videos that are seen on television, the internet, and in the news, often leave animal advocates and animal lovers disheartened. There is no harsher feeling than seeing an animal being tortured, knowing that animal abuse exists, and having no idea what to do about it or where to go.

Here are things that everyday people like you and me can do to help prevent and potentially stop animal abuse.

ANIMAL ABUSE IS:

The legal definition of animal abuse is the crime of inflicting physical pain, suffering or death onto a tame animal, beyond necessity for normal discipline. It can include neglect that is so monstrous that the animal has suffered, died, or been put in imminent danger of death.

Animal abuse is commonly known as cruel acts and neglect. Psychological terror and torment is also a form of animal cruelty, for example: the constant creation of fear by the owner to the animal.

Physical abuse such as burning, cutting, using excessive force on an animal

Psychological torture such as routinely performing an act which knowingly creates fear for the animal with the intention of scaring the animal (for example: holding an animal out of the window of a moving vehicle.)

Neglect, such as withholding food, water, shelter, basic grooming needs, or medical care (often found in hoarding situations)

Are all forms of animal cruelty.  

 

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Below is a chart defining the frequency and types of REPORTED animal abuse cases in the United States in 2013.

 

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A quick mention on obesity in the US: A stagggering number of American pets are obese. Although this is not a direct form of abuse or neglect, obesity can and often does create many health challenges for the pet and can and often does, limit the animals life longevity, and health. Routine exercise is an essential need for many animals.

THE PROFILE OF AN ANIMAL ABUSER:

Animal abusers find all kinds of different and sick ways of harming an animal.  For whatever illogical reason, these types of people do not see anything wrong with their actions or behaviors. Common traits include:

  • May perform acts of cruelty or torture for religious, cultural, or artistic reasons.
  • Most likely have psychological/ personality/sexual disorders. Antisocial personality disorder in particular revels the highest incidents of intentional animal cruelty according to Psychology Today.
  • Likely to be impulsive, selfish, controlling, attempts to be intimidating, and shows great lack of remorse
  • May have been a victim of violence themselves or have been witness to violent/abusive acts
  • Highly likely to be domestic abusers as well. 71%- 88% of abusers were abusive towards spouse and/or children as well
  • Predominately men under 30 years old and women over 60 years old

 

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Example:

A woman you work with often comes to work bruised. She admits that she and her children are a victim to domestic violence by her husband. Given the woman’s testament, would you consider her dog to be safe in the household as well?

WHAT YOU CAN DO ABOUT IT:

Learn the signs of animal abuse.

Notice your surroundings and environment on a daily basis. Some signs of abuse and neglect are quite evident. However be careful in drawing assumptions.

Example: “Every time I drive home from work, I notice my neighbor’s dog outside. The dog is outside from the time I drive into work and from the time I drive home.”

The owner may have brought the animal indoors between these two times, however since you are at work, you are not able to see that fact. When presenting an accusation of animal cruelty, it is imperitive that your observations/facts be concrete enough to stand up in court.

Gather evidence if possible.

Create a record or log documenting what you see on a daily basis, the animal’s location,  health condition (skinny, dirty, mange-like, etc), living conditions (no shelter, living in feces, etc) Take photos if possible. In general, it is not wise to confront the animal abuser yourself. Law enforcement personnel are trained to deal with situations such as this, because remember; animal abusers may also be violent towards human beings as well.

Don’t be afraid to speak out against the abuse

Even if it means continuous phone calls to law enforcement or someone else of authority. Even if they don’t seem to care (they could be animal abusers as well) Keep placing complaints, making phone calls, and advocating for the animal.

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If your local authorities are not being responsive, call:

PETA at 757-622-7382 or,

the Animal Humane Society at 612-772-9999 email: investigations@animalhumanesociety.org

Call your local animal shelter

In some U.S. states such as New York and Texas, dialing code 311 will put you in direct contact with someone who can help with animal cruelty.

If you are witnessing animal cruelty as it is happening and the animal’s life is in imminent danger, call 911.

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IN THE UK:

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If you have viewed animal cruelty on the internet, click here to report it. You can also click here. You may need the direct video link when reporting or in some cases, the IP address of the website. In order to assist law enforcement, this link allows for easy look-up of the website creator’s contact information.

Be active with your local animal shelter

This seems a very after-the-fact avenue and for the most part that is true however the local animal shelter is where many neglected and abused animals end up. Many of these shelters are non-profit and depend solely on contributions made by their community to care for their animals. Help the relief effort by volunteering with your local shelter or providing donations if possible.

Encourage tougher animal cruelty laws in your local legislation

Which could mean organizing a citizens’ initiative/petition or writing your local representative and advocating for tougher animal rights laws.

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Right now in Denver, CO, efforts are being made to legally prohibit convicted animal abusers from ever owing an animal again. Similar legislation exists in California.

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Although many US states have felony laws for animal abuse, SOUTH DAKOTA is one of the US states WITHOUT felony-level animal cruelty laws.

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Education

Educating youth on proper animal care can prevent animal abuse in the future.

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Not everyone understands that animal abuse is NOT okay. 

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The Tabby Cat

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The Orange Tabby is seemingly found everywhere. They randomly pop up in litters like a surprise visit from Santa. Like a goose among a bevy of swans, orange tabbies forever stand out.

When digging into the mystery of Tabby Cats, the first necessary mention is that they are not a cat breed!

We often proclaim that, “He/She is a Tabby Cat.” But really what we are doing is simply describing the cat’s color pattern. We follow along with the rest of society, unknowingly asserting this misconception when somewhere in the depths of our mind we know it’s a simple matter of color coordination.

You can see the tabby pattern in a gray color as well, along with brown and creme.

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What’s even more notable is that the signature stripes of the tabby pattern, isn’t the only kind!

Those signature stripes are called Mackerel. Which gives your feline a “tiger” look. This pattern is comprised of long, narrow stripes across the cat’s body.

The Classic Tabby pattern is seen in swirls along the cat’s body. Which can also sometimes look similar to a bullseye and can be described as having a “marbled” or “blotched” look.

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Classic Tabby Pattern

The Spotted Tabby pattern, you guessed it- has spots! You’ll be able to see these round or oval spots even on the cat’s underbelly.

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The Ticked or Agouti pattern is easily seen in the Abyssinian breed. This pattern is slightly less obvious than bold stripes and spots. The actual hair changes color the further down you go. The hair is lightest at the root and gradually become darker nearing the end.

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Abyssinian Cat

And finally, the Patched Tabby pattern. Which can be seen in Torbie cats. This pattern has a distinct color change in large block areas or “patches.”

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Maine Coon Patched Tabby

With all of these colors and variations, how are the Tabby not its own breed? All tabbies are said to have an “M” on their forehead, that counts as a breed standard, right? There has to be some point in history where these cats were known for more than being just a group of patterns. And how is it that Tabby Cats have never lived down their reputation for being alley prowlers, eating out of discarded tuna cans and scrapping out their own place in the world like Al Capone?

A scientific study released in 2017 found that 80% of all present-day cat breeds carry the genetic tabby mutation. The study also found that this split in genetics happened during the reign of the Ottoman Empire. By the 18th century, these coat patterns were found everywhere and were one of the most common color coordinations found on felines.

The specific gene responsible for this genetic mutation is called Taqpep. This gene is not only found in domestic cats but in wild cats as well! Put simply, these patterns and color variations have been passed down for thousands of years and were once incredibly useful camouflage in the wild.

There are many tales as to how these tabbies got their “M.” Although super fun to debate about, it’s origin is as simple as genetics. Similar to having black hair that can be found in many races of various people (Asian, Caucasian, African, and too many more), the tabby’s “M” and their patterns can be found in many cat breeds.

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The Cheshire Cat

As for the Tabby reputation, we can’t help but view them the way we do. If you think back to some of the most popular cartoons like Garfield, Bonkers, Puss ‘N Boots from Shrek, and even The Cheshire Cat; They’re all tabbies! They’re majority orange tabbies being rambunctious and mischievous. What also doesn’t help their reputation is that orange tabbies have been reported to be the second most common cat found in a shelter.

Even though tabby’s are not one singular breed, they can be found in ALL breeds, even wild ones. Which kind of makes up for not having their own page in the breeder’s book, right?

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