The Qatteri Cat’s favorite toy is a Sakura Express Bag:
But sometimes, when he needs exercise, we tease him. We put his white bear “baby” at the top of his scratching post:
And the Qatteri Cat HATES that! He can’t bear it! He says “That’s just not right!” and within 30 seconds, he attacks the bear and brings – or knocks – him back down (that white blur at the bottom of the photo is the bear):
Now, he thinks our Easter Egg Tree is his new toy. (Remember the debacle with the Christmas tree?) I am working with him on this, not to bat at the eggs. So far, not so good:
*Easter Egg trees have nothing to do with religion. Easter Eggs go a long way back and are related to Spring, to fertility, and probably to early pagan rituals. Same with bunny rabbits. In Germany, people used to put literally thousands of hand decorated eggs out on their trees as Easter approached, and we would walk around admiring everyone’s trees. It is more a cultural thing, not a religious thing.
You might think I am obsessed with bacteria, but I am not. I think we are overly fearful, and overly protective of ourselves. Washing hands frequently is proven to help prevent frequent colds, but disinfecting our work place, etc. on a daily basis is probably not so productive. This article says, essentially, that we can disinfect all we want; we carry the stuff with us.
Bacteria on our skin natural, so stop obsessing with the hygiene
March 17, 2007
FEAR of common bacteria stoked by incessant advertising of antimicrobial soaps and cleaners may be misplaced. Researchers say that while they have discovered nearly 200 different species of bacteria living on human skin, many of these have evolved along with us for so long that they should be considered part of us – and many are helpful rather than harmful.
Some of 182 species identified on the skin appeared to be permanently in residence, while others were temporary visitors, according to the researchers from New York University School of Medicine.
In research published recently in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Dr Martin Blaser and his colleagues took swabs from the forearms of six healthy people to study the bacterial populations in human skin – our largest organ.
“We identify about 182 species,” Blaser said in an interview. “And based on those numbers, we estimate there are probably at least 250 species in the skin.
“In comparison, a good zoo might have 100 species or 200 species. So we already know that there are as many different species in our skin, just on the forearm, as there are in a good zoo.”
Bacteria are single-celled micro-organisms believed to have been the first living things on Earth.
While some cause disease, bacteria also reside normally in our bodies, for example in the digestive tract, performing useful chores.
“Without good bacteria, the body could not survive,” added Dr Zhan Gao, a scientist in Blaser’s lab involved in the study.
The researchers noted that microbes in the body actually outnumber human cells 10-to-1.
“Our microbes are actually, in essence, a part of our body,” Blaser said. “We think that many of the normal organisms are protecting the skin. So that’s why I don’t think it’s a great idea to keep washing all the time because we’re basically washing off one of our defence layers,” Blaser added.
It has long been known that bacteria reside in the skin, but Blaser and his colleagues used a sophisticated molecular technique based on DNA to conduct a rigorous census.
The inhabitants proved to be more diverse than had been thought, with about 8 per cent of the species previously unknown, the researchers found.
Some bacteria seemed to be permanent residents of the skin, with four genera – Staphylococcus, Streptococcus, Propionibacteria and Corynebacteria – accounting for a bit more than half the population. Others were more transient.
In each person, the population of bacteria changed over time although a core set existed for each.
The volunteers included three men and three women, and the findings suggested the two sexes may differ in the bacteria they tote along.
The researchers previously had studied bacteria in the stomach and esophagus. With this research, they found that the insides of the body and the skin had major differences in bacterial populations.
“Microbes have been living in animals probably for a billion years. And the microbes that we have in our body are not accidental. They have evolved with us,” Blaser said.