Sunday, July 20, 2014

Blanton cats and dog exhibit that opened this weekend continues through September 21


New exhibit explores our diverse and complex relationships with cats and dogs

In the Company of Cats and Dogs runs through September 21.  Courtesy of The Blanton Museum of Art

Cinderella at the Kitchen Fire, did not envision that in 2014, his delicate painting would be featured in the same gallery space as a Japanese video montage of cats balancing things on their heads and paws. However that is exactly the case at the Blanton Museum of Art’s new exhibition, In the Company of Cats and Dogs.
The exhibit, which opened June 22 and runs through September 21, features around 150 diverse works that are meant to provide an expansive look at our relationship with cats and dogs throughout history.
“Through especially beautiful and affecting works of art, we hope to make our visitors aware of some of the diverse and complex histories we have had with cats and dogs over a period of 33 centuries,” says Francesca Consagra, the Blanton’s senior curator of prints, drawing and European paintings.
The time span and rich set of themes tackled is ambitious but also inclusive. The diverse works weave a story of our ever-changing relationship with cats and dogs and, as Blanton Director Simone Wicha says, “gives a deeper understanding of our own identities and relationships.” Individually, there is a piece in the exhibit for every type of animal and art lover.
There are Egyptian sculptures dating from 700 to 300 BCE, including an original limestone drawing of an Egyptian god who is part man, part dog, and a striking dog-shaped vessel curved into the shape of a large serving bowl. There are a number of impressive and vibrant large, gold-framed paintings that hang beautifully on the green hued walls of the hunting section of the gallery, including a jarring, almost photographic portrayal of a successful hunt by Dutch painter Jan Weenix, known for his skill at rendering fur and feathers.
Numerous treasures borrowed from the Blanton’s sister museum The Harry Ransom Center — including an 11th century manuscript depicting a zodiac dog, and a rare copy of the first published edition of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland — are turned open to display specific pages illuminating the historical significance of cats and dogs over time.
The exhibition is ideal for pet-friendly Austin, and will be a big hit with kids, too. An interactive room features places for children to draw their favorite pets and share pet stories, as well as play animal education iPad games and submit family pet portraits via an interactive gallery.

In the Company of Cats and Dogs runs through September 21. The Blanton is open Tuesday through Friday from 10 am - 5 pm, Saturday from 11 am - 5 pm and Sunday from 1 pm - 5 pm. Admission is $9 for adults and free for all Blanton members and current UT-ID holders. Thursdays are free admission days. For more museum information, visit here.

Austin's Nulo knows the way to relieve pet hunger in San Jose

Max, owner of Nulo CEO, Michael Landa

Donation nets Humane Society 2½ tons of pet food

POSTED:   07/16/2014 06:04:43 PM PDT0 COMMENTS| UPDATED:   3 DAYS AGO
Humane Society Silicon Valley received a bark-worthy donation of pet food for its furry, four-legged residents on July 1.
Nulo, an independent pet food company based out of Austin, Texas, hand delivered 5,000 pounds of dog and cat food to the shelter headquarters in Milpitas. The Silicon Valley nonprofit was chosen for its 85 years of service to animals, according to Nulo staffers.
"All pets deserve the opportunity to be the best they can be, and we're proud to help the Humane Society Silicon Valley give the dogs and cats in its care a healthy boost toward finding safe and loving homes," said Michael Landa, Nulo CEO. "We believe optimal health begins with good nutrition and an active lifestyle."
The animal center celebrated its 15,000th adoption in spring and thrives on "generous donations" to keep serving lost and surrendered animals in Silicon Valley, said Beth Ward, vice president of community alliances at HSSV.
"As a nonprofit dedicated to helping at-risk dogs and cats find safe and happy homes, we're thankful that Nulo has chosen to help us continue to provide a high-quality selection of food to feed the animals in our care," Ward said.
The shelter goes through about 500 to 800 pounds of food monthly, according to Cristie Kamiya, vice president of medical operations at HSSV. The 5,000 pounds of Nulo food will probably last three to four months.
More than 300 animals are adopted out of the center on average each month. Food is also provided for "foster families" who have animals in their care at home, which can add about a couple hundred pounds a month to the shelter's total usage, Kamiya said.
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Austin's lost cat 'pet detective'


Detective Finds Lost Cats

Trained for lost animal search and rescue situations, Kim Freeman spends her days finding missing cats for heartbroken pet parents.

By Colleen Supan | Posted: July 17, 2014, 12 p.m. EDT
Lost-cat finder Kim Freeman is trained in lost cat search and rescue, animal tracking and is very knowledgeable in lost-cat behavior. Photo courtesy of Kim Freeman

If you've lost your beloved cat or kitten and have nowhere left to turn, you might want to give Kim Freeman, a "cat detective” from Austin, Texas, a call. For a small fee, she'll come to your neighborhood and help you search for your little furry one. 

Freeman's story started in 2006 in a training class with former K-9 Bloodhound handler and police officer Kathy "Kat” Albrecht. Albrecht used to track down missing people with her dogs, and then she realized she could help those with missing animals, and started the Missing Pet Partnership. The Missing Pet Partnership is a nonprofit organization that works to educate people on community-based lost pet services. Freeman took Albrecht's course and thought she would wait until she could get a Bloodhound to start using her newfound talent. In 2008, Freeman's cat went missing, and she used the techniques she learned from the Missing Pet Partnership to find her.

Being a pet detective that specializes in finding missing cats has brought her much joy. "It's extremely gratifying to reunite  lost cats with their loving owners. I truly love this work being able to help felines all over the world,” Freeman says.

Freeman's website not only has free helpful tips as well as many purchasable options for those who need help finding their lost kitten. You can get "The Lost Cat Book Search Guide,” a Lost Cat Kit, in-person advice and equipment or an in-person neighborhood search, where Freeman will investigate environments and different areas you may have overlooked.

The first thing most people who lose their cat do is panic. But, according to Freeman, that's not a good start. "The first thing they need to know is what not to do.” Freeman continues, "Do not put food out. Everyone is worried their cat is going to starve, but it's actually the worst thing you can do.”

The next thing you might think to do is walk around the neighborhood calling out your cat's name. "This can draw the cat away from your home,” Freeman explains. "Their instinct is to hide when they're lost, so calling actually does more harm.”

The search guide found on the Lost Cat Finder Web site is where Freeman suggests you start because it is a guide that walks you through all of the steps she walks through as a pet detective.