QUIRKY WORLD ... Feline good: World’s oldest living cat likes to stay active

Scooter, who has been named the oldest cat alive at 30.

USA: A Siamese cat has been named by Guinness World Records as the world’s oldest living cat.

Guinness said Scooter celebrated his 30th birthday on March 26. He lives in Mansfield, Texas. Owner Gail Floyd attributes Scooter’s longevity to staying active. She said he keeps busy by travelling and has visited 45 of the 50 states. Some of his favourite activities include getting blow-dried after baths and snacking on chicken every other day.

Scooter is not Guinness’s oldest cat of all time, though. That honour belongs to a fellow Texas cat, who lived to be 38.

Iron tub

ENGLAND:

The grandson of a British sailor who survived the Battle of Jutland has kept a unique memento of the 100-year-old conflict — a rum tub made from deck splinters of HMS Iron Duke.

Reg Wilkinson, 80, inherited the barrel his grandfather, George Wilkinson, had made following the 36-hour First World War battle from May 31 to June 1 in 1916.

George Wilkinson, a stoker and ship’s diver during the battle, visited an opposite number on the damaged HMS Iron Duke when the fighting ceased and took some of the teak splinters back to his ship, where he asked the carpenter to create a rum tub with them.

Gut reactions

ENGLAND:

An artificial gut that mimics bacterial interaction with intestinal cells is shedding light on how events in the digestive tract affect the brain.

The HuMiX model — about the size of a beer mat — houses growing cultures of gut cells and bacteria which are exposed to nutrients flowing from a supply chamber.

Different bugs can be tested to see how the human “microbiome” — the community of all the micro-organisms living in the human body — impact on health via the gut.

Monkey about

USA:

A new web-based programme has been created to help zookeepers encourage chimpanzees to behave more like they would in the wild.

The design tool developed by University of Birmingham scientists helps create new features for enclosures that are more like the animals’ forest homes to keep endangered chimpanzees physically and mentally active and interacting socially.

Lead investigator on the study, Dr Susannah Thorpe, said the programme aimed to improve the welfare of the chimps in zoos and give visitors a better idea of how they behave in the wild.

Musical moose

USA:

The Alaska wildlife is grooving to the smooth music of wind chimes. Britta Schroeder shot a video of a moose playing one-part harmony with the wind chimes on the porch of her rural cabin near Denali National Park and Preserve, and it is quickly making its way across the internet.

Ms Schroeder looked out of the window of her home near Healy, Alaska, and there was a moose, rubbing its head against the wind chimes and gumming the glass disc pendulum that hangs down from the middle of the instrument.

Ms Schroeder said a cow and two moose calves had spent some time near her cabin since last summer but she had not seen the family since March.

Shackles for chivalry

USA:

Politely holding a door open for a police officer has landed a Massachusetts man in jail.

Authorities said Kayvon Mavaddat was at the Natick Mall when he held the door for the leaving officer. The officer thought Mavaddat looked familiar, and went to check his vehicle’s computer. The officer found there were three warrants out for his arrest — for heroin possession, shoplifting, and driving with a suspended licence.


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