In Marin / CURRENTS
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National Kitten Day
The results are in on the age-old question of
“cats or dogs” — cats are the winners in the
United States. According to the American
Humane Society, as of 2015, 95. 6 million U. S.
households had cats whereas 83. 3 million had
a dog. National Kitten Day, on July 10, was
established to both celebrate these creatures
and raise awareness about high numbers of
homeless kitties at shelters, in need of adoption.
We talked to a volunteer at Marin Humane who
regularly offers a foster home. For information
about volunteering at Marin Humane, visit
marinhumane.org. KASIA PAWLOWSKA
JANE T VALE TTE, KENTFIELD
Volunteer Kitten Foster
What inspired you to be a volunteer? I’ve always
been a huge animal lover, especially of cats. The idea
of working with kittens on an ongoing basis was like a
dream come true.
How long have you been volunteering? Almost
Any special stories you can share? I’m currently
fostering a mom cat who gave birth at the shelter
on Easter. I was caring for her and her kittens when
the shelter called about a unique situation. Two tiny
orphaned kittens had been brought in and were not
doing well. The staff asked if I’d be willing to foster
these two others if the momma cat took to them.
After getting the OK from the shelter veterinarians
and with careful introductions, the mom started
nursing and caring for them as if they were her own.
Most rewarding part of your job? The most rewarding part is seeing kittens who’ve had a rough or shaky
start in life blossom and go on to live in loving homes.
Life is full of surprises, not all of them
happy. Don’t want to get blindsided by
common health ailments? Follow these
science-based screening guidelines from
the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force.
Blood pressure Ages 40–49 Everyone should be tested annually for high blood pressure. If your reading is
130/85 or higher, talk with your doctor about treatment.
Cholesterol Ages 40–75 Once a year, have your cholesterol and other blood lipids checked.
Colorectal cancer Age 50-plus Routine screening is not recommended until age 50, but if you are at
increased risk for colorectal cancer talk with your doctor about when you should start.
Bone mineral density
Age 65-plus Start routine screening at age 65, or earlier for younger women at increased
risk for osteoporosis. Check with your doctor about your risk.
Ages 40–50 Ask your doctor whether and when you need to begin annual mammography
or other tests.
Ages 50-plus Get a mammogram every 2 years and a manual breast exam at your annual
physical or check-up.
Ages 40-plus Get a Pap test every 3 years, or a Pap test along with a human papillomavirus
(HPV) test every 5 years.
Ages 50–69 Testing may be appropriate for some men in this age range; talk to your doctor
about potential benefits and risks.
3Thomas Jefferson’s draft of the Declaration of Independence condemned slavery Although Thomas Jefferson owned slaves, his
original draft of the Declaration contained language
condemning King George III’s support for the slave
trade as “a cruel war against human nature itself,
violating its most sacred rights of life and liberty.”
Despite such stirring, humanistic language, it seems
that Jefferson’s main complaint against the English
king was related to Dunmore’s Proclamation, a 1775
law passed by Lord Dunmore, the British governor of
Virginia. The proclamation promised Virginia slaves
freedom in exchange for serving in the British army.
4 Be (extra) careful when driving on the Fourth According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, over the past five years
an average of 118. 4 people died each Independence
Day, making it the most fatal motoring day of the
year. For motorcyclists, the Fourth of July is particularly dangerous, with an average of 25. 8 deaths, more
than double the daily national average.
5 Your fireworks and American flag were probably made in China According to the U. S. Census Bureau, the United States imported
$311.7 million’s worth of fireworks from China in
2015, almost 96 percent of total U.S. fireworks
imports and an increase from the $247.1 million
imported in 2014. Chinese goods also accounted for
almost 98 percent of all U. S. imports of American
flags in 2015. Americans spent $4.4 million on
imported U. S. flags that year, $4.3 million of which
came from China.
6The melody of the “Star-Spangled Banner” came from the official song of an English club The tune that Francis Scott Key set
the lyrics of the national anthem to came from “To
Anacreon in Heaven,” the anthem of the Anacreontic
Society, a gentlemen’s club of amateur musicians
in London. The club was named for the Greek poet
Anacreon, who was famous for his verse about
women and drinking, and the song was likely a tavern
standard in colonial America.