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Photographer captures loving relationship between grandfather with Alzheimer's and cat

A photographer in Japan has captured the special relationship that has formed between her grandfather, who has Alzheimer's, and a kitten that she rescued.

Akiko DuPont says that her grandfather was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease in 2009, and his demeanor changed over the subsequent years, according to KTVU. Her grandfather lost interest in life and became grumpy.

>> Read more trending news

Enter Kinako, a four-month-old kitten. DuPont was hesitant to introduce the kitten to her grandfather, who had always been more of a dog person. But she says the minute her grandfather laid eyes on the orange cat, his eyes lit up. 

Kinako is a loyal companion to DuPont's grandfather, following him while he engages in his daily routine and even sleeping in a similar position. DuPont has captured the images on her website.

WATCH: Elephant escapes angry crocodile with help from its friends

Elephants were on high alert when one of their buddies found himself in a deadly predicament at Liwonde National Park in Malawi.

A crotchety old croc lurking in the local water cooler scared the living daylights out of the group of African elephants when it popped up and chomped on the trunk of one of their friends.

>> Read more trending news

The poor elephant let out a blood-curdling cry, and all of his fellow elephants joined in, sounding the alarm.

Although the croc was determined to hang on, a leading elephant was up to the tusk – errrr, task – in fending off the predator.

>> Watch the clip here

Alexander Makanga had his camera rolling while this insane nature moment was taking place and later uploaded it to YouTube.

He had been riding along in a boat in a nearby river.

When asked on YouTube whether he filmed the video, Makanka replied, “Yes, I filmed it myself using a humble Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge. I did not realize the severity of the situation until I had finished recording. Absolutely insane. This happened just few meters from the boat.”

(H/t Daily Mail)

April the giraffe fans, here's how you can help name the new calf

April the giraffe's long-awaited calf is finally here – but he doesn't have a name.

That's where her throngs of fans come in.

>> World rejoices as April the giraffe finally gives birth

The home of the proud mama, Animal Adventure Park in Harpursville, New York, is holding a contest to name the new baby boy, born Saturday morning as 1.2 million viewers watched via livestream after months of anticipation. 

>> You can watch the birth here

To enter the contest, visit Votes are $1 each for a minimum of five votes. 

"For about 10 days, you can vote on any name or names you choose for April's new calf," the website says. "You even get to decide your own spelling. Come back and vote as many times as you'd like."

>> How long are giraffes pregnant? 

After the initial voting period, the park will reveal the top 10 names and hold another vote to determine the winner.

>> Read more trending news

The money will benefit giraffe conservation efforts, Ava's Little Heroes and Animal Adventure Park, the site saysLearn more here.

The park said it will livestream April and her calf through Thursday.

>> Watch the livestream here

Ohio animal shelter hosts yoga with adoptable cats

Even though one of the basic poses is downward dog, cats are the stars of the class in these yoga events.

For the past two years, the Society for the Improvement of Conditions for Stray Animals in Kettering, Ohio, has been offering Yoga With Cats, featuring adoptable cats that appear to form partnerships with the participants during class. The nonprofit organization’s community-engagement team suggested the idea.

>> Need something to lift your spirits? Read more uplifting news

“It’s good socialization for the cats, and it shows the variety of cats available for adoption,” said SICSA development coordinator Sam Lake. “It’s a really popular event; it fills up every month.”

Last year, Kettering SICSA facilitated the adoption of 1,654 animals. The numbers were fairly even for dogs and cats. The morning yoga class is scheduled for every third Saturday of the month. Matt Turner, a registered Dayton Yoga Club instructor, leads the classes.

“It’s my way of giving back to the community and sharing yoga with people,” said Turner, who has a home studio at the Dayton Yoga Club.

Turner is an animal lover who calls himself a cat person. He currently has two rescue cats, Sally and Frank. He lost a longtime buddy, Sammie, who died last November. He is a founding member of the Dayton Yoga Club, formed by regular members of Practice Yoga that was closed down in the Oregon District about a year and a half ago.

“The great thing about yoga with cats, it actually brings people to the class who might be hesitant to try yoga. They might think they don’t have the right body, or they’re too old, or not flexible enough,” Turner said. “They come for the cats, stay for the yoga, and come back for the yoga.”

Turner said cats love the texture of the yoga mats. For that reason, people are encouraged not to bring their best mats to class, as the cats might scratch them. The cats also tend to stay with certain people during the whole session.

“One time a person was in the downward dog pose, and a cat walked under her shirt and fell asleep,” said Turner, who is a nursing student at Sinclair and also works in the emergency room at Good Samaritan Hospital. “During kitten season, we had seven or eight kittens running around, climbing up on people and sitting on their shoulders.”

The cats are given treats and catnip, and provide extra stress relief for the participants. Class size is limited to 25, but Turner said they sometimes squeeze in a few more.

“It’s a great fundraiser; we take donations. It brings awareness to SICSA and the cats up for adoption,” Turner said. “We have lots of social-media outreach. We have a pretty large presence on Facebook and Instagram. By doing that, the adoptable cats get noticed.”

The organization also wants the younger animals to get noticed.

Lake said SICSA plans to start Knitting With Kittens on June 11. If it’s successful, then it will schedule more knitting events.

“I like working at SICSA, because my time and efforts are spent doing something positive for animals who can’t help themselves,” said Lake, a Dayton resident. “Hopefully, this will bring people to SICSA to adopt the great animals we have here.”

Puppy recovering after being thrown from third-story window in domestic dispute

By all accounts, Callie is a sweetheart who has had a rough start to her young life.

Callie, a 10-month-old Westie mixed breed, was rescued Sunday by a Chicago police officer who was responding to a domestic dispute call, according to Fetching Tails animal rescue. The officer found the dog barely moving on the ground in an alley. When he responded to the domestic situation between a boyfriend and girlfriend, he learned that the children in the family had found the dog as a stray and brought her home over a month earlier. The boyfriend had been threatening to throw the dog out the window, and was accused of making good on his threats. 

>> Read more trending news 

Callie suffered a fractured neck, pelvis and ribs. She underwent surgery to repair her fractured pelvis, and her neck was placed in a splint. Her ribs should heal on their own, according to Fetching Tails. In spite of being in a great deal of pain, shelter staff said Callie was extremely sweet throughout the ordeal. She is resting comfortably now in a foster home, where she will spend several months recovering from her injuries before she is available for adoption.

The man accused of throwing Callie out the window was arrested, but since there were no witnesses who would go on the record to confirm his actions, he will only face a misdemeanor charge, instead of a felony charge, according to the officer. 

Ikea donates doll beds for cats at animal shelter

Employees of an animal shelter in Canada thought it would be cute if they could get Ikea doll beds for their rescued cats to lounge in until they're adopted, and Ikea agreed.

The Etobicoke Humane Society told The Toronto Star that Ikea donated 10 Duktig doll beds to the shelter. A video posted on YouTube shows shelter workers constructing the beds and the cats checking them out. 

>> Need something to lift your spirits? Read more uplifting news 

Ikea also donated $300 to the Humane Society, as staff at the Etobicoke store had already been participating in a fundraising campaign and the Humane Society was the selected charity.

Some of the shelter's cats took to the doll beds quickly, while at least one cat decided to hide underneath one of the tiny beds.

Cat steals show at Marlins home opener strolling through outfield

The Miami Marlins’ first home game of the 2017 season included stolen bases, strikeouts and home runs, but one purr-formance stole the show.

During the sixth inning of Tuesday’s game against the Atlanta Braves, an unexpected visitor took a stroll along the outfield fence. 

>> Read more trending news

A gray cat wedged itself under the base of the wall, drawing the attention of Marlins outfielders Giancarlo Stanton and Christian Yelich. Both players approached the scaredy-cat, and Stanton tried to open a section of the wall so it could escape.

When a stadium worker reached down to pet the cat, it took off along the wall into centerfield, scaling an electronic video board, and eventually making its way on top of the Marlins Park Home Run Sculpture.

For the next several innings, the Fox Sports Florida broadcast of the game provided a video update of the cat, which relaxed along the base of the sculpture.

The Marlins Twitter account had some fun with the feline invasion, giving the intruder the name #RallyCat and posting several tweets containing cat puns.

Marlins Park provided an update on the cat following the game via its Twitter account, stating that the cat had been rescued but escaped and ran off into the night.


Bryce, Yorkie lost during Florida wildfire, gets new home

Tonya McClure was so excited to meet her new fur baby, Bryce.

Bryce was found walking down a road in Bryceville after a wildfire, but his owners never came forward, according to

Nassau County Animal Services received a bunch of applications to adopt Bryce, and posts featuring Bryce on social media reached hundreds of thousands of people.

But in the end, Animal Services thought the McClures were the best fit.

>> Read more trending news

“I love him already. It was meant to be, I think,” McClure said.

There were about 50 finalists that Animals Services had to go through, but the director said it was the note on the back of McClure’s application that won them over.

 “I said I’d be willing to give him back to the owners if they come forward at any point,” McClure said.  The McClures have two other Yorkies, and that was another factor in picking the McClure family. McClure said she thinks his personality will be a perfect fit for their family.

Mayor's interview interrupted by cat drinking from mug

A mayor who was discussing his city's plans to fix potholes witnessed his weekly interview hit a bump in the road thanks to a thirsty cat.

>> Read more trending news

As Nils Usakovs, the mayor of Latvia's capital, Riga, was talking Sunday, a fluffy black-and-white cat named Dumka walked into the shot and calmly took sips out of Usakovs' mug, before getting spooked and jumping off the desk as Usakovs made a halfhearted attempt to swat it away while chuckling.

The mayor is not shy about his love of cats, and has incorporated them into the town's official tourism campaign.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

7 tips to keep your dog calm during a storm  

During times of rough weather, it can be difficult to keep four-legged friends calm and comforted amid the madness.

According to experts at WebMD, thunderstorm phobia in dogs is quite common and shouldn’t be ignored.

>> Read more trending news 

"Most of the time they don't grow out of it on their own, and many will get worse with time if nothing is done," veterinarian Matt Peuser said.

While there’s no easy fix, here are seven  tips to help relax your frightened fur ball during a storm:

Be prepared.

The best way to be prepared to make arrangements for your dog is to simply check the forecast. According to, thunder usually occurs in the afternoons. 

You can also set up a pet disaster kit, the Palm Beach Post reported. Fill up a waterproof container with Fido’s medications and medical records, essentials such as a leash and collar, food, water and dishes for both. Other items to include: a manual can opener, grooming supplies, your pet’s blanket and favorite toy, cleanser and disinfectant to handle waste, newspapers or litter, paper towels and plastic bags. 

>>Related: What's the difference between a tornado watch and warning? 

Be home.

If you know your dog tends to be fearful of storms, try to stay home or arrange for someone to stick around.

Reward calm behavior all year.

According to veterinary behavior expert Barbara Sherman, owners often make the mistake of consoling a fearful dog, but this actually just encourages clingy, panicky behavior.

 >> Related: Why you shouldn’t calm your fearful dog 

That doesn’t mean owners should scold their dogs, but instead, train them to settle down on command so that when a storm comes, the dog knows what to do.

Offer distractions during a storm.

Sherman also recommends distractions for your pet during the storm such as offering treats or toys, playing fetch and cuddling.

>> Related: If your neighbor's tree falls in your yard, who pays for cleanup?

Create a sound-proof safe place.

Whether it’s a room in the basement, an open crate or even the bathroom, it’s wise to offer the dog its own soundproof safe place to come and go as it pleases.

You can figure out what the best place for your dog is by watching where it gravitates during a storm.

Try snug-fitting clothing.

Snug clothing such as the Thundershirt have been known to help dogs cope with anxiety by applying gentle, constant pressure to a dog’s torso, similar to swaddling an infant.

Consider medications.

If Fido is seriously affected, refer to your veterinarian or a veterinary behavior specialist for possible medication.

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