For Dottie (And Me)

May 30 2015 Published by under [Science in Society]

Microbiome research makes headlines often, especially when folks start talking about "fecal transplants" (yup, eating shit). There's a whole microscopic world living in our guts that influences all sorts of things about us. We have only just begun to explore this fascinating area of research.

Now a group is raising money to document the feline microbiome, a Kickstarter project dubbed the Kittybiome. For various amounts of money you can sponsor study of a shelter cat, your own cat, or even other goodies. My friend Michelle Banks, an artist who specializes in science-inspired designs, is creating a Kittybiome scarf. Given the lovely silk items I have previously purchased from her site, I decided to kick in enough to study a shelter cat and buy the scarf.

Dottie Hinson Lane

Dottie Hinson Lane

Why am I doing this (besides my need desire for another scarf)? The little lady in the photo is my inspiration. Dottie Hinson Lane, named for the Geena Davis character in A League of Their Own, has suffered from a diarrheal illness this year. Cat diarrhea is at least as annoying as diarrhea in your offspring. The more we learn about the cat gut, the better as far as I am concerned.

We have Dottie's symptoms controlled at the moment. I still want us to learn more about what goes on in those feline guts.

You should consider supporting this project as well; if nothing else, you can score a cool scarf!

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