It's not very likely that your beloved kitty is going to turn on you.

And even if it did, the odds of a housecat doing any real damage to a human are pretty slim. Your average tabby wouldn't harm a mouse and at an average kill rate of around 25 percent (that's the rate that a predator is successful when it decides to go after prey -- usually in the wild), Luna or Tom isn't the most effective killer in the world.

So what is?

Believe it or not, lions and tigers have a kill rate at only about 25 percent. That means three-fourths of the animals those big cats go after get away.

Leopards are a bit more successful, achieving prey kill rates at 38 percent.

Another fairly big cat -- and one with the reputation of being the fastest animal on the planet -- the cheetah, has a kill rate of 58 percent.

The cheetah's biggest problem is after the kill. Because of its relatively small size in comparison with lions, tigers and even leopards, cheetahs lose about 10 percent of their kills when those larger predators come and take them away.

But the best killers in the cat family hardly look the part at all. The black-footed cat, all of three pounds of fuzzy cuteness (check out these photos on, has a successful kill rate of 60 percent.

According to, this adorable kitty is a super efficient killer.

"Black-footed cats are astonishingly active and successful nocturnal hunters – one scientist’s observations show they make a hunting attempt every 30 minutes, and are successful 60% of the time, making them one of the world's most efficient predators They eat a wide variety of prey, from gerbils and shrews to small birds and insects, and make 10-14 kills every night."

Utah's own Hogle Zoo recently brought in a black-footed cat named Gaia.

If you'd like to visit Gaia, you can see her at the Hogle Zoo.

“As Gaia settles into her new home in the Small Animal Building, you might notice curtains or barriers around her space. We appreciate your help in keeping noise low while she gets acquainted,” Hogle Zoo officials told


Mythbusters! Utah Medical Expert Demolishes Common Health Myths


Dr. David Blodgett, who is the director of the Southwest Utah Public Health Department and is the former chief resident at Johns Hopkins Hospital in New York, stopped by the Andy Griffin Show Wednesday and put his brilliant mind to work settling some of the medical myths (or are they?) that we've all believed since our mamas told them to us way back when.

Myth No. 1 -- If you pull one gray hair, several more will grow back in its place.

Not true. Blodgett says: "Gray hair comes about from several different factors ... genetics, and aging when your body doesn't produce enough of the chemicals it takes to keep your hair whatever color it originally was."

Myth No. 2 -- You need to drink eight glasses (64 ounces) of water every day.

Not true. Blodgett says: "This is one of those where nobody can figure out where that recommendation came from. Is it healthy to drink plenty of water? Yes. But is eight a magic number and we need to get there? The answer is no, and most people don't."

Myth No. 3 -- You shouldn't hold in a sneeze.

True. Blodgett says: "I used to hold them in all the time, but then I went and got eye surgery and my surgeon said, 'Whatever you do, don't hold your sneeze in because it increases the pressure in your whole cranial cavity.'"

Myth No. 4 -- Dropped food is OK to eat as long as you pick it up within five seconds

Not true. Blodgett says: "If it's a contaminated surface and you drop something on it, it doesn't matter how long it's there. It will get contaminated."

Myth No. 5 -- People shrink as they age

True. Blodgett says: "It's true, you get smaller as you get older and you also get smaller as the day goes on. Gravity takes over. You compress a little with the weight of the day. And you see a substantial change with people over the span of a lifetime."

Myth No. 6 -- Exercise before bed disrupts sleep

True. Blodgett says: "Generally, exercise within about two hours of going to bed will interfere with sleep. However, there are some exercises (like Yoga) that could actually help with sleep."

Myth No. 7 -- Stress causes myriad health problems, even death

True. Blodgett says: "Stress does cause all kinds of health issues, but it is so hard to quantify. We do know that work is important, and play is important. It's balance in life that you need."

Myth No. 8 -- Eggs are bad for you.

Not true. Blodgett says: "There are few things in life that have a perfect balance of protein, and the egg is one of them. Eggs are about as good a food as you're going to find."

Myth No. 8 -- Microwaves and GMO plants cause cancer

Not true. Blodgett says: "They just don't."

You Can Get Arrested For What In Utah?!

Photo by niu niu on Unsplash
Photo by niu niu on Unsplash

I like milk. You probably do, too.

I've had good milk, cold milk, thin milk, chunky milk (don't ask), chocolate milk, banana milk, strawberry milk, unpasteurized milk, and even sour milk (to this day, I will not drink milk without smelling it first to make sure it's not sour).

And, at the risk of getting arrested, I've had some bad milk.

And just like that, a warrant for my arrest may be getting processed right now. See, in Utah, it's illegal for milk consumers to “unfairly discriminate” against milk distributors and criticize the grade or quality of the substance.

Yep, they can cuff you for that.

And while there are a handful of pretty good laws taking effect (as of Monday, Jan. 1), it's hard to believe there are still laws in Utah like these:

  • Throwing a snowball could result in a $50 fine in Provo
  • Riding a bike without touching the handlebars could result in fines
  • Hurling missiles (or anything, for that matter) at buses is a third-degree felony (law enforcement is exempt as long as it's within the scope of their duties).
  • While boxing in the Beehive State, no striking of the Adam's apple, groin, eyes, and temple of the head are allowed. Also, no biting.

Fortunately, there are a couple of good laws that just went active in this new year:

  • Dating apps in Utah must have the disclaimer that background checks have not been done.
  • Electric vehicles must now pay a 12.5% tax on charging stations to help pay for road upkeep (a tax usually collected at gas stations when we fill up)
  • Good news here: Utahns will save two cents a gallon at the gas pump until 2028 -- the legislature's effort to help fight inflation
  • More good news for young families: Utahns with kids 3-years old and younger will receive a tax credit of about a thousand bucks per kid to help with childcare expenses

Oh, and Utah's new flag is now official. I like it. What do you think?


How We Can Stop This New Epidemic: Type 2 Diabetes

Photo by Myriam Zilles on Unsplash
Photo by Myriam Zilles on Unsplash

Type 1 diabetes used to be rare ... and it still is.

But Type 2 diabetes, the same blood-sugar disease but with a different cause, is not rare,

In fact, there's a good chance you know someone with Type 2 diabetes and an even better chance that you or someone you love has pre-diabetes and doesn't even know it.

You've probably heard the stories about how Sir. Frederik Banting, a research scientist, discovered insulin and the potential use it had for treating diabetes, how he could have been a millionaire, but flatly refused to patent the cure. His desire was for insulin to be cheap or free for all who suffered from diabetes.

He was later awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts.

He passed away more than 80 years ago and doubtfully never could have seen this modern epidemic of Type 2 diabetes brought on by obesity and sugar consumption. Here are some staggering numbers (from

  • 37.3 million people, or 11.3% of the U.S. population, have diabetes. An estimated 28.7 million people had diagnosed diabetes. Approximately 8.6 million people have diabetes but have not yet been diagnosed.
  • 26.4 million people aged 65 years or older (48.8%) have prediabetes.
  • Diabetes is the leading cause of new cases of blindness among adults aged 18–64 years.
  • As many as 80 percent of people who have prediabetes don't know they have it.

Perhaps the best news about prediabetes is it's easily detectable with a simple blood test.

The other good news is that you can actually prevent the onset of Type 2 diabetes before it arrives by simply getting in better shape.

"Truthfully, if you are prediabetic and lose just 5- to 7-percent of your body weight, you can stop Type 2 diabetes before it ever arrives," said SWUPHD director Dr. David Blodgett.

That means a person weighing 200 pounds needs to lose just 10 pounds or so to prevent this crippling infirmity.

So that's it, we can find out if we're getting diabetes with an easy test and we can stop it in its tracks with a little bit of diet and exercise.

The link to the prediabetes screening test on the website is here.

Some other scary diabetes facts:

  • Diabetes was the seventh leading cause of death in the United States in 2017 based on the 83,564 death certificates in which diabetes was listed as the underlying cause of death.
  • Diabetes was listed as the underlying or contributing cause of death on 270,702 death certificates in 2017.
  • In 2017, the total estimated cost of diagnosed diabetes in the U.S. was $327 billion.
  • Without insulin, the body’s cells would be starved, causing dehydration and destruction of body tissue.
  • Many people with type 2 diabetes can control their blood glucose by following a healthy meal plan and a program of regular physical activity, losing excess weight, and taking medications.

Nartional Diabetes Foundation website

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