Pet Scoop: Cat Gets 6,000 Votes in Senate Race, Study Finds Talking Fish

Nov. 8, 2012: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.

Hank the Cat lost the Virginia Senate race, but was a winner for animal rescue groups.

Hank the Cat Loses Election, Wins Big for Charity

Hank was the purrfect candidate. But, alas, after giving it his all, the Virginia cat couldn’t claw his way into the state’s open U.S. Senate seat. While Hank conceded the race late Tuesday to Democratic candidate Tim Kaine, he said the good news is that he got more than 6,000 write-in votes — and his supporters’ $16,000 in campaign donations went to animal rescue groups. “Our campaign … is a perfect example of making your community better for everyone, even if you’re just a 13lb cat,” Hank told his 27,000 Facebook fans. — Read it at Seattle’s KING 5 TV

Urban Birds Adapt to New Predators

Maybe they just have more street smarts, but city birds react differently from country birds of the same species when faced with the same threat, finds a new study published in the journal Animal Behavior. Researchers found that urban birds change their behavior to adapt to new threats, like cats, who are their main urban predators. In the country, their biggest threat is the sparrow hawk. "When they are captured, city birds are less aggressive, they produce alarm calls more frequently,” explained researcher Juan Diego Ibáñez-Álamo.— Read it at Science Daily

Pets and Owners Reunited After Hurricane Sandy

Many dogs and cats who were separated from their owners during the devastating superstorm that hit the Northeast last week have now been reunited with their human families, thanks to Good Samaritans, rescue groups and social networking. People Pets collected some of their heartwarming stories. — Read it and see photos at People Pets

Clownfish "Talk" To Avoid Fights

Like their cartoon counterparts in Finding Nemo, real-life clownfish are able to talk their way out of conflict with popping and clicking noises, according to researchers at University of Liège, Belgium. The fish use the noises to defend and reinforce their social status, said the study, which was published in the online journal PLOS ONE. Larger clownfish that dominate their groups make popping sounds that are different from the static-like sounds of the smaller clownfish. "Sound could be an interesting strategy for preventing conflict between group members," said the study’s lead author, Orphal Colleye. — Read it and watch video at Live Science

Royal Couple Cuddles Koalas

Prince Charles and Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, are getting the royal treatment from Australia’s most adorable residents. Earlier this week, we told you about how Camilla got to snuggle with a baby kangaroo. On Thursday, she and her husband were handed a sweet pair of koalas named Kao and Matilda. We’ll be waiting to see what animals are next on the couple’s tour of the land Down Under! — Watch it at CBS News

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