October 28, 2011: We’ve scoured the Web to find the best animal stories, videos and photos for you to chew on. And it’s all right here.

Mickey the cat gets a pacemaker

Colorado Cat Gets a Pacemaker

When Mickey, a 10-year-old Norwegian Forest cat, had his annual checkup this year, his vet found that he had heart disease and a very low heartbeat. “It’s rare because arrhythmia is fairly uncommon in cats,” said Dr. Karen Sanderson. So Mickey got a pacemaker — technology that’s typically used in dogs. Six months post procedure, he seems to “get younger and younger,” said his owner. — Read it at Colorado’s 9News

Jack the Wayward JFK Cat Fights for His Life

Unfortunately, the news isn’t quite as positive for Jack the cat. The feline, who disappeared while traveling with American Airlines two months ago, made headlines earlier this week when he was found in a customs room at JFK airport. But his future is uncertain: Veterinarians treating Jack say he’s in critical condition with fatty liver disease — and they’re giving him a 50 percent chance of survival. — Read it at Fox News

How Do Woodpeckers Avoid Injuring Their Heads As They Peck?

With the help of a force sensor and slow-motion cameras, scientists recently studied how woodpeckers manage to escape injury to their brains as they chip away at trees. The researchers found that the birds turn their heads slightly to change how the force is transmitted. They also examined the unique structure of a woodpecker’s skull, which protects the brain from damage. The hope is that the findings could help with the design of protective helmets for humans. — Read it at BBC News

Big Cats May Face Extinction in Just 20 Years

Conservation experts are pushing for efforts to save lions, tigers and other big cats, warning that they could become extinct within the next two decades. “Ecologically, focusing on protecting top predators just makes sense,” John Robinson, of the Wildlife Conservation Society, told USA Today. “Protect them, and you are protecting the habitat for everything else.” — Read it at USA Today

Daniel the Miracle Beagle Emerges Alive From an Alabama Gas Chamber

Daniel the Beagle

When Daniel the beagle wasn’t claimed or adopted from an Alabama shelter, he was put into a gas chamber with several other animals. But he wasn’t about to give up that easily. When an animal control officer checked the chamber after the procedure, Daniel “was wagging his tail,” said Linda Schiller of Eleventh Hour Rescue, a New Jersey group that took in the stray dog. “He’s a miracle.” — Read it at NBC New York

Ohio Man’s Widow Can’t Claim Surviving Exotic Animals

When Marian Thompson arrived at the Columbus Zoo in a big truck in order to reclaim the six remaining animals that her late husband set free, she and her lawyer were told that the state Agriculture Department had ordered the creatures to remain quarantined at the zoo. — Read it at Today

Antarctic Killer Whales Like to High Tail it to the Tropics

Experts say that one type of killer whale makes quick trips to tropical waters for a little spa-like treatment. Researchers have found that the warmer water helps whales to regenerate their skin faster after a season spent covered in algae in chilly Antarctic waters. — Read it at Science Daily

Rosie O’Donnell Bonded With Her Future Partner Over Dogs

The comedian and talk show host said she struck up a conversation with Michelle Rounds when she spotted her in a Starbucks with a Pomeranian. Today, Rounds’ 4-pound pup is pals with O’Donnell’s 4-pound Chihuahua. — Read it at People Pets