Facebook / Mikhail Galin

Putting your pet in cargo during a flight isn't always safe. In 2016, the Department of Transportation reported a total of 26 pet deaths and 22 injuries on flights. Because conditions in cargo can be uncomfortable for animals, the Humane Society recommends taking your pet aboard when you fly, or just leaving it at home.

It's not surprising that one Russian man didn't want to put his overweight cat in cargo during an eight-hour flight from Moscow to Vladivostok. What is surprising is the great lengths he took to fly with his four-legged friend.

Russian airline Aeroflot allows pets to fly inside the plane's cabin, as long as the cat weighs under 17.6 pounds and stays in its carrier during the flight. When Mikhail Galin went to check in, he was told he couldn't fly with his four-year old cat, Viktor. Viktor weighed in at 22 pounds and would have to be relegated to cargo.

But Viktor was sick from their earlier flight from Riga, Latvia to Moscow. And besides, Viktor had been allowed to fly inside the cabin during that flight. The airline staff didn't even bother to make Viktor sit on the scales. Galin was unable to persuade staff to bring his fur baby on board.

"To all attempts to explain that the cat won't survive there on an 8-hour flight with the baggage and would haunt her in her nightmares for the rest of her life, she (the Aeroflot staff member) replied that there are rules," Galin wrote in a Facebook post translated from Russian.

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When Kayla Denney took over the animal shelter in Taft, Texas five months ago, it was—in her words—a "hot mess." The rudimentary building had no electricity, a lone hose for cleaning out kennels, and very limited supplies for taking care of the animals. What they did have was "blue juice"—the chemical injection used to euthanize animals. Every Wednesday was "kill day"—the sad solution to the problem of animals with nowhere to go and no one to care for them properly.

"The animals looked sad. The building looked sad," city manager, Denise Hitt said in a video. "So I decided we were going to make a change." She and Taft police chief John Cornish met with Kayla Denney, and came up with a plan to transform the facility into a no-kill shelter.

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Cats can sometimes come off like aloof jerks. Their love often seems conditional. But turns out they actually love you more than they let on. Your cat might shoot you a stone-cold stare every time you pet it, but it actually harbors warm feelings underneath. And it's not just because you feed it. A study conducted by researchers at Oregon State University found that cats form "secure attachments" to their owners, meaning cats feel a sense of security from their owners. It's not dissimilar from dogs and babies. The findings were published in Current Biology.

The researchers studied 108 cats (70 adult cats, 38 kittens) and their owners using a test developed in the 1970s to study bonding between parents and infants. "We took [attachment styles] from other previous studies and just thought, 'Do cats actually fit these different styles or not?'" lead study author Kristyn Vitale told NBC News.

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via Jimmywee / Flickr

Currently, there are animal cruelty laws in 50 states as well federal laws that prohibit animal fighting and creating videos that depict animal cruelty. But animals still aren't protected by any far-reaching blanket legislation on a federal level.

What if animals are being tortured across state lines? What if animals are being transported for bestiality? What if animal cruelty occurs on federal property?

That's why Democratic Representative Ted Deutch and Republican Representative Vern Buchanan, both from Florida, have come together to propose bipartisan legislation that broadens the scope of federal jurisdiction through the PACT Act — which stands for Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture.

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