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7-year-old cat who walked 12 miles to owners who gave him away finds forever family

A 7-year-old cat given away by his family walked 12 miles back home -- only to be given away again.

WRAL.com reported that, according to an April 4 Facebook post from the SPCA of Wake County, Toby, a fluffy orange and white cat, was given to another family but found his way back to his home.

>> Read more trending news 

“When he arrived, he was met with heartbreak,” the post said. “The family he thought had loved him took him to a shelter and asked staff to euthanize him. The shelter called us at the SPCA to ask if we could take him in and help him find a new family. Of course we said YES!”

The animal shelter said it took Toby in from a county shelter at the end of February.

Toby was adopted by his new mom, Michele, on Friday the 13, SPCA of Wake County communications manager Tara Lynn said in a blog post.

“It’s funny. He’s very sweet, but he didn’t get along with his (feline) roommate,” Lynn told People Pets. “We thought he’d need to be adopted out as the only cat in a home, but his new family has two other cats and he’s fine with them. He’s just been through a lot and wasn’t settled yet.”

>> Need something to lift your spirits? Read more uplifting news 

Lynn told People that she wasn’t sure if Toby, who is FIV-positive, was given up by his family because of his disease, but it didn’t seem to impact interest from potential adopters.

“It’s cool, people were interested in him despite his FIV,” Lynn said.

Toby’s life with his forever family is captured on his own Instagram page, a.cat.named.toby. The page has more than 15,000 followers and includes a post supporting the SPCA of Wake County’s annual Dog Walk, which benefits all animals in the shelter.

College students create app making it easier to track diabetes

When it comes to diabetes, the numbers are staggering -- 30 million Americans are estimated to be living with the disease, 1.4 million new cases are diagnosed annually in the United States and about 25 percent of those patients don’t know they have the disease.

Those numbers caught the attention of some Harvard students who came up with an easy way for people to track their blood sugar levels.

>> Read more trending news 

It’s an app called Checkmate Diabetes.

Harvard graduate student Michael Heisterkamp is part of the team developing the app and is also a diabetes patient. 

“You need to check 4-5 times a day, up to eight times a day, depending on what your doctor recommends, and that can be a bit of a grind," Heisterkamp said.

All those tests are essential for a person with diabetes because they need to make sure they’re in a safe range.

Dr. Jason Sloane, an endocrinologist at Massachusetts General Hospital, said ‘the biggest problem is, once complications hit, it’s very hard to reverse them.”

Harvard senior Emi Gonzales got the idea for the app when there was a guest speaker in a class.

“He had lost his leg and was about to lose his other leg," Gonzales said. "And I talked to some more people with diabetes and this just seemed like a situation that needed fixing.”

The app makes a game out of tracking blood sugar levels, creating competitions within a person’s network. 

“If you have a scoring system and someone is doing better than you, pushing you, you know you want to get to first right," Gonzales said.

Checkmate Diabetes also offers the ability to connect with other patients.

Soon, they’ll start adding prizes.

Sloan, who has consulted with the budding entrepreneurs, said gamification has been shown to work for health care.

He believes this approach can get people to pay attention to diabetes earlier. 

“It has the potential to change things dramatically,” Sloan said. “Convincing young people, from my experience, has been very difficult. Even from a personal perspective, one of the last things I wanted to pay attention to was my blood sugar.”

Dr. Sloan said earlier interventions can reduce serious complications like kidney failure, amputations, and heart disease later in life.

Checkmate Diabetes is free to download.

7 great sources of protein that aren't meat or animal products

"You're vegetarian? How do you get your protein?"

It's a question vegetarians (and vegans) are asked over and over again. While meat and other animal products are common sources of protein for much of the population, there are countless protein options for those on a plant-based diet, too.

» RELATED: These protein powders are toxic to your health, study says

Scientific evidence suggests that animal farming causes between 14.5 percent and more than 50 percent of human-caused greenhouse gas emissions.

>> Read more trending news 

As concerns for animal welfare, along with environmental realities, continue to grow, many are adopting vegetarian or vegan diets. But starting off can be daunting, especially if you’re worried about maintaining strong bones and muscles.

"It is very easy for a vegan diet to meet the recommendations for protein. Nearly all vegetables, beans, grains, nuts, and seeds contain some, and often much, protein," the Vegetarian Resource Group explains on its website.

» RELATED: 31 healthy and portable high-protein snacks

Here's a look at some of the best sources of protein that aren't from animals:

1. Lentils and beans

Not only are lentils a great source of protein, they are also rich in healthy carbohydrates and fiber. One cup of cooked lentils contains an average of 18 grams of protein. A cup of beans contains a bit less, coming in at an average of 15 grams.

2. Spinach and kale

Popeye was definitely onto something when he chowed down on spinach before saving the day. Most people already know that spinach and kale are trendy "superfoods," primarily because they’re great sources of protein. There are about 3 grams of protein per 100 grams of spinach. Kale has even more, with 4.3 grams per 100 grams.

3. Quinoa

Another popular superfood, quinoa is considered a starchy protein because it also contains carbohydrates and fiber. In just half a cup of quinoa, there are seven to nine grams of protein.

4. Nuts

From almonds to walnuts, pecans, cashews and pistachios, nuts are an ideal source of protein. They are also rich in minerals, Vitamin E, and healthy fats. Nuts vary in their protein content. For instance, 21 grams of protein can be found in 100 grams of almonds. Cashews have about 18 grams of protein per 100 grams.

» RELATED: Eating nuts can improve survival rate for those with colon cancer, study says

5. Asparagus

Asparagus is another vegetable rich with protein, plus it works to detoxify your body. Per every 100 grams, there are about 2.2 grams of protein.

6. Tofu

One serving of tofu contains about 20 grams of protein. The protein in tofu is also considered a complete protein, meaning it contains all the necessary amino acids.

7. Broccoli

It may not be the most popular vegetable among children, but broccoli is high in protein, as well as fiber, antioxidants and other essential minerals. There are about 2.8 grams of protein per 100 grams of broccoli.

How to manage your spring allergies

Spring is in the air, literally. 

Over the next few days, many parts of the country may experience high pollen levels.

Dr. Castellaw with the Baptist Medical Group said, “This is probably one of the worst allergy seasons that we have seen in years.”

Castellaw said the signs are clear to see and even easier to feel.

“If the drainage from your nose and things that you're coughing start to change color and consistency, then you need to go see the doctor,” Dr. Castellaw said.

The problem comes when the signs go un-treated. Allergies can turn into much more serious issues.

Dr. Castellaw said, “And oftentimes those allergy problems lead to infections like sinus infections, bronchitis and even pneumonia.”

>> Read more trending news 

Castellaw adds if you're going to take over the counter medicine - be careful. If you have high blood pressure - check the ingredients.

The doctor suggested, “If you have heart problems, thyroid problems you have to stay away from them.”

While the allergy season may have already started, it will likely get harder to deal with before your symptoms subside.

Dr. Castellaw said, “Things are still blooming and actively going we're still seeing cases daily of people coming in who are getting sick.”

Related video:

NC restaurant offering tarantula burger

This burger has legs -- eight of them, to be exact.

>> Read more trending news

A North Carolina restaurant, celebrating Exotic Meat Month, is serving a tarantula burger, WGHP reported.

Bull City Burger and Brewery runs the exotic meat promotion every April, noting on its website that “We never met a meat we wouldn’t eat!”

The burger costs $30 and includes a beef burger, gruyere cheese, an oven-roasted tarantula and spicy chili sauce, WGHP reported.

But to bite into this burger, customers must enter a raffle. Customers must sign up for the Tarantula Challenge in the restaurant, then monitor Facebook and the restaurant’s website to see if their ticket is chosen.

If the winning participant eats the entire burger, they will receive a free T-shirt, WGHP reported.

Study: Night owls have 10 percent higher mortality risk

Being a night owl can be hazardous to your health, according to a new study.

>> Read more trending news

A study that was published Thursday in Chronobiology International revealed that people who identified themselves as “definite evening types” had a 10 percent higher risk of “all-cause mortality” than morning people, CNN reported.

The study used data from 433,268 adults in the United Kingdom over a six-year period. Night owls were more likely to have diabetes, neurological disorders, psychological disorders, gastrointestinal disorders and respiratory disorders, according to Kristen Knutson, associate professor of neurology at Northwestern's Feinberg School of Medicine and a leading author of the study.

“What we think might be happening is, there's a problem for the night owl who's trying to live in the morning lark world,” Knutson said. “This mismatch between their internal clock and their external world could lead to problems for their health over the long run, especially if their schedule is irregular.

"Previous work has shown that people who are evening types -- are night owls -- tend to have worse health profiles, including things like diabetes and heart disease," Knutson added. "But this is really the first study to look at mortality.”

The researchers used data from the UK Biobank, conducted between 2006 and 2010 that probed risk factors for major diseases in men and women between the ages of 37 and 73, CNN reported.

The study showed that approximately 10,000 died during the study's 6½-year follow-up period, CNN reported. Researchers discovered that those who identified as "definite evening types" had a 10 percent increased risk of dying during the follow-up period compared with those who identified as "definite morning types."

The study also found that evening types were nearly twice as likely to report having a psychological illness than early birds, CNN reported.

Although the study did not look at the specific causes of death, research has suggested that night owls are more likely to develop cardiovascular disease and certain types of cancer such as prostate and breast cancer.

According to Knutson, a person's chronotype is probably a mixture of inherited and environmental factors.

"Whether or not you're a night owl is partly determined by your genes, which obviously you can't change, but it's not entirely a given," Knutson said. "I want to emphasize the gradual aspect. You can't suddenly tonight just go to bed three hours earlier. It's not going work.”

E.Coli outbreak in 11 states linked to chopped romaine lettuce

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have linked store-bought chopped romaine lettuce from a growing area in Yuma, Arizona, to an E.coli outbreak that has sickened dozens of people in 11 states, the agency reported Friday.

>> Read more trending news 

Twenty-two people have been hospitalized, including three who developed a type of kidney failure, according to the CDC.

The states impacted include: Washington, Idaho, Missouri, Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.

No deaths related to the outbreak have been reported.

The agency has not yet identified the grower or a common brand, yet, and is urging people not to eat chopped lettuce from the Yuma area.

Symptoms of an E. coli infection vary, but often include severe stomach cramps and (often bloody) diarrhea. Most people get better in five to seven days. Infections can be mild, but can also be severe and even life-threatening.

If you think you have E. coli, the CDC says to talk to your health care provider or public health department and write down what you ate in the week before you get sick.

People started reporting illnesses that are part of the outbreak between March 22 and March 31.

DNA fingerprinting is being used to identify illnesses that are part of the same outbreak. Some people might not be included in the CDC’s case count if officials weren’t able to get bacteria strains needed for DNA fingerprinting to link them to the outbreak.

To reduce your risk of an E. coli infection, you can:

  • Wash your hands. Wash hands after using the restroom or changing diapers, before and after preparing or eating food, and after contact with animals.
  • Cook meats thoroughly to kill harmful germs.
  • Thoroughly wash hands, counters, cutting boards, and utensils after they touch raw meat.
  • Wash fruits and vegetables before eating.
  • Avoid raw milk, other unpasteurized dairy products, and unpasteurized juices.
  • Don’t prepare food or drink for others when you are sick.

Heinz introduces Mayochup, mayonnaise-ketchup combo, so when will you be able to find it?

Checking calendar ... no it isn’t an April Fools’ Day joke. Heinz is actually introducing a mayonnaise and ketchup mix called Mayochup.

Fox News reports that Mayochup is also known as fry sauce, fancy sauce and a multitude of other names with sauce worked in.

>> Read more trending news 

But Heinz is mixing it’s two signature products Heinz Ketchup and Heinz Real Mayonnaise for the newest release.

The bad news is for those who want to try it, it is only available in the Arab Gulf states, Fox News reported. But hope is not lost. 

It will be launched in the U.S. if it gets 500,000 votes.

As of Thursday afternoon, 55 percent of the more than 461,000 votes are in favor of the new mashup with three days left to cast your lot.

Heinz Real Mayonnaise was recently released and is made with 100 percent cage-free eggs.

 

Wawa Day: Get free coffee on chain's 54th anniversary today

Want some free coffee? If you live near a Wawa convenience store, you can get a complimentary caffeine fix on "Wawa Day," a celebration of the chain's 54th anniversary.

>> RELATED STORY: Ben & Jerry's is giving away free ice cream Tuesday

According to a Wawa news release, customers can get "free cups of any-size coffee" Thursday at any of the company's 790-plus stores in Pennsylvania; Florida; Washington, D.C.; New Jersey; Delaware; Maryland; and Virginia.

Wawa "expects to give away 2 million free cups" of java throughout the day, the company said.

>> Read more trending news 

The press release continued: "In April of 2014, Wawa celebrated its 50th anniversary in convenience retailing and marked the milestone with the first Wawa Day event and the launch of The Wawa Foundation, a 501c(3) non-profit organization founded to encompass most of Wawa's charitable giving. At its inception, Wawa and The Wawa Foundation set a goal to donate $50 million to causes supporting health, hunger and everyday heroes by 2018. During its 2018 Wawa Day celebration, Wawa and The Wawa Foundation are pleased to announce that they have met this goal as of early 2018, and over the past four years have donated $50 million to causes surrounding health, hunger and heroes throughout Wawa’s operating area."

Read more here.

Dog rescued from New York subway tunnels after 3-mile journey

A dog ran for miles on subway tracks in Brooklyn after it narrowly avoided being hit by a train, WCBS reported.

Around 3:40 a.m. Monday, the dog took off running after nearly getting hit by a train. The train slowed to 10 mph, following the dog for nine stops, according to WCBS. It lasted 40 minutes and the dog ran more than three miles through the tunnels before he was able to be pulled to safety, WCBS reported.

Because of the subway pup, trains were backed up, but luckily it was early and before rush hour, track inspector Edlin Cruz told WCBS.

>> Read more trending news 

Cruz was the man who rescued the dog.

“I sprung into action. I got his attention, showed him a little bit of caring. He was scared, hungry,” Cruz told WCBS.

>> Pet pot-bellied pig named Molly cooked, eaten by new owners after adoption from shelter

The dog, a pit bull, had no collar or identification and was handed over to the ASPCA. Metropolitan Transportation Authority workers named the dog Lucky, WCBS reported.

>> One lucky dog: Deaf K-9 started off as unadoptable shelter dog 

Cox Media Group National Content Desk contributed to this story.

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