Ready to feel like the worst cat mom ever? A new study shows that stroking your cats could be making them more stressed out. When researchers at the University of Lincoln set out to study the way cats handle living alongside humans in the same home, they tested stress hormone levels in cats before stroking them at various levels. When they measured those stress hormones again after petting them, they found that none of the cats liked being constantly touched, though the study noted that some were “prepared to tolerate it.”
I am now guiltily picturing my cat tensing up and steeling himself whenever he sees my hand heading toward his furry head. Keep reading »
Last night, I was feeling weirdly insecure. Not about the way I look. Not about my job performance. Not about a stupid boy. No, I was feeling insecure about my dog Lucca and whether or not she truly loves me. I like to think Lucca channels her thoughts through me for me to speak aloud and those thoughts are usually pretty supportive and worshipful. But what if I’m wrong? What if I’m totally misinterpreting what Lucca is actually saying to me through her thoughts? What if she … finds me deeply annoying? So I Googled it. Specifically “signs your dog loves you.” And I was able to breathe a sigh of relief. Turns out, Lucca’s actions and body language speak volumes — she thinks I AM A GOD. Click onward to learn just some of the signs your dog loves you, as presented by Lucca herself! Keep reading »
No one knows how the battered, bleeding pitbull escaped her chains and ended up in the yard of a North Nashville home, but one thing’s for sure: she chose the right house. The person who lived there just happened to be an animal hospital employee, and was able to give the dog, who is now known as Mama Jade, the immediate care she desperately needed. She was also able to interpret the heartbreakingly obvious signs that Mama had been used as a bait and breeding dog in a vicious dog fighting operation. After learning the extent of her injuries, Mama Jade’s rescuer posted an open letter on Craigslist addressed to the monster in her community who had hurt this sweet dog so badly. Here’s an excerpt (warning: it’s very graphic):
Last Friday night, your dog wandered up onto our porch. Signs of the abuse she had somehow escaped, riddled her body. The fresh bite marks on her muzzle, the scars that covered her body, the exposed pink and purple flesh around her neck, where she was obviously tied up with ropes that cut their way into her skin, over and over again. The obvious signs that she had been bred, relentlessly, time after time. The pressure wounds on her elbows that bled whenever they touched anything, from being tied and forced to lay on cement ground and metal cage mesh.
None of those things are even the worst part. Upon examining her teeth to gauge her approximate age, I burst into tears. I found that you had pulled the majority of them out and the ones you left, had been filed down. And you did this without anesthesia, this I am sure of. You did this so she couldn’t fight back. You did this so she couldn’t injure any dogs you had trained to fight, when you threw her in there with them. With each bite of her they took and each yelp she cried, they’d look at you for reassurance. Because all they wanted to do was please you. Loyalty is in their blood. Violence is not.
The story gets worse before it gets better (but it does get better!) … Keep reading »
Pets are nothing if not persistent when there’s affection to be had. Nowhere is that better illustrated than this squee-dorable video of a little boy with Down Syndrome being won over with love by a pushy Labrador retriever. The boy, Hernan, lives in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and is shy about physical contact. At first Hernan isn’t so sure about this big galoot shoving his wet nose in his face. But the Lab is persistent — in that gentle, perfect way all Labs are — and finally Hernan gives him a big hug. Labs are the greatest, aren’t they? I dare you to watch this video — which is over a year old, but making the rounds on the “Today” show and Huffington Post just now — and not get the warm and fuzzies. [Today]
Patrick, a 430-pound gorilla, is being shipped off from the Dallas Zoo because he is in dire need of therapy. Because of his inability to get along with the other gorillas (especially the ladies), Patrick will be moving to the Riverbanks Zoo and Gardens in Columbia, South Carolina, a zoo specializing in working with animals with behavior problems. He will live alone, as he seems to prefer.
“It’s not like we haven’t tried, he’s been here for 18 years,” said Dallas Zoo spokeswoman Laurie Holloway of their attempts to get Patrick to breed.That didn’t go over so well. He bit one female and “sneered and nipped” at the others. The odd thing is that Patrick gets along exceptionally well with humans. So what’s his issue? It doesn’t take a genius to figure that out. A brief peek into Patrick’s history points to the root of the problem. Keep reading »
Baloo the bear, Leo the lion, and Shere Kahn the tiger had a rough childhood. As cubs they lived with drug dealers who abused and neglected them, treating the wild animals like exotic playthings. The trio was rescued from their hellish upbringing 12 years ago, but when trainers at the Noah’s Ark animal sanctuary tried to separate them, they acted out. “I think that the ordeal they went through as youngsters really bonded them together,” a sanctuary spokesperson told ABC News. “That’s all that they had. They only had each other for comfort.” Trainers reluctantly let the animals share an enclosure, and for over a decade now the three best friends have lived together in interspecies peace, happiness, and harmony. Unfortunately Noah’s Ark has recently run into some trouble: due to a new fence height requirement, the Georgia sanctuary is going to have to double the height of the fence surrounding Baloo, Leo, and Shere Khan’s enclosure, and as a nonprofit they can’t afford to make the changes without some pretty massive fundraising efforts. Over $200,000(!) has already been donated, but they’re hoping to reach $500,000 to build the new fences and keep helping mistreated and abused exotic animals for many years to come. You can donate here if you feel so inclined! [ABC News]
Dear Any And All Spiders Currently Residing In My Home,
I recently saw one of you crawling along the hallway wall. It was fairly small, and I was feeling generous, so I decided to let it live. Later that afternoon, as I was checking my email and sipping a cup of boiling hot tea, this same spider decided it would be a good time to crawl up my thigh, causing me to spill scalding Earl Grey all over my lap and keyboard.
“THIS WAS NOT THE AGREEMENT!” I yelled at the spider as I knocked it off my leg and smashed it into the tea-stained carpet.
But then I realized that maybe I wasn’t being fair. After all, I had never actually given the spider a copy of the agreement. It’s time we all got on the same page, don’t you think? Here is the standard human/spider cohabitation contract I expect us to abide by: Keep reading »
Vladimir Putin is sort of like the small-boned Chuck Norris of world leaders — think an unassuming Renaissance man who will straight-up end you. (If you aren’t well-versed in the art of Putin, might I point you in the direction of his 8 most ridiculous publicity stunts?) The man has his own personal bear, for Christ’s sake, but he also knows how to have a good time. Putin is a born entertainer. You know what they say about us Russians and our sense of humor! (Nothing. Literally nothing.) Now, the Russian President can add one more aside to his name: a canine doppelgänger. This Staffordshire terrier-German shepherd mix made the news for his resemblance to the politician, and we have to admit the similarity in that close-set stare is almost uncanny. Fortunately, we don’t think Putin will have a problem with knowing he has a doggy double running around. We already know how much he loves pups. [Metro.co.uk]
That fancy shmancy new sensor on the iPhone 5s that allows you to unlock your phone with a quick scan of your fingerprint? Turns out it also works for pets! TechCrunch tested the technology on a cat’s paw, and while it took a few attempts, sure enough, the phone was able to identify the cat’s unique paw print. When other cats’ paws were scanned, the sensor could tell they were impostors and refused to unlock. What does this mean? Well, Apple’s fingerprint technology is even more impressive than we all thought, and you can finally get your cat its own iPhone and not have to worry about other cats stealing it. No matter what species you are, that shit is secure. [TechCrunch]
At the beginning of the summer, Queens Library Children’s Librarian Susan Scatena came up with a unique way to encourage local kids to participate in her summer reading program: if 300 kids signed up and read at least 4,000 books, she would read a story to an alligator. The wacky challenge was alluring enough to make the program a smashing success, with 344 kids enrolled and 4,595 books read. This week, Scatena made good on her promise, reading There’s An Alligator Under My Bed aloud to a 5-foot alligator named Wally while hundreds of delighted kids watched. This isn’t the first time Scatena has used a crazy dare to get kids to read. Past summer reading challenges have included sitting in a tub of jello, kissing a rabbit, and snuggling with a python. The best part? She’s had to make good on every single promise, because her summer reading programs always hit their goals. [School Library Journal]