If Cats Ran The World

Posted in animals on November 17th, 2010 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Because my family and friends know that I’m an animal lover, they’re always sending me emails with pictures and articles about cute animal-related topics.  All of them are adorable, but this one stands out as something to share – a man built an entire feline-sized village for homeless cats!  Kind of sounds like something I’d like to do with some extra free time, money, and if only I didn’t have the darn cat allergy that’s always getting in the way…

Below are some pictures of his creation.  For the entire story, click here.  And to visit the cat village online, The Caboodle Ranch, click here.

My Dog Is Not A Cat

Posted in Pets on April 2nd, 2009 and tagged , , , ,

… but she thinks she is!  We used to have a cat, but she passed away last year.  We got our dog as a puppy just 4 months after we got the cat as a kitten, and they lived together for 10 years, so it’s no wonder my dog thinks she’s a cat.  Despite her old age, she will jump on the furniture, and even walk on the top of the couch – very cat-like behavior.  She is also more independent like a cat, and she’ll only come when called to snuggle if she wants to, like a cat.

The other day, she decided she was done waiting for the kids to eat their lunch.  We had left it out because the kids hadn’t eaten well, and we thought they could come back later and have a bite – WRONG!  Our dog Charity (the cat in disguise) took it upon herself to climb UP ON the dining room table and get their lunches.  She is our spoiled rotten baby; what were we going to do, yell at the old lady?  So we took a picture instead, note how she uses her feet to tip up the plates and hold them in place so they don’t slide away while she’s licking:

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And Charity has such a personality; she hates being laughed at, so I think she learned her lesson.  Besides, once the motivation to get the food was gone (eaten), she was stuck up on the table.  We wrestled with the decision to help her down; she is 11 years old and I didn’t want her breaking bones or worse, but in the end she got herself down successfully.  First she kind of growled and grunted around up there while we giggled at her from the living room, then she used her new vantage point as a barking stool, but just as I got sick of it and went to help her down, she got down herself.  She is such a jerk but what a personality that dog has…  We love you Charity!

And now you need to see how cute she really is, one blue eye and all.  So here is one of my favorite pictures of her in a Chicago Cubs shirt – opening day is on Monday, so GO CUBBIES!!!

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Pet Roll Call

Posted in Pets on January 8th, 2009 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Once again, we have a bit of a food chain residing as pets in our home.  When my cat passed away a year ago now, it left a hole in our household food chain.  Although it’s not quite as balanced as it was when the cat was here, today we find ourselves with a small zoo nonetheless.  Here is the roll call of pets in our house:

Charity – almost 11-year-old female Jack (Jerk) Russell Terrier / Australian Shepard mix with one blue eye and one brown eye.  An extremely feisty but lovable loudmouth who doesn’t hesitate to let you know what she wants, when she wants it.  Will even growl for petting!  World’s worst puppy = World’s best family dog.

Beesly – nearly 7-year-old cocker spaniel mix with extremely thick fur.  We once shaved her and to our astonishment, she became a much smaller dog because her fur is so thick!  She really likes it outdoors, and we call her nordic (of or pertaining to the north, where it’s cold) because she doesn’t seem to mind the cold at all – probably can’t feel it through that blanket of fur!  We adopted her from the humane society in March 2008, and we’re SO glad!  GREAT with kids and an extreme snuggler.  The only problem we have with her is her nasty dog breath!  Oh, and her uncanny ability to escape.  She can open doors and can somehow (repeatedly, not just a fluke!) unhook her way off of 2 dog chains at the same time!  Luckily for us, she always comes back.

Squawky – an 8-year-old Scarlet Macaw parrot.  After living with him for 7 years, I do not recommend parrots as pets!  He screams (and I mean ear-splitting) constantly – a repairman once asked us if we had a pterodactyl behind the door after hearing him scream.  But he is beautiful and drops gorgeous feathers all the time.  And having him has been an awesome learning experience for us and the kids.  He can talk and is very curious about everything.  His vocabulary includes: hi, here kitty kitty, hi bird, and sometimes he just mumbles nonsense that sounds like human words.  In his spare time, Squawky likes to watch The Price is Right and Animal Planet.

Oreo – one of our new rat additions.  He is gray and white and smaller than Bobby Jack.  He seems a little more curious and less picky about food than Bobby Jack.  Had a close call with Charity this morning.

Bobby Jack – off-white colored rat who doesn’t like his rat food.  He enjoys many of the treats we’ve given him, especially junk food.  Just after we got them, he was the snugglier of the two, but I think he was just tired from his journey home from the pet store because now he’s as hyper and curious as his brother Oreo.  They are 5 weeks old, and so far, we would agree that rats make great pets!  They don’t bite like gerbils and hamsters, and they don’t scurry like mice.  They are fairly clean animals who groom a lot, are very intelligent and easily trainable.  I think one of the reasons they’re not popular pets to have is because of their super-short lifespans, about 1.5-3 years only.  🙁

Francis – the ladybug I found that became my new pet before I had the rats.  I put him in a bug catcher, and then he went MIA.  Good news – today I found him.  Turns out, there was a little pocket in the bug catcher where he was hiding.  I would check the bug catcher every now and then, and today I saw that he had re-emerged from hiding!

No Name – another ladybug I found in the house.  I won’t kill any bugs I find unless they’re mosquitos – and how I enjoy killing those things!  But any other bug I try to set free, and I just can’t send ladybugs out into the Ohio wilderness to freeze to death.  No Name is in a little container in the kitchen…  I wonder what would happen if I put him in with Francis?

Mally – Ok, she’s no longer part of our family physically, but we will always remember her.  Since I mentioned her earlier, I thought I’d put her on the list.  She was a 10-year-old inbred farm cat.  My husband and I were in college, and we drove all the way out to a farm to get a kitten after reading an ad in the newspaper.  By the time we got there, we wanted a cat so badly that we got one even though the owners said the mother cat had mated with a boy from a previous litter, which is how Mally came to be.  Because of this, she was never ‘quite right’, and was always the size of a kitten.  We named her Malice as a joke, but we always called her Mally.  I was her world, and she hid from everyone else, prompting family and friends alike to joke about our “invisible cat”.  But she existed, I swear, and she was very sweet, at least with me.  She liked to lie on my pregnant belly and would ‘groom’ my hair.  I miss her a lot and wish I could get another cat, but I’m allergic.  I was allergic to Mally, but there was no way I was going to get rid of her.  I got her before any of my kids were born, and so I doted upon her and spoiled her while my husband was working in the wee beginning of our days together.  For those of you who never saw her, here is my little cat:

Sleepwalkers

Posted in Movies on August 20th, 2008 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

With the exception of Thinner, I’ve liked most of the Stephen King movies I’ve seen.  My favorite is Storm of the Century, a Prime-Time Emmy Award winning made-for-tv mini-series that aired in 1999.  Every winter when a big blizzard is predicted in our corner of Ohio, we plan on being snowed in watching our Storm of the Century dvd.  It never happens though; I think it has to do with trying to watch a 240 minute movie that’s not for kids when we have 4 of them.  But anyway, if we ever get time to watch Storm of the Century in the near future, I’ll definitely blog more about it – it’s awesome!

One of Stephen King’s lesser known films, Sleepwalkers, is a movie I saw as a teenager.  I liked it back then, so when I happened to see the dvd on the library’s shelf the other day, that’s what I quickly picked up since I was in a hurry.  My husband and I watched it the other night, and we both had the same opinion.  A fun little horror film, nothing great but still entertaining.  It is Stephen King-creepy, as only he can do, and much of the movie’s creepiness has to do with the mother-son relationship; I won’t go into detail except to say that it’s extremely disturbing.  Brian Krause and Alice Krige play the mother and son monsters who need to feed on a human virgin in order to survive.  They morph into strange cat-like creatures, which is even more strange because cats are drawn to their house, yet deadly to the monsters at the same time.  The special effects are extremely cheesy by today’s standards and even laughable, but sometimes I’m a sucker for that kind of thing and really enjoy bad special effects – my favorite example of this is Jaws 3-D.

While we’re on the subject of Stephen King, as I mentioned, I like most of his movies that I’ve seen.  I tried to read the book Carrie a really long time ago, but I found it hard to follow, either because I was a teen or because of the religious ramblings inserted throughout the book which were done in such a way that it’s hard to follow because it’s depicting Carrie’s mother’s craziness.  But anyway, Stephen King is very talented, of course.  He has a gift of making movies extremely creepy without stooping as low as many of today’s horror movies do with the constant blood and gore.

An interesting event took place in his life that almost reads like one of his novels, well, actually it does since he wrote about it.  On June 19, 1999, his life was changed forever when he was hit by a car while walking down a Maine road.  There are two creepy coincidences about this incident.  First, earlier that year, King had finished most of From a Buick 8, a novel in which a character dies after getting struck by a car.  Second, the driver of the car, Bryan Smith, who was only 43, was found dead in his trailer just over a year later of an accidental overdose.  He was found dead on Stephen King’s birthday, September 21.  The accident was inspiration for the Dark Tower series of books, and King is in talks with Lost co-creator J.J. Abrams to do an adaption of the series.  Since I’m a fan of Lost and Stephen King, that might be something I’ll have to check out.  Until then, I’ll probably be planning another snowy viewing of Storm of the Century this winter that won’t come to fruition.