June 9, 2005

I want my cat back

I want to keep this blog going, but I can't say for sure if I will. That said, this could be my last entry. If it is, I want it to be honest. And the truth is, I'm not having a good time right now. Pretending that I give a crap about animal news right now is a chore. All I care about is getting my cat back.

She's recently gone into heat, and I fear this fact will keep her from getting back to me sooner, if at all. Her instincts are kicking in and she's probably going to get knocked up in some dark corner, become a single mom who doesn't know how to hunt, and then her and her babies will die. I've got to quit being such a downer.

There is a stray running around (that's eating all the food I leave out for Sophie) and I wish they could make friends and the stray could show Baby Kitty the ropes (Baby Kitty is my nickname for Sophie). In Homeward Bound 2: Lost in San Francisco, strays Riley, Delilah, and friends show pets Shadow, Chance, and Sassy the ropes of the owner-less city life. I hope a stray could do this for Baby so that if I never see her again, she can still manage life. In the movie, Chance is smitten with the stray lifestyle, but in the end, he goes home. I hope this happens to Baby more.

Tonight I received two phone calls about my cat. One guy called and said there was a black cat in his window. He said it had a collar, so I knew it wasn't Baby, but I went to check it out anyway. Sure enough, it wasn't my cat. At least I wasn't disappointed, since I already knew it wasn't her. But part of me was making excuses like, "Maybe someone put a collar on her."

The next call came from a girl who said she saw the cat cross the street and into a parking lot. I went to investigate, but had no luck finding any cat.

When I was about to leave again, a girl who had seen us wandering with flashlights came out and told me she saw my cat at 5 a.m. this morning. It was meowing and it woke her up. She went to look and it was a little, black, long-haired kitty... my little black, long-haired kitty. She was in a neighboring parking lot, the one where we saw her by the brush the other day, so the cat was meowing quite loudly (probably seeking a male). The sad thing is that I set my alarm for 4 a.m. and went to search for her. I wish I'd stuck around 'til 5.

This whole thing is a goddamn rollercoaster. If a cat dies, it dies. You are sad, but you know the cat is dead and nothing will change that. You get over it relatively quickly. When a cat disappears, you don't know what's happening. You're in a constant search with ups and downs. Something happens that gets your hopes up, then something happens that smashes them, then you try something else and they're up again, then smashed, then up, then smashed. I can't even count the number of times I've looped this rollercoaster over the past few days. The uncertainty of everything is numbing. I leave out food, and I know that if she's eating it, she'll probably be okay. But I don't know if she's eating it, and therefore I don't know if she's going to be okay.

I try not to get my hopes up about finding her. I can't be disappointed that way. But every time someone calls, every time I think I have a new trick that will bring her back, I can't help but say to myself, "This is going to work." And it never does. Everywhere I look, I see something and I think it's her. A dark block of cement, a knocked-over grill, a shadow of a leaf, anything dark in the corner of my eye forces me to turn my head at lightning speed, sure that it must be her. And of course, it never is. Sure, I am always disappointed, but these things could bring my cat back, and if I didn't try, it's my own fault if I never hold her again.

The most agonizing part of all of this is that I'm moving to the other side of the country. I was supposed to move tomorrow morning, but have now put it off until Monday. Come Monday however, I have to move... whether or not Baby Kitty gets back into my arms. Everyone says, "Oh, she'll be back, just give it some time." But what time do I have? I need results now. I need my cat back.

Posted by ause0007 at 11:16 PM

rags to riches

First of all, I am pleased to learn that there is a new Dr. Dolittle movie on the way. If you haven't any of seen them, see them. They are hilarious.

Anyhoo, the new lead dog in this third installment is not some dog from a long line of movie stars (cough, Lassie, cough), but rather just a regular dog picked up from an animal shelter.

If you remember Lucky from the first two movies, that is who Crumpet (the shelter dog) will be playing. On Tuesday, she got a makeover to look a little more like Lucky, and filming starts this week. I can't wait 'til it's out in theaters! And yes, I am a nerd.

Posted by ause0007 at 2:24 PM

like jelly in a jar

Q: What do all these animals have in common?

...

A: THEY'RE DEAD.

Pet preservation. One word: creepy. I would not want my dead dog staring back at me 365 days a year.

This is different from traditional taxidermy. Most taxidermists won't touch pets because they can't get them to look the same at all. But with pet preservation, they freeze the animal, use some sort of vaccuum that sucks out all the moisture, so then you're left with a frozen, but now dry (and therefore not meltable) animal. Pretty gross if you ask me.

If you want to always see Schnookums there, get a painting done, or a sculpture, or just anything other than the carcass sitting right there in your living room.

And don't make pillows out of your beloved animals either. That's just as creepy.

Posted by ause0007 at 2:15 PM

mile-high pets

From next Wednesday on, airlines must report the tally of deaths, losses, and injuries of household pets on board.

Is it really that dangerous to fly your pet? I decided to take a look at the pet travel options on the big international carriers Northwest, Delta, and United.

All three let you bring animals in the cabin with you for domestic flights, but usually there is a one animal per person, and a two animal per flight rule.

As far as international travel goes, Northwest will allow carry-on to most destinations, with the exception of the U.K., Hong Kong, and Hawaii. Delta only allows carry-on pets in the general North America region, and will not fly any animals in any way (carry-on, checked luggage, or cargo) to the U.K. United Airlines will only fly pets to the U.K. as cargo.

Everyone thinks that you can't bring pets into the U.K. without having to quarantine them, but you can. It just requires completing a long and tedious list of pre-travel tasks, part of the Pet Travel Scheme, such as blood tests, microchip implantations, a series of vaccinations, and the proper passport documentation for the animal. Basically, it's a huge pain in the ass and can take several months to get done. Six months is probably the bare minimum one should allow to get everything done. The blood tests have to be carried out at EU-approved laboratories, of which there are only two in the United States.

I've read a lot about flying your pet as checked baggage and it's not as bad as it seems. It is not at all advised to sedate your pet prior to flight. Most deaths during flight are a result of the animal being put under. It will be scary for animals to be up during the whole thing, but they will make it out okay. Animals do occassionally die during flight, but it is rare, and probably had more to do with the owners than the airline.

There are strict guidelines that airlines must follow, such as not flying any animal as checked baggage or cargo when the temperature anywhere along the flight is above 85 degrees, or above 75 degrees for snub-nosed animals. Certain areas of the world and country are completely banned from flying animals through during the summer months.

Basically, airlines are a lot more concerned than one would think.

Pet travel information:
Northwest Airlines Priority Pet
Delta Airlines Pet Travel Information
United Airlines Pets

Posted by ause0007 at 1:56 PM

cops

Why are humans so much more important than animals? I don't know. When your dog is about to die, and police action would help, why won't 911 send a few cops your way? Because people are dumb. Surely a few cops patrolling the area would be able to help out. If some emergency happened while they were helping the dog, they could take off, I understand that, but not doing anything is ridiculous. If no emergency happens, and you don't go for the dog, all you end up doing is killing a dog for nothing. People are dumb.

Luckily it's not like this all the time. Since Sophie Jack has disappeared, we've been patrolling the brush where we spotted her. The first night, we had no light to look into this heavily-brushed brush. We slowly got dinky flashlights over the period of a few hours, but even they didn't do much help. Then my boss went and got the cops, and they came over and put on all five of their super bright spotlights, and rolled them across the brush. They even got out and helped look with us. It was very kind of them, but unfortunately, we still didn't find Sophie. It's the thought that counts though, and I appreciate it to no end.

Posted by ause0007 at 10:03 AM

June 8, 2005

livin' in a material seaworld

Bottle-nosed dolphins have developed a material culture! It's awesome. They are using sponges as protective devices! They put them over their face when they prod for food on the seafloor and even teach their children to do the same!

Material culture is defined as tool-use that is taught to other members of the same species. So since the dolphin moms are teaching the dolphin babies how to use sponges, that's definitely material culture!

Chimpanzees and orangutans are other examples of the very few species with known material culture.

Posted by ause0007 at 4:36 PM

paper delivery cat

"Mom, look at this huge cat," said Trevor Bechtold, a paper-delivery boy, as he was looking around an animal shelter, in hopes of adopting a dog.

They left that day with Potsie, the 25 lb. cat, instead of a dog. But Potsie acts much more like a dog anyway.

When Trevor took a paper route about a month ago, he discovered that Potsie liked to tag along during the 5:30 a.m. deliveries. She would accompany Trevor to each and every delivery, even when it rained. This is an awesome cat.

Posted by ause0007 at 3:56 PM

zonked

What do you think would be going through your mind if you woke up one morning, went outside to have a cup of coffee, and found a zebra hanging out in your back yard? Probably that someone spiked your coffee, or maybe that it's about time you went in for a psychiatric evaluation. You'd never think it was real though.

Speaking of zebras... ever seen a zonkey?

Posted by ause0007 at 2:33 PM

Baby Kitty

I’m not up for writing about the news right now. But I wish what I had to write about was all over the news. I wish it was broadcast over every television and radio station in the Twin Cities, published in every newspaper, announced over every loudspeaker, plastered across every billboard, inserted into everyone’s mail, and written in the sky with an airplane. I wish everywhere anyone turned they would be confronted with the words “Help find Sarah’s cat.”

I should explain.

One of my cats has gone missing… an indoor cat lost in the outside. Sometime the other night, one of my roommates left the apartment and didn’t see Sophie Jack sneaking out behind her. The cat got trapped in the hallway and after a series of events involving a number of people I don't know, the cat ended up in the stairwell the next morning and when my landlord opened the back door to the outside, out came running my little Sophie Jack. And now she’s lost in a world she’s never known, a loud one filled with cement, traffic, factories, and rail yards.

I'm exhausted. Both my mind and my body are just exhausted. All day yesterday I combed through the neighborhood in the 95-degree weather plastering flyers at every house, apartment, store, and factory in my neighborhood, sticking notes under the door of every resident in my building, and visiting animal shelters in vain hope that someone picked her up and brought her in. I had sweat straight through my clothes several times over, stained my face with tears and dirt, sunburned my skin, and blistered my feet.

We finally saw her late last night and proceeded to dig through an immense patch of brush for hours. About an hour after that I saw her, and was just a few feet away from her. She was at the edge of a parking lot overlooking the brush. She was scared out of her mind though. As soon as I crinkled the toy that is her favorite in the world, she took off at the sound of it and never found her after that. We gave up at 2 a.m.

Here's to hoping tonight produces better results.

Posted by ause0007 at 1:47 PM

June 6, 2005

roast duck

So your dog eats a rubber ducky. What do you do? You should take them to the vet, but if you're Magnus Mellgren, you leave it alone thinking it will dissolve. Smart move! After sitting in his stomach for five years, Apollo the boxer had to go into surgery to have the duckie removed. Turns out, the duckie did not dissolve at all. It had turned black, and rock hard, and kept its little duckie shape.

Posted by ause0007 at 2:45 PM

Lassieless Lassie

People are outraged! What this time, right?

People are outraged that the Lassie in the newest Lassie movie, is not a descendant of the original Lassie. Oh, who the hell cares?

Every Lassie, aside from this one, in every Lassie movie or television show ever made, has been a descendant of the first Lassie. Yes, it's a neat little factoid, but is it really worthy of outrage when the reign ends? It is clearly a case of canine nepotism... and it's all for PR's sake. So really, who the hell cares?

Posted by ause0007 at 2:13 PM

June 2, 2005

oh, the irony

There is a celebrity-judged dog show called Nuts For Mutts. I wonder if Neuticles tabled the event.

Posted by ause0007 at 4:26 PM

catbot

Look at these cats. Do they look like real cats to you? No, I didn't think so.

This is supposed to be the answer for the elderly, the allergic, the disabled... a "lifelike" cat that looks NOTHING like a cat. It purrs, it meows, it hisses, it opens and closes its eyes, stretches its paws, arches its back. It's just like a real cat... except not.

These things have been around for a few years, but only in Japan. It's a little nuts, but I can understand why they do it. What I don't understand however, is why they need to make it look like it just stepped out of a nightmare. We're in the new millenium, alright? If you're going to make a robot, at least make it so it doesn't look like it came out of the 80s. This is not Sabrina the Teenage Witch.

Posted by ause0007 at 3:12 PM

deextinctifying

Jurassic Park. Remember that movie? Of course you do; Jurassic Park was an awesome movie. In that scene at the beginning where the old guy shows those people how he made dinosaurs, you can't help but think, "Can they really do that? Can you really find a mosquito inside hardened sap, take out the blood and make a dinosaur?" I don't know the answer to that, but I'm guessing not since nobody's gone and done it. Anyhoo, I got to thinking about that because there's an article about some scientists who have sequenced the DNA of some extinct cave bears. I wonder, can you deextinctify a cave bear if you have the DNA? I mean, isn't that what all this cloning business is about? Could you shove some extinct DNA into the egg of, oh say a grizzly or something?

Since these scientists have been successful with the bear DNA sequencing, they are ready to do it to Neanderthals. Could we make a Neanderthal baby?

Posted by ause0007 at 2:31 PM

fruityflies

Scientists have now found a way to make fruitflies switch sexual orientation. Yes, they can make even the straightest of fruitflies gay.

In the world of fruitfly sex, girls just aren't that interested. And the males are just plain horny. They try to get with the ladies, do the horizontal mambo, but they only succeed every now and again.

There is a single gene that scientists can alter that produces wild results. Take this gene from the male and put it into the female, and your female fruitfly becomes a sex-crazy floozy. And get this, she's not giving the males any action. Yes, that's right, it's girl-on-girl fruitfly action. And the female will only try to have sex with the male if he's covered in female scent. Put the female gene in the male and what do you get? A fruitfly who suddenly cherishes the other things in life.

Posted by ause0007 at 2:00 PM

June 1, 2005

animal urges

Alright, this link here is to an article that is not real, but it is AMAZING, so read it anyway.

Posted by ause0007 at 4:52 PM

nut jobs

My mom has three cats: one boy, two girls. I happened to call the day the boy got fixed. "Colby got his nuggets chopped off," she told me.

As it turns out, Colby could've kept his nuggets.

Do you know what a Neuticle is? Would you like to take a guess?

I'll give you a hint: It's just like how it sounds. It's a new testicle. But the important little detail the name doesn't tell you is that it's FOR YOUR PET!

Yes, they sell testicle implants for your beloved animals. They come in all shapes and sizes... even a horse or a bull can get Neuticles! Not sure what size to get yours?... check out the sizing chart! You can even choose the firmness of your pet's new testicles.



from left to right: NeuticlesORIGINAL, NeuticlesNATURAL, and NeuticlesULTRA with ScarRetard

What? ScarRetard? The only thing retarded here is the idea to give your pets new testicles. Has the world gone completely mad? Have they gone nuts for nuts? Yeah, it's too bad that Colby lost his nuggets, but it's just a part of life. We can't have him running around impregnating all the girls... and we certainly will not put silicone into his ass.

As if the Neuticles weren't ridiculous enough, these days your pets can get a number of cosmetic surgeries done: facelifts, breast reductions, eyelifts, and even liposuction. A former vet (and now dog breeder) in Brazil is taking pet plastic surgery a little too far if you ask me. He has used Botox to make dogs' eyelashes look nicer and has even "tightened" the nipples of a few dogs.

Posted by ause0007 at 3:23 PM