Commenter Lizzie Has A Question About Dogs and Cats Living Together!

As we wait for 3:00 PM EDT to roll around and begin the Friday afternoon news breakening, we could use a new thread. And since commenter Lizzie’s question deserves some broader exposure than the few folks who’ve seen it buried in the comments to the previous thread, here it is:

Since it’s an open thread….sorry in advance for the long post, especially by a lurker who rarely posts! But there are a lot of knowledgeable animal lovers here and I’d love some advice about whether to pursue adopting two dogs.

The dogs are 6 and 8, a lab/shepherd mix and an Australian shepherd mix, described as well-trained, well-loved, sweet family dogs. The family has a 2-year-old facing a serious illness and unfortunately they can’t care for the dogs anymore. They would really appreciate if the dogs could be kept together. So far as I know, the dogs have never lived with cats.

My family (me, hubby, one kid in high school, one in college), has two cats, 7 and 11. We have never had a dog and I’m very much a cat person by nature. But we also love dogs and for several years now I’ve been considering whether to adopt an older dog. I keep holding back because I’m not sure how the cats would do.

The younger cat is very sociable and outgoing, playful, and curious, which I assume would all help him adjust to dogs. The older cat is loving to us, but can be grumpy sometimes and gets annoyed and territorial when we have too many people over/there’s too much going on. He doesn’t hide, he just sits in the middle of everything like a grumpy old man grousing about the kids on his lawn. He is also just getting to the stage where he’s starting to feel older to me, it’s hard to describe but he’s just starting to feel slightly fragile when I pick him up.

When we took care of a friend’s puppy for a weekend a few months ago, the cats were extremely stressed about it (although the younger one was braver and more curious); but because it was such a short time I didn’t do anything to try to help them get along, we just figured the cats would mostly hide (which they did); maybe that was a mistake.

Is this a recipe for disaster, or possibly the beginning of a beautiful relationship?


Stay! Good stay!

Open thread.

Snakes on a Plain

This bulletin from Southwest Florida (via WINK News) is alarming:

Biologists are trying hard to clean up a massive python problem in southwest Florida, according to WINK News.

Ian Bartoszek, a wildlife biologist with the Conservancy of Southwest Florida’s Environmental Science Department, told WINK that 10,000 pounds of snakes have been captured within a 40-mile area during the last five breeding seasons…

These pythons are hurting the food chain of southwest Florida, Bartoszek said.

“One python had the remains of a possum and a bobcat, many others are deer and fawn,” Bartoszek told WINK. “They are definitely eating all the way up the food chain and that’s very worrisome, because if they are impacting deer, that’s panther food.”

I’m 100% in favor of saving the critically endangered Florida panther, but I’ll admit that my first thought wasn’t that the giant pythons were encroaching on the panther’s food supply; it was that giant snakes are going to start gobbling pets and small humans…if they haven’t already.

Some expert advice:

Experts ask that if you see a python in the wild, don’t approach it, but try and take a photo and report its location.

Don’t worry — I sure as hell won’t approach it, though I may trample any humans or panthers in my path as I flee in terror. If I manage to snap a photo, it will damn sure be shot with a telephoto lens. Possibly from Georgia.

Open thread!

“All and all, you’re just another chick in The Wall…”

Photo of part of “Trump border wall” below:

Yeah, I know it looks like a chicken coop built several years ago under the supervision of a woke wine mom in Florida. But all your fencing are belong to Trump now, according to the Homeland Security Secretary:

If repairing fences erected during the Clinton, Bush and Obama administrations counts as the “Trump border wall,” I think my chicken coop should too. Unlike the official “Trump border wall,” my coop fencing holds freeloaders who would raid our crops at bay.

Late Evening Open Thread: Floriduh Monkey! Looking For A Good Time

Floriduh! Monkey, what have you been up to?

From NBC 6 Miami:

Police were trying to find a monkey that was on the loose near the King of Diamonds strip club in North Miami Beach Tuesday.

The monkey came from an industrial area west of I-95 and was reportedly loose in the area of the club near Northeast 6th Avenue between 179th and 180th streets.

Police said the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission was assisting in the search.

FWC officials said the Vervet monkey is a wild animal. A colony of them live in Dania Beach but some have migrated south, officials said.

The search was being suspended, FWC officials said.

The monkey was probably just looking to take in the show…

Stay frosty!

Open thread.

(As far as we know from the reporting, no monkeys – wild or otherwise – nor ecdysiasts were injured in the making of this post.)

Late Evening Open Thread: Floriduh! Otter Strikes Again… Wait, What?

This was otterly horrible!

From The Tampa Bay Times:

For Marsha Wikle, it should have been a typical Sunday afternoon, paddling downstream along the Braden River in Manatee County.

Wikle said she was taking in the sights, leading a kayaking excursion in a “very quiet section” of the river, when they encountered something familiar to many visiting Florida’s freshwater areas: a river otter.

But this was no ordinary otter.

The rogue — and possibly rabid — animal attacked a 77-year-old Sarasota woman. It also menaced the kayakers as they attempted to make their way on shore. And that wasn’t the only otter attack reported this weekend on the river, which is east of Interstate 75.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is investigating a second attack in which two individuals were bitten by an otter the day before, on Saturday, two miles from Wikle’s encounter.

The otter also was reported to be chasing boats and acting aggressive, according to FWC.

Witnesses also told FWC that an otter also came into contact with an alligator after the attacks on Sunday and suffered injuries.

FWC spokeswoman Melody Kilborn said a search for the otter is ongoing. Agency employees also have placed flyers at two boat ramps along the river to warn visitors of the aggressive otter.

River otter attacks are rare, Kilborn said, and no such attacks were reported last year.

Samantha Wisely, an associate professor at the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, said the animal’s behavior makes rabies the most likely cause of its aggression.

“Its behavior strongly suggests it was rabid,” Wisely said. “Healthy otters would never attack people.”

Mike Terrell, director of husbandry for the Florida Aquarium, warned boaters to practice caution when seeing animals in the wild.

Given that it is still technically winter, it could be a Kushtaka, the Alaskan Otterman, down in Florida for the winter as a snowbird:

The Tlingit and Tsimshian peoples, indigenous inhabitants of the Pacific Northwest Coast of the United States and Southeastern Alaska, have a robust folklore surrounding a mythical and maniacal trickster race called the Kushtaka, which roughly translates as “land otter people”, a shape-shifting species of otter that is rumored to spend a lot of its time trying to lure unsuspecting humans away from their homes in order to turn them into more Kushtaka (which in Tlingit folklore basically amounts to preventing us from achieving reincarnation and consequent everlasting life).  Sometimes they don’t bother, and simply tear a victim to shreds. Not cool.  Bad otter.

(Tlingit otter carving)

Stay frosty! And DON’T feed the otters!

Open thread.

White Squirrel Update (Open Thread)

A while back in comments, I mentioned that one of the white squirrels* in my neighborhood had lost all its fur from the waist up (if squirrels can be said to have a waist…). Here ‘twas:

I Googled “squirrel fur loss” (God help me), and learned there can be many causes, some serious, some not. (And also that there are a lot of sick tickets on the internet, but I knew that.) I am pleased to report the squirrel’s fur is coming back. Here ‘tis:

So, I won’t have to devise ways to ambush it with sunblock this summer after all. That’s a relief.

Open thread!

*This squirrel alopecia episode taught me that there are at least two white squirrels in the neighborhood, as I continued to see one with fur during the above squirrel’s period of affliction. There may be hundreds, for all I know, but I’ve never seen more than one at a time.

Late Evening Cute Doggy And Kitty Videos Open Thread!!!!!

The cuteness, it burns!

And courtesy of commenter MaryG:

Open thread!