Wednesday Morning Open Thread: Uptown Sophisticates

tweedles anne m

From commentor Anne M:

Meet the Tweedles, a.k.a. Tweedledum and Tweedledee. The picture was taken during a relatively calm moment – these 8-month old kittens go balls-to-the-wall most of the time. They were feral kittens who were rescued when very young. One of my friends says that they “went uptown” from a cage at Petsmart to a 2000 sq. ft. house with a 5-foot cat tree, drinking fountain, and automated litter box (thanks Werebear!).

For the curious, the edgy bodymods are how some trap-neuter-release groups identify the ferals who’ve already been doctored. Since the clipped eartip is obvious even in low light conditions, rescuers don’t have to keep putting those cats through the stress of being trapped & handled. Fortunately these guys were young enough to overcome their aversion to warm beds and modern litterbox technology!

Apart from watching (or not watching) the ongoing RNC meltdown, what’s on the agenda for the day?

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Also, John Williams is a very nice man:


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Tuesday Morning Open Thread: Better Than Trump

stinger ThreeDogNight

From commentor Stinger:

Memento of the day all my nights became three dog nights. Murray (L) and Josie (C) were joined by Oliver (R). Among the lessons learned: Never have more dogs than you have hands, because when you start to pet one, the others all come running and elbowing each other aside and then no one has any fun. But otherwise, they’re a pretty tight little pack.

Better together!

Another maize byproduct to deplore — “corn sweat“:

“Corn sweat” is an extremely simple way of referring to evapotranspiration, the process by which moisture in plant leaves evaporates into the air. Plants draw water out of the ground through their roots for photosynthesis, and the water in the plant cells is exposed to the air once it gets above the ground. It evaporates off the leaves just as sweat evaporates off our skin — although it doesn’t take place to keep the plant cool, like it does for us.

So evapotranspiration is not making things hotter. But it is making things more humid — which can certainly be just as bad.

In regions where there are vast swaths of any plant, corn in particular, humidity can be notably higher than it otherwise would be. And the Midwest is covered in corn. Over 94 million acres of corn was planted in 2016, the USDA reported last month, up 7 percent from 2015 and the third-highest corn acreage in the United States since 1944.

These regions are where the humidity is more likely to be higher because of evapotranspiration. During big heat waves, this translates into a higher heat index — or what the temperature feels like to our living bodies. When it’s 90 degrees out but the relative humidity is 40 percent, it pretty much feels like 90 degrees. When it’s 90 degrees and the relative humidity is 95 percent, it feels like an oppressive 117 degrees…

Charts’n’graphs at the link.

Apart from trying not to drown in the RNC schadenfreude, what’s on the agenda for the day?
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Friday Night Open Thread: Cats Who Are Not People Persons

via JJMcNabb’s twitter feed
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The average cat is not interested in the media spotlight — especially when they can’t be confident they’re looking their best. Read the whole thing.

Yes, I am (also) a mean heartless person, but keep in mind all these cats are at least alive & in safe hands. Heavily gloved hands, one hopes.

What’s on the agenda as we start a badly-needed, hopefully-low-news-impact weekend?



Monday Morning Open Thread: Happy Independence Day!

Too late for this year, but they’re working on a drug for that. Per the Washington Post:

As dog owners may know, roughly a third of dogs are susceptible to what veterinarians call noise aversion. When exposed to loud sounds, the pooches may shake, whine or, worse, scamper free from their leashes and homes in search of safer havens. Fireworks are a powerful trigger.

With training, like the techniques used to turn gun-shy pups into hunting dogs, pets can learn to stop fearing fireworks. There are a number of temporary solutions, too, recommended by groups like the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Some owners transform a tub or closet into a pup-friendly refuge. Or they try to tucker their pets out in the hours before the festivities begin so the animals snooze through the blasts. (The ASPCA also has an app to track lost pets.)…

And if Fido is not appropriately mellowed out despite being confined in a tub, secured in a ThunderShirt or spiked with melatonin, there is now a drug specifically meant to treat dogs with noise aversion. Approved by the FDA in November under the trade name Sileo, the drug is an oral gel containing a pinch of a chemical called dexmedetomidine. Squeeze a bit of the gel onto a dog’s gums before fireworks, and as the drug is absorbed it dulls the effects of norepinephrine.

Norepinephrine is a neurotransmitter with similar effects to adrenaline, and when suppressed it curbs the flight-or-fight response. Dexmedetomidine works a similar way in us, too, as doctors have used the drug to relax humans undergoing colonoscopies. The goal, according to Zoetis, the animal health company marketing Sileo in the United States, is to calm spooked dogs without stupefying them…

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Apart from keeping an eye on the four-foots (and possibly enjoying the sparkly boom-claps your own self), what’s on the agenda for the day?








Wednesday Morning Open Thread: Proof of Kitten Life

miss bianca sleepykitties1

Frequent evening commentor Miss Bianca:

OK, I’ve been bragging on the Office Kittens and everyone’s all like, “pics or they don’t exist!”

For the record, I’m a ‘dog and cat’ kind of gal – but having a Siberian Husky at home makes house cats out of the question. So being designated as “cat mamma” to the Office Kittens (our baby mousers!) has been my dream come true – I get my dog fix at home and my cat fix at work!

miss bianca Pancho and Lefty1

The orange and white one is Pancho (he’s the boy) and the little tricolor is Lefty (she’s the girl). They’re both serious snugglers.

miss bianca kitties are awake

Annnd…sleepy kitties are awake!

Much more pleasant way to start the morning than the alternatives.

What else is on the agenda, as we start another day?

miss bianca P&L4



Tuesday Morning Open Thread: Old Dogs, New Love

tony s Buzz_and_Woody_Together_For_Once

From commentor Tony S:

My wife, Celine, hates to read most dog books because they usually end in tragedy — or worse. All too often, the pups wind up passing, and we’ve had all too much of that. Our house came with a super-senior beagle when we bought it 16 years ago, and we’ve had at least 10 dogs pass since then.

We like our pack to max out at 4, but a couple of weeks ago we saw a listing for two elder beagles at the Vorhees Animal Shelter, which is about 140 miles south of us in New Jersey. Donald (now Woody — no Donalds in this house) and Buzz had been together all their lives in comfy home situation. But they had been turned over to the shelter because of some family issues.

Though the profile pictures were small, they struck us hard, and perfectly matched the profile of dogs we like to rescue. At 11 years old, they were seniors but still functional. Even in the profile pics, it was easy to tell they were anxious and depressed, but we knew that time and love would deal with that.

tony s Cererebrus_Rig

Anyway, after a two-and-a-half hour drive and a fair amount of projectile vomiting,we arrived at the Vorhees Animal Orphanage in Southern New Jersey. They had a number of runs, and I saw two lonely beagles waiting in one. I put our pups on our “Cerebrus” rig, and the new pups passed the (literal) sniff test with ease. Our oldest dogs, Jessica and Monty, have seen a lot of companions come and go. Monty only got upset when I had to step out of the run to take care of some business. He treats me with disdain at home, but gets pretty vocally mournful if I dare get more than five feet away on the road.

tony s Woody_Old_Eyes

Woody proved to be a peak adorable beagle. He is tiny, and has a personality that is at once aggressive and adorable. Dental issues mean he has a tough time eating the home-made treats I make, so he scurries off to a corner and gums mightily, threatening all who might intrude with an immediate and terrible death.
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Cat Rescue Bleg – Sacramento/NorCal/Central Valley

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From commentor Sacrablue:

Well here I am again with another cat bleg. He showed up under my son’s window about a month ago. I heard meowing at 2am and thought that one of my little darlings had broken through the screen door again. I went outside with my flashlight and this sweet little boy ran right up to me. Looking more closely, I saw that he didn’t have a tail, (not one of my four), but he thought he belonged here.

My son fed him and made him a bed in my garage and that is where he has been living for the entire time because our semi-feral brat cat refuses to accept another cat in the house or backyard. Somebody dumped this sweet boy, he is definitely not feral. He is a typical Manx, very friendly, almost puppy-like and gets along with my other three cats. He bonded with my son that first night. Our neighborhood vet couldn’t identify him (he isn’t micro chipped).

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The weather is too warm to leave him in the garage all day so I have to rotate cats in and out of the house during the day. He might have come from a home with dogs because I’ve been outside with him as some neighborhood dogs have stopped by on their walks. He is very curious and doesn’t back away from them.

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He really needs a proper home. I really think he could be a perfect lap cat. I’ve come really close to giving him a name but that means I’ll have to keep him. Five cats is at least one too many. Please, someone needs this cat in their life…

Anybody who’s interested (or who knows someone that might be), leave a comment or contact me at annelaurie dot verizon dot net, and I’ll forward your message to Sacrablue.

sacrablue manx stubby tail