Lindsay Richards decided she wanted a cat. Lain Roby agreed after seeing cats on the site Adventure Cats. So the couple adopted Fish, and took him on many outdoor adventures. A few months later, they adopted Chips, who become Fish's little brother and constant companion. Both cats were leashed trained from an early age, and are used to riding in cars, boats, and backpacks.
Biology, in general, is an amazingly strange and complicated thing, but it's certainly more bizarre in some animals than others. And while the science that keeps our hearts beating is already pretty impressive, the science behind the animal hearts in this Atlas Obscura article is truly odd.
For example, did you know cuttlefish have three hearts and blue blood? Or that while diving, the hearts of emperor penguins slows down and blood flow cuts off to all but the most important organs so they can dive without getting the bends? Perhaps most shockingly, the wood frog can stop its heart from beating entirely during the winter when almost all of the water in their bodies freezes solid?
Birds have feathers -except when they lose them for one reason or another. Sweet Rhea the Naked Birdie suffers from Psittacine Beak and Feather Disease, which leaves her completely without feathers.
But what she lacks in fluff she makes up for in attitude -and this little birdie has personality to spare.
Her daily adventures and adorable outfits have made her quite the star on Instagram and she is even becoming an icon for the disabled as she proves that there's absolutely nothing wrong with looking a little different and getting around in an unusual manner.
She's also quite a sweater model and people from across the globe have sent her custom sweaters to help keep her warm and content. Rhea may well have the largest wardrobe of any bird on Earth!
You can keep up with her precious pictures on Instagram.
Adam Pearl of Meridian, Idaho, came home to find evidence that his home had been burglarized- footprints in the snow, missing items, etc. His pet squirrel Joey was okay, though. As events unfolded, it turns out that Joey had acted as a guard dog, and repeatedly bit the intruder!
Simon Tofield of Simon's Cat fame illustrates the many ways cats show affection to humans. And the humorously unintended consequences of that affection. Suddenly, I realize that none of my three cats feel any affection at all toward me. Ungrateful beasts. -via Laughing Squid
Two years ago a gas station in Brazil was just about to be opened when the owners found a dog wandering around that had been abandoned by its former owner and was afraid to leave. Rather than adopt him as a personal pet, they decided to make him the official station mascot.
Now Negão a favorite employee at the station and he even has his own nametag. Employees take him on walks multiple times a day and the 24 hour station always has plenty of friendly visitors to come in and give Negão the loving pets he deserves.
"Negão waits for people to arrive, and then goes up to say hello, winning them over with his charms," the owner says. "Customers love him. Some people even bring him toys." He's even the face of a new movement in Brazil that aims to get businesses to help take in some of the strays out of the area because there are too many dogs and not enough homes.
Mia knows the agility course, and she's got plenty of speed and agility. But Mia is a beagle, and is therefore both happy and distractible. She delighted the audience at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.
For some reason animal lovers still think having a monkey as a pet is a novel idea, but nine times out of ten the shit hits the fan soon after they bring their pet monkey home and they realize they've made a terrible mistake.
And once those people have learned their lesson a poor little monkey is left without a home- unless they're lucky enough to land in the arms of Airocolina 'Pinky' Janota, aka the Monkey Mom.
Airocolina runs a primate sanctuary in Beecher, Illinois, where she currently serves as 'alpha monkey mom' for six orphans- two Marmosets, one Bonnet Macaque and three Rhesus Macaques.
All of the monkeys Pinky takes in at the Settlers Pond Shelter were abandoned by their owners in the United States, but in Pinky's care they're living the high life, with dapper duds to wear and all the finger food they can eat.
Each year a carefully selected pack of canine contestants strut their stuff for the judges at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, where they represent their breed and try to prove they're the Best In Show.
There's no doubt that otters are adorable, but who knew they could eat at a table like civilized people as well? Or at least he does... until he just gets tired of it and then he goes back to laying and munching. Ultimately, this otter is all of us, playing our part to be "polite" until we get home alone and take off our pants so we can eat a tub of ice cream while sprawled out on the couch.
Cat owners know how it is: when you want to snuggle with your cat, they won't have anything to do with you. But when a cat wants your attention and love, they can be pretty demanding. If you aren't in the employment of a cat yourself, watch this and see how it is.
A cat knows what it wants, and they want it now, no matter what else you have going on. As someone once told me, a cat has never seen a downside to asking for what they want. And they get it, too! Who could say no to that adorable little fuzzy face? -via Tastefully Offensive
Most dogs don't get the hiding part of hide and seek, although they are really good at seeking thanks to their keen senses, but if cats want to hide and stay hidden, even in plain sight, they have the power to do so.
Cats have mastered the arts of camouflage, burrowing and diversion, and if all else fails they will just use their ninja like climbing abilities to head to higher ground, so they can ambush the seeker if need be.
Sloths are fascinating creatures that are adored by the public. Strangely though we still know very little about them -both scientists and the public. Here's one more thing you might not know about the cute little critters: they make absolutely adorable sounds. Just listen to these little guys speak!
Ziggy loves going for a walk! The Staffordshire Bull Terrier helps his human Keren get everything he needs for walkies. That's a good dog. Ziggy Trixx does all kinds of tricks, and is also an accomplished skateboarder. You can follow him at Facebook. -via Metafilter
The cat named Pooh was brought in to a Bulgarian animal shelter with multiple injuries, including two missing legs. Locals thought he might have been the victim of a train, since he hung out near the tracks. Doctors at Central Veterinary thought he was a good candidate for some groundbreaking prosthetic technology. A machine translation from the Bulgarian page on Pooh explains his treatment.
The chance of Pooh is called ITAP prosthetics or placing implants that replace the missing part of a leg directly into the bone.
This is an innovative form of prosthetic limbs, a new medicine for human and animal described isolated cases in the literature.
The aim of the fitting is placing titanium stalk (stem) in bone paw and its subsequent attachment to the outer (exo) prosthesis.
The method has enormous advantages over standard external prostheses in animals that require daily maintenance by the owner to bear is difficult (in cats, even if at all) and often cause complications. With ITAP proteza, all these drawbacks are avoided.
Continued "implementation" of titanium implant in the body is a huge challenge, it happens during a slow process that lasts between 6 and 8 weeks.
Pooh is the first cat in Eastern Europe (and the second cat in all of Europe) to receive two bionic hind legs. According to the shelter's Facebook page, the cost of his surgery has been covered by donations, and he is up for adoption. Read Pooh's story and see plenty of pictures at KittenToob. Through the sequence of pictures, you can see the progress Pooh has made not only in adjusting to new legs, but in his overall health.
The Atlanta Humane Society was looking for a home for Grant, an adorable special needs kitten. Grant has cerebellar hypoplasia, a condition we first posted about in 2007. Grant was passed over by many potential adopters, but when Emma Wheat met him at a PetCo event, she couldn't get him out of her head.
Emma Wheat didn’t rush headlong into the adoption, but after meeting Grant and getting to know him for a minute or two, Emma went home and did her homework on Grant’s condition and what it would mean to take him into her home. Come next morning, Emma was the first person in line at the Human Society, a big smile on her face as she asked to adopt Grant then and there. She’d done her due diligence and found that not only was she able to take Grant into her home, she simply couldn’t wait any longer.
Having learned what she would need to do in order to keep up with his medical needs, Emma then made preparations for Grant to come home with her before ever making her way back to the Human Society. Emma even professed that she couldn’t sleep the night before adopting him, claiming that she was ready and more than willing to take Grant into her home.
Grant is doing well and is having fun in his new home. Eventually, the kitten will have a job of sorts. Wheat is a music therapist for children who have developmental disabilities, and Grant will be a fine example of how disabilities don't preclude happiness. Read his entire story at KittenToob.
Deadly animal attacks are best viewed on a screen from the safety of your own home, because when you run into a deadly animal in the wild you should give them a wide berth or suffer the painful consequences.
That's not to say all animals deemed deadly will be looking to sink their fangs, bill, beak or bony ridge into you should you cross paths, but it's more pleasant to watch them strike when you're well out of range.
Oh, and watching it in slow motion looks really cool!
Jokgu is a piano-playing chicken. We've seen chickens peck at toy pianos and produce sounds, but Jokgu has been clicker-trained and is equipped with a keyboard that lights up the notes in sequence. Still, it can't be easy to get a bird-brained hen to perform a song this well.
Jokgu's owner, Shannon Myers, has a coop full of chickens who record music under the name The Flockstars. Their music is fairly haphazard, but Jokgu stands head and shoulders above the rest as the real talent of the flock. You can follow the musical chickens and their owners at Facebook. -via HuffPo
Getting a wild animal to take a selfie with you is really hard to do, and the human often gets battered like an annoying paparazzo just for trying, but the giant panda in these pics clearly likes humans- and posing for selfies.
It almost seems like the giant panda posing for the pics, like it knows that thing on a stick is taking a picture of him, but that's impossible, right? It seems that way until you see this pic:
Life is stressful -especially right now. Some people are stressed about politics and some people are particularly eager to see their team win the Super Bowl. If you need to relax a little, this video is the way to go. What's better than a pup in a propeller hat just relaxing in the wind?
In Las Vegas, it's illegal to abandon a pet. But people do it anyway, just not at a shelter. People who have abandoned pet rabbits by just setting them free have sparked a takeover that might remind one of the movie Night of the Lepus.
The yards, parks and lots of Vegas are home to thousands of feral rabbits. Known as “bunny dump sites” to the legions of volunteers that care for their residents, they’re strange places, more tragic than adorable, where the human heart clashes with the limited resources of the state. Released by overwhelmed pet-owners and left to breed, the rabbits now overwhelm any attempt at government control, digging up public property, chewing on pipes, and ending up dead in the sewers. To survive, they depend entirely on the kindness of self-identified “bunny-lovers”—volunteers faced with an impossible task.
People feed the abandoned bunnies, but that leads to more bunnies. Local shelters are trying to "trap, neuter, and release" the rabbits, but have limited funds, and that's technically illegal anyway because of the abandonment regulation. Read about the bunny infestation in Las Vegas at Atlas Obscura.
People end up going to emergency rooms for a lot of strange reasons, but having a snake stuck in your ear gauge is probably a new one even for the veteran ER doctors. Ashley Glawe of Portland Oregon found out the hard way not to let your snake get too close to your ear gauges.
According to her Facebook posts where she shared the pictures, the snake got too close to the hole and before she knew what was happening, it was already stuck in her ear. On the upside, she and the snake are ok and she got to use some truly one-of-a-kind hashtags on the post like #SnakeStuckInEar and #SnakeStuckInEarlobe.
Not everyone can have a shiba inu or a kitty, but that doesn't mean they don't like pets. Even if you can have a pet, you probably can't bring it to work. That's why we love these awesome pet planters and vases by Etsy seller Sirosfunnyanimals.
While she sells other designs, she really specializes in shibu inus like the planter at the top of the page and the vase above. Each sculpture is a perfect way to bring a little extra fun to your pet-free homes and offices.
Some birds are really good at imitating sounds or movements made by humans, but the shoebill stork in this video is way too polite to make fun of humans that way- so it has mastered the art of the bow.
This stuffy stork even shakes its head as it bows just like a human, and although the dinosaur bird looks like it wants to bite its affectionate visitor the stork maintains its composure and keeps on bowin'.
Wells and her husband seem to think that Grayce wants to be petted but doesn't want to leave the puppies unsupervised. It's also possible that Grayce wants some help from an experienced mother. Or maybe it's just a gesture to show how much she loves and trusts her foster mom. -via Metafilter
We all know how smart primates are, and how they have learned to use certain tools both with a little help from humans and on their own, but knowing about their craftiness cannot compare to seeing it in action.
So here's a video showing an orangutan from Southeast Asia using a handsaw to cut a branch in two, using her feet to hold the branch steady and clearing the sawdust from the cut as she works.