When an American calls a cat, he usually says “Here, kitty, kitty, kitty!” and the cat will come if 1. he recognizes the voice, and 2. if he believes that responding will be worth the effort. That’s true all over the world, but other countries call cats using different words and sounds. While cats have no trouble learning those languages (again, if they consider it worth their time), I’d like to hear about any cases of cats being transplanted to a different culture and having to learn the local lingo a second time. Bored Panda has a list of 27 countries and the words they use to call cats, accompanied by cute cat pictures, many made into visual puns. -via the Presurfer
Dogs can be extremely strong willed animals, and sometimes they randomly choose a human to be their master and won't take no for an answer- even if that human is in the middle of running a marathon.
“On Day 2, I was at the start line for the race stage and she was standing next to me looking up at me,” Leonard told The Dodo. “I thought to myself this little dog isn’t going to last very long at my side as we raced off, but she ended up running the whole day and 23 miles distance.”
Gobi continued to run with Dion when she could, and rode in style with the race organizers when weather conditions got too bad, but through it all she proved that her mind was made up.
So of course Dion had to adopt her, even though it was a royal pain in the neck to bring a Chinese dog into Scotland, but as he said "Gobi picked me to be her pal for life".
-Via Bored Panda
You may have thought you’ve seen enough Olympic games for today, but you haven’t seen anything until you see athletic feats performed by cats! These cats have been training all their lives to compete in boxing, ping pong, whack-a-mole, the high jump, and other events.
The competition was fierce, but the most important thing was that everyone had fun.
People are freaking out right now, smashing their phones, tablets and computers trying to see the cat in this pile of logs. It is surprisingly hard to see, but I assure you, it is there. So can you see it?
Via NY Mag
A mama bear took her two cubs down to the beach to play and maybe give them a swimming lesson. What’s strange is that this is Lake Tahoe, on a public beach, where many humans were also enjoying the water.
These are black bears, which are less aggressive than brown bears, grizzlies, or polar bears, but a mother with cubs can still be dangerous if you get too close. -via reddit
Rowdy is a dog with unusual markings that he wasn’t born with, but developed over time. It’s the result of vitiligo, a condition that affects the pigmentation of skin.
PS: Rowdy is also the subject of a recent reddit Photoshop battle.
Kids love pets, but parents aren't always on board -especially if they think they'll get stuck having to take care of the animal. That's why many families write up pet contracts to help make the children understand all the responsibilities associated with owning a dog or cat. The thing is though, usually they aren't as damn hilarious as this contract. I just hope they don't actually surgically remove its paws.
A family of otters are fascinated with a butterfly. It appears that the butterfly is fascinated with the otters, too, as it hangs around long enough to make a game out of it!
Someone should take this footage and make one of those web toys where the otters’ gazes follow your cursor. Surely the butterfly has existed in enough of the screen area to do that. -via Pleated-Jeans
Khaleesi, a 4-year old English Bulldog, loves to watch TV. Recently, she watched Guillermo del Toro's 2015 horror film Crimson Peak. She became alarmed when a supernatural menace approached and attacked a young girl.
"Run, run!" she barks. But the girl foolishly ignored Khaleesi.
The pup is really too young to be watching such scary movies.
-via Laughing Squid
We know that cosplay can make humans happy and even bring them together, but can it do the same for pets? You wouldn't think that could possibly work unless you watch this adorable Paws Play video where a Star Trek cosplay helped this kitty and doggy mend their differences. They may not be as close as Spock and Kirk, but they're building a friendship that could be that tight one day -no matter how illogical it sounds.
New Yorkers are constantly coming up with clever ways to improve their lives, and since many of them take the subway to get around town their life hacks often involve finding easier ways to carry stuff around town.
But when it became illegal to bring a dog on the subway unless locked in a carrier a guy went all NYC and figured out a way to bring his husky on the train with him- inside a giant tote bag.
(Image via Alex Romano)
He makes those yappy little purse dogs look even wimpier, doesn't he?!
As you can tell from the image at the top of the post this happy husky isn't the first tote bag dog to be smuggled onto the subway, and given how much NYC residents respect the law he won't be the last.
-Via Bored Panda
Animals don't know how to use their words to express their disapproval, fear or anger, which is why preschool teachers never give animals any gold stars for properly sharing their feelings.
But they do know how to express themselves in one very impactful way- the warning nip.
This scary quick moment of lashing out tends to make humans stop pestering them and go away, and while it's not always funny when you're on the receiving end it's always funny to watch someone else get nipped.
Man, I wish I could nip at people who are annoying me without winding up in jail...
-Via Boing Boing
Hamsters are fairly useless as pets, but they do excel at one thing- running in their wheel for hours at a time. So how does a hamster owner turn wheel running into cold hard cash?
That's where this wondrous machine created by Neil Mendoza comes in- the hamster running in the wheel powers the drawing arm which scratches out a sketch of a hamster running in a wheel.
Now those little furballs can earn their keep by creating sketches which can be sold on the sidewalk as animal created fine art, a favorite among the trust fund hipster set.
-Via Laughing Squid
Marna Gillian and Sean Purdy had a cat named Moon Unit, until she disappeared from her home in London as they hosted a New year’s Eve party in 2007. They searched for her, and posted notices, but after a few months decided that Moon Unit was not coming home. Fast forward to 2016, and Gillian received an email from a French animal rescue group that they had identified Moon Unit from her microchip!
"She was found in Essonne, a suburb south of Paris," Gillian explained. "We have no idea how she got there. Our best guesses are that she stowed away, or found a new family, was brought over by them, and then ran away? The stowaway theory seems the most likely i think.
"She didn't get there legally, we do know, because her microchip would have been checked in that case."
Gillian and Purdy are no longer a couple, but they took a train together to collect Moon Unit in Paris. They say she is adjusting well, and will soon be introduced to one of her adult kittens. -via Uproxx
(Image credit: Marna Gillian)
Jimmy the horse wanted a nap. His human's head was handy, so he leaned over to use her for support. The human, Lisa Brown, explains:
I was out in the fields early one morning, and Jimmy lay down to snooze, which he does often. I took my cup of coffee and went to sit with him. I was scratching and stroking him, and he began to lean on me and then pushed me gently back until I was basically his human pillow! Jimmy has a very peaceful nature, but he's also a comic genius!
-via Tastefully Offensive
For some reason I've never been able to get my pet cats to stay in the house, let alone stay in my yard, and yet there are cat whisperers out there who take their kitty with them wherever they go.
These lucky humans can travel halfway around the world and their little kittie pal will stay right by their side, exploring the world with their owners by day then setting up camp right next to them at night.
And when the two (or more) intrepid travelers encounter strange and scary sounds outside their tent at night they can look to each other for comfort and protection.
Some cats have gotten so used to traveling with their humans they've started shooting photos and footage of the trip for posterity, and thanks to Ryan Carter of "Camping With Dogs" fame they can share their fun pics with the world via Instagram.
America’s Funniest Home Videos put together a compilation of confounded dogs and cats struggling to deal with their cones of shame.
It must be awful to suddenly find that either your head or the world is a different shape. Some of these pets aren’t sure which it is, but it is difficult. -via Tastefully Offensive
Wheeeee! A little bird landed on the handrail of a moving walkway and was carried down to the end. It must have been a fun ride, because he went right back to where he was to start all over again!
If only we could all spend time enjoying the little pleasures of life. We don’t know where this is, but the walls sure could use some artwork. -via Laughing Squid
The Snowy Owl family on the North Slope of Alaska needs to move toward a new home. Daddy Owl has already scouted out a new place to live. Since the baby owls can't fly yet, they have to walk. And when they get to a river, they have no choice but to swim across it.
As this scene from Nature illustrates, they're quite good at it! Even without swimming lessons, the baby owls figure out how to row across the water with their wings.
The following is an article from The Annals of Improbable Research, now in all-pdf form. Get a subscription now for only $25 a year!
compiled by Dirk Manley, Improbable Research staff
Cats Recognize (But Don’t Always Respond to) Owners’ Voices
“Vocal Recognition of Owners by Domestic Cats (Felis catus),” Atsuko Saito and Kazutaka Shinozuka, Animal Cognition, vol. 16, no. 4, July 2013, pp. 685-690. The authors, at the University of Tokyo, report:
We studied 20 domestic cats to investigate whether they could recognize their owners by using voices that called out the subjects’ names, with a habituation–dishabituation method. While the owner was out of the cat’s sight, we played three different strangers’ voices serially, followed by the owner’s voice. We recorded the cat’s reactions to the voices and categorized them into six behavioral categories. In addition, ten naive raters rated the cats’ response magnitudes. The cats responded to human voices not by communicative behavior (vocalization and tail movement), but by orienting behavior (ear movement and head movement). This tendency did not change even when they were called by their owners. Of the 20 cats, 15 demonstrated a lower response magnitude to the third voice than to the first voice. These habituated cats showed a significant rebound in response to the subsequent presentation of their owners’ voices. This result indicates that cats are able to use vocal cues alone to distinguish between humans.
Yellow Purple the penguin (Purps for short) lives at Mystic Aquarium in Connecticut. She injured her foot and needed help with her mobility, so the aquarium staff enlisted the help of the ACT Group/3D Systems and a local middle school. They all worked together to design and 3D print a boot to help Purps get around while she heals.
See the video about how the boot was made at Laughing Squid.
(Photo: CNN Newsource)
This is Guy, a dog who lives in Hazle Township, Pennsylvania. On Thursday, he was hiking in the woods with 79-year old human, who fell and hit his head. The human lay there for 12 hours while Guy frantically tried to get the help of other nearby two-legs. WJLA reports:
The dog reportedly ran up the bank where the rescuers were, and would stop every 20-30 feet, barking until he led them to where the elder man was lying. […]
"It was like watching an episode of 'Lassie,'" says emergency responder, Matthew Mariscano.
-via Stephen Green
The following article is from the book Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader Nature Calls.
These true accounts of President Lincoln’s animal encounters show that the Great Emancipator’s compassion wasn’t limited to humankind.
LITTLE ABE AND THE WILD TURKEY
Lincoln learned at seven years old that he was different when it came to animals. Most boys his age didn’t think twice about hunting wild game during the frontier days of the early 19th century. But one day, young Abraham Lincoln shot a turkey on his family’s farm. According to biographer Thomas Keneally, “The experience of destroying animal life, of seeing the gush of blood, repelled him, and he would never become the dead-eye frontier marksman of American myth.”
WHAT THE SHELL?
When Lincoln was a teenager in the 1820s, a common pastime among his classmates was to catch terrapins (freshwater turtles) and then turn them over on their backs to watch them try to right themselves— usually unsuccessfully. Lincoln would have no part of such games. And when those games took a more sinister turn, the teen refused to stand idly by. This story comes from the 1909 book The Heart of Lincoln, by Wayne Whipple:
There are more kinds of electronic Dance Music (EDM) than we can keep up with. Using various YouTube videos, several different kinds of birds show us the proper dances for each.
These birds can dance like nobody's business! Here’s part two of the demonstration.
You may have noticed that the music here is not original to the videos, because we’ve seen some of these birds dancing before. You find a list of the original videos and music tracks at the YouTube pages. -via Laughing Squid
Some voice actors are so good their mimicry abilities can fool anyone, even animals.
It seems dogs who hear a perfect imitation of a dog bark start barking, I wonder what they're saying to Rudi...