A Gift of Watermelon Pillow

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"During that summer--
Which may never have been at all;
But which has become more real
Than the one that was--
Watermelons ruled."
--John Tobias

This kitty named TyaTora, a resident of Japan, is shown here attempting to nap the day away. If she reflected on her pillow, her reflection might be, "round pillows, while cool, are hard to nap on at length." Via Tastefully Offensive

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The Tortoise and the Truck

(YouTube link)

John Walkenbach, formerly known as J-Walk, teased a tortoise with a remote control toy truck. The tortoise does his best to give chase, and would have made some real turtle tracks if that floor wasn’t so slick. Look at those little legs go! He probably have some amorous intentions, but the truck is under human control, and has a better grip on the floor. -via Arbroath

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Today is Black Cat Appreciation Day

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August 17 is Black Cat Appreciation Day! Black cats, like black dogs, are often passed over for adoption, possibly because of outdated myths, or possibly because their color makes it difficult to see their facial expressions. But black cats need homes, too, and they can be wonderfully loving pets.

Furball Fables celebrates with a video highlighting their favorite black cats: Kitten Gunnar, Buddha, Spooky, Squiggy, Ziggy, Lucky and Miss Blacat.  

There’s a Facebook page called For the Love of Black Cats where you can plenty more black cats on Black Cat Appreciation Day -or any time.

And here’s a “now and then” picture of my black cat Gogo as a kitten and fifteen years later.  

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The Marmot That Stopped Time

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Greenpeace was working on a video about coal mining on public lands, which features a time-lapse nature sequence. Filming such a sequence doesn’t always go smoothly, though. This one was photobombed by a marmot, who not only screwed up the possibility of converting the video to a time-lapse, but also got so friendly with the camera that it was knocked off balance! That’s a good marmot. -via Metafilter

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Shark Cat Returns With Shark Baby

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Max-Arthur, also known to his beloved Internet as Shark Cat, has had many adventures in his time. He pioneered Roomba surfing. He went Roomba riding in pursuit of a duck. He's been immortalized in Lego and even has his own theme song. I'm surprised Barbara Walters hasn't emerged from retirement to interview this feline legend.

But if Walters did come out of the shadows to pose meaningful questions to Max-Arthur, I imagine one would be, "You've done it all Shark Cat  what's next?" The likely answer? In honor of Shark week, Max-Arthur has teamed up with an as yet unnamed shark baby. Baby looks cute and serves as a representative of Shark Cat's enthralled audience. And all is right with the Internet. Via Tastefully Offensive.

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20 Delightfully Weird Forms of Sushi

Good sushi prepared fresh by a skilled chef is a mouth-watering treat. Usually you're eating variations of fish, rice, and seaweed. But you're not limited to just those ingredients. For example, you can try these tiny sushi cheeseburgers.

Or if you'd like something sweet for breakfast, then try Dan's waffle breakfast sushi rolls. They're made of pizzelles filled with strawberries, bananas, pineapple, and cream cheese.

If it's St. Patrick's Day, then make Irish sushi. Joy of the food blog The Cooking of Joy (clever title) made hers with cabbage leaves wrapped around mashed potatoes and corned beef.

These are just 3 meals from a list of 20 unusual takes on sushi rounded up at Rocket News 24. I'd like to try them all!

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Adorable Doghouses Look Like Camping Trailers

Your dog may not be ready to hit the open road, but you can get him ready for camping with a doghouse from Straight Line Designs (warning: auto-play video). Judson Beaumont is the designer responsible. We've previously seen his clever and funny human furniture designs. Now he's turning the same sense of whimsy to man's best friend.

Beaumont came up with the concept when his daughter asked him to build a doghouse. Now he offers a line of 4 trailer designs for dogs that weigh up to 20 pounds. Each doghouse costs about $800.

-via My Modern Met

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Seven Bad Habits Of Cats

Cats are a bit more chaotic than their canine pet counterparts, but they’re still creatures of habit, used to eating, sleeping, and pooping at relatively the same time every day, and as any cat owner knows many of their other habits are bad.

They don’t respond to being called, don’t like to sleep where they’re supposed to, and don’t care who watches them cough up a hairball.

It’s almost like they don’t really give a crap about their humans at all, that is until they give you those adoring eyes and become the most loveable thing in the world for a moment…

This adorable illustrated guide to the 7 Bad Habits of Cats comes to you courtesy of Cat Versus Human, a comical depiction of humans and the cats that put up with them.

Read the rest of the 7 Bad Habits of Cats over at Cheezburger

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Shorty and Kodi Win the 2014 Golden Kitty Award

The third annual Internet Cat Video Festival took place last night in Minneapolis. A huge crowd gathered to watch cat vieos and meet some feline internet stars. Here are all the featured videos. The winner of the Golden Kitty Award was 8 Signs of Addiction featuring Shorty and Kodi. Learn more about the event with many links at Metafilter.

(Image credit: Shorty and Kodi)

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Dog Elected Mayor of Minnesota Town

Duke is a 7-year-old Great Pyrenees who lives in Cormorant, Minnesota. He was elected mayor of the town by a landslide over his opponent, store owner Richard Sherbrook. The exact vote count was not revealed, but Duke got the vast majority of the twelve votes cast, each backed by a one dollar fee. Sherbrook even voted for Duke.

“I’m going to back the dog 100 percent,” said Sherbrook. “He’s a sportsman and he likes to hunt. He’ll really protect the town.”

Sherbrook, who voted for Duke, himself, admitted that the town thought it would be “pretty cool” to have its first mayor be a dog.

The tiny town was established in 1874, but has never had a mayor before. The new mayor will be sworn in Saturday. As for his salary, he will be paid in dog food, a year’s supply donated by Tuffy’s Pet Food. -via Warming Glow

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The Homeless and Their Canine Companions

Image credit: Veronica Henri/Toronto Sun

Anyone who has ever owned a dog knows that if you treat them kindly, there is no limit to their loyalty. The concept of canine devotion to humans is beautifully illustrated in these photos of street people and their dogs. These dogs could go off in search of someone better able to feed and shelter them, but they don't. They are there in the trenches with their human companions who are battling mental illness, poverty and other banes of humanity. See more of these touching photos here. 

Image credit: 
Tony Cole

Image credit: imgur

Image credit: jp1958

Image credit: Andre

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Kitten vs. Dachshund

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You know how kittens are. They think they are invincible, and will take on any size foe. They imagine rivalries and battles where none exists. This curly-tailed kitten is willing to fight the dog for a spot in the playhouse cubbyhole.

You also know how dogs are. They are eager to please, yet often completely flummoxed by cat behavior. The bewildered Dachshund tries to figure out the rules of the game, but in the end just gives up. After all, he’s trying to be a good dog. -via Daily Picks and Flicks

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Horses Playing With Balls

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Holy horseplay. Admittedly I'm a city girl who knows very little about horses, but I was surprised to learn how enthusiastically these horses (and one pony) play with rubber balls. I never knew horses played with toys at all. In this video, some have been given exercise balls, which I may never work out with again without briefly flashing on ol' Paint nosing it around the ranch! Via Tastefully Offensive.

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The Kitty Anthem

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Adam Barta recorded a techno song with additional vocals by Preston the Cat. This music video for the song is bizarre, surreal, and downright odd in an ‘80s kind of way. But it also has a whole slew of cute and funny cats in it. If you were to watch this video and gradually turn the sound down as you go, I would understand completely. -via Buzzfeed

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This Cat’s Hobby is Riding the Bus

Fee Jeanes and her family moved to Bridport, Dorset, UK, 19 months ago, to a home near the bus station. Their 15-year-old cat Dodger quickly made friends with bus drivers and riders, who would even feed the cat occasionally. Jeanes recently found out her cat has been riding around on bus trips in his spare time.

"He is an old boy and is very friendly. At first Dodger kept going to the bus station because people there fed him tit-bits and scraps of food.

"But then he started climbing on board the buses because they are almost like greenhouses when it is sunny.

"Then last week I found out he had travelled to Charmouth and back, which is a 10 mile round trip.

"I hadn't seen him all morning until my daughter Emily told me one of her friends had just seen him on the bus at Charmouth.

The bus drivers know the cat well, and make sure Dodger gets off at his home stop when the day ends. The bus company says they do not encourage the cat to ride, but don’t mind if he does. As a senior citizen, he is eligible for free rides. -via reddit

(Image credit: Peter Willows/BNPS)

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Man Sees Snake Eating Hawk And Comes To The Rescue

Hawks are tough birds, with razor sharp talons and beaks that tear through flesh with ease, but even these apex predators can have the tables turned on them by their prey- if that prey happens to be a four-foot-long bull snake.

(Video Link)

Scott Adams happened upon a rare example of prey besting predator playing out in the middle of the road, and for some reason he felt inclined to get involved.

Scott demonstrates his snake wrangling skills in the video, and nearly gets nailed by the disgruntled snake despite his skills, which is why no one should ever attempt a rescue like this unless trained to handle snakes.

-Via San Francisco Globe

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Zoo Wants to Train Sheepdogs to Protect Wild Bandicoots

(Photo: Beate Sexton)

Pictured above is a maremma sheepdog with a stuffed bandicoot toy. Below is a real bandicoot photographed by Zoos Victoria in Australia. Wild bandicoots are greatly endangered due to attacks by foxes and feral cats. The zoo staff would like to enlarge the bandicoot population by training maremmas to live near bandicoot dens and protect them from predators.

Wildlife conservationists have already successfully used maremmas to protect an endangered penguin population. Zoos Victoria thinks that the same approach would be successful with these small marsupials. Oliver Milman writes for The Guardian:

The dogs, which like to work in pairs, will be sent to three different test sites in Victoria to see if they can effectively protect bandicoots without the need for fences. The spare Maremma puppy will be used by Zoos Victoria as a fundraising ambassador.

Maremma dogs are considered ideal for conservation work because they can bond to an array of other creatures while also viewing feral pests as mortal enemies. The dogs have formed friendships with sheep, goats, chickens and gannets in the past. In controlled experiments, sheep that heard dingo calls instinctively ran behind the dogs for protection.

-via Marginal Revolution

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Baby Sloth Masters What a Sloth Does Best

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If there were olympic games in the animal kingdom, sloths would surely be gold medalists in all slacker and sleep-related activities. Case in point is Luigi the baby sloth, captured in this footage filmed at the Sloth Sanctuary in Costa Rica. A brief forehead massage has Luigi relaxed and ready to nap. He lets loose with a long, wide yawn. Let the games begin! Via Tastefully Offensive.

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This Cocker Spaniel Named Joe Cocker is One Persistent Pup

YouTube Link

Meet crafty cocker spaniel Joe Cocker, who reminds me of my own counter-hijacking, cocker spaniel mix dog. From what I can gather, his Italian owner has to stay one step ahead of him if he wants to keep his food from becoming doggy treats. This upload to the YouTube channel of user Jonathan Iozza is titled "Joe Cocker: ladri si nasce," which translates to "thieves are born" in Italian (and is also the name of a 1997 Italian comedy film). Joe Cocker is smart enough to keep a lookout for authority figures as he attempts to steal what looks like a piece of toasted bread. Knowing how good the bread is in Italy, I'm not at all surprised at Joe's tenacity. Via Nothing to Do With Arbroath.

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