Yasmine Surovec at Cat vs. Human has a good handle on why cats love boxes, but that’s not the full story.
You can buy your cat the nicest new cat gadget there is, but first he has to check out the box it came in. Every cat owner is familiar with the feline tendency to cuddle up in a good box -usually, the smaller, the better. What is it about boxes that cats love so much? A better question might be how many ways do cats love boxes, because there are multiple reasons. Wired goes through several of them, including this bit that I never knew:
According to a 2006 study by the National Research Council, the thermoneutral zone for a domestic cat is 86 to 97 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s the range of temperatures in which cats are “comfortable” and don’t have to generate extra heat to keep warm or expend metabolic energy on cooling. That range also happens to be 20 degrees higher than ours, which explains why it’s not unusual to see your neighbor’s cat sprawled out on the hot asphalt in the middle of a summer day, soaking in the sunlight.
It also explains why many cats may enjoy curling up in tiny cardboard boxes and other strange places. Corrugated cardboard is a great insulator and confined spaces force the cat to ball up or form some other impossible object, which in turn helps it to preserve body heat.
Read more about feline research and the findings about cats and boxes at Wired, plus a slideshow of cats blissfully occupying boxes. -via Digg
Meet Atchoum. He's a cat with a health condition called Hypertrichosis, a hormonal disorder that causes abnormally fast and abundant hair growth. The condition strikes humans as well; it's actually responsible for people referred to as "werewolfs" and similar wolf/human hybrid terms in the freak shows of late nineteenth and early 20th centuries.
But Atchoum makes Hypertrichosis look cute. At worst, he looks like a dog from certain vantage points (which, though probably a cat's worst nightmare, isn't so bad). Atchoum's internet popularity seems to be on the rise. Perhaps in the future, he'll be the poster cat for Hypertrichosis, starring in worldwide ad campaigns to raise awareness about the disorder. But if he's anything like most cats, he'd likely rather take a nap.
Atchoum lives with his French-speaking human Natalie in Quebec. As far as I can tell, his name means "Achoo" in French. (Though the Facebook "translation" tool changes his name to "Sneezy.")
See additional glamour shots of Atchoum here, and check out his Instagram and Facebook pages as well.
Heavy rains caused the Los Angeles River to swell. A dog fell into it in Burbank. He was too far into the middle of the river for people to reach him from the riverbank, so rescue workers with the Los Angeles Fire Department approached him by helicopter. In this video, a man is lowered in from a helicopter. He swims over to the dog and picks him up.
The dog is a Corgi/Chihuahua mix. He has a collar, but no tag or microchip. He's now at the North Central Animal Shelter in Lincoln Heights.
Otters have expressive faces that seem to communicate joy and amusement. In fact, according to sources such as Otter World, otters are quite the playful species. The animals are often observed constructing and sliding down waterslides and playing with stones and twigs that they treat as toys.
Otters are social animals who are "chatty" with each other, to the point that observing a number of them interacting can appear loud and chaotic. Like so many other animal species, experts believe that otters have their own sort of language, consisting of a variety of sounds that others in their social groups seem to recognize and comprehend.
How can one look at these pictures — particularly of those that show them interacting — and not think they have a true fondness for others of their social group? Their affinity for each other is palpable.
See the delightful collection of 25 otter photos from which these have been taken here.
(Photo: Fredrik Ringnes)
A barn in Klokkarstua, Norway caught on fire. Firefighters evacuated the goats and chickens inside and put out the fire. In the cold winter night, the animals needed a place to stay. So while waiting for a more permanent home, the goats sat in an ambulance and received oxygen treatment.
This video is actually a trailer for a documentary film called Dogs On the Inside. The documentary, which was filmed in a Massachusetts prison, follows the story of stray dogs in the community who were rescued and placed with prisoners at a minimum security prison. Before their rescues, the dogs were likely on a path to be euthanized in shelters. The goal of the program is for the prisoners to develop empathy and loving feelings toward the dogs, who in turn learn to trust humans in spite of any troubled histories they may have suffered. It seems to be situation benefiting both the dogs and the inmates.
Read more about the film Dogs on the Inside here.
As the weekend approaches, many are looking forward to the Super Bowl. Yet another set of elite couchletes are looking forward to Animal Planet's Puppy Bowl, which begins at 3:00 pm E.S.T. on Sunday.
Puppy Bowl XI will feature all kinds of exciting animal appearances, such as five baby Nigerian Dwarf goat cheerleaders before the game, a kitty halftime show featuring the vocal stylings of Katty Furry (you're gonna hear her Rawr) and the cutie shown in the photo above, capturing aerial shots with his biplane.
For those unfamiliar with the Puppy Bowl, here's a recap of some cute moments from the games in years prior.
A team of cheerleading chihuahuas have given the game their undivided attention.
Viewers were treated to a pugshot of this precious player, whose head was definitely in the game.
This Barcroft TV video shows the friendship between Hunter, a three-month-old Bengal tiger cub, and Chelsea, a four-month-old German shorthaired pointer puppy. The duo, who reside at The Farm Inn Wildlife Sanctuary in Pretoria, South Africa, have become the best of friends. Hunter had to be separated from his mother, who was showing aggression toward him. His friendship with Chelsea seems to keep him happy and occupied. In several months, Hunter will be too big and strong to play with Chelsea, but for now, they are the perfect pair.
-Via Tastefully Offensive
Bart, the cat who returned from the dead, is recovering from his surgery at the Humane Society of Tampa Bay. A day after his operation, Bart was found to be anemic, and received a blood transfusion. The blood donor was another cat at the shelter, Draco, who is waiting for a forever home. In return he was featured as Pet of the Day yesterday. Let’s hope Draco is rewarded with a new home and people who appreciate him.
(Image credit: Krista Sparkman)
Just when you think the awkward family portraits bar has been set, someone goes and sets it a little bit higher (or, rather, lower). One has to wonder if these thirteen misguided pet owners regret their portrait concept in retrospect (or whether they were serious in the first place). Only one thing is certain: the animals are trapped in a shame spiral. -Via Distractify
When a breed becomes the latest doggy hotness they star in more mutt combos, like the semi-recent wave of Chihuahua and Corgi combos making the dog world a shorter and stockier place.
These mixes of popular breeds are sure to get noticed at the dog park, but what about those less popular or unfairly stigmatized breeds?
Apparently they look even more spectacular when they come together, and when the bully and the weenie combine the offspring is a thing of bizarre beauty.
Meet Rami, the Pit Bull Terrier-Dachshund combo, and one of the cutest/creepiest looking canines I’ve ever seen! Rami has a head that's probably caused more than a few faceplants, and with his interesting body shape and fascinating face it's not surprising that his story has gone viral.
Rami is available for adoption through Georgia's Moultrie Colquitt County Humane Society, and his unique appearance has made him a big hit on their Facebook page, where you can see videos of Rami running around and pics of Rami getting a bath- just like a normal dog! -Via BuzzFeed
Those who keep dogs and cats as pets know that they have an affinity for the laundry basket. Dirty laundry? sure. Clean? You bet. Either way, it smells like their human and it's piled high with layers of fabric comfort. Lying on it works... chewing on it is always good too. Unravel a string to see where it all leads? Fantastic idea. Another day, another basket. Surely you didn't want to keep that fresh-smeliing, clean pile seconds out of the dryer to yourself, did you? If so, these animals raise a paw to object.
See more dogs and cats luxuriating in laundry here.
"Lost Dog" is another in the grand tradition of Super Bowl commercials by Budweiser, which often feature the company's iconic Clydesdale horses. In this tearjerker, a follow-up to last year's ad "Puppy Love," a yellow Labrador retriever puppy is accidentally taken a long distance from his home and farm friends, and he must find a way to make it back. See the video below for "making of" footage.
In related Super Bowl puppy ad news, GoDaddy made a Super Bowl advertisement that was intended to be a parody of this Budweiser ad, yet they pulled it after backlash from groups such as the SPCA and change.org, who argued that it encouraged puppy mills and inhumane breeding. This article in Variety goes so far as to suggest that GoDaddy planned the whole thing as a publicity stunt, which makes sense given how many media outlets are covering the story. What do you think, readers? -Via Tastefully Offensive
Dogs have been man's best friend ever since a poem in the New York Literary Journal coined the term back in 1821, but they're best friend in title only and tired of being treated like second class mammals.
The way dogs see it if they can do what humans do then their ranking in the mammalian pecking order is guaranteed to go up. However, dogs acting like humans may sound like fun, but as these images will show it could mean the beginning of the end for both felines and mankind!
It all started back in those black and white toned days of yore, when some lazy nanny decided to let the family dog take over for the afternoon
Dogs soon discovered that if they could perform those menial tasks that humans hate they'd soon be offered a job
Jobs would lead to social status and an income, and humans would begin to entrust them with more responsibility in society
So dogs taught themselves how to drive to work every morning just like a human
For the past three years, Teddy Bear the Porcupine, "prognosticator of prognosticators," has correctly predicted the winning team of the Super Bowl. Teddy does it using the only acceptable method: corn on the cob. Then, in Teddy's usual way, he has a word with his adoring fans. Gamblers and sports fans, take heed! -Via Tastefully Offensive
See also: More videos from Teddy Bear.
Redditor emlod takes lots of video of his cat, Luna. She’s three years old, but still has the heart of a kitten. He made a compilation of her craziest cat behavior, which encompasses the stuff we see on individual viral cat videos: climbing, jumping, sneaking around, napping, drinking out of the faucet, chasing tiny things, play fighting, not landing on all fours, hiding, ninja attacks, miaows, and making biscuits.
I think chattymcgee summed it up well (apart from thinking Luna is male):
So, I'm not a vet, but I've done a lot of internet research on my own cats. This cat appears to have a full blown case of Nut Butt, with probable early onset Furry Ninjitus. I'm sad to say I'm also seeing some indication of an infection of cinnimonbunius patikakius, known to the common man as Biscuit Makers disease.
As he's a young cat I'd advise treats, sun beams for naps, and maybe some more rugs so he stops slipping around so much and looking like a dingus.
He also takes a lot of pictures of Luna, which you can find individually linked here.
TheMadKing trained his girlfriend’s rabbit Wallace to deliver beer in a little pushcart! He says it was an epic accomplishment.
I couldn't have done any of this if it wasn't for Wallace, and he wouldn't have done any of it if he was given a choice... or had any brain power to make a choice.
Don't think for a minute that the costume you stuffed your loyal canine into last Halloween has been forgotten. No, the cat hasn't forgiven you for enforcing the new policy of feline-free keyboards and laundry baskets. Dry food? Duly noted. Pink sweaters? Still in the mind's eye. Your animals are simply biding their time until it's right to strike. Be afraid.
See more animals plotting their human's demise here.
This cat is named Nico "El guapo," and he has his own Instagram account. Not only does he have wonderfully expressive eyes, he loves a good bath. That is a little odd for a housecat, as most cat owners will tell you. But while Nico is in the minority, he’s not alone. Buzzfeed rounded up pictures of 17 Cats Who Actually Love Being In The Water. You’ll enjoy seeing the rest of them, too.
The otter aquarium at the Keikyu Aburatsubo Marine Park in Miura City, Japan, is designed for optimal traffic flow. The otters don't have to spend a long time on their daily commutes because their tank includes a roundabout. You can see more photos of their transportation network at Kohan Studio (translation).
The big, ugly, hairless ape isn't going to get through life on his looks or charm. He needs valuable career skills. So the little monkey sets about preparing him to be a productive member of monkey society.
He signals the human to extend his hand, then places leaves in that hand. Next, the monkey closes the human's hand, crushing the leaves. He repeats the process until he is convinced that the human has learned it. The human is now ready to add leaf crushing to his résumé.
Neatorama readers, test your own knowledge on nearby leaves. Can you learn this skill by simply watching this video? Report on the results of your efforts in the comments.
-via Chris Hallbeck
An Australian mailman (or as they're referred to there, "Postie") films the dogs he sees on his regular route. He zips around on his motorbike to get from place to place and, presumably, to make a fast escape from a few dogs. Also, as he notes on his YouTube video description, "In Australia, The grass/lawn from the letterbox to the road that you see me riding on is owned by the Council/Government, It is NOT owned by the home owner and that is why we are allowed to ride there." (Lest anyone think he's destroying the resident's property.) NSFW, language. -Via Tastefully Offensive
Peter Cohen is a home builder, so he can fix his house any way he wants to. What he wanted was to make his cats safe, healthy, and happy. One thing led to another, and now he has 15 cats and a house custom-designed for their pleasure. There are catwalks, tunnels, staircases, beds, a koi pond, ventilated litter box closets, and Roombas. So far, he’s spent almost $40,000. These cats have it made! -via Tastefully Offensive
As an article in The Independent explained about this video,
"Pandas generally don’t move too fast. Inclined to slothful activity, it’s unusual to see the animals do much more than look vaguely excited about the arrival of food.
But panda cubs in China’s Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding, in Chengdu, got into a playful brawl earlier this week. The five cubs can be seen rolling and scrapping in their enclosure as they buffet one another after one cub attempts to climb a nearby tree.
Quickly returning to form, the cubs - after a mere 50 seconds of brawling - soon appear bored and each wanders off to separate corners of the enclosure."
Nothing like keeping the brawling in the family! Stay scrappy, cubs.
YouTube user The Fabulous Mr. Pug made this video about how he came to care for Coco, a stray kitten he found living in the building where he worked. At the start of the video, Coco is filmed at the power plant, filthy and obviously frightened by the loud machinery. Mr. Pug explains,
"She was born in the thermal power plant I work in and she was alone, hungry, cold and scared. She was trying to eat dry bread when I found her. I brought her some kitten food and we instantly became best friends. One week later, we adopted her and she became a new member of our family. Today, she is one beautiful and playful kitty and she brings so much happiness into our lives!"
What a sweet story. I can only imagine how happy Coco is to have a home instead of fending for herself at the scary power plant.
The video below is of Coco doing kitty-like things at her new home. In this instance, she's discovering carbonated water. That bubbly stuff tickles her nose, and she's not sure it's entirely safe. Best to take cover behind a curtain and stalk it for a bit, just in case. -Via Tastefully Offensive
Reggie is a very patient and long-suffering cat. He’s well aware that these Australian terriers are puppies and don’t know any better, but he isn’t enjoying their company. He finally gets up to leave, but hesitates while he gets one last puppy scratch. Oh, don’t miss the half-hearted foot push at :50. -via Metafilter