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Sweetest What the Fluff Surprise Yet


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Zephyr is a four-year-old golden retriever witnessing the "What the Fluff Challenge." We don't know what Zephyr was expecting (he's certainly very attentive), but we were expecting the young man holding the blanket up to disappear. Instead, he changed into Kevin, Zephyr's favorite person, who has been gone for nine months doing Army training at Ft. Bragg. Zephyr was pretty happy with the trick! -via Digg


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Stickeen: The Story of a Dog

You know John Muir as the adventurer who helped create America's national park system. In 1897, Muir wrote about his 1880 exploration of Alaska, a trip during which he found a new best friend, a dog named Stickeen. The dog was not demanding; rather he was independent and aloof, giving no benefit to the team, yet he followed Muir everywhere. That included a solo exploration of a glacier during a storm.

The weather was now making quick changes, scattering bits of dazzling brightness through the wintry gloom at rare intervals, when the sun broke forth wholly free, the glacier was seen from shore to shore with a bright array of encompassing mountains partly revealed, wearing the clouds as garments, while the prairie bloomed and sparkled with irised light from myriads of washed crystals. Then suddenly all the glorious show would be darkened and blotted out.

Stickeen seemed to care for none of these things, bright or dark, nor for the crevasses, wells, moulins, or swift flashing streams into which he might fall. The little adventurer was only about two years old, yet nothing seemed novel to him. Nothing daunted him. He showed neither caution nor curiosity, wonder nor fear, but bravely trotted on as if glaciers were playgrounds. His stout, muffled body seemed all one skipping muscle, and it was truly wonderful to see how swiftly and to all appearance heedlessly he flashed across nerve-trying chasms six or eight feet wide. His courage was so unwavering that it seemed to be due to dullness of perception, as if he were only blindly bold; and I kept warning him to be careful. For we had been close companions on so many wilderness trips that I had formed the habit of talking to him as if he were a boy and understood every word.

On the way back, the snow worsened, and the original path was lost. Muir found himself on an ice island, with wide crevasses surrounding. There was one small ice bridge, so Muir carefully chipped handholds and footholds in it until he could cross, although he was well aware that it might be his last adventure. But what about Stickeen? It was at that moment that the dog seemed to realize that ice was slippery. Read the adventures of John Muir and Stickeen at Longform. It is a beautifully-written story. -via Metafilter


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Creative Dog Plays Ball with Himself


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There's no doubt this is a much-loved dog. But humans can't be there all the time, school and all. Bear has figured out how to harness the power of the trampoline to toss a ball for him to catch! Yes, Bear is pretty smart. -via Tastefully Offensive


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Open the Dryer Door!

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Teddy the Dobby Cat (previously at Neatorama) loves doing the laundry. Specifically, he and his sibling oriental shorthair cats enjoy sitting in the dryer with the warm laundry. In this video, he beeps while waiting for the dryer door to open. Here he is with Stache, Bindi, and Dexter.



Dexter is the black cat, and you can guess which ones are Stache and Bindi. See more of these cats at Instagram and Facebook. -via Laughing Squid


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The Cat Museum of San Francisco

The Cat Museum of San Francisco exists online and in temporary exhibitions, and hopes to occupy a permanent location in the future. The website explores the history of cats, in records and in pop culture. They also have a Facebook feed that pays tribute to a different celebrity, historical figure, or artist each day on their birthday or anniversary, as long as that person has ever been photographed with a cat or produce cat art. Shown above is a publicity photo of actress Dolores Del Rio, whose birthday was earlier this month, with her cat.



The next day was the anniversary of the birth of poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, who decorated his poem "Verses on a Cat" with a sketch of a cat. -via Nag on the Lake


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Sheep Romps on a Trampoline


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A family in Marlborough, New Zealand, has a pet sheep named Bacon, which you have to admit is a slightly better name than Mutton. Bacon is having a great time on the backyard trampoline. I don't think this is his first time playing on it. It's a pretty good life for a sheep, even with that weird name. -via Tastefully Offensive


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The Cat Who Loves Peaches

This is Ozzy. He belongs to journalist Lydia Coutré's parents. Ozzy loves peaches, and can't wait until they are in season. I can understand- in August and September, I can't get enough fresh peaches. But Ozzy does not eat the peaches, he just loves to sit among them and maybe nuzzle a few. You can't get any cuter than that! Ozzy has gone viral on Twitter, and people have responded with pictures of their own peach cats, cats who love other fruits, and other animals who like peaches, too. And then there's the fan art.

   
See more pictures of Ozzy and Ozzy fan art at Bored Panda.


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The Dog Who Was an Official Prisoner of War

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Judy was an English pointer born in Shanghai in 1936. She was purchased to be a mascot for a British gunboat, and lived quite an adventurous life from that point on. Not only did she become a prisoner of war during World War II, she was smuggled around the Pacific theater, escaped a torpedoed ship, gave birth to puppies, and managed to attack Japanese prison guards and live to bark the tale. Simon Whistler of Today I Found Out tells the story of Judy, the heroic war dog.   


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The 2018 Algonquin Cat Fashion Show

Thursday night was the annual Algonquin Cat Fashion Show at the Algonquin Hotel in New York City. It's a fundraiser for the Mayor's Alliance for NYC Animals. It also marked the society debut of the hotel's newest resident cat, Hamlet VIII. The theme of the gala this year was "Purring 20's," so the cats were costumed in replicas of 1920s fashions. Gothamist took photographer David "Dee" Delgado to capture the event's best-dressed felines, which you can see in a gallery at Gothamist, along with a video. -via Nag on the Lake

(Image credit: David "Dee" Delgado/Gothamist)


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Pusic and the Treadmill

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Pusic, Russia's most spoiled cat (previously at Neatorama), is fascinated with the new treadmill. He learns how to use it in only six days! It's an accomplishment, alright, but since he's conquered the learning process, he can go on to other things. The hooman can practice every day until he gets it right.   


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How Empathetic Is Your Dog?

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Would your dog go out of his/her way to help you if you really needed it? We'd all like to think so. This experiment involved 34 dogs of different breeds and how they reacted to seeing their humans in distress. The good news is that most of them wanted to help, or at least be with, their owners. One might suspect that some were just too dumb to know what to do. Others may be smart enough to realize it was a setup. At least that's what we'd like to think. After all, they are all good dogs. Read more about the experiment at the New York Times. -via Laughing Squid


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Bronson, the 33-Pound Cat



Mike Wilson and Megan Hanneman went to the Humane Society to adopt a third cat. They met and fell in love with a polydactyl cat named Bronson, who weighed 33 pounds! All the shelter knew was that Bronson's original owner had passed away.

Since he was all the way up to 33 pounds and only three years old, they suspected it was an elderly person who may have been feeding him table scraps or something. We went in to meet him and instantly fell in love. I remember my cheeks hurting from smiling for so long.

Bronson was so affectionate and sweet and was happily kneading his cat bed when we first petted him. All of a sudden, we noticed that he was a polydactyl cat with extra fingers and had very pronounced thumbs! Even more adorably, his paws oddly resembled our home state of Michigan. He was the sweetest cat we had ever met and he seemed so happy to be home and have a big space of his own.



Bronson is on a diet of only 375 calories a day, with the goal of losing a pound a month until he is deemed healthy. He's already lost 1.6 pounds. Read Bronson's story at Bored Panda, and follow his weight-loss process at Instagram.


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What Dog and Cat Years Really Mean

"How much is that in dog years?" We are used to assuming that for every calendar year, a dog will age the way a human will in seven years. That makes some sort of sense according to a dog's expected life span, but it doesn't tell the whole story. For example, the dog in this picture has one candle on her birthday cake, but she's old enough to have puppies. Veterinary professor Jesse Grady explains the life stages of dogs and cats.

Dogs and cats age differently not just from people but also from each other, based partly on breed characteristics and size. Bigger animals tend to have shorter life spans than smaller ones do. While cats vary little in size, the size and life expectancy of dogs can vary greatly – think a Chihuahua versus a Great Dane.

Human life expectancy has changed over the years. And vets are now able to provide far superior medical care to pets than we could even a decade ago. So now we use a better methodology to define just how old rule of thumb that counted every calendar year as seven “animal years.”

You'll find life stage charts for cats and dogs at The Conversation. According to the cat chart, I have two mature cats and one cat entering his prime.  -via Nag on the Lake

(Image credit: Flickr user Omer Balamir)


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What Kittens Do To Your Brain

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Cats are so devious, they've fooled humans into loving them. Neuroscience Ph.D. candidate Shannon Odell explains the mechanism in our brains that make us defenseless against cute little baby cats. -via Nag on the Lake


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Dog Knows How to Cool Off

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It's hot this summer in North Carolina, especially if you are a dog bred for cold climates. Mako the Husky has found a way around that, because he's found his place -inside the ice maker! He would have never been found if he'd pulled his tail in properly. Now the ice machine belongs to him. 



Boing Boing has another video where they caught Mako in the act of climbing into the ice machine.


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