I love this video. I found it originally when it was shared by Cindy Lu’s Muse on Facebook. It proves that cats are creative and smart, maybe even just as intelligent as dogs. It also shows that there are times when cats and dogs can work together and be friends. To be fair, the cat in this video, Dexter, I think his name is, may have been acting out of purely selfish motivations. He wanted to open that door and escape the laundry room as much as the dog did. Despite that, they still both achieved the same goal. The cat didn’t mind the fact that the dog was there, waiting for him to achieve glory.
This little scene would never happen in my household. No, no. It’s not that my cat – The Cat, or “TC” as the author of Kol’s Notes nicknamed him a long time ago – isn’t clever enough to figure this out, especially if he was given such easy access. I wouldn’t doubt he’d have that door open in seconds. However, if he thought the dog stood to gain from his efforts, he’d never go through with it. He would find some other way, maybe open a window instead or tease Shiva to make her think the coast was clear and then WHAM! Slam the door in her face.
Yes, TC is this diabolical. I mean, look at him. Does this look like an innocent face to you?
No, no it doesn’t. Don’t let his fuzziness fool you. Inside that fluffy chest is a heart of black steel.
For instance. Less than an hour or two ago, we were all hanging out in the living room after a long day at work. Shiva is still regulated to the couch, a prison that is harder and harder for her to endure every single day. In particular, tonight she has been more persistent than ever in her protests that she is well enough to walk around in perfect freedom. The veterinarian’s orders would say otherwise, so on the couch she remains.
In walks The Cat. In all his autonomous magnificence. The first thing he does, the first thing, is walk up to the dog, sniff her feet, and then lay down on the floor directly in front of her.
When I say lay down, I mean he sprawls in a fashion he would never dare if he suspected the dog had the ability to pounce on him. He knows Shiva is stuck on the couch. He doesn’t know why, but he knows when he prances in front of her, that he is safe, lest she get in serious trouble. So he revels in taunting her. It’s the same way he used to pester her when she was stuck behind the baby gate at the top of the stairs, or the way I am positive he ridicules her when she is locked in her crate during the day. It’s the haughty, prideful, cruel mocking of a true bully.
Yes, my cat is a bully and Shiva is his favourite victim. Unfortunately, he is also smarter than she is and thus, she ends up falling for his mean set-ups every single time.
After only five minutes of tail-flicking and sidelong glances, TC had Shiva completely freaking out tonight. I stopped paying attention to her for less than a second and she immediately took advantage by leaping off the couch and on top of The Cat.
A pretty big violation of her recovery strategy.
For those who might be worried about Hi Excellency’s safety, he is just fine. Better than fine. Dog antagonizing mission accomplished he walked away with his tail swinging high while we yelled at the dog while simultaneously fussing over her stitches. TC always gets the last laugh. Always.
It’s always been this way. The Cat lives to torment the dog. I sincerely believe it is one of his greatest joys. I just can’t wait for the day when Shiva is given free reign of the house again. By then she will have two weeks’ worth of energy to burn. There is a lot of damage a tornado can enact with so much force behind it. Kitty better watch out.
The sad thing is, even at her worst, Shiva ends up backing down to the merciless feline. She can fight with all of her weapons bared but in the end only one of them will end up behind the toilet. And it won’t be the orange one.
I’ve been meaning to share this gobsmacking video for a few weeks. I knew I would need time to come up with the right adjectives. Apparently there isn’t a word superlative enough in the dictionary as all I keep thinking is wow.
This is the stuff for which I have been searching: definitive proof that cats are just as awesome, just as trainable as dogs.
There are so many things I love about this. The fact that the handler is a young boy, the fact that the equipment is accessible and can be put together by anyone, the fact that the cats were trained using a clicker. Not to mention, it looks like he happens to be Canadian and I am not above a bit of patriotism.
All of the cats seem to be enjoying themselves. I doubt they would do it otherwise. It’s fascinating to note the way they jump as compared to the way I am used to seeing dogs move over the obstacles. Clearly when motivated, cats can get much, much higher.
The above video isn’t even my favourite of all 85 posted on his Youtube channel. It’s just the most flashy. The one I like the most shows footage of Daniel King teaching his cat named Puffy basic tricks. The relationship between human and feline in this video is so evident that I beam all the way through.The best part is how excited he gets when Puffy learns something new. Their connection is beautiful to watch.
I gotta admit, I am envious. This is the way I wish I could approach training with both of my pets all the time. Daniel King is patient, gentle, and incredibly dedicated. With his attitude, I suspect he’ll well known in the animal world one day.
Ever since I read this post on No Dog About It regarding a deeper understanding of dog behaviour, I have been carefully observing the way Shiva and I interact in a physical way. It’s been an interesting process. I’ve always tried to pay attention to her signals and I feel she is pretty good at telling me when she doesn’t want to be pet. Space is something of which I am very mindful as it is something I like to preserve for myself. Being private and somewhat of a loner, I don’t appreciate a lot of unexpected touching. I like to think I respect my dog’s wishes in this area as much as possible.
Then again, with such a cute face in front of me, and such soft ears, it can be hard to put all my tactile urges aside. I am human, after all, with a need to connect with whom I love. I can’t talk to Shiva and get her to relate to me that way; touching seems to be the best alternative.
But does she always welcome this? That’s what I want to understand.
When I consider our previous interactions, I do think Shiva lets me know when she wants petting and when it is the last thing on her mind. For instance, I know she is not a fan of public displays. Anytime we are out of the house and I reach out to scratch her ears, she pulls away. In agility class, when I try to stroke her side as we wait our turn on the sidelines, she immediately leaps up and away from my reaching hand. However, at home, behind closed doors, she often seems to seek out physical affection. At least as far as I can tell.
It’s hard to be objective about this sort of thing. I can’t really separate my emotions. I get a lot out of petting my animal companions so it’s natural that I assume (hope??) they do too. When I give affection, I want it to be interpreted with all my intended love. It would be awful to think my animals would rather duck and cover.
I shot some video footage and I’d love to hear what you think Shiva is trying to tell me. The scenes in the video below were taped about half an hour after I returned home from work. Just enough time for Shiva to have calmed down but before her nightly walk.
In contrast, I will also share a video of my attempts to show my affection for The Cat. I won’t say what I think he is trying to tell me but in my opinion he is even better at setting his boundaries than Shiva. Cats are awesome that way, aren’t they?
Are your pets good at communicating when they like to be touched?
Today, apparently, was declared National Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day. I am still trying to figure out whose idea this was. Clearly not someone who actually lives with a cat. Everyone who lives with a feline knows one of their best characteristics is their silence. After their soft little paws, of course. No one who knows cats wants to hear their disdainful diatribes. Just because we love them for who they are, doesn’t mean we really want to know just how little they think of us.
But! It is the day for it and who am I to question a randomly assigned, totally arbitrary, completely meaningless holiday? If my cat has questions to ask me, I’d better get to answering them!
The Cat: Indeed. Bow down to me, pathetic human.
Me: Yeah, yeah. Let’s get this over with. What do you want to know?
T.C.: Why are you the owner while I – a far superior creature – am merely “the pet”?
Me: Because you aren’t capable of opening the food bag. Next question.
T.C.:Fine. Why can’t I go outside whenever I want and then come back in whenever I want?
Me: Because we can’t leave the door open twenty-four hours a day, just for you. Unless you are going to start paying for heating oil. Also, the dog would get out.
T.C.: Why does it matter if the dog gets out?
Me: If the dog gets out she’ll run around the neighbourhood and potentially get hit by a car!
T.C.: Point being?
Me: Next question!
T.C.: Why did you get me a fish tank, fill it with fish, and then put a lid on it so I can’t actually reach said fish?
Me: We didn’t get you a fish tank. The aquarium is for us to enjoy. The fish are also our pets.
T.C.:So… The fish and I are equals? Is that what you are saying?
Me: No. Not exactly. We haven’t named the fish. And they are really more of a hobby…
T.C.: What’s a hobby? Can I have a fish hobby?
T.C.:Cool. So, when are you going to buy me a fish? Or should I just take one of yours?
Me: No fish! I really think we have gotten off topic here.
T.C.: You are answering my questions. My questions is, can I have a fish?
Me: No! Next question!
T.C.:Why do you keep touching my feet?
Me: Because they are so cute and soft and cute! You have the most adorable little kitty paws in the world! Eee!
T.C.:Adorable enough to get me a fish?
Me: Ugh. No! I think we’re done here.
T.C.:We’re done when I say we’re done. Why can’t I have a fish?
Me: Because we secretly hate you. Interview over!
T.C.: I knew it!
Sorry about that… I should have known it would be a massive failure. For a much more entertaining example with 100% less ichthyocide, check out the video below. If your cat could ask you one question, what do you think it would be?
I originally put together this video montage of sorts to serve as part of yesterday’s Pet Blogger Challenge. Once I actually got to answering all of the questions I realized the post was big enough and the video would get lost in the mix. The amount of work I put into editing the dang thing makes it deserve a post of it’s own.
I like to think so, anyway.
If you remember, I declared 2012 to be my official Year of Zoomery. Essentially, this meant I was dedicating my year to saying yes to adventure and trying new things – going for it despite my misgivings. I don’t know if I was as brave as I wanted to be; it wasn’t a year without some regret. I certainly tried to put myself out there more than ever before. Heck, there was even a moment I was literally out there, hanging from the tree tops at OnTree Park. My Life List received quite a few check marks last year and I’ve decided I am proud of myself.
To celebrate and look back at all the laughs, and tears, of 2012, I put together a video of some of my favourite photos from last year. I hope you enjoy it. Thank you for taking the journey with me. It might sound trite but I am sincere when I say that I couldn’t have done it without each and every one of you.
I don’t know how many of you know about Wallace but he is one of my biggest canine heroes. Yes, he is a pit bull. Yes, he was originally owned by a dog fighting ring. Yes, he was adopted from a shelter after being slated for euthanasia. These are all good reasons to put him up as a dog of note. Most dogs born into the world with those three strikes against them don’t make it through very well. That’s just fact.
However, even if Wallace had come from happier circumstances, the things he has achieved are pretty dang impressive. Most dogs don’t achieve the things he has. Most people haven’t made as significant a contribution to the lives of others as Wallace. I can’t help but admire the heck out of him and his human family for putting so much energy into something they believe in.
Jim Gorant, author of The Lost Dogs, wrote a terrific account of Wallace’s challenging start and his efforts to becoming a disc dog champion. I was a huge fan before I read it and am an even bigger one now – not just of Wallace himself but of the people behind him.
It takes a lot of solid work to claim the success of Wallace and his handler, Andrew Yori. Work and patience and confidence. Reading about their experiences highlighted for me why some people reach their goals and why some never will. It has nothing to do with background or money. It’s the willingness to sacrifice everything else, to find a way despite the obstacles, to shove everything else aside in order to accomplish one’s dream.
I don’t think I have that kind of single-mindedness. I know I don’t. But I am exhilarated by following the lives of those who do.
After watching some cool videos of pit bull weight-pulling contests on Something Wagging This Way Comes I remembered that weight-pulling was how Wallace got his start. While the dog waited in the shelter for his forever home, volunteer trainer Yori had the idea of harnessing him to a tire in order to drain some of his energy. It worked to some pretty awesome results and Wallace was eventually a champion of that sport as well.
Though this was several years ago, I figured there had to be some early videos of Wallace on Youtube and spent a few hours last night looking them up. Naturally, I have to share with you my favourite one. They are all worth watching but the one I loved the most is a compilation of all of Wallace’s achievements in weight-pulling and disc in under two years. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!
Want to help shelter animals but don’t have a lot of time or money to give? The Talking Animals Guy has teamed up with Iams Home 4 the Holidays to make it pretty easy to make a difference in the lives of rescue pets. Get this:
For every view AND every share of this year’s holiday singing animals compilation – through January 2nd – Iams will feed a shelter animal!
You heard me right. To help animals in shelters, all you have to do is watch an adorable video. Granted, it’s a Shiva-less video so it may not be as cute as others I’ve shared in the past, but I think it’s at least bearable. Just click the little play button below and you’ve fed an animal in need.
Think you are up to the task?
It’s hard work but someone’s gotta do it.
Now that you have completed this grueling chore, why not force others to do the same? There is nothing worse than suffering alone.
In light of more serious events, I am going to put off the post I had drafted for today. It just doesn’t seem appropriate. I’ve turned off my television for now and urge you to do the same. Click out of Facebook and the morass that is. Let’s instead be grateful to be here, alive, warm, and among the furry pets we are lucky to love. Curl up on the couch, the floor, or on your favourite pillow and get ready.
It’s Jingle Goat time.
Feel better? No? Watch it again. And again. And again. There is no shame. I think I am going to have it on repeat for the rest of the night.
Halifax is again making national news with the addition of a “puppy room” to the Dalhousie University campus. I used to think I had attended a fairly decent school for my undergraduate program eons ago. But I don’t remember seeing a single animal on the grounds. Unless you count the pronghorn mascot statue.
While this story is great and I am glad students have this chance to unwind, it’s amusing to me how revolutionary of an idea it seems to people across the country. Animal lovers have known the emotional and mental benefit a furry body can provide for decades. It’s about time the rest of the world caught up.
Do you think a puppy or kitty room would have helped you get better grades?