22

What to Do When Your Human Gets Sick

Greetings. Snoops and Kommando here again. Mom’s sick, so we’re back on blog duty, as if being the talent wasn’t enough trouble without needing to keep this whole operation afloat by ourselves. Since this clearly won’t stand, we’re going to nurse her back to health. Mom says we’re not “Get Well” kitties, though. (She keeps talking about some former cat – we hate it when she loses focus on us like that.) So we’re going to us this post to prove her wrong. Here are some common human ailments, and what you can do about them.

Why do cats sleep on people? - Quora

Coughing

Just like us, humans cough sometimes. Unlike us, it’s not because they get hairballs. Since they aren’t actually coughing anything up, the whole thing is a bit of an unsightly waste of time. Sometimes it can help to lay on your human’s chest. However, if they are really seriously coughing, then this isn’t always enough. Not to mention that it can make their chest seriously unstable, what with all the convulsions. In these cases, we advise laying over your human’s mouth and nose, which is almost guaranteed to stop their coughing.

Fever

If you’ve ever thought that your human is even warmer than usual, then they might have had what Mom calls a fever. You’re not dreaming; they actually do get warmer! As an added bonus, they’re even more likely to lay down when it happens, so make sure to take full advantage and get in a nice nap with your human. Ours keeps water on the bedside table when she has a fever, which we think is extra-considerate, since it means we only have to get up if we need to eat or use the litter box. Humans reading this, take note.

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Runny Nose/Stuffy Nose

You’d think a nose as basic as the average human’s would require little to no upkeep, but you’d be wrong. Somehow, it’s one of the most failure-prone parts of many humans, whether it gets clogged or starts to ooze human juice. On the whole, it’s pretty gross, so we recommend that you stay away until your human is healed on their own. It might feel callous, but there’s really nothing you can do. Humans are tougher than they look (thank goodness).

sleepy cat Blank Template - Imgflip

Lethargy/Drowsiness

On a more positive note, your human may become tired and lie down because of their illness. This is what we mentioned when were talking about fevers. As we stated earlier, this is the perfect time to catch up on all those missed nap opportunities from when your human was making lame excuses to leave the house, like “work.” (Your very presence should comfort and reassure your human. If it doesn’t, or if you can’t tell, make sure your human knows you’re there, by batting at their face, jumping on their chest, gently gnawing their toes, or whatever you normally do to get their attention. Your human might be sick, but that’s no excuse for them to be ungrateful.)

Headaches

Occasionally, your human might complain about a sore head. We’ve seen how their brains work, so this isn’t surprising. In general, they’re kind of like fevers, where making sure your human is resting and recovering on their own is the best option. Some headaches are made worse by loud noises, though. If your human winces and holds their head when you hear something noisy, take note. We recommend loudly meowing to cover up the noise aggravating your human’s condition – be sure to drown it out entirely, working in a team if necessary.

Cats Don't Beg For Food Pictures, Photos, and Images for Facebook, Tumblr,  Pinterest, and Twitter

Upset Stomach

Some humans have very delicate dispositions. For example, Mom gets queasy when Snoops brings her mousy bits to snack on. Many humans complain of tummy trouble from time to time. Our best advice is to just be proactive and keep an eye on what your human is eating. If there’s anything you don’t recognize, you should at least give it a sniff test, if not a taste test. remember that your human might no know what’s best for them, and don’t be afraid to be persistent if they don’t want to let you see their food. If you’re not careful, Bast knows what they will put in their mouths. Ours keep trying to eat lentils.

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This list, with the exception of lethargy/drowsiness, is by no means exhaustive, but we hope it provides insight on some of the more common human maladies. Proper care, treatment, and maintenance will have your human performing at peak efficiency – a properly taken care of human takes care of you properly. Also, we had to prove that we’re better get-well kitties than what’s-her-name. With that done, we wish you the best of luck using our tips to keep your own human in tip-top shape!

Purrs & Headbonks,

Snoops and Kommando Kitty

Pictures courtesy of Google Images

12

Gator Family Vacation: A Punk Croc Odessey – Part 2

Alligators spotted at Lake Worth over Memorial Day Weekend | wfaa.com

Where we are – The gators decided to head north for a family vacation on Lake Michigan. Meanwhile, Uncle Stu has been road-tripping with his favorite punk croc band, Acrocalypse. Stu called Granny to have Stan meet him in Detroit. Stan and his family pull up outside a landmark club on Detroit’s west side, The Swamp. You can read Part 1 here.

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Justine: Gee, Dad. This place looks a little scary.

Stan: Don’t worry, girls. It’s just showing its age. This club has been around for years.

Stan walked up and tried to open the door, but it was locked. He walked around back and tried that door.

Stan: That’s odd. I know Stu said The Swamp.

Adele: Knowing Stu, he got the right club in the wrong city. Try calling him.

Alligator Crawling out of Apartment Storm Drain Shocks Local Residents

Stan dialed the number and it rang. No answer and the mailbox was full. Stan let out a low growl. He called his mother.

Stan: Hi, Mom. Have you heard from Uncle Stu? I’m at the club, and there’s no one around.

Granny: Didn’t you get his message?

Stan: What message?

Granny: The band went out last night, and the bus broke down. They need you to pick them up in Flint.

Stan: Flint! We just drove through Flint. Why didn’t he call me?

Granny: I don’t know, dear. But they need to be back in Detroit in time for tonight’s show, so you better hurry.

Back seat alligator | Animals | Know Your Meme

Stan was growling loudly by now. He turned the car around, and they drove an hour back to Flint. It wasn’t hard to find the Acrocalype bus. There weren’t many black-and-purple VW buses roaming the streets. 

Stan: Uncle Stu! We finally found you!

Stu: Stan! You made it! I was getting worried about you. Adele! It’s so nice to see you. Beautiful as ever. And the girls growing more gorgeous daily. C’mon. Let me introduce you to the guys!

The Three Crocodiles. The sun crept below the mangroves… | by Auden Wright  | The Authentic Eclectic | Medium

Stu introduced them to three rather small crocodiles. 

Stu: This is Billy Joe, Iggy, and Mick. Better known as Acrocalypse.

Stan: Pleased to meet you.

Billy Joe: The pleasure is ours. We appear to be stranded.

Stan: What happened?

Stu: We decided to see a band up here on our night off. When we got up this morning, the van wouldn’t start. I need you to take a look at it.

Stan: Me? I’m not a mechanic. You had me drive all the way down here to look at your van?

Robert Irwin Shares Video Of Alligator Enjoying A Car Ride | ETCanada.com

Stu: Don’t be silly. I invited you to the club. But first we have to get to the club. So I need you to get the van moving. (Whispers) These are nice guys, but they don’t know the first thing about anything practical.

Stan rolled his eyes. He could hear Justine and Suzy giggling. Adele was trying not to smile. Stan opened the hood and told Stu to try to start the engine. He listened for a minute.

Stan: When was the last time you put gas in this thing?

Stu: Um. Probably about three days ago. It usually lasts about a week while we’re on a gig. We should still have a couple days worth of gas left.

Stan: How far do you usually drive?

Stu: Just around the city.

Stan: You’re not in the city. You’re in Flint.

Gator Snaps Up Low Fuel Prices at Flagler Airport - GoToby.com: Florida  Real Estate Newsalligator at flagler airport - GoToby.com: Florida Real  Estate News

Stu: Oh yeah. I shoulda got gas.

Iggy: Man, Stu, you really shoulda got gas.

Stu: Okay. Let’s get gas and get back. We gotta get Stan ready for the show.

Stan: What do you mean, get me ready for the show?

Mick: You’re our bass guy for the next few nights. Iggy’s got a bad paw.

Stan: I’m not a bass player.

Billie Joe: Stu said you can play.

Global Times - 【Odd】A baby crocodile holds an electric guitar as it leans  against a tree at a crocodile breeding sanctuary in Tangerang, Indonesia.  Photo: IC http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/1030457.shtml | Facebook

Stan: I’m an accountant.

Iggy: Stu, you said he could play. You said he could play our stuff.

Stu: He can play your stuff. He was in a band called Blind Justice. They were very popular locally.

Stan: That was years ago. And we weren’t punkers. We were rockers.

Stu: You were good.

Justine: You were in a band, Dad?

Stan: It was a long time ago. When I was in college and just after.

Adele: You still play once in a while.

Stan: Not professionally.

Scientists Gave Alligators Ketamine and Headphones to Understand Dinosaur  Hearing

Suzy: Dad, you have to try.

Stu drove with the gators back to Detroit. By the time they arrived, Stan had agreed to try playing with Billie Joe and Mick.

Mick: Okay. Let’s start with “I Wanna Eat Your Dog.”

Stan joined in after a few notes and kept up with the band. Stu was nodding his head and keeping time. They moved through a few more of the old hits: “I Wanna Be Your Frog,” “Eat on the Brat,” and “Cairo Calling.” Stan was having a great time. The girls weren’t sure whether they were impressed or appalled.

Suzy: Dad, you’re actually pretty good.

Justine: I’m impressed. I have to post this on my GatorGram.

American Alligator (Alligator mississippiensis)

The band mates huddled together, whispering. Stu looked at them nervously. Finally, Mick motioned him over, and they whispered some more. 

Iggy: The doc says I can’t play for about a week. Think you can cover the gig?

Stan: I don’t know. I’m supposed to be back at work.

Stu: Call them. Tell them it’s a family emergency.

Adele: Go ahead, honey. How many chances like this will you get?

And Stan got to live out the fantasy of many middle-aged former rockers.

29 Funny alligators ideas | funny, bones funny, funny pictures

Pictures courtesy of Google Images.

16

Gator Family Vacation: A Punk Croc Odessey

Why Are Alligators Showing Up on Beaches? | The Weather Channel

Stan and Adele were basking in the warm Michigan sun. For some reason, the family had decided to vacation Up North by Lake Michigan this year.

Suzy: Hey, Dad. Who planned this year’s vacation? It’s really pretty here.

Justine: It is pretty. But I got cold last night. You should have packed blankets, Mom.

Adele: It’s no worse than home in the winter.

Alligator On Sand - DesiComments.com

Stan: We’re only going to be here a few more days. I really like the sand. It doesn’t catch in my toes like the rocks by our creek.

Adele: I’m pretty sure your cousin Danny suggested it. He came up here when he was interviewing for a residency.

Suzy: I can’t believe he graduated from Animal Tech and is a real bird doctor.

Justine: I still think it’s goofy that he wants to treat birds. Where’s he going to work?

Stan: He got a really good offer from a clinic in the Everglades.

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Justine: Ooh! Gator nirvana! And he won’t have to worry about snow like up here. I can’t believe he even considered Michigan.

Adele: I guess they have a lot of birds in all these trees.

Just then, they heard a loud splash. Cousin Penelope had married her boyfriend Maxwell. They were trying to get their son Stephen into the water.

Penelope: C’mon, sweetie. Let’s go in the water.

Stephen: I don’t want to, Mama. You know I don’t like water.

Do Alligators Live in Saltwater or Freshwater? - AZ Animals

Maxwell: Don’t be ridiculous. You’re an alligator. We love water. It’s how we cool down.

Stephen: I’m not hot.

Maxwell: We’ll just get our feet wet.

Stephen: I don’t wanna.

Penelope: It’ll be fun.

Stephen: I don’t wanna.

Maxwell snuck up behind Stephen and pushed hard with his snout. Stephen landed in the water with a thud. The water only came partway up his legs, but Stephen was not happy. He started howling.

Young alligators basking under the sun. - Picture of Alligator Adventure,  North Myrtle Beach - Tripadvisor

Penelope: Stephen, just relax. It’s only water. You’ll have fun if you stop complaining. Look at your cousins. They’re having a great time.

Stephen: I don’t care. I don’t like water.

Finally, Penelope and Maxwell gave up. They all returned to the beach. Stephen was shivering.

Justine: How bizarre.

Suzy (giggling): You know what a princess Penelope has always been. The kid’s just like her.

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The gators laid on the warm sand and enjoyed the sun with their eyes closed. Stan was just about asleep.

Granny: Stan! Wake up! I have to talk to you.

Stan opened one eye.

Stan: What’s up?

Granny: It’s your Uncle Stu. He needs your help.

Stu was a beloved elder member of the family. He kept the others entertained with his stories. Part of the reason he had so many stories was his legendarily bad sense of direction. He spent many hours being in the wrong place and trying to get home.

dreamt that alligators and crocodiles became famous music artists and it  was very popular news, they also wore headphones for some reason : r/Dreams

He hadn’t joined the family vacation because he was spending the summer touring with his favorite punk croc band, Acrocalypse. He had been a fan for years, since it had evolved from its swamp rock roots, the band Creedence Crocodile Redemption.

Stu had been welcomed by the band and had been traveling with them on the tour bus. He did odd jobs along the way. It seemed to be working out well for everyone.

Stan: What happened? Did he miss the bus?

Granny: I don’t think so. He said he needs your help.

Gators – Gatorland

Stan: Doing what?

Granny: He didn’t say. But he want you to meet him in Detroit.

Stan loved Uncle Stu, but it was always an adventure when Stu needed help. Nothing was ever easy.

Stan: Why me? Everyone’s in Michigan. Can’t someone else go? What about my family?

You can take them with you. Please? Do it for me.

Stan sighed. He talked to Adele, and they made plans to leave for Detroit in the morning.

Next week: If he wasn’t lost, why did Stu need Stan?

Robert Irwin Shares Video Of Alligator Enjoying A Car Ride | ETCanada.com

Pictures courtesy of Google Images.

21

Home Alone Feline Edition: This Time it’s Personal

Snoops and Kommando here. And we are not pleased. Our humans have abandoned us. Our human sister and her very loud family came over a couple of days ago. Of course, we hid. When we came out, our humans were gone. That’s not usual. They disappear regularly, but they always come back.

 But it’s been light and dark and light and dark, and they’re still gone. A strange man came in yesterday and fed us. He said they are on vacation. Vacation? Who would need a vacation from us? Apparently they are going to be gone for a few days.

Now we have to think of a way to get even. The question is, should we do something while they’re gone or should we wait until they get back?

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Maybe a nice hairball.

Fancy cats and dead gifts - Meme by Capra24 :) Memedroid

Or some kind of varmint.

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Maybe we can take it out on the plants.

LALALALALALA. Not Listening!

We can give them the silent treatment when they get home.

No touch me, im angy - iFunny :)

Or maybe just act really grumpy.

We think that we’ll just look really cute when they get back. Then they’ll feel bad for leaving us alone. (If you have a better idea, please leave it in the comments.)

Memes courtesy of Google Images.

17

There Goes the Neighborhood: The Groundhogs’ Bad Season: Part 2

Groundhog Day: Munching Marmots Emerge From the Scientific Shadows - The  New York Times

Where we are: Harold and Madge Groundhog were concerned that their yard was being beautified in preparation of being sold. They were rather fond of their human; they and the other animals pretty much had the run of the place. You can read Part 1 here.

Harold: It’s getting worse. Now the other human, the younger one, is starting to clean up the yard too.

Madge: I know. The sticks are all gone, and the grass is shorter than it’s been in ages.

Harold: And the sidewalks are all clean.

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Madge: Our human is out every weekend, clearing away the weeds. I guess it’s more the way humans like it, but I miss the overgrowth. She got rid of all the grape vines. She said they were “invasive.”

Harold: Just because they were trying to root in the vinyl siding.

Sara Squirrel: Isn’t that like ivy-league? I thought that was high-class for humans.

Madge: Beats me. All I know is that the sun is getting into our home a lot more than it used to. And I don’t really feel safe anymore.

Roger Raccoon: Me and my friends have been trying to keep it from getting too clean. We’ve dumped the catnip and tomato plants a couple of times.

Ricky Raccoon: Not that you can tell. It gets cleaned up first thing in the morning.

Harold: And they moved some of the stuff inside.

Madge: They keep putting the catnip back down for that new cat to lie in.

Sara Squirrel: Yeah. Those two cats act like they own the place. I thought for sure the inside cats would try to drive them off, but they don’t seem to care.

Pierre Rabbit: I saw the human planting some stuff in front of the house.

Just then a bat flew over. The bats didn’t really like the rest of the animals, but he was curious about what was going on.

Benson: Hey, guys. What’s up?

Madge: We’re worried that the humans are getting the place ready to sell.

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Benson: You should see what’s going on inside. Major cleaning. Whole rooms are being cleared out.

Madge: Are they talking about moving?

Benson: I wish. My whole family has been living peacefully in the attic. They stirred everything up; we’re all moving out to the bat house. It’s ridiculous inside.

 Madge: But that’s your home!

Benson: It’s not worth it. The human is afraid of us. Every time she sees a bat, she gets the younger one and he puts us out. We’d rather leave on our own terms.

Guide to game: Rabbit and hare

Pierre: It’s not so bad out here. We have a lot of room, and no one bothers us.

Priscilla Rabbit: Did you hear the humans say anything about selling the house?

Benson: No. That’s not what’s going on. I guess that the other main human died a couple of years ago. They’re just finally getting around to really cleaning everything up. It’s a big house and a big yard.

Harold: Yeah. I guess it would take a lot of energy to get things straightened out.

Benson: The humans who are left said something about the one who’s gone being a pack rat. I don’t really know what that means. I saw pictures. He looks like all the other humans.

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Harold: Weird. I don’t think we have rats around here. I think they look like big mice.

Mortimer Mouse: Yeah. Kinda. But not so cute.

Harold: Do you know what a pack rat is?

Mortimer: I think it has something to do with the way that some rats hoard things.

Benson: Yeah. That sounds right. They are throwing away a LOT of stuff in the house.

Harold: And a lot of stuff out here.

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Priscilla: But they attracted those two cats. I don’t really like cats.

Pierre: But as long as they feed the cats, the cats don’t bother us.

Priscilla: Good point.

Roger: If they’re not cleaning to sell, we can probably stop trashing the plants on the porch.

Ricky: Sounds good to me. They’re not growing anything good anyway.

Madge (sighing): I guess that means I have to live with less privacy.

Woodchuck Food Habits - Woodchuck Wonderland

Benson: I overheard them say something about moving some of the peonies into the space they cleared.

Madge: Ooh! I love peonies. I hope that’s soon.

Benson: I did hear one other thing. There is no plan to clear the back area anytime soon.

Ricky: All right! Block party this weekend!!

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Pictures courtesy of Google Images

20

There Goes the Neighborhood: The Groundhogs’ Bad Season

Groundhog Photos and Facts

The groundhog family had been living under the porch of the old farmhouse for generations. It was a pretty nice location: the humans didn’t spend too much time outside, and they never bothered the groundhogs. There was plenty of clover to eat and even an ornamental peach tree to climb.

Life had been particularly good in the past couple of years. Something had happened to the male human, and the female human stopped working in the yard almost entirely. The garden in front of the porch got overgrown, and it was hard to even see under the porch. The groundhogs were thrilled. Nothing bothered them, and they came and went as they pleased.

File:Groundhog on rock.jpg - Wikipedia

But this past spring something changed.

Harold: Hey Madge, you notice that the human seems more active than usual?

Madge: Yeah. She’s been over at the side of the house digging around. She’s talking about putting in a rock garden.

Harold: That would be nice. It would give us someplace to sun.

Madge: That’s true. We wouldn’t have to walk around to the back of the house anymore.

Harold: I hope she doesn’t dig up all the clover.

Madge: I wouldn’t worry about it. It hasn’t happened in the 20 years our family’s lived here.

Harold: Excellent point.

Woodchuck Food Habits - Woodchuck Wonderland

Indeed, soon enough the human stopped digging up the side of the house. She came back one day with a bunch of plants that she put on the porch.

Madge: Did you see all that gorgeous greenery. It looks pretty yummy.

Harold: It’s awfully close to the house. I’m not going up there to explore.

Madge: I think she’s going to plant some of it in our yard.

Harold: Oooh. That will be nice. The more green, the better.

Nature Notes: Winter is Coming | The Michigan Nature Guy's Blog

However, the human didn’t put the new plants in the yard. She moved them into larger pots and left them on the porch. One morning, the groundhogs heard digging.

Harold: Look, Madge. She’s clearing the part of the yard by the other front porch. Maybe that’s where she’s going to grow our new plants.

Madge: That would be convenient. I wonder if we should figure out a way to tell her where to put the stuff we like best.

Harold: Let’s go explore what’s up there.

Woodchuck Food Habits - Woodchuck Wonderland

The groundhogs discovered that most of the plants were too high to reach. There were a couple of bushes and some catnip. They also found tomatoes and peppers in pots.

Harold: This is very disappointing. I hope the good stuff is in the pots up top.

Madge: Let’s ask the rabbits to check it out for us. They can jump up there and see.

Safe Wood and Other Plants For Rabbits

The next night, Pierre jumped up on the railing and had a look around. All he could see were herbs. Except, there was one particularly appetizing smell.

Pierre: Bad news, guys. There’s nothing really good up there. Oregano, sage, rosemary. Nothing that’s really going to appeal to anyone.

Harold: Well, rats.

Madge: I hope she finishes putting it in soon. At least we won’t have to worry about having a human out all the time.

Groundhog Trapping & Removal Near Willow Grove, Pennsylvania

The human continued cleaning out the yard. The groundhogs weren’t really paying much attention. One Saturday, they woke up to loud noises a few feet from their nest. They looked out in horror.

Madge: Do something, Harold! She’s digging up right next to our porch! We’re going to lose all our privacy.

Harold: What do you want me to do about it?

Madge: I don’t know. We have to stop this.

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Later that day, they heard the humans discussing the work. They were very excited about how much “nicer” it looked and how much better it would be once all of the weeds were gone. The groundhogs decided it was time for a neighborhood meeting.

Harold: We wanted to get everyone together to discuss what’s going on in the neighborhood.

Sara Squirrel: You mean the humans’ “Beautification” project? It’s awful. They’re picking up all the sticks, digging out all the weeds, and cleaning up the sidewalks.

Roger Raccoon: Before we know it, the whole place is going to look like it belongs on the front of one of those sales brochures. Like it was when the humans first moved in.

Pierre: We can’t let that happen. What if this human decides to sell it? No one is ever going to be as easy to manipulate as she is.

Texas family wakes up to raccoon on bathroom sink - ABC7 New York

Roger: That’s true. She lets us pretty much run the place.

Harold: Maybe. But she’s destroying my peace of mind right now. She’s ruining the entrance to our home.

Priscilla Rabbit: She’s bringing in nasty plants too. I thought she had planted some fennel. Super yummy. But when I dug up the bulbs, it was only the plant, not the edible kind. Talk about rude.

Madge: A couple of cats have started hanging around too. You know the neighborhood won’t be safe anymore if they stick around.

Roger: We have to do something before we get beautified out of our happy homes.

Next Week: The animals’ plan and how it works out.

10

Bears v Bulls: The Great Tug-of-War

These Photos of Animals Eating Food Will Brighten Your Day

It was time for the annual Everest Financial company picnic. It was a family event, and a highlight of the year. One of the most anticipated events was was the big tug-of-war. Every year, the “big boys” of the firm fought it out for bragging rights. It was always the bulls on one side and the bears on the other. The bulls had been winning for the past few years, but the bears had been practicing.

The bulls were an upbeat bunch. They always looked at the bright side, even when things seemed to go against them. They were optimistic and hopeful for the future. The clients loved them. Oddly, on the years that the bulls won the match, the company usually performed very well.

What Is a Group of Bears Called? | Animals Pickings

On the other hand, the bears were a lot quieter. They had a tendency to try and find the flaws in the bulls’ approach. They were cautious by nature. Some of the customers were afraid of the bears. They thought that the bears were bad luck. In fact, when the bears won the tug-of-war, the company usually performed poorly for some time afterwards.

The big day arrived. It was a beautiful sunny day. The bulls, as usual, were convinced they were going to win.

Herd Bulls | texasminiaturecattle

Jerry: OK, guys! We’re on a winning streak. We have to keep it going.

Louis: I don’t know. I have a weird feeling about today.

Jerry: What do you mean?

Louis: I’ve been hearing rumors.

Jimmy: What kind of rumors?

Louis: That the bears are a lot stronger than last year.

Jimmy: So what? We’re strong too.

Louis: Yeah. But some of the guys haven’t been working out. They’re convinced that we’re going to keep winning forever.

Jerry: Don’t be ridiculous. Of course, we’re going to win.

Angry Bear - JattDiSite.com

The bears came charging onto the field. They did look tough. And mean. Obviously, they meant to win this year.

Barry: Listen up, team. We can do this. Those stupid bulls are way too cocky. It’s time to teach them a lesson.

Theo: Things have been going their way for too long. It’s time for a correction.

Monique: Let’s show them what happens when you get too excited and lose track of common sense.

Meerkat | San Diego Zoo Animals & Plants

A huge crowd had gathered. There was a lot of tension in the air. The judges brought out the rope and laid it on the sand. The animals lined up on their respective sides. The main referee, a huge lion, explained the rules.

Lion: You may wrap the line around your body or hold it in your teeth. If you bite through the rope, the other team wins. The first team to pull the entire other team across the middle line wins. No throwing of dirt or bodily fluids. No poking, hitting, or biting. The judges may disqualify a player or an entire team. No eating opponents or spectators. Are you ready?

How the lion lost its strength: big cats' survival at risk as DNA defences dwindle | Wildlife | The Guardian

The bulls and the bears stepped into position and nodded.

Lion: Go!

Both sides dug in and tried to pull the other off balance. At first, there was a lot of grunting and groaning, but not much movement. The crowd was cheering loudly for the bulls. But Louis had been right; some of the bulls had gotten complacent, thinking that things would always be going their way.

So stubborn .. | Animals, Animals beautiful, Bear

The bears dug in hard and refused to budge. Before long, it was obvious that it was only a matter of time before the bulls collapsed. At first, it was just a couple of them losing their footing. Then they were attacked by horse flies. Soon their entire line was falling apart. The bears waited for an opportune moment.

The wind picked up and started blowing the sand around. It seemed to bother the bulls more than the bears. The bears kept up their pressure. Suddenly, the bulls collapsed. With a giant heave, the bears pulled them across the line and won the game.

Some of the crowd congratulated the bears, but mostly they went back to their picnic. The bears winning might be a bad sign, but there was always next year. And they didn’t want to rile up the bears any further. The last time the crowd upset the bears, they rode the bulls back to the office.

Sorted Food — 5 Top Animal / Food Blogs!

Ed. Note: Apologies to anyone who isn’t familiar with the US stock market. Generally speaking, the bulls are the people who think things are going to get better, and the bears are the ones who think they are going to get worse. At the moment, the bears are on top. A “correction” is what happens when the market starts to slow down after it gets too hot.

Of Bears and Bulls: The Irrationality of People | by Anthony Sassano | Medium

Pictures courtesy of Google Images.

18

Snoops and Kommando: We’re Being Overrun!

Greetings. Snoops and Kommando Kitty here. We have some rather annoying news.

Kommando: Remember a couple of weeks ago when you heard from Gypsy Katt, our basement-dwelling cousin?

Snoops: She’s still here. And not ready to go anywhere soon. She comes out to say hello to our human sister, but isn’t getting near enough to any of the humans to be put in a carrier.

Kommando: We don’t see her either, but we know she’s there. We can hear her. And smell her.

Snoops: She doesn’t smell bad.

Kommando: No. Just like strange cat.

Snoops: But that’s not the big news. Now we have an outside visitor too. And it looks a lot like Kommando.

Kommando: No way. I’m much more beautiful.

Snoops: Our human sister thought you had escaped the first time she saw that cat.

Kommando: You notice she’s wearing glasses now, right?

Snoops: I guess. But they got a couple of pictures of the visitor. (Top and bottom of the page.) And that cat does look a lot like you.

Kommando: But dirtier and without my beautiful markings. It definitely needs to be brushed. And probably bathed.

Snoops: I’ve seen that cat around before.

For Cats Only on Twitter: "What is your cat's favorite hiding place? #cats  #Nigel #forcatsonly #catmemes #Memes #funnycats #funniest  https://t.co/dwVLrWLjNS" / Twitter

Kommando: Yeah, for at least a couple of years. But she always disappeared before Mom could feed her or get a closer look.

Snoops: She’s been coming back for almost two weeks now. Every day, almost. A couple of times she even waited for Mom to feed her.

Kommando: I wonder if the field mouse population is decreasing. Maybe that’s why she’s hungry.

Snoops: I don’t know. She talks a lot, but I don’t really understand what she’s saying. She was here every day, then disappeared. I thought she was gone again.

Funny Raccoon Stealing Cat Food Picture | Cute funny animals, Funny animal  pictures, Funny animal memes

Kommando: Mom thinks a raccoon got into the food one night and scared the kitty away for a couple of days.

Snoops: She was back today and hung around for quite a while. I think she might be settling in.

Kommando: I hope not. What if she starts eating our food? We might starve.

Snoops: We’re not going to starve. Mom won’t let that happen.

Kommando: Maybe that cat will try to come in and wreck our happy home.

Snoops: She runs whenever one of the humans tries to approach her.

Kommando: I don’t know. I don’t like it. We have a strange cat downstairs, and we have a strange cat outside. Pretty soon we’re going to be outnumbered.

Snoops: You do have a point. Right now, we have two cats and two humans. Four cats and two humans sounds like a definite downgrade. We better talk to Mom about it.

Ed. Note – No one has gotten close enough to know the gender of the cat. We call it “she” for convenience – “it” seems kind of rude. Kommando just appeared at the window well one day. It is possible that this cat is related to her.

Memes courtesy of Google Images.

14

No Mow May: Sheep Going For the Green

How to Keep Animals Cool in Hot Weather | Livestock Solutions from OLE

Ed. Note: We are pleased to welcome Snoops’ and Kommando’s human brother to the ranks of our contributors:

Alonso was not a happy sheep.  As he walked dusty New Mexican streets with the hot May sun beating down on him, he wondered if he and his brothers had even made the right choice coming this year.  In past years, they had done quite well for themselves.  Every season, they would be shorn in the spring, and then they’d pile into their battered Jeep for the trip North.  There, they got by taking care of people’s lawns—not only was it a free meal, but they normally even managed to send something home to help the rest of the family.  But in recent years there was less work every season.

Coachella Valley on Twitter: "A bighorn ram headbutts a barrel cactus to  break through the skin and spines to get to the water rich pulp inside.  Bighorn sheep can go for months

Lush, green, delicious lawns were becoming less and less common, as rains were becoming more sporadic.  Where sprinklers had once flowed freely all day every day, there were bare trickles of water into sparse patches of grass.  And that was if there was any lawn at all!  Last year, they’d come calling on a well-to-do tortoise who had always been very generous, only to find his yard not a swathe of green, but a wide, sandy space filled mostly with rocks and gravel.  The only bits of green were a few cacti.  Alonso’s littlest brother Francisco had tried eating a cactus once.  His review was, “Ith nah vehy tathty.”

Lambs learn to eat Dalmatian toadflax by watching Mom at pasture potluck

But the latest news was even more ludicrous than the cacti.  He, Emiliano, Sancho, and Francisco had gotten into town a few days ago, and had been overjoyed when they saw a yard practically overgrown by shoulder-high grass, but the bear living there had turned them away, simply saying that he was “letting it go this year.”  Initially, they had figured he was just grumpy and out of sorts from having just woken up, but the next house was even worse.

Why Do Cats Lay In The Sun?

That home also had a large, verdant lawn, but when he’d offered their services to the cat who answered the door, she had also declined!  When Alonso asked why, the cat had replied, “It’s No Mow May!”  Alonso had started to ask just what that meant, but that was when his brothers showed up, back from another bust.  They’d trotted up to Alonso, startling the cat.  “Just how many of you are there?!  One, two… threeeee…”  Then the darn cat had just fallen asleep right on her front porch.

As the flagging flock fled that latest absurdity, Alonso turned to Emiliano, who’d been in charge of the other two as they hunted for work, since he was the second-eldest.  “We finally find some decent lawns, and nobody’s biting, least of all us!  That cat said something about ‘No Mow May,’ do you have any idea what that means?”

Felted Bumblebee Sheep – League of NH Craftsmen

“We got that too,” Emiliano replied, “Something about bees, I think, but all I know for certain is that it’s hot, we’re hungry, we’re a long way from home, and Abuela isn’t going to be able to buy a new hat this year.  We’re in a bad spot.”  He looked glumly at his older brother.

Just then, a rattlesnake passing by stopped and slithered over.  “Sorry, I couldn’t help but overhear you fellows speaking among yourselves.  You sound like you’re in quite the sticky situation, but I think I might be able to assuage it.  I’m running late right now, but if you meet with my assistant, then she should be able to help you out.  Tell her Simon sent you.”

Cute Sheep Pictures | Download Free Images on Unsplash

Alonso didn’t know what to make of the stranger, but it wasn’t like they had any better options, and, judging from the diamonds he was wearing, the snake was at least well-off enough to back up his offer.  Maybe running into him was a stroke of serendipity.  “Alright, we’ll take what we can get, at this point.  Where do we go?”

“Start off to the Southern edge of town, and keep going until you see the windmills—you can’t miss it!”  With that, the snake was slithering off as swiftly as he’d arrived.

A windmill and a lovely sheep named Susan... 🌱🐑 🌱 💢 Nominated 💢 stock  photo bbe0d3de-e8f7-4408-9bfa-707db6c854ff

“Thanks!”  Alonso called after him.

“…I think,” Sancho murmured.

With renewed purpose, the four brothers walked off to the South.  Even if they weren’t quite sure about the details, it was still the best lead they’d gotten since they’d hit town.

“Who do you suppose that snake was, anyway?” Sancho asked.

Snakes with hats. Say no more. | Cute reptiles, Cute little animals, Baby  animals pictures

“Probably some wealthy suburbanite.  I just hope all this walking is worth it.  Anyone who lives this far out ought to have a huge yard, right?”  Alonso replied.

“I guess that makes sense.  Gosh, I’m so hungry even the cacti are starting to not look so bad.”

Francisco chimed in, “The middle is actually pretty juicy!”

Feeding cactus to livestock - dry areas could profit - All About Feed

Alonso cut him off.  “Don’t even think about it; Mama isn’t here to pick the needles out of your tongue.”  As they crested a hill, they suddenly saw what the snake had clearly been talking about.  Before them, they saw a luxurious expanse of grass, speckled with small ponds and, just as promised, a couple of small windmills.

The vision of paradise before them invigorated the tired sheep, and they broke into a run, heading for the windmills at full tilt.  As they neared it, a gopher came hurrying out of a building on the grounds.  “Excuse me, can I help you gentlemen?”  she asked.

All four of them skidded to a stop.  Alonso began tentatively, “Um, Simon sent us?  We’re lawn-care specialists…”  He was doing his best to be courteous, but his stomach was rumbling at the sight of so much green, and his brothers were practically drooling.

Sheep Take Over Golf Course in England, Act As Greenskeepers

“Oh, wonderful!  We need a team to take care of the green for us!  And if Simon thought you looked like a good match, we really just need to do some quick interviews and sign some papers…  Do any of you have experience working on a golf course?”

A few hours later, the brothers gathered around one of the ponds and looked proudly at each other in their matching visors.  They were so stuffed they could hardly move.  “You know what,” Emiliano said, “Not only do we all have fancy new hats, but I’ll bet the one Abuela gets this year will put ours to shame!”

the moon's wife on Twitter: "instead of getting into a pointless argument  on the internet, why don't you look at these pictures of sheep wearing hats  https://t.co/BmwdN2OipO" / Twitter
Pictures courtesy of Google Images.
17

Snoops and Kommando: Our Really Awful, Truly Terrible Week

Greetings. Snoops and Kommando Kitty here. We hope everyone is well. We are not contented kitties at the moment. You would think with spring FINALLY starting to show some signs of life that things would be good. However, all is not kibbles and tuna steak.

First, our felines cousins visited a week ago. Our human sister went on vacation with her family and left them here. You know three of them: Angel, Onyx, and Thunder. They went home on Easter Sunday. At least, they were scheduled to go home on Sunday. Three of them arrived the Tuesday before Easter. It was supposed to be all four, but one refused to cooperate and had to come separately on Wednesday. That would be Gypsy.

We love family as much as the next cat. Meaning that we love our family – just the way it is. When the cousins visit, Mom lets us have the upstairs where she sleeps, and the visitors get downstairs. It’s not too bad, except THEY HAVE HALF OUR HOUSE. Snoops got down the second day. After that, a couple of them spent the rest of the time in the basement. Mom was not pleased.

At this point we should mention that the boiler went out the last week of March and we didn’t have any heat. The space heaters were downstairs, so we got the bed warmer. But it was still cold. Mom thinks we grew some extra fur to compensate. We still had cold feet. We were not happy cats.

FINALLY, Sunday got here and our human sister was supposed to pick up our visitors. They corralled three of the kitties fairly easily. Once again Angel, Onyx, and Thunder were pretty cooperative. Kudos to Onyx who was the easiest to wrangle.

Then they tried to find Gypsy. No one had seen her since she made a beeline downstairs directly downstairs following her arrival. Someone had been eating the food they were putting downstairs, so we were pretty sure she was OK. It’s an old farmhouse with lots of places to hide.

Finally, our sister gave up and went home WITHOUT her cat. That’s right. We have an intruder in our home. She’s here at least until Sunday. Snoops has seen her a couple of times and hissed at her, but the humans still don’t know where she’s hanging out. But she’s eating well, so they’re not really worried.

Back to the heat. Mom stayed home on Monday which was pretty pawsome. It was really cold that day. (It snowed 2 inches!) But then we found out why she was home. Human intruders came to FINALLY fix the heat.There were three of them, and they had to invade our space upstairs to put something on the wall. We couldn’t go downstairs for the entire day.

Then they came back Tuesday. The house was really cold Tuesday because they kept letting the outside air in. Mom worked from home, and she wouldn’t let us participate in the staff meeting or anything. We would have been a big improvement over the people who were running the meeting.

At long last, the strange humans left, and we had a warm house! Hooray! Now we just have to find the extra cat and convince her to go home. Wish us luck!