Tuesday, July 20, 2010

New and Improved "Sucker" Radar

Beware. Kittens and puppies now have advanced Sucker Radar. No longer do they have to wait until you're within walking distance of them to pop out and look at you with big, sad eyes. Now they can do it when you're half a block away and in your car.

Meet the newest member of our family: Unnamed Kitten.

Unnamed Kitten was running across a busy street as I was on my way home last night, and I couldn't let him get squished by a car. So I picked him up and called Kevin and said, "How would you feel about having a fourth cat?" Kevin did some cursing and grumbling and effectively said No Way. So I said I would take Unnamed Kitten to the ASPCA on my way to work the next morning.

I got home and Kevin held the kitten while I unloaded my stuff. When I reached to take the kitten back to put him in the bathroom, away from the other pets, Kevin would not give him up. "He's so cute," his eyes said. I finally got the kitten and took him upstairs. We gave him part of a can of cat food and he gobbled it down. I created a makeshift little litter box and we got him a small bowl of water and a towel to sleep on. Kevin started talking about what we could name him.

So we waffled. Kevin did some online research on what kind of cat he was and if four cats was too many. (Seriously.) I was wrestling with fate - brown tabby cat just like our others... saw him on my way home on a route I never take... turned on the tv when I got home and the first thing I saw was a commercial from the SPCA saying "Save an animal today!"

I said, "Stephanie at work has four cats." We got to the vet this morning to see if Unnamed Kitten was diseased and a woman in the waiting room said she had just rescued a kitten over the weekend and that would make her fourth cat. The vet said she had four cats and a dog. Fate was pushing us hard.

And Kevin kept coming up with possible names. General. Colonel. Patton. Orion. Tiki. Conrad. I can't even remember them all anymore. And I came up with some. Simon. Zed. Philo. (I like nerdy names for cats.)

So... we have another cat. Sigh. He's a cutie.

They always are.

Mongo Trip

Edith, Chelle, Roger and I went to Mongo last weekend for a little campfire cooking and a boat trip. It was lovely and very relaxing! Edith and I took individual kayaks and Chelle and Roger shared a canoe.


Back at the campsite we toured Dad's "tipi" - complete with fireplace mantel with a picture of Richard Nixon on it (he says as a conversation starter):

We took a walk through the woods...

And ended with some giant roasted marshmallows at the campfire:

It was very nice! :)

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

What's Up with Bridget's Mom?

Certainly not what you think. This is a marvelous book that was received for the YA room at the branch where I work. At first, I hated it. I tried to pawn it off on our children's librarian, but she wanted nothing to do with it. We are going to send it to the Main Library, and as the time comes for it to leave, I am becoming very attached to it.

What's Up with Bridget's Mom is a comic about breast cancer. Seriously.

The art work is terrible. The plot? I'll let you decide. The superhero team needs to get inside Bridget's mom's breast to see what's going on, so they go in through a milk duct and are swept away on waves of milk and surrounded by miniature cows, some of whom are wearing leather jackets and eyepatches. Yes. It is just that brilliant.

I am including some pages lest you think I am making this up.

The cover:

My favorite pages... The heroes have made it to the top of the breast. They try to peek inside. How will we get in? Through the milk ducts!

First panel: Splash! There go the heroes, swirling on waves of milk! Note the mini cows at the bottom of the picture.

I only wish I could blow these up for you so you could experience the full joy.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Psychic Octopus

Have you been keeping up with the psychic octopus, Paul, who lives in Germany and has been predicting the outcomes of the World Cup games? He has now achieved a 100% accurate prediction rate for the World Cup 2010. Paul has become so popular that German television is now putting his predictions on-air, live, with two reporters giving commentary.

Paul recently provoked hostility in South America after predicting that Argentina would lose to Germany. Some folks even threatened to kill Paul and put him in a paella. The newspaper El Dia offered a recipe for any Argentine patriots who managed to capture Paul: "All you need is four normal potatoes, olive oil for taste and a little pepper."

How does Paul make his predictions? His keepers put mussels into two glass cubes, with each cube having one of the competing nations' flags on the front. Whichever mussel Paul chooses first is taken as his prediction. But this is not the first time Paul has predicted sports outcomes. His psychic abilities were tested during the UEFA Euro 2008 soccer championship when he was proven correct in 80% of predictions made.

Okay, I am totally serious. Check out the video:

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Look at the Little Guy Go!

Introducing Oscar, The World’s First Bionic Cat

By Monique Jessen | Friday, June 25, 2010 11:05 AM ET

The amputee cat has a new spring in his step, thanks to some high-tech prosthetic paws.

photo_1277460266138-6-1.jpgAfter Oscar the cat suffered a terrible accident and lost both of his back paws, his owners thought their beloved feline friend wouldn't survive. But thanks to a revolutionary operation, not only was he saved but he's healthy, happy and back on all four paws again.

The operation, the first of its kind in the world saw veterinary surgeon, Noel Fitzpatrick from Surrey attach high-tech custom-made prosthetic paws to Oscar's ankles, during a three-hour operation, reports BBC News. The cutting edge implants, known as ITAP (intraosseous transcutaneous amputation prosthetics) combine engineering mechanics with biology and if little Oscar is anything to go by, the successful operation could lead to amazing work in the field of human prosthetics too.

Irish-born Fitzpatrick, who is soon to be featured in a BBC television show, The Bionic Vet worked with Professor Gordon Blunn, at University College London to develop the prosthetics and they couldn't be happier with the results. Watching his patient walking around freely, just days after the groundbreaking procedure, he said with a smile: "Oscar has made medical history!" Having lost his paws after a traumatic accident with a combine harvester, the cat will now have to stay indoors but it's a small price to pay considering the extent of his injuries. "I can't tell you how good it feels to keep him alive," the ecstatic surgeon said.

It's a heartwarming, simply puuurrrfect story! Let's hope it leads to even more life-saving operations.