9 Reasons Why Pets Make Terrible Gifts

Posted December 18th, 2014 by admin

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The year is coming to a close, so what better time to take a minute to look back on the most adorable, heartwarming and sometimes heartbreaking cats of the year? That’s exactly what we’ll be doing with the 12 Cats of Christmas. Today we remember the finest high school yearbook prank of 2014.

5. Mr. Bigglesworth

All images via Trinacria Photography.

At the start of 2014, Draven Rodriguez was your average, everyday 16-year-old student attending Schenectady High School in New York. Then he came up with a jape that would propel his name across the cat Internet: He decided to pose for his senior yearbook photo with his own feline, Mr. Bigglesworth, and against a background of hammy ’80s-style lasers.

Unfortunately, the school’s principal (and confirmed dog-lover), Diane Wilkinson, didn’t quite see the jocular side of Draven’s vision and prevented the infringing photo from being used in the yearbook. When news of this heinous case of cat-censorship hit the Internet, the story went viral: Draven set up a petition in support of his right to pose with his family’s pet, the dance DJ Kaskade tweeted a Photoshopped version of the pic now starring himself, and the popstress Kesha posted to her Twitter account the following words of support: “God this school needs to get over it. The animals and I support you!”

Kaskade and Mr. Bigglesworth.

With public outcry reaching a frantic fever pitch, the principal eventually suggested a compromise, which would involve Draven and Mr. B posing alongside herself and Vivienne, her rescue Chihuahua. The ensuing picture then featured on the principal’s page in the yearbook, alongside a message in support of animal adoption.

Since the photo was published, Draven seems to be content with his decision to accept a happy medium. He told a local news outlet that he thought the photo was “fantastic,” and endorsed the pro-adoption sentiment: “It’s important that we give these dogs and cats and other rescue animals a good home, because they deserve it. Everyone needs to be loved, and animals deserve no exception.”

As for how Mr. Bigglesworth feels about his dalliance with Internet infamy? Well, it seems that the portly puss is not exactly one for the spotlight — he apparently attempted to jump out of a window and escape during the photoshoot. Here’s to hoping he’ll be able to enjoy a quiet and serene Christmas.

Enjoy the rest of the 12 Cats of Christmas here:

About Phillip Mlynar: The self-appointed world’s foremost expert on rappers’ cats. When not penning posts on rap music, he can be found building DIY cat towers for his adopted domestic shorthair, Mimosa, and collecting Le Creuset cookware (in red). He has also invented cat sushi, but it’s not quite what you think it is.

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Adventures in Holiday Gift-Wrapping With Kids and Cats

Posted December 18th, 2014 by admin

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Being a parent of a cat or human around the holiday season presents challenges. Young children and curious kitties have been known to wreak havoc on Christmas trees and ornaments, making the festive fir look like a tannen-bomb went off inside of it.

And the gifts under the tree are magnets for kids and cats alike. Cats want to bat and claw at the wrapped gifts, and make beds inside the gift bags. Oh, and the wild chases that happen under the tree in which the frenzied felines kick all the gifts halfway across the room? Good times.

Help yourself, Cosmo.

Kids are a different story. They just want to closely examine and shake every box and bag that has their name on it. And then they try to guess what’s in it — like I’m going to tell them. Still, they ask. I was a terrible kid when it came to Christmas gifts. I’ve never, ever liked surprises — they still give me little panic attacks. When I was a young, I’d un-tape my Christmas gifts, take a peek, and then re-tape the packages. I kind of always regretted my actions immediately afterwards, but quickly got over it. I just had to know what was in those packages. Stop judging me.

Trying to hamper the sneakiness.

Speaking of Christmas packages, I have some parenting tips: Trying to wrap gifts while working around kids and cats is a total joke. As my 10-year-old self clearly demonstrated, kids are pretty sneaky. After I had kids of my own, those un-taping and re-taping memories flashed before my eyes and I decided I needed to meet the anticipated sneakiness head-on. I’ve always hidden the unwrapped gifts in weird places where I thought kids wouldn’t look — like in my hamper. I should probably hide them in their own hampers because they so rarely do their laundry.

Lots of tape … and a little cat hair.

Additionally, I use the good old “triple-taping” method. That’s right, I tape, re-tape and tape again. I thrice-tape. And if the item is in a box, I tape the box before I thrice-tape the wrapping paper. No sneaky fingers getting into the gifts I wrap. 

Besides the whole hiding and taping challenges, I also have to find time to wrap presents when there are no kids around. This is easy enough when they’re in school, but when they were little and I worked full time outside the home, it was quite the feat. I either had to haul out the wrapping paper, scissor and tape after they went to bed and before I flopped, exhausted, into my own holidaze, or do it behind closed doors. You think cats hate closed doors? Try closing a door on a 5-year-old child. “Mama? Mama? Whatcha doin’? Can I come in?” 

“We’re here!”

So I resort to wrapping gifts when the kids aren’t around and using industrial layers of tape. But then there are the cats. Anytime I’m on the floor doing anything that looks remotely interesting, the cats rush me like crazed Bieber fans. How irritating! And mostly I’m referring to how I just compared myself to Bieber.

Maybe I’ll just wrap Phoebe.

Here’s what goes through my cats’ minds:

Gift bags? Thank you for thinking of me. 

Wrapping paper? I feel the need to lounge.

Tape? That looks delicious.

“Is this for me?”

It’s impossible to efficiently wrap anything while a crowd of cats is “helping” me. And to top it off, all my gifts have clumps of cat hair stuck in the tape. I suppose everyone with cats is used to that piece of the experience. I know I probably shouldn’t wrap on the floor, but it just seems easier. Or is it? Really, is trying to do anything productive while working around kids and cats easy? Stop laughing. No, you can laugh — it’s hysterical.

What are your kid and cat challenges while wrapping gifts? Tell us about it in the comments! 

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Read More by Angie Bailey:

About the Author: Angie Bailey is an eternal optimist with an adoration of all things silly. Loves pre-adolescent boy humor, puns, making up parody songs, thinking about cats doing people things and The Smiths. Writes Catladyland, a cat humor blog, Texts from Mittens (originated right here on Catster) and authored whiskerslist: the kitty classifieds, a silly book about cats wheeling and dealing online. Partner in a production company and writes and acts in a comedy web series that features sketches and mockumentaries. Mother to two humans and three cats, all of which want her to make them food.    

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Top 10 Dog Questions We Asked Google in 2014

Posted December 18th, 2014 by admin

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Have you ever wondered why dogs eat grass? You’re not alone. That was the No. 1 most-Googled question about dogs in 2014. “Do dogs dream?” and “Why do dogs howl?” filled out spots two and three. Watch the video below to see what other questions made the list. For answers to those and more canine queries, check out PawNation’s archive of “Dogs Decoded” articles.

Top 10 Dog Questions We Asked Google In 2014

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Rottweiler Seriously Loves This Cat

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Rottweiler Seriously Loves This Cat

Posted December 17th, 2014 by admin

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If you’re even half as devoted to your pet cat as this Rottweiler is to his, you’re doing a great job. No one expects you to get down on all fours to give your kitty a tongue bath. This dog just goes the extra mile.


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MORE ON PAWNATION:

Dog Comforts Friend Having a Nightmare

Giant Panda Mom Reunites With Her ‘Miracle’ Triplets

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Observing Hanukkah Safety With Your Cats

Posted December 17th, 2014 by admin

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When is Hanukkah this year? In 2014 — or 5775 in the Hebrew calendar — the eight days of Hanukkah begin at sunset on Dec. 16, ending as night falls on Dec. 24. Gathering with family and friends during each evening of Hanukkah should be fun and festive. However, many typical traditions and practices, from rituals to meals, present our cats with a host of novel opportunities to make mischief.

Photo by maurakoenig on Instagram.

While you’re singing songs, playing games, and eating seasonal treats, your cat might be ingesting foods that they shouldn’t, knocking over carefully arranged decorations in the living room, or starting accidental conflagrations. However you observe the festival of lights, the last thing you want is for the next morning’s headline to read, “Local Cat Ruins Everything.”

Fire hazards during Hanukkah

Hanukkah’s most iconic tradition is the lighting of the Menorah each evening after dark. Commemorating the miraculous occurrence of a one-day supply of olive oil lasting for eight days, an additional candle is lit for each passing day. Do you place the menorah on a table, counter, or in the window? It doesn’t matter; as far as your cat is concerned, that’s eight chances to burn the house down when your attention is focused elsewhere.

Photo by chasetopherbear on Instagram.

Whether your menorah derives its festive glow from candles, oil, or electricity, it is certain to draw the attention of a curious cat. Consider closing your cat in a comfortable room with boxes or toys to keep him occupied during the half-hour that your candles or oil lamps are lit. If you use an electric menorah, check the integrity of the cord when you arrange it for display, and, if possible, secure it with a cord cover to prevent your cat from chewing on or unplugging it.

Traditional foods are not good for cats

Do you prepare your own latkes during Hanukkah? These potato pancakes, fried or deep-fried, may be a delicious treat for humans, but fried foods are never good for cats. Cats derive most of their required nutrients from meat-based proteins, and while a plain cooked, baked, or mashed potato isn’t toxic to cats, neither do they derive much benefit from it. If your latke recipe calls for onion, garlic, or other spices, it’s best not to let your cat near it.

Photo by jedi_ro on Instagram.

The same goes for Hanukkah desserts, such as sufganiyot. Just thinking of these deep-fried doughnuts, filled with sweet strawberry jelly and coated in powdered sugar, makes my mouth water. None of these ingredients are salutary to a cat’s digestive system. If you want to include your cat in your Hanukkah meals, your cat is better of sticking to a dish of his normal food.

Do you substitute chocolate coins for standard ones while the kids spin the dreidel? Chocolate is much worse for cats than fried foods or sugary pastries, so see to it that none of the foil-wrapped chocolate discs are left laying around where a cat can pry them open. The children may get hyper from the additional sweets, but it’s probably preferable to a cat vomiting in the living room from chocolate toxicity.

Hanukkah decorations

If you are decorating your home for Hanukkah, what your cat sees is a host of new toys, distractions, and playthings to bat around. The more agile and spry your cat is, the less likely it is that you’ll be able to display decorative items completely out of her reach, but you can see to it that they are fastened securely to walls, tables, and doors, so that they don’t come loose or fall on a playful cat simply looking for the next distraction.

Photo by jenna_baconbitz on Instagram.

Are you in the habit of setting up a Hanukkah bush or tree during the holiday season? Festooned with garlands, tinsel, or ornaments, they may brighten the room, but they are also calling to your cat’s exploratory instincts. If it is a fresh-cut plant with its base in a reservoir of water, make sure that basin is tightly sealed or covered to keep a thirsty cat from sampling it when you’re not looking or out of the house.

Costuming

There is nothing I enjoy more these days than cute photos of cats wearing costumes and tiny articles of clothing during the holidays. If you are able to get your cat to sit still long enough to put a kippah on his head or drape a tallit over his shoulders for more than a few moments, it will certainly make for an entertaining family photo, but it should really only be for a few moments. The headwear and shawl are thankfully less involved and elaborate than many articles of cat clothing, so there’s little risk for entanglements or disorientation.

Photo by topherlarkin on Instagram.

Happy Hanukkah!

Do you involve your cat in your Hanukkah celebrations? Do you make special cat-appropriate treats, or have you developed family traditions that include your cats? Has your cat ever made a huge mess during your holiday celebrations or endeared herself to friends and family by meowing along with traditional songs? Share your Hanukkah memories with us in the comments and have a lovely and safe holiday season!

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