Saturday, February 28, 2009

Website Recommendation

I try to do this whole "break from the normal routine" thing as infrequently as possible, but I just found a really sweet website that's appropriate for this blog.
Right Pet is a website in which members (it's free) can write reviews on types of pets they've owned. The reviewer gets to do a pet owner's favorite thing to do: talk about their pets. And the reader gets a first hand account of whether or not that pet might be good choice for them.
And if that doesn't float your boat, first, why are you reading this on a boat, and second, try this: If someone reviews a husky, can you talk about how they're better at singing than famous pop stars?
Thanks for putting up with my atypical post. On Monday I'll be back to the usual.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Not Caring If They Smell

Tons of animals don't give a crap if they smell, and why should they: they're animals. They're supposed to not give a crap. Occasionally a dog will clean himself, and cats and rodents clean often, but I'm pretty sure that's less about smell and more about looking pretty (goddamn animal vanity), because they still smell afterwards.
Most humans do care if they smell, and if they don't, they're assholes. The people who don't give crap if they smell are the same people who don't give crap if they cut you off in traffic, accidentally trip you, or plunge the economy in the shitter while giving themselves a raise. It's just common courtesy to make sure you don't smell like a Limburger cheese factory everyday. But if an animal smells bad, they're being a typical animal.
(flickr photo Dirty and Happy by YouDooAllous;

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Ball Chewing

No, not those balls, you pervert. I can't believe that would even cross your mind.
Moving on, dogs love to chew tennis balls. The frequency and the intensity varies greatly from dog to dog, but it's disturbing that they chew on them at all. Humans would never chew on tennis balls, and here's why:
1.) We know they're meant to be thrown. Or hit by a Williams sister.
2.) They taste awful. Trust me, I've tried...I mean, uh, I mean I bet they taste awful. I wouldn't know. I've never ever tried to chew on one. Never.
3.) They've been all over the ground, and so they're covered in dirt, crap, and insect blood.
4.) We would look ridiculous with a tennis ball lodged between our jaws.
And 5.) We would much rather chew our rubber in gum form. A far more dignified way to chew rubber, indeed.
(flickr photo Samson, My Hero by;

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Not Regulating Body Temperature

This one is clearly reserved for the reptilian, amphibian, and fishy pets, for whom cold-blooded isn't just a way to describe your ex, but also a physical condition. Any pet owner who's ever bought a heat lamp or a heating pad knows how little control geckos, snakes, turtles, frogs, toads, and fish have over their body's temperature.
Why? Because they're lazy, lazy, lazy ectotherms. You know, when I was kid, lizards would walk twenty miles in the snow everyday just to get a heat lamp, and the heat lamp would only be 20 watts, but they made due with what they had. Nowadays these spoiled brats expect us to wait on them hand and foot. "Um, excuse me, but I'd like the lamp to be 80 watts, not 40. Otherwise I get lethargic and my body processes slow down significantly and it's bad for my health and it's possible I could die." Well, lizard, maybe you should thought of that before you became cold blooded. The rest of us are warm blooded and it's pretty damn sweet.
(flickr photo Green Gecko by dominigs81;

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Hitting Passersby

Hey cats, you know what? When I'm walking down the hallway listening to some Phil Collins on my iPod (that's right, Phil Collins; don't lie, you know you love "In the Air Tonight") and you jump out of the bathroom and smack my leg, scaring my Genesis-loving ass all the way to Peter Gabriel's house, I don't like it. And I think I can speak for the dog on this one, too. I know you're a ferocious predator, and you're just reminding me that you and your retractable claws run things in this house, but honestly, is the subterfuge really neeeded? I'm fine with the smacking. You're a cat, you smack everything. It's the surprise that bothers me. The shock is just too much, especially with the slippery floors around the shower.
You don't see me jumping out from behind buildings to punch my closest friend. Except for that time he never returned my copy of Transporter 2. You have to draw the line somewhere. But otherwise, no one does this, and maybe that should be a clue to you kittens to cool it with the covert claws.
(flickr photo smack by nakae;

Monday, February 23, 2009

Flipping Ears Inside Out

Accidental ear flippage, often a result of rolling around like a goddamn maniac, is almost exclusively reserved for dogs with floppy ears, much like the one pictured. Occasionally a cat or a pointy-eared dog will have their ear flipped, but it's a rare citing, like a bald eagle or a sober fraternity.
But a human having his or her ear flipped inside out isn't just rare, it's impossible. And if it does happen, seek medical attention immediately...or make a video and put it online. The only real advantage to this ear flipping ability dogs have is that it doubles their "Holy Shit You Guys, That's So Fucking Adorable" factor (a factor that is already five times higher than a human's, on average), making them more likeable than us without any effort on their part.
(flickr photo Someone Should Tell Him by;

Friday, February 20, 2009

Nose Licking

There's a lot of licking that goes on in this blog, which sounds inappropriate, but it's really not since animals use their tongues for 90% of the weird shit they do. That still sounds inappropriate, doesn't it?
Moving on, cats and dogs often lick their noses. The reason: because they can. Most humans are entirely unable to do this, but those who can won't hesitate to show it off at a party, because it's a sweet trick. Cats and dogs can do this sweet trick anytime they want to, and since they're big shows offs, they do it all the time, as if to say, "Go ahead, try to touch your nose with your tongue. You can't, can you? Awww, that's too bad. No, keep trying, it doesn't make you look like a preschooler who's eaten too much finger paint. Really, it doesn't. Maybe you should practice that at work, and at weddings, and fancy dinners. Want to watch me do it again? Oh, there, I did it, and with no effort. I'm just so damn good."
(flickr photo this is better than cat grass! by angela7dreams;

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Leash Walking

This one is exclusively reserved for dogs. Sure they make leashes for other animals, but try walking your cat on one. Just try it. Tell me how you enjoy the medical bills that follow.
Although leashes aren't their favorite things, dogs will and often do walk on them. You can walk a dog on a leash for hours without anyone thinking it's a problem or without your dog getting overly upset about it. But humans will definitely not walk on leashes. The next time you go for a stroll with one of your friends, try putting a leash on them. Just try it. And tell me how you enjoy the medical bills that follow.
There is an important exception, and that's lazy parents (often found at Walmart) who can't seem to keep their miniature human under control without tethering them. It's weird, but hey, at least the kids aren't clicker trained...or are they?
(flickr photo Furry Friday Dog by jessicafm;

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Eating Little Bits

Hamsters, gerbils, rats, and mice love grabbing teeny tiny pieces of food, cradling them in their adorable little paws, and nibbling away ever so gently. They love it so much that they refuse to eat any other way, making the rest of us look horribly uncute (definitely a real word) by comparison. How can you compete with that? How could anyone or anything possibly be that goddamn heartwarmingly adorable?
We can't just buy bagels that are three feet in diameter and delicately nibble on them, because we'd either look like idiots or rats, and if there's one lesson we can take from Martin Scorsese films it's that the mafia doesn't like rats. I don't want to have look over my shoulder for the cast of The Departed or Goodfellas every time I get breakfast, and so, this is once again something that only pets can do.
(flickr photo Give me more! by jpockele;

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Chasing Lasers

The normal reaction to a laser is panicked fleeing, because it's either a sniper, the aliens attacking, or someone giving an annoying power point presentation. But cats say, "Fuck that, we we have claws and sharp teeth, we're not scared of shit," and they hunt that laser down like they're starving and charbroiled laser is on the today's lunch menu. Not only will cats chase lasers, but they'll do it for hours, until their little cat lungs can't take it anymore or they've finally realized that lasers may be the only things in their goddamn house they can't kill. Only cats have the courage, the tenacity, the persistence, the agility, and the fascination with bright things necessary to chase lasers. You find me a human who'll scale vertical surfaces for a moving red dot, and I'll find you a human who's had his brain replaced with a pound of catnip.
(flickr photo Kittens! by Ingorrr;

Monday, February 16, 2009

Scratching an Ear With a Foot

Listen, I don't care if you've been doing yoga since you were a fetus, because even if you are physically capable of scratching your ears with your foot, you would never do it in public. Talk about inappropriate. Hey everyone, my ear itches, so I was thinking you could all check out my crotch while I sit on the floor and scratch it in a very compromising position. On top of that (which is a place I wouldn't recommend literally getting on top of, just figuratively) it's impractical. Why not just use your hand? It's so much easier, and doesn't put your hamstrings at risk.
But none of this is true when it comes to dogs and cats, because as far as they're concerned, there couldn't be an easier and more polite way to get rid of that ear itch.
(flickr photo Those darn ears by Jimmy 74(away);

Saturday, February 14, 2009

My Pet Credentials

I'm going to break from listing the things that pets do for just one post to address a question.
On yesterday's post, Patty asked,"What kind of pets do you have?"
Since I write a blog entitled, "The Things Pets Do" it's only fair that my readers know what my pet resume looks like. Thus instead of posting a brief comment in reply, I've made a full post out of it.
I have my interview tie and suit on, and I'm freshly shaven (and by that I mean I'm sitting in sweat pants with day-old stubble). Here goes.
Current Pets:
I live with my girlfriend while she attends vet school and I work a fairly standard office job. We share our living space with an adopted pit bull mix (which is shelter talk for, "He's really a pit bull, but we have to add 'mix' to his title so people will adopt him, because even though he's a big snuggling goof, there's an a certain stigma that will always go with the title 'pit bull'") named Barney.

We also share the space with two adopted cats: a short haired ginger cat (Frank) and a long-haired tuxedo cat (Oz).

And in a separate room, into which the cats may never venture, there are two pet rats (Maria and Serafina) and a patternless leopard gecko (Kaylee).

Past Pets: I grew up in a pet-obsessed family, so my first 18 years of life were also filled with pets. We always had a dog (a collie that raised me, and when he passed due to debilitating hip arthritis, an Australian shepherd/black lab mix and a Jack Russell Terrier). I have three sisters, each of whom had pets growing up: an aquarium with tropical fish, two pet mice, a box turtle, and two toads. Not one to slack in the pet department either, I had a bearded dragon, a corn snake, a skink, and two hognose snakes.
Finally, I worked in a pet shop throughout high school.
Really, the only time I have been sans pets were the first two years of college.
Do I have the job?

Friday, February 13, 2009

Eating Flowers

With Valentine's Day right around the bend, it's important to keep in mind that cats and dogs love to eat flowers. No one knows why, since flowers taste like crap, and they're much better when experienced through other senses, such as looking, smelling, and touching. Hell, even listening to flowers is better, although not likely to yield a whole lot.
When tomorrow roles around, your significant other, best friend, or 5-year-long stalker will give you a dozen roses. And you'll accept them graciously with maybe "I love you, too," or "thank you, you're so kind," or "you're supposed to be 100 yards from me at all times." Then you'll put these severed plant limbs in a vase filled with water so that they die a slow and prolonged death during which you'll enjoy the decoration. But you know what you wont do? You wont bite into the them, and start chomping down like a hungry hyena while your Valentine watches in horror.
(flickr photo Munch! by starmist1;

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Jumping on New People

Dogs will grab at any excuse they can find to jump, and a new person is one of the most commonly used excuses. This jumping is nothing like that in the last post; they're not doing it to get around, they're doing it because they're dogs and they do whatever the want, gosh. If you invite a new friend over for a Halo competition/wine tasting extravaganza, as you so often do, your dog will be up on them like an escaping prisoner on a fence: quick and desperate. And if they aren't, they want to be.
Because I value the accuracy of this scientifically rigorous blog, I jumped on a new person just the other day, and I can assure you from my new home in a holding cell, it is definitely something that humans can't do. At least that's what my lawyer tells me.
(flickr photo Jumping Dog outside Tate Modern by dps;

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Hopping Everywhere

When you think bunnies, what comes to mind? No, not young women with breast implants, a desire to see themselves air-brushed, and low self-esteem, you perv. You think hopping and jumping. And you know why? Because that's all bunnies do. Any time a rabbit moves, they hop, and anytime their not moving, they're not doing a whole lot but wiggling their nose and looking downright adorable.
But however normal it is for your bunny, little Donnie Darko, to bounce around, you couldn't do it without looking like a schizophrenic or someone with a very strange exercise routine.
(flickr photo Jumping Jack Caramel by TheTim;

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Cleaning Mid-Fight

Cats do a lot of weird things. And I mean a lot. So the fact that this one is up there in the top five weirdest, really means something. If you have two cats (or more) that like wrestling with each other, you know they can get pretty intense, and throw down hardcore. Not too weird; they are relatives of some high-class predators, after all. But what is weird is that in the middle of their all-out brawls, they'll simultaneously and instantaneously stop for a cleaning break.
Think about it, you're knocking some punk around for giving you a regular coffee when you clearly asked for half-caff, or whatever it is that gets you into fights with Starbucks employees, when he yells, "Hold up, can we clean our nails for a minute? I really need a manicure. I promise we'll box this this out in five, but the dirt under my thumb is really bugging me." And you're all like, "Sure thing. That's a great idea. You know what? Why don't I clean it for you? Here, give me your hand, I'll get that dirt out." And he's all like, "Thanks, that's so kind of you," and then 20 seconds later, after the dirt's gone, Bam! you smack him in the head as hard as you can, knock him to the ground, and start bunny kicking him.
Cats, you really are weird.
(flickr photo Taking Catre of Each Other by Martin Staviar;

Monday, February 9, 2009

Ear Lifting

Dogs are the main culprit here, although cats and a few other small animals shift their ears around on occasion. But whenever dogs hears something super sweet or super lame, they lift their ears up as if to say, "look what I can do with my ears, humans. Can you do this? No, you can't. Aaawww, that's too fucking bad. Oh wait, you can wiggle your ears a little. Neat party trick, but you can't completely change their angle so as to gain significantly better hearing, can you? No, I didn't think so. Also, how good is your hearing anyway? What's that? I couldn't hear you. Just kidding, I could totally hear you whispering, 'my hearing is really shitty compared to yours, dog, because you have such great hearing, dog. You're the best.' Listen (if you can, with your crappy immobile ears), if you rub my belly and take me to the park, I wont tell anyone about your shitty hearing, okay?"
At least that's what the ear raise says to me, but I may read into my pet's actions too much...nah, I don't. Not at all.
(flickr photo Bat Eared Dog shock by :mrMark:;

Friday, February 6, 2009

Shoving Their Face in a Bowl of Food

When dogs and cats (and a good number of small animals) eat, instead of pulling out the old silverware their grandma gave them and a couple snazzy blue napkins, they just shove their face into a bowl filled with all the same shit, and chomp it down like they're three-time pie eating champions in the Kansas State Fair. I mean, seriously guys, couldn't you use your paws like a civilized creature? It doesn't take that much effort, and it really makes a big difference in how people view you. Do you honestly think I'm ever going to take you to a fancy restaurant with those eating habits? Put you're tuxedo back in the closet, because the answer is no. And you look silly in a tuxedo anyway. It makes your tail look fat.
Next Thanksgiving I'm going to try eating like this as an experiment. My hypothesis is that it takes less than 30 seconds for my Uncle to crack me in the ribcage for being a douche.
(flickr photo Mao is eating by stickwithjosh;

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Waiting to Steal Food

Remember that time I was at your house, and you were eating a delicious dinner after a hard day of work, and I really wanted some, so I sat down right next to your legs, with my head as close to the table as possible and waited for you to look away so I could snag some with my long tongue? No, you don't. That's funny. Oh, well maybe that's because I'm not a dog, and I don't do rude shit like that just because I feel like it. It's not okay to take food from someone when they reach for the remote. That's awful etiquette and you're never going to make any friends that way, dogs. This is even worse than when they beg for food, because at least then they let you make the decision in regards to sharing your meal, instead of snatching it off your plate faster than an addict reaching for a spoon and a lighter. Rude, just downright rude.
(flickr photo steve eats by dickuhne;

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Wheel Running

Okay, guess who I'm impersonating. "Oh hi, I make high-pitched noises and love running for hours and hours but going nowhere." If you guessed your anorexic neighbor with the home treadmill, you're wrong, but close, because why wouldn't hamsters have a bad body image: they're chubby fuzzballs. But on some real talk, hamsters (and gerbils, mice, and rats) are all about running in wheels.
Now we humans could run in a wheel, but we don't, because there's nowhere to put the mileage and calorie calculators, and if you can't figure out how many Snicker's bars you burned off, why would you ever do anything athletic? Not to mention that although treadmills, stationary bikes, and ellipticals look ridiculous, gigantic wheels would look even worse. Plus, you'd have to attach them to the wall, and then how would people stare at themselves in all the wall-length mirrors? Nope, our pet rodents definitely have this one all to themselves.
(flickr photo Abe running in his wheel by Stoichiometry;

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Face Rubbing

Hey cats, stop rubbing your faces on everything in the fucking universe, okay? Seriously, it's like they get paid for each new item they scrape their cheeks across. And if your face is so goddamn itchy, cats, maybe you should leave the coffee table alone and get your ass to a vet, because there's clearly something wrong with your face.
Rubbing their face against household objects is no big deal for cats, but no matter how much my right nostril is killing me, I could never get away with sliding it across my friend's blu-ray collection. Maybe his DVDs. Maybe.
(flickr photo Even my cat loves them. by Drab Makyo;

Monday, February 2, 2009

Insect Eating

Dogs and cats will occasionally swipe a fly out of the air, but if you have any pet lizards or frogs, you know they eat insects all the goddamn time. They eat insects for every meal. That's just nasty. What's wrong with them? Don't they know bugs are gross? Wouldn't they rather have a nice fillet mignon with a baked potato and caesar salad? Maybe a little wine? Some cabernet, perhaps? Apparently not. Seems they'd prefer to gulp down live larva and some cold water out of a rock.
You could never show up at a party chomping on a grasshopper. Unless they're covered in chocolate or something else that drowns out the taste of grasshopper. And even then it's still weird. Get some chocolate-covered raisins, you freak.
(flickr photo froglet eating a worm by her wings;