Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Happy International Polar Bear Day!

The annual event, International Polar Bear Day, is designed to bring attention to the plight of these magnificent hunters.  Their numbers are dwindling.  According to Polar Bear International,
http://www.polarbearsinternational.org/our-work/community-outreach/save-our-sea-ice, "as the Arctic continues to warm due to climate change, two-thirds of the world's polar bears could disappear by mid-century—although hope remains if action is taken to greatly reduce greenhouse gas emissions." The world's largest predators are no match for intensity of the melting sea ice. It's up to us to do our part.  The organization urges people to take the challenge -- do little things, put on a sweater rather than upping the thermostat; turn out the lights when you leave a room.  What other things can you do?   How about
  • Planting a tree (or two or three)
  • Walking or biking rather than hopping in the car; for longer trips, catch the bus 
  • Unplug power cords
Those suggestions are just the beginning.  Don't let International Polar Bear Day pass by without making some kind of change.  Do it for the bears.


Monday, February 25, 2013

Ella (6) and Elias (13) chill with Fergus and Rue.
I asked Elias and Ella's mom if I could share the adorable photo that she sent of the siblings with their pair of recently adopted kittens, Fergus and Rue, formerly known as holiday-reindeer-kittens Vixen and Blitzen.   Not only did she agree, but she shared some of the background that led to the kittens' adoption.  
Our old cat, Moose (almost 20), passed away. I was ready for a period of mourning, even a state funeral, but Elias and Ella knew better. We came to WARL and Elias says Fergus and Rue are my third and fourth children. They've completely changed the energy in the house. As I write this, they're both on my lap.
Her email reminded me that our animals time with us is short, but so is the time that children live at home with their parents.  If Fergus and Rue are able to manage the longevity that Moose enjoyed, Ella and Elias will be college graduates by the time the pair of energetic kittens hit their senior stride.  One of the many benefits of sharing our homes with cats and dogs is that there is rarely ever an empty next.  I'm hoping for a picture of the foursome in 10 years and another one several years after that!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Yes, Charlotte, I do want to wash my face!

Here's the thing with Charlotte.  She kind of, sort of, likes to be around me.   She doesn't sit on my lap or snuggle in bed, but she likes to be in the same general vicinity where I am.  And, more times than not, she enjoys causing a disturbance.   Okay, you might think that I am projecting my annoyance onto Charlotte when I say she "enjoys" causing a disturbance.   I am really not projecting, I am stating a fact.  We have a night-time routine -- I sit down to read a book, Charlotte chirps a warning and jumps up on the mantle.  I take Charlotte down from the mantle, pick up the cat toy -- that Charlotte use to like --  and sit back down to read.  Charlotte chirps again and jumps up on the piano.  We repeat this game/annoyance -- depending on your perspective-- several times before I give up and put Charlotte in the basement, where she is perfectly content to watch TV with Max or entertain herself with cat toys.   Charlotte's latest I am in your space activity is jumping into the sink every morning just as I turn on the bathroom light.  I chalk a lot of Charlotte's irritating behavior up to the fact that she's a kitten.  But, she's not;  she is two, and we've been doing this reading, jumping up, plucking down activity now for well over a year. And, if the last few days are a predictor of what's to come, I fear that Charlotte's sink-sitting is not going to end any time soon.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Home at Last!

The little dog, in the Zebra striped harness, was named Shortstack when she lived at the Washington Animal Rescue League.  She spent three months at the shelter, after her rescue from a puppy mill, before finding her forever home.  When I saw her self-assured photo this morning in an email update that read, Her name is now MeMe because we want her to think that her new life is now about "me me", I thought of Sam's poster with the sweet animal drawings and hard-hitting message.   There are millions of dogs and cats in the world.  Many of them are victims of animal cruelty.  Don't let an animal you know become a victim.  Little Me Me, once a victim, is now a much-loved family member in her forever home. Her guardian writes, she is "comfy on the couch with her blanket and on our bed by my feet at night to sleep. She likes to watch TV with me and play chase with my daughter.  Adopting her has been one of the best decisions I've ever made."

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Let's Celebrate

 I've decided to be Canadian for the day on February 25th.  According to Modern Dog, February 25th marks Canada’s first ever National Cupcake Day! Donate your baking and, better still, eating skills to this awesome event to help raise money for tens of thousands of animals in local shelters, SPCAs, and humane societies across the country.  The British Columbia SPCA  is promoting the event by asking young animal advocates to Help end animal cruelty one cupcake at a time.  The money you raise selling your cupcakes will help the BC SPCA rescue, re-home, and provide emergency services for injured and abandoned animal in B.C

I'm all in favor of copying this delicious celebration.   Who says National Cupcake Day can't be International Cupcake Day.    No chocolate icing for Nigel and other pooches, but I've never known Nigel to turn down a crumb or two.  To find out more about this delicious charitable event in Canada go to nationalcupcakeday.ca.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Don’t kill the deer in Rock Creek Park

That is the title of an article, by highly respected scientists Jay Kirkpatrick and Allen Rutberg, that caught my eye in the Washington Post last week.  The researchers explain how the deer population, if truly burgeoning (but it is not according to their very detailed research), can be humanely controlled with a pregnancy inhibitor vaccine.  Their research confirms that shooting deer is not only cruel, but it doesn't solve the problem -- it actually increases population by increasing more room for other deer to move in.  There is a local grassroots effort to prevent the killings in one of our most used area parks. To sign the petition, National Park Service: Don't Kill Deer in our Nation's Capital, go to https://www.change.org/petitions/national-park-service-don-t-kill-deer-in-our-nation-s-capital?share_id=raMPKGeTON&utm_campaign=mailto_link&utm_medium=email&utm_source=share_petition.    To read the entire article click on http://articles.washingtonpost.com/2013-02-01/opinions/36679955_1_deer-population-urban-deer-deer-per-square-mile