The lake is beautiful and so is your cabin, but watch out for that stray dog coming there.

Aw, that’s just old Shep. He’s ours.

I though he lived down at your house.

Yeah, we leave him there but he always runs the twenty miles up here anyway.

Jeez, that’s devotion.


For Five Lines or Less

Domesticating the Squirrel

I always wanted a pet squirrel. I was insistent. My parents couldn’t say no. Hence, they were both grievously injured.

I mean, I wanted a tame squirrel. You’d have to be a fool to bring a black-market wild squirrel into the house. Just the sound of it in the birthday gift box was frightening. You could hear those talons working. I had my folks open the box. Hence their grievous wounds.

But a tame squirrel is not to be found on Amazon, nor even in a lab. I expected my parents to initiate a breeding program (not of themselves haha).

I knew it would take generations, many, many generations of the little rodents before their genes could be changed.

But there are promising signs at the gitgo. Have you ever seen squirrel poop? No? That could be a very good sign. Maybe they don’t poop, or maybe they hide it away where you can’t find it. Either way is a win.

Another good sign is you won’t have to put their things away. All they have is nuts and they bury those.

You need to breed out:

  • The impulse to bite and claw
  • The impulse to climb the drapes
  • The impulse to chitter too damn much
  • The impulse to squirrel away anything but nuts
  • The impulse to reproduce on a rodent’s timescale, lest you be up to your neck in squirrels

Once you get a tame one, keep it outside. You might have missed a gene or two! The rapacious gene can be hard to find. Although come to think of it, you can always regift.

Adopt an endangered pet

Do you love pets?

Do you love helping endangered animals?

Now’s your chance!

Absolutely free!

The International Sea Turtle Research  Institute will provide you with an endangered sea turtle at no cost (nine species available).

Choose your color. Choose your size. Choose your preferred pet disposition. Take home your turtle.

It’s just as easy as that.

Your children will have hours of fun playing with their new friend. (Be sure to dress the kids in shark-proof armor, as these turtles have beaks that can bend iron bars. When your turtle sees little Suzy come into the back yard with her daily bucket of live mackerel, she might not take the care she should while eating her breakfast.)

Make only one promise!

We ask only that you make one promise to the Institute (enforced by an ironclad contract, which includes severe penalties for non-compliance). In May, you will fish your turtle out of the 100,000-gallon stainless-steel sea tank that you’ve installed in your back yard and bring her to Costa Adeje in the Canary Islands.

There you will be rented a vessel that sleeps two, plus the turtle, and you will sail the vessel far out into the Sargasso Sea, where you will release your pet after turning on her tracking device and installing it beneath her tail. In that afterward region.

You will follow her for four months (please bring provisions to last, as you won’t be able to visit port during this time).

When your pet’s bio-monitor beeps, she has mated. Retrieve her (use the scuba gear that you bring) and sail back to Costa Adeje.

Now you’re free to return home with your pet and enjoy her for eight whole months before returning for your next-year breeding stint on the vasty Main.

Las Vegas Pageant: World’s Smallest Wild Cat

[Solosolo Saeeseese, reporting from Las Vegas for HuffPost]

The Finals

Last day of the Pageant! Who will win the coveted Queen’s Stole (sewn from pure mouseskin)? This being Vegas, the betting is fast and furious.

Our Judges

Mr. Pink – The Venetian

Mr. Green – Bellagio

Mr. Purple – Mandalay Bay

Our Finalists

देवदूत (Angel), a rusty-spotted cat (Prionailurus rubiginosus) from Maharashtra State, India

Iblis (Devil), a black-footed cat (Felis nigripes) from Guinea-Bissau, Africa

овереатер (Overeater),  a long-toed cat (Voraceios Felis) from the Šumadija region of Serbia


Angel seems passive.

Devil pounces on prey.

Overeater pounces on Mr. Purple.


Hard to judge Angel’s wit. She seems to be leaving the thing to karma.

Devil is cunning and atavistic. It ain’t pretty.

Overeater is the cat from another planet. All I can say.


Angel is a beauty. Oohs and aahs.

Devil has the black feet.

Overeater… This is a plain brown cat with an odd shape. A real head-scratcher.


Angel is an angel. Her presence on YouTube in adorable-cat videos is overwhelming.

Devil, against the world.

As for Overeater, I can’t put my finger on it, but there is something powerfully unadorable about her.

Our Winner!

Overeater wins. Seems odd, as the animal did not prevail in any category. A lot of smart money came in on Overeater at the last minute. Mr. Green is suggesting I shut my yap.


In a shocking turn of events, Overeater has been exposed as a northern short-tailed shrew (Blarina brevicauda), largest and only carnivorous member of the shrew family. Our judges went to strip Overeater of the Queen Stole, but she had already devoured it, as well as the other two finalists. Losing bettors are advised by Mr. Pink to pay up.