Emotional Support Animals

The peacock on the plane was one. The gerbil that came to a sad end was another.

Is marriage “emotional support”? This fellow married his support.

My support comes from the pig, the cow, the lamb, the chicken, and at Thanksgiving and Christmas, the turkey.

Growing up in the hills, we relied upon the rabbit and the squirrel. And the egg.

My wife was born in a coastal village, Biei-cho (美瑛町). She prefers the squid, the octopus, and the fugu.

My cat is supported by the horse and the mockingbird.

My children protest this use of animals! They are supported by the weed.

Diary: Defense or Domestic Spending?

12 Dec – Had budget summit with hubby. Predictably, he wants to spend our discretionary surplus on defense. I want to spend it on something useful. We agreed to meet again.

13 Dec – Hubby wants 24/7 video surveillance system. He’s nuts. Neighborhood is safe. I say, let’s spend the money getting those feral cats neutered. They’re multiplying. Hubby turns ugly. We’ll meet again.

14 Dec – Hubby semi-drunk and truculent. Lays out all the specs on the surveil system he wants. Bonkers.

15 Dec – I come home from work today to find the surveil system installed. Hubby happy again, at least.

16 Dec – Hubby spends a lot of time reviewing the surveil tapes. Shows me some. The feral cats have been eating Mopsey’s rabbit food. Nothing else to report.

17 Dec – Hubby reports the feral cats set off the surveil alarm today. Pressure sensors in our grass. Also, the cats have been pooping in our herb beds.

18 Dec – Feral cats left remains of several rats on our porch swing last night.

19 Dec – Hubby has compiled instances of the feral cats mating on the surveil tapes. Seems delighted at the data the system is producing.

20 Dec – Cats caught our favorite mockingbird. Hubby says he hated that bird.

21 Dec – Came home tonight to discover the surveil system has been stolen. I suspect John Hughes next door did it. He blames us for the feral cat explosion, just because the original pair of them belonged to us before they ran off.

The Squirrel Diet

You cannot keep the fat off unless you change your lifestyle in a sustainable way with regard to what you eat.

First rule of the squirrel diet: Tell no one you are on it! You’ll see why.

Second rule of the squirrel diet: Never go into a store to buy food.

That’s it. That’s all you need to know and do.

Naturally, you’ll want to eat vegetables. Look around the neighborhood. See any? You can eat nasturtiums. You can make rose-hip tea. The North Koreans harvest and eat grass.

Be cognizant of your neighbors feelings for their plants. Try to harvest unseen.

What about the core of your diet, protein?

Again, look around you. Rats and mice are good little food packets but they come out at night. If you make wine with “local” grapes, you may be out of the picture before the sun sets.

Squirrels are just about right. Note: use a small-caliber gun or the bullet will blow away most of the meat.

We sell the popular book “Squirrel on a Stick: 100 Great Squirrel Recipes.” Contact us for a copy.

Once you’ve settled in to your new life, you can expand your protein sources. Raccoons require a slightly larger bullet. Cats and dogs make good eatin but once again, remain cognizant of your neighbors’ feelings for their pets. Some even love them.

[More on squirrels]


Peacock Banned From Plane (MetroNews)

I was there. Flight 326 out of Florida. Jet Blue.

It wasn’t so bad. It won’t fit in a bird cage, they said. Put the bird in a damned kennel, I said. Or whatever you call those cages.

It doesn’t have to be walking around in the aisle, I said. It was worse than the drink cart. You couldn’t get to the bathroom. And speaking of bathrooms, it was worse than a Canadian Goose with the you-know-what.

Jet Blue didn’t ban the peahen. She was no problem. She got into somebody’s pretzels but that was all. A bit of a wallflower.

How different can bird sizes be, you ask. My budgie sat on my shoulder for most of the flight. That big galoot peacock would come alongside and the two of them would eye each other. Comical sight! The peahen pretended not to notice (my Mert is a girl).

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.

Delta cracks down on service animals allowed on board

Full disclosure: I have not been a customer of Delta, whether it be on a train, bus, or taxi. I do not have an axe or ax to grind with Delta. I do not have an axe or ax at all, except one old ax.

I have brought my service animals on trains, buses, and taxis, and have not yet been denied. The snake was denied but not as a snake qua snake but because its rattles violated a rule.

The porcupine was not denied but later accused of intimidation.

Do you own and utilize and live with and love support animals? Then you understand my perdicament. I must go to the wall against Delta; I must go to the wall for support animals.  I do not care about Mrs. Jones per say, but literally, allow her service animals on board! Store Mrs. Jones with the suitcases and trunks instead if you must.

Full disclosure: Germs are animals. All of them. Viruses I’m not so sure about.

Full disclosure: I ate broccoli this morning. I am not proud of that, but it’s not a damned animal!

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.

Cross Mysteriously Appears On Rabbit’s Forehead

This headline excited me terribly when I first spotted it. I am quite religious and a wicked leporiphile.

Imagine my disappointment when I discovered that the headline was meant to read “Cross Rabbit Mysteriously Appears On Forehead.”

A pledge in the fraternity Upsilon Downsilon Upsilon or somesuch awoke from a drunken slumber on the frathouse couch, only to discover a new tattoo on his brow.

Can I sue?

Q: I purchased a squirrel as a pet. But no, it is not a Sciurus carolinensis, or gray squirrel, as advertised, but instead a Sciurus pteromyini. Yes, a flying squirrel. Can I sue?

A: When you say “as advertised,” do you mean that a public advertisement specifically identified the squirrel to be purchased as a carolinensis?

Q: Well, no. But the picture was of a gray squirrel.

A: The pteromyini is also gray.

Q: Well, ok, but the squirrel in the picture had that big tail that they have, the gray squirrels.

A: I have seen some fairly large tails on the pteromyini. Who, I remind you, are also gray. Or grey, in the UK. Could you discern in the picture signs of baggy skin in the armpit and legpit areas?

Q: Well, I mean, the animal, or “pet,” wasn’t flying in the picture! If it had been flying, that would have been a dead giveaway, wouldn’t it?!

A: I have seen the gray squirrel, when falling after losing its grip, attempt to fly. Domestic house cats also spread their limbs when falling, and achieve their terminal velocity after three floors of descent.

Q: Well, Jesus. Can I sue or not??

A: I’ll need to see the picture in that advertisement before I make a determination. It occurs to me that you may have inadvertently purchased a Felis silvestris catus.