Animal Humor

The cubed mouse

I was awakened the other morning at 5:30 a.m. by a strange knocking noise that sounded as if it was coming from the night stand next to my bed. After I reached over and gave the table a gentle shake the strange knocking stopped. Then I rolled over and went back to sleep. When I got up at what is a more reasonable hour for me I noticed that the statue of a panther I have on the top shelf of that night stand was closer to the edge than usual. As I moved the statue back I noticed the bottom of it was not perfectly flat, nor was it lined with felt like the bottom of some figurines are. Since we had recently had the roof replaced, and the whole house had shuddered at times from the impact of the roofing shingles being tossed on it. I assumed the statue had moved when that was going on, and somehow got to vibrating.

That night I slept soundly and was not awakened by any strange noises. However, the next night, or rather early morning, I was once more awakened from my blissful slumber by a strange rattling noise. I was convinced the noise was coming from the table. Larry said we should check outside and see if something outside was causing it. After finding the grill near the bedroom window loose we assumed the wind had been catching it just right, and that was the source of the strange noise. Larry screwed the vent grill down tight. I went to bed that night convinced my slumber would not be interrupted anymore.

Imagine my surprise, and frustration, when once more I was awakened at 5:30 a.m. by a strange rattling noise. This time there was no doubt in my mind it was coming not only from the night stand, but from the top drawer of said night stand. After shaking the table to get it to quiet down I rolled over and went back to sleep. When I got up later that morning I took the drawer out and discovered evidence that clearly pointed to a mouse being the cause of the noise. I set some traps under and on the table that I hoped would would solve my noisy mouse problem. Though I didn't really think any mouse would be dumb enough to go into it, I baited the one plastic rectangular cube type trap I had hanging around the house with a cinnamon Triscuit cracker that I smeared a dab of peanut butter on. When I went to bed that night I hoped that if I was going to be awakened by the sound of that mouse, it would be the sound of his little neck snapping in one of the more lethal V traps.

At 1:24 a.m. I awoke to the sound of frantic scratching and mild thumping. Seems at least one mouse was dump enough to go into the cube trap. I turned the overhead light on, looked at the little mouse whose eyes were staring at me in total terror, and thought, "Well, now what?" No way could I leave the trapped mouse on the table with the racket it was making. But, I had no intention of going outside in the middle of the night and possibly getting snake bit while trying to get rid of the mouse. In my infinite blonde wisdom I put the cubed mouse out on the porch room, and decided to let Larry deal with it when he got up.

In his infinite male wisdom Larry first decided to put the trap in the middle of the road, then run over it with the 4 Wheeler. I told him I didn't care what the hell he did with it as long I never saw that mouse, or stupid trap again. After thinking about it, Larry reconsidered his original plan, and opted for simply throwing the cubed mouse across the road. If the mouse escaped fine. If it didn't, that was fine too. He lobbed the cubed mouse towards the road, and watched as it bounced several times. The little one way swinging trap door fell off on the last bounce. The mouse, badly addled from all the bouncing did not immediately take advantage of the situation. However, after a few minutes it collected its wits, and scurried from the trap. It was at that point an 18 wheeler came rumbling by. That mouse was leading a charmed life because the 18 wheeler missed flattening the mouse by a couple of inches. The mouse was last seen running hell bent for leather towards the mesquite patch on the other side of the road. I seriously doubt that little mouse will ever want to step foot inside a house again after the experience he had in, and out of mine.
Gummie Bears! They feel just like gummie bears!

Up until now I thought my sister's transvestite cat was the weirdest pet I had ever heard of.  Then I began to read this story about an American dog getting the first set of new and improved canine silicone testicles.   Frodo, a Chinese pug aged 16 months, was the lucky recipient of the first pair of new and improved  testicle implants.  CTI president Gregg Miller, who invented Neuticles, says this new softer silicone version of Neuticle is more authentic and has the feel and texture of a gummie bear.

A gummie bear?  Now when I read that my little blonde eyebrows popped clear up into my hairline.  My untrustworthy sidekick Morris started laughing so hard he nearly fell off my shoulder.  "Excuse me?" I said as I pushed him back up onto my shoulder,  "A supposedly trained scientist has just described dogs' gonads as feeling like gummie bears?  And they are going to neuter the dog here?"

"Oh sure blonde," my maniacal little muse snickered,  "Can't you just see some veterinarian scientist in white scrubs, scalpel poised above a Doberman's gonads.  His fellow scientists, hard at work on an authentic feeling substitute, seeing what he is about to do,  yell at him, "Hey, before you snip those off, what do they feel like?" And squinting in thought behind his coke bottom lenses, his scalpel free hand busily fondling the Dobermans gonads, he replies, "Gummie bears!  Boys, these gonads feel just like gummie bears!"

And as I sat there with that picture implanted in my mind, I realized a very profound truth.  I would never again look at gummie bears or scientist quite the same way.  Sighing sadly at my lost innocence I continued to read the story so I might pass on this wisdom on to others.  And why do scientist want authentic gummie bear feeling dog  testicle implants?  So when your canine companion is neutered, he has a pair of realistic gonads to replace that pair they just snipped off.  The theory being as long as he has something there that looks like gonads, and feels like gummie bears, he won't realize he's missing anything.

Personally, I think if we are actually breeding dogs so stupid they can't tell real gonads from silicone replacements that feel like gummie bears,  then we should be neutering those animals. If for no other reason than for the good of the entire canine gene pool.
But this whole concept of testicle replacement is not a new issue it seems.  Already, 14,560 pairs of its less expensive, hard polypropylene Neuticles have been implanted in dogs and cats in all 50 states and nine other countries in the past three years.  These implants are harder than the new ones and do not have the same authentic gummie bear feel as the new ones do.

This story sure gives a whole new meaning to the term, a dogs life, though doesn't it?  And friends, what is next?  Silicone breast implants for female dogs who feel inadequate?
Cat Scratch Fever

I am awarding my sister Paula the most peculiar pet award this year. There is no question in my mind that she and her cat deserve it. During our most recent transatlantic telephone conversation I inquired how her kitty was doing.

"Oh she's doing great." she told me. "Now I know he was a boy the last time we talked, but he couldn't urinate properly and kept getting kidney stones, so they did a sex change operation on him, I mean her."

It took a couple of seconds for this to sink in. My sister has lived in Australia for the past 30 years and sounds Aussie to the core so at first I thought I misunderstood her. But then she told me how much it cost them for 'the operation' and I realized she had said what I had thought she said. And wasn't joking.

When the fact that those ingenious Aussie veterinarians had cured my sister's cat from kidney stones and urinary tract problems by changing it's sex really hit me I could only say in a choked voice, "Let me get this straight. Your cat had a sex change operation because it couldn't urinate properly."  As the full implications of what had happened to her kitty became clear to me I could only sit awe struck at the possibilities. It gave that favorite Aussie saying of "She'll be right, mate." a whole new meaning. Having spent thirteen years in the land down under myself, I thought nothing that an Aussie did would surprise me. This, I will have to admit, bowled me right over though.

She went on to tell me how before the operation they had nick-named their beloved cat Stevie because when they were peeling prawns for supper he would stand on his hind legs with his front paws on the cabinet, and sway back and forth with his eyes closed. "Looking", she said, "for all the world like a feline Stevie Wonder". Paula says now she is going to have to start calling him, her, Stephanie.

My sister, master of the understatement that she is, went on to tell me that owning a transvestite cat was not easy. I could only agree most heartily with her.

Of course to be politically correct he/she is not really a transvestite cat, unless of course he/she enjoys dressing up in women's clothing. But since the cat is now, medically speaking, a her, it wouldn't matter if she did like to dress up in women's clothing. Right? As this particular implication flashed across my brain I started to point it out to Paula but decided not to because I was afraid that she might tell me that before the cat became a she, he did enjoy dressing up in her clothing. "Curiosity", they say, "killed the cat." So considering what those Australian veterinarians had done to my sister's cat I decided to let that particular slumbering dog lie.

This is the kind of conversation that tends to stay in your thoughts though. I find myself wondering if that cat is now going to have to have counseling to help it through this difficult time. And what about it's sexual orientation? That is going to be one confused cat let me tell you. If she thought the vet bill was bad wait till she starts getting the bills from all those cat psychologists.

Am I going to turn on my T.V. one day and see my sister's cat on 'Geraldo'? And will he/she be the only cat like this? Or will there be others? Perhaps by then they will have banded together with their psychologists, and having decided that it was some form of mental abuse that caused them to have difficulty urinating, are now suing their owners. Is the world, or at least the down under part of it, about to be overrun with cats that have had to have sex change operations because their owners, in trying to house train, them did irreparable mental damage?
Gagging The Dog

This is a little story about the time I gagged my own dog.

The reason I needed my beloved mutt mute was because whenever I left, he barked and howled. Since it was imperative daddy didn't know I was planning on leaving for a few hours later that night, I needed to figure out a way to silence that little lamb. The reason I didn't want my dad to know I was leaving being that I was grounded.

I was grounded because I had recently come home a bit past curfew time. Quite a bit past as a matter of fact. Enough past to have earned me a month's grounding. But that is a different story entirely and I'm telling about how one Friday night I gagged my dog.
I was planning my escape because of a hurried phone conversation earlier in the day in which the irresistible words of, "Big party at swimming hole. Hot guys. Meet me down the road midnight tonight ", were briefly exchanged. 

Since the dog slept by the side of my bed, slipping out past him was out of the question. In my infinite teenage wisdom I decided that lacking a real muzzle, I would have to improvise with a large wide rubber band I happened to have recently acquired.
After waiting long enough to insure that I was the only mouse stirring round the house, I gently wound the rubber band round my beloved pet's muzzle, just snug enough to keep him from barking and howling, but not so tight that he couldn't work it off with his muzzle without much effort. My theory being by the time he got the rubber band worked off he would have lost the urge to howl and go back to sleep. Then I slipped out the window, along the garden path, and skipped down the road to where a car was waiting. The party was in full swing when we got there. But what two petting rules of my daddy's I bent, and stretched to the breaking point, before the party was over, isn't what is important here.

What is important to this story, is that upon arriving home, I was met by the site of my father's face staring at me as I climbed back in my bedroom window. The reason I was greeted by that sight upon thrusting my head through the window is that the dog had become irritated at the rubber band round his nose, and too lazy to take what little effort it would have taken worry it off, he had awakened my father by jumping on the bed and sticking his bound muzzle in his face.

Naturally after taking the rubber band off my dog's muzzle, he checked to see if I was safe. He said later it didn't surprise him none too much to fine me gone. He also said he knew nobody but me muzzled that mutt. Wolf, the dog I gagged, and so named because of his habit of howling whenever I left even the room as a puppy, was a very large collie dog. He was no Lassie though. His disposition being that of a junk yard dog around anyone but family. Which is what lead my father to suspect he knew who's fair hand wound that rubber band around that long muzzle.

The end result of this whole little escapade being, I got another two months tacked onto my sentence, and spent the next 45 days on good behavior. I wound up with a reduced sentenced

I have noticed that Taltos, my half wolf, half husky, has gotten a tad more aggressive as he reaches full maturity. Even those people who have been visitors to my house since he was a puppy now wait dutifully in their vehicles until someone comes out of the house to walk them in.  They wait because my little precious is sitting in front of the vehicle's door watching them, with what they all claim is a "Make my day" expression on his lovely face.  Of course the fact that he is grinning at them with a set of teeth that would make a werewolf turn green with envy doesn't encourage them to open that door either.

His latest escapade has done nothing to sooth the fears of our friends.  I am afraid that little incident has all but convinced two of our friends that visiting us unannounced is not a good idea.  When these two friends watched him gaily trot off into the barn, and then within a moment or two, gaily trot back out carrying a pigeon their awe was evident. I'll have to admit that even I was impressed with the speed shown in accomplishing his mission.  What further impressed all of us was the fact that we had heard no commotion from the barn when he caught the pigeon.

I noticed my two friends seemed a bit uneasy with my darling's habit of playing with his food.  I had grown used to this little habit and assured my two friends that he would quit playing with his dinner soon.  A few moment later the sudden sound of bones crunching signaled that games were over now.

After my two friends departed, without ever having gotten out of the jeep, I walked back into the house.  As I walked past Taltos and he looked up at me with some feathers hanging from either side of his smug mouth, I decided it was a good idea I didn't try to keep any tweety birds around the house.

I have noticed that Taltos is equal to any cat when it comes to catching birds, mice, moles, gophers, or anything else that walks, crawls or flies.  Though a few nights ago I thought he had finally outwitted himself and gotten a hold of a rattler.  After hearing a yelp of surprise and pain suddenly break the quiet of evening we rounded up shotgun and light and went outside to rescue our canine friend.  Our assistance was neither needed nor appreciated.  No our little precious had not met a rattlesnake, but a mole.  In dragging the mole out of his hole he had been raked by one of the moles large front claws.  

The sound of a skull crunching told us there would be one less mole tearing up our yard.  As we walked back into the house my son once again pointed out what a disgusting sound a crunched skull makes.  He is quite right too.  Nothing I ever heard in any horror movie is as disgusting as that sound.  Watching an animal make a kill on a nature show, and seeing and hearing your own pet make a kill, is two entirely different animals.  Even someone who respects mother nature as much as I do, would sometimes prefer not to confront her that up close and personal.
Entangled in the web of Superstition

There is a rather strange tradition in our family concerning wolf spiders and money. This peculiar tradition began several years ago when I found a wolf spider in the porch room as I was leaving one day to check the mail. I decided not to kill the spider for two reasons. I happened to be in a laid back, environmentally friendly mood that morning, and decided that rather than kill the spider I would capture him and put him outside unharmed. He could eat the bugs in my herb garden, thus cutting down my use of pesticides. I also decided that since this spider was as large as it was, perhaps half the size of a tarantula, I didn't want to clean up the mess that it would leave if I splatted it. After carefully capturing the spider and gently tossing him into my herb garden I left.

When I collected the mail at the post office I discovered an unexpected check. On the way home I pondered any possible connection between that wolf spider incident and this little bit of good fortune. About halfway home I remembered reading somewhere that some cultures consider spiders omens of good fortune and money.

The next wolf spider I found in house was the size of a tarantula. I sure as heck didn't want to clean up the spider splat this guy would leave so once again I carefully caught him and released him unharmed back to the wild. I have to admit that even though I chided myself for being superstitious I did wonder what kind of good fortune a spider this big would bring. For the next week we seemed to have uncommonly good luck. Larry won on a couple of football pools and we won a little money playing the lottery. At this point I declared a new rule in the Deck household. The rule stated that there would be no killing of wolf spiders. Any wolf spider found in the house was to be carefully caught and released outside.

At one point our luck was so rotten that I decided that even the wolf spiders had deserted us. But then Larry found one in the bathroom. He was intent on killing it but I talked him out of it, and he caught the spider and tossed him outside. The next morning he won a gift certificate at a safety meeting. Then a couple of days later he won a little money on a football pool. Say what you like, but the rule about not killing wolf spiders is once more in full force at the Deck household.

Now we are wondering how big of spider we need to find before we hit all six numbers on the lotto. Larry says it will probably have to be as big as the house for that. I think one the size of big dog ought to do it though. Of course capturing one that big might be a bit of a problem. I've made up my mind though. And laugh all you want, but if I find a really big wolf spider in the house I am catching it and releasing it unharmed. I don't care if I have to use a lion cage to trap it.