This Cat’s a Genius

I’ve heard of cats learning to use the toilet; but this is the first time I’ve ever seen one flush it. And he flushed it when the human asked him to! Otherwise he would’ve let it slide.

Now I wonder if cats ever wonder if human beings can learn to use a litter box.

Rats Are Nicer than You Think

Our pet rats were affectionate, playful, cuddly, and just about as smart as animals can be without going to law school.

If you have more than one rat, they will compete for your affection: they pretty much have to have it. You can teach them to do all sorts of tricks, not counting the ones they teach themselves.

I’ve seen people who shuddered at rats wind up, 15 minutes later, petting them and doing cozy-talk. They can have that effect on you.

Oscar-Winning Possum

“And now, the winner of an Academy Award for best portrayal of a dead opossum, would you please welcome… a live possum!” [Near-hysterical applause]

I mean, did these dogs get hosed or what?

But they mustn’t feel too bad about it. One morning I found a dead possum at the bottom of my garbage can. Oh, spiffy. Looked like he’d been dead for several days. Heck, he was stiff! For lack of anything better to do, I tipped the garbage can over and let it lie there while I went in search of a shovel. I got back just in time to see the possum marching out of the garbage can. He saw me, too, looked up at me and showed his teeth. You’re welcome, I’m sure.

Quokka U. Calls Time Out from Nooze

Ethical animal tours: Quokka selfies, Thailand elephants — what to avoid |

G’day! Byron the Quokka here, and that’s one of my baby pictures with Mom and a nice, tasty leaf. I thought it’d make a nice change from the nooze.

As you know–well, you’d know if you were paying attention!–Quokka University is now without a Philosophy Dept. How do we fill the void?

Well, our Quokka U. Pick-Up Sticks team has stepped into the breach! Really, you can’t go wrong with pick-up sticks–especially once you’ve quickly whipped up a course on Philosophy and Pick-Up Sticks 101!

Pick up Sticks Images, Stock Photos & Vectors | Shutterstock

Believe it or not, there’s all sorts of life lessons you can learn from pick-up sticks. Like, when to grab for something and when to leave it alone. Isn’t it just awful when you try to grab something that you ought to have left alone, and leave something alone that you ought to have grabbed? As one of our great poets once said, “Learn the tricks of pick-up sticks!” T.S. Eliot, I think.

So lay off the nooze for the rest of the day! Have a bloomin’ Klondike Bar. Watch Attack of the Crab Monsters (we’re going to have a course in that movie, once we get going). Jump around a bit. Dig nice holes in the ground. You can always go back to the nooze tomorrow. It’ll still be there.

Take it from a quokka–pick-up sticks keeps you from burning out. This is why there are no crazy quokkas.

Felines in a Fix

Poor Missy! She got herself stuck in the handle of a plastic bag one night and rocketed all over the place before I could rescue her. But that’s a thing cats do: get stuck.

But what I really want to know is how that one cat got inside the dollhouse and then couldn’t get out. At first glance the whole scenario looks impossible. But that’s another thing that cats are good at.

Jolly Puppy, Jolly Toy

I can’t help it. I love squeaky toys, and love watching puppies play with them. This little guy is still learning that when you squeeze a squeaky toy, it squeaks–kind of the whole point of the thing.

Ramesses II had a squeaky toy. You could look it up.

Cats with a Weather Problem

What’s with these cats? Haven’t they seen rain before? They do look genuinely puzzled.

If it were raining or snowing when he wanted to go out, as soon as he got his feet wet, our cat Henry would shake them off, move back indoors backward, and then blame me for the weather. I got a lot of annoyed meows for that.

A Sad Day for Quokka U.

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G’day! Byron the Quokka here, with distressing news from Quokka University.

Before we could open our doors to our first class, we’ve had to fire the chairman of our Philosophy Dept., who was also going to teach all the philosophy courses.

We began to have doubts about him a few weeks ago when he started confronting quokkas and asking questions that we couldn’t answer. Like these.

“What did Thutmosis III say when he ran out of potato chips?”

“What is the difference between here and there?” (That one always made him laugh maniacally.)

“How do you tell which ants in the anti-hill are racists?”

So that’s that for Professor Humphrey Dumfries. He has since sent us this post card.

Straitjacket Images, Stock Photos & Vectors | Shutterstock

You are probably thinking he has been committed to a hospital. In fact, he was almost instantly hired by Rutgers University in America, to head their Philosophy Dept. They only make him wear the straitjacket so he won’t harm anybody during his lectures.

As for us, we suddenly find ourselves without a Philosophy Dept. There is a cuscus who might agree to chair it, if she can overcome her shyness.

Cats & Squirrels: This Is Getting Weird

We’ve all seen squirrels playing with each other; but the squirrels in this video play with cats. And they don’t get eaten! Not even the suicidal chipmunk whose idea of a good time is to jump into the cat’s face. Even the interactions that look like they could turn out badly–well, the squirrel could run up a tree and get away anytime he pleased. But no–stay and get crazy with the cat.

And you thought the Peaceable Kingdom wouldn’t be fun!

Norbert vs. Velociraptor!

Sorry, folks, the raptor never showed up. But Norbert’s here; and if he can’t make you smile, you’re probably a statue.

With all the moves he’s got, I can’t help wondering: can Norbert walk backwards? I’m sure I’ve never seen a dog do that.