Sunday, April 20, 2014

When You Have to Deal with Rude People, Ask: "What Would Kitty Do?"

That horrible driver who cut you off? I wonder how kitty would react in a situation like that ...
  |  Apr 17th 2014  |   3 Contributions

I learned long ago that there’s no point in arguing with people who are determined to be unreasonable. It’s a skill that comes in handy when dealing with wacky-and-not-in-a-good-way family members and also with irate customers whose sweet nothings gently tickle my eardrums during my day job as a customer care representative.
Unfortunately, it takes a lot of emotional energy to smile and nod and keep myself from screaming “WTF ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT, YOU FOAMING-AT-THE-MOUTH SCREAMING-AT-THE-SKY DRUNK-ASS WHACKJOB?” or saying, “Well, if you’d just quit bitching for a second and listen to me, maybe I could help you!”
It’s not healthy to keep all that crap inside, though. Loud music works wonders for me, but sometimes I just can’t blast punk rock until the paint blisters off the walls. On those occasions, I ask myself, “If I were a cat, how would I react to this situation?” Or, to put it more succinctly, “What Would Kitty Do?”
Here are a few sample scenarios where I’ve asked myself, “WWKD?”

Situation No. 1: Crappy downstairs neighbor

A new tenant recently moved into the apartment just below mine. This guy has an unfortunate habit of blasting bad music -- not just bad music, mind you, but the most utterly sucktastic tunes ever, played on the crappiest sound system ever -- just about the time I’m ready to relax and unwind after a long day.
My response: I’ve heard him have screaming fights with people, so I don’t want to put myself in his sights by making a polite request to keep the volume down. I have been known to put on my hard-soled boots and walk heavily across my (hardwood) floors. It seems to have the effect of reminding him for at least a few minutes that someone lives upstairs.
What Would Kitty Do? That would depend on whether the cats could get out of the apartment. If they could, I imagine some strategic urine spraying would be in order. Of course, this would strictly be a territorial response, because said neighbor also smells really bad. If they, like my cats, couldn’t get out of the apartment, I imagine they’d wait until I left for work and begin knocking down heavy and/or breakable objects until the neighbor’s hangover begs for mercy.

Situation No. 2: Rude driver

I’m at a busy intersection with a signal that has a green arrow for left turning traffic. I’m in the left-turn lane, and I’m the second car in line. As soon as the first person clears the intersection, a guy in a very expensive SUV, who has the red light and knows that other traffic is moving through the intersection, decides he’s so very important that he needs to make his turn against the light, nearly creaming me in the process.
My response: Beep my horn and give a “WTF” gesture. (Keep in mind that I never beep my horn unless the circumstances really demand it, and a near-miss accident where the other driver would clearly be at fault qualifies as one of those circumstances.)
What Would Kitty Do? Wail on the horn and chase the offending vehicle into a corner, then commence a growling, hissing, screaming stare-down, which could end very badly for the offending driver. In case you’re wondering, this is why cats don’t drive: They’re easily stimulated to the point of road rage.

Situation No. 3: Unhelpful customer-care rep

I’m on a chat with a customer-care representative from a financial institution, trying to get some clarification about an issue related to an account. I’ve rephrased my question half a dozen ways and still haven’t gotten an answer. Finally after getting the same non-answer each time, I finally say something like, “So, what I understand is [account fact].” The CSR chats back: “I understand why that’s important to you.”
My response: Laugh until I cry. Type “Thank you for your assistance” despite the fact that the CSR’s responses have been anything but helpful. But I’ve been so stressed out about this issue that the total non sequitur of the scripted response gave me some desperately needed comic relief.
What Would Kitty Do? Walk across the keyboard multiple times leaving equally nonsensical chat messages:
CSR: Hi, my name is Name, how can I help you?
Cat: Fdasp viry7ewt568 # r%^ftivRFTFFTFU
CSR: Let me see if I can help you with that. To confirm your identity, can I have the last four digits of your social security number?
Cat: $#($(QWV ##220958q[98
CSR: I’m not sure I understand you.
Cat: %$QU(~_!qqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqq
CSR: I understand why that’s important to you.
Wash, rinse, repeat, until CSR finally realizes he’s met someone who speaks less English than he does.

APD shoots dog that owner says was 'docile'

from: KVUE News
Posted on April 18, 2014 at 10:32 PM
Updated yesterday at 3:46 PM
AUSTIN -- The Austin Police Department (APD) is investigating after two officers shot and killed a pit bull in East Austin.
According to the APD watch commander, police were responding to an auto theft call on the 4000 block of Prock Lane, just off of Springdale Road around 8:30 p.m.  According to police, the officers shot and killed the dog after it charged at the officers.
Police say the officers were in the street and that they had yet to walk onto the property.
The owner of the dog tells KVUE the dog was docile, and it was just barking at the officers.
"[The dog] was just barking at them. [That's] what dogs do [bark at them]. That's all he was doing just barking, [the dog] wasn't trying to attack his leg or anything," said dog owner Margie Rodriguez.
The shooting is under investigation.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Austin Pets Alive! Easter Weekend Special

Clever crowdsourcing campaign for first cat cafe tea house in San Francisco

For more information click here.

Local man accused of tethering dog that choked to death

American-Statesman Staff
Police have charged a Northeast Austin man with animal cruelty after he tethered his dog, which police say led to its death in February.
According to an arrest affidavit, a neighbor reported that a dead dog was hanging by a chain over a fence in the 9000 block of Kendal Drive near Dessau Road and East Rundberg Lane on Feb. 16.
Police said in the document that the dog appeared to have climbed on its dog house next to a chain-linked fence and then jumped over the neighbor’s six-foot wooden fence. The dog’s tether got caught between the wooden slates of the fence and she hanged herself, police said. Police said there were numerous scratches on the wooden fence that showed the dog “slowly choked to death.”
The dog’s owner Leroy Joel Clement, 59, admitted that he tethers his dogs and that he tethered Miracle the day of the incident, the affidavit said.
Clement has been warned and cited several times since 2008 about tethering his dogs, which violates city ordinance, the affidavit said. It also said that he was offered fencing assistance if he took a class on responsible ownership of a pet, which he never attended.
Clement has been charged with cruelty to non-livestock animals, a state jail felony. He has not been arrested in connection with this case.
The story has been updated to correct Leroy Joel Clement’s name.

Miley Cyrus Gives Away Her Replacement Puppy, Moonie, After Having Him 10 Days


Her mother never should have bought her a new puppy in the first place. Get it together, Tish.
  |  Apr 15th 2014  |

We've written a lot about Miley Cyrus in the past few weeks. We've written: 

Now we get to write another story about Miley -- Miley keeps making dog news, you see. Moonie, that adorable little dog that Miley's mom bought her right after Floyd died using some weird Mom-logic we don't understand at all, because Miley already had plenty of dogs and didn't seem ready for a tiny, helpless one just yet (what with all her Twitter mourning and singing to giant replicas of Floyd while onstage at the Barclays Center), is hitting the bricks. Moonie is out. Moonie is leaving the island. 
Poor Moonie. The only good part about this is that it's surely the best thing that could have happened to Moonie. 
She broke the news on Twitter, because that is how Miley communicates. She tweeted, “Moonie, thank you for giving me so much love, comfort, & peace. It's just to soon for me right now #missingmoonie.”
Naturally, one of her best friends, a fan, asked her what had happened to the little dog. Miley said the dog had gone to live with a friend's mother, who already had a puppy. We think that's what she said:
“my friends mom who has a tiny pup 4 him 2 play with Molly After wht happened Im scared 2 have a tiny dog #moonieandmolly.”
Here's the punctuation for that sentence: ',.',. (And here's the missing "o" from the first tweet: o.)
We're not sure what the "scared" part refers to, but probably to the events of 2012, when Miley's Yorkie mix, Lila, was killed by her dog Ziggy, which we wrote about here.
In any case, Moonie's disappearance does not come as a shock. Miley has been very public about her struggles with caring for a new dog so soon after Floyd died. Here are some of her tweets from last week:
I was/still kinda am torn about Moonie bc I would do anything 2 hold Floyd. But I can't  Moonie is giving me so much  & 1 day @ a time
Just don't know if it's to soon  I still have so much love to give my Floydy 
But I just gotta take it one day at a time and take in all the love little Moonie is giving me 

Compassionate, responsible owner surrender

Colorado Woman Dying of Cancer Seeks a New Home for Her Best Friend
Patricia Cudd will enter hospice soon, and her last wish is to find Sherlock a good home.
  |  Apr 15th 2014  |   1 Contribution

It's hard to know how to write stories that start with cancer. Just putting the word on the screen seems to bring everything to an end. It's an ugly little word, about an ugly thing, and the instinct is just to stop there, or worse, to slip into cheap melodrama.
So to put it bluntly, and without melodrama: Cancer kills, and it kills in a painful, degrading way. All the pink ribbons in the world will never change that.
Soon, cancer will kill Patricia Cudd. Cudd is 62 years old, and she probably won't see 63. Two years ago, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. After years of grueling chemo, it's in an advanced stage, and she's preparing to go into hospice care. Before she does, she wants to find a new home for her beloved Pit Bull mix, Sherlock.
Cudd got Sherlock as a rescue from the Longmont (Colorado) Humane Society in 2010, and he has been her constant companion throughout her illness. She recalls how, after one especially harsh chemo session, he lay curled next to her in her hotel room, both of them "watching Harry Potter movies for a full day until I felt better."
But she doesn't feel like she can give him the care that he deserves anymore. She can't take him running any more, and even walks are difficult. And of course, soon she won't be there at all for him.
Anyone who is in the Northern Colorado area and might be interested in giving Sherlock a new home can call (970) 775-0797 or email
To read more click here

Sit. Stay. Sip wine. Get nails done.

EVENT DATE: MAY 29, 2014
TIME: 6:00-10:00 PM
ADDRESS: 4615 N Lamar Blvd #300, Austin TX 78751
Early Bird pricing ENDS May 28, 2014

The Central Texas Chapter of the Texas Humane Legislation Network invites you to Come Sit in the "Lap of Luxury"  
at the 4th Annual Wag The Dog fundraiser at RETREAT NAIL BAR 

* Wine, appetizers & dessert bites
* Express manicures & nail art available upon request
* Cruelty free cosmetic samples on a first come, first serve basis
* Free parking in the Triangle Parking Garage

Registration price ($20 advance, $25 at the door) includes two (2) drink tickets and chances at fabulous door prizes, including cruelty-free cosmetics from Petit Vour.

Hot silent auction items include an overnight stay at Kimber Modern - Boutique Hotel and a Coach Purse! Sample juice & smoothies from Skinny Limits and decadent chocolates from Crave Artisan Chocolates.

Enjoy an Express manicure or for $15 or specially-themed "Nail Art" for $5.

Please note: this event is taking place in a nail salon.
Texas state law prohibits animals in such establishments.
Please DO NOT bring your pet to this event.

Want to volunteer to help make this event a success? We need volunteers to:
  • Identify donors and supporters and connect them to our fundraising team
  • Advertise the event across social media platforms and traditional media
  • Prepare materials & items that will be used at the event 
Want to volunteer at this event? We need volunteers to:
  • Help set up/tear down at the venue
  • Greet guests at the door and make sure they are taken care of
  • Assist with door prizes & silent auction
Proceeds from this event go directly to THLN's mission of   
promoting the humane treatment of animals through   
legislation, education and advocacy.  

Thank you for your support!

For more information and registration go to: 
Interested in volunteering? Email Stacy Sutton Kerby at 

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Cats don't care: Life with a dog good for you


Life With a Dog: You Meet People