The cats held a meeting last night on my bed

Whatever the meeting was about, it must have been important, because they were quite worked up about it. I participated by waking up, sitting bolt upright and shouting swear words. Which startled Julie, who was still awake and reading in bed.

Not long afterward, Sammy, our male cat, decided to have carnal knowledge of my feet. He got so excited he bit down on my toe, which was protected only by a thin blanket. I shot bolt upright again and swore at Sammy. He scrammed. I guess he doesn’t like dirty talk during sex.

So if I seem to be tired and cranky today, that’s why.

This American Life: Becoming a Badger

“This week, stories about people trying their best to turn themselves into something else—like a badger. Or a professional comedian, in a language they didn’t grow up speaking,” on the This American Life podcast.

Scientist Charles Foster wanted to get into the heads of animals, so he did it by spending weeks trying to live life as a badger, sleeping in a burrow and crawling around on the forest floor with his eyes blindfolded, getting by on just his sense of smell. And he ate what badgers eat — worms.

Also: “French comedian Gad Elmaleh is known as the Jerry Seinfeld of France. He sells out arenas. Gets recognized on the street. But he’s deciding to give all of that up to try to make it big in America. In English, which he hasn’t totally mastered. And what’s funny in French, to French people, is not the same as what’s funny in English, to Americans.”

And a New York terrier tries to rediscover his roots as a rat-hunter.

Becoming a Badger – This American Life podcast

Gorilla shooting

Did Cincinnati Zoo really have to kill a rare gorilla? – Madison Park, Emanuella Grinberg, and Tiffany Ap, CNN

Predictably, Internet busybodies are looking for someone to blame here.

The busybodies say the zookeepers should have held their fire or used tranquilizer darts, busybodies say. Seriously? Would you gamble your child’s life on that?

The busybodies say the parents shouldn’t have let their kids wander into the gorilla cage, the busybodies say. But in reality, kids do stuff. You take your eyes off them a second and they get into trouble.

And then there’s this guy on Twitter who is auditioning for a role as a serial killer on a CSI spinoff:

This is a relatively happy ending to what could have been a tragedy.

Green rope toy

Yesterday morning Minnie made it out of the house with the green rope toy in her mouth. It is one of the toys that we would prefer she leave indoors, to keep it from getting nasty. I did not have time to play keep-away with her. And my back is still stiff from straining it carrying her cage out after she soiled it overnight 10 days ago.

But it was a nice day, and I thought the rope toy would not get too nasty if it was outside for only a few hours. So I let her hang onto it, and made a note in my reminders app to bring it inside later in the day when she tired of it.

All of this probably sounds crazy to people who don’t have dogs.

I really do need to teach her “leave it.”

A brief history of Jackie, one of the MGM lions known as “Leo”

Leo_the_MGM_lion_1928

One of several cats with the stage name “Leo,” Jackie was domesticated and gentle – by lion standards. He appeared in several movies, as well as the opening roar that runs before the credits in films including The Wizard of Oz

The studio put him in a monoplane in the 1920s to travel across the US, but he crash-landed in the Arizona desert. He survived unharmed, and toured the US on the ground. But lions aren’t built for that kind of treatment.

AKA Leo [The Memory Palace]

Leo the Lion (MGM) [Wikipedia]

Photo source: Wikipedia