"Damn! That bird saw me!"
The Lion Soaking: Lioness takes no chances as she carries nine-week-old cub across fast-flowing river
Her jaws clamped firmly around the scruff of her tiny cub’s neck, this plucky lioness is taking no chances as she tackles a risky river crossing. As her nine-week-old youngster dangles beneath her, the mother skips gingerly between impromptu stepping stones. These stunning images capture the heart-stopping moment the lioness braved choppy waters, clasping her little one’s nape, as she made her way to join the rest of the pride on the other side of the river. Amazingly, the cub escaped with only a sodden coat as its mother safely negotiated the fast-flowing waters of the Ntiakitiak River in Kenya’s Masai Mara game reserve. Greek photographer Kyriakos Kaziras managed to capture the moment during a trip in December. Paul Goldstein, another photographer and owner of Kicheche Bush Camp, where Mr Kaziras was based, said: “Kyriakos and his guide had spent early morning with the large Enkoyanai pride. There had been plenty of rain and the Ntiakitiak River, normally a trickle, was a swollen torrent. The bulk of the pride were on the east bank and the mother had to take the momentous decision to carry her nine-week-old cub to join them. The risks of such a journey were very real, particularly as the cub was at least a month older than normal ‘carrying age’. I have photographed lions carrying cubs and seen them crossing rivers, but the combination is unique and has never been seen, let alone recorded.”
Via Daily Mail
"I can has selfie??"
Photo by ©maniek and marcelka
10 Year Old Cat Huck Finn Helps Heal Sick Portland Kids
Huck Finn, a 10 year old tabby cat, does the rounds at Doernbecher Children’s Hospital helping sick children get better and bringing comfort and smiles to the little patients. Huck pops into their room and lies down next to them, purring away.
Via Love Meow
10 Cutest Reasons Why You Should Love Owls
This weekend (March 7-9) is the International Festival of Owls in Houston, MN. So, what better way to support such a festival than posting a bunch of cute owl pictures?
Comic by ©angry girl comics:
Quick lunch break doodle
Illustration by ©lucy knisley:
They had a cat at a video rental store (I know) that I was in last weekend, and I was so taken by delighted surprise to see this cat there, that I said this sentence with total and complete earnestness to my friends, who still love me (I assume).
Meanwhile in Canada…
Photo via Reddit
Cat Can’t Unsee Raccoons’ Romantic Encounter
A cat named Sharon has lost significant sleep in recent weeks after witnessing a romantic liaison between two raccoons outside her Toronto home.
"Every time she closes her eyes, there they are," says Isabel Parker, a family friend. "You know. Doing it. I think she’s traumatized.”
Sharon’s doctor has recommended sleep therapy and even prescribed pharmaceutical aides, to no avail.
As for the raccoons, local law enforcement has been looking into a string of lewd behavior offenses in the neighborhood, but pinpointed no suspects.
5 Fascinating Facts About Polydactyl Cats
Cats with extra toes have a freaky awesomeness that we just love. Thanks, evolution! Some friends of mine have a polydactyl cat named Dougus, whom I affectionately call “The Toes.” He certainly earns the name: With six toes on each foot, he is well above average — and he’s off the charts in good looks and charm as well. Polydactyly is not unusual in cats, so Dougus is hardly alone in his freaky awesomeness. Here are five fascinating facts about six-(or-more)-toed cats.
1. Polydactyly is a genetic abnormality
Count your kitty’s toes. Odds are she has a total of 18, with five toes on each front paw and four on each rear. If your kitty is polydactyl, however, she might have as many as eight toes on any given paw. The word is Greek in origin, with “poly” meaning “many” and “daktylos” meaning “digits.” Most polydactyls have extra toes on their front paws, which sometimes resemble thumbs and make your kitty look as though she’s wearing adorable mittens. These extra digits are not opposable, which means your polydactyl cat will not be able to start feeding herself at 5 a.m.
2. Polydactyls are also known as Hemingway cats
When a ship captain gave a white polydactyl cat named Snowball to writer Ernest Hemingway, the captain kicked off a pretty fantastic obsession for one of history’s most prolific cat guys. At Hemingway’s island home off Key West, FL, he collected more than 50 cats, almost half of whom had extra toes. Thanks to his obsession, today polydactyls are frequently called “Hemingway cats.” As Catster’s Dorian Wagner did, you can visit the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum, where the cat colony still thrives — and some of the kitties are descendents of Snowball, Hemingway’s original polydactyl.
Bonus fact: Polydactyls are such a big deal that they’ve made it all the way to the White House: President Theodore Roosevelt had a six-toed first kitty named Slippers.
3. The world record for the most toes on a cat is 28
The Internet cannot agree on which polydactyl kitty actually has the most toes. According to Guinness Records, the title belongs to Jake, a ginger tabby from Canada. He boasts seven toes on each paw, for a grand total of 28. Each toe has its own claw, pad, and bone structure. The rumor mill also tells of a 32-toed cat named Mickey Mouse who lived in the ’70s. But instead of polydactyly, he might have had a condition known as “double paws,” in which each paw is actually comprised of two fused mirror-image paws. Having extra toes is complicated!
4. Polydactyly is common in Maine Coons
Historically, polydactyly was a useful trait for Maine Coon cats. For a breed originating in snowy Maine, doublewide paws with extra digits functioned as natural snowshoes. At one time, as many as 40 percent of all Maine Coons had extra toes. Though the trait is no longer as predominant in the breed, Maine Coon polydactyls are still recognized as an official breed by many cat fanciers.
5. Polydactyl cats were once considered good luck at sea
Back in the day, polydactyl cats got their sea legs by accompanying fishermen on many journeys. And they earned their keep — they were rumored to be excellent mouse hunters, and their extra toes gave them better balance on ships that encountered rough waters. The cats’ many travels might explain their widespread presence today, predominantly in the United States, Canada, England, and Wales.