LOLCat speek hurts mah brain

I’m puzzled.

Cats. They’re the kings of the jungle. The aloof animals who will let you pet them… but only on their terms. Basically, cats are just too cool for everything. They’re kind of the original hipsters.


Growing up, I was fairly certain that cats were the smartest creatures out there. Take Garfield, for example. He might be fat and lazy, but he’s also clever and well-spoken. (Well thought-bubbled?) In contrast to sweet, lovable, dim Odie (and hopeless Jon), Garfield was clearly the brains of the operation.


My first cat, Buttercup, also gave off an air of superiority. She seemed pretty sure that she was… the cat’s pajamas. I wasn’t quite sure where the dogs and I fell on the intelligence continuum, but I knew that it was somewhere below the cat.

So, why did the Internet decide that cats have poor grammar and spelling skills? Honestly, it wouldn’t really surprise me to learn that cats actually speak in Elizabethan English. I’m not joking. Cats probably judge our grammar. (I’m pretty sure that this cat does. And this one just judges us. For everything. I told you cats were hipsters.)

I’m genuinely curious. Who decided that if adorable animals could talk, they’d sound like they recently suffered some sort of head injury? It’s fascinating that lolcat has become its own weird language. You can even translate regular English into lolcat (and it seems that lolcat has its own set of rules) – hence the grammatically tortured title of this post. (You can also read the Bible in lolcat, if that’s your jam.)

Don’t get me wrong… I’m as charmed by emoticats as the next gal. However, this whole phenomenon is beyond my comprehension. I know that some of you out there may be more comfortable with lolcat speak than I am – if so, care to enlighten me? (I mean, the guy who founded that Cheezburger site is obviously doing pretty well for himself, so perhaps I’m the one who is missing something here.)

Maybe cats are actually behind this whole LOLCat thing… they’re lulling us into a false sense of security. Then they’ll make their move.


You’ve been warned.

Do you speak lolcat? I’d love to hear why it appeals to you. If you’re not a fan, why not? What do you think cats would sound like if they could talk to us?


PFL: Panda Football League

I’ve been quite remiss in delivering your Friday linkage lately. You may wonder where I’ve been. I promise, I was not off doing this. Some days I have felt like this, however.

In any event, Friday linkage is back. I was going to bust out the formalwear to celebrate the occasion (or just some tiny hats), but I hope you don’t mind that I was too lazy to do so.

  1. First up, your punny pet names: Chick Jagger, Sheddie Money, Mane Brady, Drooly Andrews, and Robert Sniffin III.
  2. So, I don’t know about you, but I’d totally cheer for a team named the Washington Redpandas. (Sorry, New York Giants… I’d drop you like a hot potato. No, changing your name to the New York Giant Pandas wouldn’t change my mind. I’m a red panda gal at heart. You should totally do it anyway though. Cleveland Brown Pandas, you’re on notice too.)
  3. In case you were wondering how I feel when I even think of the remote possibility that red pandas could finally get their moment in the sun, this video clip should clear it up. (I’m so excited. So excited.)
  4. I’m trying not to think about the fact that it will probably never happen. It will only break my heart. (Speaking of Calvin & Hobbes…)
  5. On another panda-related note, I’m pretty sure that this was the best thing to come out of that shutdown nonsense.

I’m just going to put it out there – I am in favor of recreating all music videos with dog stars. We can call it DMTV. The videos can air at halftime during PFL (Panda Football League) games:

That’s all for today. In case you missed it, here’s what we’ve been up to on the blog since the last Friday link roundup:

Here’s hoping that the next month won’t be as crazy as the last one… I kind of missed my Friday links (whether you did or not)!


Repeat after me: “Hello. May I pet your dog?”

I happen to be a Jezebel reader. I may not always agree, but they almost always get me thinking. Today’s post is inspired by one of those thinking moments.

Recently, Jezebel published a post about the Yellow Dog Project. (Have you heard of it? It’s a pretty neat concept - for dogs that need space, owners tie a yellow ribbon around the dog’s leash or collar to signal to others that they should not approach the dog without asking. It’s as if the dog is wearing a caution sign.)

The post was actually rather complimentary about the Yellow Dog Project, but there was something about it that kind of stuck in my craw.

(As an aside, what exactly is a craw? Do I actually have one or is it just a figure of speech? Sounds like I’ve found my next Google project.)

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Hairy Garfield & the Half-Belated Birthday Doodle

Today’s topic is artistic ability. I have a little – occasionally, I can render a pretty good drawing, although I never quite mastered perspective and scale. I’m by no means an artist, so today we’re actually talking about doodles: what you doodle, when you doodle, how you doodle. (That word gets more fun each time I say it… doodle, doodle, doodle. How do any of you with a Labradoodle or other -doodle dog get anything done? I’d just repeat that to myself all the time.)

Why doodles, you might ask? Well, I’m a habitual doodler, but not terribly creative. Those that have ever sat next to me in a meeting, taken a class with me, or known me for years are aware that I have a doodle of choice. It’s appeared in countless notebooks and textbooks over the years.

Yesterday happened to be the birthday of my favorite doodle inspiration, so I thought I’d honor this esteemed personage with a belated birthday doodle…

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Revenge of the nerds… and the nerdy cats

It’s Friday… time for some linkage to send you into the weekend with a smile!

  1. Your punny pet names are for a turtle and dog duo: Shelldon Cooper and Amy Farrah Howler.  (Continuing on the nerdy theme, you could also get a bird and name it Stephen Hawking – no punnification required.)
  2. Speaking of Mayim Bialik, did you ever watch Blossom?  If so, enjoy this story about Jenna von Oy (a/k/a Six) and her pug.
  3. Do you ever watch The Soup?  If so: (a) we should hang out; and (b) you will likely enjoy this Cat Soup parody.
  4. That last clip was a bit irreverent.  This koala was shocked.
  5. You know I love a good shelter photography story. This awesome collection of adorable adoptables is no exception.  
  6. This slideshow of pets on furniture is too cute.  (This one is my favorite.)
  7. Have you ever wanted to attend Hogwarts?  Well, I can’t get you in there (I’ve already called in all of my favors), but perhaps you should check out the Hovawart School of Witchcraft & Wizardry instead. I hear the Care of Magical Creatures class is fantastic.  (Also, I can’t resist a Harry Potter pun.)
  8. You know, I always wondered what made the Angry Birds so darn angry. Now we know.
Anyway, today’s video is cat-related (it’s been a cat kind of week, apparently). Honestly though, my first thought was that this is exactly what it would be like if Stephen Hawking were a cat instead of a human (hence #1 above).
(via Best Week Ever)

As a cat, he’d still be smarter than any of us (and we probably would have already welcomed those feline overlords I keep hearing about).

That’s all for today.  Have a great weekend, nerds!  (I consider that a term of endearment – I’m kind of nerdy myself, after all.)


Corgis (and Ryan Gosling)… in… space!

Before we get into the usual Friday linkage, I wanted to take a moment to thank the veterans who have served our country.  We owe them a great deal.  As always on this holiday, my thoughts go to the poem “In Flanders Field” – those verses say so very much.  If you have a chance, I also recommend you check out these amazing and inspiring photos from a new book on canine soldiers.

Now, it’s time for your usual installment of No Frown Friday…

  1. We begin, as always, with punny pet names, this time with a farming twist: Billy Goat Idol.
  2. Take an iconic album cover.  Insert adorable kitten(s).  Achieve awesomeness.  (Bonus punny pet name: David Meowie.)
  3. Also awesome?  Puppies running in slow motion.  You know I can’t resist puppies having a Chariots of Fire moment.
  4. Apparently the Internet is all about giving me plenty of slow-mo dogs this week.  Thanks, Internet.
  5. This next one’s not slow-mo, but it’s fantastic… talk about a unique dog.
  6. Now it’s time to answer an age-old question.  Forget puppies versus babies, the real cute-off is between puppies and Ryan Gosling. (I’m beginning to think Gosling needs his own category on the blog.  Oh, fine – here you go.)

Another topic that makes frequent appearances?  Space.  So, without further ado, I give you this week’s video:  Corgis… in… space!

 (If you can’t get enough space, go watch Nyan Cat too.  Someone should come up with Nyan Gosling Cat.  Get on it, Internet.)

That concludes your regularly scheduled linkage.  Before I go, you should know that a pretty cool event is going on in blogland this weekend – it’s a Blogpocalypse!  A group of wonderful bloggers will be participating in a blogathon to raise support for various causes.  I hope you’ll check them out.  (If you do, you might even see a guest post from me over at My Brown Newfies!)


Shelter employee fired for taking non-crappy photos of dogs

Ernie 24
Shameless plug – adopt Ernie!

You know I’m all about the notion that better photos can help dogs get adopted.  It’s logical, after all.  I’m always drawn to a photo of a pup with more personality.  (Speaking of personality… at right, you’ll see a photo I took when I volunteered at a local shelter last month.)

Anyway, today I’m here to share a story about something that strikes me as completely illogical.  Let’s say you’re a shelter… you have a crappy camera and have some crappy photos of adoptable dogs up on your website.  An employee decides to use her higher-quality DSLR to snap some photos of dogs scheduled to be euthanized and shares them in hopes of finding a rescue group or potential adopter who could save the dogs.

This woman displayed initiative, saw a problem, and took steps to improve the situation. Sounds like Employee of the Year material to me.  In reality, she joined the ranks of the unemployed.

According to the New York Times, Emily Tanen was fired from Animal Care and Control of New York City for taking photographs of animals scheduled to be euthanized.  Why?  Her photographs apparently violated her employer’s rules regarding photos – specifically, who can take photos, how the animals can be photographed, and how the photos can be used.  (One rule precludes showing humans in photos with the animals – apparently this extends to body parts such as a hand.  Even with my limited experience, I can tell you that it’s not always possible to get a photo of a nervous dog without a human’s arm or elbow somewhere in the frame.)

Emily took some lovely photos of the dogs that put the official shelter photos to shame.  It sounds like those photos helped some animals escape death row. Instead of seeing the potential here, the shelter fired her.  (Another former volunteer has also expressed displeasure with the fact that the shelter wanted to tightly control any of the photographs he took instead of allowing him to post them on his Facebook page.  Since when is wider exposure for an animal in need of a home a bad thing?)

Don’t get me wrong – I realize that not all shelters have the time or resources to devote to getting some truly fantastic photographs of adoptable animals.  They may not have enough volunteers to do so – in fact, the article suggests that there are only a handful of volunteers to take photos for the entire city shelter system involved here.  In addition, I’m sure there are sometimes valid legal reasons that an organization like this one would want to control the use of photos or set forth standards.

However, why not try to find a middle ground?  Perhaps the shelter could have taken this opportunity to revisit its policies and come up with a plan for getting photos of the animals that would both be acceptable to the shelter and would increase the animals’ chances of adoption.  (Similarly, in the case of the other volunteer I mentioned above, perhaps agreeing to a reasonable way that the photos could be circulated while noting that he did not officially represent the shelter would have been an option.)

This story isn’t about a lack of resources – you have an employee who is willing and able to help take better photos of the animals.  Perhaps she violated the policy, but wouldn’t a reprimand would have made more sense than firing her?

You can read the full New York Times article here.

UPDATE 11/15/11: There appears to be an online petition circulating to get Emily her job back.  If you’d like to learn more, click here.



Hello… is it a doggie you’re looking for?

I’ve got lots of linky goodness for you today.  Before we get silly, however, I have some cool information to share with you in honor of Pit Bull Awareness Day, which just so happens to be tomorrow.

Our pals over at love and a six-foot leash have put together a special adoption event with the Montgomery County Humane Society.  For a select group of lovable wonderbulls known as Little Zee’s Fabulous Four, all adoption fees will be sponsored.  Once a dog in the Fabulous Four is adopted, a new one will take his or her place on the list.

If you’re in the DC area, check out the details on how you can bring one of these adorable pups home.  (Even if you’re not looking for another dog right now or aren’t in DC, you can still help by spreading the word!)  For bonus points, head over to Peaceful dog, where a donation will be made to the Washington Humane Society for each comment.  Pretty cool, huh?

Now, back to your regularly scheduled puns…

  1. Your punny pet name: Lionel Itchy.
  2. Remember how much I loved that Lionel Richie teapot?  Well, here’s an awesome flyer to go with it. I don’t know why he fascinates me so… perhaps I’ve been wooed by his grammar skills.
  3. On a related note, I saw the sign below one day, and it was the highlight of my week.  I’m sure the people who saw me taking this photo thought I was nuts – however, anyone who gets the reference below scores instant awesome points.  (I’m beginning to think I need to join Lionel Richie Fans Anonymous.  Their motto?  “Hello… is it therapy you’re looking for?”)
  4. Lionel Richie crossing
  5. Um… moving on… looking for a treat to make for Halloween? Check out these creepy eyeball cake pops from Bakerella.  (Continuing on that theme… there photos of animals’ eyes up close are pretty cool.)
  6. If that didn’t satisfy your sweet tooth, try these awesome cakes inspired by Tim Burton.  (There might even be some new eye candy on my baking blog… head on over and check it out.)
  7. Last week, I highlighted some dogs in Halloween costumes.  This week, cats get their due.  (Speaking of cats, this diagram should clear up what all the fuss is about.)
  8. Also… I think this might be the best costume ever (although I doubt it’d translate into a pet costume).
  9. Want to see more cute pet costumes (and vote for your favorite)?  Go to All Things Dog Blog to vote for the Most Original Costume, and swing by DogTipper to vote for the Cutest Costume.
  10. I wish I’d read this article about pumpkin carving tips before I tried to carve mine last weekend.  Nonetheless, maybe it’ll help you in your carving endeavors.  (Are you a pumpkin carving savant?  Then you might want to enter this contest.)
  11. This photo looks like it came from some sort of horror movie.

The video below, however, looks like it came from the best movie ever.

It’s like a remake of 8 Seconds only much more fun and without Dylan McKay.

Oh, and I know it’s No Frown Friday, but I want to keep you posted on what’s up with us today.  Bella had to go in for surgery to have a lump removed this morning, and I’ll be picking her up this evening if all goes well.  That being said, we’d appreciate any healing vibes you could send her way.

I’m hoping that it’ll turn out to be nothing, and that the worst part of the whole ordeal will be her displeasure regarding the cone of shame.  (At least we don’t have a doggie door, I suppose…)


Child leaves dog on doorstep to save him from the pound

It’s quite the story.  It’s the stuff you see in movies and cartoons – a baby in a basket, left on a doorstep by a mother who cannot take care of him.  A note penned to the basket hoping that a benevolent stranger will take the orphan in and give him a better life.  Take that familiar tale… and replace it with a dog.  Rather than let his beloved pet go to the pound, a child essentially left his dog on the doorstep of a neighbor.  Engage tear ducts…
The dog is named Mr. B.  He was waiting in the driveway of a man in Washington state with a scribbled note stashed in a bone-shaped compartment attached to his collar.  The note stated that the child’s parents were getting divorced.  It indicated that Mr. B was to go to the pound, but that the child thought the dog would have a better life with this man.  (Side note: Isn’t divorce hard enough on this poor kid without getting rid of the dog too?  Obviously there’s no way to know the full story or if the parents were really going to take Mr. B to the pound, but still…)  To help take care of the dog, who was described as being “used to kids – not other dogs,” the child included his birthday money.  Among the many heartbreaking lines in the note (found here), the final few are truly heartbreaking: “He’s a good boy.  I know God will take care of Mr. B. – Everyone loves him… especially me.  Thank you.”
Wisdom from the mouth of babes.  Although leaving your dog on a neighbor’s doorstep may not be the best plan, you can’t deny the powerful emotion behind the action.  Ending up in a pound is a death sentence for many dogs… and even if it’s not, finding a new home isn’t easy.  Had Mr. B been dropped off at the pound, he’d likely be scared, confused, and utterly heartbroken.  Fine way to treat a creature you’ve brought into your home as a family member.  My heart breaks for this child.  If only everyone felt this way about the furry beings they’ve taken into their homes.  It’s a responsibility that far too few take seriously.

On a happy note, the neighbor took Mr. B to work and the pup has already found a new home.
For more, watch the story here.


Another hot dog story… with a twist!

Item I saw in today’s Washington Post:

I love this for multiple reasons:

  1. It’s just darn funny.
  2. I was just skimming the Metro section of the paper and stumbled across it.
  3. I started to read the item and get angry… until I got to the twist.
  4. Even though it’s funny, I’m glad that someone called the authorities when they thought a dog was in distress.  Better safe than sorry.

That being said, remember that dogs of the non-wooden variety won’t fare so well in this terrible heat.  So make sure to keep your dog cool this summer!