I live in a low-income building at 618 S. Wabash. …

I live in a low-income building at 618 S. Wabash. When signing HUD re-certification papers I had to sign a document stating that I was aware that as a HUD rent subsidy client with a disability I had a right to a service animal with a doctor's note. My landlord did not want any animals in the building. There had never been one before in the 11 years or so of it's existence. I had to get a lawyer but next week I will adopt my dog.
-James
BAD RAP Blog

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The Chinese endemic wildcat

chinese mountain cat night

We lump. We split. We recombine. We split again.

Taxonomic disputes. Cladistics. Phylogenetic trees. We quibble. We quarrel.

I particularly love these disputes. They are what happens in this era of the Neo-Darwinian synthesis and the rise of cladistic classification models.

Ever since it was known to modern science, the tufted-eared wildcat of mountains of Qinghai and Sichuan were thought be a unique species, an endemic mountain cat of China.

It was called Felis bieti after the missionary naturalist Felix Biet who was stationed in Tibet. Pronounced the proper French way, Felis bieti sounds a lot like Felix Biet, though he was not the person who named it. Alphonse Milne-Edwards, the scholarly French mammalogist, named the beast.

And all was fine taxonomy-wise.

Then, as the Chinese population grew, they began to put lots and lots of pressure on the mountains. They poisoned the pikas and rodents, and the cat’s numbers have started to drop.

It might be easy to get people interested in preserving the cat.

Even more so, because its classical taxonomy has been called into question.  A 2007 genetic study that sought to find the origins of the domestic cat found that the Felis bieti was actually so close to the wildcat that it ought to be regarded as a subspecies. This was a limited mtDNA study, which has its potential problems.

It could be that there is indeed a unique Felis bieti but that it has hybridized so much with wildcats or their domestic kin that they have a wildcat-like mtDNA sequence. So we’re going to need some nuclear DNA studies to confirm whether this is a subspecies or not.

If it turns out to be wildcat subspecies, then it might actually be easier to rally support for conserving it. People love cats so much that it often gets very hard to have discussions about them as invasive species, so when we have a potential close cousin of Fluffy or Morris that might go extinct, it might be easier to get people interested in preserving them.

These cats are found not far from the where the last wild giant pandas roam. The Chinese mountain cat, as it is known in English, isn’t quite as rare as the panda.

Taxonomic quibbles and quarrels do have political consequences.  Some of them are good. Some are them are negative.

We use the information the best information we have, but we always manipulate symbols in order to rally support for our causes.

The tufted wildcat of China might be one of those species we might easily manipulate.  The Scottish wildcat has been called “the Highland tiger, ” and even though it’s unlikely that any pure Scottish wildcats still exist, it has captured the imagination of the British conservation-minded community.

Perhaps something could be done here as well.  People love that which is nearest to their own understanding, and domestic cats losing their closest wild kin is something that would bother many.

This is what has helped wolves in their public relations and led to their ultimate success as a conservation story.

A little wildcat could have a lot of appeal, and maybe it can be saved, bieti or silvestris or whatever it is.


Natural History

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IKEA’s New Boho Collection Is Everything

IKEA JASSA Collection
IKEA JASSA Collection
IKEA JASSA Collection
IKEA JASSA Collection

In March, I gave you guys a sneak peek of IKEA’s new STOCKHOLM Collection (which became available for purchase on April 1st!), and it ended up being the highest traffic (and most pinned) post of the entire month. Since you guys seem to like IKEA as much as I do (in case you missed it, we were on their home improvement show last fall, which was the most fun blog project I’ve ever done), I decided to share my favorite new collections of theirs from time to time here on the blog. (And again, these posts are not sponsored. I just love my IKEA!)

This particular collection, my friends, is quite possibly my favorite ever…

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IKEA JASSA Collection
IKEA JASSA Collection
IKEA JASSA Collection
IKEA JASSA Collection

My regular readers probably have a pretty good idea of my style by this point – I like simple, neutral decor, but I also love when it’s mixed with vibrant bohemian inspired pieces. And that is why I am completely smitten with IKEA’s new limited edition JASSA Collection, which was designed by Piet Hein Eek and launched a couple of weeks ago. Described as possessing “a sense of free-spirited fun” (I’m in!), it features handmade furniture, bold patterns and textiles mixed in with natural elements, and lots of other bohemian inspired goodness that I can’t wait to get my hands on. As with most of IKEA’s products, the pieces in the JASSA Collection are also reasonably priced.

IKEA JASSA Collection
IKEA JASSA Collection
IKEA JASSA Collection

I think my favorite pieces in the collection are the pendant lamp shade ($ 29.99), the speckled side plates ($ 3.95), the rattan room divider ($ 129), and all of the gorgeous cut fabric pieces ($ 14.95). Between this and the STOCKHOLM Collection, I’m counting down the days until my next IKEA excursion.

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Bubby and Bean ::: Living Creatively

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RSVP for the Lucy Pet Products #CatsIncredible Twitter Party!

The #CatsIncredible Twitter Party is sponsored by Lucy Pet Products. As always, we only share information we feel is relevant to our readers! We are so excited to announce that we’re hosting a…



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DogTipper

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Dog or Doll?

It’s pouring with rain in Naples.  This little poodle, wearing his smart raincoat, sleeps in his owner’s arms as they shelter from the rain.

This is one of the photos in my display ‘A Love Letter to Naples’ at PhotoMenton this year – open every day till next Sunday at the Palais de l’Europe, Menton.
RIVIERA DOGS

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Toronto Dog Saves Owner’s Life Every Day in Different Ways

Paddington and Sinead

Sinead Ellis is 25 years old and lives with Parkes Weber Syndrome (PWS), a rare congenital condition. There is currently no cure for PWS. The U.S. National Library of Medicine notes that PWS causes arteries and veins to form abnormally, often causing excruciating pain and sometimes even heart failure. In addition, PWS often causes one limb to grow abnormally large compared to its match. In Sinead’s case, her right leg is almost two times larger than her left leg.

Sinead deals with her condition with grace and good humor, but perhaps most life-saving has been her dog, Paddington. According to The Dodo, this sweet poodle is in training to become a certified service dog, but he’s already changed Sinead’s life. Paddington has already not only healed a literal hole in Sinead’s right foot, but he has helped with her anxiety, balanced Sinead on walks despite her legs being different sizes, and even learned to monitor Sinead for signs of internal bleeding.

Read more about Sinead and Paddington.

Halo Pets

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What’s New on PawZaar? #Giveaway

New Giveaway Enter to win one of our CHOOSE RESCUE Bracelets in this week’s PawZaar weekly giveaway! 50% Off Sale! All our exclusive bracelets (singles and sets) are 50 percent off this week…



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DogTipper

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Easy Walker

Walking the dog with your hands behind your back!
RIVIERA DOGS

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Yer Big Dog Turns 36

Wait a tic I’m on central time now.  On the Eastern seaboard I’m actually 46. 
And it’s been more than a month since my birthday but  as I alluded to in my previous post, it’s been kind of a breakthrough month for me.
Turning mid 40s your body starts to say, “HEY!!! REMEMBER ME???” and it was time for me to stop and take inventory.  Maybe it started talking to me earlier but sometimes I don’t listen so good.  
Louis CK says it best in this video - it’s absolutely hilarious but as per louis, it’s a little ripe with the language.  
2018 will be the most important year of my life and that’s the reason I’m focusing intensely on getting to peak performance.  No spoilers now and probably not for months but you’ll understand soon enough.
Here’s what I’m working on.  
Body
For most of my adult life I’ve suffered from a bad lower back caused by a work related injury that was exacerbated by being rear ended by a Dodge Ram when I was en route to a deep sea fishing excursion in Corpus Christie. I was at a dead stop and he was doing about 40 mph and that herniated a lower disc to say the least.  Backpacking 4,000 miles with an FSO of 100+ lbs didn’t help and it’s been a battle since, two steroid injections not withstanding.  
Then there’s the knee but there’s no sense in going into detail – we all have to learn how to walk with wounds.  
I’ve never been a gym junkie before but I can’t go more than a day away from it now.  Plus, Planet Fitness has a hydromassage table and I could live for days on that machine.  I’m also back to walking a few miles daily typically after my workout.    
Mind
I have a hyper functioning brain which is cool at times especially when I need to summon my creativity but it also makes me highly susceptible to noise and distractions.  Just ask anyone who watches TV with me.  Advertisements – I really wouldn’t even call them that since they’re often the lowest common denominator – drive me nuts.  AND… hah – caught myself. 
Also I’m a political junkie since half my family comes from Louisiana where politics is a blood sport so I’ve had to filter that out, too.  Except for Mark Simone since he covers culinary trends in NYC and film.  Still it’s hard at times since I’ve always prided myself with being current and well read but given the volume levels nowadays, it short circuits my CPU.  And ya gotta protect that. 
Instead, my earbuds have become myelinated sheaths which both insulate my thoughts and along with workouts and walking, propagate them at greater frequencies.  More on this and music choices later…. 
Diet
You’d think after as many miles I’ve logged, I would have this figured out.  But, traveling with the fuzzybutts required me to make tough decisions about pack weight almost always to my detriment.  Their food, comfort, and safety always came first and when backpacking every gram counts.  Which meant many days and night I feasted on whatever I could find at C-Stores or not at all.  Just ask Mommy G how many boxes of nuts and dried fruits went unsent because I just couldn’t afford the pack weight and sometimes it was 30-40 miles between towns.  
No ma’am, my diet on the road consisted mostly of Pork Rinds and pickles for salt and Sour Patch Kids for sugar and that messes with you the older you get.  
Spiritual
See previous blog, Midnight with Murphy, but it won’t be my only one about it. 
Garbage In, Garbage Out
This is a common phrase you encounter in the technology world.  Basically it means crappy coding begets shitty software and that’s so, so true of your body, mind, and spirit with diet affecting them all.  I don’t pretend or presume to be an expert in any of them but I’m learning.  Nor will I turn into some freaky fitness creep that you encounter on infomercials.  
In turning 46, I have to focus on all if I hope to reach optimal performance by this time next year.   Me and my shitty back.  And my shitty knee.  
——–
YBD’s Notes:  FSO = From Skin Out calculated by everything you carry and wear minus your nekkid self.  Couldn’t find a quick and easy link about it.    

2 Dogs 2000 Miles

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How to Puppy Proof Your Home

Puppies are inquisitive and playful by nature. They can be heaps of fun, but it is important to take the right steps to protect your home and protect them from themselves, as having a big heap of energy bulldozing through your home can end in a disaster.

Destructive chewing, playful chewing, jumping on people and getting on the furniture are common behavioural patterns in puppies, but are these preventable?

Chewing and biting

To begin with, puppies may chew and damage furniture in front of you, and it is important to be consistently assertive and to tell them no. But punishing your puppy doesn’t always solve the problem, some cheeky canines continue to chew and destroy your furniture when you’re not around. Simple ways of stopping this from happening are investing in puppy fences that divide up the room into puppy “safe zones”.

Also trying out different behavioural correction techniques can be effective, each puppy will respond differently to the things you try, so don’t give up and stay consistent. Non-aggressive techniques like spraying your puppy with water and saying “no” assertively can be effective. It is important to be consistent with your training, but remember never to be aggressive with your puppy. The end game is to stop them from misbehaving, not to scare them. An unusual but effective remedy is to invest in bitter apple spray to spray on wires and your furniture, this will soon stop your pups from chewing.

Why do puppies chew and bite furniture?

A lot of dog owners believe that chewing furniture is a phase or a mild behavioural problem, such as separation anxiety. Not many people know that chewing could actually be an indication of poor nutrition or not enough food provisions. To prevent chewing from continuing to happen, make sure that you are feeding your puppy the right amount of food every day, and also that you are buying food specifically designed for puppies that have the right kind of nutrients, vitamins and protein. If you are unsure of which food to buy, then it is always useful to consult with your vet,

Over-excited puppies

Puppies have heaps of energy, they jump up at people, can run for hours and always want to play. In order to protect your home, always remember to move breakable ornaments and objects out of the pathway or reach of your puppy, especially if they could fall and result in an injury. Protecting your puppy is equally as important as protecting your home. One of the best ways to do this is to make sure you vet fits them with a pet microchip. If they are ever lost (or worse, stolen) they will be more likely to be reunited with you.

Caring for a puppy can be challenging, it is important to remember to remain consistent and to think of them like another member of the family. If there are small objects that are a choking hazard on the floor, then the chances are that they will end up in your puppy’s mouth. And if there are breakable objects in reach of your puppy, then chances are that they will get broken. And finally, if you catch them chewing or destroying your furniture, chances are that they will try again until they know better. All of these things are preventable, and the older your puppy gets the less likely they will be to destroy your home.

Cathy is a new author and has experience pet sitting and with pets in general. Three years as a pet sitter in college and extensive experience volunteering in a shelter environment, fostering, training, a year as a vet assistant, etc.


PetsitUSA Blog

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