Monday, December 14, 2009

Here today, gone tomorrow...

Back again next week, is the story of the life of the animals at the local shelter.

Last week, while discussing with the wife about getting a cat, I was looking at the kittens on the webpage for the local animal shelter, and there were quite a few, very cute kitties available for adoption. Today, not so many.

They'll be back next week. Not necessarily the same kitties but a new batch, although I'm sure some kits and pups will find themselves back in the shelter awaiting a new owner, this one more patient than the last.

We're not naive, we know what we're getting into, but other families who don't will either give up and if their pet is lucky, return it to the shelter. If it's not so lucky it will be relegated to a life outside where it's all but forgotten, and if it's really unlucky it will find itself going on a one-way trip somewhere that will result in it being throw out a car door and left to fend for itself.

Cats and dogs have been a part of my life for as long as I can remember, even at the same time, although the experiment we're about to embark upon is going to be interesting. Our dog spends some days outside and some days inside, and some days she's in or out, but she always sleeps inside at night.

And we're contemplating getting a cat, a kitten specifically, who will also be an inside pet. Cats and dogs can live together as long as they grow up together. The dog is not the problem, it's the cat. Okay, it's the dog which causes the cat problems, but it's the cat which usually needs to adapt to the slobbering bundle of fur which wants to lick it or play with it or eat it, or maybe all three.

A Facebook friend posted a picture of her Akita with her two kitties.
It's very obvious from the picture that they're not bothered at all by the 120-pound bundle of fur. If anything, the cat closest to 'Stryder' wants to play with the big fella. My friend said play usually results in a very wet, slobber-covered kitty, and that reminded me of our old Doberman 'Jedda' and my sister's cat 'Munro' who also grew up together. Except for Jedda being five times Munro's size they had no problems with each other. Yes, Jedda had been known to lie on top of Munro and lick him until he was dripping wet, but despite the occasional tongue bath they were great pals :)

At her recent checkup the Vet weighed Willow in at 46 pounds. So while she's not a big dog (nothing like Stryder) she's also not exactly small, definitely not cat-sized, and yet I'm confident that as long as she doesn't eat the kitten, the two will learn to get along and become best pals. Eventually.

It's the period between 'Now' (or from when we get the kitten) and 'Eventually' that is going to be very interesting.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Facebook: A vehicle for propaganda

It never ceases to amaze me how people can blindly spread misinformation just because it sounds like a good idea. Because I "play" the Facebook game Mafia Wars, I have over 800 Facebook "Friends" (more than many, not as many as some), and so I probably experience this more than those who use Facebook for it's originally intended social/networking purpose. The one doing the rounds at the moment are the people updating their status with a message encouraging their Friends to send a card to A Recovering Soldier c/o Walter Reed Hospital (a futile gesture. Military installations, of which Walter Reed is one, are under orders not to accept any mail not addressed to identified personnel.)

It takes just a few seconds to verify (or refute) this information, about as long as it does to copy and paste the message into your Facebook status. Of course it also takes more work than a simple Copy & Paste, unless you know how to use Google's "Block/Hightlight & Search Google For..." feature, in which case it does take literally seconds to verify or refute the information you're about to pass on. But how many people actually do that?

Filled with good intentions it appears most people just blindly copy, paste, & forward the misinformation, and other people see it and say "Hey! That's a good idea!" and before you can step in to say, "That's a good idea, but..." it's too late; five other people have copied, pasted, & forwarded the misinformation. And twenty-five people will see the new message and pass it on, and that is how...

"A Lie can travel halfway round the world while the Truth is still putting on its shoes." - Mark Twain