Sheldon’s all dressed up and has no where to go. Here he is trying to climb through a closed window.
Sheldon’s all dressed up and has no where to go. Here he is trying to climb through a closed window.
My son’s partner and roommate is an animal lover and works with abandoned, orphaned, and wounded animals. Today he received a call from a friend who had an emergency situation involving an orphaned baby squirrel. He’s always available on call, so the friend brought the squirrel over.
What happened was the little squirrel had actually come up to the woman, which is very unusual for any wild animal (if it’s an adult, you have to be careful with any sort of unusual behavior because it could mean the animal has rabies). She said the squirrel seemed hungry, and realized it had somehow become separated from its mother but was far too young to take care of itself. The baby seems healthy enough, but needs to be fostered until it can be released back into the wild. Here is a photo I got. The rest were too blurry to post (the baby was moving so much it was hard to get a good photo).
I’ve seen all kinds of strange animals this week. On Monday I saw the two mating black snakes at the lake. Today I had a surprise waiting for me at the nearby Ingles supermarket.
I was loading the groceries into my car, looked up for a minute, and there by a shady area near the service road were some animals I definitely didn’t expect. At first I wasn’t sure what they were, so I walked a little closer to get a better view. They were llamas, grazing on the grass under the trees! What were llamas doing here of all places? Then I saw two trailers parked nearby, and a man who appeared to be their owner. He said he was returning from an exotic animal show in Virginia and was letting his llamas out for air and exercise.
I started taking pictures. The llamas seemed friendly enough. They came in every color–tan, brown, russet, black, greyish. A couple of the llamas just ignored ignored me. A few of the others looked up curiously, then got back to munching the grass.
Never in a million years did I expect to see llamas at the grocery store. You just never know what kind of surprises life has in store for you.
Click on the photos to enlarge.
Otters are my second favorite animal. There are many different types of otters–here are some of them. I think the drawings are adorable. I hope you can read the captions–I couldn’t make the chart any larger.
I have a wood thrush who sings from the high treetops by my house. I know because his song sounds exactly like the one in this video. I love this bird’s song, and the haunting, almost metallic way it sounds. Wood thrushes live all along the East Coast of the United States, and are shy birds. They are most common deep in the forest, but since I live on the edge of one, I can still hear him from my house.
In the early morning, and again at dusk, all the birds, including this one, go nuts with their singing. It’s like listening to a symphony. It drives my cats insane. They jump at the windows trying to figure out where all the singing is coming from.
Sheldon, my tuxedo cat, loves to stare at drains. It makes me laugh every time he does it. He takes it very seriously though. When he stares at a drain, he’s totally focused on that drain and whatever is happening with it. He sits there motionless but from time to time cocks his head from side to side, as if pondering why. Sometimes he’ll even tentatively extend a white-mittened paw toward it, but if there’s water there, he quickly moves it away, flicking the water off. But his intent focus remains. His eyes never leave that drain.
I love this video of a Bobcat growling at a bathtub drain.
While there aren’t official psychiatric diagnoses for dogs, I think dogs (and other pet animals) can and do develop psychiatric conditions, including the canine equivalent of the personality disorders. As in humans, “personality disorders” in dogs develop when a dog has been abused or neglected, usually in puppyhood. Neglecting a dog is just as bad as abusing it, because they are social creatures who need “mirroring” from their humans and regular social interaction. Without these things, a dog can become aggressive, aloof, or learn to fear everything and everyone. Since disturbed dogs do not make good pets, they are usually euthanized.
Because dogs and other pets aren’t capable of higher level reasoning, there’s no doggie equivalent of a “false self,” gaslighting, triangulation, or splitting, but we do find manipulative, attention-seeking, unpleasant behaviors.
Here’s an article about the behavioral problems dogs can develop. Next to each item, I’ve named the personality disorder that would be the human equivalent for that behavior.
Problem dogs usually exhibit difficulties with:
Selfishness and Aggressiveness: Some dogs aggressively guard their food and possessions, and bite any dog or human foolish enough to challenge them. Antisocial Personality Disorder.
Impulsiveness: Some dogs are very impulsive. They impulsively run off chasing after something at the slightest provocation. Often this behavior either gets them lost or run over by a car. Antisocial or Borderline Personality Disorder
Dominance: Some dogs are very dominant and literally control their submissive owners. You will see these dogs pulling their owners around on a leash, or involved in some other power struggle with their owner. Antisocial or Narcissistic Personality Disorder
Fear or Wariness: Some dogs are very fearful and wary of strangers. Some fearful, shy dogs eventually learn to trust their owner. However, other fearful dogs never learn to trust their owner and remain wary, aloof and distant. Schizoid, Avoidant, or Dependent Personality Disorder
Separation Anxiety: Some dogs become hysterical when their owner leaves them. They howl or tear up furniture in a fearful rage. Some dogs bloody themselves trying to paw through walls or smash through glass doors trying to reunite with their owners. Borderline Personality Disorder
Attention-Seeking: Some dogs constantly demand attention from their owner. Yet the more attention the owner gives these dogs, the more excited and attention-seeking they become. The end result is that these demanding dogs are always jumping up on their owners or otherwise pestering their owner for more attention. Borderline, Histrionic, or Narcissistic Personality Disorder
Lack Of Affection: Owners want an affectionate dog that loves them. Unfortunately, some dogs never warm up to their owner and remain aloof and cold. In addition, other dogs never learn to trust their owner, and remain suspicious and isolated. Paranoid, Schizoid or Avoidant Personality Disorder
Read more about animal psychological disorders:
My roommate, Stacey, took her cat Isaiah to Florida with her (she never texted me to let me know she got there safely, so I hope she did), and now I’m down to just two: my little huntress Cleo, and my black and white tuxedo cat, Sheldon. Both are outdoors most of the time (that’s not really my choice, but once you let a cat go out, it’s almost impossible to make them indoor-only) and it almost feels like a cat-less house now.
A year ago I still had 5 cats AND a dog. That was too many animals in this small house, but it’s a far cry from only two cats around.
I can tell the cats miss Isaiah. When they are in the house, they walk around as if searching for someone and sit around and meow plaintively, as if asking me where he is. Of course they have short memories and will soon forget he was here, but I know they miss him (even though he and Sheldon used to occasionally get into spats over who was the “alpha male”).
My new roommate, a gay man my age named Kevin, moved in yesterday. He seems very nice. He was the only person who answered my ad that I felt comfortable talking to, and he’s introverted like me. He seems to like the room. He doesn’t have any pets but he likes cats (he isn’t a fan of dogs so I guess I won’t be getting one of those).
I’m thinking of getting a Siamese cat–not a young kitten, but an older one, or a young cat who’s already been spayed or neutered and had all its shots. There are always ads on Craigslist (a lot of people can’t deal with all the talking they do), and some of the Siamese I’ve seen are absolutely gorgeous.
I’ve wanted a Siamese for a long time, but held off because I already had too many cats. The only problem would be keeping him indoors (I prefer a male) since my other two cats always want to go outside. But with the colder weather coming, Cleo and Sheldon may want to be indoors more, and maybe an active and talkative new cat might tempt them to stay in.
I think a Siamese might help lift my mood a little too. They’re very intelligent and affectionate and you can almost have a conversation with them.
This video always makes me smile. These two Siamese are VERY upset about their person taking a shower and not paying attention to THEM. 😆
Here’s a humorous look at the 7 ways narcissists can be AWESOME pet parents. This listicle from Getleashedmag.com isn’t intended to be taken TOO seriously, but there’s truth here too.
My malignant narcissist ASPD ex, who should be locked away and not allowed to get within 100 feet of any human, is actually the first person I would trust with my kitties should I ever have to leave them for a few days. He despises people (and admits it) but seems to genuinely love animals.
7 Common Habits of Narcissistic Pet Lovers
Wonder if it’s possible to love your pet and be a narcissist? Of course it is!
By Leslie Phelan
There is a misconception about narcissists that says they’re way too into themselves to properly love an animal companion, but there’s a special breed of narcissist whose condition includes room for animal love. Sound like you or someone you know? Read on:
Narcissists love two things: themselves, and anything that could be used as extensions of themselves. What better self-extension than a cute and adorable furry thing that will love you back unconditionally?
Do you express love for your pet in a way that might look to others like evidence of an overly narcissistic lean within your personality? Observe yourself (you know you want to); and see if any of these key narcissistic pet lover indicators point at gorgeous little you:
1. Is your appearance everything?
Do you try on three different jacket-hat combos before stepping out, even to the park? Do you color-coordinate the dog’s collar with your scarf?
2. Are you obsessed with your own reflection?
Do you hold your cat in your arms over the bathroom vanity and compare the flecks in your eyeball irises for extended periods? When you walk past windows with your dog on leash, are you always glancing sideways to admire how lovely and magazine-ready you two look?
3. Do you use your pet as a prop to justify yet another selfie?
You know the drill: scoop up the animal, pose pretty, take a few snaps, choose the best one and post it with a caption about the animal, when really it’s to show off how adorable you look WITH said animal. C’mon . . . we’ve all been here. And the pics are priceless.
4. Do you make everything about you?
Do you listen with the intent to respond, more than with the intent to understand? When someone is talking about a cute thing their pet does, are you bursting at the seams to trump their story with a better, cuter, more special story about your own?
5. Do you bring your pet along, even at less-than-appropriate times?
Most people will agree that it’s the more the merrier when it comes to dogs at parties, but do you ever find yourself purposefully ignoring hints that you maybe shouldn’t bring your pet along?
Of course you want to bring your pet because, well, attention! Plus, you don’t want to rush home if you had to leave your dog behind due to that person’s silly baby with the possible dander allergies. Pfft, the kid’s gotta get used to dog hair sooner or later . . .
6. Are you loud?
Are you constantly standing on a soapbox because you actually think people care about yours and your pets’ diets/favorite shows/the glowing review your yoga instructor gave you? Do you have loud, full conversations with your dog for all to hear? (Bonus points if you do it in another language, or in a sing-song voice.)
7. Is everyone a potential rival?
Do you get jealous if you hear another person in the park compliment someone’s dog before yours? Do you feel like you and your pet are in constant competition with your friends, relatives and their pets? Be honest: is no one safe from your sense of rivalry?
This is not a place of judgment; any honest pet owner wont pretend they haven’t teetered on the brink of most of these points a few times. A bit of narcissism can be good, it keeps us caring for ourselves and can make us our best selves! Embrace it, but try not to burn up too much of your energy trying to be the hottest, richest, cleverest, most stylish, most popular and successful person in the world…
Instead, focus on being the most humble, courteous, patient, kind and complimentary person you can be. Or, likewise, just be the person your pet thinks you are – that person is pretty exceptional.