Yes, this picture is not click bait; a President really did own an alligator. In fact, two presidents did.
Of course, a few of these tales may be just myths, but most are real, and they are amazing!
The list below is intended to showcase the exotic Presidential pets, so you won’t find any horses, dogs, or cats mentioned. I ranked them from “most normal” to “most crazy”. Enjoy!
12. Abraham Lincoln’s turkey. A turkey was brought to the White House to be fattened for Thanksgiving. But one of Lincoln’s boys grew attached to the bird, so when the deadly time came, the boy begged his father to spare it. Fortunately, Lincoln issued a Presidential pardon, and the turkey lived.
11. Andrew Johnson’s white mice. When this President discovered a family of white mice in his bedroom, he did an unusual thing. He didn’t kill them or drive them off. Instead, he fed them. In a way, they became his pets.
10. Andrew Jackson’s parrot. Poll the parrot was taught to curse, possibly by the president himself. At Andrew Jackson’s funeral, the parrot started swearing like a sailor; Poll would not stop, so it had to be removed from the premises. The Reverend who presided over the ceremony wrote that the crowd was “horrified and awed at the bird’s lack of reverence”.
9. Grover Cleveland owned hundreds of fish.
8. Woodrow Wilson’s tobacco-chewing ram. His name was Old Ike, and he is probably the grumpiest creature on this list. He would lower his horns and charge at people, staff and visitors alike. He also developed the bad habit of eating the cigar butts that he would find on the White House lawn. All of this eventually led to his removal from the White House and a fall from grace.
7. William Taft’s cow, Pauline Wayne. In the early 1900s, there were no milkmen or grocery stores that sold milk, so everyone — even the President — kept their own cow as a source of milk. Taft’s cow is unique because it was the last Presidential bovine. After she left in 1913, milk was delivered. However, Pauline has more to her name than just that. She nearly ended up as hamburger! On her way to a prestigious dairy event, the train car that Pauline was in was accidentally sent to a slaughterhouse. Fortunately, someone recognized her just in the nick of time. After that close-call, Taft no longer sent her to events.
6. Benjamin Harrison’s opossums, named Mr. Reciprocity and Mr. Protection, for some reason.
5. Martin van Buren’s tiger cubs. Yep, you read that correctly. And be warned — things only get crazier from here!
4. Thomas Jefferson’s two bear cubs.
3. John Quincy Adams’ ALLIGATOR. Ahem, yes, that. As the story goes, Adams received this alligator as a gift from Marquis de Lafayette. Adams decided to keep the alligator indoors. He gave it access to a room and a bathroom, then he would take guests to see it. Naturally, they were shocked and terrified. As if one instance of this wasn’t enough, Herbert Hoover also owned an alligator. In fact, he had two of them. Yup, nothing could go wrong with that!
2. Calvin Coolidge’s bobcat named Smokey. Besides having Smokey, Coolidge also possessed a donkey, a black bear, a wallaby, a small hippopotamus, two raccoons, two lion cubs, and a partridge in a pear tree. Well, all except that last one.
1. Theodore Roosevelt owned a literal zoo! It’s fitting that the President who was renowned for being an outdoors man would have the largest, craziest collection of all. In addition to the usual swarm of cats, dogs and horses, the White House also held snakes, owned by the President’s youngest son, Quentin Roosevelt. Not to be out done, his father got a flying squirrel, a coyote, a lion, five bears, and a zebra. A zebra!
…And there you have it — 12 wild pets that Presidents maybe should not have been keeping. Now then, we are all prepared. I won’t bat an eye if President Trump wants to bring a whale to the Oval Office!
All joking aside, however, I have an announcement to make. Next week marks my one year anniversary of weekly blogging. I’m so excited to have made it this far!
To celebrate, I’m posting the first chapter of the book I’m writing, The Fuzzy Feud, which is about the funny misadventures of a cat and a dog as they reluctantly go from hatred to friendship. The post will be sort of an exclusive sneak-peek.
Anyway, I’ll see you there, and remember — stay fuzzy, my friends!
It’s official. Cats have conquered the world via the web. But at least we can get in a few laughs at their expense before our adorable dictators send us to the catnip mines…
The dog’s face is priceless!
Looks almost like this kitty is wearing kitty ears.
How can something so cute be so evil?
This one made me laugh so hard!
Awww, I could never be mad at something so cute! Wait… Hey!
The “cats are liquids” trend is hilarious, in my opinion. If you want to check it out, you could start here: https://www.boredpanda.com/cats-are-liquids/.
The photo says it all.
Is it just me, or do cats choose the most uncomfortable places to sleep?
I rest my case.
I’m sure we’ve all seen this. It’s called “the zoomies”; it’s when your cat suddenly races around like a madman, usually during the middle of the night when you are trying to sleep. Simon’s Cat captured the madness perfectly.
This reminds me of how my cat Autumn used to scale the Christmas tree every year so she could hunt down and murder all the bird ornaments.
She chipped one and ripped the feathers off another!
Eventually, I wised up and removed them. When that still wasn’t enough, I ran a model train around the base of the tree to scare her away. That’s worked — so far, at least…
Amazing! Even big cats obey this law of nature; for every cat knows: if I fit in something (boxes, bags, you name it), I must sit in it.
At least it’s more original than the “my dog ate my homework” excuse. Give it an “A” for effort?
The gift that stays with you — whether you want it to or not.
This meme is dangerously close to reality…
Some of life’s mysteries may never be solved. And we’ll just have to accept that.
Hear, hear! This night owl agrees with you!
If you liked these, please leave a comment and let me know which one was your favorite. As for me, it’s hard to choose, but I think Grumpy Cat memes might be the best. Anyway, I’d love to hear what you think!
If you are looking for more hysterical photos of cats, consider checking out my post “15 of the Best ‘If I Fits, I Sits’ Cat Photos on the Internet”.
Although seeing-eye horses are increasing in the US, they are non-existent in the UK. So naturally, Mohammed Patel caused quite a stir when he walked down the street with one.
Mohammed (pictured on the left) is a 23-year-old living in Lancashire, England, who suffers from vision limitations. Furthermore, he has a phobia of dogs. Since guide dogs are basically the only option in the UK, Mohammed faced a dilemma.
Fortunately, he met Katy Smith (pictured on the right). Katy trains miniature horses and takes them to retirement homes and the like. But after hearing about the success of guide horses in the US, Katy decided to train mini horses to guide the blind.
Digby (pictured in the middle) is her first one. In fact, Digby is Britian’s first ever seeing-eye equine!
Apparently, guide horses can do pretty much everything that guide dogs can do. They can lead their owners safely through traffic, and Katy says that they can sense how well their handler is feeling. “When someone is approaching [the] end of [their] life they seem to know.” Katy told Fox News.
In addition, mini horses can be trained to answer the door, move laundry, and wipe down counters. They can even make toast! (Albeit, somewhat imperfectly, since they have to bite the bread.) Minis can be house-trained, too.
Mohammed was quite happy to meet Digby and walk the streets of Lancashire with him. Wherever they went, stares and cameras followed them. Mohammed told reporters that he will have to add an hour to his daily commute to satisfy curious on-lookers. “[P]eople will all want to come and see it and touch it.” He said.
Unfortunately, that can’t happen just yet. At only 8 months old, Digby still needs a few years of training before he is ready to be a full-time service animal.
But Mohammed is willing to rely on humans for now.
Then, once the time is right, Mohammed will take Digby home with him, and I hope that the two will love and care for each other for many more years to come!
Easter Sunday is just a week away, which got me thinking about Easter eggs and chocolate bunnies — and how deadly they can be if your dog eats them.
If your dog polishes off a backyard-full of Easter eggs, then your pup will be in serious trouble.
Chocolate is dangerous for two reasons. For one thing, it contains caffeine, which is much too strong for dogs. According to the ASPCA, it can cause “vomiting, …restlessness, and increased heart rate”. The second reason is that chocolate gets its flavor from the theobromine in cacao seeds, which is very dangerous to dogs; it can injure the canine heart and nervous system.
Now, the following list isn’t meant to freak you out; it’s just meant to help you save yourself and your dog from a frantic trip to the vet. And as they say, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”.
- Chocolate. Note that the really dangerous foods will be in red.
- As we already covered, Caffeine is dangerous. So is Coffee, for all the same reasons as chocolate.
- Avocado. Avocados are the newest, trendiest thing to eat. For humans, that is; since it’s bad for dogs. Avocados contain persin, a chemical which doesn’t affect most humans, but for canines, it can cause lung and heart issues, and, in severe cases, death.
- Citrus. These tangy fruits contain citric acid. In small doses, it can result in a stomachache; in big doses, it might damage the canine nervous system.
- Peach and Plum Pits. Humans are smart enough to eat around these, but dogs aren’t. They will swallow them whole. Pits may get stuck in the pup’s intestines and need to be removed surgically. Furthermore, these seeds contain cyanide, which is poisonous to both humans and dogs.
- Salty Snacks. As with most things, moderation is key. A few chips between your and your canine is fine. However, if he downs the whole bag while you’re at work, he will become extremely thirsty. As WebMD put it, “[t]hat means a lot of trips to the fire hydrant and it could lead to sodium ion poisoning”.
- Grapes/Raisins. Surprisingly, even a small amount of these can make your poor pup ill, and a lot of this fruit can cause his kidneys to fail. Yikes.
- Alcohol. This should be obvious, but allow me to explain anyway. While caffeine dangerously over-stimulates dogs, alcohol does the exact opposite. It depresses a canine’s vitals to seriously low levels, sometimes causing coma or even death. So yeah, just don’t.
- Garlic/Onion. Substances inside these spices will attack the dog’s red blood cells, giving him anemia. Although a little might be alright, why risk it?
- Sugar-Free Sweetener Xylitol. Xylitol is used in many sugar-free foods as an alternative to sugar. While it doesn’t affect us, it causes very harmfully low blood sugar levels in our dogs. And yes, it can be life-threatening.
- Macadamia Nuts. Although no one knows for sure exactly what causes it, what we do know with absolute certainty is that macadamias will make canines seriously ill. The unknown toxin attacks the nervous, muscular and digestive systems. If your dog eats only one, he might be okay. If he eats six or more, rush him to the vet immediately.
- Raw Dough/Raw Meat. Because it will expand inside your dog’s stomach, raw dough is hazardous. Raw meat often holds parasites like E. coli or Salmonella, which cooking will rid it of. You have been warned.
If your dog eats anything dangerous, call either your vet, your local emergency animal clinic, or the 24/7 ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center ((888)-426-4435).
That said, don’t worry about it. In my experience, dogs are like goats; they can eat almost anything and survive. My dog Dyna once even ate some mole poison pellets, much to my horror. But, amazingly, she didn’t even get a stomachache from it!
I hope this list was helpful to you.
Of course, I don’t pretend that I was able to cover everything. If you have more questions, consider clicking on the links below.
See you next week!
What if animals got Yelp/Amazon reviews? Animal people everywhere pounced on the idea, and the results made me laugh out loud!
It’s called #rateaspecies. It was started at the end of last week, on Friday the 9th by the Oregon Zoo (@OregonZoo). Since then, the hashtag has rocketed into fame and even gone viral.
#rateaspecies is still a popular tweet to this day, so it’s not to late to join in. But perhaps you would like to see how it’s done first?
At any rate, here are 12 of the best tweets I could find on the topic. Swallow any food you’re chewing, because you’re about to laugh!
WORST. SHIPPING. EVER!
As Bored Panda author Allana Rose said so aptly: “Just don’t prematurely bury it!”
Bored Panda user Jiří Schindler summed it up perfectly when he commented: “Jabba wants his kid back!” (http://bit.ly/2FQmBZG)
I’m sure it’s just misunderstood… …Right?
This creepy creature is actually named Claude. He is albino and thus lacks any melanin (pigmentation) in his scales; this unusual condition also makes his eyesight very poor. (http://bit.ly/2DAc4zS)
I used to own frogs as pets when I was a kid, but none of them looked like this!
This review makes the baby turtle sound like the cutest cellphone in existence.
Comes in small, medium, and kraken.
This perfectly describes my cat Autumn!
Sorry that the gif isn’t available, dear reader. It shows the fox face-planting into the snow. Hilarious!
This one seems a bit dangerous, but I suppose as a professional employee of an animal Sanctuary, she knows what she’s doing. Still, it’s probably a good thing wolves aren’t used this way. Otherwise, pillows would be out of a job.
There, I hope you enjoyed the list. Which one was your favorite? Leave a comment and let me know! Personally, the tweet I liked the most was the baby turtle one. It’s just too cute!
On a side note, special thanks to Giedrė from the boredpanda.com for writing a great article which brought this phenomenon to my attention. (https://www.boredpanda.com/zoos-amazon-animal-reviews-rateaspecies/)
And until next time: stay fuzzy, my friends!
1. House Cats Will Eat Your Houseplants. It’s true; I’ve seen it myself. If you don’t provide another source of roughage, your cat will eat your plants, which is rather dangerous, as many houseplants are poisonous to cats. I would recommend moving your plants to a safe location, and then growing some cat grass for kitty.
2. Hairballs Can Be Prevented. Brushing Mittens and feeding her cat grass usually stops hairballs from forming. Hurrah! No more disgusting messes on your floor.
3. Cats Won’t Play By Themselves. Admittedly, most cats will have a moment during the day of “the zoomies”. They race around the house, pouncing on anything that moves! But such bursts of energy only last a few seconds, and the average cat needs about 15 minutes of exercise. You can provide this exercise by buying cat toys and playing with your feline. Remember, your cat is a hunter at heart, so act like prey; move the stuffed mouse like it’s actually a mouse. If you do this, your cat will love you. If you don’t do this, then kitty will have too much pent-up energy and will go stir-crazy. Cat expert Jackson Galaxy has proven this time and time again on his show My Cat from Hell. Most of the cats that Jackson is called in to “fix” are acting out because they are bored. Felines with excess energy may climb the curtains, knock things off shelves, or attack humans, dogs, or other cats, all in an effort to blow off some steam.
4. Cats Fear the Most Random Things. As everyone knows, cats despise water. But you may not know that cats also fear/hate vacuum cleaners. This isn’t quite so crazy as it sounds. Imagine how you would react if something twice your size rolled up. Then, with an awful roar, it starts to consume everything in its path. Suddenly it doesn’t sound like such a crazy fear, does it? Crazy or not, cats also are afraid of cords. Perhaps cords remind them of snakes? Whatever the reason is, the fact remains that kitties don’t care for many, everyday things.
5. Love Means Pain. Unfortunately, cats express their affection in several, painful ways. Kneading you or “making biscuits” is a sign that your cat loves you. Another sign is when Mittens tries to lick you. Yes, her sandpaper-like tongue hurts, but it means she really trusts and cares about you. Cats who have bonded together perform these acts of affection on each other; my guess is that their thick coat of fur protects them, so they don’t feel any pain. But humans don’t have that, and ouch! it hurts! However, if you scold your cat or shove her away, she may thing you don’t love her. My best advice is just grin and bear it — and wear a thick sweater.
6. Even though love is pain, It’s Worth It. Cats Are Extraordinarily Sweet, Loving Creatures. The stereotype of cats being cold, heartless creatures is just plain wrong, and cat owners everywhere know it. I read a story about one kitty in a shelter who couldn’t bear to be apart from humans, so the shelter staff made a baby sling so that they could hold him and work at the same time. I have a friend whose cat likes to spend hours with him at a time, and cries whenever he leaves. Some cats are showier in their affection than others. My Autumn isn’t very showy, but I can tell she loves me.
In short, although all the feline faults that I have mentioned are true, that doesn’t mean it isn’t worth it, because it is worth it. Cats are a one-of-a-kind experience.
If you are interested in seeing more cat myths debunked, consider reading my post “7 Lies You’ve Been Told About Cats” (https://fuzzyfanaticblog.wordpress.com/2017/08/06/7-lies-youve-been-told-about-cats/).
See you next weekend!
These famous words were written by James Herriot, veterinarian and cat-lover extraordinaire, in his book Cat Stories.
If you love kitties, then you should read James Herriot’s Cat Stories. It will make you laugh; it will make you cry; and it will warm your heart with the love of cats. It is the quintessential book for a cat person, by a cat person.
This novel, which celebrates the bond between human and feline, was written back in 1981, in the days before cats conquered the world through the Internet. In fact, cats were even looked down upon back then.
Fortunately, times have changed, and it seems safe to say that James Herriot was ahead of his day. Tons of readers have enjoyed his work over the years, and I am one of them.
So why is this book so good?
Well, for starters, Herriot’s love for the little furry things just drips from the page. Although I could quote dozens of examples, let one instance suffice. “…[I]n the bitter days of winter the warm bonnet of my car was an irresistible attraction [to cats]. No sooner had I drawn up in a farmyard than a cat or two was perched just beyond my windscreen. Some farmers are real cat lovers… …and in these places I might find a score of the little creatures enjoying this unexpected bonus of warmth. When I drove away I had a pattern of muddy paw-marks covering every inch of the heated metal. This soon dried on, …[and] they remained as a semi-permanent decoration.”
How cute! This excerpt is from the introduction, and things only get better from here. There are ten stories in all, and each one stars a unique cat. One by one, Herriot describes each new cat, employing his characteristic ability to capture the core of a character. He talks about their feline foibles and their strengths until I felt like the kitty he described was alive; like it could step out from the page and demand to be petted, and that I would have to obey.
The cat characters are excellent, yet the stories and scenarios are even better. Each tale is memorable and news-worthy. Like that one time Herriot met a cat who played fetch like a dog!
But I won’t spoil anymore of it for you. Read it for yourself, and let me know what you think!
And until next time: stay fuzzy, my friends!
As I write this, I can hear the wind howling outside my house. This winter has been unusually cold; even places like Florida are feeling the chill.
This means that your outdoor-only dog needs you now more than ever to help him stay warm. And from past experience with my own dogs, I know 4 ways to help you do that.
Of course, these tips are for owners of outside dogs, but some of them can help anyone who wants his dog to be comfortable in the snow.
1. Maintain Food and Water. This may seem like it goes without saying, but sometimes in our busy lives, our dogs get short-changed a little. But it is especially important to keep Fido’s dishes full in the winter. When you are hungry, it’s harder to regulate your body temperature; the same goes for your dog. As for your pup’s water, try to find a nice, heated dish for it. Surprisingly, water is important in the winter as well as the summer. Plenty of liquids makes the blood flowing freely, which helps to keep your dog warm. Plus, eating snow would just cool him down more; clearly, that’s not what he needs.
2. Buy a Nice Dog Jacket. No, dog coats aren’t just used by those people who dress their dogs up like pumpkins on Halloween. Dog jackets are a helpful tool that can keep your canine warm. The side that goes on the dogs fur should be soft and comfortable, while the other side should be slick and waterproof. After you’ve purchased a coat and are ready to put it on, don’t approach head-on or bend over your dog; those are dominating moves in the animal kingdom, and they might scare your dog. Come from the side or back and secure the jacket snugly, yet comfortably. If you are having trouble, watch this video. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AVCT7lcEaEk)
3. Create a Winter-Worthy Doghouse. First, place the doghouse in a nice, protected area, and check to see if the entrance is facing away from the wind. Naturally, dog owners also need to ensure that the doghouse isn’t leaking. But what you might not know is that you should also check the dog bed, to make sure it’s dry. After all, being both cold and wet is worse than just being cold. Consider using something that typically stays dry, like straw. Or if you do use a dog bed, maybe it should have a blanket on top that you change periodically. The exact method is up to you; just keep in mind the goal: warm and dry.
4. Keep an Eye on the Paws. According to dog trainer Sarah Hodgson, ice-cut paws are the number one reason that dogs end up at the vet (or even the animal hospital) during the winter. Jagged pieces of ice, concealed by an innocent-looking layer of snow, can cut like a blade. Furthermore, just like humans, dogs can get dry, cracked skin. Unlike humans, however, it usually happens on the paws. Road salt can irritate these cuts, and then the dog will lick his paws, ingesting sodium and who-knows-what other dangerous chemicals. To solve this problem, either wash his feet in warm water after walks, or buy some dog boots for him to wear. Those same two solutions will work well to stop painful ice balls which forming between Fido’s paw pads. This problem is especially common with long-haired dogs. Whatever you do, don’t pull the ice balls out; that hurts!
I hope these suggestions helped. Of course, it’s possible that I overlooked something. Do you have any methods you use to keep your beloved dogs warm? Talk to me in the comments, because I would love to learn more!
Next week, I will be sharing my thoughts on James Herriot’s classic Cat Stories book. See you then!
- Sarah Hodgson’s blog: Doglandia. http://www.whendogstalk.com/new-blog/2016/5/17/a-dog-owners-guide-to-surviving-winters-perils?rq=winter%20dog