When Audible.com (the audiobook company owned by Amazon) discovered a race horse of the same name, they knew exactly what they had to do.
No, Amazon didn’t sue the owners for copyright infringement.
Instead, they offered to sponsor the animal. When Audible staff members started seeing the equine turning up in search results for “Audible”, their marketing leaders decided to call the horse’s owners and propose that the company back him.
Ironically, the horse’s owner had never heard of Audible.com! He had named the 3-year-old colt after an obscure football move where the quarterback changes the play at the last moment by giving audible commands.
Despite this barrier, Audible and the owner reached an agreement. The audiobook company got some promotional rights in exchange for donating $15,000 to a Thoroughbred charity which ensures that ex-race horses are well-cared for.
Then Audible the horse surprised them all. In the last few months of 2017 and the early few months of 2018, Audible won four races in a row!
This qualified him for the 144th Kentucky Derby — the Olympics of horse racing. It was at this point that Audible (the company) decided it was all in, and they granted Audible (the horse) full sponsorship.
“We thought this could be a good story[,]” explained John Harrobin, senior vice president of marketing for Audible. “[A]nd our listeners love a good story.”
Then Audible launched a fun media campaign, known internally as “Project Neigh”. These efforts included the hashtag “goaudible”.
The company promised that if Audible won the Kentucky Derby, everyone would get a free copy of the horse racing book American Pharoah, by John Drape (the audiobook, of course). This title was a New York Times Bestseller.
Then, on May 5th, the fateful day arrived and the victor was decided.
(Keep your eye on the rider in a white shirt and white helmet who starts off towards the back.)
As you can see, at 1:00, Audible’s jockey either intentionally or accidentally got Audible caught in the middle of the pack. From 1:00-2:00, Audible slowly moves up.
Then, at 2 minutes and 12 seconds in, Audible’s jockey makes his move. In a risky play, Audible squeezes in between another horse and the rail.
For a few tense seconds, the five horses run abreast down the track. Thankfully, no one falls and Audible pulls away from that group, setting his sights on the lead.
Running with all he has in him, Audible catches up to the horse in second place. Slowly, he edges closer and closer to passing him.
But then the race ends.
If given more time, Audible might have passed the second-place horse. As it is, Audible finished in third place.
Yet he was still a winner in the eyes of his fans, crossing the finish line caked in mud, exhausted, but triumphant. Amazon couldn’t agree more with this feeling. They posted on Instagram: “We couldn’t be more proud to share a name with Audible, and you still get a free download of American Pharoah.”
Yes, the Audible team has every reason to be proud. Despite running in the wettest Kentucky Derby ever, Audible still managed to place, earn $200,000, and make a name for himself.
Animals like to troll humans. From the cat who lies down on your keyboard to the dog who interrupts your soccer game (true story), pets hilariously seem to have no respect for our events or ceremonies.
The impolite animals were at it again a few days ago when a big dog calmly disrupted a weather man’s report on live TV. Naturally, the dog realized that the floor needed crossing at that precise moment.
This video reminded me of a dog story from last year. Back in September of 2017, Marília and Matheus of Brazil were getting married. They had wanted to hold the ceremony outdoors, but rain came in, and so they moved the marriage under a tent.
As everyone sat down, a stray dog wandered in, no doubt wanting to get out of the rain like everyone else. But he was tracking around with muddy paws, so guests sent him out of the tent.
Undeterred, he came back in as the singing started. But again, “the persistent pup was moved outside” (Huffington Post).
A few minutes later, as the couple was repeating their vows, the dog returned. This time, he laid down on the bridal veil! Fortunately for the dog, Marília was an animal-lover, so she allowed him to stay. As they say: third time’s the charm.
During the rest of the evening, some guests fed the dog, and finally by the end, the new couple had decided that they wanted to keep the dog.
But they couldn’t find him. He must have wandered off when no one was looking.
Despite the natural glow of marriage, they were somewhat disappointed by this turn of events.
Yet the story doesn’t end here. Several days later, a woman called Marília and Matheus on the phone. She had found the dog!
The couple quickly went to get him. They brought him home and named him Snoop (perhaps because of his tendency to sneak into tents). According to Marília, he handled the first night well. Now, several months later, Snoop has completely left his street dog life behind for the luxury of being a beloved pet.
As Marília told the Dodo: “We’re all very happy”. Awww!
If you are interested in reading more stories of animals interrupting humans, consider reading about that time a dog disrupted a soccer game. In my opinion, it’s hilarious!
Well, the short answer is: “yes, especially if you love cats”. Personally, it’s one of my favorite reality TV shows.
The host is Jackson Galaxy, a man who loves cats (and no, that’s not a contradiction in terms). Jackson describes himself this way: [I’m a] “musician by night and a cat behaviorist by day”. While his appearance might be off-putting to some, anyone who watches the show will realize that behind that weird beard and those threatening tattoos lies a kind heart, which has room for both cats and humans. In my opinion, Jackson is a little bit like a modern-day James Herriot.
But enough about the human, we’re here for the cats!
The idea of the show is this: cat owners can call Jackson in to help with their problem cats. Cats who attack everyone in sight, cats who hide in the closet, cats who play for hours on end — you name it, Jackson can cure it.
The cause behind these destructive behaviors is often (spoiler alert) the humans and not the cats. Obviously, this is not to say that most owners are mistreating their cats, far from it, but the majority of owners don’t know what their cat needs. Here Jackson steps in and helps everyone (me included) to see the world through the eyes of a cat. I’ve learned so much from this show, and I’m sure my kitty Autumn appreciates it.
Although the format of the show can be somewhat repetitious, Jackson does enough to vary it up. Sometimes he includes an inspiring My Cat from Heaven segment, where he visits a cat who has overcome adversity like a hero (or helped their owner to do so); another time, he drove hundreds of miles to an adoption event to find homes for 50 kittens.
Regardless of these extras, every episode is guaranteed to end with a feel-good moment; because after Jackson leaves, every cat is a cat from heaven!
Have you ever bought a toy for your cats, only to have them completely ignore it? I know I have. And constantly buying new toys gets kinda costly. So don’t. Make your own toys.
Why buy when you can make them yourself? Most likely, you already have everything you need lying around your house.
And don’t worry, you don’t have to be “the crafty type” to make these 10 toys. In fact, the first 2 require basically no work at all!
A Crumpled Up Napkin. Crumple up a napkin or a piece of paper into a ball, then throw it across the room. Yes, entertaining your cat can be as easy as that.
Strings are Snakes (in a cat’s mind, at least). However, it’s not just string; yarn, ribbons, cordage, and shoe strings also work great. Drag one of these around, and you should have your kitty playing in no time. Just remember: because cats see string and its “relatives” as snakes, they may try to eat them. This is dangerous; if your cat eats a string, take it to the vet right away. To prevent this, keep your kitty within eyesight while she is playing, and then take the “snake” away afterwards.
Rubber Bands and Hairbands. Cats love the elastic in these things, which allows them to bite and pull until their heart’s content. Plus, the “prey” is small and easy to bat around. Yet there is a downside. Despite how much my cat Autumn loves them, they’re risky just like string is. Kitties have been known to eat them, requiring surgical removal, so keep your eye on your feline, and once playtime is over, place the rubber band somewhere out of her reach, just like you would with string.
Hidden Prey, Pouncing Tiger! Another thing that cats go crazy for is toys that are partially hidden. Give it a try, and you’ll see it’s true. Put a glove on, then run your hand underneath an old towel or blanket you don’t mind having shredded and watch your cat lose it!
Spool Roller. Since cats find rolling things to be almost irresistible, the next 3 toys are all different variations of this same basic concept. The simplest one is the spool version, which I will describe now. So each cat is different, but when I tried tossing an empty spool across my carpet, my Autumn was not amused. It took me taping on a “tail” of yarn to please Her Highness, so that’s what I suggest to you.
Cardboard Tube Roller. The credit must go to Sunshine Maker Meg for giving me this idea (https://bit.ly/2HDSWrt). Take an empty paper towel tube. Cut it in half and slit the ends until you have lots of tabs about an inch long. Fold these up to make “spokes” for your “wheel”. And that’s it; you’re done!
Pill bottle. Take an empty pill bottle with a child safety lock lid, and wash it very carefully. Then find something to rattle around inside, like dry cat kibble, beans or pebbles. Place a little inside, secure the lid, and the toy is finished. Optional: you can glue some felt to the outside of the bottle; some cats prefer to have something soft to sink their teeth into. (Credit: https://bit.ly/2jd0Jhk)
World’s Easiest PomPom. You’ll need some yarn, a scissors, and a fork. Wrap the yarn around the fork 60 times, then tie it in the middle with a separate piece. After pulling it off the fork, cut the sides, and presto! You’re all done. (Credit: https://bit.ly/2Kmxh4R)
Gone Fishin’. This toy is basically a fishing rod, or rather a pole with a string, with a toy attached on the end. Cat expert Jackson Galaxy uses this toy all the time. You can make your own version by tying a string to a stick from the yard, a chopstick from the kitchen, or whatever you have on hand. Then tie something to the end of the string. It could be a few feathers from your feather duster, or maybe a stuffed mouse, or almost anything. Be creative, and your cat will thank you.
Last, but certainly not least, is the Whack-a-Mole. I got this idea by seeing how much Autumn loves boxes, and how much she loves hidden prey. So I thought: why not combine the two joys? To make this, the ingredients include: a cardboard box, a cloth mouse, a marker, scissors, gloves, and a cat. Draw circles of various sizes on the box’s lid, with one or two circles on the sides, including a hole for your arm. Cut them out. Finally, put on the glove, grab the mouse plus your cat, and get ready to play whack-a-mole! Or should I say, whack-a-mouse?
And there’s the list; I hope you found it helpful. Have you made any of your own cat toys? Feel free to share your ideas in the comments below!
But if you’re still having trouble getting your cat to play, then maybe this next post can help you to “troubleshoot” the issue.
Yay! Today is my one-year blog anniversary! To celebrate, I’m posting the first chapter of the book I’m writing, The Fuzzy Feud. Hopefully you’ll find it as funny as I do.
But let me just say a few words about my blogging journey. So far this year I’ve managed to write one new post every week without fail, and I intend to continue to do so for another year. During my journey, I’ve met some amazing people. You know who you are! Why don’t you treat yourself to some cake and celebrate with me?
Now for that chapter I promised you. It’s from the book I’m writing with a friend of mine; the title of it will be The Fuzzy Feud. It stars a dog and a cat who hate each other, as they reluctantly go from fury to friendship.
Here it is:
“Hurry or we’ll be late!” Mrs. Harding’s voice rang out over the farm yard followed by the scramble of four children popping out from every corner. In the dim light of the barn, the cat Ginger blinked sleepily, and yawned. After stretching, the orange, black and white cat jumped off her bed of hay. She padded across the loft floor to the opening in the corner, where stairs led to the ground floor. Hopping down the steep steps, she came to the bottom, and stopped to collect herself.
She heard a voice.
“…And this is our third horse, Bonnie.” It was one of the Harding children speaking, a little girl named Lucy, who was still in the barn.
Wondering who she was talking to, Ginger peered around the corner of the stall.
Lucy clutched a new doll. The doll’s painted face smiled cheerfully, as if very interested in the introductions.
Lucy continued: “Spot and Patches always pull the plow, but not Bonnie. She’s too old to work, but we love her,” her childish voice explained matter-of-factly.
Bonnie’s head appeared over the stall door, and the brown Thoroughbred lowered her head so that Lucy could pet her velvet nose.
“Say ‘Hello’,” Lucy instructed her doll.
Lucy raised the doll, positioning the china arm, and then lifting the doll up and down, so that the doll stroked Bonnie’s velvety nose.
“Now I’ll show you the loft!” Lucy turned.
“Oh, lookie!” She cried, “here’s Ginger, come to say hello!”
Ginger jerked her head back, regretting that she left her nap. Her mind raced to find an escape. Maybe she could dart across the hallway, around the girl, and out of the door. Anything to avoid an encounter.
“Lucy!” A deep, stern voice called. Mr. Harding stepped into the doorway. “Come when you’re called. We’re all waiting for you.”
As Lucy and Mr. Harding left for the wagon, Ginger padded swiftly out of the barn before Mr. Harding closed the doors.
Suddenly, a large form bounded into the barnyard. It was Duke the family dog. The human masters were leaving! Duke would see them off! Racing towards the wagon, Duke didn’t see Ginger.
Ginger started to leap sideways. But it was too late.
“REeeeeaOW!” Ginger yowled. She darted away several feet, and curled her throbbing tail around herself.
Duke stumbled to a halt, a little bewildered. Realizing what happened, he opened his mouth to apologize.
“Duke! C’mere, boy!” A voice called.
His humans need him! Duke zipped over to the wagon, forgetting about Ginger entirely.
With more injury to her dignity than to her tail, Ginger stalked away. That clumsy, blundering dog! He never watches where he’s going! She glared at Duke over her shoulder.
But no one paid any mind to her as the children petted Duke and hugged him good-bye, and were finally herded into the wagon. With ears perked and tail thumping, Duke danced around the wagon. Mr. Harding cracked the whip, and the horses, Spot and Patches, plodded out of the farmyard. They were going to town to hear a traveling preacher, and Duke wanted them to know that he would guard the farm. He would keep everything safe until their return. Intruders would not dare to challenge his imposing self!
Duke escorted the wagon to the end of the drive and watched until it rattled away in a distant cloud of dust. As soon as they were out of sight, Duke thought how sad it felt to be left behind. He heaved a sigh. Suddenly remembering his status as guard, he jerked his head up and, wagging his tail furiously, trotted back down the drive toward the farmhouse.
Ginger, still fuming about her tail, cut through the grass, passing by the front of the barn and behind the old equipment shed, which stood on the edge of the barnyard like a tired old man. Her tail still hurt a little. That clumsy dog is always doing things like this! She thought. Although…He probably didn’t… intend to … step on my tail. But he won’t apologize! No doubt, Duke has already forgotten about it. Ginger sniffed scornfully. Wanting some distance, she rounded the back of the shed, and paused. Before her was the pig pen and to the right was the chicken coop. To the left, grass stretched out for many yards, and beyond the grass, were the fields. Ginger went to the right, passing the wooden fence of the pig pen. I feel a little better, she thought. Just then, something caught her attention—her name— coming from the small yard in front of the chicken coop.
“Tsk, tsk. That Ginger, she had another tussle with the dog!” clucked a plump chicken.
“My, my!” Exclaimed another, nervously scuttling over, head bobbing with every step.
“He squished her tail flat as a board, he did!” said the first. “Why, I declare, those two seem to have it out for each other! And knowing Ginger, she won’t get over it for a month!”
“No, no! Surely she won’t!” The other chickens echoed.
Before continuing, the first hen ruffled her feathers in satisfied self-importance. “She holds grudges as tightly as that dog holds a bone! I say, she—” The plump hen froze, her mouth open. A sleek calico cat strode through the grass not five yards away.
The hens’ chatter died.
“Shhh!” one hen scolded (quite needlessly).
“It’s her!” One chicken hissed.
Pausing, Ginger unsheathed her claws and licked them one by one.
“Oh!” cried another hen. “Oh, my!”
The hens trembled as the cat turned her head to stare coldly at them. Her eyes shimmered liquid green. Their fluttering hearts imagined her mind was filled with dozens of evil schemes, all of them ending in a chicken dinner!
One chicken convulsed in fear and exploded into a short flight to the henhouse.
As if that was their cue, the whole flock exploded into chaos. The chickens squawked, and dashed for the henhouse all at once, wings flapping. Feathers and dust flew everywhere, blinding the confused hens. They started running in circles, bumping into and tripping over each other. The fastest chickens made it to the doorway, which was only meant to let in one hen at a time. They jumped for it all at once, until the opening was jammed. Their heads made it in, but the rest of them got stuck outside, legs kicking uselessly. A muffled screeching erupted.
Ginger grinned at the hilarity, but then she felt guilty for enjoying their suffering. Still, she held up her head and continued into the farmyard without a word.
And there you have it — the first chapter of The Fuzzy Feud. I hope you enjoyed it! Or maybe you think a few things should be changed. Either way, let’s talk in the comments.
Next week we’ll be back to your regularly scheduled programming, which is news about horses, cats, and dogs.
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!
UPDATE: Here is the link to the first chapter of my book. Enjoy!
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!