With so much suffering and bad news filling the newspapers at the moment, we thought it might be nice to take a more animal-centric look at the news. It seems that the internet was practically invented for funny videos and pictures of animals, and any scroll through social media will soon unearth several gems, usually showing cats and dogs being unintentionally hilarious. But what about the stories behind the memes and gifs?
In the last week or two we’ve heard about the well-earned promotion of Felix, the resident cat at Huddersfield railway station. Felix has lived at the station since 2011, brought in to catch mice and keep the platforms pest-free. In recognition of her sterling work, station staff have recently ‘purr-moted’ her (groan) to the role of Senior Pest Controller, complete with her own high-vis vest. A cat flap has even been installed at the ticket barrier to allow her easy access to the platforms. The feel-good story quickly went viral, and Felix now has her own Facebook page, with over 42,000 likes! More HERE.
Panasonic has revealed filmed evidence of exactly what our pets get up to whilst they are home alone. In video footage captured by its home monitoring system in 2,000 homes across the UK, the company witnessed a number of unexpected sights:
- A dog who managed to dig down through the kitchen floorboards and subsequently spent two days beneath the house before being safely rescued
- Two cats who had somehow flicked the kitchen tap on and flooded the kitchen
- Another cat who managed to drag a whole cooked chicken in through the cat flap
- Several clever pets who managed to open the fridge and devour the contents
- An excitable puppy who jumped up and knocked over an urn, spilling the precious contents on the floor
- The delivery of a parcel of jumpers, left in the garden and torn apart by the resident dogs
You can read more stories HERE.
The PDSA has just launched a ‘Pet Fit Club’ and are currently looking to recruit overweight dogs, cats and rabbits to embark on a six-month diet and exercise programme. With the programme tailored to produce a gradual weight loss and promote a healthy lifestyle, participating pets will then battle it out to be crowned the UK’s pet slimmer of the year. The charity has run a weight loss campaign for the last 11 years, and its website reports on the biggest loser to date:
“‘Jumbo Jack’ became Jumping Jack when he won the 2011/12 Pet Fit Club. The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel shed nearly one third (31%), of his bodyweight in our slimming competition. The eight-year-old was transformed by his involvement in the contest. At the beginning of the competition he tipped the scales at 20.5kg, around double his ideal weight. Six months on he was a far healthier 14.1kg (a loss of 6.4kg) and trimmed an impressive 20cm off his waist, beating 16 other pets to the title of ‘biggest loser’!”
If you’d like to sign your pet up for the Pet Fit Club, you can find out more HERE.
And finally, sadly, a topical animal story without a happy ending. The nation watched with bated breath as marine experts tried desperately to save a number of sperm whales stranded on the shallow shores around the Lincolnshire and Norfolk coast. In total six whales have beached and died in the UK, but sadly there have been a further 24 along the coasts of Holland, France and Germany. It is believed that a pod of the gentle giants became disorientated on their long journey south to the tropics, entering the relatively shallow waters of the North Sea instead of travelling down the Atlantic coast of Britain. All the beached whales have been male – the females and calves tend to stay in warmer waters through the year whilst the males leave to form bachelor pods. On average seven sperm whales beach on UK shores each year, so sadly the recent news is not unexpected.
With animals forming such a large part of our lives, and occupying such a big space in our hearts, you don’t have to look far to find uplifting, humorous, inspiring or humbling stories from the animal kingdom. In fact, you’re bound to have plenty of such stories of your own?!…
Until next time, best wishes from Shailen and The Ralph Site team
The Ralph Site, non-profit pet loss support
Please note: The Ralph Site is not affiliated with the third-party organisations in any of the links shared here, and the views, ideas and suggestions expressed in this and other blogs are simply shared with the intention of helping you, our friends, take care of the special animals in your lives.