Archive for the ‘furry stories’ category

Thunderbirds, Skinwalkers, and More!

May 2, 2013

skinwalker– – The season finale of Monsters and Mysteries in America went off with a bang in their “Desert Wasteland” episode, treating us to tales (and tails) of thunderbirds, skinwalkers, nightstalkers, and not to be forgotten, aliens!  The American Southwest may be a desert wasteland, but it’s rich in really cool folklore!  Of course, I was hooked, and wouldn’t have been disturbed unless there was an earthquake or I was on fire.

Now since at least the 1960’s, cattle mutilations have been reported in this domain, and it ain’t Ronald McDonald or the Burger King that’s doing it!- – Now who could be mutilating the cattle, excising pieces and organs of them with bloodless, surgical precision?  This question served as the springboard for an introduction to things supposedly possessing the capability for such mayhem, namely thunderbirds or skinwalkers.

Now Thunderbirds here do not refer to the legendary Ford sportscar, but rather to pterodactyl-like flying creatures with wingspans of perhaps thirty feet or so, long referred to in Native American folklore.  Skinwalkers are my personal favorite of the things covered, a kind of demonic assassin created by magic to harass and harm.  A type of male witch, the skinwalker can change form at will, often taking the shape of wolves or coyotes although owls or other bird forms are also known, and any shape is possible!  Skinwalkers execute curses at the behest of someone else, and in human form could be anyone, even a neighbor.

Nightstalkers as presented are an enigmatic bipedal creature that can come in different shapes.  Their form is indistinct, although red eyes are commonly noted.  As their name suggests, they tend to come at night, and can haunt dreams.  Claw-like scratches on flesh and metal are reported by those who contend that they have encountered them.

Aliens are commonly considered as potential cattle mutilators, presumably possessing the technology capable of bloodless organ excision.  In the southwest, alien grays have been reported to abduct and “harvest” humans, in one case supposedly removing a fetus from a pregnant woman.  The biological father of this child reported being again abducted years later, and introduced to the product of that pregnancy.  Presumably the kid would get some pretty advanced schooling!

All in all, the episode had great, captivating stuff, but did I  believe all of it?  I see the purpose of such shows as being to entertain and inspire wonder, and to cause us to consider alternative explanations of phenomena.  I love such shows dearly…but I’m not quite ready for the tinfoil hat brigade yet!

The Feline Avenger…

January 3, 2013

Batcat – – If Batman and Catwoman had a child, the offspring might look something like this magnificent creature whose image originally came from Reddit and was popularized by the Huffington Post before spreading like wildfire throughout the Internet.  Thought by a number of commentators to be a Maine Coon cat, this Batcat might not have a Robin, but could probably bring you one…Meow!



Swimming With Tigers…

October 12, 2012

– – There’s a rather controversial and disconcerting experience that’s becoming quite the rage in some circles; swimming with tigers!

For a fee of $200 for a half hour romp, a private Florida zoo is offering the public a chance to swim, play in the grass, and bottle feed Tony, an eight-week-old tiger cub at Dade City’s Wild Things zoo outside of Tampa, Florida.  Now tigers like Tony are only allowed to swim with visitors until they weigh 40 pounds, and once they hit 25 pounds, must be on leashes.  At least one of the trainers is also in the water with the visitor.  As an option, visitors can also swim with alligators who have had their mouths taped shut.

Some animal rights activists are not amused, finding it abusive and dangerous to the animals’ health since they can be awakened repeatedly for anyone who will “pay to play”…and in Congress, two pieces of legislation are pending that would prohibit the private possession and breeding of big cats.


Exploding Reptiles!

October 5, 2012

  — I, for one, find the prospect of exploding reptiles both darkly amusing yet creepy and disturbing, one of those rare things that both captivates yet repels me at the same time.  You don’t really want to see such a thing yet if you did, you couldn’t bear to look away, either!  With that in mind, I offer the following true story to kindred spirits like myself who dearly love tales of the grotesquely fascinating.

A family member knew of people who bought a bearded dragon as a reptile pet.- -Well, it seems that one feeds crickets to bearded dragons.  Not knowing any better, the new owners of this pet fed their bearded dragon one cricket a day, and on this diet the reptile became listless and barely moved.  Making inquiry, it was discovered that the bearded dragon was supposed to receive three crickets per day rather than one!  Feeling guilty that they were starving their pet, the owners then proceeded to put a dozen crickets into the cage with the bearded dragon, who responded hungrily by eating all of the dozen crickets at a single time.  Some time later (and I swear I am not making this up), the lizard…exploded!

I don’t mean exploded as in parts of bearded dragon flew across the room, but exploded as in suffered a lethal gastrointestinal rupture.  One can only speculate as to whether the lizard died happy, although it certainly died full, to a fault.  Perhaps exploding reptiles might have strategic applications, say sent in to $50,000 a plate Mitt Romney fundraiser dinners, courtesy of the 47%…and those among us who are homo sapiens are warned by this tale against eating anything larger than their refrigerators!

“Frankenweenie” is Coming!

September 13, 2012

– – Frankenweenie, a film directed by Tim Burton, is coming this October!  A remake of a 1984 short film by Burton, Frankenweenie is a 3D, black-and-white, stop motion-animated comedy horror film.  Like its 1984 predecessor, the film is both a parody of and an homage to the 1931 film Frankenstein as based on Mary Shelley’s classic gothic novel.  

In the film, a young Victor Frankenstein deploys the power of science to bring his beloved dog, Sparky, back to life.  Unintended and sometimes monstruous consequences ensue.  Vocal talents include Martin Short, Winona Ryder, and Martin Landau.  The art has the look of The Nightmare Before Christmas, and should be well worth a look!

Die Hard Cat To Live!

January 22, 2012

 – – While cuddly, felines are also tough and resilient.  I’ve heard it said that a cat will survive if all of its parts are in the same room.  That seems to have been the case with a stray orange tabby in Houston nicknamed Cupid” who survived a piercing shoulder-to-shoulder arrow wound.

The incident was not thought to have been an accident, and somehow the courageous cat survived its wound and still managed to elude neighborhood residents for about three days before being captured by the city animal rescue group and being taken to an animal hospital.  A vet there took x-rays and determined that there was no “paws for concern” before surgically removing the arrow, which had missed all vital organs…

…Cupid is expected to make a full recovery.- -Don’t you love stories that have a happy ending?!


Enter the Wolf…

January 18, 2012

– – Before vampires were pretty and made babies with human girlfriends, Anne Rice showed us how things should have been in her acclaimed Vampire Chronicles series that began in 1976.  Rice’s vampire Lestat was cunning, ruthless, rather classy, and quite magnetic, his exploits detailed in a series that had considerable literary merit.  Even folks not ordinarily into vampires found Rice’s  tales a powerful draw.  The giddy ride ended when Rice began writing books about angels and the life of Christ, leaving us literate horror fans to cry in our root beer.

That long dry spell may be alleviated with Rice’s return to horror at least  to a degree in her upcoming release, The Wolf Gift, coming in February on Valentine’s Day (–what could be more appropriate?)!  Called both a return and a departure, Rice’s new work marks a return to the horror genre, but with spiritual  elements as the lead male werewolf character is a kind of protector or guardian.  The book is also a departure in that Rice has never done the lycanthrope scene before.  She is, however, expected to bring her intelligent blend of class and romanticism to the effort while delivering the jolts.

While details about the work are few, it sounds promising.  Perhaps most interesting is the fact that the featured werewolf, a reporter operating in California, suffers no “disconnect” following a transformation; rather, he can recall all of his actions the previous night when in the wolf state.  This werewolf would also appear to suffer less angst about his status, and rather to see the potential in the “gift.”  We learn how the central character became a werewolf, and follow his growth in that condition and as part of a greater scheme.

So I’m looking forward to reading this one, and won’t wait until it’s on the bargain table…The Wolf Gift is not a present I’m likely to return!

Feline Survival Tale…

December 23, 2011

– – A large black and white cat survived a road trip of 200 miles and four hours duration while traveling under the hood of a car in Ohio last Sunday afternoon.  The driver of the car smelled something burning when he stopped at a rest area near his Cleveland destination, and raised his hood to discover the feline hitchhiker stuck in the engine compartment!

Although the cat suffered burns to his right side, he survived his ordeal remarkably well, and a vet who checked the cat out said that he’s going to be fine.  The cat has been named “Eclipse” as that was the model of the car, and the SPCA is trying to find the cat’s owner…

Don’t Ask Santa For One…

November 17, 2011

 – – You might not want a hippopotamus for Christmas, regardless of what the irritating novelty song tells you.  Consider the case of South African farmer Marius Els who adopted at five months of age a male hippo rescued as a calf during a flood, and added him to his collection of 20 different exotic animals including giraffe and rhino that he kept on his farm.  Naming the hippo Humphrey, the former army major built a bond with the animal, considered him harmless, and was videotaped riding him.  Els was repeatedly warned that the hippo was still a wild animal and had to be treated with caution; incidents occurred where the hippo was blamed for killing calves and also broke out of his enclosure, chasing golfers at a nearby club.

The mutilated body of Marius Els was recently found in a river running through his property after the man was bitten several times by the hippo and then dragged underwater.  Hippos, you see, are highly territorial, and are considered one of the world’s most dangerous animals, commonly attacking humans with no apparent provocation, and usually using their enormous canine teeth to gouge their victims. 

The hippopotamus can weigh up to three tons, and travel at speeds of up to 30 mph…

The Dogs of War…

June 10, 2011

 – – I think it was Shakespeare who in one of his history plays (possibly Julius Caesar) had a main character utter a line about “…cry havoc, and let slip the dogs of war.“–Well, the dogs of war are with us, they are valuable supports for our troops, and are doing really cool things, all the while looking great while doing it!  They do furry proud!

Consider that a canine commando came with the Navy SEALs team that nailed Osama bin Laden, arriving strapped onto one of the assault team members.  While the composition of that team is understandably kept secret, most likely the canine  involved was a German shepherd or a Belgian Malinois, although Labrador retrievers are also becoming popular.

There are over 2,700 canines in the military dog program who may function as specialized search dogs or combat trackers, moving ahead of the humans to find explosives or people that are hidden.  Dogs have seen military service for more than 100 years, seeing combat in the Civil War and World War I.  It was only beginning in 1942 that canines were officially inducted into the U.S. army, and today they are a central part of U.S. efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan…

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