DAILY PHOTO: A Bad Place to be a Guinea Pig

Taken in Arequipa, Peru in July of 2010

Taken in Arequipa, Peru in July of 2010


If you think this guy is eyeballing the camera suspiciously, it may be because it’s a resident of the Peruvian Andes. If you don’t know what I mean, check out this article from the National Geographic (particularly item #2.)

Anywhere else and he’d be someone’s fluffy little pet… or I guess a lab test animal–given the colloquial meaning of “Guinea Pig.” (So, maybe things could be worse than to be a Guinea Pig in Arequipa. One could be a Guinea Pig in the lab’s at Pfizer.)

DAILY PHOTO: Doggie Attire in the Tropics… Really?

Taken in January of 2014 at Patong.

Taken in January of 2014 at Patong.

Anthropomorphize much? Have you ever noticed how dogs and cats have hair all over their bodies? Furthermore, have you noticed that they shed during warmer seasons and grow hair more thickly in the cooler seasons. So what on earth makes people feel the need to torment their pets with clothing? OK, I might be able to  understand if you live in a cabin in the Alps and you’ve got a shivery pup, but this photo was taken on the beach in Thailand.

Dogs of the world unite in the cause of canine nudism.

Eulogy for Sonny

Sonny was a stray who hopped up into my lap one day as I was reading on the back porch. He petted himself against me, and moved in shortly thereafter. He was between kitten and cat then, and so we estimate his age was approaching 12 when he left us.

Being a gruff, introverted stoic, I realize that I am an acquired taste as a friend. I have few non-contextual friends: that is, friends outside of a common endeavor such as a workplace or a school. Not that there’s anything wrong with friendships born of a common workplace or pastime, but Sonny’s out-of-the-blue arrival created a special fondness. That was Sonny’s nature.

He was a little dirty at first. A tiny notch in his ear–one that would be made symmetric later in life, marked him as a fighter as well as a lover. All about the love in the home, but ready to scrap to defend his adopted lair at a moment’s notice.

The books said his breed wasn’t inclined to be lap cats, but—being a cat—Sonny didn’t read much. And, therefore, he would spend hours curled into a torus on my lap, until my legs fell completely asleep and I had to stumble through pins and needles to refresh his throne.

Sonny developed a growth in his head. It was removed and biopsied, and then once more. Though Sonny’s Chi was strong, each time his nemesis grew back with greater ferocity. He fought it quietly and calmly. Making no complaints; demanding no sympathy. He was unflappable.

Sonny was a bundle of virtue: patient, kind, forgiving, strong, and stalwart. If the religions that believe in transmigration of souls are right, Sonny has earned the right to be whatever the hell he pleases in his next life.  He was a Bodhi-cat-va, helping us to eliminate stress and teaching us how to accept upset.

Your gentle head-butts will be missed. Your popcorn bowl conformity will be missed. You, my friend, will be missed.

We never knew where Sonny’s scars and nicks came from, but I imagine it quite like that of Neil Gaiman’s The Price