Posted in pets

Meet my inspiration

smiling cat Roxie
Very clever cats can make their debut online at, where the “lolcats” rule. Lol – short for “laugh out loud” – is what to say when you find something funny, though this precious feline isn’t saying what she’s smiling about. Viewers can submit photos to the web site and vote for captions that fit the photo’s subject. For example, this cat might be captioned “Just wait until you find out where the goldfish is NOW!”

They are an ambitious bunch, the people who devote most of their time to writing about pets. Without access to the Internet, many of them would be limited today to a small readership, like those of you who follow my Give Us Paws column here at the Democrat. When I started writing my column in 2005, I had no idea how I might find a weekly topic for 52 weeks of the year, much less five years of them.

It has been challenging. And never dull.

If you’ve been with me since the start, you’ve read about the first-day-of-kindergarten fiasco when our now-senior kitty Marbles had a serious incident involving common household string.

You might remember when she lost her first kitten tooth, and how the Tooth Fairy refused to leave her anything under her pillow – an oversight, to be sure. For pets are definitely part of our family, even if the Tooth Fairy doesn’t recognize them.

I’ve written about the neighborhood felines who’ve traipsed through our yard (and our lives), the small furry creatures we’ve nurtured as well as the scaly, wet and finned ones. Health issues, pet food recalls, Michael Vick’s heinous crimes, and more, there are a million things that bear investigation.

There is almost too much to say about our pets, from the serious issues like the perils of dog fighting and the injustices of puppy mills, to the touching and whimsical photos of lolcats on the web. They bring us smiles and sighs, but can we live so well without our pets?

For the last few months it has seemed like an explosion of information about pets on the Internet, with new web blogs (blogs) every few days. Want to know more about them? I’ll be writing about some of them over the next few weeks.

There are many admirable writers, devoting their energy to improving the lives of pets, from reptiles to rabbits, puppies to parakeets.

What more can a pet person expect?



a little off-center, but full of good intentions