The Cats’ House – A Real Feline Paradise

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An American couple decided to drastically modify their home to fit the needs of their pet cats, transforming it into a modern-day feline temple known as The Cats’ House.

Bob Walker and Frances Mooney are both mad about cats. They proved it on their wedding day, when they adopted their first cat, who ended up sharing a bed with them that night. But that was only the beginning of their obsession with purring balls of fur. Knowing that cats love to climb to high spots, Bob first built a giant scratching column, using 395 feet of rope. The cats would just run up it at full speed and stop at ceiling. That’s when he realized that to keep his beloved pets happy, he and his wife needed to expand their installation throughout the whole house.

Bob and Frances ended up creating multi-level staircases, a 140-feet-long cat highway and a colorful catwalk, all connected by cat-shaped holes in the walls.They even fitted them with neon lights, so the cats could see where they were going, at night. I thought cats could see purfectly in the dark…but I guess some help couldn’t hurt, right? The Cats’ House also features scratching poles of various sizes, cat shaped statues, portraits and paintings of cats, and even carpets printed with leopard and tiger models.

The Cats’ House started out as the wish of two people to enrich the lives of their pet cats, but it became something much bigger than that. Cat lovers from all around the world started following Bob and Frances’ example and transformed their house into a feline paradise, and The Cats’ House soon became one of San Diego’s minor tourist attractions. The last time the couple opened up their house for visitors, they received 900 guests in four hours.

Since the unusual home became famous, Bob Walker has become an author and photographer, and has written successful books on his amazing cat abode. He admits it’s amazing how trying to change their cats’ lives for the better, ended up changing their lives completely, as well.

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Incredible Friendship Between Man and Crocodile

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Chito is one Costa Rican who loves to play with the crocodiles. Yes, I know, he must be crazy but the man plays, swims and feeds the giant crocodile, Pocho.

Also known as the “Crocodile Man”, Chito’s friendship with the crocodile began 20 years ago when he found the croc shot near the left eye by a cattle farmer, near the Parisima River. He called his friends to help him load it into a boat when he realized the croc was dying and he decided to bring it home to survive.

Pocho was skinny and very ill but the Costa Rican helped him to overcome that terrible moment giving him food, medicine and, the most important thing, affection. After he took care of him, Chito left Pocho in a lake near the house but when he got away from the lake, Pocho got out of the water and followed him home.  He even slept next to the croc so that the reptile won’t feel alone for any second.

After several years, Chito realized that Pocho is not a threat anymore. He made his courage and approached him, closer than ever. It was just a matter of time before the two became best friends. A few years ago, Chito invited some friends to show them some tricks, including getting Pocho to close his eyes on command.

After that, Chito decided that he and his friend Pocho must be on a show and now they are an important tourist attraction. For a few dollars, everyone who travels in the lowland of tropical town of Sarapiqui can watch Chito and Pocho in action on the lake near their house.

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Amazing Catch in Congo River : 5ft long 100lbs Giant Piranha

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You probably all know the famous fisherman from Animal Planet’s River Monsters, Jeremy Wade. While he was on a fishing expedition with his crew in Africa, up the Congo River, the British angler made an amazing and rarely catch : he grappled with a giant piranha and managed to defeat the monster after a serious fight.

The result was astonishing as the 52-year-old fisherman pulled out of water a 5ft long goliath tigerfish and held it with both arms for fear of being bitten by its 32 razor-sharp teeth that have the same dimensions as those of a white shark. The goliath tigerfish is well known as being one of the most dangerous freshwater fish in the world, so Wade said he was extremely cautious when he pulled it out of water.

The 100lbs monster hasn’t been caught more than a few times before because of its ferocity and its habitat, which is very hard to reach. The giant piranha seems to consume prey the same size at itself and there have been cases when others have seen it tearing apart crocodiles or even people.

Jeremy Wade’s catch, the “giant piranha”, can easily be on top when we talk about world’s most terrifying creatures.

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Stewie, The World’s Longest Domestic Cat

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Stewie is a Maine Coon cat from Reno, Nevada, who proudly holds the record for being the world’s longest domestic cat.

Robin Hendrickson and Erik Brandsness, Stewie’s owners, have the cat since 2005 from a breeder in Hermiston, Oregon, and they decided to contact Guiness Book after seeing their friends astonished by the cat’s size. Measuring 48.5 inches (around 4 feet long), the Maine Coon Stewie is now the longest domestic cat in the world. The previous record holder was also a Main Coon that had a length of 48 inches from the tip of his nose to the tip of his tail, with only 0.5 inches less than Stewie.

Robin Hendrickson also said that the Main Coons are considered the “gentle giants” of the cat world.

 

Two-Legged Pig Becomes Tourist Attraction

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Zhu Jianqiang, which translates as “strong willed pig”, was born without her hind legs, but managed to survive, and is now a local celebrity.

As a piglet, Zhu Jianqiang had nine strong siblings, and neighbors told her owner it would be best to just throw her away or put her out of her misery. But farmer Wang Xihai would hear none of it, and he even refused his wife when she told him to throw the piglet away. He believes all life should be given the chance to survive, and Zhu Jianqiang managed to beat all odds.

After seeing the little piglet fight for her life, Wang Xihai decided to get more involved, and began training her to walk on her front legs, just a few days after she was born. After only 30 days, she began walking on her own, and now, even though she weighs a good 50 kg, Zhu Jianqing walks upside down quite effortlessly.

Word about the amazing two-legged pig spread rapidly, and Wang Xihai says his home is overrun by tourists, every day. “I won’t sell her no matter what the offer is”, he added.

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Scientists Discover the World’s Largest, Toughest Spider Web

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Scientist have recently discovered that the web of Darwin’s Bark Spider is the largest in the world, and is also ten times more resistant that Kevlar.

Igni Agnarsson, from the University of Puerto Rico, first discovered Darwin’s Bark Spider and their giant webs, back in 2001, and knew he had to return to Madagascar and study these little creatures further. He did just that in 2008 and 2010, and his research revealed some pretty incredible data.

While it isn’t exactly the largest spider known to man (the female is larger than the male, and it only measures 3-4 cm, with its legs outstretched), Darwin’s Bark Spider spawns giant webs that reach up to 25 meters in length, with a main core of around 2.8 square meters. With webs this size, it’s now wonder the silky substance can withstand twice as much force as a normal spider’s, which makes it 10 times stronger than a similar piece of Kevlar, and thus, the strongest biological material ever found.

How, and why Darwin’s Bark Spider creates these giant webs is still a secret, but the fact that they are usually found across rivers and lakes suggests they mean to capture big insects that spent their young lives in a water environment, trapping them right when they take to the air. Birds and bats also pass right above the water, but there’s yet no evidence the spider web could trap such large prey.

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Ziggy the Painting Pekingese

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Ziggy, a fluffy Pekingese dog, has taken the art world by storm, ever since his owner discovered his incredible talent for abstract painting.

Elizabeth Moncelli says her beloved Ziggy took up painting soon after he was old enough to hold a brush  between his teeth. Seeing he had a soft  spot for the arts, she encouraged him to use a brush, by attaching it to a paper roller which the dog bites on. Ziggy’s abstract paintings aren’t praised only by his owner, but also by her neighbors in Fallbrook, California, who spend up to $250 for one of his masterpieces.

But like all artists, Ziggy is pretty moody. He only picks up the brush when he is in the right frame of mind, and even then, he only paints for two minutes at most. These short bursts of artistic inspiration apparently take all the dog’s energy, so he usually takes a nap or starts looking for snacks after every painting session. That’s why Ziggy takes days, sometimes weeks to finish one of his paintings.

One of the most talented painters of the animal kingdom, Ziggy the Pekingese is an established artist.

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13-Year-Old Boy Makes Friends with Killer Buffaloes

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To most South-Africans they are known as the “Black Death, but to 13-year-old Luke Michaelides, two wild African Buffalos have become his best friends.

The African Buffalo is one of the “big five” African species credited with killing over 200 people every year, in South Africa alone. Some specimens grow up to 6 feet tall and 11 feet long, and can weigh up to 1,350 kg. They can easily rip apart a full grown man, let alone a 13-year-old, but that hasn’t stop Luke from becoming friends with “Hop-a-long” and her offspring “Skip-a-long”.

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Caboodle Ranch – A Cat-Sized Haven for Homeless Cats

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Caboodle Ranch is an impressive sanctuary for cats built by Craig Grant, a man who actually doesn’t like cats.

The story of Caboodle Ranch began when Craig’s son moved out, leaving his cat Pepper behind. Just when he was getting used to taking care of an animal he didn’t really want around the house, Craig found out Pepper was pregnant. Before long he was stuck with another five kittens. As they grew, neighbors started complaining about so many animals living in their building, and cats were even shot at with B.B. guns.

Although he’s not what you’d call a cat lover, Craig went out of his way to protect his cats, traveling 100 miles  from his Jacksonville home, to inspect a tree farm. The moment he saw it, Craig knew it was the perfect sanctuary for his purring pets, so he immediately bought 30 acres of land. He soon built an office trailer complete with small doors and padded shelves, for comfortable cat naps.

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California Couple Shares Home with Pack of Wolves

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Wolves may no seem like the best choice for pets, but to Paul Pondella and Colette Duvall they are more like members of the family.

This incredible friendship between man and animals began a few years back, when Paul Pondella rescued and adopted Shadow, a female black Alaskan timberwolf hybrid. The result of mating a domestic dog and a wolf, Shadow was welcomed into the couple’s home in Studio City, near Los Angeles. Since living with Shadow proved such an amazing experience, Paul and his partner, Colette, decided to adopt more wolf hybrids. And that’s how Allie and Takoda, together with their seven cubs, became part of the family.

These photos of the couple playing with the wolf hybrids may look cute, but according to Paul, it took several years of training to gain the animals’ confidence, because of their wild nature. Now, they are completely comfortable sharing their home with humans, and slouch on the sofas and even the couple’s bed, as if they were the owners.

Paul Pondella and Colette Duvall are currently involved in a project that seeks to educate children about wolves, their fascinating nature and the plight against them. They often invite people to interact with their wolf hybrids, as they believe there’s no better way to learn than first hand experience.

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Luxurious Hotel for Cats Opens in Britain

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With the Luxury Cat Hotel now open in Hertfordshire, you can rest assured your cat will have a nicer holiday than you, the next time you go on vacation.

Abi and Matt Purser, the owners of this five-star pet hotel, have always believed cats deserve the same attention and care as their owners, and that’s how the idea for their business was born. Now, while their human owners are getting pampered on some exotic island, their cat enjoys the same star treatment at the Luxury Cat Hotel.

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Lonomia Obliqua – The World’s Deadliest Caterpillar

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Lonomia obliqua is just as frail as any other caterpillars you might have seen, but that doesn’t stop it from causing severe serious internal hemorrhaging and even death, if you just touch it.

This terrible Lonomia caterpillars live in the rainforests of South America, and cause a few deaths every year, especially in southern Brazil, where they’re usually found on the bark of trees. Blending perfectly in their surrounding, Lonomia obliqua caterpillars often can’t be avoided, even if people watch out for them. Most incidents occur when travelers lean against a tree and unknowingly brush against one of more caterpillars, which release a very powerful anticoagulant venom.

Symptoms of Lonomia obliqua poisoning include severe internal bleeding, renal failure and hemolysis. If the skin comes into contact with several caterpillars, death is often the outcome. The lethal dose of the toxin secreted by this terrible creature is among the lowest of all known toxins.

But there is also a bright side to the Lonomia obliqua caterpillar. Its powerful anticoagulant could be used in the prevention of life-threatening blood-clots, but research is still being conducted in the hope of somehow isolating some pharmaceutically valuable chemicals. But until that happens, all you can do is refrain yourself from leaning on trees, the next time you’re in South America.

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Samantha Young – The World’s Youngest Alligator Wrestler

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Growing up on a farm, with 350 alligators has made Samantha Young take up alligator wrestling at a very young age.

The 9-year-old was also inspired by her parents, both professional alligator wrestlers. Samantha began wrestling alligators when she was just 6 years old, but says her father beat her to it, starting the dangerous practice at age 5, after he was bit by one. She admits being scared, at first, but her dad was always there watching over her, ready to intervene if things got out of hand.

Now, this girly version of Crocodile Dundee teaches grown men how to tackle eight-foot alligators, at the Colorado Gators Reptile Park, and has even trained US marines, in this deadly art. She says all you have to do is position yourself on the alligator’s back, in such a way that you have its mouth and neck under your control, then pull its head back and voila, you have yourself a tamed alligator.

Erwin and Lynn Young started their alligator farm, in 1987, when they brought in 100 one-year-old reptiles. As the news spread, people began poking around the gators’ pools, and to avoid any accidents, the Young family began charging people to see the alligators. Nowadays, 25 of the original 100 are still around, and visitors pay $104 for the chance to see Samantha tackle them, and even try it themselves.

via Zimbio

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The Horse Tailor Helps Your Horse Play Dress-Up

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As if ridiculous costumes for cats and dogs weren’t enough, The Horse Tailor creates over-the-top outfits for horses.

Ever wondered what Harry Potter, or Scooby Doo would look like as a horse? Well, now you no longer need to imagine it, thanks to The Horse Tailor you can see it with your own eyes. Although The Horse Tailor provides all kinds of apparel, accessories and costumes for horses and riders, it’s their custom division that really impresses. You can ask for whatever you’ve always dreamed of dressing your horsey with, and Donatella and fer team will probably make it for you.

So far, the Horse Tailor has dressed horses as the Pink Panther, hamburgers, bees, college graduates, lions and I doubt they’ll stop here. Next time you get a wacky idea about playing dress-up with your horse, you know who to call.

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Brazilians Build Favela for Dogs

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So Ama, a humane organization, from Brazil, has built an entire neighborhood for around 1,600 stray dogs. This dog favela actually rivals people live in.

Located in the Southern city of Caxias do Sul, the pooch favela is probably the only one of its kind, i the whole world. Due to lack of funds to build a proper dog shelter, the volunteers of the So Ama organization were forced to build 1,000 dog houses and chain the dogs next to them.

The 1,600 dogs and 200 cats are definitely not easy to take care of, and right now the dog favela is just trying to make ends meet. The $14,000 it receives monthly, from municipal authorities, and the donations are not enough to cover all the costs, which include 13 tons of food and veterinary services.

Photos by Bruno Domingos/REUTERS via Daylife

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