My Greek kitty crew

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Those who had the insight and the wisdom

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Maybe I've a had an earlier incarnation in some ancient time when animals, and especially cats were revered. I love all animals but it's no secret that I am besotted with cats. Don't even know if I love them more, I just feel so akin to their nature. Anyway...

The ancient civilizations had insights long lost and I feel sure humanity would cringe at how animals are treated today if, for just a moment, they were allowed the insight ancient civilizations had.

It's a well-known fact that cats were sacred and so revered in ancient Egypt that they were protected from harm by law. If a person killed a cat, on purpose or by accident, the offense was punishable by death.

"Feline reverence is not limited to ancient Egyptian civilization. Muslim theology maintains that the prophet Muhammad once found his cat sleeping on his robe; instead of waking it, he went on without it so as not to disturb the animal. This story teaches caring and mercifulness to all animals, not only cats (the same tale is also told about Chinese emperor Shih Huang Ti). This reverence is in ancient Indian texts, where records of cats involved with human society can be found in two ancient Indian great epics, the Ramayana and Mahābhārata, circa 500BC. As the Hindu and Parsee religions respected all forms of life and were especially sympathetic towards cats, Hindus were expected to take care of at least one cat during their lives." (from Wikipedia).

I do believe though, that a time will come when humanity will once again come to their senses and discover what they lost.

Image ©trekearth.com

Thursday, February 25, 2010

When a bee needs a wee

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The last days of winter turns out to be a very dangerous time for honey bees. 

They actually sit in their bee hives all winter waiting for a spring break to go do their toilet!! Well, this winter has been so long that you can't blame them for really really needing to go do their business, but sadly this can be very dangerous for them. When the temperature goes above zero and the sun comes out, they mistakenly believe it's springtime and they think it's finally time to go empty their bladder.

These pictures comes from a jounalist and bee-keeper who watched this drama unfold the other day when we had a bit of sun and one degree above zero. He told that what happens is that as they come out to do their toilet they  soon realize that it's actaully not warm at all, but sadly as they fly above the snow their flying muscle rapidly becomes paralyzed from the cold, they plummet to towards the snow and shortly afterwards freeze to death.
 
He went on to say that luckily it was only a few bees that ventured outside the other day, whilst all the other bees remained inside in the warmth where they will sit tight until real springtime comes along.

In the first picture you can see just how much this one bee needed to go to the toilet. Poor thing!
 
Image ©Benny Gade


Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Peanuts to go

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Notice that rather large "bird" inside the bird feeder.
Caught in the act!! :-)
P.S. Yes, birdie was scolding squirrel.

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The things they will do for us

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Nine-year-old Treo's job is to sniff out roadside bombs in Afghanistan for the British Army - and he has proved rather good at it. In August, 2008, while working as a forward detection dog in Sangin, Treo found a "daisy chain" improvised explosive device (IED) that had been carefully modified and concealed by the Taliban at the side of a path. A month later, his actions saved another platoon from guaranteed casualties, again by finding a "daisy chain" made of two or more explosives wired together.

Now he is being rewarded with the Dickin Medal - the animal equivalent of a Victoria Cross - the highest accolade a military animal can expect. Treo is now retired and enjoying life with handler Sergeant Dave Heyhoe back at 104 Military Working Dogs Support Unit, in North Luffenham, Rutland.

Sgt Heyhoe said: "Treo's work involves searching for arms and explosives out on the ground to the forefront of the troops. It's very important. We are part and parcel of the search element. We're not the ultimate answer but we are an aid to search. Another aid would be the metal detector - but Treo is a four-legged variety."

Sgt Heyhoe says their relationship is now far more than a working partnership. "Basically, me and the dog have got to understand each other and without that we can't be effective on the ground. He must know when I want him to go somewhere to search. Everyone will say that he is just a military working dog - yes, he is, but he is also a very good friend of mine. We look after each other."

Treo is the 63rd animal to receive the Dickin Medal - introduced by PDSA founder Maria Dickin in 1943 to honour the work of animals in war - and the 27th dog to receive the honour.
Since its introduction it has also been presented to 32 Second World War messenger pigeons, three horses and one cat.

Images via telegraph.co.uk and sky.com/news

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Pure woolly delight

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Seems like the winter is going to last forever, so today I'll dream of springtime and one of my favorite springtime sightings - newborn lambs!

Last springtime my husband and I happened to drive past a field full of sheep and lambs. It was so attractive that it stopped us in our track and we pulled to the side and watched them for about half and hour. It was simply the most deligthful sight and sound of baaing baby lambs. And them doing their little jumps and skips - first one then another - something a la "watch me, watch me". The sight just fills the heart with such overflowing joy and delight and we were giggling like a couple of children watching them. It's like pure concentrated life force and oozes such will to live. Pure happy therapy!!

Images ©tumblr.com and ©Richard Peters Photography
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Monday, February 22, 2010

Gods Little People 1st year birthday

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Yes, today it's one year since I started this blog and what a great unfolding privilege it's been. 

It's been a journey of great little discoveries like finding wise and compassionate quotes about the human/animal relationship... words both simple, profound and full of inspiration. I've been warmed by meeting friends who share this sweet love of animals and felt deligthed that I've been able to share information that some might not have been aware of and maybe therefore this blog has been able to shed just a little bit of light. Honoured to have shared stories of some truly heroic animals and warmed to the core by some truly wonderfully compassionate humans who has gone out of their way to save animals from harms way.

I truly consider animals our brothers and sisters and hope to be able to ongoingly pay back some of the joy and happiness they bring to my life by being a voice of some sort on their behalf.

And thanks so much for reading and stopping by - your visits has inspired me such much.

And here's one of my favorite quotes for today...

"He who saves a single life saves the world entire."

∼The Talmud


Image ©petofmine.com

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Deserves a heroic rescue award!!

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Wow!! You have got to bow down to this courageous and fiercely protective mama squirrel. 

Notice the baby squirrel between the legs of the dog in the first picture and then the unfolding of the heroic mother rescue. In the last photo you can see the mother clinging to her baby up the tree. 

I'm in awe!!

Image ©panoramio.com

Schweitzer on his ethic "The reverence for life" - part 3

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"My third example was given me by a friend in Hanover, who owned a small café. He would daily throw out crumbs for the sparrows in the neighborhood. He noticed that one sparrow was injured, so that it had difficulty getting about. But he was interested to discover that the other sparrows, apparently by mutual agreement, would leave the crumbs which lay nearest to their crippled comrade, so that he could get his share, undisturbed.

So much, then, for this question of the natural origin of the ethic of reverence for life. It does not need to make any pretensions to high titles or noble-sounding theories to explain its existence. Quite simply, it has the courage to admit that it comes about through physiological make-up. It is given physically. But the point is that it arrives at the noblest spirituality. God does not rest content with commanding ethics. He gives it to us in our very hearts."

Image ©wyedeanwildlife.com 

Schweitzer on his ethic "The reverence for life" - part 2




My second example is from my hospital in Lambarene. I have the virtue of caring for all stray monkeys that come to our gate.  Sometimes there will come to our monkey colony a wee baby monkey whose mother has been killed, leaving this orphaned infant. I must find one of the older monkeys to adopt and care for the baby. I never have any difficulty about it, except to decide which candidate shall be given the responsibility. Many a time it happens that the seemingly worst-tempered monkeys are most insistent upon having this sudden burden of foster-parenthood given to them."

Schweitzer on his ethic "The reverence for life" - part 1

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"No doubt you are beginning to ask whether we can seriously mean that such a privilege extends to other creatures besides man. Are they, too, compelled by ethics? I cannot say that the evidence is always apparent as it may be in human instances. But this I can say, that wherever we find the love and sacrificial care of parents for offspring (for instance) we find this ethical power. Indeed, any instance of creatures giving aid to one another reveals it. Moreover, there are probably more proofs than we might at first think. Let me tell you of three instances which have been brought to my attention. 

The first example was told me by someone from Scotland. It happened in a park where a flock of wild geese had settled to rest on a pond. One of the flock had been captured by a gardener, who had clipped its wings before releasing it. When the geese started to resume their flight, this one tried frantically, but vainly, to lift itself into the air. The others, observing his struggles, flew about in obvious efforts to encourage him; but it was no use. Thereupon, the entire flock settled back on the pond and waited, even though the urge to go on was strong within them. For several days they waited until the damaged feathers had grown sufficiently to permit the goose to fly. Meanwhile, the unethical gardener, having been converted by the ethical geese, gladly watched them as they finally rose together, and all resumed their long flight."

(Second and third example will follow later today). 

Image ©kingdavid.wordpress.com

Friday, February 19, 2010

Apples ad libitum

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When this winter freeze (we're experiencing in this part of the world) started more than two months ago, the garden was brimming with of all sorts of birds collecting food all day long. Now they've suffered the freeze so bad and for so long that it's eerie to find the seeds from yesterday still lying on the bird feeders. There's litterally that few birds around!

Yesterday there was a new heavy snowfall, so I put out one of the blackbirds favourite foods - apples. Sadly not a blackbird in sight, so this morning this sweetheart above was free to nibble the apples now covered by snow. No wonder the word on everyones lips these days is, when will this freeze let up? 
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Thursday, February 18, 2010

Farming replacing hunting

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"We must plant the sea and herd its animals using the sea as farmers instead of hunters. 
That is what civilization is all about - farming replacing hunting."

∼ Jacques Yves Cousteau 
Image ©aihaquatics.com

An officer and a gentleman

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Isn't it lovely how animals sometimes have the ability to stop humans in their track? This sweet photo was found under the title "An officer and a gentleman" (sharing some tasty ice cream) LOL! It's got a similar essence to this photo posted last February. 

A fine photo is sometimes defined by a good composition, light, shadow and so on... but these photos simply wins you over because of the story they portray. Love them!!

Image ©heidibetts.com

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Strewn with the bones of the horse

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"Look back at our struggle for freedom,
Trace our present day's strength to it's source;
And you'll find that man's pathway to glory
Is strewn with the bones of the horse."

- Unknown author

Sunday, February 14, 2010

To all those sweet Valentines in the animal world

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On Wikipedia Valentine's day is described as an annual holiday celebrating love and affection between companions. So what better day to give a nod of recognition and understanding to all those monogamous animals out there and to honour the fact that yes, they do indeed have some kind of feeling life albeit not entirely known to humans how it turns up in animals. 

It is a known fact that trumpeter swans, mourn the death of their mate until they die of grief... I wonder how that would get explained away by the cynical skeptics.

Well, here's to all those darling mates out there and here's a list of just some of those monogamous animals...

Barn owls, bald eagles, bats, beavers, chinchillas, coyotes, emperor penguins, emus, french angel fish, gibbon apes, gray wolves, lobsters, otters, parrots, pigeons, prairie wolves, turtle doves, red foxes, red-tailed hawks, sandhill cranes, seahorses, silver-backed jackal, snow leopards, termites, white rhinoceros and wolf eel.

Apart from the birds mentioned in this list 90% of birds mate for life!

Happy Valentines Day!!

Image via Designswan.com

Thursday, February 11, 2010

The way forward for humans and animals

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These pictures demonstrates what I hope and envisage the future interaction between humans and animals to be like. I can't tell HOW MUCH I love these pictures and the story behind it and I'm so grateful that a friend and fellow animal lover send me this. The world should know of a story like this one...

"This ranger has been employed to help prevent poaching around the wildlife refuge area of Lanseria South Africa. They way he interacts with these animals is absolutely stunning! The lions seems to know he's there to protect them and clearly they trust him. His charm works with hyenas and leopards too. Hyenas are usually unapproachable and can be vicious. Check out the pics taken in the river - it's amazing because lions don't like water."

Images ©Barcroft Media

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Ingenuity


 
 
 

The story that accompanies these photos goes like this...

"In a zoo in California, a mother tiger gave birth to a rare set of triplet tiger cubs. Unfortunately, due to complications in the pregnancy, the cubs were born prematurely and due to their tiny size, they died shortly after birth.

The mother tiger after recovering from the delivery, suddenly started to decline in health, although physically she was fine. The veterinarians felt that the loss of her litter had caused the tigress to fall into a depression. The doctors decided that if the tigress could surrogate another mother's cubs, perhaps she would improve.

After checking with many other zoos across the country, the depressing news was that there were no tiger cubs of the right age to introduce to the mourning mother. The veterinarians decided to try something that had never been tried in a zoo environment. Sometimes a mother of one species will take on the care of a different species. The only "orphans" that could be found quickly, were a litter of weaner pigs. The zoo keepers and vets wrapped the piglets in tiger skin and placed the babies around the mother tiger.

Would they become cubs or pork chops???  Take a look... you won't believe your eyes!!!"

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

A big family

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Yesterday my fellow blogger on the other side of the globe posted a little Youtube of a woodpecker. I don't know if I believed that there would only be one specie of woodpeckers in the world - namely the one that rummages around the tree tops in the nearby woods (LOL!) - but I was surprised to see a tropical "version" of a woodpecker, (the west indian woodpecker), so I had to do a little search and discovered that there are about 200 woodpecker species in the world!  

Top of the page it's our (in northern Europe) well-known great spotted woodpecker, second the west indian woodpecker and third the ladderback woodpecker. Amazingly the use of cacti for breeding and roosting holes allows some woodpecker, like the ladderback woodpecker to live in otherwise treeless deserts. Looking at the picture, that is seriously what you can call a hostile environment. This can truly be called the magic of adaptation!

I always smile when I hear a woodpecker nearby. With it's 20 pecks a second (yes, that makes it 1200 pecks a minutte!) I've always thought it would be an obvious "mascot" to advertise headache pills :-)


Images ©fotoplatforma.pl and wikipedia.org


Monday, February 8, 2010

When a second chance prevails

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Yesterday I received an email about a book called "New Lives". In the authors own words it 's the stories of rescued dogs helping, healing and giving hope. It tells of 18 dogs who were rescued from shelters and the streets, who are now performing miracles in animal therapy and as service dogs. 

From the book you can read a chapter - the heartwarming and inspiring story about Leo (pictured above), who went from being a  fighter to being a healer.

There's something truly marvellous about the essence of being given a second chance in life. I mean, don't we as humans get to feel the miracle of something great and mighthy looking after us from somewhere above when this happens... and could you think of anything better than to pass on this blessing to those little people who so desperately needs that lucky break?!!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

With grace

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"I welcome all creatures of the world with grace."

  ̴ Hildegard of Bingen


Image ©Photovillage.org