by Laura Moss, Mother Nature Network
Pretzel, the little kitty that couldVeterinary technician Carmen Bernard was driving down a country road outside Jacksonville, Fla., when she spotted what she thought was an opossum in the road. She pulled over to help the critter, but discovered the animal was actually a 5-week-old Siamese kitten.
The kitten's hind legs were twisted and Bernard suspected the cat had been hit by a car, so she took the animal to the vet.
However, according to veterinarians, the kitten wasn't injured but had several severe deformities. X-rays revealed that the cat's right leg was backwards and her kneecap was on the back of her leg. As a result, her leg's muscles and tendons were also reversed, causing her bones to twist. Her left leg was deformed as well, although not as severely as her right.
Also see: Gallery of 7 of the most inspiring disabled pets
The irregularities made it difficult for the kitten to walk and caused her a significant amount of pain. In addition to her twisted legs, the kitten,
- Mother Nature Network (mnn.com) | Author Blog Posts – Fri, May 17, 2013 10:25 AM EDT
by Laura Moss, Mother Nature NetworkRead More »from A Cat Named 'Pretzel': Kitten's Recovery Inspires Facebook Fans
- Lover.ly | Author Blog Posts – Fri, May 17, 2013 8:56 AM EDT
By Mandy Chan, Lover.ly
It seems so easy, getting married in Las Vegas. With celebrities and reality television stars having quickie weddings there quite frequently, it's almost as if it's a spontaneous decision to just show up at a downtown wedding chapel, say your "I do's" with Elvis officiating, and wake up the next morning not sure of what exactly happened. Throw in a lawyer, and 55 hours later you've got a divorce (we're looking at you, Britney Spears)! Well, it's actually not that simple! Here are 3 things about getting married in Sin City that you should know.
Well, for the ceremony to be legal, anyways. Those middle of the night, spur of the moment ceremonies are a possibility, though, thanks to the Marriage License Bureau being open 365 days a year, from 8:00am to midnight. Currently, there is a $60 fee and you can even fill out the application online. You must be at Read More »from Vegas, Baby! Get Hitched in Sin City: 3 Things to Consider
By Laura Moss, Mother Nature NetworkRead More »from Is My Cat Depressed?
People aren't the only ones who get the blues - cats can suffer from depression too.
Behaviorists first recognized depression in cats in the 1990s, and felines can become depressed for several reasons.
A major disruption such as moving, adding or losing a family member or a change in schedule can trigger it. If a cat's owner is going through a stressful time, the animal could also mimic that unhappy behavior.
Also read: 11 ways to beat depression naturally
A depressed kitty can exhibit a variety of symptoms, but one of the main indicators of depression or other illness is loss of appetite. If your feline leaves food untouched - especially for more than a day - you should consult your veterinarian.
Additional signs of feline depression include the following:
• Loss of interest in playtime
• Lack of grooming
• Signs of lethargy or changes in personality
• Aggression •
- Tips on Healthy Living | Author Blog Posts – Wed, May 15, 2013 4:33 PM EDT
By Erica BrownRead More »from How to Write the Best Consolation Note: Sympathy on Stationary
Author of Happier Endings
There is an art to the consolation note, the sympathy card, the letter marking loss and sadness-even if you cannot share in the sadness because the person who died is an absolute stranger. I find that what helps me write such a letter is meditating for a moment before I begin, particularly focusing on the reader's face when he or she opens the letter and skims its few sentences to see if they will capture a memory, share an as-yet untold story, or regurgitate a few unlovable clichés.
What words will somehow bridge the distance or offer a little sliver of solace? Maybe none. Maybe some. Maybe some, but only with time.
It is so hard to write a moving sympathy card, so hard that we often forget to get around to it, mostly because we never wanted to write one in the first place. But I know that many mourners need these cards. They are buoyed by the little postal gifts of love contained in small envelopes around small, heartfelt feelings of loss.
- Lover.ly | Author Blog Posts – Wed, May 15, 2013 11:41 AM EDT
As brides, we're told numerous times that it's best to designate someone- the maid of honor, a day-of coordinator- to handle things like taking over your cell phone to field calls from vendors and lost relatives (who really wants to talk to Aunt Linda 30 minutes before the ceremony and explain how to get from the hotel to the venue?), hold your money for tips, and be in charge of important documents that are needed on the big day. Sure, that's doable for laid back, go-with-the-flow brides (and more power to them!), but for those of us who...ahem...need to exercise some sort of control on this particular day, it's best to carry around a small bag or clutch with all of your wedding day essentials. Here are the three things you must pack in your bridal clutch.
1. Phone Numbers and Schedule
Go ahead and hand over your cell phone to your bestRead More »from Brides: What You MUST Pack in Your Wedding Day Clutch
By John Platt, Mother Nature NetworkRead More »from Man Survived Being Swallowed by a Hippo
Hippos may look cute, but they are actually quite dangerous. Thousands of people are killed or injured by hippos in Africa every year. The 8,000-pound beasts have a mouth full of powerful tusks and sharp teeth and are both territorial and almost abnormally aggressive. One man who is lucky to have survived a hippo attack 17 years ago recounted his tale last week for The Guardian.
"I was engulfed in darkness," wrote Paul Templer of the attack on Zambezi River in Zimbabwe. "There was no transition at all, no sense of approaching danger. It was as if I had suddenly gone blind and deaf."
Although it took him a few moments to realize it, the upper half of Templer's body was firmly inside a bull hippo's mouth. "I seemed to be trapped in something slimy," he wrote. "There was a terrible, sulphurous smell, like rotten eggs, and a tremendous pressure against my chest."
Also see: 11 animals more likely to kill you than sharks
- Tips on Healthy Living | Author Blog Posts – Tue, May 14, 2013 6:32 PM EDT
By Marci NaultRead More »from Leaning In, Indeed: Spoil Yourself Rotten and Have a Happier Home Because of It
Author of The Lake House
"I have nothing left," my girlfriend said with tears in her eyes. The moment before she'd been strong, almost angry in her determination as she explained what she was doing to fight for her daughter in a school system that was failing her. But when I asked her what she was doing to care for herself a look of fear crossed her face.
"Too much," she said. "I'm taking time to figure skate three hours per week, and I know it's selfish so I'm giving it up. My daughter is too important right now."
"You have to take time to give to yourself or there won't be anything left," I said and that's when her determination broke, the tears began, and she confessed that she was already there.
I'm uncertain if it's genetic encoding or a societal pressure passed down through generations that have taught women their needs aren't important. Throughout my childhood I watched my mother put aside personal dreams to care for everyone else. For most of my life, I
- Babble.com | Author Blog Posts – Tue, May 14, 2013 12:19 PM EDT
The bell boy escorted us to our room, and we were left by ourselves. Yippee, we were alone! Without kids! I felt like a giddy teenager, left alone at home with my boyfriend.Read More »from (Not) Riding Off into the Sunset: Our "Romantic" 10th Anniversary Fail
Alone at last! It was just me and my husband celebrating 10 years of what has been an adventure-filled life together. We just sat there for about 5 minutes taking it all in. It's amazing how you go into shock and don't know what to do with yourself when you're so accustomed to three little people dictating every minute of your life.
There was no two-year-old yelling at the top of his lungs to go potty. No child crying because the puppy bit his nose. No hungry boys asking for snacks every 10 minutes. No laptop reminding me that I had writing deadlines to fulfill or dishes in the sink making me look like a slacker mom.
We spent the first few minutes saying to each other, "What do you want to do? I don't know. What do you want to do? I don't know." Then my husband went out to the lobby and came back announcing
Determine the ancestry of your catIs your cat really a purebred Persian? Or is he more of a Maine Coon mix? Thanks to the University of California's cat ancestry test, you can now find out.Read More »from Genome Test Reveals Your Cat's Ancestry
The Feline Genetics Laboratory's Cat Ancestry test uses a DNA sample from your cat to determine if your pet's parents or grandparents belong to one of 29 "major fancy cat breeds."
Once DNA is isolated from the cotton swab, the lab tests for specific nucleotide polymorphisms and generates a profile. This profile is compared to a database of global cat profiles to see which geographical origin of cat it shares the most variants with.
Also read: Pet breed tests: Do they really work?
There are eight racial populations of origin, but most cat breeds can be traced back to Western Europe, South Asia, Egypt or the Eastern Mediterranean.
Dr. Leslie Lyons created the database by collecting DNA samples from cats worldwide at shows held by the Cat Fanciers' Association and the International Cat Association.
Next, the lab compares the DNA
A day at the zoo can be fun for all the children in your family!
A few years ago, our family of five headed to the zoo for a birthday celebration for our youngest. It was a hot, busy holiday weekend. Within minutes of pulling into the parking lot, my oldest, who has been diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder, was begging to leave. His sister was, naturally, crushed.
Until we had that first conversation about her brother's condition, all she understood was that she wouldn't be seeing the elephants that day. My son cried all the way home, not because he was in distress, but because he felt terrible that his sister's dream birthday plans had changed.
So, how do you turn situations like this into a positive experience? How do you strengthen the bonds between siblings when one of them has special needs? What's the right way to encourage healthy relationships with all of your kids, and help them do the same with one another?
It's an ongoing process, but it begins with a good foundation. Here's how to start.
Make time for each child as anRead More »from Caring for Siblings of Special Needs Children
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