THE NEFF ZONE -- BY JIM NEFF
CADILLAC NEWS -- FEBRUARY 27, 2021
How bad is this stay at home business? It's so bad even animals are on edge. They have had enough snow, enough cold, and enough of being cooped up in the house.
Our cat, for example is positive winter is the fault of her humans. Every morning she sticks her head out the door, observes that it's not yet summer, bites me on the ankle and then runs all over the house scouting for some means of punishing us for the miserable state of affairs.
You know, sometimes an animal just wants to cruise around and enjoy the day. A koala bear in Australia had this in mind when it got in the driver's seat of a car. Unfortunately, the koala had never completed a driver training course.
“A koala has been rescued after causing a five-car pileup while trying to cross a six-lane freeway in southern Australia. Police said the crash in heavy Monday morning traffic. The koala was absolutely not damaged in any way. It was very calm.”
The good news is no one was injured. “The koala later was released in a forest — well away from the freeway.” (https://apnews.com/article/koala-rescued-5-car-pileup-australia-30f12bd3932203372c3076f3bfc2caca)
One way around such mishaps is for animals to just hire a chauffeur. A dog in Tennessee is able to do that from now on. “One Tennessee man went above and beyond to ensure his beloved dog would be taking care of after his death. He left a small fortune to his dog Lulu. His will stipulated that upon his death, $5 million would be transferred to a trust for his border collie.”
The dog's caretaker is going to make sure Lulu has fun from now on. He plans to “see how close the pair can get to using up the $5 million.” (https://people.com/pets/man-leaves-5-million-to-his-dog-in-will/)
Some animals just want to do something outdoors. Pretty soon Lake Cadillac will have open water. If you have a goat just hanging around perhaps you could teach it a skill that is growing in popularity in California – goat surfing.
“It all started when a surfer would leave his pet goat at home when he would go surfing and she would cry all the time he was gone. So, he took her to the beach with him and taught her to surf and quickly became a tourist favorite.”
The surfer has even turned goat surfing into a money maker. “His surfing goats are incorporated in his surfing camps, soccer camps, and outdoor adventure trips.” (https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2021-02-06/surf-like-a-goat-at-the-san-clemente-pier)
They say you can't teach old goats new tricks (but that may be in reference to humans and not to animals). Even so, a goat would have to go a long way to top a cat who just set a record. This, even tough cats are not considered to be the most cooperative of pets. “Cats have minds of their own. They have schedules of their own and are too busy to answer to a human’s whims.” (https://www.yahoo.com/lifestyle/watch-cat-perform-tricks-set-134524733.html)
That said, “Alexis the cat and her owner worked together to set the Guinness World Record for performing the most number of cat tricks in a single minute.” Alexis can do twenty-six tricks, including: rolling out the mat she’s sitting on, giving high five with each paw, ringing a bell, and more.” You can see her go through all her moves at: https://youtu.be/bNH-q8MFo0E.
Riding in a car, surfing, and doing tricks may all be ways to break the monotony of everyday life, but sometimes all an animal wants to do is just enjoy some peace and quiet. An animal in was trying to do this when a human intruded upon its solitude.
“An Alaska woman had the scare of a lifetime. When using an outhouse in the backcountry she was attacked by a bear, from below. 'I got out there and sat down on the toilet and immediately something bit my (derrière) right as I sat down. I jumped up and I screamed when it happened.'”
Her brother came to the rescue, sort of. “I opened the toilet seat and there’s a bear face right there looking right back up through the hole. I shut the lid as fast as I could and we ran back to the yurt.” (https://apnews.com/article/alaska-woman-outhouse-bear-attack-61a23fa15190c00e17a07bc152f9dabb)
Finally, this time of year some of us want to just go someplace warm. It's the same for animals, like one spotted in Florida. “The Sanibel Captiva Conservation Foundation (SCCF) held their annual Florida Winter Shorebird Survey. One of the more exciting finds was an all-white Iceland Gull.”
This is a pretty rare sighting. Iceland is 3,700 miles from Florida. The flight time via jet is about eight hours. “Iceland Gulls typically nest in Canada, so they are not usually seen as far south as Florida in the winter.” (https://nbc-2.com/news/state/2021/02/24/rare-iceland-gull-spotted-in-florida/)
Scientists think this gull is a a young one. My guess is it probably came to Florida for Spring Break.
Jim Neff is a local columnist. Read Neff Zone columns online at CadillacNews.com and NeffZone.com/cadillacnews.