Jan 31, 2010

Chicken Clothes

Apparently a group of Austrian and Japanese clothing designers have decided that chickens are no different than cats and dogs in that they too should have little coats and outfits to keep them warm and allow them to strut their stuff in style. And with that idea burning a hole in their collective brains, the clothing line known as 'Chicken Clothes' was born. I delight in dressing up my dogs in cute clothes, I own a small barn full of chickens (and ducks), and to be honest I do think these photos are cute as hell. After all, who wouldn't find a chicken in a tiny fur coat adorable? But would I actually dress up my birds in little track suits and furs? No. Do I think this is a good idea that will catch on so well that pet boutiques around the world will be unable to keep these chicken clothes on the shelves and keep up with the demand? No comment.

Photos courtesy of golberz.com.

Jan 28, 2010

Snow Day!

All the snow had melted last weekend in a blast of warm torrential rain and high winds, but today it snowed again and we got a couple of pretty white inches to mercifully cover the ugliness left behind after that mud storm. The boys hadn't been outside for what seemed like forever, so we bundled up and went out for a very brief walk through the chilly air and snow. In getting dressed for the weather, we discovered that Bram has put on a significant amount of weight (we suspected as much- the boy is a cinder block with a face) and both his harness and clothes are much too tight. Still, we managed to squeeze his chunky ass into his harness (barely) and his new winter coat (only partially done up) and out we all went for some January afternoon fun.

Their next trip out? To the pet store for a new, larger harness and some roomier warm outfits for our husky little blue child.

Jan 20, 2010

Cute Taxidermy

As a general rule, I'm not a big fan of taxidermy. Seeing majestic animal heads hanging proudly on someone's wall just isn't my thing. I'd much rather see those beautiful creatures alive and well and doing what nature intended them to do, which in my opinion wasn't being shot, killed and made into art. When I was a little girl there was a family in our neighborhood who lived in a split level house and as you walked in their front door, they had the most enormous moose head I have ever seen hanging right there on the wall between those two short sets of stairs. You were virtually smacked in the face with its huge brown nose the moment you entered. Overkill to the max. I also can't quite see myself having a beloved dog or cat done after they've passed as it would just make me terribly sad to see them every day and not be able to interact with them or cuddle their warm little bodies, but that's just me.

There are, however, exceptions to every rule and I think that odd or really bad taxidermy can be fun. I'm not talking about the endless parade of squirrels with beer cans in their hands or dressed like cowboys complete with tiny six shooters, but the really out there specimens: those that have been done by folks with really twisted senses of humor, artists who "work" with dead animals, or those folks for whom the art of taxidermy is simply not their calling. I happen to think this little cat is adorable. With her tiny crown, satin dress and forest of twigs, she brings a whimsical almost fairy tale sense to what is in reality a poor deceased kitten. But she's cute. This sort of stuffed animal makes me smile.

Photo is from morbidanatomy and appears here courtesy of crappytaxidermy.com. Many thanks!

Jan 11, 2010

Getting Involved (Per Usual)

I was shooting some photos and while I was busy for a moment tending to something else, Bram jumped up into the frame and made himself comfortable. Actually, Bram has the ability to get comfy just about anywhere, anytime. Not much phases this little boy and he simply has to be in the middle of the action, no matter what that action might be. With the tripod still in place, I starting clicking and of the series of shots of Bram sitting, laying down and then falling fast asleep all within a few short moments of each other, this is my favorite of them all.

Jan 6, 2010

Chihuahua Art Shrine

I've used my boys in my own mixed media works on occasion and they also are the far-too-frequent subjects of studies, sketches and portraits, but this little shrine enchants me every time I see it on flickr. I have absolutely no idea if it's meant to be "just art" (and in no way do I mean this in a negative way, trust me!) or if it's an actual shrine-cum-homage to a beloved lost little dog, but whatever it's purpose, it's simply perfect!

Guardian Angel Grubdog Shrine courtesy of Blood of Bee on flickr.

Jan 3, 2010

Felines and Frappucinos

In Japan, very few people in the cities own pets due to their uber tiny apartments that haven't an inch to spare, as well as busy workaholic lives that leave no time to care for them. But that doesn't mean that the population doesn't like animals, not at all. And they seem to especially like cats. The Japanese are mental for cats. And if a great number of people like cats but can't have them in their homes, then why not give them a place to play with cats and make them pay for it as well? And thus was born the cat cafe, which is all the rage across Japan.

The first cafe opened in Osaka in 2004 and in the years since this phenomenon has spread into all the major cities. In 2008 alone, twelve new cat cafes opened in Tokyo and business is booming in every single one of them.

So what exactly does one do in a cat cafe? Well, seeing that it is Japan, the first thing one does is remove their shoes. Then one's hands must be washed and sanitized, then one orders the coffee or tea drink of their choice and gets down to playing with the many cats and kittens that live in the cafe. Each cafe is different. Some are low-keyed and quiet, with paw shaped cushions to recline on and low lighting and some look like a sort of Chuck E. Cheese for the cat set, with people getting wild with cats in designated play areas, climbing up cat trees, and even just sitting quietly holding cats and scratching bellies. Some people just go to watch the cats, never laying even a finger on them. And there are some general rules throughout all the cat cafes: no flash photography, no grabbing any cat's tail, and no waking any sleeping cats or kittens. Play is restricted only to those cats who wish to play at any given time. There is usually an hourly fee of $8-12 that those who adore cats don't hesitate to pay at the end of a long work day.

This is a very interesting cultural trend, but one that would never fly here due to Board of Health regulations forbidding the allowance of animals where food or drink is prepared, which is probably a good thing for me, given that I am very allergic to cats (even though I foolishly own one). As far as I'm concerned, I like my cats as far away from my coffee and doughnuts as I can possibly get them, if only to keep the inevitable itchies at bay.

Photo courtesy of the Christian Science Monitor.
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