Have you ever watched your dog sleeping and wondered why his paws were bicycling in the air? When was the last time your cat jumped at a blank wall with nothing on it for apparently no reason? Pets do strange things while their owners are not looking and some of the most bizarre pet habits are only “found out” when we catch our animals off-guard. Other strange pet habits are behaviors pet owners may observe more often that are only odd under closer examination of the nature of non-human species. Recognizing these pet habits for their healthy and special qualities can assist potential pet owners with pet choices and care. Keep reading for the ten strangest pet habits, some of which would appear “normal” on the surface:
- Cats and Dogs– Both cats and dogs roll over and expose their bellies for rubbing when they are happy and content. This behavior is so common in both types of pets, cats and dogs, that this habit of rolling over exposing an underbelly does not always register with the pet owner as behavior that is not exhibited by most animals in their natural habitats. Belly exposure is an indication in any animal of security in the environment and trust in life-form surroundings. Wild cubs of various species will exhibit this behavior naturally until maturation as they are under the protection of their sires. Rolling around upside down is the sign of a happy and healthy cat or dog.
- Birds– A bird flies from place to place and lands when it arrives at its intended next perch. Once in awhile some birds crash during flight for no apparent reason. This behavior or habit is not known to be an act of sabotage or destruction and is not categorized as “dive bombing” (a practice of angry birds or birds of prey) or the same indication as an injury or illness. Rather, some experts consider bird crashing to be attributable to distractions or the need to suddenly appear vulnerable to avoid other dangerous elements in their flight-paths. Examining a pet bird for problems if a bird crashes in flight is a good practice. Birds with crashing behavior will repeat the habit and should just be checked occasionally to ensure best care.
- Fish- Sleeping upside down in the water, (not fish floating on top of the water), is a strange aquarium fish habit. There are two schools of thought on the reasons for this behavior in fish. The first group of aquarium gurus believes that fish do not sleep and that an upside down fish probably is exhibiting some sign of disease. The second school of thought is that fish that are from an aquatic species oriented to resting in cave-like environments will turn upside down to rest as the behavior keeps them oriented to escape quickly from predators. Fish pet owners should look into this behavior and study up on their fish species when deciding if their pets have a problem or a strange, quirky nature.
- Hamsters– Disappearing is a strange behavior that hamsters exhibit. They have this habit in common with cats. A hamster will burrow under woodchips or newspaper nests in its cage. Cats will hide under piles of clothing or in closed in dark spaces. Since both types of pets are natural predators, this behavior is categorized as survival oriented. Burrowing can add to security factors and assist with isolating prey for food. However, there is some evidence to suggest that both hamsters and cats need solitary time and that the disappearance habit can be stabilizing as a reaction that creates a removal of the presence of other environmental inhabitants and irritants.
- Dogs- The eating of feces comprises a strange canine behavior that does not necessarily indicate any form of hunger or malnutrition. There are no definitive reasons that can be discerned as to why dogs occasionally partake in this; informed speculation abounds including the idea that this is due to a natural “scavenger” instinct. The supposition that this behavior is based on some sort of nutrient requirement has no real foundation. This habit can lead to issues with muzzle and mouth diseases if it is allowed to prevail.
- Snakes, Lizards and Frogs– Possibly the very strangest difference in reptiles and frogs from other types of pets is that they are not a warm-blooded species. Basking in the sun is common to the animal kingdom and a strange phenomenon in snakes, lizards, and frogs. Since these types of pets do not have internal thermoregulation, they use the warmth from the sun to keep from freezing, even in hotter weather. The direct light and heat create the kinetic energy needed to remain active. Instead of producing a sluggish effect, basking in the sun actually keeps snakes, lizards, and frogs more mobile than without external temperature transference. Pet owners often employ solar lamps to “warm” their reptiles, as snakes, lizards and frogs are not pets that are routinely allowed to wander outdoors.
- Spiders- All spiders make silk. This does not mean that all spiders use their silk for the same purposes. Some spiders create webs from their silk; others do not. Spider silk can be used to trap prey, build protective shelter and to cocoon young spiderling eggs. When a pet owner chooses a spider as a pet, housing a spider in a cage and feeding a spider by hand may begin to interfere with the natural use of the spider’s silk. Some spiders sold as pets have this capability removed in order to try to curb overly aggressive behaviors and make upkeep of pet cages and houses easier to clean.
- Horses– Tossing of the head and stamping of the feet is a natural strange behavior in horses. Equines are normally categorized as an aggressive species and are actually animals of prey. Often, people that own horses will perceive head tossing and foot stamping as an attempt, on the horses’ part, to communicate. This does not negate the fact that this type of equine behavior is stimulated by environmental situations and is based in instinctive reactions that signal the next behavioral intentions. Although horses are easily domesticated, trained head tossing and foot stamping habits are not as a general rule characteristics that can be “removed” through domestication.
- Cats– If a cat sees a bird, the cat may start to chatter or make mewling noises at the bird. This is not an intention to attack and will not often be followed by aggressive behavior. In fact, this habit is most commonly exhibited when the cat is in some way removed from the bird (such as by a window, porch screen, or tree height). Experts think that possibly this could be due to the fact that the cat is not in a position to chase and kill, but the strange behavior has never been fully explained. Communication does not seem a plausible reason for this habit, but it could be considered as a theory due to the fact that cats are known to be naturally expressive vocally in a similar manner to dogs.
- Rabbits– Rabbits do bite. They nip each other, gnaw on cage bars and can become aggressive. Usually, a rabbit will not cause damage due to biting. On the other hand, when a rabbit engages in biting behavior it is a common sign that the rabbit is uncomfortable, upset, or bored. Nipping one another is also a form of communication between rabbits and does not signify dangerous behavior toward other rabbits. A biting habit in a rabbit is only problematic when the bites become hard enough to break skin or if the rabbit is injuring itself on the object being bitten. Just as with other pets that can bite, healthy rabbits with proper vaccinations keep their owners and other handlers safe from accidental biting incidents.
Pet behaviors and habits have been studied for as long as human beings have adopted animals and other creatures. Some of their stranger habits have become routine characteristics that we use to identify our individual pets as healthy. On the other hand, some of the healthy pet habits exhibited in nature’s kingdom are still strange and singularly different features that can be abused the wrong way by pet owners. Recognizing the signs of aberrant behaviors and adapting to strange pet habits that are healthy can help pet owners love and care for their pets for the duration of a normal pet life-span. Choosing a pet is sometimes difficult and when the stranger habits of possible pets are identified ahead of time, the “best fit” for a pet owner’s environment and care levels can result. Some strange pet behaviors will not be visible ahead of adopting a pet or identifiable under a species characteristic. On the other hand, each individual pet owner should take the time to become acquainted with their own pets and enjoy the strange habits that make pets stand out as remarkable and exceptional in their own ways.
“War and strife; sacrifice of life- the wounds won’t go away…” (from the song “Turning Away” on The Best of HillTop by HillTop Records)
On a day to remember the war heroes that have passed in the line of duty in all wars and nations, I am frightened of the angers loose in our present day and time. In recent history, we have seen massacres in progress on a barbaric level overseas, riots happening in our own cities, and unrest in the politics at the top of our government. There is an idea that anger should be contained or diffused or eradicated to curtail the damages we do personally, societally, and nationally in the name of escalated disagreements and unresolved conflicts. I have long been a champion of using anger in a more positive, less destructive manner to achieve real results that resolve issues, rather than bowing to violence and force to conquer one another with the “right makes might” mentality that has prevailed in establishing dominance. The misnomer is that every conflict can be settled peacefully. It is impossible to talk or negotiate with a man already using his fists. On the other hand, the price of our anger is destruction that cannot be reversed or undone with an impact that destroys much more than just our enemies that we cannot pacify into some sort of cessation of war.
When I was much younger, I attended a college class that had one problem posed for the entire semester. The question as students that we were asked to resolve was “What is the one solution to never having a nuclear war?” Our class failed. We never answered the question. I have come to believe over the course of my life in “live and let live” as a good philosophy, but I also believe in the value of diversification. I do not think there is any “one way” for humanity to unite in thought, culture, or personal conduct without losing our very existence as human. Perhaps the issue with answering that question was that there should be just “one way”.
To my mind even war can be civilized to an extent greater than behaviors in the current conflicts have reflected. Mankind will not change his and her nature radically enough to eliminate anger, violence, and war. I do not even argue that mankind should, as at times these attributes have been proven necessary for survival. Civilized methods, behaviors, and codes of conduct can elevate our natures to minimize destructive consequences and better wars bow down to this.
The dead of our former wars will not return, but they are still with us. Dishonor of their memories is in every conflict where we do not hear the lessons learned from their sacrifice. We have our own wars to settle. Civilization has always been marked by forward progress. Let us remember the wars and the fights for strides forward; let us not move backward in the name of the price of our anger.
A millennium is quantified as a thousand years. I have heard 1,000 miles of words on the up and coming- somewhat arrived- generation called “Millennials”. Do not take this statement as a negative attitude toward the “Millennial” generation. I do love the younger generations and their potential and motivation is starting to show huge returns on impacts, in all arenas, for the future. Every generation finds a designation.
From “Baby Boomers” and “Flower Children” to the “Me Generation” and “Generation X”- every generation older than the 1940’s (and the “Flappers” had their time)- has had to carry forth the torch with something to define their “code of age” for other generations. I have found this labeling is not just an identity symptom, but that it can also be a tool, a weapon, and a crisis point. Older generations try to define the generations beneath them. With Millennials, much of the popular literature shows that Millennials “have what it takes” and should be “correctly encouraged”. There is nothing wrong with that personification. However, I would caution that Millennials should stake their own claims for their generation and not just ride high on descriptions from the media and images molded to fit.
As with every generation, there will be high profile key players that start to “represent” the Millennials’ signature values and achievements. I would caution every older generation to be wary of this when dealing with Millennial age individuals. Millenials know who they are; they are developing their own contributions; we have no right to tell them who to be. On the other hand, we have defined our own generations from before and those generations are not finished. I feel a peace is needed in pursuing the future together.
As generation succeeds generation, there is a gradual transfer of responsibilities and needs for the generations to come. This passing of the torch is not always easy. Respect is a two way street and the Millennials in society today have shown they have a human respect for others. There are quite a few generations before the Millennials still in play. I believe each of these generations comes outfitted with different needs and points of view. Focusing on one or two generations loses the wealth and wisdom inherent in each progressive decade’s people that have made their contributions. It is my hope that instead of erasing one another, the Millennials and generations still in play in society will move forward in a way that preserves what came before while opening up the potential of the developments and achievements in the years to come.
The next thousand years will come quicker than we knew. Millennials will have an impact that reaches further than most. Segregation of this impact from the influences from generations before is not possible. Millennials are going to make their own mark as well. It is a difficult task, but summing up the past to travel into the future is not possible unless we all walk the paths toward tomorrow together.
So many people struggle with depression. According to “Uplift Program” the percentage of serious depressive disorders in the United States only affects 9.5% of our Country’s population, but that is equal to 18.8 million individuals. It is commonly stated that “everyone” will at some point in life suffer from depression. I do not know if this is true, but my own experiences with serious depression have led me to understand that depression is a condition that can be life threatening and a condition that can be relieved.
There are many “How To’s” for self-help in depression and there are doctors that work hard to help patients with serious clinical symptoms. Depression can be debilitating because it starts with a deep sadness and changes to an emptiness that has no explanation in the realities of day-to-day life. I know. I have been there. “Curing” depression is the myth. Finding a way out of it is possible. Learning to live with depression is difficult on an individual level and debilitating to others that live with those suffering from depression. It can be done and there is no “one path” forward for anyone.
Respect for individual life, thought, and decisions are key for those helping someone with serious depression. While these honesties from others will not “cure” depression in someone, they protect a depressed state of mind from becoming worse when others acknowledge these truths are viable even for those suffering depression episodes. Some depression stems from situations in life, some depression orients from personalities prone to a depressed state of mind, and some depression is literally unexplained by any “causal” factor. This is why not all “cures” can help all people in the same way.
As someone that has suffered from depression in a clinical way in life before, and as a person that has won in her battles against suicide, I can only relate what I know about the issues in depression “up close and personal”. For me, I had to find the strength to overcome situations in life and find my own stability in my own values. I learned that “put one foot in front of the other” is some days not the wrong advice. When there is emptiness in me I “do it anyway”…this usually brings back the reality that life needs my efforts.
I truly believe that everyone should find their own true beliefs and the things that work well in life for them. No one can “invent” or give answers for others that work as well as the mentalities and life-styles that someone finds keep them best on his or her own personal level. This does not mean that others cannot help. It just means that I have never found that an answer from others is going to prevent depression.
When I was young “The Facts of Life” was a sitcom with a theme song: “You take the good; you take the bad. You take them both and there you have the facts of life.” Love life.
Right now! Today! We are not only products of women in History; we are making strides for History in our immediate present. Milestones have been achieved across the ages for women’s rights, women’s equality as human beings, and women’s progress in images, philosophical thought, and education. Too many points in history of serious achievements for females have occurred for me to list them all and not miss some of the important contributions for women from women. However, this does not stop me from admiring women making strides today for the female voices on our planet. Among the females I genuinely admire for making a difference in the present tense are: Gina Trapani with ThinkUp, Chelsea Clinton with The Clinton Foundation, and Lady GaGa.
I grew up in the 1970s and 1980s where feminism was a question mark and most media referred to women’s rights as “Second Wave” or “Third Wave” questions. The generations at the forefront during that time were not original women’s movement founders and female empowerment was relegated to a “non-issue”. Women in this country were outnumbering men in higher education although men executives still outnumbered females in corporate United States. We did not grow up taught to make a “happy home” as our future. Girls and boys had an equal chance at dreams for whatever they desired to become in the next decade. I did not understand that issues still existed between male and female in the pursuit of life, liberty, and happiness.
Then the 1990s rolled in. Human rights became a priority in the women’s rights movement as we saw that other cultures did not support our ideals and images for the modern woman. By the time of the millennium, the two issues became inseparable. In later years, women’s rights would focus on economic stability and gender-based violence with resurgence in the assertion of female needs for children and pregnancy securities.
I have found myself something of an interesting sub-culture as a single, divorced, heterosexual woman in her mid-forties with no children. When I think of women’s rights, I agree to the humanitarian influence as important, but I am more concerned with the female as an individual- not as a woman that may be “at the mercy of a male husband” or dealing children’s needs. If we are going to talk about women’s rights or the female condition, I think we do need to focus on the opportunities available for females instead of focusing on issues related to prescribed female roles.
There are differences between the sexes. Laying aside sex based roles and issues forces us to deal with one another as individual persons. Women’s history has proven we can correctly make strides toward certain equalities. Perhaps we should consider that sexual bias of any sort has to be eliminated to obtain individual freedoms. When we learn that what we choose defines us and we have the opportunity to make viable choices, we will be more capable of eliminating abuses and discriminations based on those choices.
The government of The Republic of Sierra Leone is rising in recovery from the EBOLA pandemic with a voice that must be heard. Abdulai Bayraytay a National Publicity and Outreach Coordinator in the Office of the Government Spokesman of Sierra Leone gave press conference statements on February 10, 2015 citing: “Ebola still exists” and that “The fight continues”. The schools have been re-opened in Sierra Leone to provide the training and education necessary on EBOLA for community socialization on avoiding the chain of transmission.
The first outbreak of EBOLA in Sierra Leone was documented on May 25, 2014 and there have been over 2,000 plus deaths related to EBOLA since. An infected individual has a 50/50 chance of survival. Regional efforts in stemming the spread of EBOLA have been expanded in partnerships with Guinea and Liberia. Although the borders are still open between these regions, checkpoints are operating at intra-district levels to curtail the migration of EBOLA. In Sierra Leone international trade has been severely impacted; banks have reduced operations; and over 24,000 jobs have been lost due to the EBOLA pandemic.
Although EBOLA has heavily impacted the Sierra Leone economy, recovery measures are in progress. A key challenge is establishing a reliable health care system. The Ministry of Water Resources and of Social Welfare for Sierra Leone has partnered with UNICEF to establish over ten free healthcare treatment centers and the IMF has contributed substantial funds for relief and national stability. The Sierra Leone national census has been postponed. A “117” response phone line has been established for emergency reporting.
Vaccine trials started in Liberia are being extended to other regions and doctors in Uganda are working to prevent possible re-emergence and mutation factor controls. The Sierra Leone Ministry of Health and Sanitation Is conducting ongoing inquiries into EBOLA spread and contamination causes, some of which have been identified including bush meat and bats as major carriers.
Abdulai Bayraytay was cited as reminding the press that “EBOLA is real and it kills”. There is a two-year jail sentence in Sierra Leone served by those found hiding EBOLA infected individuals and fines are applied for not reporting known EBOLA cases. All of the facts and figures listed above were officially released and the press conference may be viewed at this following link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pF56kKnXePA
Post EBOLA strategies are being discussed with a mind to continuing to implement the Sierra Leone agenda of prosperity with international communities. History teaches us that plagues can change societies. Perhaps the greatest change our modern cultures can show will be a new day where Sierra Leone is not left isolated and devastated but, through international coordination and efforts, education and modern medical science establish a presence that will preserve the future of the Sierra Leone population. Today EBOLA is an Emergency. Tomorrow the history books will show EBOLA as a chapter in our past that reflects a test of our humanity and our resources on a global scale, not just in The Republic of Sierra Leone.
“To the souls who gave their lives, to your sacrifice we rise. There are none who pass unsung when the laurel wreathes are hung.”- song lyrics for “Laud”