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She Lacks The Bare Necessities To Be A Rat

, , , | Related | November 21, 2022

As a child, I kept hamsters for some years, but eventually, I decided I didn’t want any more pets for a little while, so my mum and I put our hamster paraphernalia away for a year or two.

Then, a family friend phoned: her neighbour had found a hamster in the garden, and if we still had the equipment, could we look after it? My mum eventually agreed, and we were brought a sweet little white dwarf hamster. We brought her to the vet the next day, and she was pronounced fine and probably an escapee. We put up some “found” posters and named her Mowgli, for an adoptee found in the wilderness.

Later that day, my mum’s friend visited and commented that she didn’t know my mum kept rats. My mum had a serious phobia of rats and completely panicked, despite my protests that the animal was obviously a hamster. I persuaded her to call the vet before she put Mowgli out again. So, in tears, she phoned the vet to ask if Mowgli was a rat.

The vet paused, and, clearly trying to be minimally sarcastic, asked:

Vet: “Has Mowgli doubled in size? Has she grown a long scaly tail? Has her face changed shape?”

My mum admitted none of these things had happened, and the vet assured her that she would have pointed it out to us if our hamster wasn’t a hamster. 

It still took a few weeks for my mum to feel comfortable around Mowgli, but eventually, they made friends. No one ever claimed Mowgli, so she spent a little over two happy years with us.

I still wonder sometimes how hard the vet laughed after my poor mum’s phone call.

They Got The Lion’s Share Of The Stupidity

, , , , , , , | Right | November 21, 2022

Back in 2011, I went to Africa to volunteer at an animal park. One of the areas I helped out with was a drive-through space with a pride of lions. People could drive their cars through to look at the lions, but there were rules. No cars with soft roofs (i.e., a cloth convertible top) or open roofs. Windows had to be closed at all times. Stick to the path. And so on.

Of course, people would try to break the rules, so a staff member would drive around in a truck to keep an eye on things, and sometimes volunteers would ride along to help look out. Most of it was fairly minor — cracking a window for a camera or trying to drive off the path to get closer to the lions. Except for this:

My volunteer coworker and I were in the backseat of the truck, looking out our respective windows, when suddenly my coworker gasped loudly. The staff member and I turned to look, and she was pointing toward a car that had stopped only a few feet away from the male lion.

They had two windows fully open: one for their camera and the other to DANGLE THEIR BABY OUT THE WINDOW so they could get a photo of the baby and the lion.

The staff member immediately jumped out of the truck and scrambled over to them. He briefly spoke to them. Then, they pulled the kid (and the camera) back inside, closed the windows, and drove off. When he came back, we asked him what he had said to them.

Staff Member: “I just told them that if they didn’t want their baby anymore, I had much kinder ways of getting rid of the kid than offering them up to the lions as food.”

The Mother(-In-Law) Of All Bad Pet Owners

, , , , , , | Related | November 18, 2022

I run a small non-profit cat rescue. My mother-in-law has had cats her whole life but never bothers to take them to the vet for anything. As such, she always has kittens around, and her cats are always dying from flea bites and other completely preventable issues.

One day, she comes to the rescue.

Me: “Hi, [Mother-In-Law]. What’s going on?”

Mother-In-Law: “Someone called the police and told them I was hoarding cats. Now I have to get them all vaccinated and fixed or I’ll pay a fine.”

Me: “Okay, I can give you some low-cost resources if—”

Mother-In-Law: “Why can’t you just do it?”

Me: “Oh, you want to surrender them?”

Mother-In-Law: *Dramatic sigh* “No. I want you to fix them and give them back. Don’t you have some kind of cheap connections?”

Me: “I have vets I work with, but I’m not going to use my donations and resources for cats I’m not taking care of. I’m sorry, but—”

Mother-In-Law: “So, you don’t actually care about cats. I get it. Fine. I’ll just put them all down.”

I know she won’t, and I know she has the money to get them fixed; she just doesn’t want to deal with it. I decide to call her bluff.

Me: “That’s your choice. Have a nice day.”

Mother-In-Law: “Are you serious?”

Me: *Shrug* “I offered resources to do it yourself and you said no. If you aren’t surrendering them to the rescue, there’s nothing I can do for you.”

Mother-In-Law: “You are disgraceful!”

She stormed out.

A few hours later, my husband called and asked why his mother was demanding we get a divorce. I explained everything, and he sided with me.

She did not get her cats fixed, so the animals were removed from her care. As a little extra shot, the person who removed the cats called Child & Youth Services, and her family is now under investigation for child neglect and endangerment because her house was covered in cat poop and a complete wreck.

Un-bear-able Stupidity And Bear-ly Escaped Awkwardness

, , , , , , , | Right | November 17, 2022

The first time we went to Yellowstone, we would not stop to let our son look at some bears a couple hundred yards off the road because there were people literally stopping their cars and getting out to walk up to get better pictures, and we did not want to him to see someone being mauled by a bear.

The next time we went to Yellowstone, we did get out to look at the bears because there was an armed park ranger standing on the side of the road watching to make sure no one did anything that stupid. He was also answering the many children’s questions about the bears.

Child: “Are they boy bears or girl bears?”

Ranger: “The lighter-colored one is a girl and the darker-colored one is a boy.”

When pressed on how he knew this by the very curious children, he looked at them, looked at the parents, and said:

Ranger: “I’ve been observing them for quite a while.”

When we got back to the car, our ten-year-old asked:

Son: “Does he mean that he saw them mating?”

I’m really proud that he was tactful enough to wait until we got back in our car to ask that, because I did not want to deal with ignorant parents who get so upset over such simple and honest questions.

Ants On Your Hand And A Bee In Your Bonnet

, , , , , , , | Working | November 17, 2022

I am shopping in an ethnic grocery store. I am very short-sighted, even with my glasses.

They have large cardboard boxes full of discount merchandise. The boxes are resting directly on the floor, not on shelves. I see a candy bar in one of the boxes listed for $.50. The candy bar consists of seeds and nuts bound together by what looks like caramel in a clear wrapper.

I grab the candy bar to inspect it closer. As I bring my hand to my face, I feel a tickling sensation. When I look closer, I see that the candy bar, the inside of the wrapper, the outside of the wrapper, and now my hand, are all crawling with tiny ants.

I scream and throw the candy bar. An employee comes running.

Employee: “What happened?”

Me: “ANTS!”

Employee: “Ants? Ants are not a good reason to scream. We live on earth. Ants happen.”

Me: “Ants on my hand!”

Employee: “Ants on your hand are a good reason to scream.”