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Thursday, 28 March 2013

Famous People Animal Lookalikes ( Part 1 )

Many a time, whenever you see certain people, you'll think to yourself,  "hmmm this fella looks like someone". That happens a lot to me. Being an animal lover, it's almost like a digital age camera function where 'face detection' takes effect within seconds, and I'll 'mentally proximate' certain people to animals. ( Don't get mad.. I rank animals higher than humans..So it's an honour kay..)

 As such I've ransacked a collection of famous people who look like various animals and ranked them. I've chosen the best 62 and decided to break this list into two posting. It's actually a precautionary measure to avoid giving 'eye cancer' to you with too many photos. Also, I'm afraid you'll get an overdose and subsequently lose your ability to distinguish between actual people and animals after going through it. So here's the Part 1.

# 62 : We start the countdown with British actress and model Lily Cole. Nyiaooo

#61 : John Heder. You may remember him from movies like Napoleon Dynamite, and the more recent When in Rome. Now you may remember him for a beaver.

# 60 : That's Sting. This is one of the lookalikes where the longer you look, the weirder it gets.

#59 : Brendon Urie, vocalist of Panic! at the Disco . Looking like some K-Pop bunny.

In fact this K-Pop bunny also looks like one of PETSTER's very own Editor. His name is Yazid. I couldn't resist and had to steal this photo from his Facebook. ( I'm sorry Yazid. You're the chosen one..LOL )

#58 : Moving on...Jim Carrey. Famous for making a monkey out of himself. This expression seals his credentials.

#57 : Nicole Richie. Nya nya nya......

#56 : Selena Gomez and a luwak. That's the cutest luwak you'll ever come across.

#55 : Who doesn't know this man? Rowan Atkinson or better known as Mr. Bean. There's always something birdy about him. Mr. Bean and Jim Carrey would make a good team.

#54: Kim Kadarshian. At first I didn't see any similarities. Then I went like...hmmm yeah... very the Raccoon-ish!

#53 : I think Lady Gaga haters will love this. This was one of her uglier moments. If you wonder what animal is this, it's actually a dog breed called the Chinese Crested Dog. Looks weird eh? Well nothing can be weirder than Lady Gaga herself. Any weird animal will still lose to her.

#52 : Eliot Spitzer. Former Governer of New York. LOL

#51 : I love Renee Zellweger and I always thought she looked like a bunny from day one I saw her in movies. Spot on!

#50 : Found this while I was digging for the lookalikes. This is actor Ron Swanson. Honestly, I've never watched any of his shows before. Or maybe I did but I don't know. But never mind, all that matters now is, he looks like this cat!

#49 : No doubt she's a goddess. At some point, would love to see her in a mermaid role. Coz Angelina Jolie does look like a fish eh.. Those lips and eyes.. (Damn I won't be able to eat fish head curry after this)

#48 :  When George W Bush was the US President, plenty of memes were made using him and chimpanzees. It's hard to argue why.

#47 : Dr Phil. You might remember him from The Oprah Winfrey Show. Go to Youtube and find him. Whenever he laughs, its a duplication process of this walrus.

#46 : Singer Bjork and meerkat. Sisters?

#45 : John Travolta and a Golden Retriever. We all know that Travolta has a distinctively weird looking face. It will be baffling if, he doesn't look anything other than a human. I don't know what, but there's just something about both of them. Is it the eyes? Or the snout? 

#44 : Model Heidi Klum. Well known as the host and judge of Project Runway. Not a clear-cut lookalike but yet they look alike ( Don't know which part). Not forgetting the irony that her recently divorced ex-husband goes by the name Seal. Yea singer Seal! If you think she's not good enough to be ranked at #44 ahead of the others, then I must admit that I like her. So yes, I forgot my anti-bias pills! Ngeh ngeh ngeh..

#43 : Travis Barker of Blink 182 and cockatoo. That  jambul (crest) and his nose in this side profile is a zerox copy.

#42 : Just when you think about the heroics of Christian Bale in the Batman/Dark Knight sequels..his dark past...his deep raspy voice...    and then, you see this image...it kills everything! LOL

Perhaps naming the final sequel 'Dark Knight Rises' was very apt because that's what meerkats are good at. They rise up.

#41 : Nicholas Cage. Yes I know that feel. You can laugh now...

#40 :  Gary Sinese. If you remember Forrest Gump, then he's Lt. Dan Taylor. More recently known for his lead role in CSI: New York series. Looking very otter-ish no?

#39: The legend himself. Charlie Chaplin. That must be one helluva funny cat :D

#38 : Who doesn't know this genius? It's Facebook Chief Mark Zuckerberg. I bet this is one of the photos where if you tag MZ, he'll regret creating that tagging function in Facebook. ( I hope he won't terminate A Fortress of Fur's Facebook page after this..huhuhu pray)

#37 : The Olsen Twins. Looking at the picture below, I just realise the twins had been upgraded to quadruplets. Lucky Olsens, don't need to move a muscle to do duckfaces for their profile pictures.

#36 : Manchester United goalkeeper David De Hea versus llama. I wonder why scientists are still looking for a breakthrough in cloning. What you call this then?

#35 : Godfather of punk rock Iggy Pop. I'm really against the buying and wearing of fur as fashion. Now, for the first time, someone should investigate if Iggy Pop is wearing the Hairless Cat skin as a suit.

#34 : The Curious Case of Paris Hilton. When she first came to limelight, a lot of guys were going gaga over her. The more I looked at her, the more she appeared to be evolving into something over the years. Sometimes I think she looked like a bird, sometimes an ostrich, sometimes a giraffe and even alpaca. So if you ever want to visit a zoo, look no further than Paris Hilton. One stop centre.

#33 : Duanne "Dog" Chapman from TV series Dog The Bounty Hunter. I think his name is very misleading to what he actually looks like. The eyes, hair, nose, mouth..everything resembles a lion. It's time for filmmakers to quit making werewolf movies and for once try werelion? They have a perfect material here.

#32 : Jack Black and French Bulldog. Look at him, look at the dog, look at him, now look at the dog,  look at him again, look at the him..eh the dog..no him..wait...dammit its both him.

So there you have it..The first half of the list. Wait for the second half dropping very soon as I countdown till number ONE. Honestly I'm having tough time to rank the Top 15. It's so close. Suddenly I feel like a beauty pageant jury with losta responsibility.. *closes eyes and raises the chest proudly*.. Don't worry animals, I won't disappoint you. The judging will be made fairly. How about being fair to the humans you ask? You really think they care to become the Number One in an animal lookalike list...LOL..I don't think they're even looking forward to this.

Coming soon...Top 31

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

The Barking Cat

So yeah, cats don’t go for daily walks like dogs. At times we do wish they can pick up the newspaper, jump and cuddle when we want them to, do various tricks, guard the house, jog with us and more. But well, we gotta live with the fact that cats will be cats. That’s what makes them unique. They have their own traits. So don’t you go expecting a dog in a cat. That’s like going into Starbucks Coffee and hoping to buy sirap bandung... Helloooo?

But but....apparently cats can do something else you may have thought they can’t.  Cats can actually bark like dogs. Yes you heard it right there. CATS CAN BARK if they want to!

Earlier in PETSTER magazine’s January edition, we covered a piece about this cat which could bark.
Here it is..Listen listen listen…

This video went viral over a year ago. ( You probably watched it before). Here’s what an expert has got to say.

----> "While it isn't super normal, it's not unheard of for cats to bark," said Nicholas Dodman, a veterinary behaviorist and professor at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University. "The arrangement of the cat's larynx, trachea and diaphragm is similar enough to a dog's that if they operate the machinery in the right way, it will produce a noise that's like a bark."

Dodman explained, barks, result from a sudden rush of air through the air passage, and can be produced by an overly excited cat. "It's kind of a forced meow."

The cat may have learned to make the barking noise from a dog co-pet, or a doggy neighbor,  perhaps the very animal at which the cat is barking in the video. "It could be that it's imitating or 'copy-catting' a sound that it hears often. It seems to see something out the window; whether it is barking in response to a dog, we don't know," Dodman told Life's Little Mysteries.

Dr. Nicholas H. Dodman
That was Dodman’s take regarding the barking behavior. We published this in the magazine earlier.
If you missed our copy, read it online here. Page 112 & 113. ( CLICK)

But soon after, I stumbled upon another “hypothesis” from a well known cat specialist.

Feline Expert Dr Jane Brunt, Founder of the Cat Hospital at Towson, Baltimore ( catdoc.com ) says:

----> So what’s up with this guy’s woof-woof? This poor kitty is actually coughing-and that’s not normal! Some might say he’s having a bad hairball day, and that’s what’s causing the bark/hack. Hairballs are NOT normal, and while urban legend and suppliers of hairball remedies and foods might suggest that, any good feline veterinarian will explain differently. He’s hacking, and probably because of either a lung or intestinal problem. Perhaps he has feline asthma or feline heartworm disease (which is really lung disease). Regardless, this coughing cat needs to visit its veterinarian NOW. Before he goes into a crisis. His doctor will perform a thorough examination including looking in his mouth and throat, listening closely to his lung and heart sounds, feeling his intestines and other abdominal organs; even some x-rays may be in order. Once the reason for this awful, agonizing cough is identified and a treatment plan which both the cat and its owner can accomplish, then everyone will feel better- most importantly the coughing cat!

So one expert is saying cats can bark and another saying it is a medical complication that’s causing the bark. So what does the Not-So-Expert L’Shawn Tanis has got to say?

First of all, if you’ve been keeping cats for a long time, you’ll know one thing. Cat’s are capable of producing a very deep sound like a bark when they’re on heat (mating season). They can also do a dog-like growl. I’ve heard this myself numerous times. Sometimes I’ve even mistaken this for a dog.

Next, cat-people, I’m sure you guys can tell how do cat coughs sound like. You’ve probably seen cats hacking, gagging, vomiting, and struggling to breathe. Tell you what, it doesn’t sound anything close to the cat in the video. Hence this is definitely NOT coughing in my opinion.

Looking at the cat’s body language and the rhythm which comes with the noise it makes, you can clearly see the cat is focused on something outside the window and is in control of what it's doing. Since when did coughing cats became so composed and focused? The part when the cat realizes the owner was behind, it quickly started meowing. So when a cat with serious medical condition coughs, it will stop once it sees the owner eh? Such smooth transition?  Such an easy cure? Has it ever happened to you where the cat coughs and upon seeing you it gets embarrassed and changes the cough into meows?  Dr Jane Brunt, are you kidding me?

And last but not least, cats are accomplished imitators of their preys. They do this to lure them. They squawk, chirp, growl, and etc when they see butterflies, monkeys, dogs, birds or squirrels. This is also well documented by researchers in various studies. (Will do another post for this one day). Some cats living with dogs also imitate their dog buddies. I’ve seen it when I was young. Too bad back then I didn’t have a camera phone to record that. (...China, why you no make cheap phones last time???.. ) Never mind, here's video of a cat trying to imitate its prey.

Quite funny actually. More like: 
  i iii iii iii iiii waaaa waaaa waa want tha tha tha that  ttt ttt ttttt thingggg 

So in a nutshell, cats barking is not a myth. The question is whether they want to do it or not. ( If you see any kisah dongeng book about the legend of a barking cat, please kindly relocate it to the non-fiction shelf). I’m still unsure how a feline expert who’s renowned and running a hospital didn’t address all these aforementioned typical cat behaviour. The best part is she made the analysis in the Discovery News. In her interview, Dr Brunt went to the extent of making a firm "diagnosis by just viewing a video" saying that there is a serious pulmonary problem with the cat. Dr Brunt could be right. Maybe.... But after talking to few local vets and cat experts who had been keeping cats for over 40 years, it is clear that my initial judgement was correct. This is where I put my note. Just because it's some angmoh/matsalleh expert saying something, don't buy it 100% . Use it only as a guide and evaluate again with other sources. ( Our people's complexity: Angmoh is always right ). Not quite.

Dr Jane Brunt

There’s nothing wrong in suggesting to bring any pet to the vet when they behave abnormally. Just to make sure everything is alright. In that respect Dr Brunt said the right thing. But it would be a great help for pet owners if they’re well-read about the behaviour, attributes and characteristics of their pets. This will eliminate presumptions from the facts, and balance out the truth. It will also spare you a whole lot of headaches and spending.

Back to barking cats.... So what happens next? 

I'm not sure.., but you better hold tight your sleep, cause you may soon lose them. As I was told that some dogs are reading my blog too, they can now embark on a new challenge and open another chapter in their diaries...

now it begins................

Saturday, 9 March 2013

Emotional Attachments (Part 2)

Couple of weeks ago, I posted a touching story about a dog called Tommy aka Ciccio in Italy. Two months after his owner died, heartbroken Tommy keeps turning up each day at the church where the owner used to attend. The church is also the place where his owner's funeral was held.

If you haven’t read about it yet, please go to the PART 1 . MUST READ (click here)

Here’s an update on Tommy’s condition now. It is with much sadness that I post this news that Tommy has passed away. Yes, Tommy the Italian Hachiko has passed away.

From the day I posted the PART 1, a lot had happened to Tommy. He definitely went through too much of pain and stress, on top of the heartbreak of losing his ‘mother’.  There was certainly plenty of drama that took place. Tommy’s loyalty became the talk of media and people across the globe. This led to journalists swarming the village of San Donaci everyday to get the latest development about Tommy. That also probably made some people taking advantage of the situation.

According to sources straight from Italy, the Mayor of San Donaci Demenico Serio had quickly declared that the dog belongs to the community and neighbourhood. He had also entrusted a villager to take care of Tommy. Animal lovers’ forums however claimed that the move was to keep the spotlight on the village, as the popularity of San Donaci was rising by the day due to Tommy. It then became a legal custody battle in court when Maria Lochi’s son Sebastian Mapelli claimed the ownership rights for Tommy. However the Mayor along with the local Municipal Police refused to give Tommy away. It was also reported that Tommy’s foster parents have kept him locked in their shop house. Apparently they fear that Tommy would be taken away if he is allowed free-run. This was because Tommy is the most talked about dog in the world at the moment. All of a sudden, Tommy became a very valuable asset. The authorities reportedly only took him out whenever Tommy needs to make media appearances. Tommy’s life from being a happy dog, was shattered after his owner Maria Lochi passed away. Then all that was left was freedom. But that too is gone now. His life had been turned into a jail of sorts.

Animal associations have accused the city government of having “caught” and “kidnapped” Tommy. Finally the case was solved after weeks of custody battle. Sebastian finally got back Tommy. But when he received Tommy from the authorities, the dog was worn out and ill. Sebastian and other NGOs lashed out angrily at everyone who made Tommy an object for publicity. While the local police denied this, Tommy’s ailing condition when he was returned back to his family was proof that the custody battle and publicity was too much for him to take.

By now (11 February), Tommy was battling for his life. A devastated Sebastian told the Sud Italia News,
“Everyone wanted to adopt him, even from Ireland. Residents of San Donaci even spoke about collecting some money for him. Everyone even went to the hairdresser in order to look good for the media photos. But now that Tommy is dying, there is no one who wants to help him anymore. They’re all gone.” 

Sebastian and the hospital was trying everything they could to revive Tommy. However, his condition worsened. He didn’t even have the strength to swallow both food and water by now. He was barely hanging in there.

On the 13th of February, Sebastian wrote this on his Facebook…
“Unfortunately I have to give everyone sad news...Tommy is no longer with us! He died in his sleep at 15:45 due to a cardiac arrest.”

The headline reads: Tommy has reached his saviour

Perhaps our world is not a place for an angel like Tommy. This story also shows the ugly side of humans who will do anything to gain some sort of mileage. Tommy’s loyalty, love and devotion to his late ‘mother’ was exploited by certain quarters. He became a circus animal ever since. Even though the authorities deny this, it is very contradicting. Why were they so interested in getting the custody of Tommy? The village of San Donaci reportedly has an estimated 200 strays. If the authorities were sincere in helping strays, why don’t they help the others? Why Tommy?

Sebastian Mapelli with Tommy in his last moments

Messages from everyone who knew about Tommy came pouring after his death.

Veterinarians believe Tommy died due to diseases.

Some NGOs believe the authorities were indirectly responsible for his death.

While according to the Examiner.com, the villagers believe that after waiting for months for Maria to return to the Church where he had last seen her, Tommy finally realized that she was not going to come back to him and that it was time for him to go to her.

Whatever the reason behind it, I believe Tommy is now reunited with Maria.  His owner...his mother...his guardian..The person who took care of him when he was unwanted and was left abandoned as a stray.

Tommy’s emotionally moving tale should be made into a movie like Hachiko. There are absolutely plenty of messages and morals it can tell the whole world. Just so that Tommy's incredible story won't fade over time, I wish to do my small part. I will dedicate every 13th of February for Tommy and re-post this entry to remember him. Rest in peace Maria...Rest in peace Tommy. We love you!