Why Does my Cat Hate to Get Wet?

safe_imageFishing CatsIn the wild, cats are very lean. Fat helps an animal float and keeps them warm in the water. Since cats don't have much fat, they are not natural swimmers and their natural food source consists of small land animals. In addition, since Cat’s fur is dense, it takes a long time to dry, so a cat wants to avoid the discomfort of a soggy coat.

Not so, the Fishing Cat of the South Seas, Prionailurus viverrinus, a breed of feline with webbed paws and a preference for fish. Over the years, they stepped out of their comfort zone hunting land animals, and adapted to their environment−densely vegetated areas near water, rivers and streams in the South Seas islands, India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Burma, and China.

 Although they will eat small mammals, they prefer fish. They approach a stream, tap their paw lightly on the water’s surface, mimicking an insect. When a fish is attracted by the movement, they dive into the water and catch the fish. Over the years, their bodies evolved to have partially webbed paws and long claws so they can scoop out fish, frogs or other prey. They swim underwater to stalk ducks and aquatic birds.

 The Fishing Cat ranges from 15 to 25 pounds. Their long, stocky bodies have short legs, a broad head, round ears and a short tail, with black stripes and rows of black spots marking their fur. They usually raise 2-3 kittens in a litter. Their vocalization is like the bark of a dog

 The Fishing Cat is endangered due to loss of habitat and being hunted for food and fur. People have drained wetland areas for farmland and roads where they lived. Pollution has poisoned rivers and streams where they once fed. However, the few in captivity, (see the Smithsonian Zoo video attached) are doing well, so we may yet be able to save this beautiful and unusual cat, one of God’s beautiful creatures.

 Author Corner: Do you actively promote your book, and attempt to increase your social media presence? Every day? Its takes time and work and cuts into our everyday lives. But why did you write the book if you won’t actively promote it? Random House isn’t likely to come knocking on your door. Get out there and do something every day to promote your book. Comment on a blog, write a blog, (start a blog), query an agent, make a new Facebook friend, pursue an interview locally. Whatever you can think of, just do it! 

Everyday folks: Like the Fishing Cat that stepped beyond his comfort zone as a land animal and found his life enriched when he moved into the uncomfortable water, why don’t you take a chance and move out of your comfort zone? Take on the chairmanship of a committee, learn a new sport like tennis or bungee-jumping (maybe not so much), take a cooking class or volunteer at a local charity. You’ll find your life enriched by your new experiences. What have you done lately to step out of your comfort zone?


Can it really rain frogs?

jayHere’s how a series of events can result in a frog rain. ­­­­

­­­Before a severe thunderstorm, when a high pressure system forms over a body of water, it can cause a small tornado called a waterspout (a whirlwind that picks up water and anything lightweight within it).

Frogs weighing little more than a few ounces are no match for a watery waterspout.

As with tornados crossing land, the center of the waterspout is a low-pressure tunnel within a high-pressure cone. Any light weight item (frogs) can be sucked into the vortex. ­

When a particularly large tornado with waterspout and hitchhiking frogs hits land, it loses some of its energy and slows down. As the vortex loses pressure, it releases whatever cargo it has picked up along the way– The end result? It rains frogs.

 Author’s Corner: An author may find a certain character taking over the scene to the detriment of the protagonist’s goal. Maybe your writing rambles without moving the story forward. Maybe you have too many viewpoint characters. These are the frogs of unintended consequences every author needs to watch out for.

Everyday folks:  Life is complicated. Sometimes, through no fault of our own, we find ourselves the recipient of unintended consequences, either short-lived or life-long.  We are like the innocent storm, crossing a lake, minding its own business, and suddenly, we’ve picked up those frogs along the way.

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