First page of the Pets archive.

UPDATE: Firefighters rescue 2 dogs, 2 cats and 5 rats from pair of …

Posted by Big Rat on Campus on Jun 21, 2017 in Rat News
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Article source: http://www.richmond.com/news/local/chesterfield/update-firefighters-rescue-dogs-cats-and-rats-from-pair-of/article_85e58d5e-1be7-5448-8c5a-cfdb2fa11cdf.html

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SPCA seeks homes for 33 rats seized in Portsmouth

Posted by Big Rat on Campus on Jun 20, 2017 in Rat News
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PORTSMOUTH — The city’s animal control officer seized 33 pet rats from a Gosling Meadows apartment Monday and brought them to the New Hampshire SPCA, where they will be placed for adoption.

Lisa Dennison, executive director of the NHSPCA, said the rats were brought to the Stratham shelter on Monday and are a mix of ages, colors and genders. She said the owner originally had two rats, thought they were both male, then learned otherwise when they began multiplying. 

Portsmouth Housing Authority Director Craig Welch said caged animals are not allowed in public housing neighborhoods and he was grateful for the assistance from the SPCA. Dennison said the animals were surrendered because they are not allowed in Gosling Meadows, adding it was “not a hostile surrender.” 

“It was a breeding situation that got out of control,” she said. 

Dennison said Monday afternoon that the rats had not yet been medically evaluated and will be separated by gender to prevent further breeding. Among the 33 new resident rats, she said, some are nursing babies. 

The SPCA director said rats are not an unusual species for the shelter to encounter but large amounts of any species is unusual. 

“It’s not always malicious,” she said. “It happens.” 

Dennison said rats make great pets and when the 33 from Portsmouth are medically cleared they will be placed for adoption. She said the shelter doesn’t have the time or the money to neuter rats, but instead keeps them separated by gender. When they are placed for adoption, she said, they’ll likely go to new homes in same-gender pairs. 

Dennison said the shelter would appreciate supplies or gift cards to help care for the rats. She said the SPCA needs rat cages, blocks, water bottles and Oxbow Regal rat food.

Donations can be made to the NHSPCA online, or at the shelter located at 104 Portsmouth Ave. in Stratham. 

Article source: http://www.seacoastonline.com/news/20170619/spca-seeks-homes-for-33-rats-seized-in-portsmouth

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Britain is hotter than THAILAND with frazzling Father’s Day poised to become hottest June 18 EVER (it’s still going …

Posted by Big Rat on Campus on Jun 18, 2017 in Rat News
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Britain will be hotter than Thailand as today’s Father’s Day frazzle pushes the hottest June 18 since records began 167 years ago – but thunderstorms threaten Glastonbury mud from midweek. 

Today has already nudged 30C and the Met Office has forecast sunshine with 30C in the South-East tomorrow and up to 28C in the North-East. 

Monday is due to be even hotter at 32C. Even Scotland is seeing 27C.

Beach babe: Corinne Evans pictured enjoying the sun and the surf at the Tolcarne Beach in Newquay, Cornwall. A 2,000-mile wide Spanish Plume of hot air from 45C Spain is bringing the sizzle to Britain this weekend

Beach babe: Corinne Evans pictured enjoying the sun and the surf at the Tolcarne Beach in Newquay, Cornwall. A 2,000-mile wide Spanish Plume of hot air from 45C Spain is bringing the sizzle to Britain this weekend

Britain will enjoy its hottest day of the year – beating May 26’s 29.4C in Lossiemouth, Moray, Scotland – and will tomorrow be close to the hottest June 18 since records began in 1850, date temperature records used to compile Met Office records show.

The June 18 record is 32.2C, set in 1893 in Ochtertyre, Perth and Kinross, Scotland.

Britain is currently hotter than 29C Phuket, Thailand, and 25C Malta.

The heat was so intense in London that at least five Guardsmen were stretchered off after fainting in their sweltering uniforms during the Trooping the Colour ceremony at the Queen’s birthday celebration. 

At least five Guardsmen were stretchered off after fainting in their sweltering uniforms

At least five Guardsmen were stretchered off after fainting in their sweltering uniforms

Dressed in full uniform, including a 2lb bearskin, one soldier fell forward out of his formation as temperatures soared to 28C (82F) in Central London.

As the band marched towards his position, the guardsman collapsed to his knees before landing face down with his hands to his side.

Dressed in full uniform, including a 2lb bearskin, one soldier fell forward out of his formation 

Dressed in full uniform, including a 2lb bearskin, one soldier fell forward out of his formation 

more videos

But many people were lucky enough to wear bikinis not bearskins and anby of them flocked to Brighton beach in east Sussex 

But many people were lucky enough to wear bikinis not bearskins and anby of them flocked to Brighton beach in east Sussex 

But many people were lucky enough to wear bikinis not bearskins today, and they escaped the city heat for the beach in droves. 

And one couple, keen to enjoy their sun-soaked day on the sand, brought their furry friends to enjoy the seaside breeze too.

But the kooky couple had nothing as conventional as a cat or dog in tow – they chose instead to bring their pet rats for a dip in the sea.

A couple who did not want to leave their furry friends sweltering alone at home for the day decided to take their pet rats for a walk on Fistral beach in Newquay, Cornwall today as temperatures soared across the country

A couple who did not want to leave their furry friends sweltering alone at home for the day decided to take their pet rats for a walk on Fistral beach in Newquay, Cornwall today as temperatures soared across the country

And all this sunshine has unsurprisingly given a major boost to beach visits and BBQ sales.

The biggest beach rush since last summer sees traffic jams expected on coastal routes including the A23 to Brighton, A31 to Dorset, A30 to Cornwall and M55 to Blackpool.

Brighton is expected to see 150,000 sunseekers today and the same numbers are expected again tomorrow.

People enjoy the hot weather at the Fistral beach in Newquay, Cornwall with a surf lesson on the beach's famous waves. The good weather is bound to be a welcome boost to coastal businesses as thousands of people descend to Britain's shore line

People enjoy the hot weather at the Fistral beach in Newquay, Cornwall with a surf lesson on the beach’s famous waves. The good weather is bound to be a welcome boost to coastal businesses as thousands of people descend to Britain’s shore line

A BBQ frenzy is seeing Asda expected to sell a million burgers and 500,000 sausages this weekend. Tesco is set to sell 200,000 ice lollies, up to three million bottles of beer and two million bottles of wine. 

But deaths are also feared as temperatures soar. 300 extra Brits died in July 2009 amid 32C highs, Department of Health records show.

And the good weather is creating some stunning photo opportunities. This image captures children plaing in a water fountain in Bradford, Yorkshire, as Britain is set to bask in its hottest day of the year this weekend, with the fine weather continuing

And the good weather is creating some stunning photo opportunities. This image captures children plaing in a water fountain in Bradford, Yorkshire, as Britain is set to bask in its hottest day of the year this weekend, with the fine weather continuing

The biggest beach rush since last summer sees traffic jams expected on coastal routes including the A23 to Brighton, A31 to Dorset, A30 to Cornwall and M55 to Blackpool. Brighton is expected to see 150,000 sunseekers both today and tomorrow

The biggest beach rush since last summer sees traffic jams expected on coastal routes including the A23 to Brighton, A31 to Dorset, A30 to Cornwall and M55 to Blackpool. Brighton is expected to see 150,000 sunseekers both today and tomorrow

A Government Level 2 heat alert put hospitals on alert for an increase in admissions and ordered health and social workers to prepare to make daily contact with the ill, vulnerable and elderly.

Public Health England’s Heatwave Plan for England said: ‘Excessive exposure to high temperatures can kill. Excess seasonal deaths start to occur at 25C.’ 

Brighton's famous pier will be a popular spot for sun worshipers this weekend as people head out to enjoy what is predicted to be one of the hottest days of the year with temperatures exceeding 30c Seasonal weather in Britain

Brighton’s famous pier will be a popular spot for sun worshipers this weekend as people head out to enjoy what is predicted to be one of the hottest days of the year with temperatures exceeding 30c Seasonal weather in Britain

more videos

A 2,000-mile wide Spanish Plume of hot air from 45C Spain is bringing the sizzle.

But Glastonbury risks mud as thunderstorms threaten Britain from Thursday, with a wet weekend following ‘for all parts.’

Corinne Evans enjoys the sun and the surf at the Tolcarne Beach in Newquay, Cornwall, as Britian basks in hot weather over the weekend. The temperatures in Britain are hotter than Thailand this weekend and records may be broken tomorrow

Corinne Evans enjoys the sun and the surf at the Tolcarne Beach in Newquay, Cornwall, as Britian basks in hot weather over the weekend. The temperatures in Britain are hotter than Thailand this weekend and records may be broken tomorrow

Cooling off: People relax by the water at Hove beach. The weather is set to reach record temperatures tomorrow for June

Cooling off: People relax by the water at Hove beach. The weather is set to reach record temperatures tomorrow for June

The 150,000 fans attending the Somerset festival were told to ‘certainly’ prepare for rain. Glastonbury runs from Wednesday to Sunday.

Highs are most likely to ease to the mid 20s from midweek.

June’s record temperature is 35.6C, set on June 28, 1976, in Southampton. 

This graphic shows the three day weather forecast across Britain this weekend and into Monday

This graphic shows the three day weather forecast across Britain this weekend and into Monday

Met Office forecaster Marco Petagna said: ‘Sunday looks like around 30C and close to the June 18 date record, with Monday hotter at 32C as the heat peaks.

‘Tuesday is due 26C with temperatures then most likely to ease, although with a low probability of temperatures climbing again into the upper 20s.

A group enjoy the seasonal weather in Newquay, Cornwall today as temperatures soar into the 30s in some places

A group enjoy the seasonal weather in Newquay, Cornwall today as temperatures soar into the 30s in some places

The beaches are set to be busy this weekend as people rush to the shore to soak up the exceptionally good weather

The beaches are set to be busy this weekend as people rush to the shore to soak up the exceptionally good weather

‘Glastonbury fans should certainly prepare for rain, which would give an increasing risk of soft ground.

‘The festival looks like a warm start but the UK sees a chance of showery outbreaks arriving from the West on Thursday and Friday, which may be thundery, then rain for all parts at the weekend as temperatures tail off.’

The Weather Outlook forecaster Brian Gaze said: ‘It remains very warm in the South – but there is the risk of thunderstorms.’

Surf's up! People pictured enjoying the hot weather at the Fistral beach in Newquay, Cornwall and grabbing surfboards to hit the waves. The UK is set to bask in sunshine all weekend with record temperatures forecast tomorrow

Surf’s up! People pictured enjoying the hot weather at the Fistral beach in Newquay, Cornwall and grabbing surfboards to hit the waves. The UK is set to bask in sunshine all weekend with record temperatures forecast tomorrow

Corinne Evans enjoys the sun and the surf at the Tolcarne Beach in Newquay, Cornwall, as Britian basks in hot weather 

People cool off at Hove beach on a hot and humid day. The weather has already nudged 30C and the Met Office has forecast sunshine with 30C in the South-East tomorrow and up to 28C in the North-East of the country this weekend

Summer sunshine: Crowds bask in the hot weather at Fistral beach in Newquay, Cornwall. Met Office forecaster Marco Petagna said: 'Sunday looks like around 30C and close to the June 18 date record, with Monday hotter at 32C

Summer sunshine: Crowds bask in the hot weather at Fistral beach in Newquay, Cornwall. Met Office forecaster Marco Petagna said: ‘Sunday looks like around 30C and close to the June 18 date record, with Monday hotter at 32C

Thousands of people are expected to hit the beaches this weekend as the summer sun entices people out to the water 

Thousands of people are expected to hit the beaches this weekend as the summer sun entices people out to the water 

The waves are proving a popular place to cool off as hundreds of people don wetsuits to and grab surfboards and body boards to enjoy the swell at Fistral beach in Newquay, Cornwall while Britain's temperatures soar higher than Thailand's

The waves are proving a popular place to cool off as hundreds of people don wetsuits to and grab surfboards and body boards to enjoy the swell at Fistral beach in Newquay, Cornwall while Britain’s temperatures soar higher than Thailand’s

A surfer enjoys the waves in Newquay, Cornwall as the sun shines across Britain with record temperatures forecast

A surfer enjoys the waves in Newquay, Cornwall as the sun shines across Britain with record temperatures forecast

People bring tents and windbreakers to shield sunbathers from too much of the elements as the beaches fill up this weekend

People bring tents and windbreakers to shield sunbathers from too much of the elements as the beaches fill up this weekend

A paddleboarder conquers both waves and whitewater at Newquay, Cornwall today as temperatures soared in Britain

A paddleboarder conquers both waves and whitewater at Newquay, Cornwall today as temperatures soared in Britain

A girl's best friend: A woman enjoys the stunning sunshine while walking her dog on Fistral beach in Newquay, Cornwall today

A girl’s best friend: A woman enjoys the stunning sunshine while walking her dog on Fistral beach in Newquay, Cornwall today

 

Article source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4613370/Britain-hotter-THAILAND-tomorrow-break-records.html

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Britain is hotter than THAILAND with frazzling Father’s Day poised to become hottest June 18 EVER (no wonder a …

Posted by Big Rat on Campus on Jun 17, 2017 in Rat News
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Britain will be hotter than Thailand as today’s Father’s Day frazzle pushes the hottest June 18 since records began 167 years ago – but thunderstorms threaten Glastonbury mud from midweek. 

Today has already nudged 30C and the Met Office has forecast sunshine with 30C in the South-East tomorrow and up to 28C in the North-East. 

Monday is due to be even hotter at 32C. Even Scotland is seeing 27C.

Beach babe: Corinne Evans pictured enjoying the sun and the surf at the Tolcarne Beach in Newquay, Cornwall. A 2,000-mile wide Spanish Plume of hot air from 45C Spain is bringing the sizzle to Britain this weekend

Beach babe: Corinne Evans pictured enjoying the sun and the surf at the Tolcarne Beach in Newquay, Cornwall. A 2,000-mile wide Spanish Plume of hot air from 45C Spain is bringing the sizzle to Britain this weekend

Britain will enjoy its hottest day of the year – beating May 26’s 29.4C in Lossiemouth, Moray, Scotland – and will tomorrow be close to the hottest June 18 since records began in 1850, date temperature records used to compile Met Office records show.

The June 18 record is 32.2C, set in 1893 in Ochtertyre, Perth and Kinross, Scotland.

Britain is currently hotter than 29C Phuket, Thailand, and 25C Malta.

The heat was so intense in London that at least five Guardsmen were stretchered off after fainting in their sweltering uniforms during the Trooping the Colour ceremony at the Queen’s birthday celebration. 

At least five Guardsmen were stretchered off after fainting in their sweltering uniforms

At least five Guardsmen were stretchered off after fainting in their sweltering uniforms

Dressed in full uniform, including a 2lb bearskin, one soldier fell forward out of his formation as temperatures soared to 28C (82F) in Central London.

As the band marched towards his position, the guardsman collapsed to his knees before landing face down with his hands to his side.

Dressed in full uniform, including a 2lb bearskin, one soldier fell forward out of his formation 

Dressed in full uniform, including a 2lb bearskin, one soldier fell forward out of his formation 

The Colour being paraded on Horse Guards this year was the flag of the 1st Battalion Irish Guards

The Colour being paraded on Horse Guards this year was the flag of the 1st Battalion Irish Guards

more videos

But many people were lucky enough to wear bikinis not bearskins and anby of them flocked to Brighton beach in east Sussex 

But many people were lucky enough to wear bikinis not bearskins and anby of them flocked to Brighton beach in east Sussex 

But many people were lucky enough to wear bikinis not bearskins today, and they escaped the city heat for the beach in droves. 

And one couple, keen to enjoy their sun-soaked day on the sand, brought their furry friends to enjoy the seaside breeze too.

But the kooky couple had nothing as conventional as a cat or dog in tow – they chose instead to bring their pet rats for a dip in the sea.

A couple who did not want to leave their furry friends sweltering alone at home for the day decided to take their pet rats for a walk on Fistral beach in Newquay, Cornwall today as temperatures soared across the country

A couple who did not want to leave their furry friends sweltering alone at home for the day decided to take their pet rats for a walk on Fistral beach in Newquay, Cornwall today as temperatures soared across the country

And all this sunshine has unsurprisingly given a major boost to beach visits and BBQ sales.

The biggest beach rush since last summer sees traffic jams expected on coastal routes including the A23 to Brighton, A31 to Dorset, A30 to Cornwall and M55 to Blackpool.

Brighton is expected to see 150,000 sunseekers today and the same numbers are expected again tomorrow.

People enjoy the hot weather at the Fistral beach in Newquay, Cornwall with a surf lesson on the beach's famous waves. The good weather is bound to be a welcome boost to coastal businesses as thousands of people descend to Britain's shore line

People enjoy the hot weather at the Fistral beach in Newquay, Cornwall with a surf lesson on the beach’s famous waves. The good weather is bound to be a welcome boost to coastal businesses as thousands of people descend to Britain’s shore line

A BBQ frenzy is seeing Asda expected to sell a million burgers and 500,000 sausages this weekend. Tesco is set to sell 200,000 ice lollies, up to three million bottles of beer and two million bottles of wine. 

But deaths are also feared as temperatures soar. 300 extra Brits died in July 2009 amid 32C highs, Department of Health records show.

The biggest beach rush since last summer sees traffic jams expected on coastal routes including the A23 to Brighton, A31 to Dorset, A30 to Cornwall and M55 to Blackpool. Brighton is expected to see 150,000 sunseekers both today and tomorrow

The biggest beach rush since last summer sees traffic jams expected on coastal routes including the A23 to Brighton, A31 to Dorset, A30 to Cornwall and M55 to Blackpool. Brighton is expected to see 150,000 sunseekers both today and tomorrow

A Government Level 2 heat alert put hospitals on alert for an increase in admissions and ordered health and social workers to prepare to make daily contact with the ill, vulnerable and elderly.

Public Health England’s Heatwave Plan for England said: ‘Excessive exposure to high temperatures can kill. Excess seasonal deaths start to occur at 25C.’ 

Brighton's famous pier will be a popular spot for sun worshipers this weekend as people head out to enjoy what is predicted to be one of the hottest days of the year with temperatures exceeding 30c Seasonal weather in Britain

Brighton’s famous pier will be a popular spot for sun worshipers this weekend as people head out to enjoy what is predicted to be one of the hottest days of the year with temperatures exceeding 30c Seasonal weather in Britain

A 2,000-mile wide Spanish Plume of hot air from 45C Spain is bringing the sizzle.

But Glastonbury risks mud as thunderstorms threaten Britain from Thursday, with a wet weekend following ‘for all parts.’

Corinne Evans enjoys the sun and the surf at the Tolcarne Beach in Newquay, Cornwall, as Britian basks in hot weather over the weekend. The temperatures in Britain are hotter than Thailand this weekend and records may be broken tomorrow

Corinne Evans enjoys the sun and the surf at the Tolcarne Beach in Newquay, Cornwall, as Britian basks in hot weather over the weekend. The temperatures in Britain are hotter than Thailand this weekend and records may be broken tomorrow

Cooling off: People relax by the water at Hove beach. The weather is set to reach record temperatures tomorrow for June

Cooling off: People relax by the water at Hove beach. The weather is set to reach record temperatures tomorrow for June

The 150,000 fans attending the Somerset festival were told to ‘certainly’ prepare for rain. Glastonbury runs from Wednesday to Sunday.

Highs are most likely to ease to the mid 20s from midweek.

June’s record temperature is 35.6C, set on June 28, 1976, in Southampton. 

This graphic shows the three day weather forecast across Britain this weekend and into Monday

This graphic shows the three day weather forecast across Britain this weekend and into Monday

Met Office forecaster Marco Petagna said: ‘Sunday looks like around 30C and close to the June 18 date record, with Monday hotter at 32C as the heat peaks.

‘Tuesday is due 26C with temperatures then most likely to ease, although with a low probability of temperatures climbing again into the upper 20s.

A group enjoy the seasonal weather in Newquay, Cornwall today as temperatures soar into the 30s in some places

A group enjoy the seasonal weather in Newquay, Cornwall today as temperatures soar into the 30s in some places

The beaches are set to be busy this weekend as people rush to the shore to soak up the exceptionally good weather

The beaches are set to be busy this weekend as people rush to the shore to soak up the exceptionally good weather

‘Glastonbury fans should certainly prepare for rain, which would give an increasing risk of soft ground.

‘The festival looks like a warm start but the UK sees a chance of showery outbreaks arriving from the West on Thursday and Friday, which may be thundery, then rain for all parts at the weekend as temperatures tail off.’

The Weather Outlook forecaster Brian Gaze said: ‘It remains very warm in the South – but there is the risk of thunderstorms.’

Surf's up! People pictured enjoying the hot weather at the Fistral beach in Newquay, Cornwall and grabbing surfboards to hit the waves. The UK is set to bask in sunshine all weekend with record temperatures forecast tomorrow

Surf’s up! People pictured enjoying the hot weather at the Fistral beach in Newquay, Cornwall and grabbing surfboards to hit the waves. The UK is set to bask in sunshine all weekend with record temperatures forecast tomorrow

Corinne Evans enjoys the sun and the surf at the Tolcarne Beach in Newquay, Cornwall, as Britian basks in hot weather 

People cool off at Hove beach on a hot and humid day. The weather has already nudged 30C and the Met Office has forecast sunshine with 30C in the South-East tomorrow and up to 28C in the North-East of the country this weekend

Summer sunshine: Crowds bask in the hot weather at Fistral beach in Newquay, Cornwall. Met Office forecaster Marco Petagna said: 'Sunday looks like around 30C and close to the June 18 date record, with Monday hotter at 32C

Summer sunshine: Crowds bask in the hot weather at Fistral beach in Newquay, Cornwall. Met Office forecaster Marco Petagna said: ‘Sunday looks like around 30C and close to the June 18 date record, with Monday hotter at 32C

Thousands of people are expected to hit the beaches this weekend as the summer sun entices people out to the water 

Thousands of people are expected to hit the beaches this weekend as the summer sun entices people out to the water 

The waves are proving a popular place to cool off as hundreds of people don wetsuits to and grab surfboards and body boards to enjoy the swell at Fistral beach in Newquay, Cornwall while Britain's temperatures soar higher than Thailand's

The waves are proving a popular place to cool off as hundreds of people don wetsuits to and grab surfboards and body boards to enjoy the swell at Fistral beach in Newquay, Cornwall while Britain’s temperatures soar higher than Thailand’s

People bring tents and windbreakers to shield sunbathers from too much of the elements as the beaches fill up this weekend

People bring tents and windbreakers to shield sunbathers from too much of the elements as the beaches fill up this weekend

 

Article source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4613370/Britain-hotter-THAILAND-tomorrow-break-records.html

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Phil Archer reunites with dog he, sheriff saved in 2016 floods

Posted by Big Rat on Campus on Jun 14, 2017 in Rat News
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HOUSTON – One year after the devastating Brazos River floods, Archer the dog continues to be a ray of light to all she meets. 

While covering the Brazos River floods of 2016, KPRC Channel 2 News reporter Phil Archer and rescuers came across a dog holding on for life as the waters rose around her. Now, a year later, Phil and Archer, the dog named after Phil, were brought together for a very special reunion.

Archer became famous for simply surviving. The dog was left chained to a porch, forgotten in the rapidly-rising flood water of the Brazos River. She was just minutes away from drowning when she was found. She was pulled from the water shivering and hungry, but alive.

Her survival was a small ray of good news in a bad time, and after almost dying, she is now thriving as a cherished member of Fort Bend Sheriff Troy Nehls’ family. Nehls was the man in the boat who first spotted her that day and couldn’t turn away from her.

“He called and he said at the time, ‘Love, we’ve rescued this dog. It was tied up. It’s the cutest dog. I’m going to send you a picture,'” the sheriff’s wife, Jill Nehls, said. “I was already thinking, ‘Oh, is there going to be something more to this dog?'”

Jill Nehls and their three girls had already put together quite a menagerie of animals: Two other dogs, a couple of pet rats and a duck with a damaged wing named Lucky.

The new addition was aptly named Archer because Phil Archer helped fish her out of the water, and she fits right in with the rest of the herd in the Nehls household.

“The joy this dog brings to the kids, I mean Tori just loves — Gen and Cambry just love Archer,” Troy Nehls said. “(She) just blends right into the family.”

“Now her tail wags all the time,” Jill Nehls said. “She’s happy. You come indoors, she’s jumping up on you to greet you — we’re still working on that.”

The lucky dog is a happy dog now, but she wasn’t the only animal left alone or in trouble when the high water came last year.

Hundreds, perhaps thousands, of other animals — dogs, cats, or livestock — died in the flooding.

The Houston Humane Society took in hundreds of other animals who were lost or abandoned and provided initial emergency care for those who were rescued, including Archer.

Monica Schmidt, with the Humane Society, said responsible owners should prepare their pets for the next big storm as they would prepare for themselves.

“(Have) a first aid kit, (have) a go bag with extra food in it and toys, (have) a pet that maybe, don’t crate, but you get them trained so that they’re not going to freak out if they go into a crate,” Schmidt said. “Don’t wait until (the) storm has hit to say, ‘Gosh, wish I had gotten my pet micro-chipped.'”

It’s storm season again, so when you make out your checklist, be sure and include all the members of your family.

The Houston Humane Society has helpful hints on its website that you can find by clicking here.

Download the Click2Houston news app in your app store to stay up-to-date with the latest news while you’re on the go.

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Copyright 2017 by KPRC Click2Houston – All rights reserved.

Article source: http://www.click2houston.com/news/phil-archer-reunites-with-dog-he-sheriff-saved-in-2016-floods

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Rat-dical: Rats all the rage among New York pet owners

Posted by Big Rat on Campus on Jun 13, 2017 in Rat News
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NEW YORK: When Breonne Rittinger, 21, and her boyfriend, Taylor Cowan, 27, were looking for a pet last year, they considered their options.

As models who travelled often, the couple wanted a pet that required less oversight. They shared an apartment on the Upper West Side of Manhattan with two other people, and one of their roommates already had two cats. A dog didn’t seem feasible.

So Rittinger had an idea: rats.

Now they have three.

“I’ve definitely turned into a crazy rat lady,” Rittinger said while her rat Zelda stashed Cheerios in Cowan’s backpack and another rat, Nibbler, raced through an empty LaCroix box in her cage. “But I’m totally OK with that.”

Nibbler and her sister, Leela, arrived in January, adopted from a Staten Island family who had rescued them from a local pet store. And then, a few weeks later, came another duo, Liliu and Daisy, from a reputable “rattery” on Long Island. When Leela died in April, and Liliu soon afterward, Zelda joined the pack.

Rittinger was familiar with rodents as pets, having grown up with gerbils in Georgia. But Cowan was hesitant. His previous apartment, on the Lower East Side, had been infested with rats, a problem he later attributed to the landlord. After he did some research, Cowan came around to the idea. “It was really hard to find negative things online about pet rats,” he said.

Initially, Cowan said his sister was “grossed out” by the new pets, as were several of their friends. When Rittinger brought the rats to her modelling agency, two employees refused to meet them. The couple were met with a handful of baffled stares when they took their new pets to Central Park.

These experiences, rat owners say, are nothing new. Rats, known for scurrying through trash heaps and nabbing pizza slices at subway stops, have long been the scourge of the city. Recent research suggests that the street rat population could be near 3 million. It is easy to grasp why many New Yorkers will not embrace their domestication.

Rat owners say it is all a big misunderstanding.

“When you say the word ‘cat,’ people automatically associate that word with a pet at home, not a feral cat on the street,” said Melissa Stewart, 34, who works in TV and film production. “Whereas, when you hear someone say ‘rat,’ they immediately think it’s feral or a street rat.”

Although rare, there are stories of street rat domestication, but these rats, she said, have a much harder time finding a home. Street rats, she explained, are brown rats, which are said to be less civil and healthy, and are different from “fancy” rats, the species that most New Yorkers look to adopt.

Stewart was first introduced to the idea of pet rats eight years ago at a studio party in the Williamsburg neighbourhood of Brooklyn, where someone told her that a rat named Minky was up for adoption. Stewart, a native New Yorker who had owned a hedgehog in college, was interested.

“As soon as I got her, I was so amazed by how incredibly cool, smart and sociable they are,” she said. “They don’t bite. They’re like little dogs, mixed with a cat.”

Very few doctors treat rats. “Most veterinarians either don’t have the interest or treat mostly dogs and cats, and, without the right exposure, often provide a disservice to these types of pets,” said Dr. Anthony Pilny, of the Centre for Avian and Exotic Medicine, in Manhattan, who recently owned five rats.

He said this deficit of caregivers drove the community to online forums and Meetup groups, where “proud rat moms and dads” swap tips, tricks and photos. Breeds like Dumbos, known for their floppy ears, are described in detail, while new parents ask for advice: What’s their hygiene? (They clean themselves, but their tails can get dirty.) Do they need company? (Definitely.) What do they eat? (Probably not pizza.) And cohabiting with cats? (It depends.)

Having that community can be comforting, owners say, as requests for rat sitters and medical questions are often met with rapid response. Forum participants encourage breeders over pet stores, which typically sell rats as feeders for snakes, while wheels in cages are also hotly debated and rat products are peer reviewed. The home craft website Etsy, it turns out, is a major source for rat hammocks, rat homes, rat sweaters and even rat costumes in the shape of pepperoni pizza slices.

Rat adoption is happening in places other than New York. After using the hashtag #ratsofinstagram when she posted her photos online, Stewart connected with owners in Europe, where rat adoption groups reportedly saw an increase after the Disney movie Ratatouille opened in 2007.

It is a sense of acceptance she hopes her hometown will one day adopt.

But practically since its creation, New York has waged an endless war against rats, with some citizens even taking it upon themselves to hunt them down. In 2015, the health department invested an additional US$2.9 million in targeting “rat reservoirs,” or areas with high concentrations, and has recently begun small-scale tests with a fertility sterilisation compound. The city also offers free workshops in Rat Management Training to landlords and building superintendents. — NYT

Article source: https://www.nst.com.my/node/247734

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Rat-dical: Rats all the rage among New York pet owners

Posted by Big Rat on Campus on Jun 13, 2017 in Rat News
Closed

NEW YORK: When Breonne Rittinger, 21, and her boyfriend, Taylor Cowan, 27, were looking for a pet last year, they considered their options.

As models who travelled often, the couple wanted a pet that required less oversight. They shared an apartment on the Upper West Side of Manhattan with two other people, and one of their roommates already had two cats. A dog didn’t seem feasible.

So Rittinger had an idea: rats.

Now they have three.

“I’ve definitely turned into a crazy rat lady,” Rittinger said while her rat Zelda stashed Cheerios in Cowan’s backpack and another rat, Nibbler, raced through an empty LaCroix box in her cage. “But I’m totally OK with that.”

Nibbler and her sister, Leela, arrived in January, adopted from a Staten Island family who had rescued them from a local pet store. And then, a few weeks later, came another duo, Liliu and Daisy, from a reputable “rattery” on Long Island. When Leela died in April, and Liliu soon afterward, Zelda joined the pack.

Rittinger was familiar with rodents as pets, having grown up with gerbils in Georgia. But Cowan was hesitant. His previous apartment, on the Lower East Side, had been infested with rats, a problem he later attributed to the landlord. After he did some research, Cowan came around to the idea. “It was really hard to find negative things online about pet rats,” he said.

Initially, Cowan said his sister was “grossed out” by the new pets, as were several of their friends. When Rittinger brought the rats to her modelling agency, two employees refused to meet them. The couple were met with a handful of baffled stares when they took their new pets to Central Park.

These experiences, rat owners say, are nothing new. Rats, known for scurrying through trash heaps and nabbing pizza slices at subway stops, have long been the scourge of the city. Recent research suggests that the street rat population could be near 3 million. It is easy to grasp why many New Yorkers will not embrace their domestication.

Rat owners say it is all a big misunderstanding.

“When you say the word ‘cat,’ people automatically associate that word with a pet at home, not a feral cat on the street,” said Melissa Stewart, 34, who works in TV and film production. “Whereas, when you hear someone say ‘rat,’ they immediately think it’s feral or a street rat.”

Although rare, there are stories of street rat domestication, but these rats, she said, have a much harder time finding a home. Street rats, she explained, are brown rats, which are said to be less civil and healthy, and are different from “fancy” rats, the species that most New Yorkers look to adopt.

Stewart was first introduced to the idea of pet rats eight years ago at a studio party in the Williamsburg neighbourhood of Brooklyn, where someone told her that a rat named Minky was up for adoption. Stewart, a native New Yorker who had owned a hedgehog in college, was interested.

“As soon as I got her, I was so amazed by how incredibly cool, smart and sociable they are,” she said. “They don’t bite. They’re like little dogs, mixed with a cat.”

Very few doctors treat rats. “Most veterinarians either don’t have the interest or treat mostly dogs and cats, and, without the right exposure, often provide a disservice to these types of pets,” said Dr. Anthony Pilny, of the Centre for Avian and Exotic Medicine, in Manhattan, who recently owned five rats.

He said this deficit of caregivers drove the community to online forums and Meetup groups, where “proud rat moms and dads” swap tips, tricks and photos. Breeds like Dumbos, known for their floppy ears, are described in detail, while new parents ask for advice: What’s their hygiene? (They clean themselves, but their tails can get dirty.) Do they need company? (Definitely.) What do they eat? (Probably not pizza.) And cohabiting with cats? (It depends.)

Having that community can be comforting, owners say, as requests for rat sitters and medical questions are often met with rapid response. Forum participants encourage breeders over pet stores, which typically sell rats as feeders for snakes, while wheels in cages are also hotly debated and rat products are peer reviewed. The home craft website Etsy, it turns out, is a major source for rat hammocks, rat homes, rat sweaters and even rat costumes in the shape of pepperoni pizza slices.

Rat adoption is happening in places other than New York. After using the hashtag #ratsofinstagram when she posted her photos online, Stewart connected with owners in Europe, where rat adoption groups reportedly saw an increase after the Disney movie Ratatouille opened in 2007.

It is a sense of acceptance she hopes her hometown will one day adopt.

But practically since its creation, New York has waged an endless war against rats, with some citizens even taking it upon themselves to hunt them down. In 2015, the health department invested an additional US$2.9 million in targeting “rat reservoirs,” or areas with high concentrations, and has recently begun small-scale tests with a fertility sterilisation compound. The city also offers free workshops in Rat Management Training to landlords and building superintendents. — NYT

Article source: https://www.nst.com.my/node/247734

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Rat-dical: Rats all the rage among New York pet owners | New …

Posted by Big Rat on Campus on Jun 11, 2017 in Rat News
Closed

NEW YORK: When Breonne Rittinger, 21, and her boyfriend, Taylor Cowan, 27, were looking for a pet last year, they considered their options.

As models who travelled often, the couple wanted a pet that required less oversight. They shared an apartment on the Upper West Side of Manhattan with two other people, and one of their roommates already had two cats. A dog didn’t seem feasible.

So Rittinger had an idea: rats.

Now they have three.

“I’ve definitely turned into a crazy rat lady,” Rittinger said while her rat Zelda stashed Cheerios in Cowan’s backpack and another rat, Nibbler, raced through an empty LaCroix box in her cage. “But I’m totally OK with that.”

Nibbler and her sister, Leela, arrived in January, adopted from a Staten Island family who had rescued them from a local pet store. And then, a few weeks later, came another duo, Liliu and Daisy, from a reputable “rattery” on Long Island. When Leela died in April, and Liliu soon afterward, Zelda joined the pack.

Rittinger was familiar with rodents as pets, having grown up with gerbils in Georgia. But Cowan was hesitant. His previous apartment, on the Lower East Side, had been infested with rats, a problem he later attributed to the landlord. After he did some research, Cowan came around to the idea. “It was really hard to find negative things online about pet rats,” he said.

Initially, Cowan said his sister was “grossed out” by the new pets, as were several of their friends. When Rittinger brought the rats to her modelling agency, two employees refused to meet them. The couple were met with a handful of baffled stares when they took their new pets to Central Park.

These experiences, rat owners say, are nothing new. Rats, known for scurrying through trash heaps and nabbing pizza slices at subway stops, have long been the scourge of the city. Recent research suggests that the street rat population could be near 3 million. It is easy to grasp why many New Yorkers will not embrace their domestication.

Rat owners say it is all a big misunderstanding.

“When you say the word ‘cat,’ people automatically associate that word with a pet at home, not a feral cat on the street,” said Melissa Stewart, 34, who works in TV and film production. “Whereas, when you hear someone say ‘rat,’ they immediately think it’s feral or a street rat.”

Although rare, there are stories of street rat domestication, but these rats, she said, have a much harder time finding a home. Street rats, she explained, are brown rats, which are said to be less civil and healthy, and are different from “fancy” rats, the species that most New Yorkers look to adopt.

Stewart was first introduced to the idea of pet rats eight years ago at a studio party in the Williamsburg neighbourhood of Brooklyn, where someone told her that a rat named Minky was up for adoption. Stewart, a native New Yorker who had owned a hedgehog in college, was interested.

“As soon as I got her, I was so amazed by how incredibly cool, smart and sociable they are,” she said. “They don’t bite. They’re like little dogs, mixed with a cat.”

Very few doctors treat rats. “Most veterinarians either don’t have the interest or treat mostly dogs and cats, and, without the right exposure, often provide a disservice to these types of pets,” said Dr. Anthony Pilny, of the Centre for Avian and Exotic Medicine, in Manhattan, who recently owned five rats.

He said this deficit of caregivers drove the community to online forums and Meetup groups, where “proud rat moms and dads” swap tips, tricks and photos. Breeds like Dumbos, known for their floppy ears, are described in detail, while new parents ask for advice: What’s their hygiene? (They clean themselves, but their tails can get dirty.) Do they need company? (Definitely.) What do they eat? (Probably not pizza.) And cohabiting with cats? (It depends.)

Having that community can be comforting, owners say, as requests for rat sitters and medical questions are often met with rapid response. Forum participants encourage breeders over pet stores, which typically sell rats as feeders for snakes, while wheels in cages are also hotly debated and rat products are peer reviewed. The home craft website Etsy, it turns out, is a major source for rat hammocks, rat homes, rat sweaters and even rat costumes in the shape of pepperoni pizza slices.

Rat adoption is happening in places other than New York. After using the hashtag #ratsofinstagram when she posted her photos online, Stewart connected with owners in Europe, where rat adoption groups reportedly saw an increase after the Disney movie Ratatouille opened in 2007.

It is a sense of acceptance she hopes her hometown will one day adopt.

But practically since its creation, New York has waged an endless war against rats, with some citizens even taking it upon themselves to hunt them down. In 2015, the health department invested an additional US$2.9 million in targeting “rat reservoirs,” or areas with high concentrations, and has recently begun small-scale tests with a fertility sterilisation compound. The city also offers free workshops in Rat Management Training to landlords and building superintendents. — NYT

Article source: https://www.nst.com.my/node/247734

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‘Meeting new women became an addiction’: one woman, 30 dates

Posted by Big Rat on Campus on Jun 10, 2017 in Rat News
Closed

C is Spanish. She tells me that life in London is so hard that it is making her into a hard person. She has stopped helping people because they take too much and do not give back. In Spain, it was always easy for her to get girlfriends, but in London she finds all the women to be sad and quemada, burnt. She works as a waitress in a restaurant in Chelsea. One of the waiters, a Polish man, has a problem with her being gay. A few days before I meet C, he came up to her and said there were some friends of hers in the restaurant. C said it was unlikely, because she knew nobody who could afford to eat there. He pointed to a table where two butch women were sitting and then burst out laughing. C wants to be an artist. She shows me a tattoo that she got that day of a flower. Every time she feels sad, she gets a tattoo. One day, she wants her whole body to be covered in them.

I don’t know what I would have done without the internet. I came out when I was 31, after a brief and chaotic relationship with a woman, for whom my feelings ebbed away as dramatically as they had come, leaving me at times wondering whether I had ever had them in the first place.

Before that, I had been with a man for five years. He was my best friend, kind, intelligent and handsome, whose presence I found – and still find – reassuring. I loved him, but our relationship was curiously passionless. When it came to love, I just assumed I was a bit cold. I was different from most of my friends in that I found it easy to separate sex and emotion, I never got hurt or jealous, I had never had my heart broken. In my mid-20s, I began to wonder if I might be gay. I kept turning the idea over in my mind. But since it was based on a hard-to-define intuition of my being somehow different and not because I had ever felt attraction to a woman, it was easy to dismiss.

N is a bicycle courier. We meet at a bookshop wine evening. When I text her to ask how I will recognise her, she tells me she will be the only person there who looks like a bicycle courier. All day I wonder what this could mean. I picture a woman with strong arms and tattoos. When I get there, she is wearing cycling gloves and a peaked cap and does not take them off all night. I’ve never met anyone who loves her job as much as N. She does not care that her friends are earning double what she earns. She loves hanging out in Soho Square with the other couriers, waiting for the next job to come in. She cycled to Japan. It was great, she tells me, but there were sadly no lesbians in Asia. Her next trip is going to be from Alaska to Tierra del Fuego. I ask if she buys souvenirs along the way. She says she gives away anything she owns. She is 31, homeless and has no possessions except her bike, and that is how she likes it.

***

When I finally fell for a woman, I knew immediately that I had never had those feelings before with a man. I was overwhelmed. I followed the woman around like a little puppy dog, much to the amusement and bafflement of my friends, who had never seen this side to me. Then, all of a sudden, it ended, leaving me with a thousand questions, the most pressing of which was: am I gay?

In truth, I knew that I was, but I did not want to be. And there were so many confusing elements to weigh up. It seemed strange that I had never felt attracted to a girl at school or university; that in those febrile times of adolescence, I had never looked at another girl and thought about kissing her, never idolised an older girl at school or had one of those intense friendships that turn into something else. I thought that if it was so hard for me to fall in love, maybe the next individual would be a man. It is difficult to conclude anything from one experience, and yet it had undone everything. I had come out of it feeling dismantled, all my expectations for my life that I had never articulated laid bare. I needed to test my hypotheses about myself by finding another woman. That would be the proof.

That was where the internet came in. At that time, I had no gay friends; I did not know what queer even meant. I did not know how to be gay. I could simply get on with my life and wait for love to strike again, whoever it was, whatever their gender, but the question was too urgent for me, too insistent. So I decided I would start to date women, as much to find friends and some kind of community as to find love.

R is a trapeze artist in her spare time, and this means she always has bruises on the backs of her legs. She wants to meet me early, so she can be back home in time to watch Ice Road Truckers. When I ask what it is she likes so much about the show, her eyes light up and she tells me it is the music that creates a real sense of jeopardy. The trucks are driving over this dangerous road over a frozen sea, and they put cameras on the bottom of the trucks, so you can see how thin the ice is. Next week, she is going to Alaska with her sister. They are trying to visit every state in America. They chose Alaska because her sister thinks that is where real men are. R lives in a crumbling flat with no heating. She cannot get the landlord round to fix the heating because she does not want him to find out that she has a pet pygmy hedgehog: they are not allowed pets. It is nocturnal and runs around her bedroom at night. I ask if she is afraid she will step on it, but she says she hasn’t so far.

***

I signed up to Guardian Soulmates and OKCupid (this was in the days before apps) and switched my preferences to women only. My first date was with an artist. I waited nervously in an empty cafe one summer’s afternoon. We talked for a long time about geodesic domes, until it was almost embarrassing. She made big surreal sculptures out of fibreglass. I spent most of the time staring at her, trying to work out if I found her attractive. Afterwards, cycling off, I thought with relief that the experience had been as sexy as a job interview.

Quite a few of the dates went like this. Each one that I did not find attractive seemed to be proof that I was not gay, which I knew was a perverse test, but one that was easy to buy into. Part of the relief also stemmed from the fact that I would not know what to do with a woman if I did like her. I was not confident at all when it came to women, especially those who had been gay for a long time and who I thought might regard me as a novice or even a timewaster.

***

K is studying to be a photographer. She loves Lars von Trier and we talk about the film Melancholia. If there was a planet hurtling towards the Earth, she would not kill herself in advance, she said; she would wait for the impact. She used to have two pet rats. Both are buried in Victoria Park. One was grey, one black and white. The grey one liked being stroked so much it was as if he was having a long orgasm; he would flutter his eyelids and get cross if she stopped. K has OCD and until recently could not eat in a restaurant without wiping the glasses and polishing the cutlery on her sleeve. She tells me she is a Top. I ask what that means, though I can guess. She says that she likes to be in control during sex. I ask what happens when she meets another Top. She says, I will win.



Detail from illustration by Harriet Lee-Merrion

Over time, dating became something of an addiction. Often, I went on two or three dates a week. I found that nothing else matched the sense of possibility I felt when I was sitting there, waiting for my date to show up. And there was something satisfying about talking to strangers about their lives. The sheer variety in the details of their outlooks, experiences and personalities excited me. I felt as if I was living in another city. At least half the women I went on dates with had come from other countries to live in the UK. My diary in those years, 2013-2015, reads as a chronicle of London in all its multiplicities, albeit only the smallest part of it, but still: a snapshot of chaotic existences in the aftermath of the economic crisis and before Brexit.

***

F is Greek. She came to the UK to be a model and accidentally got pregnant when she slept with her friend. She was walking down the catwalk at six months pregnant. Her parents had got used to the idea that she was a lesbian and would not accept that she was a single mother, so will not see the baby. She wanted a child, because she does not want to be alone when she is old. She loves London, because she can be whoever she wants. She came to the UK to be with a woman, but the woman stole all F’s savings and ran off.

***

Internet dating coincided with a period of relative instability in my life. In the five years after I broke up with my boyfriend, I lived in seven rooms in seven different houses or flats. I kept my books and the majority of my possessions at my parents’ house and took what I needed in a couple of suitcases and bin bags. Rents in east London had doubled since I had moved there in 2006. I worked in television, where contracts are three or four months’ long, six if you’re lucky. But the main reason my life was this way was that I wanted to write. I wanted the freedom to move home to my parents’ house, or find a housesitting job in the periods of unemployment between contracts, so that I could work on my novel.

The precariousness of my situation, however, was nothing compared with that of many of the women I met, many of whom had been forced to leave their countries because of the economic crisis and find work wherever they could. In those years, I met a lot of Spanish women, because I liked to practise speaking Spanish with them, helping them in return with their English. Most of them had lost their jobs, often well-paid careers for which they had studied, and now were taking jobs in London that were beneath them. I met one woman who had been a laboratory researcher in Barcelona who lived in a room with five other Spanish women in Lancaster Gate. Another was an au pair in Greenwich, where the family had not even given her a bedroom and made her sleep on a mattress in the living room. The father made sexual advances, so she left.

I met a lot of women from eastern Europe who had come to London for similar reasons, though in their cases there was often the added incentive of escaping an environment that was hostile to LGBTQ people. For them, London represented a haven, a place of freedom and tolerance, and I was proud of that fact.

S has just moved to London following her divorce. She was married to an aristocrat and lived in a big country house. She shows me pictures of her on a wedding day wearing a huge white dress, like a princess. She knew deep down that she was gay. When she was in her early 20s, she had gone to a gay bar out of curiosity and slept with a woman. She had some kind of panic attack the next day, and the woman had been very kind and patient with her. She told some of her friends about it and they said what she had done was disgusting. So she swept it all under a rug and went through with the wedding. It was hard to leave her husband. She loved him in her own way and finds it really upsetting each time she sees him, so she tries not to meet up with him any more. She never wants to have children.

***

I found a complete variety in terms of where women sat on the spectrum of sexualities. On most dates, we would get around to talking about our stories of coming out: when did we first realise, how did our parents react, what did we call ourselves. Some women had never told their parents, or had lost contact with their families because of their sexuality, especially those from African-Caribbean and Asian backgrounds. Others were accepted with no issue at all. Some, I could tell, had not made peace with themselves. I went on four dates with women who had left their husbands, in one way or another, for a woman. Others knew at a very young age and were perplexed by my story. One woman, who knew she was gay when she was 13, kept asking me over and over again, had I not had any feelings as a teenager for other girls. When I told her each time that I had not, she looked annoyed, as if I did not fit into her narrative of what gayness should look like. I sometimes felt jealous that sexuality seemed to be intuitive and irrefutable for everyone else, while I seemed to have to piece mine together from inconclusive evidence.

I went on dates to make gay or bisexual friends, to maybe find myself part of a gang of them. All my female friends were straight and most, being single, were not interested in coming to lesbian parties with me. I was successful in finding a few short-lived friendships, women who invited me to play poker or to a Eurovision party, and ended up being good friends with a couple of them. Others I lost touch with, but because we were friends on Facebook, I experienced the strange phenomenon, common now, where we continue to feel connected to someone long after we have ceased to see them physically.

***

P cycles to Oxford Street at four in the morning every day to change the clothes on the mannequins in one of the major clothes shops. She is Spanish and has come to London because of the economic crisis. In Spain, she was a construction site manager. Two evenings a week, she has English lessons at a school in Soho. She is often so tired she falls asleep holding a coffee cup. Her life’s ambition is to cross every desert in the world. She drove across the desert in Morocco with a girlfriend and their car broke down. While they waited for help, she climbed a sand dune. She could feel the heat in her chest so powerfully, it felt as if she was dying. When she got to the top and looked at the unending sand, she started crying.

It was through online dating that I met the woman who inspired my novel, English Animals. I was writing about a married woman who was unhappy and secretly gay, who lived in the countryside. One night, I went on a date with a woman from Slovakia who told me that the first job she had done in the UK was on a pheasant shooting estate, helping out the husband with his taxidermy business. The next morning, I woke up and knew I had to write that story. All the things I wanted to talk about were there: the hatred of the EU and European immigrants, the underlying and casual homophobia I had grown up around in the countryside. I wrote to tell her I was writing that story and I hoped she did not find it too odd. She said she did not care. On the day of publication, we had lunch and I gave her a copy of the book. She texted a few weeks later to say she loved it. I hope she meant it, because it was her opinion I cared about.

At times, I found going on so many dates exhausting and depressing. For some people, the process of coming out must be tempered with the consolation of being in love. I found it hard and lonely. I would find the odd woman attractive, but only in a superficial way; there were none that I could see myself being with in a long-term sense. Two summers after I separated from my boyfriend, I had something of a crisis. My feelings for my ex-girlfriend seemed distant and indistinct, and I began to doubt them. I would often meet up with my ex-boyfriend for a drink or a coffee. He had a new girlfriend by then. Each time, for days afterwards, I would burst into tears randomly, on buses, in the British Library toilets. I began to wish that I had never experienced these feelings for other women. I wanted to pack them into a box, get back together with him and have a nice, peaceful life with a home and children (ironically, things I had never wanted much in the first place). Anything would be better than this, I thought: this nothingness, this confusion and uncertainty. The best marriages were beautiful friendships, I told myself. I felt that I had thrown away the best thing I had had in my life and I needed to get him back. But, deep down, I knew that it was not possible.

***

G is from Belgium and has moved to Barcelona. She is so happy, and for the first time in her life does not want to be somewhere else. She has the air of someone who has survived some kind of disaster, in awe of her own lucky escape. She shows me pictures of her old flat in Brussels, her expensive furniture and huge television. Now she is living with four other people in a cramped apartment. She was working in marketing and was made redundant. She tells me she keeps thinking about her old colleagues with their titles such as associate manager or executive director. She pities them, because they think those titles are important. It was not a life. Now I have a life, she says. She does not care what kind of job she gets in Barcelona, she just wants to exist.

***

After about 30 dates, I met a woman online whom I liked. I remember the first moment I saw her, reading in the gardens along the cycle route below Angel tube station. It was probably the closest thing I have experienced to love at first sight. We met a few more times. She was forward where I was awkward, but I always felt that she was holding something back. She had come out of a long-term relationship with a man. She said, I’ve been so cold. I felt I knew what she had been through, but the more I tried to get close to her, the farther she moved away. In the end, I had to accept she did not like me enough.

That was a few years ago and I have not felt anything for anyone else. I still go on dates but far less often, and they have to be with someone I think might really be a long-term partner. I’m not interested in going out all the time to meet new people. I have enough friends.

But I will always look back on that time of dating as a formative experience, one that allowed me to gain confidence and experiment with who I was and would become. Now, all I want is to be in love and for that person to love me back. It seems simple and yet, at times, totally elusive, but I continue to hope. And I have a feeling that whoever it is, they will just walk into my life. They will not come from the internet. Who knows.

In the meantime, I can be found on Tinder.

English Animals, by Laura Kaye, is published by Little Brown at £16.99.

Article source: https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2017/jun/10/meeting-new-women-became-an-addiction-one-woman-30-dates

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From the Subways to the Sofa: Pet Rats

Posted by Big Rat on Campus on Jun 9, 2017 in Rat News
Closed

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Article source: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/08/nyregion/new-yorkers-adopting-rats-as-pets.html

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