Cats Exposed As “Pretend Predators”

I have to admit it:  I don’t like cats.  We had one once.  It was a calico cat that Kish and the boys named “Baby,” which is an embarrassing name for any full-grown creature.  It pretty much ignored us when it wasn’t annoying us, and ran away when we moved to New Albany.  Good riddance!

So, I wasn’t really moved to tears when I saw this piece about cats disappearing in Lakewood, Colorado.  No one wants to see their neighbors’ pets ripped to bloody shreds by wild animals, of course.  (Although I confess seeing the finicky Morris get his just desserts wouldn’t trouble me.)  But I did take some satisfaction in the fact that the article really exposes cats as pretenders.  Often you hear about cats being such “natural hunters” because they occasionally bring home a mouse or a dead bird.  It’s a sham, of course, as this article demonstrates.  It turns out that cats not only can’t hold their own against animals like foxes and raccoons, these soft, tubby felines apparently are actually used as harmless training prey for the babies of foxes and raccoons.  How embarrassing for the haughty, untamed predators of the suburbs!

Of course, clueless, shambling dogs like Penny probably also would get creamed by the wild animals hunting the streets and backyards of Lakewood, but at least they don’t have have a ‘tude about it, or hold themselves out as anything other than a happy, panting, Iams munching, sleeping in the sunlight member of the family.

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Wondering If The Worm Has Turned

All in all, the last 10 years have been a pretty sweet ride for Ohio State football fans.  The team won a national championship, dominated the Big Ten, and repeatedly qualified for BCS bowl games.  Sure, there were two national championship game beatdowns mixed in with the good stuff, but for the most part the Jim Tressel era was high-flying time for Buckeye Nation.

We all remember, however, that this Era of Good Feeling started abruptly.  After years of gagging against Michigan and stumbling in bowl games under John Cooper, it seemed to take only one change — the hiring of Jim Tressel — to convert failure into glorious Buckeye success.  Suddenly, the team that couldn’t beat the Wolverines or win a bowl game began to routinely thrash the Team Up North and win BCS games against the toughest competition.

Now, change has come again to the Ohio State football program.  It is unwanted change.  Coach Tressel is gone in the wake of an NCAA investigation, players are suspended, and a new, young, interim coach in the person of Luke Fickell is at the helm.  In the meantime, change has come to the Michigan program, which also has a new head coach, and change has come to the Big Ten, which has added Nebraska and split into the pretentiously named Legends and Leaders divisions.  These are the kinds of changes that mark the beginnings and ends of eras.  Some pundits are predicting as much, by forecasting that the Ohio State Buckeyes will be mediocre this year, in the 7-5 or 8-4 range.

And so, Ohio State fans everywhere anxiously follow the news about the Buckeyes’ fall camp, and the competition to be the new starting quarterback, and the efforts to plug the other holes left by suspensions and graduations, and wonder:  has the worm turned once again?