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Archive for November 8th, 2008

Obama says he’s a mutt, but dog might not be

President-elect Obama referred to himself as a “mutt” yesterday, but said that, when his family picks a dog, they won’t necessarily adopt a mixed breed.

Obama indicated that, while the family would prefer a shelter dog, his daughter’s allergies may require they get a hypoallergenic breed.

“This is a major issue,” Obama said a press conference. “I think it has generated more interest on our website than just about anything.

“We have two criteria that have to be reconciled,” he added. “One is that Malia is allergic, so it has to be hypoallergenic … There are a number of breeds that are hypoallergenic. On the other hand our preference would be to get a shelter dog. But obviously a lot of shelter dogs are mutts like me. Whether were going to be able to balance those two things is a maior issue in the Obama household.”

Painted cats: Don’t try this at home

     An email making the rounds depicts cats decked out in bright and dazzling designs — paint jobs, supposedly, that have to be repeated every three months (due to hair growth) and for which owners pay $15,000 or more.

While it’s just the sort of thing pet owners who see their dog or cat as accessories might do, don’t break out the brushes (or dyes), and don’t forget that the true work of art is your dog or cat exactly as he or she naturally is. The email, and the paint jobs, are bogus.

Unfortunately, a lot more people will get the email than will read this (those sorts of emails have way more than nine lives), and the artistically-inclined, yet otherwise idiotic among them might even  entertain thoughts of giving their feline a new look — say something in a day-glo plaid.

But just in case somebody actually needs this warning, I’ll say it again: Don’t paint your cat.

A far safer  route (for you and the cat) would be to just enjoy the spoof.

It all started with “Why Cats Paint,” a fuzzy tongue-in-cheek volume about cats who became accomplished artists, written by Burton Silver and Heather Bush and published in 1994.

That was followed in 2002 with “Why Paint Cats: (Ten Speed Press), a photo book of cats with brightly colored geometric designs on their faces and bodies, supposedly painted by 23 artists who use cats as their canvas.

Even more people fell for it than the first book.

According to snopes.com, author Silver won’t admit that the illustrations were achieved through computer imaging.

He told the Cleveland Plain-Dealer, “We never comment on the techniques used to create our art, because that’s not the point of the work. We see our role as that of encouraging discussion amongst readers and provoking them to question their value systems.”

Silver, in addition to creating a beautiful book, and pulling off a darned good hoax, did indeed encourage discussion, as evidenced by the fact that, six years after the book was published, its contents are still clogging (1.6 MB) emailboxes boxes across the country.