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I don’t see scorch marks. Do you see scorch marks?

No doubt, y’all have seen the video of Tara the Hero Cat, internet sensation, rescuer of small boys and chaser-offer of wicked dogs.

Couple of things about the video that struck me. First, the family appears to have three different video cameras trained on the outside of the house (it looks like such a nice neighborhood!). And second, that dog seems to be hunting toddlers. He either hears or smells the boy before catching sight of him, and races around the corner to attack.

Black Shuck is another dog in the news this week. He’s one of Britain’s many legendary black dogs, but with a more specific history than most.

The story goes, an enormous black dog burst into a Suffolk church in 1577 during a howling gale (leaving, supposedly scorch marks on the door, pictured), ran up the aisle and killed a man and a boy, then ran off again. He became a local fixture (not to say legend) thereafter, though subsequent stories are short on specifics.

You know, I can believe it? Somebody’s dog getting loose, running a long distance from home, panicking in a thunderstorm and going violently mad in a crowd of people. Then, you know, thereafter being a menace to solitary walkers in lonely spots.

Last year, an archeological dig at nearby Leiston Abbey turn up the skeleton of an absolutely enormous dog. Estimated at seven feet, standing on its back legs, and a very old burial. The bones haven’t been dated yet, but the team will be back this Summer to dig again.

It was buried near the kitchen in the Abbey and is surely a beloved pet or guard dog. I’m sure if the monks slew the beast, the story would have come down to us somehow. But still there’s all kinds of excitement that they might’ve dug up ol’ Shuck.

This dig — like a lot of archeology in Britain — is funded by the lottery. This almost inclines me to pay the Stupid Tax and pick up a weekly ticket. Good weekend, all!


Comment from QuasiModo
Time: May 16, 2014, 11:40 pm

Didn’t I see that in an episode of Supernatural? 🙂

Nice weekend, everyone!

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: May 16, 2014, 11:54 pm

Is your avatar a water bear, quasi?

Comment from mojo
Time: May 17, 2014, 12:15 am

“A tax upon the mathematically disinclined”

Comment from Nina
Time: May 17, 2014, 1:19 am

It’s only a Stupid Tax if you think there is a chance you can win.

Comment from Mrs Compton
Time: May 17, 2014, 1:44 am

I was a bit suspect of the cameras on that video, they pan as well don’t they?

Comment from Paula Douglas
Time: May 17, 2014, 2:33 am

I think the word they’re looking for is “fearsome.” The legendary dog was “fearsome,” not “fearful.” It’s a subtle distinction, but an important one. Unless the dog was in fact chronically afraid.

Comment from Stark Dickflüssig
Time: May 17, 2014, 3:12 am

As a highly qualified drunken idiot (first class) who has read far too much middle & old English (& Spenser, & Bill S.), Paula Douglas is quite correct. Or right. Or yes.

Comment from Stark Dickflüssig
Time: May 17, 2014, 3:13 am

Also, I see scorch marks!

Comment from Mojo
Time: May 17, 2014, 3:24 am

Olde Engrish. Fearful meant “causing fear” just as awful meant causing awe.

Comment from Stark Dickflüssig
Time: May 17, 2014, 3:34 am

& “terrific” meant causing terror.

Which is terrific, if you ask me.

Comment from Paula Douglas
Time: May 17, 2014, 3:49 am

Yeah, but that story was written Thursday.

Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: May 17, 2014, 9:41 am

You lot really have absolutely NO idea how ancient Her Stoatlyness is, have you? 😉

Comment from Skandia Recluse
Time: May 17, 2014, 9:45 am

Saw the dog attack vid, and have the suspicion there is some animosity between the two families. That dog went into attack mode the moment the boy came into the driveway, circling around behind the boy to attack. That cat doesn’t like that dog either. Letting that dog loose, unsupervised is negligent if not criminal.

Comment from SCOTTtheBADGER
Time: May 17, 2014, 10:20 am

That was the Abbey under the protection of Sir Hugo Baskerville, wasn’t it?

Comment from jic
Time: May 17, 2014, 10:45 am

“That dog went into attack mode the moment the boy came into the driveway, circling around behind the boy to attack. That cat doesn’t like that dog either.”

I’m starting to think that this actually all about the cat, and the kid just got in the way: the dog and the cat had a preexisting problem with each other, and when the dog got out he saw or smelled the cat and came in ready to attack the first living thing in its path. When the cat saw the dog on it’s territory it ran out to drive it off, and then dove under the car to avoid reprisal (i.e., it wasn’t actually running to the kids aid).

“Letting that dog loose, unsupervised is negligent if not criminal.”

I read somewhere else (I don’t remember exactly where) that the neighbor had opened a gate to back their car out, and that’s how the dog escaped.

Comment from Some Vegetable
Time: May 17, 2014, 2:19 pm

Regarding the ‘Tara, the Wonder Cat!’ story, I saw a comment from someone (FWIW) who claimed to be from the same city in California. People had been commenting on the multiple camera angles and he replied that it is becoming common to have your home surrounded by a multiple camera security system there. He said the city has a theft epidemic which he blamed on meth users.

As for the cat attacking the dog to protect the kid…. I believe it’s at least possible. Having lived with them for some 30 years now, I have seen a few incidents (while not actually even close to what happened here) that lead me in that direction. I watched a two or three year old kid attempt to pick a neighborhood cat up by the tail… and live. The kid had come up behind the cat unnoticed and picked him up. The cat, of course, went insane, but the kid was oblivious. The interesting thing was that when the cat saw it was just a kid, he calmed down and, when let go, didn’t even run away. He just moved where he could keep an eye on the little bastard child.

The second incident involved my wife being foolish enough to think it was OK to feed a friendly local stray cat. We lived in a second-floor apartment and our cat saw her with the stray through the apartment window. I know this because he got very agitated, and I went over to find out what the excitement was. When my wife came in the front door a minute later, our cat (who loved her deeply) attacked her! For weeks afterward whenever she came in the front door he sniffed her legs looking for the scent of that gigolo.

Now, he was a Turkish Ankora – breed that is known for this kind of attachment….. But I believe a lot of cats might be similar – cats are pretty smart, and pretty complex. I don’t pretend to understand their thinking or emotions but I will say that I understand them better than I understand women, so there’s that.

In closing, remember:

“Your cat knows exactly how you feel. He doesn’t care (99 percent of the time) but he knows”.

Comment from Deborah
Time: May 17, 2014, 2:24 pm

The dog in question was put down at the owner’s request, and the owner is no doubt checking every jot and tittle of her homeowner’s insurance policy.

Comment from Paula Douglas
Time: May 17, 2014, 6:56 pm

Hey, Some Veg, don’t worry: I too understand cats better than women.

Comment from QuasiModo
Time: May 18, 2014, 11:50 pm

@S.Weasel…yeah, you’re the first one to notice that!…I scammed it from Ace 🙂

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: May 19, 2014, 12:06 am

I used to be a dedicated pond dipper. Lumme some water bear.

Only animal known to survive in the vacuum of space.

Comment from Oceania
Time: May 19, 2014, 4:35 am

Mastiff skeleton

Comment from MikeW
Time: May 19, 2014, 2:47 pm

A little more fun with great album covers of the past…


Best quote:

Is it just us, or is Prince is the only person who looks less manly when he’s not wearing lady clothes?

Comment from Professor Hale
Time: May 21, 2014, 6:52 pm

In that part of California, multiple security cameras are becoming more common. You can get the whole setup at COSTCO for a few hundred bucks.

I noticed also that the dog went into obvious stalking mode really early in the video. The totally stupid thing is that they are going to try to rehabilitate the dig instead of putting it down. Stupid. I am also hoping the owners are put down for having that dog and not keeping it confined. “it got loose” and “it is such a sweet animal” are not cutting it this time.

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