Zoo Diaries: Rascal’s Favorite Things

One of our regular installments is Dana’s “Favorite Things” posts. Since she hasn’t written one of those in a while, we asked Rascal to compile his own gratitude list.



Drastic reductions in crate time, boredom, and envy of the free-roaming cats. Drastic increases in time spent outside, time spent with humans, and treats. Also, I get to sleep in the bed.


They’re fun to chase, and occasionally to snuggle with. But mostly chase.


This is the best toy ever.


Wait, no, this is.



Hiding Stuff Under the Bed

Toys, garbage, shoes…pretty much anything the humans leave on the floor. They still do not seem to grasp the concept of ownership – namely, that anything on the floor belongs to me. Possession is nine-tenths.

Telling Strangers That I Am a Dog


What are you grateful for this week?



Zoo Diaries: “Can I Eat It?” Episode One

The last Zoo Diary was such a hit, we decided that Rascal should get to contribute to the blog more often. After all, he is a resident of the Abbott house, and he suffers no shortage of an appetite for adventures…although sometimes his definition of the term can differ from ours pretty wildly. For instance, he’s quite a bit more daring than we are when it comes to what qualifies as food, as you’ll read below in the inaugural installment of “Can I Eat It?”

Professional face.

Professional face.

Item One: Shoes

The humans appear to require these items in order to leave the house. I am still uncertain as to what purpose they serve. I do know that they taste exquisite. However, it seems to upset the humans when I indulge, despite the fact that each of them has several shoes to spare. Verdict: Yes

Item Two: Books

These are often placed out of my reach, but on occasion, one of the cats proves useful and knocks a book onto the floor where I can examine it. The contents are a mystery – illegible, crude diagrams of impractical length. The material they are made of, on the other hand, is a clear, beauteous symphony of flavor, by turns delicate and understated, bold and piquant. Verdict: Yes

Item Three: Cat Poop

I scarcely feel the need to tout the virtues of this rare delicacy. It is nothing short of a miracle. Why else would the humans treat it with such reverence, collecting and harvesting it at every opportunity? How else to explain their anger and disgust when I successfully retrieve a morsel for myself? Verdict: A resounding yes. And what other food so reliably produces that other precious commodity known as…

Item Four: Vomit

Though my research on humans is my primary focus, I must admit to having spent more than a few hours attempting to discern what enables my body to produce this magical substance. I lack the eloquence to describe its majesty with any sort of justice. Verdict: Yes.

Item Five: Dog Food

Passé. Bland. Dull. Uninspired. Provincial. Boring.

…And yet, still worth eating. Verdict: Yes (unless one or more of items one through four are available)

Zoo Diaries: Rascal Speaks

In lieu of our usual video, today’s Zoo Diaries is a guest post from Rascal himself.


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Editor’s note: It just sort of goes on like that for a while. Fortunately, I am fluent in Dog. Here is the translation.

Entry 84.223.1

What is best in life? Mud. And chasing the cats. And sticks. And those little banana yogurt things the humans give me after they watch me eliminate outside, like some sort of unwashed vagrant. Odd, I know, but they are fixated on my bowel movements. At least they do not harvest my leavings like they do the cats’.

But I digress. Mud is splendid. I tested this hypothesis with vigor yesterday, as the humans allowed me to roam the yard while they participated in their strange rituals involving balls and other round objects with which I am, against any shred of logic or fairness, not permitted to play. My research suffers as a result, but into every life, a little rain must fall. And rain begets mud. This is the deep poetry of the universe.



I thought it my civic duty to inform our neighbors about the many wonders of wet dirt. Alas, though I breached the perimeter twice, my attempts to spread the good news were thwarted by the humans. I think that they are the jealous type; my leaving the yard even for a moment appears to be a frightening prospect for them, and my constant displays of affection and loyalty seem not to assuage their fears.

Then again, perhaps they are simply opponents of mud. Evidence in favor of this theory was advanced after the excursion ended, when I was subjected to a bizarre ritual the humans call a “bath”. Rather than permit me to clean myself with my tongue, as nature intended, the bath entails being soaked in water and rubbed with oils which, despite their pleasant taste, I am scolded for attempting to eat. The humans, as ever, are an enigma.

I must conclude this entry with some haste – the cats are congregating underneath the couch, and I cannot allow them to do so with impunity, lest they discover sensitive documents pertaining to Operation: Litter Box Freedom.

End communication.

Zoo Diaries: Cone Kitties (throwback)

I honestly thought cones were only dogs. It never crossed my mind they were a thing for cats too, let alone kittens. But it turns out they are standard for PetSmart’s kitten spaying procedure.

I thought I’d give the kittens some face time today with a video from the night I brought them home from being spayed. It’s equal parts pathetic, adorable, and hilarious. Enjoy!

(Godiva had the purple one and Cinnamon had the pink, if you were wondering).

Have you ever seen a kitten in a cone before?

Zoo Diaries (Cat vs. Dog edition)

When we first got Godiva and Cinnamon, they were barely over a pound, so initially, when Rascal would play with them, Dana and I had to keep a close eye on the situation to make sure he wasn’t being too rough. Now the cats are big enough to fend for themselves. Cinnamon usually just goes limp when Rascal engages her. Godiva, on the other hand, tends to be the instigator. So now, instead of constantly breaking up their little scuffles (and taking the sides of our respective pets in the debates that often ensued, like drunk Little League parents), we take video and laugh at them instead.

Roll the clip!

Zoo Diaries: Rascal Meets Loud Noises

Rascal is, and this kind of pains me to say, almost grown up. But every once and a while his reaction to something still has me doubled over laughing.

In the last week this has happened twice, and both times I thought fast enough to grab a video of it. The older he gets the happier I am that I had various videos of him at different ages. He is quite the character.

My mom got my a new dustbuster for Christmas (it was one of my favorite presents – helllo adulthood). Rascal was following me around the house as usual when I happened to try it out for the first time.

A friend of the house brought a tambourine to the Christmas party a few weeks ago. Rascal has a love/hate relationship with it.


Kyle and I say it all the time, but I really don’t remember what life was like before Rascal. I certainly did not laugh this hard or this often.