Simon, Recipient of the Dickin Medal

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Able_Seacat_Simon_(fair_use)Simon, “Able Seacat,” Recipient of the Dickin Medal

I was reading a story the other day about Lucca, a military working dog, who saved the lives of many soldiers in Afghanistan but lost a leg doing so.  Lucca was honored with the prestigious Dickin Medal for his actions.

As I was researching the Dickin Medal (I had never heard of it), I came across the story of a cat, Simon, who also received the medal.

In 1948, Simon was found wandering around in Hong Kong while the HMS Amethyst, a ship in the Royal Navy, was in port there.  One of the Amethyst‘s sailors smuggled him on board, but in no time he won over the hearts and minds of the entire crew.  His specialty was ridding the ship of rats, and he became well-known for leaving “presents” of dead rats in crew members’ bunks and for sleeping in the Captain’s cap.

Then in 1949, the Amethyst was involved in the Yangtze Incident.  She was fired upon by the Chinese during a civil war between the Chinese nationalists and the Chinese communists.  She took a direct hit near the captain’s quarters, mortally wounding the captain, and Simon was badly wounded.  He was not expected to survive.  He did survive, however, and was soon back at work.

He received numerous awards, to include the Dickin Medal, for “surviving injuries from a cannon shell, raising morale, and killing off a rat infestation during his service.”

You can read more about Simon here.  Yes, it seems he was one heck of a “Seacat.”

Little Man’s Law: Naysayers??

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payne (30)

Hard to believe, but there are some who think I must be making all this up.  Never mind the supporting links.  Never mind the FDA’s own documentation.  Never mind the “purrents” who watch helplessly as their furbabies get sick and die from pet food.  Nah.  It’s all just a gag.

Not!

Got a comment from someone just a few days ago who said, “Bull@#$%! That’s not true.”  When I explained that my petition for Little Man’s Law includes links to evidence (including test results) that support my claims, the response was simply, “I don’t buy it.”

Some people simply cannot be convinced.

But then it occurred to me that the only people who could possibly have anything against Little Man’s Law are those connected to the pet food industry or the FDA.  Even then, the motivation can only be money.

Money, or the life of a beloved pet?  No contest.

So I’m going to keep at it.  Naysayers can keep their eyes closed if they wish.  I just hope they don’t have any pets.

PLEASE sign my petition.  Our pets’ lives really are at stake.

 

A New Petition for Little Man’s Law

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Why a new petition?  Frankly, because the other wasn’t getting much support.  Also, I had some new information I wanted to include.

For all those who signed the first one, thank you.  Now, however, I need your help with the new one.

There’s some additional info in it that, well, if it doesn’t get tons of signatures I don’t know what will.

Please sign and share this new petition.  Our pets’ lives depend on it.

Jonny

Little Man’s Law – We Are Being Ignored

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DSCF3482The Mighty Little Man Wearing His Cape

Yes, it seems my efforts are falling on deaf ears.  I can’t say as I’m all that surprised.  After all, it is an election year.  However, I need your help.

I have personally contacted over a dozen members of Congress in my efforts to garner a sponsor for Little Man’s Law.  However, I found what I believe to be a veritable gold mine of potential support for Little Man’s Law in the 124 members of the Congressional Animal Protection Caucus co-chaired by Congressmen Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Mike Fitzpatrick (R-PA).  At the link above, you will see a list of related legislation they support, and I can see no reason why they wouldn’t also support Little Man’s Law if we can get their attention.

I went through all 124 members and determined that only the following appear to accept emails from people outside their constituency. I am including their email links below:

Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Co-Chair https://forms.house.gov/blumenauer/webforms/issue_subscribe.html

Congressman Ami Bera, M.D. (D-CA) https://bera.house.gov/connect-with-me/email-ami

Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (D-IL) https://bustos.house.gov/contact

Congressman Gerry Connolloy (D-VA) https://connolly.house.gov/contact-gerry1

Congressman Joe Courtney (D-CT) https://courtney.house.gov/email-joe1/

Congresswoman Michelle Lujan Grrisham (D-NM) https://lujangrisham.house.gov/contact

Congressman Jared Polis (D-CO) https://polis.house.gov/forms/writeyourrep/

Congressman Adam Schiff (D-CA) http://schiff.house.gov/contact (Select “Share your opinion or comments on bills or other issues” from the drop-down)

Congressman Brad Sherman (D-CA) https://sherman.house.gov/contact/contact-congressman-sherman-form

I request each of you make contact with these Representatives. I suggest you send them the following, which you can copy and paste into your own letter.  If there is a subject box, please type:  A Bill to Enact the Federal Pet Food Labeling and Advertising Act, “Little Man’s Law.”

Dear _________________,

This letter serves to request that you introduce and support legislation to require pet food manufacturers include a warning label on all pet food products containing adulterated ingredients.

I understand you have already been contacted by Mr. Jonathon Payne regarding his proposal for “Little Man’s Law.” There are three points I would like to make in my support for this proposed legislation:

  1. While there are existing laws prohibiting the use of adulterated ingredients in ALL food products, the FDA makes an exception for the use of some of these illegal and unsafe ingredients as long as they are intended only for animal consumption. This is done without the public’s general knowledge.
  2. While there are also existing laws governing the labeling and disclosure of ingredients in pet food products, there is no law or policy requiring the disclosure of whether any of the ingredients are adulterated. This being the case, there is no way for the American consumer to know which products contain these illegal and unsafe ingredients and which do not.
  3. Little Man’s Law, as proposed by Mr. Payne, will not change the way the pet food industry conducts its business, nor will it require a change to the FDA’s Compliance Policy Guidance allowing the use of some adulterated ingredients in animal food products. Little Man’s Law will ONLY require that the American consumer be notified as to which products contain adulterated ingredients.

I hereby request that you introduce Little Man’s Law to Congress as proposed by Mr. Payne. Our pets deserve better.

Sincerely,

(include your name here)

To all who plan to send letters to Congress, thank you in advance. This law is important, and many pets’ lives depend on it.

And don’t forget to sign the petition.

All the best,

Jonny

Mighty Little Man Trivia: The Logo

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CapeCape with Logo Worn by Mighty Little Man

There’s a bit of a story about Mighty Little Man’s logo.

When I was trying to come up with an idea for a logo for Little Man’s cape, I knew right off the bat what I wanted.  I wanted it to include his eyes, and I wanted the “M” somehow to be included.  There are several pictures of him where the M on his head, slightly above and between his eyes, can be clearly seen, so I thought that would be a nice touch.

But I also wanted him to look “tough,” so that meant an outdoor shot since I didn’t want his pupils to be round.  I wanted those tough-looking eyes where the pupils are narrow slits.  An outdoor shot, however, is best obtained on a cloudy day.

But “wanting” is one thing.  “Getting” can be “a-whole-nuther something” altogether.

Willing to try, I grabbed my camera, picked up Little Man, and outside we went.  I tried several times over the next four days to get that shot, but even though I got all kinds of pictures of Little Man, not once could I get him to look directly into the camera.

On the afternoon of the fourth day, when Little Man and I were outside in front of the house still going at it, Caroline stepped outside through the front door.  She had been paying attention, but never said a word.  She was just watching and waiting.  Finally, she had had enough.

She rolled her eyes at me, turned around, and went back into the house.  Less than a minute later she came back out with some tuna in her hand.  She showed it to Little Man and let him get a big sniff, then she walked over to me and put that tuna directly on top of my camera lens.  Little Man looked right into the camera, and SNAP!  The picture was done.

I took it to a graphic designer who helped me design the logo, and the rest is history.  In fact, I liked it so much that even though I originally had an entirely different idea in mind, I used it for the front cover of Little Man’s book.  I even copyrighted it.

Remember Caroline’s eye-roll?  There are several instances of that in the book.  She does that to me all the time.

And one of her favorite sayings is, “When you gonna start listenin’ to me?”

Right now, Baby.  Right now.

Pet Food: The Truth

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I just read about a recent, hour-long conversation between the FDA and Susan Thixton of the Association for Truth in Pet Food about the use of adulterated ingredients in pet food.  As Susan stated, “furious doesn’t even explain it.”

Here are two statements I must share, and they were taken directly from the conversation link above:

  1.  “The FDA openly admitted they will continue to allow pet food to violate federal law.”
  2. “The simple truth of this situation: with the aid of FDA, the pet food industry is allowed to make billions of dollars each year selling adulterated pet foods to unknowing consumers, and pets are dying because of it.”

This is precisely the reason for Little Man’s Law.  PLEASE sign my petition to require pet food companies to label all pet food products containing adulterated ingredients.  Do it for ALL of our furbabies.

Their lives depend on it.

Jonny

 

“Just Animals?”

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DindimJoao Pereira de Souza and Dindim

I have a severe dislike of the phrase, “just animals.”  I often wonder why a comparison to animals always seems to imply that animals are somehow so far beneath humans as to deserve no more concern than a rock at the bottom of a river.

So I decided to share some interesting stories about a few creatures who are anything but just animals.

Take the photo above for example.  A penguin named Dindim travels thousands of miles every year to visit the man who saved him.  His is a wonderful story.

And how about Togo and Balto?  They were just two of the many sled dogs to participate in the 1925 serum run to Nome, Alaska.  Without their help, an entire village of Alaskans could have been wiped out.

Then there’s Cher Ami, a carrier pigeon, who was responsible for saving the lives of 194 men during WWI.

And I haven’t mentioned the thousands of military and police working dogs who save lives every single day, or the story of the mother cat who ran into a burning building time and time again to save her kittens.  She was severely burned as a result, but she got it done.

So the next time you hear someone refer to animals with a condescending tone, just remember that, “… man hath no preeminence above a beast.” (Eccl 3:19)

Still think they’re just animals?

The “Pet of the Year” Trophy

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Trophy 22016 Pet of the Year Award

Ok, a photographer I’m not, but I thought this was worth a picture.

This trophy was delivered last week, and it’s one of the nicest trophies I’ve ever seen.  It stands about 19 inches tall, is apparently made of solid steel, and weighs about 10 lbs.  A certificate is also on the way.  I’m told it will read:

‘2016 Pet of the Year’ Award

Presented to

‘Mighty Little Man’

‘Little Man’, a male domestic house cat, (owner Jonny Payne), survived a combined total of eighteen events and ailments, over half of which were life-threatening, during his thirteen year life-span. He has three world records from WRA, is the namesake of his own book and proposed legislation in the USA (‘Little Man’s Law’), and is an inspiration to us all.
    The ‘Pet of the Year’ is awarded in appreciation to our furry and feathered friends who perform incredible acts of kindness, bravery, and loyalty.  World Record Academy has chosen ‘Little Man’ as the recipient of the ‘2016 Pet of the Year’ Award for his exceptional accomplishments.

Well done, Little Man.  Daddy loves you.

“I will always try to be Ugly.”

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Ugly

This picture has been floating around the internet for a while.  I’ve seen it several times, but every time I came across it, I either didn’t take the time to read the story or I couldn’t get it to open.  It was my loss.

While the origin and author of this story are unknown, the message is loud and clear, especially the last line.  I felt I had no choice but to share it in its entirety, unedited, just the way I found it:

“Everyone in the apartment complex where I lived knew who Ugly was. Ugly was the resident tomcat. Ugly loved three things in this world: fighting, eating garbage, and shall we say, love.
The combination of these things combined with a life spent outside had their effect on Ugly. To start with, he had only one eye and where the other should have been was a hole. He was also missing his ear on the same side, his left foot appeared to have been badly broken at one time, and had healed at an unnatural angle, making him look like he was always turning the corner.
Ugly would have been a dark gray tabby, striped type, except for the sores covering his head, neck and even his shoulders. Every time someone saw Ugly there was the same reaction. “That’s one UGLY cat!”
All the children were warned not to touch him, the adults threw rocks at him, hosed him down, squirted him when he tried to come in their homes, or shut his paws in the door when he would not leave.
Ugly always had the same reaction. If you turned the hose on him, he would stand there, getting soaked until you gave up and quit. If you threw things at him, he would curl his lanky body around your feet in forgiveness. Whenever he spied children, he would come running, meowing frantically and bump his head against their hands, begging for their love. If you picked him up he would immediately begin suckling on your shirt, earrings, whatever he could find.

One day Ugly shared his love with the neighbor’s huskies. They did not respond kindly, and Ugly was badly mauled. From my apartment I could hear his screams, and I tried to rush to his aid. By the time I got to where he was laying, it was apparent Ugly’s sad life was almost at an end.
Ugly lay in a wet circle, his back legs and lower back twisted grossly out of shape, a gaping tear in the white strip of fur that ran down his front. As I picked him up and tried to carry him home, I could hear him wheezing and gasping, and could feel him struggling. I must be hurting him terribly, I thought.
Then I felt a familiar tugging, sucking sensation on my ear – Ugly, in so much pain, suffering and obviously dying, was trying to suckle my ear. I pulled him closer to me, and he bumped the palm of my hand with his head, then he turned one golden eye towards me, and I could hear the distinct sound of purring. Even in the greatest pain, that ugly battled scarred cat was asking only for a little affection, perhaps some compassion.
At that moment I thought Ugly was the most beautiful, loving creature I had ever seen. Never once did he try to bite or scratch me, try to get away from me, or struggle in any way. Ugly just looked up at me completely trusting in me to relieve his pain.
Ugly died in my arms before I could get inside, but I sat and held him for a long time afterwards, thinking about how one scarred, deformed little stray could so alter my opinion about what it means to have true pureness of spirit, to love so totally and truly. Ugly taught me more about giving and compassion than a thousand books, lectures, or talk show specials ever could, and for that I will always be thankful .
He had been scarred on the outside, but I was scarred on the inside, and it was time for me to move on and learn to love truly and deeply. To give my total to those I cared for.
Many people want to be richer, more successful, well liked, beautiful, but for me, I will always try to be Ugly.”