Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Felidae Spotlight: Cornish Rex

So last week, we had the Sphynx cat which had no fur at all. This new feline does actually have fur... but not very much of it. The Cornish Rex is a domestic cat which originates from Cornwall, Britain. They are about the size of your standard house cat, so there is no real need to go further there.

These cats are known for their large pronounced ears and extremely short fur which is called "down." If you have heard of the word down before, it was probably referring to baby bird feathers. In the case of most cats, they have what is called an undercoat of fur which is topped with a much longer overcoat. The Cornish Rex only has the undercoat.

Since it is unusual for the undercoat to be out in the open, it does not quite look right. Often, this short fur will seem broken up into little shelves up the back of the cat. It can be extremely curly as well which is actually where the name comes from.

Now, I just know I got about 15 amateur scholars who are pointing fingers at me for making a mistake in the previous paragraph. "Rex means 'king' in Latin, you dolt!" Well, yes. I know that, good sir. But let me explain how rex does indeed mean curly fur in this case.

The usage of rex still means king, but there was a bit of an incident somewhere between 1875 and 1934 involving the king of Belgium. King Albert I apparently loved rabbits. No, not cats. We haven't gotten to that yet. Only rabbits so far. He entered into a contest a very special curly-haired rabbit of his own design. Unfortunately, curly-haired rabbits were not the standard and would have been disqualified. But let's face it: who's going to be the one to tell the king that?

The judges accepted the rabbit into the contest and labeled it a Rex after the king who submitted it. After that, the term ended up being used here and there for curly-haired animals in Europe. Imagine that! So now we know why this cat is called the Cornish Rex due to its curly fur.

Personality wise, the cat is very friendly and curious about people. They will follow people around and try and figure them out and learn from them. Apparently, the Cornish Rex is especially recommended for timid people.

In fiction, the only Cornish Rex I know of is Beerus from Dragon Ball Z. I am very sorry, but I stopped watching this annoying show back when I was still a young'un. Still, I really like the pictures of this guy. According to my research, he is known for destroying planets at a whim. He is something of a godlike villain I suppose. Despite him being a Cornish Rex in form, he looks more like a Sphynx to me. I can't make out any fur on him at all. But hey! I'm just doing my job here!

Personally, I think the Cornish Rex would make a great timid style character. He is chilly all the time but still friendly. I did a spotlight for chinchillas a long time ago, showing them as very nervous and in dire need of love. I see these creatures as similar.

There are not many of these spotlights left. I'm counting them down every week now. Enjoy them while they still are coming out!

Thank you for reading my blog! If you enjoyed it, you can comment below, or you can email me at tkwadeauthor@gmail.com. Mrow.


Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Felidae Spotlight: Sphynx

I was sitting here tonight thinking about bringing my animal spotlights to an end. I've been considering doing that for a while now. I have lately felt as if I was scraping the bottom of the barrel for animals that I really adore. Sure, there are a lot more animals out there, but I have only been doing spotlights for ones that really make me smile. Although, I am not certain how many I have left before I get to the final one, be sure that it will not be far off.

Whatever the case, I did manage to find--or rather remember--an animal of which I intended to spotlight quite some time ago. The Sphynx is just such an animal. When I first saw this cat, I was actually put off by it. But they just grew on me, and now, I rather love them. I even wish I had one as a pet, but I am sure Cupcake (my cat) would not at all agree with this decision.

I had too much trouble finding size information for the Sphynx, but you may be sure that they are about the size of the average house cat. Their main qualities come by way of their physical appearances. They have very large and wide pointed ears. Their eyes have a sort of lemon shape--very expressive. They are sometimes known to glare at people in an evil way. Their bodies are very muscular. I saved the best for last. The Sphynx has absolutely no fur on its body. Even their tails are bare which gives them a sort of whip-like appearance when it swings about. Because of their lack of fur, the Sphynx generally looks for places to snuggle up for warmth. Sometimes, the owner will let them wear sweaters.

The Sphynx's strange appearance was the product of selective breeding in the 1960's. This breeding was accomplished in Wadena, Minnesota and in Toronto, Canada. Their unique appearance makes them very popular... and very expensive.

Personality-wise, they are extroverts. These cats are friendly, intelligence, and curious about their owners and strangers alike. They also do not feel that bad to the touch. I petted one once and found it to be rather enjoyable.

Unfortunately, this breed does suffer from various health issues. They have difficulties with the cold when young and often have to be helped through this period. They have a high rate of heart disease. 34% are found to have an abnormal heart. There is also a small chance of the cat getting muscular dystrophy which basically means a stark loss of muscle mass over time.

I do not know of any Sphynx cats in fiction, but I actually prefer to see them as evil creatures. There is something so creepy in seeing this sort of animal scowl. He would probably be rather vexed to be born without fur and wish to enact revenge. Alternatively, the Sphynx can also be cast as an evil god-like ruler. He certainly looks the part.

If you ever run across one of these cats, don't be scared. Try petting it. You might be surprised how enjoyable they are! Check out these pictures!

Thank you for reading my blog! If you enjoyed it, you can comment below, or you can email me at tkwadeauthor@gmail.com. Hiss!

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Canine Spotlight: Dachshund

So... wiener dogs. That's right! The dog known as the dachshund is the famous puppy who greatly resembles the famous American hot-dog. Allow me to tell you more specifics about them before we move into the silly stuff.

I actually had a little trouble finding out size information for this dog. Every time I did a search for it, they threw its weight at me. I did end up figuring it out though. The dachshund is generally about 5 to 6 inches at the shoulders but can go as tall at 8 or 9 inches. They average from 16 to 32 pounds. Their bodies are generally long with short, stubby legs on both ends. If the name didn't give it away, they originate in Germany.

I bet you didn't know these dogs were bred for hunting. As silly as they look, they are perfect for invading animal burrows to root out rabbits and the like. Their primary purpose was to flush out badgers so that the hunters could get a good shot. That is actually where its name came from. Dachshund literally translates into "badger hound." I also found out that the original name for this dog was Dachs Krieger which means "badger warrior." It sounds a lot more epic that way, doesn't it?

Personality-wise, dachshunds love playing with humans and other dogs; however, they need a lot of training when it comes to hunting. They tend to get detracted by things far too easily. A random squirrel or passing bird will get them off track. Happily, they really do make wonderful pets. I discovered a vast array of celebrities have owned dachshunds. I have included my favorite photo of the bunch: David Hasselhoff.

Dachshunds are also raced. These dogs are a far cry from any greyhound; however, they are still very popular. I think people just like seeing the little sausages run around the field. Either way, these races are not supported by the Dachshund Club of America due to the large number of injuries that occur in them.

Dachshunds are all over fiction but rarely the main characters in anything. As I mentioned in the last spotlight, "The Ugly Dachshund" features a Great Dane which was raised by a dachshund mother. He spends a lot of time with his "family," and it is very cute.

In the 1942 Disney short cartoon "The Sleep Walker," a dachshund named Dinah was introduced, and she was remarkably adorable. Generally, she was placed as a love interest for Pluto. She was in a decent number of cartoons before disappearing for a very long time. She appeared again in 2001 in the short "Big Bad Wolf Daddy."

Dachshunds are usually shown in cartoons in various wiener gags. These gags often will show the dog as ridiculously long or resting inside of a hot-dog bun. Sometimes a hot-dog will come to life and take on the appearance of a dachshund. These gags have been going on in cartoons since before motion pictures even existed.

My ideal dachshund would waddle around and be detracted by everything. Kind and pleasant but ultimately a ditsy dunderhead. I think he would be super cute to be friends with.

Have a look at these adorable pictures of the famous dachshund. They are Hasselhoff approved!

Thank you for reading my blog! If you enjoyed it, you can comment below, or you can email me at tkwadeauthor@gmail.com. Bark!

Thursday, April 6, 2017

"The Imaginist" is now available in paperback!

A man with a supernatural power to make his thoughts into reality teams up with a talking mouse to solve three mysteries within Victorian England. Join them as they dive deeply into some of the darkest regions of the imagination!

Tales included:
-A Gentleman and a Mouse
-The Other Guest
-Deadly Dreams

A great read for young teens and up!

Click HERE to see the listing at Amazon.

Also find the official listing at www.tkwade.com.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Canine Spotlight: Great Dane

Continuing on with very large dogs, I would like to present to you another favorite of mine. To be honest, I am not usually into canines unless they are very large. There are exceptions to this rule and I may show them to you later. Today, we look at the Great Dane.

You may have already heard of Great Danes; however, you likely have not seen them day by day. They are not your average puppy. Fully grown, the Great Dane can be as large as 30 inches at the shoulders, and that is a minimum. The largest recorded was a whopping 44 inches. They can often weigh up to 120 pounds, sometimes more. The breed is mainly German.

Great Danes are also very smooth and muscular in appearance. They are good working dogs as was the Saint Bernard from last week's spotlight. Also similar to the Saint Bernard, they are known to be gentle giants. They are very loyal and even considered to be noble creatures. They are usually used in hunting for which they are very, very good at. Looking to buy one for yourself? Expect a puppy to cost you somewhere between $600 and $3000 depending on the breeder and the dog itself. This is not your average puppy.

I'm moving onto fiction because we have a few points to hit there. There was a very popular comic strip by Brad Anderson called "Marmaduke" that ran from 1954 to 2015. It featured a Great Dane. I did actually see this comic a lot as a kid. I can't remember much about it, but I remember loving the art style. I even mistakenly thought the comic was done by Disney, but I could not find anything to back this up later on. It was later made into a live action motion picture in 2010.

My personal favorite, and probably most obscure, Great Dane character was Brutus from the 1966 Disney film "The Ugly Dachshund." This was one of the few "Dean Jones vs Dog" movies that Disney was doing at the time such as "The Shaggy D.A." The movie is about a Great Dane that was hilariously raised by a a bunch of wiener dogs. He suffers an identity crisis because of this and spends the movie trying to be a much smaller dog than he really is. It was hilarious!

Likely the most famous Great Dane in modern fiction is Scooby Doo. I say this because they began making episodes in 1969 and pretty much never stopped. Anything that can last that long must be considered a classic. This Great Dane was and still is the animal sidekick of a group of mystery solvers who have nothing better to do but go around trying to figure out who has the mask on. Scooby's relationship with his best friend Shaggy was really what made it all work. I hope to see this character remain in popular fiction till the end of time.

Personally, I see the Great Dane as a giant and noble person. Whenever he enters a place, everyone looks upon him with reverence. He is a hero to the weak and helpless. It is one of those cases where his largeness actually fits his spiritual nature. The latter is not always the case with everybody.

Check out some of those beautiful pictures of Great Danes. I hope you enjoy them as much as I have!

Thank you for reading my blog. If you enjoyed it, you can comment below, or you can email me at tkwadeauthor@gmail.com. Rorry, Raggy!

Marmaduke Comic

Scooby Doo and Shaggy