Aboard Noah's Blog

News, information, and chatter about collectible items with animal themes, as well as some facts, figures and fun related to pets and wildlife.

Location: Mentor, Ohio, United States
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Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Animal law will give pets their own 'bill of rights'

By Sally Pook

Pets are to be given five "freedoms" under new legislation before Parliament that aims to raise the standards of welfare by fining or jailing owners who neglect their animals.

The freedoms include appropriate diet, suitable living conditions, companionship or solitude as appropriate, monitoring for abnormal behaviour and protection from pain, suffering, injury and disease.

Pets will be entitled to a proper diet and living conditions and protection from pain and disease

They are contained in the Animal Welfare Bill, which is expected to clear Parliament in the next few months and creates a new offence of deliberately neglecting the welfare of a pet.

Owners could be fined up to £5,000 or given a prison sentence if a pet is kept in such a way that will inevitably lead to suffering in the future. This is a significant shift from existing law, where action can only be taken against an owner if an animal is suffering.

Once the Bill becomes law, secondary legislation could be introduced creating codes of conduct for different types of pet. An 18-page cat code has been drawn up as an example.

A spokesman for the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs denied that the Bill was another example of the nanny state and said the codes would be advisory.

"It won't be a case of people breaking the door down because the dog missed its meal," he said. "The vast majority of owners and animal-keepers in this country are totally responsible and will not notice this law."

Defra already has farm animal codes that do not lay down laws but advise owners on good practice and conditions for their animals. Owners cannot be prosecuted for not complying with a code, but the codes may be used to assist in determining whether or not an offence has been committed.

"The Bill is about ensuring pet owners understand that they have a duty of care towards their charges," said the spokesman. "It is aimed at the few who do not understand or care about the welfare of their animals."

The new offence will be enforced by local authority inspectors or police and does not give extra powers to the Royal Society for the Protection of Animals. The Bill also bans the docking of dogs' tails and pets being won as prizes for anyone aged under 16. It increases from 12 to 16 the minimum age at which a child may buy a pet.

Defra says the Bill is the most significant animal welfare legislation for nearly a century.


Saturday, January 28, 2006

Parrot Catches Super Bowl Fever

KIRKLAND, Wash. -- A Washington parrot has caught Super Bowl fever as his Seahawks prepare to play in the big game.

The parrot, named "Friday", has been saying, "I wanna be a Seahawk."

Friday's owner said her bird learned the phrase during the Seahawks' playoff run in 1983, but hadn't said it since.

He pulled out the phrase about an hour before last Sunday's NFC championship game.

"All of a sudden, out he came with it," said owner Suzanne Perkins. "He's been saying it ever since."

Friday can also act like an eagle and quack like a duck, Perkins said.

Seattle plays the Pittsburgh Steelers in Detroit on February 5, 2006.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Archaeologists Find Dog Has Been Man's Best Friend for Thousands of Years

By Dan Vergano
USA Today

Pet cemeteries may seem like another one of the modern world's unneeded phenomena, like boy bands and car bras. But they actually have been around as long as man's best friend, one archaeologist says. And that may be telling us as much about people as about dogs.

"People have been burying or otherwise ritually disposing of dead dogs for a long time," writes University of Kansas anthropologist Darcy Morey in the current Journal of Archaeological Science.

Surveying thousands of dog burials at archaeological sites worldwide, Morey concludes they "are documented from every major land mass in the world except Antarctica."

Often the dogs were buried with their owners, Morey notes. The oldest known dog, dating to about 14,000 years ago in Germany, was buried with two people. In Kentucky, at Indian Knoll, more than half of the dog burials from around 5,000 years ago were with people. And at Ashkelon, in Israel, about 1,000 dogs were buried next to a human cemetery more than 2,000 years ago.

And these weren't casual burials, Morey notes. "At Ashkelon, each corpse was carefully placed in its own grave, with the dogs buried on their sides and their tails arranged to curl at the feet."

At the Anderson site in Tennessee, archaeologists found the more than 6,700-year-old fossil of an "unusually old" dog that had broken bones and arthritis, among other problems. The dog's owner must have provided long-term care for the pet.

For archaeologists, the lack of dog burials before 14,000 years ago points strongly to this as the time when dogs were first becoming domesticated, Morey says. "The deliberate burial of dogs is confined to the past 12,000 to 14,000 years. By that time, many people had begun treating dogs in death much like they treated people in death."

Monday, January 23, 2006

8-year-old talks to the animals

They thrive under his care; he wishes others would be kind
By Lou Grieco
Dayton Daily News

GERMAN TWP, OHIO-When Garrett Recker set his pet toad free, the toad returned, again and again.

When he brings turkey cold cuts from his refrigerator, the wild cats come eat from his hand and let him pet them — although they won't let anyone else touch them.

"It's his goal in life to make them all tame," joked his mother, Mary Jo Recker. "He's very empathetic. He cares about everything, people and animals."

An 8-year-old second-grader at Germantown Elementary, Garrett is the township's answer to Dr. Dolittle.

He has a natural ease with animals, whether it is his pet snake, Zippo, his pet toad, Gherkin, or the wild cats in the barn by his house.

Garrett also has a message for humans: Littering can hurt animals.

Last summer, Garrett and his mother were walking when Garrett spotted a duck in a residential cul-de-sac. After he coaxed the duck from under a parked car, they found the duck had a plastic ring, presumably from a drink bottle, caught around its head, impairing its ability to eat.

Mary Jo got the ring off the duck's head, and they carried the duck to a neighborhood pond. The duck died in her arms.

Garrett had wanted to save the duck and was upset, his mother said. Now, he wants to get the message out about litter and wildlife.

"I really kind of felt bad that people littered," Garrett said. "I was hoping it wouldn't happen to other animals if people knew."

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Dogs Excel on Smell Test to Find Cancer

Published: January 17, 2006

In the small world of people who train dogs to sniff cancer, a little-known Northern California clinic has made a big claim: that it has trained five dogs - three Labradors and two Portuguese water dogs - to detect lung cancer in the breath of cancer sufferers with 99 percent accuracy.

The study was based on well-established concepts. It has been known since the 80's that tumors exude tiny amounts of alkanes and benzene derivatives not found in healthy tissue.

Other researchers have shown that dogs, whose noses can pick up odors in the low parts-per-billion range, can be trained to detect skin cancers or react differently to dried urine from healthy people and those with bladder cancer, but never with such remarkable consistency.

The near-perfection in the clinic's study, as Dr. Donald Berry, the chairman of biostatistics at M. D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, put it, "is off the charts: there are no laboratory tests as good as this, not Pap tests, not diabetes tests, nothing."

As a result, he and other cancer experts say they are skeptical, but intrigued. Michael McCulloch, research director for the Pine Street Foundation in Marin County, Calif., and the lead researcher on the study, acknowledged that the results seemed too good to be true. (For breast cancer, with a smaller number of samples, the dogs were right about 88 percent of the time with almost no false positives, which compares favorably to mammograms.)

"Yes, we were astounded, as well," Mr. McCulloch said. "And that's why it needs to be replicated with other dogs, plus chemical analysis of what's in the breath."

He is applying for National Science Foundation grants to try just that, he said. The fact that the study was carried out by a clinic supported by the Pine Street Foundation that combines traditional chemotherapy with acupuncture and herbal medicine raised suspicions, as did the fact that it is to be published by a little-known journal, Integrative Cancer Therapies. (The journal published it online last year.)

But experts who read the study could not find any obvious fatal flaw in its methodology, and the idea that dogs can detect cancer is "not crazy at all," said Dr. Ted Gansler, director of medical content in health information for the American Cancer Society. "It's biologically plausible," he said, "but there has to be a lot more study and confirmation of effectiveness."

Dr. Berry, too, was interested but suspicious. "If true, it's huge," he said. "Which is one reason to be skeptical."

Dr. Berry noted, half-jokingly, that Gregor Mendel, the 19th-century discoverer of the laws of genetics, also reported data on his crossbreeding of green and yellow peas that was too good to be true: he repeatedly came up with the perfect 3-1 ratios he predicted. "But we've forgiven Mendel and his gardener," Dr. Berry added, "because his theory turned out to be right."

In Mr. McCulloch's study, the five dogs, borrowed from owners and Guide Dogs for the Blind, were trained as if detecting bombs. They repeatedly heard a clicker and got a treat when they found a desired odor in many identical smelling spots.

The clinic collected breath samples in plastic tubes filled with polypropylene wool from 55 people just after biopsies found lung cancer and from 31 patients with breast cancer, as well as from 83 healthy volunteers.

The tubes were numbered, and then placed in plastic boxes and presented to the dogs, five at a time. If the dog smelled cancer, it was supposed to sit.

For breath from lung cancer patients, Mr. McCulloch reported, the dogs correctly sat 564 times and incorrectly 10 times. (By adjusting for other factors, the researchers determined the accuracy rate at 99 percent.)

For the breath from healthy patients, they sat 4 times and did not sit 708 times.

Experts who read the study raised various objections: The smells of chemotherapy or smoking would be clues, they said. Or the healthy breath samples could have been collected in a different room on different days. Or the dogs could pick up subtle cues - like the tiny, unintentional movements of observers picked up by Clever Hans, the 19th-century "counting horse," as he neared a correct answer. But Mr. McCulloch said cancer patients who had begun chemotherapy were excluded, smokers were included in both groups and the breath samples were collected in the same rooms on the same days. The tubes were numbered elsewhere, he said, and the only assistant who knew which samples were cancerous was out of the room while the dogs were working.

"The fact that dogs did this is kind of beside the point," he said. "What this proved is that there are detectable differences in the breath of cancer patients. Now technology has to rise to that challenge."

The next step, he said, will be to analyze breath samples with a gas chromatograph to figure out exactly which mixes of chemicals the dogs are reacting to.

Even if the dogs are accurate in repeat experiments, Dr. Gansler of the American Cancer Society said, it will be useful only as a preliminary scan. "It's not like someone would start chemotherapy based on a dog test," he said. "They'd still get a biopsy."

Monday, January 16, 2006

African Grey Spills the Beans on Cheating Woman

From correspondents in London

A TALKATIVE parrot was being blamed for the break-up of a couple's relationship after squawking the name of the woman's secret lover, British newspapers reported today.

Ziggy, an eight-year-old African grey, prompted a confession from 25-year-old call centre worker Suzy Collins that she was having a four-month fling with a former colleague when the pet blurted out: "Gary, I love you."

The bird had previously said "Hiya, Gary" when Collins' mobile phone rang and made kissing noises when the name was mentioned on radio or television but its owner, Chris Taylor, from Leeds, northern England, laughed it off.

But the computer programmer – who bought the bird as a chick and named it after singer David Bowie's alter ego, Ziggy Stardust – said the penny dropped when the couple were snuggled up on the sofa before Christmas.

"We were watching telly when Ziggy blurted out, 'I love you, Gary' in Suzy's voice. I started laughing but when I looked at Suzy, I could tell something was up. Her face was like beetroot and she started to cry," the 30-year-old said.

"I felt sick to my stomach. She told me that she'd been seeing someone she'd met at work called Gary and that she wanted to finish with me.

"She said she was going to tell me anyway but she didn't know how and couldn't find the right time. I've not idea who this Gary is. I was devastated. Suzy left that night and I've not seen her since.

"She came back to collect her stuff when I was out. I hope I never see her again."

Ms Collins told newspapers she was not proud of her actions but admitted she never liked Ziggy in the first place.

Mr Taylor – already divested of a girlfriend – has now given away Ziggy.

"I couldn't get him to stop saying that bloody name ... what else could I do?" he said.

Owners Take Pets To Fortune Tellers

(WCCO) Taipei, Taiwan In Taiwan, people are taking their pets to fortune tellers to find out what is in store for their furry friends.

A group of Chinese Yi Jin believers practiced fortune-telling for pets in Taipei, Taiwan on Sunday.

Dogs, cats and even rabbits attended the future-forecasting. Some people brought pictures of their dead dogs to find out if their pet was having a good life in the underworld.

Using a bamboo stick, fortune tellers tap a Chinese compass in order to tap into signals from the universe.

Yang Huei-chun, a fortune teller, claimed he could answer questions raised by pets' owners through the tapping.

The fortune-telling is part of a celebration to welcome in the Chinese New Year of the Dog. According to the lunar calendar, this year's Chinese New Year falls on Jan. 29.

Casino denies entry to guide dog

By Shaun Smillie, ssm@star.co.za, South Africa

Pam is Lisa Bensch's eyes. The golden retriever has been at Bensch's side throughout the length and breadth of the country. She has flown in planes, been to posh restaurants and attended lectures with her.

But on Sunday night, Bensch claimed that "her eyes" were barred entry into Carnival City by the casino's security manager.

Bensch, who is almost totally blind, had never been to a casino before, and on Sunday night her boyfriend, Quintin Teixeira, decided to take her to Carnival City for a first-time flutter.

"The idea was to go onto the floor and gamble R20 or R30 so that Lisa could experience it," said Teixeira, who is also blind.
Bensch, a psychology student at the University of Cape Town, was visiting Teixeira during her varsity break. The two have been involved for seven years, having met in matric, while they were both sighted.

Bensch got to the entrance of the casino and was told that no animals were allowed. She began to explain to the security guard that the golden retriever was her guide dog.

Teixeira said: "The security manager came and he also told us we couldn't go in. He said it was a gambling board ruling, which I don't believe because I have been into Montecasino with Admiral, my guide dog."

An angry crowd gathered and began demanding that Pam be allowed in.

"It got really ugly," said Teixeira.

"People were shouting and swearing. We asked the security manager for his name but he refused to tell us, and, according to some in the crowd, he wasn't wearing a name tag."

The manager apparently insisted that the casino had previously refused entry to a blind person who had tried to gain entry with a guide dog.

Annoyed by their experience, the couple decided to leave, with Teixeira vowing never to step inside Carnival City again.

No one from the casino was available for comment on Sunday night.

There was, however, one winner in all of this.

"I think Pam enjoyed all the attention," said Bensch.

Pet parrot bites, helps ID suspect in burglary

For The Patriot-News

WILLIAMSPORT - A parrot literally took a bite out of crime and helped identify a burglary suspect, police say.

The blue and gold macaw hybrid called Sunshine attacked Michael L. Deeter, 44, as Deeter broke into the apartment of Sunshine's owner, James Erb, police said.

Deeter, of Williamsport, told police the parrot bit him "very hard" after he entered Erb's apartment in the 600 block of Pine Street, and he still had the marks to prove it when he was arrested, according to the arrest affidavit.

Sunshine had blood on its beak, blood droplets were found throughout the apartment, and Deeter had marks on his left hand consistent with those made by a parrot, the affidavit stated.

All for about $100 in change and a camcorder, police said.

The parrot also helped pinpoint the time of the break-in at 3 p.m. Saturday, when a neighbor heard Sunshine screaming and making a commotion, police said.

Sunshine didn't come away unscathed; all but one of its large tail feathers had been pulled out, police said. A trail of feathers led from the room where Erb kept the parrot to the kitchen, where police said forced entry was made from an enclosed porch.

A neighbor discovered broken glass on the porch about 6:30 p.m. Saturday and called police, but they said they were unable to confirm what had happened until Erb returned home about 12:25 a.m. yesterday and reported the burglary.

Police said Deeter became a suspect when they learned he had called Erb about 1 p.m. Saturday and learned Erb would be leaving for work.

The arrest affidavit states Deeter confessed to breaking the glass in the door to get into the apartment but claimed he was too drunk to remember anything else except his encounter with Sunshine.

Deeter was arraigned on charges of burglary, criminal trespass, theft and criminal mischief and taken to the county jail in lieu of $25,000 bail.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Two Animals Surprise Elementary School Students

Arkansas City - An unexpected visitor Wednesday afternoon crashed into Jessica Weakley's fifth-grade classroom at Frances Willard Elementary School, interrupting a discussion on osmosis and diffusion.

The deer's arrival wasn't anything like the delicate scientific principles being discussed. The animal broke through a window scattering students from their desks.

"I wasn't paying attention," said DeShante Rollins shortly after the incident, which occurred at the end of the school day. "Then I heard a beep and heard people screaming, turned around and saw something brown; an animal."

It's a good thing the students had a fire drill that morning, Weakley said. She didn't have to tell them where to go; they headed immediately for the fire exit.

But as soon as they exited, they saw another deer. It had crashed through the window of an adjoining room used for tutoring.

"They saw another deer down in a corner by the library," Weakley said. "Then it turned and ran down the hall and through the west door."

The deer crashed through the glass door to exit, she added. Meanwhile, the deer that came through the classroom window, left through another window.

Both deer were bucks with antlers, students and school staff said. A third deer was sighted, but it apparently stayed outside.

Remodelling Project Traps Cat in Drywall

A basement remodeling project left Jany Chumas with one question after the drywalling was done - where's Mary Poppins? Chumas' pet cat was nowhere to be found after the workers installed drywall in a room Jan. 2.

Chumas said the cat is "the sweetest little thing but quite shy," so she assumed at first that she had run away.

As more time passed, she suspected the cat could be trapped, and she and her daughter headed for the basement to search.

"I called her - 'Here, kitty, kitty' - and I could hear this faint, weak meow coming from behind the walls where they had just drywalled," Chumas said Tuesday.

She called the Eau Claire Fire Department and a crew went to the home about 5 p.m. Friday.

First they cut a small hole in the drywall near where Chumas heard the cat's cries, but they found only insulation. A thermal imaging camera brought in by Battalion Chief Rick Merryfield detected a heat pattern in the ceiling.

When Lt. Steve Hanson cut a small hole in the ceiling, he found nothing, but when he looked in with a flashlight, he could see the cat on a floor joist in another room.

The firefighters had Chumas call into the hole, and soon a weak, hungry, tired and dusty Mary Poppins "came tumbling out of the ceiling," Chumas said.

Some food and water put Mary Poppins on the road to recovery from her five days behind the drywall.

"Another couple of days and I think she would've been gone," Chumas said.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Bethel Acres Family Credits Cat With Saving Them From Fire

BETHEL ACRES, Okla. (AP) -- A Bethel Acres family is crediting their cat with saving them from a fire that destroyed their home.

Kelly Acres says their orange tabby named Sonic warned them about the fire well before the home's smoke detectors went off.

Berry's husband -- Shawnee High School teacher Bob Berry -- and two of their children already had left for school. Two other children were asleep.

Kelly Berry says she was in her bedroom watching the morning news when she heard Sonic meowing and hissing and found the cat pacing in front of the door to the garage. The laundry room was beginning to fill with smoke and the ceiling was on fire.

No one was injured in the blaze, but the home received about $175,000 in damage.

Tabby Cat Gifts

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Brave dog pounces to save girl from late-night attack


A TEENAGE girl who was attacked while out for a late-night walk was saved from a serious assault when her dog pounced on her assailant.

The 18-year-old was walking her dog in Dumbeg Park, near Wester Hailes railway station, at around 2am on Wednesday , when she was attacked.

The man grabbed her and dragged her into an underpass but, before he could do anything, the teenager's collie-cross, which was off its lead, came bounding back to the rescue.

The dog went for the man's legs, biting him, while the girl lashed out at his face, giving him a cut lip and a bleeding nose.

The attacker, who is thought to be around 30 years old, then ran off. A police spokesman said: "Fortunately the victim was not seriously hurt, just badly shaken.

"It is a good thing her dog intervened and forced off her attacker. He may have been unaware she had the dog with her, as it was off the lead and out of sight when he struck."

The attacker was around 5ft 8in tall, white and of medium build. He wore a black tracksuit, white trainers and a beanie hat. He was well-spoken, possibly with an English accent, and was believed to be aged between 27 and 33 years old.

A spokeswoman for the Scottish SPCA said: "This dog is a real hero. It proved how much it loves its owner and shows how loyal dogs really can be. It protected its owner when she was in danger and I think it really deserves a medal."

Friday, January 06, 2006

Dog, named Baby, saves baby

Taipei - A female husky puppy saved the life of a Taiwanese newborn by snatching him out of the toilet after his mother gave birth alone at home and collapsed, a social worker said on Friday.

The 24-year-old single mother, identified only as Huang, did not feel well on Sunday and went to the bathroom. She did not realise that she was in labour as the baby was not due for another five days, said the social worker.

The woman gave birth to a baby boy into the toilet and managed to cut the umbilical cord with a small pair of scissors before collapsing on the floor, too weak to call for help from her roommate, she said.

But her faithful dog, named Baby, snatched up the infant's leg with her mouth and rescued him from drowning, said the social worker, holding the baby in her arms as the dog paced around at their temporary shelter in a charity home in Kaohsiung, southern Taiwan.

"The dog approached her owner, who was lying on the ground in a pool of blood, and saw the infant... she snatched up the baby's leg with her mouth and rescued him from drowning," she said.

When the boy finally breathed and cried out after the dog licked him on the face, Huang managed to call for help.

Doctors said both the mother and infant were healthy.

However, due to financial difficulties, the mother was giving both her baby boy and the life-saving 10-month-old dog away for adoption, said the social worker.

Diamond dog food update

Another warning to dog owners about a dog food that's killing pets. Cornell University veterinarians now say dog owners whose pets recently ate any of the Diamond dog food brands should have their pets tested.

Earlier this month Diamond Pet Foods unknowingly distributed toxic food. Several dogs have been killed in 22 states.

Product Names
  • Diamond Premium Adult Dog Food
  • Diamond Hi-Energy Dog Food (Sporting Dog)
  • Diamond Maintenance Dog Food
  • Diamond Professional for Adult Dogs
  • Diamond Performance Dog Food
  • Diamond Puppy Food
  • Diamond Low Fat Dog Food
  • Diamond Maintenance Cat Food
  • Diamond Professional Cat Food
  • Country Value Puppy
  • Country Value Adult Dog Food
  • Country Value High Energy Dog Food
  • Country Value Adult Cat Food
  • Professional Chicken & Rice Adult Dog Food
  • Professional Puppy Food
  • Professional Large-Breed Puppy Food
  • Professional Reduced Fat Cat Food
  • Professional Adult Cat Food

States Where Products are Sold
  • Alabama
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Kentucky
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Mississippi
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • Ohio
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • West Virginia

Symptoms of Potential Illness

Symptoms of potential illness in dogs may be difficult to discern, but include:
  • Loss of appetite
  • Yellow whites of the eyes, yellow gums, yellow in the belly or areas where hair is very thin
  • Severe, persistent vomiting combined with bloody diarrhea
  • Discolored urine
  • Fever
More Information at Diamond Pet Foods' site

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Cool cat sets store's offbeat tone

For the Journal-Constitution

When customers walk into Bound to Be Read Books, the first face they're likely to see isn't that of owner Jeff McCord. Nor will they be greeted by one of the store's part-time associates. Instead, they'll find a salesperson of furry persuasion.

Kona the Bookstore Cat serves as the store's director of public relations, McCord said. Kona is often spotted in the window or high on a shelf near the front of the store, which specializes in used books.

Owner Jeff McCord already has 6,000 used volumes on his shelves at Bound to Be Read Books in East Atlanta, and he expects the number to rise to 10,000 once he unpacks some more boxes.

BOUND TO BE READ BOOKS • Where: 481-B Flat Shoals Ave., Atlanta • Hours: 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays; 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Fridays, Saturdays; and 1 to 8 p.m. Sundays • Information: Call 404-522-0877 or see www.boundtobereadbooks.com

"Her job is to sit in the window and look cute, walk around the store and look cute," McCord said, "and she does a really good job at it."

McCord, who opened Bound to Be Read Books on Flat Shoals Avenue in the East Atlanta Village in the fall, said he acquired Kona from friends who'd rescued the near-lifeless animal from the streets. The friends were moving to Hawaii, and McCord was in search of a bookstore cat.

"Bookstores traditionally have had cats to keep the mice down because mice love to chew on books," he explained. More than contributing to rodent control, McCord says, Kona is good for business, too.

"She's brought people into the store," he said. "She was doing her job one night, sitting in the window looking cute, and a lady actually got up from her table across the street where she was eating. She left her husband and came over to visit the cat because she saw the cat in the window."

The wife, he added, returned to the store after dinner, this time with her husband, and purchased some books. Bound to Be Read Books carries new and remaindered books, which are overstocked and discontinued titles that are sold for half the retail price. The store also has a selection of CDs and audio books and, later this year, plans to start selling cards and journals.

"We're selling good used books," McCord said. "We're very picky about what we take.

"I've had a number of people come in and pick up a book and say, 'Why is it so cheap?' and I tell them, 'It's used' and they go, 'Well, I couldn't tell it's used; it looks like a new book.' Our goal is that every book that we have on our shelf is a book that people would feel proud to take home with them."

The store also is open later hours, he said.

"We're in East Atlanta, where there's a happening night life and restaurant and bar scene, so we're staying open later to meet that need."

The Atlanta native, who lives in Grant Park, said he gets his books from "secret sources," at estate and church sales, and "wherever I can find good used books at good prices."

He added, "We pass along those good prices to the customers."

About 6,000 titles are on the shelves, and McCord said that after unpacking boxes he has stored in the back, that number will rise to 10,000. Thanks to a store database, an employee can look up a title in the computer and retrieve it from the stock.

Bound to Be Read Books also is planning to list its inventory online and has plans to kick off a used book buyback program this year.

On Tuesday, the bookstore will co-sponsor a book signing for mystery writer David Fulmer. The signing takes place 7- 9 p.m. at Smith's Olde Bar on Piedmont Road in Atlanta.

Will Kona be there? "Unfortunately not," McCord said. "Kona is all business. Bars make her nervous and somebody has to stay at the store and run things."

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Cat Clings to SUV for 70 Miles

VOORHEES, N.J. -- Curiosity didn't kill one cat on a wild ride on the New Jersey Turnpike.

The kitten, now known, for obvious reasons, as Miracle, hitchhiked a ride on the underbelly of a sport utility vehicle just before Christmas. The gray and white feline traveled some 70 miles under the vehicle as it whizzed along the Turnpike on Dec. 23.

"I'm just amazed that the cat didn't fall off or get blown off," Karen Dixon-Aquino, director of the Animal Welfare Association in Voorhees, told the Courier-Post of Cherry Hill for Tuesday's newspapers.

The association is caring for the furry hitchhiker and plans to put him up for adoption.

The SUV's driver was traveling from Newark to Cherry Hill and didn't know she was giving the kitten a ride until another motorist saw the tabby through a wheel well and flagged the driver over near Interchange 4 in Mount Laurel.

Dixon-Aquino said the cat probably climbed into the guts of the SUV in Newark and was asleep when the journey began. Somehow, the cat avoided being mangled by fan blades and other moving parts as he clung to the car for the ride.

The kitty, estimated to be about 8 or 9 months old, was not unscathed, though.

"He was pretty freaked out," Dixon-Aquino said. "His paws were burnt, one claw was missing and his fur was singed."

Information from: Courier-Post, http://www.courierpostonline.com/