this cat is giving me feels

2

What’s his name? 


“Streaky.

I found him on our street right after I came to Earth, actually. He was a stray too. We were friends. I used to go out every night and feed him. I didn’t want to touch him. I was so strong I could’ve hurt him. So, I practiced being gentle. And then, one day, I pet him and he purred. And everything was okay. I felt like an alien on Earth for so long and he helped me feel like a human.”


OMG! THIS IS THE CUTEST SCENE I’VE EVER WATCHED! I also love the parallel between Kara and Streaky as “strays” on Earth. So touching! ❤

Petition to give Kara a pet cat! Streaky 2.0? 😀😭

anotherhobbitt  asked:

quick (maybe odd?) question: have you read cat's eye by margaret atwood? if yes, any feelings? if no - i wholly recommend you take a look! I reread it recently and halfway through my brain finally made the connection of your blog/family lore and the book! :) (also, it's nothing like what i consider M.A.'s 'usual' wheelhouse - nothing dystopian at all!)

I have NOT, actually.  I was forced to read “The Poisonwood Bible” back in high school by a particularly wretched teacher that pretty much worshiped her, and I’m afraid that kind of put me off Margret’s work.

I should give it another try. Even a broken clock is right twice a day.

This picture:

from this post, by @cintahoran is giving me Niall and Button feels. Holy shit.

Harry finds his boyfriend and his cat bonding several more times over the course of the following week.

Monday: Button joins them in the living room while they’re watching Netflix and curls up on the cushion beside Niall’s thigh.

Tuesday: Harry comes home from work to find Niall making dinner in the kitchen and Button watching him from where she’s sat on the counter, pawing playfully at Niall’s hand whenever it gets close to her.

Wednesday: Button lays sprawled across the back of the couch, her chin resting on Niall’s shoulder as they watch Criminal Minds.

Thursday: Button falls asleep with her front legs and head resting on Niall’s head on their pillow.

Friday: Niall goes out for drinks with his work friends after work and since Harry has to work late anyway and is tired, he decides to just go straight home – which means that Harry and Button have the flat to themselves for the first time in weeks. Harry thinks it’s far too quiet and boring – and he thinks Button agrees because she keeps looking at the door like she’s waiting for Niall to walk through it.

anonymous asked:

my mother and i just stood side by side watching my cat hunting a mouse in our laundry room for like twenty minutes and i feel like you're the only person who won't judge me for admitting this

Our cat would sometimes find mice in our house and give them to us as “gifts” by dropping them my chest when I was sleeping and it was…. not pleasant

7

Here is the announced illustration of @megupic ‘s fanfic Rewrite The Stars.
She will publish the first chapter of it soon so if you dont follow her already you better smash dat follow button!!

the comic is based on [this].

Thanks a lot not only for giving me permission to draw this but also for blessing us with your fanfic!!

10

supergirl season 1 appreciation week
day 6: best arc (cat’s growth through kara)

I just want you to know that working for you is a true honor. You are my role model, and you lead this city with such strength and grace. And underneath that prickly exterior you have the biggest heart of anyone I know. I just… I’m just trying to say thank you, for being an amazing mentor… and friend. 

Well, you’ve made quite the impression on me, too, Kiera.

OTP Drabble Challenge!

Rules: Followers send a number to your ask, along with a pairing, and you write a drabble using that dialogue in your piece! Try to keep up! Expect a TON of requests!

  1. “The doctor said it’s normal” - “Well that doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt.”
  2. “Baby, you’re not a bother.” - “I’m too needy, you don’t deserve it.”
  3. “Come with me to the other room.” - “We’re not going to talk about this now.”
  4. “Did you just hiss at me?” - “Are you judging me?”
  5. “Don’t yell at me like I’m a child!!” - “DON’T THROW SCISSORS!”
  6. “Here, take me blanket/jacket.” - “I told you, I’m not cold.” *shivering*
  7. “Did you hear that?” - “I’m telling you, I’m haunted.”
  8. “I just wanted an easy day with my boyfriend/girlfriend. Is that too much to ask?”
  9. “Why are you awake right now?”
  10. “Come over here and make me.”
  11. “I want my best friend back.” - “Kevin is over there.”
  12. “H-how long have you been standing there?” - “Long enough.”
  13. “You’re lying, you’re blushing.” - “Shut up, no I’m not!”
  14. “No, I’m not talking to you.”
  15. “No more!” - “Okay, fine, I won’t send you any more selfies.”
  16. “What do you have?” - “Pizza rolls and Cup O’ Noodles…that’s about it. Popcorn?”
  17. “The salad here is really good.” - “Do I look like a fucking rabbit?”
  18. “Open this.” - “Can you say please?”
  19. “I just came to say goodbye…” - “Bullshit, you just feel bad.”
  20. “You’re on level 176.” - “Can you judge me harder?”
  21. “Jinx, you owe me a coke.” - *can’t speak until they buy a soda*
  22. “Please don’t leave me.” - “I don’t want to go”
  23. “Babe, I’m sorry.” - “Suck my ass.”
  24. “Liar, liar, pants on fire!” - “Seriously, you’re worse than a kid.”
  25. “You can’t ride a bike?” - “Why are we whispering?”
  26. “Is it that time of the month?” - “You literally ask me that whenever I’m mad at you!”
  27. “We’re going downtown.” - “There’s a strip club downtown.”
  28. “You weren’t supposed to hear that.” - “Well, you shouldn’t be saying it then.”
  29. “It’s not mine, I swear.” - “How is it not fucking yours!”
  30. “Take it off.” - “Like a bandaid?”
  31. “I told you…” - “Yeah, yeah, yeah, quit nagging.”
  32. “Boo?” - “You’re my boo.”
  33. “Don’t you ever do that again! You scared the shit out of me!”
  34. “You broke what?!?” - “Don’t worry, I’m okay.”
  35. “Why’re you dressed like that?” - “Does that mean it looks good or should I change?”
  36. “Fine, just do what you have to do.” - “Can you stop being so freaking cute so I can concentrate?”
  37. “…then I picked up your coffee by mistake.” - “All I want is an apology.”
  38. “Well, this is awkward.” - “Don’t touch me.”
  39. “You can’t make me.” - “What are you? Five?”
  40. “You’re a blanket hog!” - “Leave me alone and stop being so selfish.”
  41. “It’s not fair that you’re hot and funny.” - “Look who’s talking…just kidding, your jokes suck.”
  42. “I hate you.” - “No, you don’t.”
  43. “Should I be worried?” - “Is the grass green?”
  44. “You’re kidding me?!” - “Shush, my mom never taught me.”
  45. “I’m your lock screen?!” - “You weren’t supposed to see that.”
  46. “Will you go with me?” - “As long as you hold my hand.”
  47. “Baby, I’m scared.” - “You don’t have to be; not as long as I’m here.”
  48. “Come inside, I’m sorry.” - “Not until you apologize.” - “I just said I’m freaking sorry.”
  49. “Your voice is sexy.” - “Your ass is sexy.”
  50. “If I asked, you’d say no.” - “You don’t know that.”
  51. “Seriously, the chimney?” - “The squirrel can’t win!”
  52. “32?” - “I’ll prove it!”
  53. “It’s just so little and adorable.” - “That’s what she said.”
  54. “You’re not mature enough to be a parent.” - “Try me.”
  55. “Take a chance.” - “Umm…let me think…no.”
  56. “Game’s over, you son of a bitch!!” - “Okay, just don’t hit me.”
  57. “You forgot about my birthday!” - “In my defense, I forget about a lot of things.”
  58. “You need more stamina.” - “No, I need more steak and eggs. So…get on it.”
  59. “Can you dance with me?” - “You’re not mad?”
  60. “I’ll smash it, I swear.” - “You smash it and we’re done.”
  61. “Move!” - “Why would I move if I’m so comfy where I am?”
  62. “I’m not going in.” - “Then we’re not going to get a treat after.”
  63. “I really would’ve liked it if you told me your parents were coming to town.” - “I really would’ve liked it if you put underwear on before coming into the kitchen.”
  64. “I found it in the recycling bin.” - “Well, you’re the one killing the environment, so who’s really in the wrong here?”
  65. “We bet, and you lost.” - “But tattoos are permanent.”
  66. “Can you quit being so sassy?” - “Can you quit being so controlling?”
  67. “Are you getting jealous?” - “You’re changing your outfit, now!”
  68. “What time is it there?” - “We’re in the same time-zone.”
  69. “Quit flirting.” - “I didn’t mean to-”
  70. “I just don’t know what happened.” - “You’re too good for them.”
  71. “You have a cute nose, don’t make me break it.”
  72. “Tell me what I can do to help.” - “Sing me to sleep.”
  73. “You still need your baby blanket?”
  74. “Did you black out?” - “I feel like I’m gonna puke.”
  75. “Let’s just bury the hatchet.” - “Fuck your hatchet.”
  76. “I bet it’s a boy.” - “I bet it’s a turtle.”
  77. “Spare change?” - “You can’t be responsible, you don’t get your wallet.”
  78. “Cuddle or leave.” - “So is that a no to supper?”
  79. “Are you high?” - “I’m just so fucking tired.”
  80. “Why did I marry you?” - “It took a lot of convincing.”
  81. “Who’s texting you?” - “Umm. nobody.”
  82. “You have two choices.” - “Neither of which I like…”
  83. “I want a dog.” - “I want a cat.”
  84. “Chinese food?” - “Do we even know what that’s made of?”
  85. “These sheets are stained.” - “That’s disgusting.”
  86. “You don’t know how to change a tire?” - “Give it a rest, would you?”
  87. “That’s my ex-boyfriend/girlfriend.” - “Well, kiss me so they see.”
  88. “We got lucky. You’re not gonna do that again, right?”
  89. “Hey, babe, look what I found.” - “GET THAT OUT OF THE HOUSE NOW!!!”
  90. “You’ve been replaced.” - “Alright, we’ll see how you feel when you need me to kill a spider in the shower.”
  91. “Are those slippers?” - “Is that you being mean? AGAIN?”
  92. “You forgot your book.” - “No, I lost my book!”
  93. “You’re weird.” - “Or you’re just basic.”
  94. “We need a vacation.” - “You read my mind too much, it scares me.”
  95. “Why’d you hug him? You love him?”
  96. “Sorry.” - “Good choice.”
  97. “Luck? Nope. Skills.” - “If it’s skill then do it again.”
  98. “Why can’t you just believe me?” - “Because you lied about it before.”
  99. “This bath is too damn hot.” - “This is why we can’t do cute things. You complain too much.”
  100. *Make up your own*

Visit @prompt-bank for more prompts!!

When your two kittens fall asleep on you

I don’t know why I keep drawing them like thisXD I guess athough I love them being punk and grumpy buddies I also enjoy the idea of the two of them being trusting and relaxed around each other. I’m honestly starting to feel bad for Otabek, how this guy manages to get anything done when there’s always at least one cat sleeping on him? Also guys do you have ideas how their mugs should look like? I made them simple because I like simple but give me some crazy ideas:D

And thank you so much for all the likes and rebloggs under my previous works. You guys keep me going and you are the best. Love you all!<3

PS. Also I should be called style fluid artist. You could be staring at two of my artworks and never guess they’re both mine;)

THE SIGNS AS DAN HOWELL QUOTES
  • Aries: “Sometimes, when you intensely dislike a person due to something, you just have to take comfort in the fact that, one day, they will be dead.”
  • Taurus: “It's so important to know you should be happy and proud of who you are.”
  • Gemini: "My only regrets are the moments when i doubted myself and took the safe route. Life is too short to waste time being unhappy."
  • Cancer: "I wonder how biology can explain the physical pain you feel in your chest when all you want to do is be with someone."
  • Leo: "You know, people ask me. They say 'Dan, three years later do you really want to be drawing cat whiskers on your face?' but they don't understand. The cat whiskers, they come from within."
  • Virgo: "I'm the living embodiment of 'it could be worse'."
  • Libra: "That’s why I’m here, I’m here for two reasons. To entertain you with stories of my life so , you know, you can find them entertaining. But then maybe compare them to your own lives and not feel so alone with the issues that you go with, go through..."
  • Scorpio: "And the other half of it is me kind of like articulating my own profound observations on the universe, which is really just an excuse to give myself a therapy. Apparently other people enjoy watching it too."
  • Sagittarius: "Actually believe in your potential. You spend all day and all night daydreaming and sometimes talking to yourself... out loud, which people can see by the way so maybe consider stopping that, about all the things you wish you could be and do, but instead you doubt yourself and say its impossible."
  • Capricorn: "This happens all the time with sports results, but — I shit you not — I once got a notification from the BBC News app saying that a character in a show I was watching had just died! I thought that news notifications are supposed to be for impending natural disasters, not for just ruining my bloody afternoon."
  • Aquarius: "You can't expect a kid to be smart enough to realize they can do what they want with their life before they've been pushed through the school system into having an average life.”
  • Pisces: "To me, the meaning of life is to be happy, it's to achieve happiness right now. It's to make sure you're happy in the future and that generally when you look back on your life you're like; yes, that was satisfactory."
2

Hi guys! 

So I wasn’t a huge fan of the collars in Cats & Dogs I like just plain stuff without too much action so I decided to make something simple. I present to you a simple gift. Simple Dog Collars. They are just plain collars with nothing on them. Both Large & Small collars are available in 12 swatches. I tried to pick a variety of colors nothing fancy just basic really. Hope you enjoy them! (Requires Cats & Dogs of course) 

**** Feel free to do recolors on my mesh, but please give credit, do not include the mesh & do not claim as your own! Tag me IG: nativemoonlight ****

Download Small Dog Collars ——> HERE

Download Large Dog Collars ——> HERE

DATING!KANG DANIEL

So dating this human marshmallow would include:

  • probably has a cheesy photo of you two as his lock screen from your first date 
  • and your name saved as something equally as cheesy like “my baby” or “beautiful”
  • his nicknames for you would include: “babe”, “baby”, “love” and his favorite one “kitten” 
  • would melt if you call him “oppa” 
  • insists that you dance with him even if you’re bad at it
  • making fun of his british accent, but he still does it because he loves seeing you smile 
  • loves hugging you and would cling to you like Seonho clings to Minhyun a koala when you two are alone 
  • holds your hand all the time, no matter when or where or who you’re with
  • like literally 
  • you would be sleeping and he still has his fingers interlocked with yours
  • complaining about how he spends more time with his cats than with you 
  • “but babeeee, the cats need my attention” 
  • “but i need it too” 
  • “aww come here and let’s all cuddle”
  • so you end up watching harry potter for the 10th time with him and his cats
  • falling asleep on the couch 
  • and waking up to daniel sleeptalking 
  • he would probably say the most random things like 
  • “hurry, hurry we need to go before they come” 
  • “who comes?” 
  • “they are gonna steal it, hurry hurry” 
  • “babe wake up, you’re dreaming”
  • “nooo, they stole my cereal Y/N !!”
  • and you always mock him for it “No ThEy StOlE mY cErEAl Y/N” 
  • and he shakes his head like “why am i even dating you” 
  • but he loves you so much he would do anything for you 
  • your mom adores him, she thought he was perfect the moment you first took him home
  • always asks you about him on the phone
  • “how’s daniel doing? you didn’t upset the poor boy, right ?” 
  • “what if he upsets me mom ?!” 
  • “nonsense, how could that boy do anything bad” 
  • “HELLO MOTHER-IN-LAW !!” *daniel screaming in the back* 
  • playing video games and him accusing you of cheating when he loses, but you’re just that good
  • “you lost, you’re doing the dishes for a week”
  • “i call for a re-match!” 
  • and he loses again and now he has to do the dishes for two weeks
  • fighting with sungwoo over daniel almost every day
  • “he is mine !”
  • “but he is my boyfriend!” 
  • “please… there is enough kang daniel for everybody” 
  • “shut up Kang, this is not about you” 
  • and Daniel has to bring Jisung over to calm you and Sungwoo for the 5th time that week
  • you would have super chill dates with sungwoo included, like picnics in the park or going to cute little coffee shops or festivals in the summer and ice-skating in the winter 
  • grocery shopping is hectic and you’re always fighting over what to buy
  • cause Daniel wants more stuff for his cats
  • but you need new make-up
  •  so Jisung is always there shoving the shopping list in your faces 
  • midnight runs to the store cause you’re hungry and he is sweet by offering to go
  • but calls you after 5 minutes cause 
  • “baby i just found the cutest cat outside your apartment”
  • “DANIEL NO” 
  • “but it’s so adorable, come see it” 
  • so you go and see a small fluff ball being hugged by a big fluff ball, but you still don’t agree cause he has 4 other cats to take care of
  • “pleaseeeee?” 
  • “noooo”
  • “but…” 
  • “no”
  • “pleaseeeeee”
  • “UGH FINE BUT WE’RE NOT GIVING HIM A BOY NAME AGAIN !”
  • and so you adopt another child and you can already hear daniel giving him weird names
  • “I SAID NO BOY NAMES, DANIEL !”
  • *CUE HANDS ON ME AND BRING HOLY WATER*
  • well now this boy right here
  • would love it if you wear lingerie, especially in cute colors like pink or white and probably kitten collars with thigh high stockings 
  • i feel like he would be into pet-play and would let you call him daddy if he knew you liked it 
  • he really knows what he’s doing in bed + high stamina from being a dancer = sore mornings for you
  • you didn’t even need to tell him what you like and he already knew all of your soft spots and how to make you tremble under his touch 
  • likes holding your hands above your head as he kisses your neck and your collarbone 
  • lots of biting like you’re lips, neck, chest, thighs literally anywhere
  • HICKEYS 
  • teasing, i think he would enjoy teasing you, like kissing you slowly and taking his time kissing you and caressing your skin
  • “Daniel hurry up”
  • “Patience, kitten”
  • really good at giving, knows how to make good use of that tongue
  • always keeps his hands on your hips as he kisses the inside to your thighs and your core 
  • would let you ride his face 
  • likes looking at you as he pleasures you so he would want to do it in front of mirrors 
  • usually really sweet and loving; holds your hands even then and probably maintains eye contact and gives you assuring smiles 
  • “you’re so beautiful baby”
  • can turn rough and super dominant at times 
  • like if you’re teasing him on purpose while you’re out with his friends then good luck when you get home 
  • he would have you face down as he’s thrusting into you from behind
  • likes slapping your ass and pulling your hair as he whispers “I love you” into your ear 
  • you’re gripping the sheets trying not wake your neighbours 
  • but he wants to hear you scream his name so he goes even harder 
  • and you can’t hold it in anymore so you just let it go and yell his name 
  • “that’s right, kitten. tell everyone who you belong to.” 
  • would be a mess when receiving 
  • lots of heavy breathing and grunts 
  • with soft, inaudible moans 
  • but you enjoy teasing him too so you just kiss his erection through his boxers while massaging it 
  • so he starts complaining and begging until you finally take him in your mouth 
  • and then he turns silent and is biting his lips while grabbing the sheets 
  • “baby… i… i’m close” 
  • never fails to say “I love you” after he finished

good afternoon everyone, this is your daily reminder that you should do your research before adopting any kind of pet INCLUDING fish, small animals, and birds, and that if you feel you cannot afford or accomodate a proper enclosure for the pet, you should not get said pet

hello everyb. it me, doctor elly, cat doctor ph.d (Ph.luffy Doctor).

so many people sufferin so much lately. in world, and also on small human scale. human roommnt Rave Sahnsyed and me hear from especial many of yu in this week. some of u lost somebyyd or somthin important, or anticipting loss. som of u feel so lonely n isolated. some of u have get in truble for mistake & torn between fel guilty bad (for mistake) & resent (for unfair reaction). other ppl feel guilt for have problem in face of global scary tension. some of u just very scared for no reason, or all reason.

im dont mean 2 minimize all individ problem by combinin response this way. but i am nonly one small cat & carnt even read. so, its hard 2 answer all of this. especial hard for me 2 answer questions no one can answer, like, what happen if we cannot stop unraveling of global systm? jeez, i donnt no. im domb as hell.i mean yestrday i got trap again between glass tabletop n table.

so look, i say this only. i make recomend:take some time 2 NOT BE ON INTERNET. i know this sim like denial – STOP ABSORBING INFORMATION! – but internet IN PARTICULAR is machine for collapsing of experience. is no way 2 make emotional distinction betwen things Happenin to U and things Happenin to World that matter and things Happnin to U And World that dont matter, on itnernet. its all comes at u all time and it only make so tired.

so this is why im ask  u to unplug for couple hours or days if u can. ok? try maybe only tomor saturday. read book from paper, newspaper from paper. go outdise if u can, see how flowers comin in on trees. perhaps go to tax march tomor if u feel like u must engage with World. listen to new kendrick album!! (doctor lely luv kendric.) enjoy sensual, concrete pleasure and pains. try 2 spend time living consciously in those sensations, good n bad. 

adapt this recomnednatin to yur personal situat and limits. i cant atully go outside bc will die of panic attack if bird or squril gets 2 close. so im just stick my butt out window in the sun. this give me perspectiv and warm.

will this solv world problem? of course not. but mayb will give u strength & distance from feeling of crushing overwhelm, deep breath from which yu can re-enter heartbreaking lovely pointless important garbage endeavor of being alive. im tellin yu, those flower are gud.

shadowhunters 2x08: reactions

alec: how do you feel about throwing a party?

magnus: have you met me?

alec: well it is for max’s rune ceremony

magnus:

Originally posted by desingyouruniverse

-

simon: i’m in love with you clary

clary:

Originally posted by yourreactiongifs

-

magnus: he told you

jace: he didn’t have to, we’re parabatai

magnus:

Originally posted by n-wordbelike

-

raphael: i can’t

izzy: *cuts herself so raphael will give her some of that sweet vampire venom*

me:

Originally posted by yourreactiongifs

-

magnus: *reveals cat eyes*

max:

Originally posted by timcurryfanatic

alec:

Originally posted by realitytvgifs

-

max: mom says you’re not even a part of this family!

magnus:

Originally posted by impartially-gay

-

alec: *falls off the roof*

me:

Originally posted by yourbasicaesthetics

-

magnus: *fighting iris*

me:

Originally posted by yourreactiongifs

2

Because Lotta’s pictures got over 1000 notes (nearly had a heart-attack) and it seems you like her, I will give her to you. I’m so proud of my little baby!! *cries*

Thank you for everything, it means a lot to me. I couldn’t believe what’s going on. I thought it was a tumblr bug that I get so many notes and followers, lmao.

There’s no specific T.O.U. - just be good to her :)!

Download: SimFileShare (no ads)

______________________________________________________________

If anything’s not working right with the file, feel free to send me a message.

ʕっ•ᴥ•ʔっ

How i see the mars signs

Aries Mars:  HELLA ANGRY OMG. they talk with such anger and hostility and like can be so so so so brutal and mean and physically violent sometimes. 

Taurus Mars: Stubborn like if there pissed at you they probably won’t change what there stance is until to you until you apologize and maybe will still be pissed at you.

Gemini Mars: okay like every gemini placement THEY ARE ALL OVER THIS PLACE WITH THERE ANGER like “OMG IM SO MAD, wait cats are cool, no wait what i mad about again” 

Cancer Mars: “I GIVE I GIVE AND NO ONE LOVES OR APPRECIATES ME!!11!” a really angry crier like they probably are sobbing because they are pissed at you.

Leo Mars: Probably really in control with there anger tbh?? idk i feel like there are a tons of ways to piss leo mars off but i feel they try to keep in control of there anger.

Virgo mars: Emotions??? VIRGO???? *insert laughing here* I mean i think they are super critical and cant see there own faults but like come on, its virgo…

Libra Mars: probably really like peace actually, fightings just not for them. probably a little lazy and finds issues with motivation.

Scorpio mars: The god of murder. little tip DONT FUCK WITH THEM. they will probably wish ill on you for the rest of there life if there pissed. (pleasedon’thurtme)

 Sagittarius Mars: they’re like super carefree most of the time but if they are pissed at you they probably have a good reason. 

Capricorn Mars: Blunt, brutal and probably have no mercy when angry. probably dig deep for wounds. 

Aquarius Mars: I don’t think they’re capable of getting too angry. like honestly really cool and chill and just want to relax and sleep.

Pisces Mars: really really passive aggressive when hurt. pls don’t hurt them. they mean well. 

(I wasn’t being serious just heads up)

her name is leo and she’s a witch

A rare snake-related post by me-

I have had Vision, a dwarf BCI and my youngest snake, for roughly 9 months now. He will be a year old in July, so by snake standards he is still very much a baby. In the past 9 months, he’s gone from, for lack of better words, a bitey defensive asshole to a relatively passive and trusting creature who simply has Rules ™ on how, where, and when he can be touched. I used the same method to produce these results as I do with all of my reptiles, including my young snake of a notoriously aggressive and defensive species (Amazon Tree Boas) and have frequently been asked how I manage to get these animals that instinctively bite first and ask questions never to allow handling and pictures without drawing blood.

On my dog blog I’ve mentioned the concept of body autonomy a few times in relation to training dogs, and how it crosses over into husbandry in other species. In these posts I’ve detailed how I tame the larger birds at my job, how I teach my snakes not to bite me when I take them out, how I can successfully convince a thrashing dog to accept grooming without a fuss, how I teach cats to not turn into screaming demons for nail trims, and more. I also cover this in many of my dog training lectures at work as my students teach their dogs to allow grooming, nail trims, and medically related handling to prevent injuries and incidents when interacting with these animals. All of this relates back to body autonomy, and how we as humans have consistently ignored other species’ instinctive need to be autonomous.

I am no master animal trainer and do not play one on TV. I train pet dogs and service dogs and have begun to venture into competition, at one point I specialized in rehabbing aggressive and reactive dogs. I have trained various common pet animals in occasionally unconventional ways to do things that make life easier for the both of us, but I don’t claim to be anything special, because what I’m doing is not all that special. It is, however, uncommon for people to make these considerations with their pets and then they call in someone like me to fix a problem that didn’t need to start in the first place.

An example being: frequently on this website and others, the solution for convincing a biting snake not to bite you is to hold it still until it stops biting you. The snake will learn that biting you does not produce the desired result (you letting the snake go or putting it back in its cage) and thus will eventually stop biting you when you pick it up.

In the dog training world, we call this flooding and learned helplessness. It “works” because it produces what we wanted it to. The snake no longer bites when you pick it up. But it failed to address the root of the problem, and frequently if regular handling is not maintained the snake will return to biting you every time you touch it. The snake had learned that there was nothing it could do in order to make you stop doing what it didn’t like, and so had learned that it was helpless against the much larger human. The snake in this situation still doesn’t really want to be handled, it is merely tolerating it because it sees no other option.

While snakes have a much more primitive brain than dogs and thus a much more limited scope of emotions, aggression and violence are always expensive measures to use and thus are frequently considered last resort measures to make an unpleasant situation stop. They are costly in body resources- they take large amounts of energy, stress, and time to resolve, and wounds obtained from violence can become deadly with infection or severity. As a result, a bite should always indicate that whatever you are doing is so unpleasant to the animal you’re doing it to that they’re willing to risk their life in order to make you stop. The common pet snake knows it cannot win against an animal as large as a human. It is hoping you have not come to the same realization, and will not call its bluff.

This creates a problem. Like with dogs, backing off from a situation that is required after a bite will teach the snake that all they have to do to get you to leave them alone is to bite you. If I need to trim my dog’s nails, give him a bath, brush him, or have him examined by a vet, sure I could put him in a muzzle and force him to do it anyway, but it is counter-intuitive to teach him that all he has to do is bite me in order to get out of doing those things he may consider unpleasant. I need to be able to handle my snakes. This is not negotiable, just like the above things I do with my dogs are not negotiable. If I cannot handle them, I cannot check them for injury, disease, or distress. Backing off because my snake, or dog, has threatened to bite me is thus not a viable option. I must be able to complete the task, and the animal in question must let me.

Dogs, by comparison, are relatively easy to convince in this problem. I need to be able to do my dog’s nails. If I give him amazing treats on a good reward schedule, shower him with praise, listen to his body language to give him a chance to calm down and destress before pressing on, and remove my own negative emotions from the equation, he will learn to let me do his nails and even offer the position required for the task within a relatively short amount of time. He does not have to like having his nails done, but I can convince him to like he benefits he gets out of it. Cats and birds and small mammal pets like ferrets, rabbits, and rodents may be slower, but follow much the same way.

I can’t give a snake a treat. That’s not really how snake digestive systems work. I can’t give them a toy. I can’t give them praise. The subtleties of snake body language are much harder to read due to a lack of eyelids, ears, and limbs. Dogs, cats, birds, ferrets, all of these are social creatures that practice social bonding and feel an emotion similar to love (in the dog’s case, actually do feel love). Snakes are not social creatures and their brain is not capable of producing the chemicals involved in the emotion we call love. I cannot convince a snake to love me or to like being handled. That is not something their biology is able to do. Does that mean I have to rely on flooding and learned helplessness in order to get them to let me handle them?

I keep stressy species. While all reptiles are more than capable of stressing themselves to death, my current list of exotic pets includes a special needs ball python with a severe neurological condition, a brazilian rainbow boa specifically purchased from someone who breeds minimally stressy snakes because he got tired of the species’ reputation for being bitey assholes, and a dwarf bci locality (read: like a subspecies, but not different enough to get their own scientific name) known for being defensive bitey assholes. Previously, I had a special needs corn snake that was a defensive bitey asshole, an amazon tree boa that was remarkably handleable despite the species’ reputation for being aggressive and defensive bitey angry assholes, and a few foster ball pythons that came from neglect situations and had never been handled before leading to them being defensive bitey assholes. Stress is common in situations where aggression or violence is utilized, even if it is being utilized by the animal and not the human. If the stress from moving can kill my beloved ATB Hydra, why would I intentionally expose him to situations where he would feel required to use violence again and again until he learned that that was not a way out of the situation?

I did not flood my snakes. I hold them. They do not bite me. It has been a long time since any of them have even struck at me, and the majority of the bites and strikes I have received have been from when I was learning the snake in front of me or from me intentionally ignoring their body language and handling them a way I knew they didn’t like for whatever reason. Snakes do not bite without cause. Whether you, a human, can see that cause or not, snakes do not bite because they are vindictive or mean. As said, their brains are far too primitive to feel such complex emotions. Even wild snakes do not bite without provocation- whether you intentionally provoked them or not does not matter, simply whether they felt provoked enough to need to defend themselves possibly with their lives.

Vision came to me unsure of my intentions and of whether I could be considered safe. He certainly didn’t believe I should be picking him up. At two months old, the world is a scary place to a baby snake where nearly everything is bigger than you and nearly everything wants to kill or eat you. I do not blame him for doubting the warm giant cooing over him with grabby hands. To him, I’m sure I am some baffling mixture of hawk, bear, and wild canine. All of these things readily kill and eat snakes, all of these things may be persuaded to not kill and eat this particular snake if he bites them.

Instead of picking him up and allowing him to spend precious resources stressing himself to the point of repeatedly biting me- which hurts, by the way, so I don’t really want to be bitten any more than I need to be- I allowed him to show me things about him. I let him show me what he does when he’s nervous, when he doesn’t want to be bothered. I let him show me what he does when he’s curious and feels like investigating what’s in front of him. I let him show me how he does and does not like to be touched. Like many snakes, he seems to enjoy being scratched lightly under the chin. Like many snakes, he doesn’t seem to appreciate being tickled on the stomach. He prefers to create a “foot” about 2/3 down his body and use it as an anchored perch when exploring my hands. He does not want his tail to be touched. When he is nervous or unsure of potential danger, he will retract and coil himself into a loose ball. If pressed before he recovers, he will “expand” the “ball” quickly and vocalize. If he continues to be pressured, he will threaten to bite and will begin to try. If he is allowed to relax, he will recreate his “foot” and resume quietly investigating his surroundings.

Today, I took the lid off of his enclosure and lifted him out without a fuss. While this is not a first- we accomplished this task about 4 weeks in- only in the past few weeks has he not immediately retracted into his loose ball and required me to wait a few minutes for him to relax before touching him. Instead, he immediately made his “foot” and began to investigate, leaned against my finger as I scratched his chin, and maintained his confidence throughout the time I handled him. Sure, I could possibly get a similar result through the first method of flooding and teaching him that he is helpless against me, but I don’t need to. I can get a confident content snake that is not only tolerating my handling but also showing curiosity and intelligence without forcing him to accept my hands as things he has to deal with in his life.

The people espousing these methods always ask me how I managed to take such nice, interesting pictures of Hydra without bleeding- or joke about how much blood they think I lost inbetween shots- and are always surprised when I tell them that I don’t get bit because I understand a snake’s need for autonomy and allow the snake to tell me their “rules” for being touched and then follow those rules or understand if I break them I will get bit. As a result, I don’t break their rules unless I have to, and thus I don’t get bit unless I have to. This allows me to handle and investigate my snakes, look in their mouths, check their vents and between their scales, touch their heads, and rescue them from fluke accidents such as Quetzal’s injury with his decor without the snake taking their frustrations out on me. It also allows me to take some pretty pictures of them outside or on props without worrying how I will retrieve them without being bitten when I’m done.