TIME viral

Competitive Eater Kobayashi Faces Off Against a Hungry Hungry Hamster

Tiny hamster, giant appetite

The Internet’s latest darling is a hungry, hungry hamster. First the hamster took on tiny burritos, then tiny pizza slices and then tiny breakfasts in a tiny mansion. Now the fluffy little rodent has turned its beady little eyes on a larger target — professional eater Takeru Kobayashi.

Kobayashi made a name for himself on the competitive eating circuit, taking down all comers at the annual Coney Island hot dog eating contest. He is capable of eating 69 hot dogs in 10 minutes, but can he compete with a tiny hamster with giant mouth pouches who can tackle tiny fake hot dogs made out of hamster food in only a few dozen mouthfuls?

The only way to find out is it watch the latest installment of HelloDenzien’s adorable videos, but get on the edge of your seat now and brace yourself for a drama-filled face-off between the two eaters.


TIME viral

This Owl Knows How to Make a Seriously Dramatic Entrance

"When I walk in the spot, this is what I see / Everybody stops and they staring at me"

Some owls like to hang out with their feline best friends, but this owl (whose name is Kuu) is the kind of owl who prefers to show up at the party solo. Watch here as it makes a big, grand, dramatic entrance in a video that’s equal parts mesmerizing and creepy. Pay special attention to its frantic eye movements.

As far as terrifying owl videos go, though, this is nothing compared to the owl who had to be escorted out of a house on a Swiffer:


TIME viral

This Owl and Cat Have a Beautiful Friendship

This video is a hoot.

Know that old bedtime story about the owl and the pussycat who sailed away in a beautiful pea green boat? This video is like a prequel to that song.

The camera captures an owl and a cat just chilling with each other like two good friends with nothing to do on a Tuesday night. According to The Telegraph, Cleo the owl and Forbi the cat struck up a friendship when they were young and impressionable and didn’t think it was weird to be friends with an animal that is normally your mortal enemy. They kindled their relationship thanks to sharing a home and an owner, Andre Costa, a Brazilian biologist, and now the two critters have become inseparable inter-species BFF. Since he posted the original video of this moment on Facebook on September 7, it has been shared more than 124,000 times.

It’s a beautiful display of an unlikely friendship that we could watch all day, while waiting for them to sail away under the light of the moon.

TIME animals

Goldfish Undergoes Surgery for Removal of Deadly Tumor

Nicole Dorling

The rare surgery saved his life

When George’s owners noticed that he’d become very sick, they rushed their beloved pet to the vet for a check-up. That’s when George was diagnosed with a life-threatening tumor, and was recommended by the vet to undergo a unique surgery.

Except George is goldfish. And not just any goldfish: one that’s already 10-years old. While most owners would’ve said their goodbyes and flushed George down the toilet, his owners shelled out $200 for a vet at the Lort Smith Animal Hospital in Melbourne, Australia, to perform the rare surgery, according to the New York Post.

Very little of the hospital’s surgical practice is fish-specific, Dr. Tristan Rich, an exotic wildlife specialist who performed George’s surgery, told Daily Mail. George was first placed in a bucket of water that contained an anesthetic, according to the hospital’s Facebook. While excising the tumor, which had grown into his skull, Dr. Rich fed a tube containing water, oxygen and anesthetic into George’s gills, so that the goldfish would remain unconscious and alive.

At the end of the operation, Dr. Rich ran into a bit of trouble. The sutures didn’t hold, so instead he used tissue glue—something that’s normally used in human operations. Finally, Dr. Rich gave George antibiotics and painkillers, and placed him in a recovery bucket of clean water. Soon after the 45 minute operation, George started swimming and breathing on his own.

“For the owners, it’s not about having a fish, it’s about having this fish,” Dr. Rich told Daily Mail. “If you have a pet, regardless of what it is, then you have a responsibility to look after it as best you can.”


TIME animals

Watch an Adorable Bear Cub Dance on a Golf Course

UnBEARably cute

Some golfers in Canada were in for a treat this week when a baby bear wandered onto their course and began playing with the flag. The curious cub spends a few minutes dancing with the flagpole, tottering around on its hind legs and spinning in circles. Then it walks off, picking up a golf ball to snack on along the way. Happy Friday.

(h/t Golf.com)

WATCH: Here Is a Bear Casually Strolling Around New Jersey

WATCH: Bear Steals Entire Dumpster from Colorado Restaurant

TIME Appreciation

Hero Starts a Petition to Get His Cat Into the High School Yearbook

Seems like a totally reasonable and attainable dream

Draven Rodriguez is just a normal high school kid in upstate New York hoping to make his dreams come true. In this case, those dreams involve getting the administration at Schenectady High School to agree to use the following photo as his senior portrait:

Vincent Giordano / Trinacria Photography

The school has said the photo can be included in the yearbook somewhere, but not as Rodriguez’s official senior portrait, a local CBS affiliate reports. So Rodriguez has started a petition as a “pre-emptive strike.” He hopes to gain enough backers so that the school simply can’t deny this request.

His goal was to reach 500 signatures by Sept. 15, and by the morning of Sep. 11, he’d already hit 721.

TIME animals

The Lassie Effect: Study Finds Dog Movies Make Breeds More Popular

Lassie Dog Breeds
Neilson Barnard—Getty Images Dog whisperer Cesar Millan and Lassie at the taping of the 100th episode of National Geographic Channel's "Dog Whisperer" at Pickwick Gardens in Burbank, Calif. on March 30, 2008.

Hollywood stardom can give specific breeds a boost lasting up to 10 years, new research finds

Well-received dog movies can influence the popularity of the specifically featured breed for up to a decade — even if the dogs are cartoons, according to a new study.

Collies saw a 40% bump in registrations through the American Kennel Club after the 1943 release of Lassie, according to research published in Plos One Wednesday, though researchers conceded that may have been assisted by its many sequels. But the study also found that registrations of Old English Sheepdogs went up 100-fold after Disney’s 1959 release of The Shaggy Dog, and 101 Dalmations even had a significant impact on the breed after its 1985 premiere.

Researchers from the University of Bristol, Western Carolina University, and the City University of New York analyzed 87 dog movies in total, comparing them with data from the American Kennel Club, which has registered more than 65 million dogs. They found that early movies had a greater impact than more current ones, which now — alongside internet corgi/frenchie/pug listicles proliferate the market.

And this wasn’t necessarily because the dogs had other laudable traits apart from their fame. “On the whole, breeds with more desirable behaviours, greater longevity, and fewer inherited genetic disorders did not become more popular than other breeds,” said co-author Hal Herzog. “In short, cultural shifts in types of pets largely reflect ephemeral changes in fashion rather than selection for functional traits.”

But hey, at least that’s better movies turning teens into smokers.

TIME animals

Cleo the Cat Escapes a 17-Story Fall Unscathed

“She’s only got a couple left,” the owner said when asked how many of the feline's nine lives were used up

A cat fell from her owner’s 17th-floor condominium in New Westminster, Canada, on Sunday night — and survived.

Joel Isfeld panicked when he realized his Savannah cat, Cleo, had snuck onto his balcony and leaped off the edge, local TV channel CBC News reported. “I didn’t know if she was O.K. … if she was injured. I was in tears,” Isfeld said.

Since Cleo wasn’t on the ground beneath his balcony, Isfeld went floor by floor through his building looking for her. He posted his concerns on Facebook the next day and got an overwhelming response, with several people offering help and support.

He finally found his beloved pet at 11 p.m. on Monday — a bit shaken up but otherwise alright — after he heard she was seen on the terrace of an adjacent building.

“She’s only got a couple left. She is a pretty cool cat,” Isfeld said in response to the inevitable question about how many of her nine lives Cleo had used up.

[CBC News]

TIME animals

10 Puppies That Look Even More Adorable Underwater

The book Underwater Puppies came out Sept. 16, 2014

Underwater Puppies is lifestyle pet photographer Seth Casteel’s sequel to his 2012 New York Times best-selling book Underwater Dogs. Casteel got started in photography in 2007 when he volunteered to take better photos of shelter dogs and cats to help them get adopted, with many of the puppies in his current book being rescue dogs as well.

Underwater Puppies comes out on September 16.

(h/t NPR)

PHOTOS: These Awesome Photos of People Emerging From a Water Slide Really Capture The Essence of Summer

TIME viral

Just a Toddler and a Basset Hound Having a Spirited Outdoor Dance Party

Special shout-out to the toddler for pulling off pink Crocs

Actress Amy Bruni, known for her role as an investigator on Syfy’s Ghost Hunters, has been kind enough to share a cute video of her daughter, Charlotte, romping around with her best canine pal.

The pooch’s name is Zoe and she’s a rescue Basset Hound. She’s also — as you can clearly see — a pretty phenomenal dancer.

MORE: Little Dog in Giant Spider Costume Freaks People Out in the Perfect Prank

MORE: Genius Dog Learns to Walk Upright After Breaking Her Front Legs

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