Sheer genius: Putin and Kim Jong-un scratching posts

It’s been a long day, and I’m already beat and emotionally drained from dealing with my ducks. The single female offspring has been demonized by her mother, who swims and feeds with the three male offspring, so that she viciously drives away her little girl when I’m trying to feed them all.

To ensure that the young female gets fed, then, I have to somehow herd her to a remote section of the pond where the Gang of Four can’t see her, and then run back and forth alternately feeding the female and then the Four. (If the Gang sees me feeding her, they’ll get out of the water, follow me, and mom will drive the daughter away.)

My hypothesis is that female mallards are territorial, and mom doesn’t want another female around–even her own daughter. (The male offspring don’t seem to mind their sister very much.)

What was a great pleasure has become a trauma, and when the ostracized female quacks at me from a remote corner of the pond, that mournful sound breaks my heart. (There’s nothing sadder than a lone and distant quack of hunger.) I can only hope that they all fly away soon so that the bullying will end. The “babies” are quite large now, and I expect they’re either able to fly or will soon be.

So it goes when you try to circumvent natural selection.

Well, on to something more congenial. Here is a great idea, and I’d recommend this scratching post for all progressive cat owners (where’s the Trump scratching post?), but, according to Bored Panda, they’re pricey because, well, art:

It took the brilliant masterminds at pro-Internet anonymity VPN service provider 200 hours to create this ‘one-of-a-kind protest product and the ultimate feline satirical statement.’ Each scratching post stands at a cat-accessible height of 1.5ft and will set you back by “just” US$7245 (£4,500). Proceeds go to the Index on Censorship in its efforts to promote and defend the right to freedom of expression.

Wait! I found a Trump scratching post!:

Sadly, my search for a Jesus scratching post has come up empty. It would be a trip to see your cat scratching the Savior.


  1. Ken Kukec
    Posted July 17, 2017 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

    Wow, Dr. Freud would have a field day with the mother-daughter psycho-sexual dynamic of your ducks (while you’re traipsing around like Dr. Lorenz).

  2. Posted July 17, 2017 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

    I taped a photo of the Orange Prez to a tray under the front of my cat’s litter box (my kitty is very….um….energetic when he covers his deposits and despite it being a covered box, litter has a tendency to come out the front. So the box sits in a large catch tray). Poor kitty was scared to use his box at first. But then (I like to think) he got the joke and now he flings even more litter out of the box onto the photo at the entrance. Once he even rolfed up a hairball onto it. I was so proud.

  3. Simon Hayward
    Posted July 17, 2017 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

    Come breeding season she’ll have gang rape to deal with, the mating habits of mallards would certainly not fit them for political correctness, although perhaps it’s OK since it’s “cultural”

    • rickflick
      Posted July 17, 2017 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

      Richard Prum in “The Evolution of Beauty”, describes duck mating as involving the males raping females to increase chances of sending their genes into the next generation, while the females counter this by attempting to deny the success of forced conjugation. Females have evolved multiple, curving vaginas to block the drake’s corkscrew penis. The driving force here is female mate choice which the ducks protect jealously. The battle of the sexes has never been more antic.

    • Posted July 17, 2017 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

      Ducks are very cute but they live brutal lives. Mother ducks of some species are known to murder one or two their brood when food resources are low. They usually simply drown the ducklings but one video I saw was of a mother duck bludgeoning a duckling to death by pummeling it with her beak.

  4. Randy schenck
    Posted July 17, 2017 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

    Sorry to hear about the Duck problems. You never know the things you get into when attempting to do good stuff. Definitely not a latch-key mom.

    For that kind of money I should be able to have my cat scratch or bite the real thing. By the way, have you heard the latest on the Russia-gate show. Trump says, if his sonny boy was in error meeting with the Russians, why did the secret service not stop them meeting with him. This is from a Trump lawyer and genius. First – the secret service does not vet people for illegal meeting. Second, the secret service had not yet provided coverage at the time of this meeting.

    • Veroxitatis
      Posted July 17, 2017 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

      Speaking of Trump lawyers, every man and his dog in that Administration seems to be hiring lawyers. Some $700,000 has already been diverted from Trump ‘s re-election campaign to pay legal fees. At least ten officials and former aides have hired lawyers and Trump ‘s own lawyer (Cohen) has hired his own lawyer.
      Why do these shenanigans never happen in Britain? British lawyers are missing a trick.

      • Randall Schenck
        Posted July 17, 2017 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

        Yes, that is why I told Ken that Trump must be a lawyer’s best friend, lots of lawyers. He mentioned Trump was not particularly good about paying his attorney fees but then, that just creates more lawyers!

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted July 18, 2017 at 7:34 am | Permalink

        #MAGA — Make Attorneys Get Attorneys

  5. David Duncan
    Posted July 17, 2017 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

    Perhaps you could get an acomplice to feed the female duckling while you feed the others elsewhere.

    • rickflick
      Posted July 17, 2017 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

      I’d volunteer, but I have 4 snakes to feed, and they ain’t any easier. 😎

  6. Jeff Rankin
    Posted July 17, 2017 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

    I’m positive one of those things would come to life at night and kill me.

  7. Posted July 17, 2017 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

    So the mother see’s the daughter as a future mating and resourse threat unlike Kim, pu and don who see everyone as a threat..
    One of these species should know better.

  8. Merilee
    Posted July 17, 2017 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

    The Donald scratching post is much more handsome/less ugly than the real thing. Wonder if they make a Deepak one?

    • rickflick
      Posted July 17, 2017 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

      With a little wood, rope, a paper plate and some colored markers, you could come up with one on your own for Chopra. Don’t forget the sequined glasses.

      • Merilee
        Posted July 17, 2017 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

        Lol). Glad you reminded me of those gawd-awful glasses🤓

      • Posted July 17, 2017 at 8:50 pm | Permalink

        Nice idea, but way to short to be of much use to full size cats that like to stretch out. Should be at least 3-4′ tall and preferably be weighted down.

        • rickflick
          Posted July 17, 2017 at 9:31 pm | Permalink

          OK, let’s throw in a brick then…

  9. Blue
    Posted July 17, 2017 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

    Oooo, thank YOU, Dr Coyne, for the lesson on
    natural selection. cuz that, for certain now,
    must explain my very own … … Mother Duck.
    Lordy, she had had three of us females and
    could have liked at least one of us, we were
    that different from one another that, one would’ve thought, she could at least have tried to like at least one of Us Girls. The male
    kiddo, o’course, why he could do no wrong. And wrong was .all. that we three daughters .could.
    do she (hourly) informed Us Three. Competition
    she was having so NONE of !

    As for a jebus – like scratching post, one
    (in)appropriately handmade … to order … by
    Ms Angela of Angela’s Angels Etsy store of here at comes mighty close.

    For only 100 smacks o’dosh, too ! And any
    moggie ‘d so appreciate it if a figurine like
    this one from Etsy’s Sexy
    Trash (another ever more ‘appropriate’ seller
    site) was simply attached to the post. Not ?


  10. amyt
    Posted July 17, 2017 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

    If I had a d*g I would buy a fire hydrant with a Tr*mp head for it to piss on. Actually, i’d buy it anyway and I would,,,

  11. Matthew North
    Posted July 17, 2017 at 8:25 pm | Permalink

    The Kim Jong Un one should be WAY fatter.

  12. The Rose
    Posted July 17, 2017 at 8:52 pm | Permalink

    “a trip”….ha!

  13. Posted July 17, 2017 at 9:39 pm | Permalink

    I still think cultivating duckweed (and even water hyacinths) in that pond is worth a try. With the sunny, hot summer, duckweed would multiply very quickly and provide a ready food source for your brood.

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted July 19, 2017 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

      Oh yeah, duck weed will multiply like crazy. I’ve had it in fish tanks years ago.

      • Posted July 21, 2017 at 8:55 pm | Permalink

        Yeah, and it’ll be everywhere on the pond, so the little female will likely have something to eat.

  14. Phil Rounds
    Posted July 18, 2017 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

    I think they’d look better at the bottom of a litter tray.

  15. Diana MacPherson
    Posted July 19, 2017 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

    I have a sad joke about that same behaviour played out at work but it’s too sad to make.

    I think the Putin cat-scratching post looks more like a random TV news anchor. They need to work on the weird cheek implants.

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