Cat Survives For A Week In Home Destroyed By Santa Barbara Mudslide

Earlier in the month, landslides devastated the community of Montecito, California, leaving at least 20 people dead and several still missing. More than a hundred buildings were also destroyed or damaged, as roads became rivers of boulders. 

Experts pinned the blame on mountains rising and becoming unstable because of the region’s active faults. It’s believed that these were made even more unstable because recent wildfires had scorched much of the surrounding area’s vegetation, allowing much more rain into the soil

Lindsey and Woody Thompson were among those affected by the disaster, losing their home in the space of a few minutes. The couple were so afraid, they left goodbye messages for each other in case one of them did not make it. 

They were luck enough to survive, and were airlifted to safety after rescue teams were unable to get to their home by land. But in all the chaos, they lost their beloved cat Koshka. 

Despite getting separated, the couple were certain that Koshka was still alive. “We knew that she was alive and we knew that she was smart and she would find a safe spot,” Woody said

They reached out to Santa Barbara County Animal Services (SBCAS), who were helping track down lost animals and providing shelter to the animals of families who needed it. 

SBCAS sent a team to the house to see if they could find any signs of the cat. 

“Our teams went to the property as soon as we were able but we were not able to access the property safely,” they wrote in a statement.  

Because a local fire team was on the scene, they were able to get close enough to spot some positive signs but were also unable to enter the property. 

“We consulted with a nearby fire team who was unable to see Koshka but could see her muddy paw prints which gave us hope.”

The team returned daily from January 9th to the 15th, when officers Pennon and Lauren of the ASPCA felt it was safe to access the house through a window. There, they found Koshka caked in mud, but in good health and excited to see some human faces for the first time in more than a week. 

SBCAS recorded the tearful moment the family was reunited. 

“They called her the ‘pawprint kitty’ and she lived, and I just can’t thank you enough. We needed this. Thank you. You’re our heroes,” Lindsey says during the video. 

“Those small victories are so important. there’s so much devastation here and being able to reunite that cat with her family was special for me, was special for our department,” Officer Pennon told KEYT

As you can imagine, social media was touched by the reunion. The video has received over 3,000 shares since it was published. 

One Facebook user shared a similar experience and what it meant to them: 

“We lost our home, everything we had-barely managed to escape-from a wildfire in Nor Cal,” the commenter wrote. “A week later I got an email from Home Again, they found my cat (she was microchipped and the microchip was registered with current contact info), Animal Control found our cat. Burned, scared, and alive. We lost everything we own, but got our cat back. I feel these people’s joy. Congratulations!”

Others couldn’t imagine the same thing happening to them. 

“I own 7 kitties and can’t even imagine the thought of losing one of them like this,” another user wrote. “Thanks SO much to the rescuers who kept returning to search for this beauty and thanks to kitty Koshka for keeping the faith and having good instincts. Lots of tears here!” 

Others were quick to applaud all those involved in the rescue. 

“Thank you so much officer Pennon and partner Lauren. You made two people very happy because you took the time to rescue their kitty. There is a special place in heaven for people like you.”

“So nice to see something positive come from so much tragedy!”

“Thank you Officer Michael Snyder-Pennon from Dallas, Texas. There is a special place for people like you in heaven. What a selfless act sir. Thank you. You have helped start the healing process for this family.”

What an amazing moment. 

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Texans Without Ice Scrapers Got Really Creative To Clear Their Cars

Winter storm Inga is bringing deep snow and freezing conditions to Texas, and while hundreds of  thousands of students are getting the day off, people still need to get to work. 

The problem? No one seems to own an ice scraper. This is Texas, after all. They’re far more accustom to heatwaves than snow storms. That means Texans have had to get pretty inventive when it comes to their morning commute. 

A frisbee is probably going to take you a while…

Some people went with clothes hangers. 

That’s just going to scratch your window…

Some people went with science. 

A key chain will take you hours. 

Gift, credit, and membership cards didn’t go so well for most people…

Others took to Twitter to offer some hacks for the poor Texans. 

Some people from up north weren’t so kind. 

You’ll get through this, Texas.

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25 Memes Everyone Who Is Pretty Basic Will Find Way Too Relatable

People just don’t seem to understand how difficult it is being basic. Though What Do You Meme? has done a pretty good job at summing up the trials and tribulations with their new Basic expansion pack

In case you’ve been living under a rock, What Do You Meme? is a hilarious new party game where you compete with your friends to combine images with their perfect caption. We decided to highlight some of the best combinations from the new expansion…

2. You didn’t say there was going to be commitment… 

3. This is literally so relatable. 

4. But I brought pajamas… 

6. What am I supposed to do now?! 

7. Probably would have just regretted it any way…

8. Doing the lord’s work. 

12. Guess i’m going to have to hide my hands for a week…

14. We’ve been here for a week. 

16. I SAW THE COLOSSEUM.  

18. You don’t get to see me in the light of day. 

19. THIS IS THE THIRD TIME. 

20. And college expects ME to pay THEM?! 

21. I can’t get within 50 yards. 

22. We’re not even half way through! 

23. Time for five days of pain. 

24. It’s Brittany, not Britney. 

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This Thread About All The Weird Stuff Kids Freak Out Over Is Priceless

Being a parent means traveling everywhere with a small, irrational human who at any point might completely lose their chill. There are also joys to parenting, but this thread started by Twitter user @SparkyROAR is definitely focused on the “losing their chill” part.

@SparkyROAR posted a photo (taken with the parent’s permission) of a kid lodging a silent protest against his color coordinated accessories:

But it was taken with absolute admiration for the child’s commitment:

Everyone commiserated with how odd child behavior is, but also how funny?

Then the stories from parents of all the things that have been upsetting their little weirdoes came out:

Also, many responsible adults pointed out that usually when kids are having a freak out, it’s because they’re tired or hungry and too stressed out to express that verbally. It is duly acknowledged that it’s perhaps not nice to laugh at a kid in distress, even if it seems to be over something ridiculous. But being a parent is also hard, and if you can’t laugh about your kid wanting to lick the plunger, you just might cry, too.

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H&M Store In South Africa Trashed Over 'Coolest Monkey' Sweatshirt

But outrage had already gone international. And over the weekend, protesters aligned with South Africa’s Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) political party, which is a “radical, leftist, anti-capitalist and anti-imperialist movement,” according to their website, trashed a store at Sandton City Shopping Centre in Johannesburg.

Images uploaded by shoppers and journalists show protesters outside the store as well as images of the store after it was allegedly trashed by members of the group. 

In a statement to local radio station Jacaranda FM, the EFF’s Donald Mabunda said: 

According to News24 journalist Alex Mitchley, the group gave the store 24 hours to close its doors permanently. The group said they will continue to protest indefinitely if the store fails to do so. 

Mabunda claimed to Jacaranda FM that the store has since been closed adding that they are willing to sleep at the shopping center until they can meet with a H&M representative. 

Sandton City Shopping Centre issued this statement on Twitter: 

The incident was met with both acceptance and outrage online. 

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Math Student Plays Two 'Star Wars' Songs With Nothing But A Pencil

We challenge you to name a more iconic band than Figrin D’an and the Modal Nodes. Or as you may know them, the yellow alien guys who play the Cantina Theme in Star Wars: A New Hope

And as it turns out, you can play the Cantina Theme with nothing but a pencil. Twitter user Dani was doing her math homework when she noticed the equation she was working on sounded familiar. Have a listen. You’ll need sound on, obviously.  

Here it is with the music over the top. 

But it doesn’t end there. Here she is doing the Imperial March…

What is this magic?! Yes, social media was just as entranced as we were. 

These two users were happy that the tweet was getting people to think about math. 

Some people were more interested in what all that math actually meant. 

Others wanted to go even further. 

Some are calling for a record deal. 

One person even managed to fool their parents with it. 

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This Mom Loves Taco Bell So Much She Had Her Maternity Shoot In One

Kristin Johnston loves Taco Bell. Like, a lot.

So much so, that she wants her love for the Bell to be passed down to her children, apparently.

I mean, why else would someone have a maternity photo shoot at arguably the greatest fast food chain in the world?

During her pregnancy, Johnston had tons of cravings for one of America’s healthiest fast food spots on the regular, so she thought, why not honor the franchise that gave her so much joy in a series of professional photos showing off her baby bump?

Johnston wrote about her reasoning behind the unusual venue choice for her glamorous maternity photo shoot on her blog, Strollers and Stilletos.

She mainly attributed her decision to do something outside of the ordinary, as she was a bit tired with the “glamorous” and “ethereal” photoshoots with “awe-inspiring” backgrounds. I have to agree, it does get a bit hackneyed.

So she and her “sister friend,” Kelly Daniels, who happens to be a professional photographer, went to a Taco Bell location in Atlanta and produced these fabulous photos.

And when I say fabulous, I mean pretty darn fabulous. Just look at how awesome these are.

Every part of the Bell was utilized in the shoot. Whether she’s cheesin’ at the counter.

Or showing off her baby bump with some mild sauce.

Johnston managed to make a Taco Bell look as ethereal and majestic as any foamy, pebble peach of mountainous valley.

People were in love with Johnston’s declaration of fast food love.

And as it turns out, she wasn’t the only pregnant Kristin with a love for T. Bell.

Could you blame her? I mean, if I had the ability to gestate a fetus, I’d probably want to get a maternity shoot at Taco Bell, too. What do you think?

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These Women Played Hilarious Pranks On Men Who Creeped Them Online

It seems like there’s no way to stop men as a group from sending unsolicited pics or requesting nudes from women they barely know, but many ladies are taking them on one by one. Anyone faced with online or IRL harassment has strategies for avoiding difficult situations with creepers. Some are merely for safety, but some are also for kicks. If men won’t leave us alone, we should at least get to have some fun. 

Here are some of the creative ways women have figured out how to deal with the weirdoes who won’t take no for an answer—or who don’t even bother asking first.

Or try my favorite move of all: say no, and then block. Extremely satisfying.

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This Fourth Grade Homework Assignment About Slavery Has People Furious

There are a lot of great, hardworking teachers out there. There are also a bunch of teachers who seem to see the classroom as a place to work out their own issues. Teachers are people, and a lot of people are racist. A woman named Trameka Brown-Berry shared a homework assignment her son, Jerome, brought home from school illustrating exactly that.

Brown-Berry posted a photo the assignment questions Jerome was asked to answer. For context, he’s only in the fourth grade. The worksheet demands that he give three “good” reasons for slavery and three bad ones. Good is in quotes, I guess to indicate that they wouldn’t really be good reasons? Which is a red flag the teacher should have paid attention to. If you already think your question is stupid enough to need qualifiers, don’t ask it.

Young Jerome responded by saying there was no good reason for enslaving people, and in the bad category listed a number of potential abuses suffered by men, women, and children under American slavery, including being beaten and separated from their families. His second answer clearly shows why his first answer is correct; there was nothing good about it.

BuzzFeed Newsreports that the teacher works in Our Redeemer Lutheran Church and School in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, and the worksheet was part of a social studies assignment. Brown-Berry isn’t mad that he was asked to discuss slavery, but how Jerome was asked to talk about it.

“It was the fact that she wanted my African-American son to name three good things for slavery. That’s insulting,” Brown-Berry told local news affiliate WESH 2.

The school attempted to explain the question as a misunderstanding, offering this statement:

“We understand that, as presented, the words used showed a lack of sensitivity and were offensive. The purpose of the assignment was not, in any way, to have students argue that ANY slavery is acceptable — a concept that goes against our core values and beliefs about the equality and worth of people of all races.”

But folks on Facebook are not having it. Some seem to think that it was just a  poor choice of words on the teacher’s part, and she actually meant what advantages slaveowners might have seen to owning slaves, making them defend such a brutal and horrendous system. But that’s a pretty complicated idea to boil down and describe as “good” reasons for slavery. People were mad:

Brown-Berry’s Facebook post attracted a lot of attention, and she recently posted a follow up saying that the teacher and school’s principal had offered a formal apology. They’re also going to be making some changes:

According to Brown-Berry, the assignment will be removed from the curriculum, and any future homework on sensitive topics will be sent home to parents first. 

Teachers will also be “trained in a cultural diversity/ cultural competency inservice” in an effort to prevent this sort of thing from occurring again, at least at this school.

“The moral of the story is, the only way to teach our kids to stand up for their rights and respect is to model it. With all of your support I was able to give my child a personal life lesson about how change starts with you,” she concluded.

And Jerome seems to be doing fine. At the end of the original assignment, he finished by writing, “I am proud to be black because we are strong and brave.” A strong, brave kid, with a strong, brave mother.

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Mom Shares Picture Of Her Daughter On The Beach And Gets Slammed Over Child's Skin

Mom bloggers and Instagram influencers are very popular on social media, but part of the job is receiving a lot of scrutiny for how you’re doing as a parent. One woman just got put through the gauntlet after posting an innocent picture of her kid enjoying a beach day.

This is her daughter Winter (thus, life with Winter):

Winter is more camera shy than her mom. Then there’s the wee babe, Wilde, who has not yet developed the motor functions to crawl away from branding opportunities:

As a mom Instagram model, Jones shares a lot of pic of the kids enjoying surf and sun, but one picture of Winter recently kicked up a controversy. It showed Winter walking along the beach, appearing very tan:

According to Metro.uk, Jones woke up to discover the post had been flagged and removed.

Apparently, the image had been littered with comments about Winter’s skin tone, like, “It’s disgusting to see how dark your daughter’s skin in,” and “Have you heard of suncream? How about you start using it before your kid looks 40 at four. Horrible mother.”

Jones believes the image was flagged because people were disparaging her daughter’s skin. She posted a follow up on Instagram telling the haters to step off:

In the caption she wrote:

The comments were full of supportive people who tan easily:

The feedback was so positive that Jones followed with another pic of Winter having a blast on the beach:

In the caption, Jones says that she’s incredibly grateful for the response, and states that her family is of Aboriginal descent, which is partly of why Winter’s skin tends to tan quickly rather than burn:

“So the past 48 hours has been pretty crazy for me. I didn’t expect to get the response I have from my post. I want to say a huge thankyou for everyone writing to me, I appreciate your support and kind words. It’s lovely to see that majority of people writing to me are against online bullying. In regards to the photo I posted I can totally see both sides of the ballpark now. I saw no problem with the photo I chose to post because there was no inappropriate parts showing, just Winters side profile. I just want to say though that I do respect even the people who have wrote into me disagreeing with my post but I thank you for going about it in a tasteful way and not shaming my child for her skin colour. We are of Aboriginal decent and we are proud of our heritage. I have learnt a lot from this experience and I won’t change the way I post but I will be more mindful of what I choose to share online. Thankyou once again for connecting with me and sharing your own stories. I’m making my way through my messages and will get back to every one of you.”

Look, nothing is keeping this family off the beach:

They got an umbrella, they got sunscreen—now everyone else should get a life!

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