If you’re a cat person, then you know that friendly felines are prone to kneading with their paws.


Purrrrr …

And you may also recognize this pastry-esque posture, which has recently been coined “catloaf” (one word) by Internet cat chatters due to its uncanny resemblance to baked bread:

Photo by Zeemeeuw via Wikimedia Commons

Awwwww (human version of the purr) …

Delightfully, there’s a creative baker in Yorkshire, England, known as Lou Lou P, who decided to put her own knack for kneading to work (on dough, of course, not blankets or bellies) in purrsuit of a purrfect catloaf, as edible as it is adorable.

“I’m cat mad. I have five moggies of my own, all rescue kitties,” Lou Lou P told ABC News. “I love the ‘catloaf’ expression, so one evening I just had to see if I could bake it for real. Thus, catloaf was born, simple as that.”

The result is so darned darling that one would hardly know whether to snuggle it or butter it.

Photo courtesy of Lou Lou P’s Delights on Facebook

Not that Lou Lou is new to the craft of baking up cuteness. The virtual shelves of her Lou Lou P’s Delights Facebook page are filled with too-sweet-to-swallow treats,

from gussied-up Guinea Pig Rolls:

Photo courtesy of Lou Lou P’s Delights on Facebook

to delightful Hippo Dumplings wallowing in a glorious stew:

Photo courtesy of Lou Lou P’s Delights on Facebook

Now, in case you’re desperate to make catloaves of your own (and I know you are), you’ll be pleased as pie to know that Lou Lou has lovingly shared instructions in a step-by-step guide via Good Morning America.

I do hope you’ll share pictures of your lovely loaf litters on the Farmgirl Connection (free to a good home?) … wishful thinking!



Illegal cheese?

You’ve probably heard of contraband—drugs, guns, and more that are smuggled illegally—but I’m guessing you haven’t heard of contraband cheese.

photo by Eva K. via Wikimedia Commons

In Moscow, Russia, police recently arrested six people that produced $30 million of contraband cheese using rennet forbidden by Russia’s import ban. (A year ago, Russia imposed a ban on imported agricultural products in retaliation for U.S. and European Union sanctions against Russia over the Ukraine.) The cheese was made with the illegal rennet, then sold using counterfeit labels of known legal foreign cheese brands. Government workers seized the cheese and publicly crushed it with steamrollers and bulldozers, drawing outrage from concerned citizens who say the cheese could have been used to help feed the poor. In an effort to crack down on the ban, government officials recently began publicly destroying contraband food, including over 500 tons of produce and nearly 50 tons of animal products. “Many Russians were uneasy at the images, shown widely on state television, of food being destroyed in a country where millions live below the poverty line,” says The Guardian. Moscow alone is thought to have up to 60,000 homeless residents.

One upside of the ban is that small, local cheese manufacturers have seen a dramatic increase in demand for their products, and are filling the need for fresh and short-aged cheeses like mozzarella, ricotta, Brie, and Camembert.

Conservation Dogs

Shelter dogs with an over-abundance of energy can sometimes be hard to place. Their bounciness may be a little intimidating to those looking for a pet that’s more low maintenance. But Rescues 2 the Rescue, a Washington, DC-based program, is putting all that energy to work by training shelter dogs for wildlife conservation jobs. Created by Working Dogs for Conservation and the International Fund for Animal Welfare, Rescues 2 the Rescue works with high-energy shelter dogs, especially those who are “toy-obsessed,” to give them jobs as conservation detection dogs, finding hard-to-see wildlife or even the tiniest invasive weed among a mountainside of plants. They also work to help scientists gather data. These dogs are often more easily trainable, as they are rewarded with a favorite toy when they find their target.

photo by KatrinKerou via Wikimedia Commons

The program is intended to connect shelters with trainers/handlers who are equipped to adopt, prepare, and care for detection dogs. There are many ways you can help these hard-to-adopt shelter dogs find new, rewarding lives through Rescues 2 the Rescue:

  • If you are a shelter or trainer, join the Rescues 2 the Rescue site to post and search for dogs.
  • If you are a volunteer at a shelter, bring Rescues 2 the Rescue to the attention of your adoption coordinator.
  • If you are a pilot, or have a car and are willing to transport candidate dogs from shelter to trainers, join the team.
  •  Donate dollars.

Visit the Rescues 2 the Rescue website to learn more.