Dogs often get top-billing as man’s best friend, but cats have proven themselves to be capable of winning the title as well. That was the case with one very tuned-in tuxedo cat that picked up right away there was something wrong with a babysitter. As if smelling the issue on the person, the cat was not only able to sense the problem, but the feline was also able to warn its owners to the issue effectively enough that a bigger tragedy was averted.
A Cat That Earned Its Keep
Even dog people will have to agree this story proves one particular cat was definitely a keeper in the family it ended up protecting, especially in how the feline was able to protect a newborn boy while the parents were away. The family repeatedly highlights their cat as a hero and should. After all, what might have occurred if the babysitter had gotten away with what she was doing?
Cats and Babies
When a new baby comes home, cat owners are regularly warned by medical staff that the feline will likely have a problem with the new family member, acting out and being a problem. They also warn parents to keep the cat away from a child because of the risk of the claws. There’s been more than one story of a spoiled cat making its anger known peeing somewhere when a new baby showed up. That said, cats do just fine with new babies when a parent is around, and that was the case with Zara, their family cat.
Cats tend to pick out a particular person in a family in the house they live in as their primary human, and that was the case with Zara. When Carrie and Dennis had their baby boy, it became very clear their cat was quite enamored with the baby and decided Ollie, the new family member, was her particular focus of attention. In fact, Zara made a point to be available every morning so she could sniff Ollie and be nearby.
A Pleasant Surprise
Carrie and Dennis as expectant parents were assuming Zara was going to be a bit grumpy when Ollie was born and showed up. Fortunately, Zara was a very different feline and became very attentive of the newborn and infatuated with him. Zara seemed to love snuggling with Ollie, never scratching or clawing him, and her meowing and purring soothed the baby regularly, especially at nap time. As soon as the baby was moved, Zara was glued to him whichever room the baby was in.
With the initial newborn months, Carrie was present all the time and found it interesting and amusing how much attention Zara gave the newborn. More than a few times she would catch Zara walking into Ollie’s room while he was napping to see the baby and check on him. It turned out to be an unknown premonition.
Unfortunately, Carrie was a working mother, and her maternity leave was coming to an end. She was going to have to go back to work. Carrie and Dennis made everything work with their income but they both needed to be employed. Ollie was nine months old by then, and it was time for Carrie to find a nanny for him.
Carrie didn’t want to just pick someone out of the newspaper or phone book, so she opted for a known person to be a nanny for her boy. That turned out to be a family friend named Alyssa. It seemed to make sense. Carrie and Dennis both knew Alyssa and were very familiar with her. Plus, the young woman needed income, so there seemed to be a win-win fit with the arrangement.
Alyssa was 21 and needed additional income for her own living support and expenses. Taking on a babysitting job was just what she needed. Carrie knew her for years and came to the conclusion it was the best situation for Ollie in terms of his safety. However, appearances were deceiving. Unknown as to why, Ollie as a baby started acting very different after a few weeks after the babysitting started.
Watch the Cat
When Alyssa had visited previously, Zara was there to inspect and snuggled with the young lady every time. However, once Alyssa became the nanny for Ollie, Zara switched gears dramatically. The cat flat out hated her physically. The feline would hiss at Alyssa in front of Carrie and Dennis, especially as Alyssa moved closer to Ollie. Carrie didn’t pick up on it right away but in hindsight she remembered her cat’s behavior later.
Chalk Things Up to a Smell
Alyssa brushed off the cat’s behavior quickly. She had a dog and figured out loud to Carrie that the dog’s smell probably freaked out Zara. This seemed to make sense. However, one day when she came home she found Ollie with a break on his lip. Alyssa dismissed it as the boy playing with a toy in his crib. Carrie got a weird feeling. A few days later Ollie was acting odd again. Specifically, the baby would flinch if Carrie and Dennis were across rooms and she had to yell to get Dennis’ attention. Ollie flinched again as Carrie saw his behavior and tried to relax the boy. What was going on?
Carrie found herself wondering if her thoughts were bleeding into paranoia. There had been plenty of examples on TV or the news of babysitters abusing kids without their parents knowing. Was that happening to Ollie? Dennis picked up on Carrie’s concern and decided to go a step further. He put a recording device on the cat’s collar that would be nondescript, not easy to see. Zara was an easy observer; the cat was always around Ollie daily.
Meowing and Something Else
At first, the recording picked up usual sounds. The cat generally walked around the house and would meow to trigger a presence with Ollie. However, then Alyssa’s voice could be heard. They also heard Ollie crying. Alyssa’s voice wasn’t a calming one. Instead, it turned to yelling, and then Carrie and Dennis realized Alyssa was screaming at their kid to shut up. It went on again and again and again. Profanity and swearing were all included. Alyssa was also swearing at the cat. Zara started hissing viciously at the same time.
Appearances Don’t Match
By the time Dennis and Carrie got home, however, Alyssa was acting as if nothing had happened. Everything was in order, no yelling or swearing was happening and the home looked like it was all order. Did Dennis and Carrie just imagine what they heard? It was clear to them Ollie was being abused, and the behavior of him and the cat all made sense now.
The First Police Report
When Ollie’s lip had been cut and they found blood on his pajamas, the parents did file a police report, but the prosecutor’s office said there was not enough to pursue any charges with, so the case was dropped. This time Carrie and Dennis felt with the recording they had the evidence. But they decided they needed more.
The couple decided to make sure there were cameras both in Ollie’s room as well as the living room. Both were the most common areas Alyssa would be with the baby when she was present. They left that day hoping Zara would warn them on the camera, but they weren’t prepared for how fast the abuse began. It was only 15 minutes after they left that Alyssa lit into Ollie again.
Shock and Parental Horror
On live footage they could see Alyssa screaming at the baby boy, and it was clear to them Alyssa was unstable. They called the police rushing back to the house. The babysitter was sitting on Ollie, putting her weight on him while screaming at the infant.
The parents were in shock the abuse had been as bad as it was. As Carrie charged into the house, Alyssa was surprised to see here. Soon enough she started to become defensive, starting to ask questions like what was going on and if there was something going on with Ollie she didn’t know about. Carrie didn’t have to engage much. The police were there in minutes, and Alyssa was arrested for child endangerment based on what they initially saw on the camera. 60 days later, Alyssa appeared in court and this time she was going to be charged.
Not Taken Serious Enough
The court, however, gave Alyssa a second chance. She was offered counseling and anger management before ending up with jail time. If she participated, she would avoid jail. Alyssa wasn’t an idiot, and she picked the diversion path. For Carrie and Dennis, however, they couldn’t let someone take care of their boy again. However, Zara the cat had in fact saved the day.
A Good Recovery
Ollie’s behavior went back to normal, and he has grown like a normal, happy boy with loving parents. Zara continues to chase and watch after him wherever the boy goes, and she’s constantly talking to him with her meows and purring. Peace seems to have returned in the household, and Dennis and Carrie don’t want it to be any other way ever again.
Father Decides to Set Up Cameras After His Daughter Wakes Up With Strange Marks
What happened inside the house of an Ohio couple couldn’t have been predicted. Troublesome commotions could be heard in the wee hours while everyone slept. No one thought much of it until something strange occurred.
Darren’s suspicions were initially directed at his fiancé, who suspected of playing a practical joke on him. They staged a camera to sort things out after she denied it ultimately. The unsettling footage, on the other hand, would rock their world.
Father Takes Action After Daughter was Expelled for Appearance
Enough Is Enough
This father’s jaws fell open as he listened to the scathing remarks from his daughter’s school administrator, stating the reason for his daughter being booted from a prom event. He was at boiling point and had enough.
He thought enough was enough after only a few seconds and was ready to address the situation head-on.
40 Unforgivable Movie Bloopers
With that goes with making a movie, especially one for the big cinema screen, it’s not surprising when mistakes occur or edits are need. That’s what the editing room is for to go through the draft film and tighten up all the problems or loose spots in the film as well as to get it within the acceptable viewing time allowed. However, once in a while even the best of movies, including Oscar-winning films, have bloopers in them that just can’t be forgiven. They are such clear violations of quality film-making, people wonder how the blooper got through to the public viewing, and yet it does anyways. Here are 25 examples of film bloopers that never should have been allowed or the detail missed, but in the fictional world of movies they occur regardless.
Homeless Man Who Helped a Woman Turned Out to be a Hoax
The story of the homeless man who helped out a woman needing gas for her car by donating his few dollars went viral on the Internet and had hundreds of people wanting to reach out and help. They did so through a GoFundMe site that ended up generating a sizable amount of charity and gifts. For those who gave money, it made them feel better instantly. There was only one problem. The story was made up. The man was not homeless, and the woman had never run out of gas.
Instead, the two were involved in an online scam that ended up defrauding folks out of approximately $400,000 in online money gifts. It was not only enough to trigger a serious crime, the pair got themselves charged with a federal conspiracy case and ultimately pled guilty in a New Jersey federal court. Johnny Bobbitt and Katelyn McClure both separately admitted their crime of wire fraud. Given their involvement and degree of actions, Bobbitt is looking at a potential 10 years in federal prison and $250,000 in fines. McClure for her part faces a bigger sentence of 20 years and a similar financial penalty. Both will find out for sure when they are sentenced. In addition to the federal charges, the pair also have a second round of trials to go through with state charges as well. It was a blunt, cold ending to a story and scam that started in 2017 and took off like wildfire, far better than Hobbitt and McClure thought it would.
The story was plausible and reasonable enough. A couple told their story online about how they wanted to help a homeless man who helped them. McClure and her partner posted that Bobbitt realized McClure was in trouble, stuck in Philadelphia without gas. She needed to get home, and Bobbitt, who was nearby, realized the problem. He then gave her his only $20 to buy gas so she could travel again. To show their gratitude, McClure and her boyfriend were trying to raise $10,000 to help Bobbitt out as a thank you. The story took off.
Unfortunately, the media got involved. Loving a story out of the norm with a good newsworthy ending, they showcased the story on TV, and it got big attention. All of a sudden, what was supposed to be a little scam turned into a big one, raising some $402,706 with the added attention in a short three weeks. While Bobbitt did get $25,000 set aside by McClure and her partner, the rest of it was burned like kerosene on fire via clothing, trips, a car, vacations, gambling and more. However, Bobbitt didn’t appreciate the small share, and sued the pair for more, arguing he should have gotten $75,000 at least. GoFundMe got involved by trying to avoid bad press and making sure Bobbitt, the alleged homeless person, got his fair shake.
All of the financial attention caught the eye of the Feds who started investigating McClure. They seized well over 60,000 digital messages between the couple, which included admissions that the whole story was made up – a smoking gun text in the fraud conspiracy. Interestingly, McClure’s partner, although he enjoyed the spending of the money with McClure, was not charged or seen as involved in the conspiracy. The Feds went after McClure and the alleged homeless partner, Bobbitt, for the fraud. And GoFundMe yet again found itself in the middle of a crazy criminal scheme gone public and bad, stealing money from people who wanted to help others online. It turned out to be an odd, miserable ending to what many had hoped would have been a story of human charity done right.
Drones, COVID-19, and Girl Scout Cookies: How One Virginia Troop Made It All Work
Nestled in the heart of Montgomery County is Christiansburg, VA. A small town with just over 20,000 within its city limits, Christiansburg was first founded in 1671. Hundreds of years later, the city continues to thrive despite the COVID-19 pandemic that has been wrecking so much of our day-to-day life.
One particular group of Christiansburg locals made it their goal to deliver Girl Scout Cookies no matter what during the pandemic and Google’s parental company, Alphabet Inc., decided to help them out.
Cookies From the Sky
During the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, it seemed unlikely that there would ever be a time when the pandemic would end. As economies shuttered and businesses quarantined, people had to get creative to continue working their trade. A team of Girl Scouts in Virginia was determined to deliver their famous cookies this past year, but due to COVID restrictions, they knew that this would bed difficult.
Lia Reich is a global communications lead at Wing, a subsidiary of the company Alphabet Inc.. Wing develops drones for Google, and it was through their futuristic work that Thin Mints would rain down from the sky. Lia says of COVID restrictions impacting the Scouts, “Selling cookies outside (grocery stores or shops) is difficult this year.”
According to Lia, sales within the Girl Scouts have dropped more than 50%. Lia would go on to tell the team at USA TODAY during an interview, “It was a natural fit to partner with the Girl Scouts.”
Despite soaring vaccination rates and loosening COVID restrictions, the drone program would get launched through the Wing App and its corresponding website. According to Reich, the plan at Wing is to help deliver more than 3,000 total boxes of cookies via its drone delivery service, if not even more.
For the Girl Scouts, cookie season typically begins in January though flavor availability and onset will vary based upon the region. For the longest time, Girl Scouts have prioritized selling their goods in residential neighborhoods, outside of grocery stores, and even through company programs at local businesses.
Unfortunately for the Girl Scouts, the COVID-19 pandemic would put an end to convention. In March 2020, the Scouts would suspend all of their traditional cookie booths and door-to-door sales campaigns. To make up for this loss in action, the Girl Scouts of Virginia would prepare virtual cookie booths through their online social media campaigns to partner with their drone-delivery methods.
Considered one of the largest girl-led programs for entrepreneurs on the planet, the Girl Scout Cookie drive is immensely important for multiple reasons. Not just an important institution, the Girl Scouts are a defining one.
Take Flight With Wing
While the Girl Scouts of Virginia will enjoy drone flying assistance with their cookie deliveries, they won’t have to worry about running the controls themselves. As the first drone delivery company in the country to earn Air Operators Certification from the FAA in 2019, Wing has used the Scouts delivery service as a way to showcase just how far drone flights have come.
According to Reich, “COVID gave people who might not have a reason to try drone delivery, and we saw deliveries increase by more than 500% in 2020.”
Reich’s assertion was backed by a local survey released by Virginia Tech. The survey found that Christiansburg locals enjoyed the idea of a residential drone delivery company with support coming in at 87% in favor of the idea.
Are you ready to start ordering your Girl Scout Cookies through drone delivery services? How about your next grocery order? As it turns out, the sky might be the limit!
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