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This Week, Dog Lovers Can Take a London Bus Tour With Their Furry Friends

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Londoners are crazy for canines. Last year, a local restaurant launched a three-course pop-up brunch for dogs. One luxury hotel now has a special “Doggy Afternoon Tea," and boasts a “pet concierge.” Keeping with the trend, Time Out London reports that England’s capital city will soon be home to the world’s first bus tour for pups, for four days only next week.

Pet insurers MORE TH>N DOGGYSSENTI>LS created the 90-minute tour, which runs three times a day from Monday, January 16 to Thursday, January 19. It takes dog owners and their furry friends to London’s best parks and urban dog walking spots, including Hyde Park, Kensington Palace Gardens, and Green Park. Four-legged passengers can hop off the bus for a quick stroll, if their human companions are so inclined.

When they're not exploring the city's dog parks, guests will visit canine-inspired cultural attractions, including Victoria Tower Garden (site of the Annual Parliament Dog Show), The Kennel Club of Great Britain (home to the Europe's largest collection of dog paintings), and Buckingham Palace (the Queen's corgis; need we say more?). When the tour's all finished, a convenient map will help dog owners locate canine-friendly restaurants and watering holes.

Most of the doggy bus tours are already sold out, but you can check to see if tickets are still available online, or contact organizers about additional dates.

[Time Out London]

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Big Questions
Why Do Cats Freak Out After Pooping?
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Cats often exhibit some very peculiar behavior, from getting into deadly combat situations with their own tail to pouncing on unsuspecting humans. Among their most curious habits: running from their litter box like a greyhound after moving their bowels. Are they running from their own fecal matter? Has waste elimination prompted a sense of euphoria?

Experts—if anyone is said to qualify as an expert in post-poop moods—aren’t exactly sure, but they’ve presented a number of entertaining theories. From a biological standpoint, some animal behaviorists suspect that a cat bolting after a deposit might stem from fears that a predator could track them based on the smell of their waste. But researchers are quick to note that they haven’t observed cats run from their BMs in the wild.

Biology also has a little bit to do with another theory, which postulates that cats used to getting their rear ends licked by their mother after defecating as kittens are showing off their independence by sprinting away, their butts having taken on self-cleaning properties in adulthood.

Not convinced? You might find another idea more plausible: Both humans and cats have a vagus nerve running from their brain stem. In both species, the nerve can be stimulated by defecation, leading to a pleasurable sensation and what some have labeled “poo-phoria,” or post-poop elation. In running, the cat may simply be working off excess energy brought on by stimulation of the nerve.

Less interesting is the notion that notoriously hygienic cats may simply want to shake off excess litter or fecal matter by running a 100-meter dash, or that a digestive problem has led to some discomfort they’re attempting to flee from. The fact is, so little research has been done in the field of pooping cat mania that there’s no universally accepted answer. Like so much of what makes cats tick, a definitive motivation will have to remain a mystery.

Have you got a Big Question you'd like us to answer? If so, let us know by emailing us at bigquestions@mentalfloss.com.

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Animals
Listen to the Impossibly Adorable Sounds of a Baby Sloth
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Sometimes baby sloths seem almost too adorable to be real. But the little muppet-faced treasures don't just look cute—turns out they sound cute, too. We know what you're thinking: How could you have gone your whole life without knowing what these precious creatures sound like? Well, fear not: Just in time for International Sloth Day (today), we have some footage of how the tiny mammals express themselves—and it's a lot of squeaking. (Or maybe that's you squealing?)

The sloths featured in the heart-obliterating video below come from the Sloth Sanctuary of Costa Rica. The institution rescues orphaned sloths, rehabilitates them, and gets them ready to be released back into the wild.

[h/t The Kid Should See This]

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