I’m glad the government shutdown is over. It wasn’t necessary and it hurt the economy. I’m also glad the National Zoo’s Panda Cam is back on, because it’s  been a strange and wonderful part of my life for many years.

I was one of those people who never had a warm, fuzzy feeling about pets in general.  There were a few cats over the years, but I never really formed a strong attachment. We had a dog for a brief time, but to me he was just another responsibility.

And then things changed. In July of 2005, I was self-employed, working out of an office in my home when Mei Xiang, the female panda at the National Zoo, gave birth to a tiny, hairless creature. I was mesmerized. Every morning I would turn on the Panda Cam and watch as this giant panda so very carefully nurtured her tiny baby…

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