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    Of course there are some who like it hot. In winter, Scruffy sits on a heat vent to warm his bottom. But in summer, Scruffy and Dewey leave the air-conditioned house and head for the warm and cozy garage. Dewey’s spot is under the car or in front of the garage door, while Scruffy lounges on top of the car or in an old lawn chair. In the garage, the boys search for bugs, lizards and mice to play with and eat — and sometimes bring into the house.

    Calvert County’s feral cat sanctuary is home to many cats who would otherwise have been destroyed, yet there is not a scruffy one among them. All have beautiful thick coats in the winter, and I wondered how each cat would manage the transition to summer.     Turns out, nature provides fallen tree limbs. Branches and still-pliable twigs serve as stationary cat-combs.

Travel Maryland with your pets

You work all week and want to relax on the weekends — get away perhaps? The only thing keeping you on the leash at home is you can’t bear to leave your furry friend behind.     Your problem is solved by Visit Maryland’s new directory of Fido-friendly destinations. The list includes places throughout Maryland where both you and your pet are welcome to visit, stay or play.

Where to find the charity of interspecies connections

Not every human is an animal lover. Slip Mahoney, the subject of one of this week’s dog stories, drove quite a few people to the other side. But he also wiggled into quite a few hearts, even some outside his immediate family. One dog sitter called him Nurse Slip, crediting him with seeing her through an illness compounded by a broken heart.

Local community colleges boast new buildings so smart they’ve earned top honors

New buildings at both Anne Arundel Community College and the College of Southern Maryland are working just like good students do to achieve perfection.     Anne Arundel’s renovated Andrew G. Truxal Library has already graduated LEED (short for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) with top honors. It’s only the eighth building in Anne Arundel County to achieve those honors.

Help make sure every kid goes back to school with the supplies for success

You loved shopping for school supplies. You’re out of school, maybe your kids are, too, but you still find yourself walking down the school supply aisle, drawn to untouched spirals, sharpened No. 2s, creative folders and a backpack to carry all.     Regain that pleasure this August by buying and donating to local back-to-school programs that make sure every kid returns to class with supplies for success.

Dee of St. Mary’s is your one chance on the Western Shore

Shanghaied into labor, two able-bodied passengers grapple a stout line hand over hand to hoist the 2,000-square-foot Dacron mainsail of the skipjack Dee of St. Mary’s up her 72-foot tree-trunk mast. Then First Mate John Fulchiron crawls out on the 19-foot bowsprit to raise the smaller jib. And off Dee goes.

Marion Keenly Carr: 1920-2013

Marion Keenly Carr, my mother, died on July 30, 2013.     She lived a classy life. And she died a classy death.     She was a link to the old America, but she was surprisingly aware, even hip.     Ronnie was an elegant woman — perfect hair, nice earrings, beautiful clothes, lipstick and makeup — with a sharp mind and a keen sense of humor who had more friends than anyone I know.

That’s a job for the Green Team

The World Biggest Crab Feast didn’t make the world’s biggest mess this year.     Some 4,500 pounds of food scraps — about one-quarter of the food waste produced by the massive feast — will turn into compost instead of hogging precious landfill space.

Democratic women wanted to run for office

Blame it on the boys.         In Anne Arundel and Calvert counties, more men than women are making political decisions.     Four men to one woman govern on Calvert County’s Board of Commissioners. Anne Arundel got a woman, Laura Neuman, by appointment, but in the last election, not a single woman won a voice in local government.