6

Seal City High School Final Exams

Image result for group of seals

It was only 2 weeks until the end of the school year and Sandy Seal was preparing for final exams. It was here last year of school, and she wanted to finish well. The top student would get a full scholarship to the local college.

That was the only way Sandy could fulfill her dream of being a teacher. There were three younger pups still at home, and her parents didn’t have the extra money. If she went to work, she might never get back to school.

Sandy was a good student, and her only real competition was Jeremy. He was a seal from a very rich family. His father sold fish to the local hotel, and they paid very well. Needless to say, Jeremy was used to getting what he wanted.

Image result for seal in water

She knew that she could win the speaking competition. Jeremy would win the fishing test. She was a fast swimmer, but he could dive deeper. That only left the obstacle course.

It was a test of skill and speed. There were hoops to swim through and objects to go over, under, and around. It was hard, and no one knew how it would be put together until the day of the race.

Sandy practiced every day with her best friend, Jacki. Jacki wasn’t as fast as Jeremy, but she was very good with the obstacles. Jacki watched Sandy practice with the obstacles, and helped her improve her time getting around them.

As far as anyone could see, Jeremy wasn’t practicing at all. Sandy couldn’t understand it. Was he working at night? Sandy was getting nervous. Why didn’t he have to practice? Finally, she couldn’t stand it anymore.

Image result for seals singing

Sandy: Hey, Jeremy.

Jeremy: Hey, Sandy. What’s up?

Sandy: Haven’t seen you around the pool much. I thought maybe we could work out together. Not much time before finals.

Jeremy: I’d love to Sandy, but I’m not really working out this year. I have a new trainer and a whole new training regimen.

Sandy: Really? What are you doing?

Jeremy: It’s kind of top-secret. But it’s really working.

Sandy: What’s the big secret?

Image result for secret memes

Jeremy: It wouldn’t be much of a secret if I told you.

Sandy: I guess not. So, you’re just not doing any practice before finals?

Jeremy: I told you. I’m using my new process.

Sandy: So where did you find this super-secret process?

Jeremy looked around to see if anyone was listening.

Jeremy: I’m not supposed to tell, but my dad found out about it at the hotel.

Sandy: He got it from the humans?

Image result for spa memes

Jeremy: Shh! He could get in a lot of trouble.

Sandy: Sorry. But be really careful. Humans do some incredibly stupid things at times.

Jeremy: My dad said the people looked OK. They use it in their “spa”.

Sandy: OK. But if you start slapping us on the back and talking about football, we’re no longer friends.

Jeremy (laughing): Deal.

Image result for seals slapping flippers

Sandy left, but she was worried about Jeremy. Things that got wrapped up with humans never seemed to end well for the seals.  That was how her Aunt Emma ended up in Newfoundland rather than Nome.

Aunt Emma was going to visit a friend and a human told her the “best” way to get there. Aunt Emma was lucky to get back home again.

Sandy wasn’t sure what to do. Jeremy was arrogant, and could be a jerk, but she didn’t want him getting hurt.

After school the next day, Sandy told Jacki that she needed to do something before they practiced. She went to the cove where Jeremy and his family lived. Sandy watched him greet his mother.

Image result for group of seals

Jeremy: Hi, Mom! How was your day?

Mom: Great, Sweetie! How about you?

Jeremy: Okay. My stomach feels weird, and my head hurts.

Mom: I hope you’re not getting sick.

Jeremy: I don’t think so. I think it’s that stuff Dad got for me to drink. I don’t like it.

Mom: But look how much faster you are since you started using it.

Jeremy: But I was fast before.

Mom: You know that your father can’t stand the idea of you getting beaten by a girl.

Next week: What is he drinking? Is Jeremy getting sick from whatever he’s been drinking?

Image result for groups of seals

 

Pictures courtesy of Google Images

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9

Cat Forum: A Guide to Summer Cat TV

Snoops and Kommando here. Welcome to this month’s Cat Forum. (Yes, we have been pushed back a week because of the stupid bison story. Maybe the editors will learn to count by June. We are the second week feature, not the third week feature. How are our fans supposed to find us?)

Image result for couch potato meme

Oh, well. On to this month’s topic. We’re going to talk about summer Cat TV. Unlike humans, we never have to worry about seeing the same program twice. Just another sign of cat intellectual superiority. We don’t have to turn our brains off to watch the same stuff day after day. (We know some humans are like that because our Dad used to do it – watch the same stuff, not turn his brain off.)

We live in a house without air conditioning, so we are lucky enough to have sound. Some of you air conditioned cats aren’t so lucky. (Although you don’t have to deal with sticky humans, a definite plus.)

Image result for hummingbird

First are the birds.We live in Michigan, so we have more birds this time of year than when it’s cold. Some of you who live in warmer climates might not see much of a difference. Our favorites are the hummingbirds. They’re small and fast, so they’re a lot of fun to watch.

Image result for finches birds

Our human brother has a really big lilac bush just outside his bedroom window. It’s full of birds most of the time.All kinds of birds: sparrows, finches, wrens, robins, blue birds, blue jays, …. He complains about the noise waking him up. We’ve tried to tell him that they’re calling us, but he doesn’t seem to get it.

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The squirrel and deer channels get a lot more active too. The squirrels like to chase each other around. It looks like fun, but they get pretty mean sometimes when they fight. We’re glad they’re only on TV.

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Every once in a while, there’s a show on the squirrel channel that we really like. The little guys look a lot like squirrels, but much smaller with stripes down their backs. Mom says they’re called chipmunks. They look like they’d be fun to chase. But we don’t know what we’d do with it if we caught one. Mom says we can’t bring it in the house.

Image result for woodchuck in a tree

The funniest show is Woodchuck Adventures. Woodchucks (aka groundhogs) look like huge rodents. (Bigger than us.) They like to lay in the sun. They probably don’t have to worry about sunburn, because they’re really furry.. As soon as they hear a noise, they race for the nearest shelter. It’s great watching something that bulky and slow running that fast. It’s even better when they climb trees. One went up a baby peach tree and was too big to sit on the branches.

We get the boring specialty channels too. We don’t have many snakes in Michigan. The ones we do have just lay in the sun. If we want to watch someone sleep, we can watch Mom.

Image result for moths

(silk moth – we don’t have those on our channel)

The night channel is pretty boring too. We like to watch the fireflies. Mom says their tails are poisonous, so we cant play with them. Moths are the best. They’re fun to play with, and crunchy and tasty if they get annoying.

Image result for angry skunk

The worst show on that channel is the skunks. We were really disappointed. They’re kind of cute; they reminded us a little of cats. But they seem to fight dirty (and loud). When something scares them, they make a huge stink (for real). It smells awful. You air conditioned cats should be grateful. We hear some dogs try to make friends with them. Big mistake. Tell your dog friends if they upset a skunk, they’ll smell even worse than usual.

We recommend you check your local channels. Chances are, there’s something good out there that you haven’t seen for a while.

All pictures courtesy of Google Images.

15

O, Give Me a Home – Conclusion

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Where we are: The Bison family has come to Wyoming to visit Jen’s brother Bruce. He’s an aspiring actor and has just gotten his first role in a commercial. Unfortunately, Bruce has turned into a caffeine addict and has trouble getting up. His brother-in-law John accompanies Bruce to the commercial to ensure that he makes it. You can see Part One here (or use the links for any of the parts at the right).

Jen: How’d it go?

John: He didn’t embarrass himself.

Bruce: It was great! They said I was made for the movies.

John: They said they might have another project for you. Hopefully one where they use your face.

Image result for bison face

Bruce: Hardwax Jack said I have potential. And he should know; he used to work in Hollywood.

John: That’s true. He was in that show with the dogs.

Bruce: That’s right. Bernie’s Buddies. He lived next door.

JJ: I’ve never heard of that show.

John: That’s because it was cancelled after a couple of episodes.

Image result for bison with fence

Bruce: That doesn’t matter. He has lots of friends. He said he’d put in a good word for me.

John: After you reminded him that your name is Bruce, not Barney.

Bruce: So what? He meets lots of people. He gave me his card.

Jen: That sounds wonderful Bruce. When do you think we’ll see the commercial?

Image result for hoof wax

Bruce: They’re not really sure. The Hardwax folks need to look at it first.

JJ: Did they pay you a lot?

Jen: JJ! That’s not polite.

Bruce: It’s OK. I got 2 cases of hoof-wax. I get money every time they show the commercial.

JJ: Wow! That’s a lot of hoof-wax!

John: Same old Bruce.

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(apparently bison don’t really use telephones)

Bruce goes back to work the next night. The Bison family spends their vacation time relaxing. They notice that whenever they see Bruce, he’s looking at his phone. After a few days, they become curious.

JJ: Uncle Bruce, why do you keep looking at your phone?

Bruce: I don’t want to miss a call from the Hollywood people.

JJ: Doesn’t your phone ring like mine does?

Bruce: I might miss it.

JJ: You could call them back.

Bruce (irritated): I don’t want to make them wait.

JJ: Oh.

Image result for bison talking

A few weeks go by, and it was time for the Bison family to go home. Bruce still hasn’t heard anything and is getting very agitated.

Jen: Don’t worry, Bruce. I’m sure they’ll call.

Bruce: How do you know? I’m probably stuck here forever.

Jen: So what if you are? Wyoming’s a nice place.

Bruce starts to growl something when his phone goes off. He looks at Jen.

Image result for bison at work

Bruce: It’s them. (Into the phone) Hello.

. . .

Bruce: This is Bruce.

. . .  Bruce listens for a long time

Bruce: Yes. I would definitely be interested. When does it start?

. . . 

Bruce: That’s fantastic! I look forward to it. Talk to you soon.

Jen: What’d he say?

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Bruce: He has a long-term job for me!

Jen screams and hugs Bruce. John and JJ run in.

JJ: Mom! What’s wrong?

Jen: Your Uncle Bruce got a full-time acting job.

JJ: Awesome, Uncle Bruce! Tell us about it.

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Bruce: It’s a mini-series called Lone Wolf and Billy Bison. It’s about detectives. I’m Billy Bison, Lone Wolf’s bumbling assistant.

John (under his breath): Type casting.

Bruce: We’re making 6 episodes. If it does well, we’ll get renewed for another 6.

JJ: That is so cool, Uncle Bruce. Are you going to Hollywood?

Bruce: No. That’s the best part. It’s set in the Badlands in South Dakota. I can stay with you guys while we’re filming.

CRASH!! John falls over in a dead faint.

Image result for bison with telephone meme

All pictures courtesy of Google Images

15

O, Give Me a Home – Part 3

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Where we are: The Bison family has gone to visit Jen’s brother in Wyoming. John, Jen’s husband, is finally impressed with Bruce when he finds out that he has a regular job and a job filming a commercial. The only possible issue is that Bruce works at night and the commercial will film during the day. Part 1 is here and Part 2 is here.

For the next few days, Bruce takes his family around the area to meet the herd and see the scenery. He seems popular; a couple of the girls said he was cute.

Sunday afternoon, Bruce said he wanted to go to bed early because he’d have to be extra alert on Monday morning.

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Bruce: OK guys, I’m off to bed. Seen you in the a.m.

JJ: Good night, Uncle Bruce. Sweet dreams.

Bruce settled down in his usual spot under the trees, but couldn’t get to sleep. Finally, he decided to get up and walk around. Then he laid back down to sleep. He couldn’t get comfortable. Next thing he knew, it was morning and JJ was standing in front of him.

JJ: It’s time to get up. It’s the big day!

Bruce: Leave me alone. I’m tired.

JJ: Mom said it’s time for you to get up.

Bruce: Tell your mother I’ll get up when I’m ready.

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JJ runs back to his mother.

Jen: Is Uncle Bruce on his way over?

JJ: No. He’s really grumpy. He said he’d get up when he was ready.

John: I knew it. Same old Bruce. He’s going to mess this up.

Jen glares at John.

Jen: I’ll go talk to him.

Bruce: I said I wanted to sleep.

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Jen: You have to get up. Your commercial’s today.

Bruce: I can’t. I have a terrible headache.

Jen: How much of that caffeine do you take?

Bruce: I don’t know. Enough to stay awake.

Jen: How long have you been taking it?

Bruce: Hmm. Maybe a year.

Jen: How often do you not take it?

Bruce: What’s with all the questions? You’re not my mother, you know.

Jen: No, but I’m smart enough to know that you’re having a reaction to not having enough caffeine in your system.

Bruce: Great. I would have been fine if you hadn’t come and messed up my schedule.

Image result for too much caffeine meme

Jen: This is your own fault, not ours.

Bruce: Forget it. Just go away.

Jen goes back to her family. A few minutes later, JJ goes back to Bruce.

Bruce: What do you want?

JJ: Mom said you should eat this.

Bruce: What is it? It looks like a bunch of grass.

JJ: It’s special grass. She says it will make you feel better.

Bruce: I don’t want it.

JJ: You have to. It’s your big day.

Bruce: I don’t care. I’m not eating it.

JJ: Dad! I need your help.

John comes over and glares at Bruce.

JJ: He won’t eat it.

John: Bruce, you can either eat the grass or I can feed it to you. You are not going to disappoint Jen one more time.

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Bruce looks up at his much larger brother-in-law.

Bruce: Fine. Give it to me.

Bruce takes the grass and chews it.

Bruce: This tastes awful.

John: I don’t care. Eat it all. We’re leaving in an hour. Get yourself together.

JJ helps Bruce brush out his coat. Bruce wouldn’t let him touch the hooves. They needed to look as bad as possible. By the time John came back, Bruce was feeling better.

John and Bruce arrived at the shoot just before he was due. John watches everything and decides that Bruce had done well. Soon they were back at the meadow.

Conclusion: How did Bruce do on the commercial? Does he have a future in Hollywood?

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18

O, Give Me a Home – Part 2

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Where we are: The Bison family is going to Wyoming to see Jen’s brother Bruce. Bruce has advised them to take the train. John has just discovered that his family will be sharing their space with two jackrabbits. You can read Part 1 here.

John explained the situation to his family and they returned to their car. He opened the door quietly and saw the jackrabbits asleep in the corner. The bison entered, trying not to make any noise. They put their things down as the train started to move.

 The adults settled in for a nap, and JJ went to explore the train. After a couple of hours, his parents joined him, and they went and got something to eat. While they were eating, they watched the scenery.

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JJ: Isn’t this great, Dad? We just sit here, and the train does all the work.

John: I guess you’re right. This is a lot better than walking.

Jen: I’m glad you like it.

The rest of the trip was uneventful. The next afternoon, the train pulled into their station.

Jen: While you and JJ get our luggage, I’ll go find Bruce.

John: If you do, it’ll be the first time he’s been where he’s supposed to be.

Jen: Be nice, John. Remember, he invited us to stay with him.

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John: I’ll try.

She goes outside, but doesn’t see Bruce. John and JJ join her.

Jen: I can’t find him anywhere. You look. Maybe I missed him.

John: He’s a full-grown male bison. How could you miss him? I’ll call him.

On the phone:

John: Bruce, it’s John…I’m fine. We’re at the station waiting for you…Yes, it’s today…Today IS Thursday…Of course, I’m sure…I have no idea where you live…No, it’s OK. If we get lost, I’ll call…All right. See you soon.

To Jen:

John: Your brother is an idiot. He thinks today is Wednesday. He told me I was lucky he answered the phone. [snort] He’s lucky he answered the phone.

Jen: Is he on his way?

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John: He said that he was bathing and gave me the directions. It’s probably safer that way.

They followed Bruce’s directions and found a nice shelter in a meadow.

Bruce: Sis! It’s great to see you! Beautiful as ever. JJ, almost a bull! John, it’s been a long time!

John (thinking ‘not long enough’): Good to see you. What have you been up to?

Bruce: Funny you should ask.  I have exciting news. I was cleaning up because I’m going to be in a commercial.

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JJ: Really, Uncle Bruce? What kind of commercial?

Bruce: It’s for hoof wax. They should a handsome buffalo with ugly hooves. Then his feet get waxed, and it’s a handsome bison with beautiful hooves.

JJ: You’re the handsome bison?

Bruce: Not exactly. I’m the hooves.

JJ: Oh. Why can’t they use the other guy’s feet?

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Bruce: He has really, really ugly feet. He survived a nasty fungus, but his hooves were ruined.

Jen: So why can’t you be the handsome bison?

Bruce: This guy’s been their spokes bison for a long time. People know his face.

John: You’re going to be Hardwax Jack’s hooves? Congratulations! It sounds like you’ve actually found a job.

Bruce: Thanks, John. I hope I meet someone who sees how talented I am.

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John: Good luck. I hope it works out.

Jen: I’m so excited for you, Bruce! When does it shoot?

Bruce: Monday.

Jen: So you’ll have a few days to show us around.

Bruce: Sure do. As long as it doesn’t interfere with my real job.

John: You have a real job? Maybe it was a good idea for you to move out here. What do you do?

Bruce: I joined a herd out here. Really nice bunch. They needed a night watch bison. So I took the job.

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Jen: That’s great, Bruce. But bison sleep at night.

Bruce: That’s why the job was open.

Jen: How do you stay awake?

Bruce: That’s been a bit of a problem. I started by walking around, but that didn’t work out so well. When I stopped for my break, I fell asleep.

Jen: What are you doing now?

Bruce: The humans have something they call caffeine. In comes in coffee, tea, and soda. You drink it.

Jen: Bison don’t drink those things. It doesn’t sound like a good idea.

Bruce: It took some practice. Humans are kind of scrawny, so I needed to drink a lot. And it tastes awful. I swear, people will put anything in their mouths.

JJ: That sounds awful, Uncle Bruce. Did it work?

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Bruce: I think it would have. But I had to take so many bathroom breaks that I wasn’t much of a guard. Luckily, we live in a safe neighborhood.

Jen: So I’m right. It isn’t a good idea.

Bruce: Well, the coffee wasn’t. But the caffeine worked; I stayed awake. Now I take pills. The people stores sell them.

John: Don’t the humans think it’s odd to be selling to a bison?

Bruce: One of the small humans does it for me. I give him rides in exchange.

John: Do you work every night?

Bruce: Pretty much. I’m going to take off Sunday night to be ready for Monday.

Bruce goes to work and the family relaxes, tired from the trip. Jen decides to do some research on caffeine. She didn’t like her brother taking something meant for humans.

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Next week: Does Bruce really have two jobs? Can bison become addicted to caffeine?

Pictures courtesy of Google Images.

22

O, Give Me a Home

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Jen Bison had been wanted to visit her brother Bruce, but her husband John had been putting it off. Finally, he decided that the only way to get her to stop talking about it was to take the trip. The two of them, with their son JJ were planning the trip.

John: Why on earth did your brother decide to move from South Dakota to Wyoming?

Jen: He said it was too cold here.

Image result for bison in the snow

John: We’re bison. Look at us. We’re built for the cold. I assume he’s figured out by now that Wyoming isn’t exactly Miami Beach when it comes to cold weather.

Jen: You know Bruce. He’s never happy. He says there are too many humans in Wyoming. He’s thinking about moving again.

John: I guess we better see him now. Next thing we know, he’ll be in Hollywood, trying to be a movie star.

JJ: That’d be cool! My uncle the movie star.

John: Knowing Bruce, he’d end up in a movie with a hundred other bison. You wouldn’t even be able to tell which one is him.

Jen: John, that’s not nice. He thinks he has potential. He’s just not sure where it is.

John: Well, he certainly is different.

Jen: When did you want to visit him?

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John: That’s a long walk. I guess we should leave soon, so we’ll be back before the snow starts.

Jen: What do you mean walk?

John: We’re bison, remember? That’s how we get around.

Jen: Bruce says no one walks there anymore. They travel in buses or trains. It only takes 2 days.

John: I am not getting on either of those things.

JJ: Why not, Dad? It’s a lot better than hoofing it.

John: Those things aren’t built for bison. We’re too big.

Image result for bison on a bus

Jen: That might be true for a bus. They seem more wolf-size. I’ll make reservations on the train.

John: Make sure they’re refundable. If it’s bad going down, we’re walking back.

Jen: Yes, dear.

JJ: This is going to be great! Wait til I tell my friends.

John knows he’s outnumbered and goes to play “Buffalo Bill and the Planet of Doom.”

A few weeks go by before the trip. John is getting grumpier. He can’t find any bison who have been on a train. The thought of the train and a few weeks with Bruce was almost too much to bear. Finally, the big day arrived.

Image result for bison on a train

JJ: I’m so excited! Aren’t you excited, Dad? It’s your first time on a train too.

John: I’ll be more excited when we’re on our way.

Jen: You’ll be glad to know we have a sleeper. And there are very few passengers. Look around.

John looked. A few gophers, a wolf family, and some hares. Maybe it wouldn’t be too bad. John opened the door the conductor pointed out and started to walk in. He took a couple of steps in, then backed out.

John: Excuse me. I must have the wrong room.

John turned around, embarrassed.

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John: I need to find the conductor and get this straightened out. There’s a jackrabbit couple in our car.

He hunts down the conductor and explains the situation. The conductor looks in his book.

Conductor: Yes, Mr. Bison. That is the correct room. I’m afraid we overbooked. We’re doubling folks up. Didn’t you get our email? You could either get a voucher for a different train or receive ½ off for sharing space. It would have told you the species you’d be sharing space with. Carnivore/non-carnivore issues, you know.

John: Honey, did you get an email about overbooking for this trip?

Jen: Yes. I asked Bruce what I should do. He said that most animals choose to not take a chance on their roommates and rebook. So I kept the tickets.

Image result for bison at a door

Conductor: Ma’am, unfortunately your friend is wrong. Very few animals rebook. Most are on a schedule.

John: I should have known. Mr. Conductor, I’d like to take a different train.

Conductor: I’m sorry, Mr. Bison. You needed to make your decision by last Friday. I’m afraid I can’t help you.

John: Are all of the cars overbooked? Perhaps the rabbits wouldn’t mind moving.

Conductor: They arrived first and are fine with sharing. You’d have to move, and there are no empty cars.

John: They don’t mind sharing space with three large bison?

Conductor: They plan to sleep the entire trip and have earplugs. As long as you don’t step on them, you’re good.

John: Well I guess that’s that.

Next week: Is the trip going to improve for John or is the beginning just an omen of things to come?

Image result for bison sleeping

 

Pictures courtesy of Google Images.

17

Cat Forum: Fur, Beautiful Fur

 

Darlin’ give me a body with fur, long beautiful fur

Shining, gleaming, streaming, flaxen, waxen

Fur, fur. Fur, fur, fur, fur, fur, fur

Flow it, show it, long as I can grow it, my fur.

Fur, fur, fur, fur, fur, fur, fur, fur

Flow it, show it, long as I can grow it, my fur.

Fur, fur, fur, fur, fur, fur, fur, fur

Flow it, show it, long as I can grow it, my fur.

Flow it, show it, long as I can grow it, my fur.

Flow it, show it, long as I can grow it, my fur.

Flow it, show it, long as I can grow it, my fur.

With apologies to “Hair”. You can hear the original Broadway version here.

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Kommando: Why does it say “Apologies to Hair?” It’s about fur.

Snoops: It was originally about human hair.

Kommando: Why would anyone write a song about that? It’s disgusting.

Snoops: They wrote a whole play about it according to Mom.

Kommando: Humans are so weird. It’s not like it even covers their whole bodies. You have to look at all that disgusting skin.

Snoops: Seriously. Those pores and bumps. And those marks when they fall down.

Kommando: Yeah. And when they bleed. Ugh. Revolting.

Snoops: That’s why we’re talking about fur today.

Kommando: Pawsome!

Image result for peterbald cats

First, we are identified by the type of coat we have. There are hairless, short-haired, and long-haired.

Hairless – Hairless cats are not hairless (but they are cats). They are covered with very fine hair that feels like suede. Hairless cats are actually quite a bit of work. They have to be bathed regularly to remove some of the oil from their skin (the rest of us have fur to do it). Also, these cats shouldn’t be outside in cold weather (no coat). And they sunburn (Don’t put aloe on it; it’s poison to cats). Examples include the Sphynx and Peterbald.

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Short-haired – These cats are low-maintenance. The fur is no more than 1.5 inches long and requires very little brushing. Examples are the British Shorthair, the Burmese, the Manx, the Bengal, and the Savannah.

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Long-haired – These cats are furballs with feet. Their fur is longer than 1.5 inches, but it can grow up to 5 inches long. They require a lot of brushing, and they shed year-round. They are also prone to coughing up hairballs. Examples are the Maine Coon, the Ragdoll, and the Persian.

Now we move on to colors and patterns. As many varieties of patterns there are, cats are limited to 8 colors: white, black, red/ginger, bluish/gray, cream, brown, cinnamon, fawn. If cats were good at math, we’d tell you how many combinations that is; we’re not, so it’s lots.

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Solid/Self Color – These cats are easy to spot, if you can find one. If there are furs of other color (any furs), they are not a solid.

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Bi-Color – a base of white with patches of color. There are many variations: random, random with colored tail, colored head and back, and between the ears and a colored tail.

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Tabby – the most common patter in domestic cats; they are striped or marbled. The markings trace back to the ancestral wild cats. There are four sub-groups:

Striped or Mackerel – vertical stripes running from spine to belly.

Classic or Blotched – no distinct stripes, but a marbled effect.

Spotted – Spots instead of stripes.

Ticked – Each hair is more than one color, often with striped legs and tail.

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Tortoiseshell – they come in a variety of shades. The most common is gingery-red and black; the lightest is blue-grey and cream (diluted). Sometimes the colors are mixed/brindled and sometimes they are in patches.

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Torbie – a mixture of tabby and tortie. The markings are a mix a blend of tabby and tortoiseshell.

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Tri-Color/Calico – a mixture of gingery red, black, and white in any variation. They dilute down to grey, cream and white.

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Color Point – one color, but darker on the face, paws, and tail; the parts that are the coolest.

Kommando: Gee. I had no idea that fur was so complicated. Imagine if we each got to pick out our own coat. The line would go on forever while cats looked at samples.

Snoops: That is a very strange idea. Even from you. But there’s more. Some cats only have a top coat. That’s the longer guard hair. Others have that and an undercoat. The undercoat is very fine and cottony; excellent insulation. Those are the cats that don’t mind being outside in the winter.

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Kommando: We have double coats, and we don’t like cold weather.

Snoops: Good point. I guess fur is only part of it.

Kommando: These cats are all beautiful. I guess that’s the advantage of being a cat.

Snoops: Very true. We’re all gorgeous.

Kommando: Of course, the best looking are the bi-color with random black spots.

Snoops: Not even close. It’s the classic calico.

Kommando: Bi-color!

Snoops: Tri-color!

Kommando & Snoops: Mom! We need you!

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Pictures courtesy of Google Images.