11

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.

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(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.

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.

Image result for tortoiseshell cats

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.

Image result for double coated cats

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.

18

Cat TV – Part 2

Image result for cats and tv

So far – Josie and Kenny’s TV have gone out, and the technician won’t be available for at least three days. They are devastated, but Mom and Dad aren’t very sympathetic.

Josie: Mooom, I’m bored.

Mom: Did you do your homework?

Josie: Yes. Now I’m bored.

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Mom: Read a book.

Josie: I don’t have any.

Mom: Go to the library.

Josie: Yuck! What if someone sees me?

Mom: What if they do?

Josie (sighing): Mom, you’re impossible.

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Kenny: I’m bored.

Mom: I don’t suppose you have anything else to do either.

Kenny: Nope.

Mom: Then clean your rooms.

They look at her and roll their eyes. She doesn’t move. They stomp off to their rooms. At dinner:

Dad: You two look gloomy. Did you have a bad day?

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Kenny: We didn’t have anything to do, so Mom made us clean our rooms.

Dad: Oh, that is a crisis.

Kenny and Josie glare at him.

Mom: Well, tomorrow you can go visit Grandma. I’m sure she has something for you to do.

Josie: It has to be better than today.

The next day, they walk over to Grandma’s house. She’s outside getting ready to pounce on something. Josie and Kenny run up to her.

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Josie: Hi Grandma! Mom sent us over here because we’re bored. Do you have a TV we can watch?

Grandma: Goodness, no. What a waste of time. Wouldn’t you two rather run around the yard?

Josie: No TV?

Grandma: Josie, we’re cats. Cats don’t watch TV.

Josie: All of our friends do.

Grandma: When did you pick up that nasty human habit? Doesn’t it interfere with your running around and climbing things?

Kenny: Why would we do that?

Grandma: That’s what real cats do.

Image result for cats pouncing

Josie: Next thing you know, she going to tell us we should be out chasing mice and pouncing on bugs.

Grandma: Exactly! Those are excellent cat skills. Look over there; the bush is moving. Let’s see who can pounce the fastest.

The kittens thought it was silly, but since it was Grandma they played along. To their surprise, she was faster by far. She jumped at the bush, but the bird got away.

Kenny: Wow, Grandma! You can run a lot faster than we can.

Grandma: That’s because I’ve been running since I was a kitten. Now, see if you can catch me.

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Grandma took off with Kenny close behind. She got to the maple tree and ran up the side to the first branch. Kenny stood under her.

Kenny: No fair! How can I catch you up there?

Grandma: The same way I got here. Climb the tree.

Kenny: How do I get down.?

Grandma: It isn’t very high. Jump off.

Kenny: Wow! This is fun. Can you show us how to do all this old-fashioned stuff?

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They had so much fun that it was time to go home before they realized it.

Josie: Thank you, Grandma. That was great.

Grandma: I had a lot of fun too. But if you’re going to watch TV, watch Cat TV. That human stuff will rot your mind.

Josie: What’s Cat TV?

Grandma: If you have to be inside, watch what’s out the window. You’ll see all kinds of interesting things. You can practice your running and pouncing in your head.

Image result for kittens running

Josie and Kenny ran home for dinner.

Dad: Did you have fun at Grandma’s?

Kenny: It was pawsome! She taught us all the things she learned when she was a kitten. We ran around and tried to kill bugs and climbed trees.

Dad: That does sound like fun. You should be happy. The TV technician comes tomorrow. You should have TV by nighttime.

Kenny: That’s OK. We’re going to watch Cat TV instead.

Josie nodded. Their parents were astounded.

Image result for cats looking out windows

All pictures courtesy of Google Images

 

 

 

13

Snoops and Kommando in the Kitchen

Here we are again. Your favorite felines from Cheeseland. Why are we interrupting the lame story about Cat TV? Mom has a concussion from where she fell on the sidewalk. (She is so clumsy. She would be the world’s worst cat.) Her brain is a little slower than usual, so we’re here to fill the gap.

Image result for cat with a cold meme

We have come up with some recipes to make her feel better. You are free to try them yourselves and let us know what you think.

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Protein Smoothie

3 mice, preferable without tails1

1 cup cream

½ cup cat grass2

Ice cubes to make it smooth

Put in earplugs. Blend until it is liquidy and a nice brownish-green color

1 If you do not have mice, substitute any fish.

2 Any green will do. The recipe book said that greens make smoothies healthier, and cat grass sounded good to us.

Image result for cat with fish in mouth

Tuna Melt

1 slice bread1

1 can tuna

1 slice cheese1

1 Only necessary if you are actually going to melt the tuna.

We recommend that you get out the ingredients, then give the cheese to the mice to fatten them up for the smoothie. You can take the bread outside. It will attract birds for Cat TV. Eat the tuna to show how delicious this treat is.

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Chicken Soup

2 cups chicken broth1

1 cup shredded chicken2

Vegetables3

Noodles3

1You can buy broth at the store. You don’t need to squeeze a chicken

2Remember to only use canned or from the refrigerator. Raw chicken can make you sick.

3It doesn’t matter what kind or how many. Most cats don’t like vegetables or noodles.

You stir all this stuff together. Put it in the microwave until it starts to bubble over. (Be sure not to let it heat too long. You’ll lose too much broth.) Put it through a strainer over a bowl.

Put the bowl next to the strainer. Pick out the chicken and put it in the bowl with the broth. Take the strainer outside and empty it. The vegetables will attract animals for Cat TV.

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Potatoes au Gratin

(Toss) Don’t know how that got in here. Who eats potatoes?

Caesar Salad

Eeew. Isn’t that the guy our human brother keeps reading about? (Toss)

Pickled Pig’s Feet

Blech. We hate pickles and who wants to eat the part of the pig he’s been walking around on? Do you know where they live? (Toss)

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Meat Loaf

1 pound meat1

1 onion

1 egg

1 cup bread crumbs

Salsa or barbecue sauce

Salt and pepper

1It doesn’t say what kind of meat, but since it’s supposed to be in a loaf, we recommend something small, like mice.

Put the meat in a loaf pan. Like the ones Mom uses for banana nut bread. Put it in the oven and cook it. Put the other ingredients in the refrigerator. Some human will eat it eventually.

We hope you will enjoy these recipes.

Purrs, Snoops and Kommando Kitty

 

Pictures courtesy of Google Images (except us)

 

 

5

Cat TV

Image result for cats and tv

 

Josie and Kenny Kitty came home from school, said hello to their mother, and turned on the TV. Everything was fine until the screen went blank, then said “searching for signal.”

Josie: Mom! The TV lost its signal again.

Kenny: That’s the fourth time this week.

Mom: Well, you’ll just have to wait for it to come back on.

Josie: But it’s our favorite show, “Tom Kat, Secret Agent.” Tom had just figured out who stole the catnip, but we didn’t know yet.

Mom: I’m sorry, honey. I can’t do anything about it.

Image result for two sleeping cats

They waited for a few minutes, then turned off the TV. About an hour later, their father came in.

Kenny: Dad, the TV’s out again.

Dad: This is ridiculous. It seems like we don’t have TV half the time. I’m going to call the service people.

He calls the cable company and is put on hold. The longer he waits, the more irritated he gets. Finally, he gets through and explains the problem. He listens for a few minutes and hangs up.

Josie: What did they say, Dad?

Dad: They can’t tell us anything unless they send out a technician to check it out.

Josie: OK, what time will they be here?

Dad: Thursday, between noon and five.

Kenny: Thursday? But it’s only Monday. What are we supposed to do until then?

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Dad: Find something else to do.

Kenny: But I need the TV for my homework.

Mom: You’ll just have to tell your teacher that our TV isn’t working. Or go over to Henry’s and watch it with him.

Dad: What kind of homework did she assign that needs the TV?

Kenny: We’re supposed to write a report about the French Revolution, and “A Tale of Two Kitties” is on Mouseterpiece Theater tonight.

His mother started to laugh.

Kenny: What’s so funny. That’s about the French Revolution.

Mom: It’s not a true story. I think she meant that you are supposed to read something. A book or something I find you on the Internet.

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Kenny: Oh. Well I guess I don’t need the TV for that after all.

Mom: I guess not.

Josie: But we still need something to do.

Dad: You could read. Or go for a walk. Or clean your rooms.

Josie: I meant about TV. We’ll be the only ones at school who don’t know what’s happening on “Dr. John, Veterinarian to the Stars.” And “Susie Squirrel: High School Hero.”

Image result for kittens playing

Mom: I think you’ll survive. You two watch too much TV. When your Dad and I were your age, we ran around, and climbed trees and had a lot of fun.

Dad (joking): I don’t know. That sounds pretty important.

Mom: Then go to someone’s house and watch it.

Kenny: That would be lame.

Mom: Why?

Image result for cats playing video games

Kenny: Their TV’s are all old. We have the only one where it looks like the mice are right in the living room when you play games.

Mom: Well, I guess you’re stuck.

Josie: It’s OK, I guess. We can stick around and keep you company Mom.

Kenny: Yeah! You can play games with us and teach us how to cook and stuff.

Mom: Maybe I should help you find something to do.

Image result for cats cooking meme

What should two bored kittens do to entertain themselves when the TV goes out?

All pictures courtesy of Google Images

 

4

Cat Forum: Party Treats

Kommando: Did we tell them that our human sister is getting married in October?

Snoops: I think so.

Kommando: Did we tell them that we’re going to help?

Snoops: I don’t remember.

Kommando: Let’s tell them what we’re gonna do.

Image result for cats and presents meme

Snoops: What are we going to do? You mean the present?

Kommando: Of course not. She might read this and it would ruin the surprise.

Snoops: It’s a good thing she doesn’t live here. It’s hard to keep that sort of thing secret.

Image result for cats and showers

Kommando: No. We’re going to help with the food at her party before the wedding.

Snoops: You mean that thing they call a shower, even though there’s no water?

Kommando: Yeah. Humans are weird, but I wasn’t going to help if there was real water.

Snoops: Did you find any good recipes?

Kommando: I thought so. There were all kinds of things called mousses. I thought it was a typo for mouses. It’s not. People make mousses out of all kinds of stuff. Most of it’s pretty disgusting.

Image result for cats and food meme

Snoops: That’s like when we found out that tomato goat cheese spread was tomato goat-cheese spread, not tomato goat cheese-spread. I was pretty disappointed. I thought all I was going to have to do was pick the tomatoes off the goat.

Kommando: There is not a single recipe out there with mouse as the main ingredient. And very little tuna. There is some salmon.

Snoops: Well, maybe we could try the tuna ones.

Kommando: I don’t think so. They mix it with stuff like mustard and lemon juice. One of them even said to use chickpeas.

Snoops: I don’t know what a chickpea is, but it must be some kind of vegetable. Peas are those little rounds things we can chase around.

Image result for cats and cheese

Kommando: That’s the other thing. Humans put vegetables into almost all of their party foods.

Snoops: I guess that’s to make them feel better about the cake.

Kommando: They even ruin cheese with nuts and beer and wine and stuff.

Snoops: EWWWW. Maybe this is going to be harder than we thought.

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Kommando: I had an idea. You know how much humans like pizza?

Snoops: Yeah. But they don’t sell mouse pizza.

Kommando: I know that. But we get cheese pizza and put the mice on ourselves.

Snoops: That might work. And cold catnip tea. It will be purr-fect.

 

Pictures courtesy of Google Images (except us of course – tell Mom we want some pictures that don’t make us look like we sleep all the time, but not when we’re eating or bathing or using the litter box – maybe while we’re on bird patrol or mouse patrol)

9

Tori Tabby’s Getting Married – Part 3

Image result for two tabby cats

Where we are: Tori Tabby and Robbie are getting married. Tori’s father Davy is living with some humans who have adopted him. She wants him at the wedding, and he has said that he would be there. He is relying on his housemates, Cleo and Caesar, to hide his temporary absence from his human family so they won’t track him down. 

The big day has arrived. Tori is nervous. She told her mother Teresa that Davy was coming, but there was no sign of him.She wonders if the Persians really could find a way to get him out of the house without his humans finding out.

Meanwhile, at Davy’s house, the Persians have hatched a plan.

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Cleo: OK, Davy. Here’s what we’re going to do. We’re all going to go outside. Then Caesar is going to pretend to catch a squirrel and bring it to the door. Human mama is going to get upset that Caesar has a squirrel. She’ll be so preoccupied that you can get away. I’m going to run back inside while all this is going on.

Davy: That’s disgusting. I don’t want Caesar to kill a squirrel for me.

Caesar: I’m not going to kill a squirrel. That’s the genius part of the plan. Look at the new toy I got.

He shows Davy a realistic-looking squirrel toy. It barely fit in his mouth. Then he drops it.

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Caesar: Pretty good, huh?

Davy: Not bad. But how is that going to help while I’m gone?

Cleo: We thought about that. You know how sometimes we play hide-and-seek with the humans? And it takes them a really long time to find us? We’re going to race around a little, and then go into hiding. When you get home, you cry at the door. Human mama finds you outside and thinks you’ve been running around all that time and finally come back. She’ll feel bad because she didn’t make sure you were with us. But she’ll be so happy to see you that it won’t last long.

Davy: That might work.

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They cry at the door to be let out. The boy human lets them out. He doesn’t pay any attention to Caesar’s squirrel toy. The cats play for a few minutes. Then Caesar picks up his squirrel and runs to the door. He meows loudly. His human mama opens the door and looks down. She’s very upset.

Woman: Caesar! That’s a very bad kitty! You know you’re not allowed to kill.

She reaches down to take the squirrel and see if she can revive it. Caesar moves back and growls to protect his prize.

Woman: Caesar what is wrong with you? Let me have the squirrel.

Impressed by Caesar’s acting, the other two cats almost forget to run in opposite directions. All the woman notices is something furry running past her. Finally she reaches down to rescue the squirrel and discovers that it’s only Caesar’s new toy. She is irritated but relieved.

Image result for cat with toy meme

Woman: Caesar! Why did you scare me like that? Don’t do that!

Caesar walks slowly past her with his prize. She looks around the yard and doesn’t see any cats so she assumes they were what raced past her while she was preoccupied with Caesar. She closes the door and sits down to read, happy that the drama has ended. 

Meanwhile, Davy is racing to Tori’s house.

Tori: Daddy! You made it! I can’t believe you got away.

Davy: Those Persians are pretty amazing.

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Teresa walks up and sees Davy. She’s surprised he would actually show up. She tries to be civil for Tori’s sake.

Teresa: Davy! I didn’t believe you’d actually show up.

Davy: I needed the help of my fellow cats. But here I am. You look really good Teresa. I’ve missed you.

Teresa: Thank you. But you’re the one who ran off.

Davy explains what actually happened. Teresa looks skeptical but decides not to fight on Tori’s wedding day.

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Teresa: Whatever. It’s almost time for the wedding. Find a seat.

That didn’t go as smoothly as he had hoped. But he didn’t blame Teresa. He had just disappeared. He understood that she would be hurt and angry. He heard music and quickly sat down.

The wedding was beautiful. Tori looked amazing and Robbie was a picture-perfect groom.The food was wonderful but before he knew it, it was time to to go. He was nervous on the way home. He stood at the door and cried. Before long, the female human opened the door.

Woman: Davy! Where have you been? I didn’t even know you were missing. I’m so glad to see you.

She picked Davy up and cuddled him. He was home.

Image result for cats crying at door