6

2018 Animal Olympics Coverage Team

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It’s almost time for the Winter Animal Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea. We noticed that the humans put out an announcement introducing their coverage team. We decided that would be a good idea, so here they are:

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General Coordination and Coverage – Riki T. Tavi (mongoose) – our Asian Correspondent

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Interpreters  – Lexi (German Shepard) and Yuma Cho (Raccoon Dog) – you may remember Lexi as the ace translator we discovered during the cat food crisis a couple of months ago.

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Cross-Country Tracking – Harold Hare – member of the gold medal-winning 2014 Snowshoe Hare team.

What it is: Teams compete to see who can locate the most food on a prepared track. There are separate events for carnivores and non-carnivores.

Favorites: badgers, hares, wolverines

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Freestyle Skiing – Margaret Malamute – member of the 2014 Olympic Mixed Sled-Dog Team

What it is: Teams compete for a combined score based on how quickly its members get down the mountain. The skier must remain upright and no equipment is allowed.

Favorites: Dall sheep, reindeer

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Freestyle Sledding – Edie Ermine – gold medalist, 2014

What it is: Teams are scored on how quickly its members are able to get down the mountain in the same position (back, front, sitting).

Favorites: ermine, seals, penguins

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Ice Hockey – Bruno Brown Bear – member of the 2014 Brown/Grizzly Team

What it is: Teams compete to see how many chunks of ice they can get into their opponents goal. Players will be ejected for drawing blood on an opposing team member.

Favorites: polar bears, black bears

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Luge – Penelope Penguin – silver medalist, 2014

What it is: Teams are scored on how quickly its members can get down an iced track on their backs

Favorites:  penguins, polar bears

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Raptor Grab – Arnie, member of the 2014 American Kestrel team

What it is: Teams compete to collect the largest number of fish in the shortest period of time. Points are deducted for bringing back game not marked with the Olympic. Participants are disqualified for bringing back prey that is not a fish.

Favorites: Red-Tailed Hawks, Golden Eagles

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Sleigh Pull – Rodney Reindeer, gold medalist in 2014

What it is: Teams of four animals compete to pull a sleigh of two (friendly) adult black bears. Participants are disqualified for tipping the sleigh over. Note: bears may not be as friendly at this point.

Favorites: caribou/reindeer, moose

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Underwater Relay – Oscar Otter, bronze medalist 2014

What it is: Teams of four animals compete to finish a circular obstacle course underwater with each member completing one quarter of the circuit. The winner is the fastest team with the fewest missed obstacles.

Favorites: otters, seals

We animals don’t tell time like the humans do. So just remember that all of the competitions will be during the day. But when it’s daytime in South Korea. So you might just want to set some kind of recording device or leave the channel on all the time.

See you in February!

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17

Cat Forum: Mid-Winter Get-Away

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Snoops and Kommando Kitty here. Are you a freezing feline? A shivering Siamese? A chilly callie? If so, you’ve come to the right place. This winter has already been brutal, and it’s not even half over. Our special guest today is Trixie Tuxedo, who owns Trixie’s Terrific Travel. She specializes in cruises and tropical vacations for the discerning cat. Thank you for joining us Trixie. Why don’t you show us the recommendations you have brought for our followers?

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Hi everyone! I’m so happy to be here. I’ve got a lot of great ideas for the perfect mid-winter vacation. As cats, we all love the sun don’t we? And you won’t find better sun this time of year than on a tropical beach.

You need to decide what type of trip you want to take. Your first option is a cruise. Cruises are exciting adventures for many:

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but also offer opportunities to relax:

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We offer cruises to the Caribbean and Mexico. The advantage to a cruise is that you don’t have to get off the ship at all until the end of the trip if you don’t want to. You can visit the sites if you’d like, but be sure to get back in time for departure. We had one poor kitty who had to stay at Customs for several days after missing a ship.

A significant disadvantage for many cats is that cruise ships are full of humans.The humans are not checked for cat-compatibility which has caused some stress in the past. Although it was the humans who complained, not the cats.

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Some cats prefer to relax in one spot for the entire time. We offer 4-day, 7-day, and 14-day packages to a variety of locations. Some of our more popular destinations are Aruba, the Virgin Islands, and Key West. Are you looking for a romantic getaway? We can find you the perfect place.

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More of the outgoing type? We have something for you as well:

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Regardless of what type of trip you are taking, remember to protect yourself from overexposure to the sun. There’s nothing worse than coming home from vacation with burnt ears.

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Does all of this sound like a budget-buster for you? I understand that sometimes we just can’t afford to get away no matter how purr-fect it would be. Unlike other travel advisers, I won’t try to tell you that you can afford it. You won’t be happy if you’re worried about money.

Instead, how about a weekend trip to a local bed and breakfast to spend some quality time in front of a nice warm fire?

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The most important part is that you get away from your regular routine and relax. Stretching out in the sun is a cat’s right. Don’t let the winter weather get in the way. Visit my website trixiestrips@cat.cat and we’ll get started today.

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18

Cat Forum: Interview with Bad Cat Chris

Welcome. Snoops and Kommando Kitty here. We are very pleased to have Chris from Bad Cat Chris as our guest today. He’s here today talking about himself and his siblings Puck, Frankie and Floki. We’re not really sure why he’s called Bad Cat. He sounds pretty normal to us.

Please introduce your family members (nicely).

Hi everyone. I’m Chris and I will speak for everyone since I am in charge here. I am the oldest at 8 ½ years and just celebrated my eighth Gotcha Day.  They call me a bad cat because I am always doing things that I am not supposed to do but in my defense, rules are stupid. I am also the most affectionate cat in the house and nobody thinks that is bad.

I am a ginger like Frankie, who is the second oldest. Frankie is a rule breaker, like me, but he is younger and skinny and is harder to catch after he escapes, like he did at 4:00 a.m. this morning. Frankie was three years old when we adopted him in February, 2014 so that makes him almost seven.

Puck is a black cat who was adopted as a kitten in 2012. He was always the best behaved cat until he started pooping outside the box two years ago and peeing outside the box six months ago. He peed on the bed this morning so he and Frankie are both in trouble this morning.

Floki is a Siamese cat that we adopted as a kitten on the Fourth of July last year. Floki is now the official “good cat” of the house and the only mamma’s boy.

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Is there an “alpha” cat in the house?

That would be me but Frankie wants the job so I have to watch him closely

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Does everyone get enough time with the human of choice?

That is not a problem, the humans are pretty accommodating. Whenever I see Frankie on Dad’s lap there is always room for me too.

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What’s your favorite treat? Any nipheads among you?

Everybody loves freeze-dried raw food like Stella and Chewey’s and Instinct. We all like the nip too, especially me. Don’t let anyone come between me and my nip.

cat that looks like hippy trying to score some catnip, if you know anyone

Anybody have an odd quirk? (likes taking a bath, eating olives, etc.)

I like to hold Puck and Floki down by the scruff of the neck. Sometimes I drag them across floor that way. I don’t know why the humans think that’s weird.

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What’s your favorite way to relax?

I like to sleep with my head on top of Frankie . . . or Puck or Floki or whoever is around.

Cat meme of overly friendly cat hugging the other.

What do you think is the weirdest thing about humans?

They are always doing this thing called work. I don’t get it. It doesn’t look fun at all. Sometimes they do it at home and sometimes they leave the house to do it. I guess that’s because humans are not as smart as cats.

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How do you feel about your human’s interest in feral cats? Any fear that you may get a new brother/sister?

I think it’s nice that they help those in need and I wouldn’t mind another subject in my kingdom but I think Puck would have a problem. He was still a good cat when it was just me and him.

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Does your human accurately reflect you in his blog or do you think he exaggerates sometimes?

He is not much of an exaggerator except when he talks about my weight. I am not fat! I just have a lot of storage space for energy that I sometimes use when I’m not sleeping.

Cat sitting human like as meme of how it feels when you overeaten and can't understand why your butt won't leave the floor.

Is there anything any of you would like to add?

I just want to thank you for considering us for your interview and I want to say I love all our readers. Also, if you want to get the real scoop, I handle our social media like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Dad just writes the blog.

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Memes courtesy of Cheezburger

14

Cat Forum: Interview with Valentine

 

Welcome to Cat Forum. Snoops and Kommando Kitty here. We’re talking to Valentine this month. Not only is he a very good-looking Persian kitty, he’s funny. And if you go to his blog, Noir Kitty Mews, you will also see that he is very talented.

Please tell us a little about yourself.

Mew Mew hellos Snoops and Kommando Kitty!  Well, for starters, I am a Persian kitty. But I’m not an evil one like those depicted in the movies.  In fact, I’m a kind kitty with a lot of heart.  I’ve never been in films, except for some home videos by Mom who also takes pictures galore of me.  I have my own bloggie and am on other social media.

Mom and Dad got me in 2012 from a nice lady that was fostering me through a shelter in Cali-for-nia.  Before that I lived with another lady and another even before her.  For reasons I’m not sure, those ladies didn’t want to keep me and so I was handed over to the shelters.  I was already an adult kitty with the name Valentine by the time Mom and Dad came for me.  Mom thought I looked like a Valentine so she chose not to rename me.  My furr-iends also call me Val, V, or Valentino.  Sometimes, I’m mistaken for a girl, but I am a gentleman kitty.  I own my Mom and Dad, a doggie, and a whole house full of furniture.  I also own a front and back yard.  I enjoy cuddling, dancing in the dark, day dreaming at my window, and spending lots of time with those I love.

Our mom loves fluffy black cats (grr). Do you get that reaction a lot?

Yes, I seem to get that reaction from others.  I am told I’m adorable and cute from my family and furr-iends all the time, but as far as I’m concerned all kitties are adorable and cute.  My mom falls for my fluff, too, and my eyes.  And I’m at my fluffiest this time of year, but then I lose my heavy coat when the new year comes along.

 Being a black cat, how do you feel about Halloween?

Oh, thanks for asking!  I love All Hallows Eve!  It is something I look forward to every year and I count down the days on my catlendar.  And even though I’ve heard it is not a safe time to be a black pussy cat outside on that particular holiday, I enjoy it by staying perfectly safe inside with my family.  I keep watch at the door for spooks, zoms, and cursed mousies, don’t you know?  It is also my job to greet the lil’ beings that come for candy treats.  They marvel at me as I peer at them through the window.  Sometimes they ask about me, too.  I’m sure if they had their wish they would rather be pussy cats instead of children and why would they not, right?!

You always look so well-groomed. Is that a lot of work or natural?

Why thank you.  That is so nice of you to say.  Well, I have a wonderful built-in comb that never fails me and always leaves me handsome.  I even use it on Mom’s cheeks, her eyebrows, and the top of her nose to try and help her out, ‘cause I notice she’s not so fastidious with her personal hygiene.  But I confess… I can’t take all the credit for my groomed appearance, just most of it.  Mom brushes me almost daily and sometimes multiple times a day.  I think it feels nice.  She says brushing me relaxes her.  I’m sure she is envious of my silky furrs, ‘cause hers are dry and wiry and don’t stay put – but I love her, no matter what.  She always has a tissue ready to dab my eyes when they get a little extra watery from allergies and to dab the doggie’s drool off my coat.

Do you have other furry roommates or just your humans?

Yes, there is the Basset Hound, Bessie, that lives in the same house with me and my humans.  My minion, I call her, was already living with my people when I became part of their family.  She is a senior now, but seems to still have energy to go on walks with my humans and to dart after me on occasion down the hall.  I don’t mind her so much, in fact, sometimes we play tag.  But I do mind her odors; I go over and sniff her most evenings wondering how she can smell the way she does!

What do you like to do in your spare time?

I’m doing one of them right now – I’m curled up on the sofa, relaxing with Mom and Dad while they watch the moving pictures on the black box.  I also like to keep a watchful eye on the perimeter, as my yard tends to attract many foul, feathered beasties and thieving squirrelygigs.  If I think something is amiss I send out my minion to run them off.  I also silently serenade my Tortie neighbor through the glass some days even though she doesn’t return my affections.  I also enjoy good long baths of my own making.  They relax the soul and keep me smelling fine.

Do you get to spend a lot of time outside or are you a fan of cat TV (window viewing)? 

Well, if you could touch my bean pads, you would know how soft and smooth they are – I am a kept kitty, so I do not venture into the wild yonder on my own.  Don’t get me wrong, I would really like to, but the house came with some sort of built-in, kitty security system and I haven’t yet been able to breach the doors to the outside.  But once in a while, like today for instance, Mom did take me on a nice stroll around my neighborhood.  And once in a while I am given opportunity to sit outside in a small mobile catio (kennel really) for a breath of fresh air.

Window viewing is something I do often.  There is always something interesting to spy on out the glass – strange pussy cats and dogs crossing my yard, kiddos playing with toy balls, motor cars whirring by, and the brown truck man coming to deliver me a package!

You seem like a pretty quiet kitty. Is that really you or a blog personality?

I am an introverted kitty as most Persian kitties tend to be I think.  But for some reason my bloggie lets me explore that little bit of inner extrovert in me.  I paw posts two times a week and talk about anything that interests me at the time.  Mom says I have subtle humor.  I’m not sure about that.  There are sure a lot funnier kitties than me.  I would say I’m an observer in my household, but I do like to know what is going on.  There are few things that I’m afraid of.

What do you like to do with your human(s)?

I like to share sleepy time with my humans.  That means I’m usually sprawled out on Mom’s pillow, snuggled in her arm, tenting under the blanket next to Dad or nestled between the two of them.  I also like to receive pets from them over and over again and I sound my purrs in exchange.  Then there’s supervising my humans and I’m pretty grr-eat at that.  I supervise them doing all sorts of things, you name it: household repairs, cooking, chores, sewing and crafts.  Humans need direction and I provide that for them.  I get them through each and every day.

Is there anything you’d like to add?

Well, if I may, I would like to give you kisses, ‘cause you have treated me so kindly and I so enjoyed answering your questions.  I am touched that you wanted to interview me.  And I welcome you and your readers to visit me anytime on my bloggie at noirkittymews.com.  Thank you, thank you, thank you Snoops and Kommando Kitty and Adventures in Cheeseland!  Mew Mew!

 

11

Job Application for Santa’s Reindeer

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Tony saw the poster announcing tryouts for Santa’s Sled Team. Tony came from a long line of sled reindeer going back to Blitzen and was eager to take his turn. He wrote down the web address for the application and went home to complete it.

When he opened the application, he was surprised by the length. As he read through it, he wasn’t sure he would make it after all. Or if he wanted to.

Application for Seasonal Employment

Santa’s Reindeer

Job Description: Work as a team member of an eight reindeer group to pull Santa’s sleigh on Christmas Eve.

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General Requirements:

  • Ability to fly long distances at a consistent speed
  • Ability to make frequent short stops for an extended period of time
  • Ability to haul large cargo for long distances
  • Ability to work in a close, team-oriented environment
  • Ability to work in stressful environment
  • Ability to be flexible
  • Working knowledge of GPS preferred
  • Prior package delivery experience preferred

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Physical Requirements

  • Antlers must have sloughed for season
  • Hooves must be tough enough to stop quickly on icy roofs
  • Must be between 75-80 inches long
  • Must weigh between 350-400 pounds
  • May not be pregnant
  • Must be able to train for at least 12 hours/day without physical collapse

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Please note: Santa’s workshop is a drug-free environment and you will be required to pass random drug tests as well as a pre-employment screening. Additionally, all applicants will be required to pass a physical exam prior to hire.

Name:

Address:

Phone Number (home):

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Phone Number (cell):

Email Address:

Preferred method of contact:

Why do you want to be one of Santa’s reindeer (200 words or less)?

Why do you think you would be a better candidate than other reindeer (200 words or less)?

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Describe any previous experience in a related field.

Do you have any relatives currently working for Santa?

Do you have any relatives who have worked for Santa in the past?

Are you currently under contract with the Easter Bunny?

Date Available:

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Thank you for your interest in being one of Santa’s reindeer. If you are chosen for an interview, you will be contacted. Please do not call our office.

Santa’s Workshop is and equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate based on species, gender or age.

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25

Cat Forum: Interview with Bertie

 

Snoops and Kommando Kitty here. Welcome to another edition of Cat Forum. This month we’re talking to Bertie. We liked him the first time we met him. He has cattitude and a great personality.  He’d fit right in here at Cheeseland. You can read more of his adventures at Bertie’s Blog.

Would you please tell us a little about yourself?

Not much is known about my history because I haven’t told anyone. It has  left me with abandonment issues and I am always scared that I shall be left behind the way my previous family did. Because of this I asserted myself very early on. I didn’t care for the humans who called themselves Ma and Pa. I wanted to know what the outside space consisted of, how many houses I could go to try and get food from should the same happen again.

Of course now I’ve been here for nearly 12 months and I don’t think Ma and Pa will leave me but I do have next door to go and visit… I haven’t paid rent yet for their’s but I do consider it my second home, as you can see me sneaking in in the photo.

You’re pretty new to the blogging world; how do you like it?

I am still finding my way a little bit. I tend to be very busy so don’t always get the chance to write or comment on blogs as much as I would like to – sleeping and catching mice is very time-consuming.

Do you have any non-human housemates or just the humans? Could you tell us about them?

It is only me here. I wouldn’t mind a companion as I’m a sociable chap. My cousins live next door who I visit frequently but they don’t like me. I was there yesterday actually. I snuck in and ran upstairs. Mo was under the bed so I joined him. Joe fights more than Mo (Mo is just a scaredy-cat) and he came to find me. He stood at the top of the stairs so I couldn’t get out. The humans decided to leave us to it. I could hear them chatting in the living room.

I made a run for it. First Mo ran down the stairs and then Joe ran. At the bottom they decided to fight each other and hiss. I found this rather amusing as they are brothers and thought they were fighting me but they got confused!

Other than that I just have Ma and Pa. Ma is at home most of the time. She is neurotic. The best thing about that is when she changes the bed linen, I can hear her sniffing the air and taking delight in the new fresh smell. I go out and get my legs soggy in wet grass and then come home and jump on the bed… I don’t just find one place on the bed I walk all over it. It’s simply purrfect!

What do you like to do in your spare time?

I love sleeping best and of course catching mice.  I do also like to get into places I shouldn’t be – like the laundry basket which I knock down and then get inside.

Do you get to roam the yard or do you prefer cat TV (window watching)?

Oh my days, I HAVE to have access to outdoors. Ma will tell you that just 2 days after taking me home I had actually escaped. I had even pulled the screw caps off the catflap (I clearly need a job in construction as I’m good!).

That first time I got out was early Nov 2016. The sun was shining. I breathed the fresh air, and then ran and ran. Over the fence I went, and over another and another. The freedom was amazing! And then I bumped into a grey little fella called Sydney. Friend or foe? He had to be friend, surely, and his home looked nice. So I sat in their driveway and stared at him. I also used the cut out hole in the fence to get into his garden. His name is Sydney and I was waiting for him to relax so that we could have a chat – he could tell me about this new area – but the next thing I knew Ma was shouting at me and running towards me. She even went into the house and into the garden. I hid! Ha! Eventually I sat at Sydney’s wall at the front and I could see Ma 4 houses down but I looked away. I would hear her coming and run at the last minute. I didn’t realise she had taken her shoes off and was treading lightly with bare feet. Before I knew it, she had grabbed me.

I cannot tell you the disappointment I felt.

I’m a lot more laid back now though.

What do you like to do with your human(s)?

I’m a very chatty boy. I always have been. As soon as I hear Ma and Pa I chirrup and chat. I come to the door whenever they arrive home.  I also like to be in the garden with ma.

However, I also love to cause trouble for them. When they are watching tv in the evening and I want to go outside I shall bang the catflap in the backdoor until they get up and open the front door.

I like bringing mice home. It’s not a gift I just want to show them what a clever boy I am. As soon as they open the door I know it’s my cue to take it out the front.

Do the humans understand that we cats are the superior species or are they still being trained?

I think I have got the humans pretty well trained. They come at my beck and call. The only thing I haven’t got them trained in is giving me the correct food. I refuse to eat their food a lot of the time. They empty my bowl and put more food down. But it’s no better!! Why can’t they give me live mice so that I don’t need to go out and catch them?

Do you have special treats or toys?

I love my Dreamies biscuits. I also love my hammock which was placed there specifically for me.

Where’s your favorite spot to sunbathe?

Anywhere there is sunshine. I’m not fussy at all. I’ll even bathe on the patio table.

Is there anything else you’d like to tell us?

I’m learning human speak. I study as much as I can but it is difficult. Sometimes I give up and just purr instead.

Purrrr puurrrr

9

Lone Hedgehog in a Cat-centric World

Greetings. It’s Horatio Hedgehog here. I want to share with you a rather unsettling experience I had recently while roaming the Internet. (Mom says this is an example of why I shouldn’t spend so much time on the computer.)

I decided to tour WordPress looking for fellow hedgehogs to befriend. It gets to be a bit boring talking to cats all the time. I figured there’d be a bunch of us. After all, we are rather cute.

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I found one, and he sounds like a pretty decent fellow. He is Hank the Hedgehog over at Living a Beautiful Life. He gets a lot more space on his blog than I do on mine, but I think he speaks well for us hedgehogs. And it appears that he doesn’t have to compete with two self-centered felines. (No offense, Snoops and Kommando Kitty, but you do love the limelight.)

  

The thing is, he was the only other hedgehog I could find. I used to know Alice, but she doesn’t blog anymore. It’s a shame; she was a real cutie. Where are the other hedgehogs? Snoops says it’s because cats rule the Internet. I told her she was crazy.

Then I looked for cats on WordPress. Good Grief! They are everywhere. Big cats, little cats, fluffy cats, sleek cats, real cats, cartoon cats, talking cats, posing cats, on and on. Why on earth are there so many cats? I live with two and they’re OK, but I wouldn’t want a herd of them.

I thought I would check the big Internet. That was really disturbing. It looks like we are pretty widespread (Europe, Asia, Africa). But some of those people think we’re a delicacy. That means they eat us!!

Can you believe that during the 1980’s Britain introduced “hedgehog-flavour” crisps (they’re like American potato chips)?  They didn’t actually contain hedgehog, but still. Have they also tried “badger-flavour”?

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I went on to look for cats. I’m sure you guessed it. The place is overrun with them. On Google, my search for hedgehog brought back 76.4 million responses which I thought was a lot. But there were 2.25 billion for cats. Not a mention of food or medicine. Mom said cats had their bad days a few hundred years ago. That didn’t make me feel any better. Maybe I should start a hedgehog advocacy group.

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Apparently we African pygmies are the only ones who keep humans. Life for us is a lot easier. My humans give me food and water. And waxworms. Yummm. Waxworms are the best. And I think we’re the only ones who get to write blogs.

I guess cats are OK. Not everybody can be a hedgehog.

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Bittersweet Note: Snoops and Kommando wanted to thank Phoebe and her family at 15andmeowing for the cat-astic toys they sent (and a coloring book for Mom). Sadly Phoebe lost her battle with kidney disease this week and is no longer with us. We will miss her.