12

Gator Family Vacation: A Punk Croc Odessey – Part 2

Alligators spotted at Lake Worth over Memorial Day Weekend | wfaa.com

Where we are – The gators decided to head north for a family vacation on Lake Michigan. Meanwhile, Uncle Stu has been road-tripping with his favorite punk croc band, Acrocalypse. Stu called Granny to have Stan meet him in Detroit. Stan and his family pull up outside a landmark club on Detroit’s west side, The Swamp. You can read Part 1 here.

Police wrangle 9-foot alligator outside Florida apartment building – WSVN  7News | Miami News, Weather, Sports | Fort Lauderdale

Justine: Gee, Dad. This place looks a little scary.

Stan: Don’t worry, girls. It’s just showing its age. This club has been around for years.

Stan walked up and tried to open the door, but it was locked. He walked around back and tried that door.

Stan: That’s odd. I know Stu said The Swamp.

Adele: Knowing Stu, he got the right club in the wrong city. Try calling him.

Alligator Crawling out of Apartment Storm Drain Shocks Local Residents

Stan dialed the number and it rang. No answer and the mailbox was full. Stan let out a low growl. He called his mother.

Stan: Hi, Mom. Have you heard from Uncle Stu? I’m at the club, and there’s no one around.

Granny: Didn’t you get his message?

Stan: What message?

Granny: The band went out last night, and the bus broke down. They need you to pick them up in Flint.

Stan: Flint! We just drove through Flint. Why didn’t he call me?

Granny: I don’t know, dear. But they need to be back in Detroit in time for tonight’s show, so you better hurry.

Back seat alligator | Animals | Know Your Meme

Stan was growling loudly by now. He turned the car around, and they drove an hour back to Flint. It wasn’t hard to find the Acrocalype bus. There weren’t many black-and-purple VW buses roaming the streets. 

Stan: Uncle Stu! We finally found you!

Stu: Stan! You made it! I was getting worried about you. Adele! It’s so nice to see you. Beautiful as ever. And the girls growing more gorgeous daily. C’mon. Let me introduce you to the guys!

The Three Crocodiles. The sun crept below the mangroves… | by Auden Wright  | The Authentic Eclectic | Medium

Stu introduced them to three rather small crocodiles. 

Stu: This is Billy Joe, Iggy, and Mick. Better known as Acrocalypse.

Stan: Pleased to meet you.

Billy Joe: The pleasure is ours. We appear to be stranded.

Stan: What happened?

Stu: We decided to see a band up here on our night off. When we got up this morning, the van wouldn’t start. I need you to take a look at it.

Stan: Me? I’m not a mechanic. You had me drive all the way down here to look at your van?

Robert Irwin Shares Video Of Alligator Enjoying A Car Ride | ETCanada.com

Stu: Don’t be silly. I invited you to the club. But first we have to get to the club. So I need you to get the van moving. (Whispers) These are nice guys, but they don’t know the first thing about anything practical.

Stan rolled his eyes. He could hear Justine and Suzy giggling. Adele was trying not to smile. Stan opened the hood and told Stu to try to start the engine. He listened for a minute.

Stan: When was the last time you put gas in this thing?

Stu: Um. Probably about three days ago. It usually lasts about a week while we’re on a gig. We should still have a couple days worth of gas left.

Stan: How far do you usually drive?

Stu: Just around the city.

Stan: You’re not in the city. You’re in Flint.

Gator Snaps Up Low Fuel Prices at Flagler Airport - GoToby.com: Florida  Real Estate Newsalligator at flagler airport - GoToby.com: Florida Real  Estate News

Stu: Oh yeah. I shoulda got gas.

Iggy: Man, Stu, you really shoulda got gas.

Stu: Okay. Let’s get gas and get back. We gotta get Stan ready for the show.

Stan: What do you mean, get me ready for the show?

Mick: You’re our bass guy for the next few nights. Iggy’s got a bad paw.

Stan: I’m not a bass player.

Billie Joe: Stu said you can play.

Global Times - 【Odd】A baby crocodile holds an electric guitar as it leans  against a tree at a crocodile breeding sanctuary in Tangerang, Indonesia.  Photo: IC http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/1030457.shtml | Facebook

Stan: I’m an accountant.

Iggy: Stu, you said he could play. You said he could play our stuff.

Stu: He can play your stuff. He was in a band called Blind Justice. They were very popular locally.

Stan: That was years ago. And we weren’t punkers. We were rockers.

Stu: You were good.

Justine: You were in a band, Dad?

Stan: It was a long time ago. When I was in college and just after.

Adele: You still play once in a while.

Stan: Not professionally.

Scientists Gave Alligators Ketamine and Headphones to Understand Dinosaur  Hearing

Suzy: Dad, you have to try.

Stu drove with the gators back to Detroit. By the time they arrived, Stan had agreed to try playing with Billie Joe and Mick.

Mick: Okay. Let’s start with “I Wanna Eat Your Dog.”

Stan joined in after a few notes and kept up with the band. Stu was nodding his head and keeping time. They moved through a few more of the old hits: “I Wanna Be Your Frog,” “Eat on the Brat,” and “Cairo Calling.” Stan was having a great time. The girls weren’t sure whether they were impressed or appalled.

Suzy: Dad, you’re actually pretty good.

Justine: I’m impressed. I have to post this on my GatorGram.

American Alligator (Alligator mississippiensis)

The band mates huddled together, whispering. Stu looked at them nervously. Finally, Mick motioned him over, and they whispered some more. 

Iggy: The doc says I can’t play for about a week. Think you can cover the gig?

Stan: I don’t know. I’m supposed to be back at work.

Stu: Call them. Tell them it’s a family emergency.

Adele: Go ahead, honey. How many chances like this will you get?

And Stan got to live out the fantasy of many middle-aged former rockers.

29 Funny alligators ideas | funny, bones funny, funny pictures

Pictures courtesy of Google Images.

16

Gator Family Vacation: A Punk Croc Odessey

Why Are Alligators Showing Up on Beaches? | The Weather Channel

Stan and Adele were basking in the warm Michigan sun. For some reason, the family had decided to vacation Up North by Lake Michigan this year.

Suzy: Hey, Dad. Who planned this year’s vacation? It’s really pretty here.

Justine: It is pretty. But I got cold last night. You should have packed blankets, Mom.

Adele: It’s no worse than home in the winter.

Alligator On Sand - DesiComments.com

Stan: We’re only going to be here a few more days. I really like the sand. It doesn’t catch in my toes like the rocks by our creek.

Adele: I’m pretty sure your cousin Danny suggested it. He came up here when he was interviewing for a residency.

Suzy: I can’t believe he graduated from Animal Tech and is a real bird doctor.

Justine: I still think it’s goofy that he wants to treat birds. Where’s he going to work?

Stan: He got a really good offer from a clinic in the Everglades.

Everglades Holiday Park Airboat Tours & Rides | Alligators

Justine: Ooh! Gator nirvana! And he won’t have to worry about snow like up here. I can’t believe he even considered Michigan.

Adele: I guess they have a lot of birds in all these trees.

Just then, they heard a loud splash. Cousin Penelope had married her boyfriend Maxwell. They were trying to get their son Stephen into the water.

Penelope: C’mon, sweetie. Let’s go in the water.

Stephen: I don’t want to, Mama. You know I don’t like water.

Do Alligators Live in Saltwater or Freshwater? - AZ Animals

Maxwell: Don’t be ridiculous. You’re an alligator. We love water. It’s how we cool down.

Stephen: I’m not hot.

Maxwell: We’ll just get our feet wet.

Stephen: I don’t wanna.

Penelope: It’ll be fun.

Stephen: I don’t wanna.

Maxwell snuck up behind Stephen and pushed hard with his snout. Stephen landed in the water with a thud. The water only came partway up his legs, but Stephen was not happy. He started howling.

Young alligators basking under the sun. - Picture of Alligator Adventure,  North Myrtle Beach - Tripadvisor

Penelope: Stephen, just relax. It’s only water. You’ll have fun if you stop complaining. Look at your cousins. They’re having a great time.

Stephen: I don’t care. I don’t like water.

Finally, Penelope and Maxwell gave up. They all returned to the beach. Stephen was shivering.

Justine: How bizarre.

Suzy (giggling): You know what a princess Penelope has always been. The kid’s just like her.

Alligator Adventure - North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina - Top Brunch Spots

The gators laid on the warm sand and enjoyed the sun with their eyes closed. Stan was just about asleep.

Granny: Stan! Wake up! I have to talk to you.

Stan opened one eye.

Stan: What’s up?

Granny: It’s your Uncle Stu. He needs your help.

Stu was a beloved elder member of the family. He kept the others entertained with his stories. Part of the reason he had so many stories was his legendarily bad sense of direction. He spent many hours being in the wrong place and trying to get home.

dreamt that alligators and crocodiles became famous music artists and it  was very popular news, they also wore headphones for some reason : r/Dreams

He hadn’t joined the family vacation because he was spending the summer touring with his favorite punk croc band, Acrocalypse. He had been a fan for years, since it had evolved from its swamp rock roots, the band Creedence Crocodile Redemption.

Stu had been welcomed by the band and had been traveling with them on the tour bus. He did odd jobs along the way. It seemed to be working out well for everyone.

Stan: What happened? Did he miss the bus?

Granny: I don’t think so. He said he needs your help.

Gators – Gatorland

Stan: Doing what?

Granny: He didn’t say. But he want you to meet him in Detroit.

Stan loved Uncle Stu, but it was always an adventure when Stu needed help. Nothing was ever easy.

Stan: Why me? Everyone’s in Michigan. Can’t someone else go? What about my family?

You can take them with you. Please? Do it for me.

Stan sighed. He talked to Adele, and they made plans to leave for Detroit in the morning.

Next week: If he wasn’t lost, why did Stu need Stan?

Robert Irwin Shares Video Of Alligator Enjoying A Car Ride | ETCanada.com

Pictures courtesy of Google Images.

31

The Big Catnap: A Kommando Kitty Thriller – Part 2

The story so far: After Mom’s new catnip was found strewn across the porch in a mess of potting soil and shattered dreams, Kommando Kitty, Purrivate Investigator is on the case. But despite her super sleuthing, she has yet to discover the perpetrator. When last we saw her, what looked like her own fur had just been discovered at the scene of the crime, prompting her partner and sister, Snoops, to go back inside for a nice nap. Now it’s up to our plucky hero to crack the case and clear her name. You can read Part 1 here.

As I watched Snoops slink away, I pushed the doubts from my mind and got ready for the stakeout. I knew the only way to get through to her would be to find the real culprit, since Snoops had never acquired my own unshakable faith in myself, for some reason. I found a nice spot on a window ledge overlooking the porch and settled in.

Something that detective stories never tell you though, is that stakeouts are really, really boring. After the first hour of waiting, my paws started to fall asleep. After the next hour, the rest of me was catching up. After FOUR HOURS (that’s ONE WHOLE CAT in paws, for the mathematically-inclined), I was almost ready to give up hope, but that’s when Lady Luck came a-knocking on my door.

While I was wondering whether the ants on the porch or the hours of the stakeout were crawling by more slowly, I suddenly caught a flash of movement on the sidewalk. A huge, burly young tomcat was stalking up toward the house, practically radiating evil intent [Editor’s Note: the cat in question might weigh seven pounds. Might.] Not wanting things to take an ugly turn, I sprang into action, throwing myself in front of the intruder.

“Stop, in the name of the law!”

Aaah! What’s going on? Who are you?”

“Paying dumb, huh? Well, nobody’s dumber than… wait… uh, hang on…”

“What?”

“Nevermind, I’m asking the questions here! Who are you, and why did you mercilessly destroy Mom’s catnip?”

“I asked first. And I didn’t do anything to any catnip, anyway. Are you okay? You’re acting kinda weird.”

“And you’re acting very suspicious! Wait a minute… Do I know you? You seem familiar.”

“Well, I grew up here…”

“Hang on…” I squinted at the interloper, “you’re my good-for-nothing sister’s kid! Sergeant Stripes!” My sister and I had never seen eye to eye, ever since I’d managed to make it big.

“Hey! Good-for-nothing? You’re not very nice.”

“Don’t play coy with me! You two are trying to frame me for your crimes, that’s why you planted my fur in the catnip pot! She was always jealous of me! Well, it isn’t going to work. Now that I’ve unraveled your nefarious scheme, Mom’s finally going to stop putting food out for you, and I’m going to be back to my usual spot as #1 cat around here! [Editor’s Note: this is a spot Kommando shares with Snoops]

“Uh… I really don’t know what you’re talking about. How long were you laying in that sunpuddle for?”

“I was doing a stakeout! And now I’ve caught you. That means you have to tell me all the bad stuff you did. So stop stalling and spill the beans! Sheesh, haven’t you ever seen any detective movies? How do you explain this?” I finished triumphantly, thrusting the incriminating furs in his face.

“Seen any whats? Look, I’m still not really sure what’s going on, but if you’re mom’s sister, then you should know that she’s been napping in that catnip. That’s probably where that fur came from. Now, can I get back to my snack?”

“So she IS the perpetrator!”

“…look, I’m guessing you and mom don’t get along well, since we haven’t met before, and I think I can see why. But she didn’t knock over the catnip. It’s her favorite new bed, why would she?”

“I’ve never understood why anyone does anything, I’m just a detective. But that doesn’t mean she didn’t do it. Maybe it was a crime of passion.”

“Would you trash your own bed?”

“Well… no. But this is my only lead!”

“…I’m going back to my kibble.” With that, he turned away, with all the inscrutability of an Egyptian sphinx. The statue kind, not the hairless kind. They’re weird. I stared hard at his back, but he didn’t waver. Maybe his story was actually true. It did put me in a bind, though. Who actually did smash the catnip?

So that’s how I ended up sitting under the bed, with a thunderstorm hammering at the windows, trying to figure out what had actually happened. As I lay there frustrated, I heard the rain start to slow. I made my way up to my perch by the window, staring forlornly out at the row of pots sitting below, mocking me. Then, out of nowhere, it hit me.

“Snoops!” I ran toward my partner, elated, “I know who knocked over the catnip!”

“Of course you do, it was your fur in the pot. Are you done playing detective?”

“That wasn’t my fur, it was my sister’s! And I didn’t knock over the pot, it was that big, ugly possum out there!” I exclaimed, pointing at the possum in question.”

“Big, ugly…?” Snoops slowly turned, eyes widening in surprise as she beheld the uninvited guest helping himself to the cat food Mom had put out for my sister and her pack of strays. “…Huh. I’ll bet you’re right. Congrats on cracking the case, detective.”

I purred happily. “I couldn’t have done it alone, partner!” (I just had, but Snoops likes to feel included. She’s a little insecure, and gets jealous easily.)

So that’s the whole story. Mom had to repot the catnip another time, after it got dug out again, and now she’s just started keeping it up on the railing, where it’s harder to get at. To make amends for her false accusation, Snoops gave me a bath. After that, I finally got back to that catnip mouse and my soft, fluffy new bed. Another mystery solved by Kommando Kitty, Purrivate Investigator!

27

The Big Catnap: A Kommando Kitty Thriller

The Cat Detective! | Kittyworks

In honor of our 9th anniversary and 500th post, our human brother has written a noir classic about us:

It was a dark and stormy afternoon. I lounged casually under the bed, where the thunder couldn’t get me. As the rain battered the windows of my bedroom, I turned the facts of the case over in my head. That’s right, I’m Kommando Kitty, purrivate investigator, and at that moment, I was the only thing standing between an audacious villain and an easy life living off their ill-gotten gains (Editor’s Note: nothing, much less anything of value, was stolen).

It all started with an innocuous Mother’s Day present. My sister/assistant (Editor’s note: Snoops is not Kommando’s assistant) and I had gotten mom a giftcard to a local plant nursery, so she could get us some catnip—a little quid pro quo, as we say in the business. Everything was coming up catnip, too. She liked the gift; she bought some catnip plants, and after a bit, she even transplanted them to bigger pots so they’d keep growing. Everyone was happy, then.

That was when the dastardly blackguard struck. One morning, we went outside, and the catnip was crushed! Something, or someone, had seen our innocent plants and decided that they needed to be taken down a peg. Once proud stalks were smashed, smushed, or smooshed. Leaves were torn and ragged, and dirt spilled from the sides of the previously neatly-kept pot. As soon as I saw the scene of the crime, I knew I would be the one who had to find some answers, even if I had a catnip mouse and a soft new bed on top of a cat tree in the window waiting.

“Did you see that dark business earlier today, Snoops? I think they might try to call me back in for this one.”

“…you mean the catnip over there? Mom’s repotting it. She says she thinks it’ll be okay.”

“Of course, I can’t very well sit idly by while some knave gets off scot-free, and they did always say I was the best.”

“…at what?”

And I suppose I won’t have any peace until I’ve apprehended the miscreant. Fine, fine, you’ve convinced me. I’ll do it!” She gave me a long stare, like she was trying to search for hope within the beautiful lines of my face. Finally, she sighed.

“…well, good luck?”

“We won’t need it, partner! Like they say, I’m the best.”

“Oh yay, I get to be a partner.” Snoops had an oddly deadpan tone, but she was clearly thrilled to be working with me again. I just hoped I’d be able to protect her from whoever did this.

The first thing we did was familiarize ourselves with the crime scene. I laid in a sun puddle looking out at the porch where it happened for several hours, but I made little headway. Whoever had done the crime was fiendishly clever.

Next, Snoops and I checked the catnip itself. It was very aromatic around the scene from all the broken leaves and stems. Whoever it was, they’d been thorough. Therefore, my partner and I concluded that we must be equally thorough, but about two hours of closely inspecting the catnip later, and we still had no leads.

“Hey Kommando,” my partner beseeched me.

“Talk to me.”

“Isn’t this your fur in the pot?”

I looked at what she’d found. Sure enough, gray and white fur, with the right length and texture to have come right out of my own luxurious coat. That’s when I knew things were getting dicey. Someone was trying to set me up, and I had to act fast before I was sleeping with the fishies, and I don’t mean the catnip ones.

“I’ve been framed! But who would want me gone? And why? Something isn’t adding up. We need to do a stakeout.”

“You’re not just trying to cover up that you knocked the pot over, are you?”

“…so it comes to this. Betrayed by my own partner. I should have known that when the going got tough, you’d get going. You didn’t grow up on the streets like I did, so you never had to get tough yourself.” (Editor’s Note: Kommando was less than four weeks old when she was found in a suburb. Snoops was adopted from a shelter after having had kittens on the street).

“Uh… okay, I’m just going to go take my nap. Good luck cracking the case, Purrlock.”

“Fine! I didn’t need you anyway, I’ll solve the case myself! And when I’m living on easy street, don’t expect to come crawling back!”

My partner stormed off, probably overcome with jealousy of my good looks and intimidating intellect, as I settled into a good spot where I could survey the porch. I had known from the start that this mystery wouldn’t be an easy one, but the stakes had just gotten a lot higher, with my own reputation on the line.

NEXT WEEK:

Will Purrivate Investigator Kommando Kitty find out who overturned the catnip and clear her name? Will Snoops be able to take her nap without interruption? Will the mysterious perpetrator be brought to justice? Find out, only on Adventures in Cheeseland

14

No Mow May: Sheep Going For the Green

How to Keep Animals Cool in Hot Weather | Livestock Solutions from OLE

Ed. Note: We are pleased to welcome Snoops’ and Kommando’s human brother to the ranks of our contributors:

Alonso was not a happy sheep.  As he walked dusty New Mexican streets with the hot May sun beating down on him, he wondered if he and his brothers had even made the right choice coming this year.  In past years, they had done quite well for themselves.  Every season, they would be shorn in the spring, and then they’d pile into their battered Jeep for the trip North.  There, they got by taking care of people’s lawns—not only was it a free meal, but they normally even managed to send something home to help the rest of the family.  But in recent years there was less work every season.

Coachella Valley on Twitter: "A bighorn ram headbutts a barrel cactus to  break through the skin and spines to get to the water rich pulp inside.  Bighorn sheep can go for months

Lush, green, delicious lawns were becoming less and less common, as rains were becoming more sporadic.  Where sprinklers had once flowed freely all day every day, there were bare trickles of water into sparse patches of grass.  And that was if there was any lawn at all!  Last year, they’d come calling on a well-to-do tortoise who had always been very generous, only to find his yard not a swathe of green, but a wide, sandy space filled mostly with rocks and gravel.  The only bits of green were a few cacti.  Alonso’s littlest brother Francisco had tried eating a cactus once.  His review was, “Ith nah vehy tathty.”

Lambs learn to eat Dalmatian toadflax by watching Mom at pasture potluck

But the latest news was even more ludicrous than the cacti.  He, Emiliano, Sancho, and Francisco had gotten into town a few days ago, and had been overjoyed when they saw a yard practically overgrown by shoulder-high grass, but the bear living there had turned them away, simply saying that he was “letting it go this year.”  Initially, they had figured he was just grumpy and out of sorts from having just woken up, but the next house was even worse.

Why Do Cats Lay In The Sun?

That home also had a large, verdant lawn, but when he’d offered their services to the cat who answered the door, she had also declined!  When Alonso asked why, the cat had replied, “It’s No Mow May!”  Alonso had started to ask just what that meant, but that was when his brothers showed up, back from another bust.  They’d trotted up to Alonso, startling the cat.  “Just how many of you are there?!  One, two… threeeee…”  Then the darn cat had just fallen asleep right on her front porch.

As the flagging flock fled that latest absurdity, Alonso turned to Emiliano, who’d been in charge of the other two as they hunted for work, since he was the second-eldest.  “We finally find some decent lawns, and nobody’s biting, least of all us!  That cat said something about ‘No Mow May,’ do you have any idea what that means?”

Felted Bumblebee Sheep – League of NH Craftsmen

“We got that too,” Emiliano replied, “Something about bees, I think, but all I know for certain is that it’s hot, we’re hungry, we’re a long way from home, and Abuela isn’t going to be able to buy a new hat this year.  We’re in a bad spot.”  He looked glumly at his older brother.

Just then, a rattlesnake passing by stopped and slithered over.  “Sorry, I couldn’t help but overhear you fellows speaking among yourselves.  You sound like you’re in quite the sticky situation, but I think I might be able to assuage it.  I’m running late right now, but if you meet with my assistant, then she should be able to help you out.  Tell her Simon sent you.”

Cute Sheep Pictures | Download Free Images on Unsplash

Alonso didn’t know what to make of the stranger, but it wasn’t like they had any better options, and, judging from the diamonds he was wearing, the snake was at least well-off enough to back up his offer.  Maybe running into him was a stroke of serendipity.  “Alright, we’ll take what we can get, at this point.  Where do we go?”

“Start off to the Southern edge of town, and keep going until you see the windmills—you can’t miss it!”  With that, the snake was slithering off as swiftly as he’d arrived.

A windmill and a lovely sheep named Susan... 🌱🐑 🌱 💢 Nominated 💢 stock  photo bbe0d3de-e8f7-4408-9bfa-707db6c854ff

“Thanks!”  Alonso called after him.

“…I think,” Sancho murmured.

With renewed purpose, the four brothers walked off to the South.  Even if they weren’t quite sure about the details, it was still the best lead they’d gotten since they’d hit town.

“Who do you suppose that snake was, anyway?” Sancho asked.

Snakes with hats. Say no more. | Cute reptiles, Cute little animals, Baby  animals pictures

“Probably some wealthy suburbanite.  I just hope all this walking is worth it.  Anyone who lives this far out ought to have a huge yard, right?”  Alonso replied.

“I guess that makes sense.  Gosh, I’m so hungry even the cacti are starting to not look so bad.”

Francisco chimed in, “The middle is actually pretty juicy!”

Feeding cactus to livestock - dry areas could profit - All About Feed

Alonso cut him off.  “Don’t even think about it; Mama isn’t here to pick the needles out of your tongue.”  As they crested a hill, they suddenly saw what the snake had clearly been talking about.  Before them, they saw a luxurious expanse of grass, speckled with small ponds and, just as promised, a couple of small windmills.

The vision of paradise before them invigorated the tired sheep, and they broke into a run, heading for the windmills at full tilt.  As they neared it, a gopher came hurrying out of a building on the grounds.  “Excuse me, can I help you gentlemen?”  she asked.

All four of them skidded to a stop.  Alonso began tentatively, “Um, Simon sent us?  We’re lawn-care specialists…”  He was doing his best to be courteous, but his stomach was rumbling at the sight of so much green, and his brothers were practically drooling.

Sheep Take Over Golf Course in England, Act As Greenskeepers

“Oh, wonderful!  We need a team to take care of the green for us!  And if Simon thought you looked like a good match, we really just need to do some quick interviews and sign some papers…  Do any of you have experience working on a golf course?”

A few hours later, the brothers gathered around one of the ponds and looked proudly at each other in their matching visors.  They were so stuffed they could hardly move.  “You know what,” Emiliano said, “Not only do we all have fancy new hats, but I’ll bet the one Abuela gets this year will put ours to shame!”

the moon's wife on Twitter: "instead of getting into a pointless argument  on the internet, why don't you look at these pictures of sheep wearing hats  https://t.co/BmwdN2OipO" / Twitter
Pictures courtesy of Google Images.
15

Mittens and the Science Fair – Part 3

Catnip: It's Not Just for Fluffy! - Farmers' Almanac

Where we are: Mittens had been studying different ways to grow catnip and was accepted to present at the Scientific Cat science fair in hopes of winning a college scholarship. A few days before the fair, a classmate’s mother had tried to destroy her plants. Mittens has been trying to salvage something to present at the fair. You can read part 1 here and part 2 here

Why cats love boxes so much

Mittens was very excited. She thought that she had found a way to still compete at the fair. Some of her plants had survived being sprayed by Mrs. Lynxette, and were looking fairly strong by Friday. She packed everything in boxes and went to the auditorium where they were holding the fair.

Registrar: Hello. What is your name?

Mittens: I’m Mittens McIntyre. And I have a project about growing catnip.

The Registrar looked at her list.

Wallpaper cat, cat, look, table, grey, background, work, coffee, legs, fluffy, red, pair, head, office, mug, evil images for desktop, section кошки - download

Registrar: Yes, here you are. You’re in Booth #12. You’ll be competing in the Nature category. Good luck!

Mittens took her plants and charts and found her spot. Just then her mother came in.

Mittens: Mama, look! This is my table. Will you help me set things up please?

Mama: Of course. What did you finally decided to do?

Mittens: I brought all of my plants, even the dead ones. I’m going to show how which nutrients made plants strong enough to survive the attack. I have “before” and “after” pictures.

Mama: That’s a great idea!

Reader's Digest | 20 Houseplants Poisonous to Cats | Plants That Are Toxic to Cats

Mittens: Unfortunately, there wasn’t enough time to show that some of them will probably recover more slowly than others. I just have to hope that what I have is enough. I also can’t show whether there will be any lasting effects.

Mama: I’m sure you’ll do well.

Mittens finished setting up, and they went home for the night. Early the next morning, they were back at the auditorium for the judging. Mittens was very nervous; she had never spoken in front of a large crowd before. And she had been forced to rewrite her entire presentation.

When she got up to speak, she saw a group of her friends and teachers near the front of the audience. She smiled bravely.

How to speak cat. - Modkat

Mittens: Hello, everyone. When I started this project, I intended to present a number of catnip plants that had been grown in various types of soil with different nutrients as well as plants that had been grown in water. I was going to show how the different growing environments impacted the health of the plants. Unfortunately, a few days ago there was an accident at my lab.

Mittens saw a commotion at the back of the auditorium. She hoped she was dreaming. Or having a nightmare. Mrs. Lynxette was trying to get to the stage. She was arguing with the security staff. One of the senior members of Scientific Cat magazine went to speak with her. Soon Mrs. Lynxette was escorted from the room.

Mittens continued speaking about how her plants had been attacked. She explained which plants had survived the attack and which had not. She had charts, graphs, and pictures of everything. After a few minutes, she sat down to loud applause.

Group shot of a pack of kitties ❤ #grouppicture #kittens #cats #adorablecats | Cats, Cute cats, Cute cat memes

After the presentations, she met her friends.

Twyla: Pawsome presentation, Mittens! You did a great job.

Suzy: You made it look easy.

Ms. Minx: Congratulations! No one would ever guess that you almost dropped out.

Mittens: Did Todd bring his mother here?

Ms. Minx: No. He came by himself. Then she showed up. He left when she did. He feels terrible.

Mittens: It’s OK. I feel bad for him. She’s very passionate about catnip.

Ms. Minx: You don’t have to worry about her anymore. They banned her from the auditorium. She refused to pay to get in and pushed some of the security staff.

Mittens: Goodness!

Twyla: I hope she learns something from all this. Catnip was not the problem.

Ms. Minx: We better get back to our seats. They’re going to announce the winners. Good luck, Mittens!

Man Comes Home To Find Cat Waiting In His House But He Doesn't Own a Cat - Love Meow

Mittens went back to her seat and waited nervously. She waved to her mother. They finally got to her group. Mr. Katz, one of the senior editors, was speaking.

Mr. Katz: We had an excellent group of young scientists competing in the Nature category. We also had a little excitement during their presentations. We want to offer our appreciation to Mittens McIntyre for even making it here today. It sounds like it was quite an adventure.

Mittens smiled. She just wanted to know if she had won.

Mr. Katz: It was an incredibly hard decision, and we’d like to thank all our participants. The winner is Peaches Murphy for her study of feral cat migration. Congratulations!

Unsubmitted_Images disappointed cat Memes & GIFs - Imgflip

Mittens felt numb as Peaches took the stage and received her scholarship. It was so unfair. But she smiled and clapped. The Scientific Cat executives were standing at the side of the stage looking at her. After the presentations were complete, one of them approached Mittens.

Ms. Pixie: Mittens, we all feel terrible about what happened to your project. Even with the accident, you were very close to winning. We think that you have a lot of potential and would like to help you. We’d like to offer you a work-study with Scientific Cat. You’d work for us, and in return we’ll pay for your education here at the local college.

Mittens was speechless. She was going to college!

Online School for Cats Soon to be a Reality - Learning Liftoff

Pictures courtesy of Google Images

18

Mittens and the Science Fair – Part 2

Catnip and other feline favorites in the garden

Where we are: Mittens had been working for months on a project that was accepted by Scientific Cat for their science fair. She had been growing catnip in a variety of media to see what worked best. A few days before the fair, the mother of a fellow student sprayed something on her plants that caused them to wilt. It looked like her project was ruined. You can read Part 1 here.

Mittens was almost hysterical. It looked like all of her plants were dying. She didn’t know what Todd’s mother had sprayed on them, but it was effective. Her mother was trying to console her.

What's wrong with my catnip plant? : r/plantclinic

Mama: Maybe it won’t be so bad.

Mittens: Mama, look at them! She killed them all. And it’s only four days until I have to be at the fair. I guess I need to call Scientific Cat and tell them I withdraw.

Mama: Don’t do that yet. Why don’t you try calling Ms. Minx and see if she has any ideas.

Mittens loved the Science Club sponsor, but she really didn’t think she could help. But her mother was persistent, and finally Mittens called.

Cat on the Phone Big Boss | Funny cat videos, Funny cat compilation, Funny cat pictures

Mama: What did she say?

Mittens: Since I don’t know what that woman sprayed, Ms. Minx really wasn’t sure what to do. But she did say that I should try to rinse the plants off completely. Maybe I can stop whatever is poisoning the plants.

Mama: What can I do to help?

Mittens: The rules say that I can’t have anyone help me with the project since I registered as a solo participant. But I don’t think it would hurt if you helped me carry these outside so I can use the hose on them.

Cat and watering can | drink with the paw | Fabio Bini | Flickr

They carefully carried all of the plants outside. Mittens took them out of their boxes and containers and gently laid them on the ground. She thoroughly rinsed all of them and then re-potted each one. She put the ones she was growing in water into fresh jars. They still looked awful.

Mittens didn’t get to bed until after midnight, and she could barely sleep. When she looked at her plants in the morning, she started to cry again. She was miserable when she got to school. Twyla ran up to her.

Twyla: Mittens, I’m so sorry! Todd told us what happened. How are your plants?

Mittens: I think they’re dead. I re-planted everything, but they’re all wilted and starting to go brown.

Cats rule the World! on Twitter: "tired of working #cat http://t.co/DelBEqgZ" / Twitter

Todd slowly walked up. He looked like he hadn’t slept either.

Todd: I’m really sorry, Mittens. I didn’t have any idea my mom was going to do that. I feel terrible. Is there anything I can do?

Mittens: I know you were just trying to educate your mom. It isn’t your fault. I don’t think there’s anything anyone can do. I’m pretty sure all of my plants are dying.

Todd: Do you have to withdraw from the fair?

Mittens nodded, starting to cry. Ms. Minx joined the group.

Computer : r/cats

Ms. Minx: Mittens, I was thinking about what happened. Could you present your data without the plants? You’ve been working so hard, you must have the results.

Mittens: It won’t be the same. I don’t have the final pictures illustrating the differences. And I don’t have any exhibits. I think I need to withdraw.

Ms. Minx: It was an excellent project. Try to think of some way you can salvage it. It will be such a thrilling experience to present in front of all of those important cats. And your friends too.

Mittens: All right. I guess it won’t hurt to think about it.

Ms. Minx: By the way, Todd. Do you know what your mother sprayed on the plants?

6 Of The Best Ways To Clean Cat Pee In Your Home - CatTime

Todd: It was the stuff that she uses to clean the floor. It’s not toxic to cats.

Ms. Minx: That’s good. Otherwise, she’d really be in trouble.

Mittens walked home slowly. She was trying to think of a different way to present her data without any exhibits. She hadn’t really come up with anything when she arrived.

Mama: Hi, sweetie! How was your day?

Mittens: About like you’d expect. Ms. Minx wants me to try to salvage the project. I’m not sure I can do it. I can’t bear to look at my plants, and it’s depressing to think about trying to make it interesting without them.

Mama: I think you should go look at them. Maybe you’ll get inspired.

Mittens: By a bunch of dead plants?

8 Benefits of Catnip for Cats - Everything You Need to Know! | Pet Keen

Mama: Just go look.

Mittens went into the back room and her mother followed. Some of the plants were definitely not going to make it. But several were still green. What was going on?

Mittens: Mama, did you do something to my plants?

Mama: No. I just came in here a few minutes ago. I wanted to see how bad it was. I think a couple of them are going to survive.

Mittens was forced to agree that Mrs. Lynxette had not been able to totally destroy everything.

Next week – Will Mittens be able to salvage her project? (You can read Part 3 here.)

Your Cat Probably Understands Physics

Pictures courtesy of Google Images.

 

17

Mittens and the Science Fair

How to Plant and Grow Catnip | Gardener's Path

Mittens was not having a very good day. She had forgotten her lunch, and all the cafeteria had was kibble. Then she had slipped during gym class and fell in the some mud. Finally, her best friend Twyla had to stay after to make up a test, so Mittens had to walk home alone.

Her mother saw her come in.

Mama: Hi, Sweetie! How was your day?

Mittens: I’ve had better. I’m starving.

Mama: Have a seat. I’ll fix you a snack. You got a letter in the mail.

The perfect mail doesn't exi- OMG! 😍 😂 #catmail #catinmailbox #mailboxcat #funnycat | Feline, Funny cat pictures, Cat feline

Mittens opened the letter and let out a squeal.

Mittens: It’s from Scientific Cat. They accepted my project for their fair. I get to present my results next month.

Mama: I’m so proud of you, Mittens! I know how hard you’ve been working on that.

Mittens: If I win, I could get a full scholarship for any state university. There’s a whole bunch of good schools.

Growing Catnip: Information On Catnip Plants In The Garden

Mittens was really excited. She had been working on finding a more efficient way to grow catnip. It didn’t grow well in the soil in her neighborhood, so she had been running a variety of experiments using various nutrients. She even had several plants growing in different types of water.

She and her mother went into the room at the back of the house where where kept her plants after she finished her snack. It was the sunniest room in house.

Mama: Your plants are beautiful! What are you going to present?

Mittens: I’m going to make a bunch of of charts and graphs with the data I’ve been collecting. Then I’m going to show the different plants so everyone can see which ones are the biggest and strongest.

This Cat Just Became an Official High School Student (Seriously!)

The next day, Mittens went to school and told everyone in Science Club her exciting news. They seemed really happy for her, except Todd. He seemed a little jealous.

Todd: That’s great, Mittens. But I really don’t understand why anyone is interested in you growing a bunch of catnip. It’s practically a weed. I’m not even allowed to go near it.

Twyla: It isn’t the plant that’s important. She’s showing different ways of growing something. It a method to improve productivity.

Todd: Yeah, but it’s catnip. That’s like growing drugs.

Twyla: No, it’s not. Catnip’s not illegal.

Todd: My mom says it should be. I just don’t think that Mittens should be getting credit for doing something unethical.

cat teacher Blank Template - Imgflip

Ms. Minx, the club sponsor, tried to talk to Todd.

Ms. Minx: Todd, do you understand why Scientific Cat accepted the project for its fair?

Todd: I guess. She’s done a lot of work on it. It just doesn’t seem fair that she might get a scholarship just for growing a bunch of plants.

Tony: It does sort of seem like gardening.

Mittens was disappointed. She thought that the entire club was going to be supportive. Now it looked like Todd was going to cause trouble.

In defense of garden cats - GardenRant

Ms. Minx: It’s not gardening. Mittens has tried growing the same plant in a variety of ways to see which worked best. It’s a classic experiment. She deserves the honor, and we should all be supporting her.

Mittens felt better, but her moment was ruined. Why did Todd have to be so mean?

She went home and worked on her plants. She was definitely seeing some interesting results. Someone knocked on the door.

Mittens: Todd! I’m surprised to see you here.

Todd: I felt kind of bad about what I said. I was wondering if I could see what you’re doing?

Mittens took him into the back room and showed him her work. She spoke excitedly for several minutes about what she was doing. She showed him all of her plants and a lot of her data.

Todd: I guess I was wrong. This really is pretty interesting. I hope you do well.

Online School for Cats Soon to be a Reality - Learning Liftoff

Mittens was thrilled that she had been able to show Todd the importance of her work. For the next two weeks, she finalized her data and created the charts for her presentation. Several days before the science fair, Todd asked if he could bring his mother over to show her what Mittens was working on.

Todd: I tried to explain it to her. How it’s science, not weeds or drugs. But she really doesn’t get it. I thought that if she saw it, it might make a difference.

Mittens: Can’t she just come to the fair like everyone else?

Todd: She said that she wanted to talk to you.

Why Does My Cat Attack Me? - My Pet Warehouse

Mittens talked to her mother and they agreed that Todd and his mother could stop by the next day after school. Mittens was really nervous about it. She had never tried to explain her project to someone who didn’t really understand anything about what she was doing.

Mittens: Hello, Mrs. Lynxette. Welcome to our house.

Mrs. Lynxette: Hello, Mittens. Todd tells me you’ve been experimenting with catnip.

Mittens: I guess you could say that. I’m growing it in a variety of mediums to see which one works best. Come see what I’ve done.

They walked into the back room. Before anyone could say anything else, Mrs. Lynxette pulled out a bottle and sprayed her plants. They all started to wither.

Mittens (screaming): What did you do?

What Does a Mother Cat Do with a Dead Kitten - Excited Cats

Mrs. Lynxette: I’m stopping you from spreading that weed. I’m the head of the local catnip temperance league, and I’m not about to let you find a better way to grow that poison.

Todd looked like he wanted the ground to swallow him. His mother pushed him out the door. Mitten’s mother was in shock. Mittens was in tears.

Next week: What will happen to Mittens’ project?

Sad Cat Wallpapers - Top Free Sad Cat Backgrounds - WallpaperAccess

You can read part 2 here.

Pictures courtesy of Google Images.

18

Groundhog Day: What Happened on Hog Hill?

Groundhog Day 2022: Forecast, Facts, and Folklore - Farmers' Almanac

Things had been a little tense on Hog Hill on February 2 (Groundhog Day). When Gus Groundhog made his annual prediction, he only appeared for a couple of minutes and made the actual announcement on his Twitter account. Not at all the festivities we were expecting. We decided to do do a little investigating.

The first thing we discovered was that Gus hadn’t been on any type of social media since Groundhog Day. Had he gone back into hibernation? We spoke to some of the neighbors.

Interspecies Friendship: Deer and Rabbit – Animal Intelligence

Peter Rabbit: It’s been very quiet over there. Usually, Gus has a big party after the announcement. But this year, there was nothing.

Penelope Rabbit: Maybe he’s sick.

Bethany Deer: Maybe. He didn’t look very well on the 2nd.

Joe Squirrel: Maybe he just got tired of all the fuss. You know folks blame him for the weather when it’s still snowing in April.

Josie Squirrel: Maybe someone turned off all his accounts. Maybe it’s a conspiracy against groundhogs. Someone should look into that.

17 Repeatable Quotes From 'Groundhog Day'

Obviously, we are going to have to talk to Gus.

We went to the burrow. But no one answered the door. Maybe there was something wrong. Was he even still in town?

What next? We staked it out, watching both entrances. No movement for over a week. The other animals in the neighborhood were getting curious.

Cute Rabbit And Squirrel Buddies | Squirrel, Funny animals, Cute

Josie: No luck? I hope everything’s OK. Maybe we should just go in.

Penelope: Do you think so?

Josie: What if he’s really sick? Maybe we should call the animal welfare hotline.

Joe: Hold up, ladies. Groundhogs hibernate. Not seeing one in February is no reason to go bursting into his house. For all we know, he saw that there was going to be a lot more winter, rolled over, and went back to sleep. We’d scare him half to death breaking into his house. He’d have every right to attack us. Have you seen those claws and teeth?

Great groundhogs: Getting to know Illinois' burrowing hibernator:  University of Illinois Extension

We realized Joe might be right. Maybe there was no story. Just then, Peter hopped up.

Peter: Hey, guys. What’s up?

Joe: Everyone’s worried about Gus. Apparently the media has got everyone wondering about him. Personally, I think we should just let him be.

We felt badly. We had thought it was a quick human interest story. It was never intended to be an investigation. We didn’t want to upset anyone, so we started to pack up our stuff.

Josie: Don’t blame them. They haven’t bothered him. And it’s weird that we haven’t seen Gus during his big time of the year. Usually he’s active after he gets up for the announcement.

Adorable Baby Groundhogs That Will Make You Forget About Winter | Baby  groundhog, Animals, Baby animals pictures

A car drove up and stopped in front of Gus’s burrow. A matronly groundhog got out and looked around. She seemed surprised by the group of animals.

Groundhog: Hello. I’m Emma. Is everything okay?

Peter: Hello. We’re well. And yourself?

Emma: Yes, I’m wonderful. I’m here to visit my grandbabies.

Josie squealed.

Josie: Grandbabies? Gus had babies?

Woodchucks | Hungry Baby Woodchucks | Baby groundhog, Wildlife photos, Baby  animals

Emma (laughing): Technically, Georgette had the babies. But yes – Gus is a daddy. Didn’t he tell you?

Penelope: No, we haven’t heard a thing since he came outside for a couple of minutes on Groundhog Day.

Josie: We’ve been worried about him. He even disappeared off social media. And he’s a local celebrity, so he’s always on Twitter.

Emma: There’s no need to worry. He’s just running around in circles with his five little chucklings.

Emma went up to the door, and Gus let her into the burrow. He lifted a paw and waved at his neighbors.

Gus: Hey, guys! Sorry to have been off the radar. Tons of snaps coming soon. Watch for me!

That was the Gus we knew and loved. It wouldn’t be long before he was back.

We KNEW there had been a story.

10 facts about groundhogs

Pictures courtesy of Google Images.

17

The RHCCC: Valentine’s Dance

Valentine's Day 2022 pet spending: You won't believe what we'll shell out  for our dogs and cats | Fox Business

It’s been a while since we checked in with the ladies who make up the Real House Cats of Crabapple Cove (RHCCC). They are all looking forward to the big Valentine’s Day party thrown annually by the Loyal Order of the Saber Tooth Tiger. Everyone except Bella, that is.

Bella: I think I’m going to skip the party this year. I’m not really in the mood.

Fluffy: You have to go! We already paid for the table.

 Miki: Yeah. We always go together. It’s a tradition.

Bella: I know. But I don;t have a date. I don;t want to be the only single kitty at the Valentine’s party. It’s too depressing.

What is Kitten Season?

Daphne: What happened to that guy you were seeing? Jack?

Bella: I had to dump him. Turns out he had two other girlfriends. And one has kittens.

Fluffy: The two-timing rat! I knew he was no good! The ones that seem to good to be true are always trouble. I’m sorry, sweetie.

Bella: It’s OK. But I don’t feel much like partying.

Miki: Do you want Ralph to get one of his friends to join us? He knows some nice guys.

Bella: Thanks. But I don’t think so.

Fluffy: I’m on the organizing committee, so I’ll be pretty busy. If I don’t bring a date, will you come?

Bella (hesitating): I guess.

How to Throw a Birthday Party for Your Cat - Catster

Miki (clapping her paws): Pawsome! We’ll have a great time!

Bella arrived at the party early and helped Fluffy get things set up. Before long, Miki and Daphne showed up with their husbands. Daphne’s husband Sam was grumbling.

Sam: I don’t understand why they call this a party. It’s a dinner. They only call it a party so they can charge more.They don’t even have an open catnip bar.

Miki: I told you. The Saber Tooth TIgers only have one fundraiser every year, and they don’t want a bunch of stoned cats getting into fights.

Daphne (laughing): Ignore him. He’s just grumpy because the kids were teasing him about his fur.

Hair kitty kitty kitty - meet the world's fluffiest cat - Daily Star

Ralph: You are looking extra fluffy tonight.

Sam: Yeah. Daphne talked me into going to the groomer today. She went wild on the blow-out.

Daphne: Well, I think you look adorable. And isn’t that what matters?

Sam: I guess. I’ll just avoid the mirrors.

Fluffy came up with a tray of niptinis.

Top 10 Wine Loving Cats At Wine O'Clock

Fluffy: Enjoy, everyone! Gunther makes the best niptinis in town.

The others began lapping up the drinks and talking. Before long, it was time for dinner. The food was wonderful – a seafood buffet with various greens. After the food, there was dancing.

Fluffy was mingling. She was a very social cat and loved big parties. She knew everyone and was having a great time.

Daphne and Sam got up to dance as soon as the music started. Miki didn’t want to leave Bella at the table by herself, so she and Ralph stayed around to talk. But the loud music made it difficult to hold a conversation. 

Does Your Cat Beg at the Dinner Table? - The Conscious Cat

Bella: You guys go ahead and dance. I can’t even hear myself think in here. I’ll go see if I can help with something.

Miki and Ralph left the table. Bella looked around. She didn’t really know anyone working. She had just followed Fluffy around earlier.

Finally, Bella decided that she wanted some tuna juice. She went up to the bar and said hello to Gunther. Things were fairly quiet at the bar.

Gunther: What would you like, pretty kitty?

Bella: Tuna juice, please.

Gunther: Anything for your date?

Bella looked around, confused.

Bella: I don’t have a date.

How Do Cats Communicate with Each Other?

Gunther: Good. I was just making sure before I asked if I could join you for a drink. I’m going on break, and I’d like to spend it with you. I’ve been watching you ever since Fluffy introduced us.

Bella was flattered, but nervous. She was a quiet, shy cat and not used to this type of attention.

Bella: I guess so.

They sat near the bar and sipped tuna juice. 

Bella: Crabapple Cove is a small place. I don’t remember seeing you around. Are you visiting someone?

cat-typing | odd letters

Gunther: Actually, I moved up her to write the Great American Cat novel. I made a bunch of money in New York, and then relocated.

Bella: Really? I work at the library, and I love reading. That’s wonderful! Very impressive.

Gunther (laughing): Not yet. All I have so far is the idea and the outline.

Bella: I’m still impressed. I never met a novelist before. Why are you here tonight?

Gunther: I ran into your friend Fluffy at the meat market. She told me about the party and convinced me to come help. She’s very persuasive.

Bella (laughing): She usually gets what she wants.

Gunther: I’m glad I came. I don’t know many folks, and it’s been great meeting everyone. And I got to meet you.

Bella blushed under her fur.

Cat Cafés, Library Cats and Museum Cats – Oh My! – Columbus EMP

Bella: Well, I’m sure I’m the least interesting cat here.

Gunther: I don’t believe that. Tell me about yourself.

Bella talked about the library and her daycare. They had just started talking about books when Gunther was called back to the bar.

Gunther: That was fun. I’d like to talk some more. Can I take you home after the party?

Bella: I’d like that.

Bella went back to her table and watched the dancing. When the party finally ended, Gunther escorted Bella home. And he was a purr-fect gentleman.

cats-cuddling-big - Pet Haven of Minnesota

Pictures courtesy of Google Images.