19

Animal Resolutions for 2018

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Greetings furry and non-furry friends. We at Cheeseland have discovered that humans do something called “making New Year’s resolutions” this time of year. We weren’t sure what that meant since most of us track time by food or sun. When we looked it up, it said that humans make promises to themselves to improve something about themselves. It also said that most of these promises were broken in a short period of time.

So that explained the shortage of pizza everyone once in a while. And the strange furniture that appeared with the Christmas tree and then went downstairs. It would make funny noises for a little bit and then make a great bed.

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We weren’t sure that animals needed to make resolutions. After all, most of us are pretty close to perfect the way we are. So we send our renowned cat-on-the-street team to interview various animals to see what they could find out.

As expected, most of the animals had no idea what we were talking about. However, a few decided to think about things that would make the humans happier. Names have been changed to prevent ridicule from friends and family.

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Cliff (cat) – I resolve to not to put anymore mice into the human’s shoes. Unless she starts wearing those tail-crunching high heels again. Or irritates me.

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Beverly (hedgehog) – I resolve to not prick my human anymore. Unless she puts her cold hands on my tummy. Or puts a costume on me.

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Josephine (llama) – I resolve not to spit at people. Unless they get too close. Or do annoying human things, like try to pet me when I’m relaxing.

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Ralph (bear) – I resolve not to try to scare campers. Unless they have really yummy food. Or try to catch my salmon. Or try to camp near my berries.

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Mollie (raccoon) – I resolve not to break into people’s houses. Unless it’s really cold. Or they leave food near an open window or door.

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Max (dog) – I resolve not to chew up the pillows. Unless the humans won’t let me sit on the sofa. Or I get bored.

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Those resolutions all sound reasonable to us. And it will be the humans’ fault if they fail.

Perfect.

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All pictures courtesy of Google Images.

 

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19

The Kittens’ Woodland Adventure – Conclusion

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Our story so far: Timmy and Tommy had gone on a trip to the woods with their Kitten Scout troop. They became separated from the troop and it began to rain. They decided to wait out the rain in the woods. They were awakened by a pup who wanted to play. When the pup’s mother came to get him, they discovered they had been playing with a baby wolf. To read the entire story, go here.

Mama Wolf: Stevie! I was wondering what happened to you. You shouldn’t run away like that. (Sees the kittens.) Oh! You were hunting! Good wolfie!

(Timmy and Tommy look at each other, terrified.)

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Stevie: Mama! I wasn’t hunting. These are my friends, Timmy and Tommy. They were staying here until the rain ended. We’ve been playing.

Mama Wolf: Sweetie, you’re a wolf. You don’t play with kittens. They’re prey.

Stevie: Not these ones. They’re my friends.

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Mama Wolf: Honey, they can’t be your friends. They’re kittens.

Stevie (starting to cry): Mama! I can’t eat them. I asked them to play. We’ve been having a lot of fun.

Mama Wolf didn’t know what to do. The kittens looked tasty. But Stevie had made friends with them. It didn’t seem right to eat his friends. And they were pretty cute.

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Meanwhile, Mr. Moggie had called Timmy and Tommy’s mother. She was frantic with worry. She wanted to go into the woods to look for her babies. It was almost night, and they wouldn’t know what to do by themselves.

Mr. Moggie reminded her that she didn’t have any idea where her kittens were and that she wouldn’t be safe wandering around alone either. She began to hiss at him, reminding him that she had trusted him with her kittens and now they were lost.

She sat at the edge of the woods and refused to move. Mr. Moggie sat next to her. It seemed the least he could do.

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Finally Mama Wolf decided that it was more important that Stevie keep his word to his friends than to teach him about appropriate friends.

Mama Wolf: All right, Stevie. We’ll take care of your friends tonight. We can’t go out of the woods at night because someone might shoot us. And it’s not safe to send them out by themselves.

Stevie: Thank you, Mama. I swear I’ll only play with wolves from now on.

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(Stevie went over to the kittens, who had been too terrified to move.)

Stevie: Did you hear that guys? Mama’s going to keep you safe tonight. And we’ll get you home tomorrow.

Timmy (nervously): That’s great, Stevie. Are you sure she won’t eat us?

Stevie: Don’t worry. Wolves are very loyal. If we say we won’t eat you, we won’t.

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Mama Wolf found a concealed place to lie down. She hoped none of the other wolves had seen her. Stevie and the kittens curled up in her tail and were soon fast asleep.

In the morning, Mama Wolf took the kittens to the edge of the woods closest to their home. She stayed back in the shadows.

Mama Wolf: OK, here we are. Please don’t tell anyone about what happened last night. Kittens aren’t safe in the woods.

Timmy and Tommy nodded. They thanked her and Stevie for protecting them. The wolves ran back into the forest, and the kittens ran out of it.

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Mama Cat ran over to Timmy and Tommy. She sniffed them to make sure they were OK. Aside from a strange scent, everything seemed fine.

Mama Cat: My babies! Are you all right? How did you manage in the woods by yourselves all night? I was so worried.

Timmy: We’re fine, Mama. We found a nice safe spot to spend the night. We didn’t wake up until the sun came out.

Mama Cat: You both need a bath. You smell like some kind of wild animal.

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Tommy (looking at Timmy): Well, it was a really good spot. A lot of other animals probably slept there too.

Mama Cat: I’m just glad you’re back home and safe. And next time, I’m going to be one of the mothers on the trip.

The kittens looked at each other and groaned.

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All pictures courtesy of Google Images

 

12

 The Kittens’ Woodland Experience

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Brothers Timmy and Tommy were very excited. Their Kitten Scout troop was taking a trip to the woods nearby. They had never been there and were hoping to see bears and wolves and all kinds of wild animals. Their mother tried to explain that they might see raccoons or squirrels, but that their leader would keep them away from anything dangerous.

They were up at dawn on the day of the trip. Oh no! It was raining. A lot. They were afraid the trip was canceled. Sure enough, their mother got a call from the scout master. But the trip wasn’t canceled; it was postponed until the afternoon when the weather was going to be better.

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There were ten kittens on the trip as well as the leader and two mothers. Each mother was responsible for five kittens. Timmy and Tommy were really glad that their mother hadn’t called in time to be one of the chaperones. She would have spent the whole time watching them. It would have been too embarrassing.

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The leader’s name was Mr. Moggie. He was a nice cat, but very easily confused. The kittens liked him because he usually let them do whatever they wanted while he was trying to get organized. Luckily, he was required to bring extra adults along on a trip like this.

When they got to the woods, Mr. Moggie told them to practice their “quiet walking” so the other animals wouldn’t be afraid of them. Being cats, walking quietly should have been natural; as kittens, it was impossible. He didn’t have much luck stopping their chatter either.

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Finally Mr. Moggie decided that he would teach the kittens about the different kinds of scents they could find in the forest. That sounded like fun to the kittens. They gathered around a tree and sniffed. The kittens guessed that it was a dog. Mr. Moggie told them that the scent belonged to a fox.

Next he took them to a pile of droppings. The kittens thought it was disgusting to have to go near it and sniff. They decided that it was some kind of big cat. It was a raccoon. As they went on, the kittens got better at identifying squirrels, rabbits, and woodchucks.

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But after a while they were bored. Mr. Moggie wasn’t sure what to do next. He had planned to show them how to fish in the creek and how to find shelter, but couldn’t decide. He wanted to talk to the mothers about it.

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He told the kittens to play close by while they discussed what would happen next. The kittens ran and chased each other around. Timmy was chasing Tommy when they realized that they had run away from the rest of the group. They headed back when it started to rain again.

As soon as it started to rain, Mr. Moggie told everyone to run out of the woods so they could go home. They raced through the trees. When they got out, Mr. Moggie did a tail count. There were only eight kittens! Timmy and Tommy were still in the forest.

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He panicked. What was he going to tell their mother? Should he go back in and try to find them? Should he take the other kittens home first? Could the lost kittens hear his voice if he yowled?

Meanwhile, Timmy and Tommy found a dry spot to wait out the storm. They weren’t going anywhere until it dried out. Soon they were fast asleep.

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The next thing he knew, Timmy felt a wet nose on his fur. He looked up and saw a huge dog! He started crying and woke his brother. They waited to be eaten.

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The “dog” looked at them in amazement. He had never seen kittens before. He wanted to play. The kittens weren’t sure, but he insisted. They romped around until the kittens were exhausted.

Finally, the “dog’s” mother came looking for him. When the kittens saw her, they were terrified. They hadn’t been playing with a dog. He was a wolf pup.

 

To be continued

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All pictures courtesy of Google Images

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.

cats napping in the guest room

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

22

What Do You Get the 1% Cat for Christmas?

For those unfamiliar with the U.S. economy, 1% of the population holds an extremely disproportionate amount of the country’s wealth.

Snoops and Kommando Kitty here. We know that all any cat really wants is a loving furever home, complete with human staff. A catnip mouse or feather on a string are good gifts. Maybe one of those battery-powered toys. But some cats live in luxury, eating only the finest hand-prepared food and sleeping in customized beds. We decided it would be fun to see what types of things might be on their Christmas wish list. We are helpfully providing contact information in case you see something you like.

Modular Cat Wall (https://www.catswall.com/modular-cat-wall)

“The modular design not only extend the spaces for cats but also reduce the oppression which is caused by narrow living space.  For long-term, cats might be bored and refuse to use the bulky traditional cat trees. All the hanging accessories of Catswall modular cat wall can be mounted on (or dismounted from) the hanging tracks directly, it is easy to take down for cleaning or change position.”

Price: Starts at $1,1159

Cool Cedar Cat Cottage (http://www.catsplay.com/cat-furniture-types/cat-outdoor-houses/kool-cat-kottage-cat-house-with-porch-deck)

 

“The Cool Cedar Cat Kottage comes already insulated. Standard, at no extra charge, are 9 inch lounging ledges that wrap around two walls. The upper level has two real glass lookout windows and an escape/exit door. The many available options make it possible for the customer to customize the Kool Cat Kottage to fit the needs their cat(s) may require. We offer remote control air conditioner, one or two cat heat pads, larger multiple cat heat pads, porch and deck systems, raised foundation with 12 inch tall support legs and magnetic seal safe doors.”
Price: $1,004.99 base model; slightly over $2,000 fully loaded
Animal Print Holiday Hollow Cat Gym (http://www.catsplay.com/holiday-hollow-cat-gym-1079030396)
Animal Print Holiday Hollow Cat Gym

“The Holiday Hollow Cat Tree is a whopping 82 inches tall and is styled like a high-rise apartment building with its 3 interconnecting condos and its penthouse Condo on top. Your cats can climb between the condo levels.  Inside the Cat Tree Condo are the platforms which are designed to allow easy upward travel. Our animal print versions are made from real carpet, not faux fur!  Available in leopard or tiger!”

Price: $830.99

Buckingham Palace (https://kittymansions.com/collections/featured-products/products/buckingham-palace)

Buckingham Palace

“It’s finally here! Buckingham Palace is a place where cats can feel like part of the Royal Family. It features large bedroom areas, overhead tunnels, royal seats, large scratching posts, ramps, slides, and everything else you can think of for a fancy cat! It stands at just under 9 feet, is 80 inches wide, and 44 inches deep. It’s a massive play area for your lucky cats!”

Price: $2,200 (marked down from $2,890)

Park Place Cat Tree (https://playtimeworkshop.com/product/park-place-cat-tree/)

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“The wonderful Park Place Cat Condo is simply the most accommodating piece of Cat Furniture on the market. This unit is all your “kids” could ever wish for. With 4 separate cat condos you cats will love exploring this grand cat tree. The Extra large upper beds will handle two cats at a time effortlessly. The upper and lower main condos are multiple cat accommodating. The end units which are interconnecting to the main condo are nice single guest rooms. This cat tree is super heavy with a low center of gravity which guarantees your “kids” a wobble free environment.”

Price: $599.99 (for the bargain hunter)

We also found this pawsome cat flap:

cat flap

“Forget your standard cat flap, for £1,000 you can have a Swarovski studded cat flap! Fitted with 1000 crystals, this flap made waves in 2009 when it was launched by Hertfordshire based company, Doors4Paws.” Unfortunately, the flap is no longer available. They do still make wooden flaps for us commoners. (The funny-looking “L” is British for money. It usually takes more dollars than pounds – money not weight – to buy something.)

You will note that these are off-the-shelf products. If you are looking for something truly unique, you need to contact an “artisan”. That is someone who does awesome work for a lot of money. We do not have a list of those people.

Happy shopping!

18

How Dogs Solved the Cat Food Crisis

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Our story so far: It appears that local cats have been getting sick from bad cat food, “Power Cat”. With the help of some German Sheperds at the local distribution center, we have discovered that the food is being manufactured in Guangzhou, China. The labels on the shipping labels were written in Shar-Pei, so we are hoping to follow the trail through our German Sheperd contact in Livingston, Lexi. You can read it here.

Our reporter, Penelope Porcine, talked over the situation with Lexi. There was no point in them trying to go to China to investigate the situation further. Cheeseland’s Asian correspondent, mongoose Riki T. Tavi, wouldn’t be able to help since it would take several weeks to permission to enter the country as a correspondent. He would also need a translator who spoke Shar-Pei. Lexi spoke Shar-Pei, but didn’t have Chinese contacts. They would have to see what she could do through the local Shar-Pei community.

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As luck would have it, there was no local Shar-Pei with ties to China. However, Lexi did learn about an online Shar-Pei community that might be able to help. She explained the situation and asked for help. The first thing she learned was that most Chinese Shar-Pei did not have Internet access. After several days of waiting, Lexi received a message from a Shar-Pei in San Francisco. His extended family included a branch in Guangzhou. He was trying to reach them to see if they could help.

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So Lexi waited again. Finally she received a message from Shar-Pei 2231. Shar-Pei 2231 said that he lived in Guanzhou and had several friends who worked at the cat food plant. He had talked to them and asked what they knew. Shar-Pei 3367 actually worked with the humans. She agreed to help Lexi. (None of the Chinese dogs would speak on the record.)

Shar-Pei 3367 said that the secret ingredient in “Cat Power” was earthworms. The worms had a lot of protein and would make the cats stronger. Each factory had a garden attached where they grew the worms. Humans harvested the worms. As far as she knew, everything they brought in was processed. The worms were turned into a paste and added to the rest of the food mixture.

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Lexi asked about the sanitation procedures at the plant. The worms were rinsed in a vat of water before they were put into the machines. The machines were rinsed daily and sanitized twice a week. She wasn’t sure about inspections for health or safety. Once in a while, humans came in, looked around, and talked to the workers. She wasn’t sure who they were.

Lexi thanked Shar-Pei 3367 for all her help. She and Penelope knew that the problem wasn’t the worms; it was the way they were processed into the food. The ground could be contaminated and the machines were almost certainly full of bacteria. It was time to get the humans involved.

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George, one of our editors, spoke with his original human contact. He told her that we had discovered that the problem with the cat food was almost certainly contamination at the plant in China. He recommended that she ask the government to launch a formal inquiry. She agreed that would be the only solution. In the meantime, she posted messages on every social media site she could think of, telling people not to buy the food. The resulting boycott caused the cat food company to pressure the government into action.

We are happy to report that “Cat Power” is back in the stores. The worms are now grown in sterilized soil in a lab. Strict sanitation procedures have been put in place, and health inspectors send reports to the company every six months.

(We have also hired Lexi as a translator.)

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18

How Dogs Solved the Cat Food Crisis

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We got a very unusual call recently. It was from a human. We almost never hear from humans; most of them assume we are a foreign-language publication. A very nice lady said that some neighborhood cats were very sick. The veterinarian said that it was probably just a virus.

The lady and her friends think it is a new food that they got for their furry friends. It’s supposed to have a special additive that would improve their immune systems. It’s called “Cat Power”. She wanted to know if there was a way for us to check it out. Our editor George said we would see what we could find out.

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We put one of our best reporters, Penelope Porcine, on the case. She discovered that “Cat Power” is sent out by a large distributor in the U.S. There was no information about who actually made the food. She decided to talk to the distributor. The closest distribution center is in the middle of the state.

Penelope drove up to Livingston and found the plant. She called, but only got a recording. She tried to see someone in person (so to speak). There was only one entrance, and it was guarded by a very large German Shepherd. The German Shepherd refused to talk to her. He said he couldn’t speak pig.

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Penelope decided that we needed to find a German Shepherd of our own to help. Not having one on staff, we thought it would be best to recruit one locally. It was a small town; they might even know the guard.

We posted a notice: “Looking for a German Shepherd. Temporary assignment. Must be fluent in several animal languages. The position requires persistence and a persuasive personality. Compensation will be discussed if you are called for an interview.”

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Apparently there is a shortage of positions for German Shepherds in Livingston. We immediately received more than 20 responses. Some of them we could delete right away:

“Speak several dialects: Pekinese, Beagle, and Chow. Have trouble communicating with other species. Once I misunderstood a mynah bird and ate him.”

“Experience speaking with other animals. Would prefer it not be any animals that I might consider as toys. Especially cats or squirrels.”

“I am qualified for your position. Compensation must include both kibble and meats of my choosing.”

We interviewed three candidates. We hired a wonderful dog named Lexi. She has a gentle disposition but is a very determined manner. Lexi speaks flawless pig, cat, mouse and hedgehog as well as a variety of dog dialects.

Penelope explained the situation to Lexi, telling her that we needed to find out where the food came from. Lexi was appalled and thought that humans had to be involved. She promised to call Penelope the next day after she had spoken with the guard.

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The next day Lexi said that she needed to meet with Penelope in person to tell her what the guard had said. Penelope wondered what could be so important that it couldn’t be told over the phone.

When she arrived at the restaurant, Penelope discovered that Lexi had two other German Shepherds with her. She hoped they were friendly. Three large dogs were a little intimidating.

The dogs patrolled inside the plant. The place was full of humans, but none of them had anything to do with making the food. The cans came in huge crates that the humans opened and put on conveyor belts. At the end of the belts were trucks that delivered the “Cat Power” and other foods to the stores.

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Penelope asked if they had any idea where the food came from. One of the dogs, Brutus, said that the crates were written in Shar-Pei. Brutus said that he hoped Shar-Pei’s were only clerks and not actually involved in poisoning anyone.

Penelope thanked Brutus and his friend. She bought dinner in appreciation. They said they had never met such a nice pig. Or any pig, for that matter.

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Later Lexi told Penelope that she had done further research on Shar-Pei’s and discovered that they specialize as guard dogs in Guangzhou, in southern China. She had also learned that there were two factories that made cat food in Guangzhou, both of them owned by the same company.

To be continued

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