14

Meeting on Meowsrr

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Penelope was a pretty 3-year old calico looking for a new way to meet men. Her friends suggested she try Meowsrr, the new dating site for cats.

Meowsrr was the current hot thing in dating. Since very few cats have phones (no pockets), it was designed to work best on a computer. Cats are not fond of typing (that pesky opposable thumb thing), so almost the entire process was done through a voice application.

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She signed up after reading their legal terms. No responsibility for outcome of first date. No responsibility for lack of honesty by members. No responsibility for ticks, fleas, or lack of personal hygiene. No guarantee that site security would be maintained.

Penelope submitted her form with a greeting to potential suitors. She would see responses within 24 hours.

The next day, Penelope eagerly opened Meowsrr. She found the pictures of three handsome cats. She opened the message from the first one:

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“Hi ladies. My name is Murray and I’m the cat of your dreams. I know all of the hot spots in town and can show you a good time. Love to cuddle. If you’re looking for fun, call me.”

She pressed the “No” button and Murray was gone.

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“This is Pete. I’m the strong, silent type. I don’t always have a lot to say, but I’m there when you need me. I’m not into catnip or the milk bar scene. I’d love to get to know you better.”

“Maybe”

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“Hello. My name is Tony. I’m a large, muscular tortie with his own business. I like to spend evenings curled up in front of a fire. I also like quiet dinners and jaw rubs. If that sounds good, call me.”

Penelope decided to call.

After a couple of awkward minutes, they got along well and decided to meet for a bowl of cream. Tony suggested a place Penelope had never heard of;, but since it was close to where he worked, she agreed to it.

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The next night Penelope bathed and fluffed her fur. Looking in the mirror, she was satisfied that she would make a good impression. Since she wasn’t familiar with where she was going, she took a cab.

Looking out the window, Penelope saw that they were heading for the river. Maybe he worked in one of those fancy offices. But they took a left toward the docks. The cab stopped in front of a restaurant between the two districts.

Penelope looked around the restaurant nervously. An extremely large cat came over and introduced himself as Tony.

Tony: Hi. I’m Tony. You must be Penelope. You’re just as pretty in person as in your picture.

He led her to a table.

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Penelope: Goodness, you weren’t kidding when you said you were large and muscular. You didn’t mention that you were a Maine Coon.

Tony: Is that a problem?

Penelope: No. I just wasn’t expecting it.

Sniffs the air.

Penelope: What type of cologne are you wearing? It smells interesting.

Tony (laughing): I’m not wearing cologne. We call it Eau de Wharf. Do you like it?

Penelope: Well, it certainly is different.

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They ordered dinner. Tony had a surf and turf of beef and salmon. Penelope had salmon pate. Tony ordered two bowls of cream as an appetizer.

Tony: Are you sure that’s all you want? You can get anything on the menu. The food’s great. I know the chef; he’s one of my clients.

Penelope: No, I’m fine. I wasn’t expecting this much. I thought we were going to meet for cream.

Tony: I wanted to make a good first impression.

Penelope: Why don’t you tell me about your business?

Tony (proudly): I run a rodent extermination place down on the wharf. You wouldn’t believe the business we do. Rats and mice everywhere. I have ten guys that work for me Every night we end up with a pile as high as that door over there. (Points to the entrance.)

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The food arrived. A lot of food.

Penelope: That sounds like a very good business.

They both started to eat. Between bites, Tony continued to talk.

Tony: Yeah, it’s a great business. You wouldn’t believe the number of rats around here. And mice. It seems like the more we get rid of, the more we see.

The chef walked up to the table.

Chef: It’s so good to see you. We’re expecting one of your guys after closing tonight. Seems that little problem behind the cooler hasn’t quite gone away. You wouldn’t believe what we saw today!

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He looked at Penelope and noticed that she had pushed her plate away.

Chef: Is there something wrong with the pate?

Penelope: No. I’m just feeling a little ill. I’m sorry but I have to go.

After Penelope left, the men continued their conversation.

Chef: I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to scare your girl off.

Tony: Don’t worry. It wouldn’t have worked out anyway. I could tell she was a snob the moment I saw her.

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Pictures courtesy of Google Images

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15

Cheeseland Police Blotter

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Like every other community, we have some crime here in Cheeseland. Below is a summary of what happened during the week ending April, 27, 2018. All suspects are innocent until proven guilty.

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Gorilla charged with assault. Alice G., a mountain gorilla, was dining alone when she saw a giant banana walking toward a table. “It just looked too delicious to ignore,” Alice reported. Allegedly, Alice walked over to the banana and tried to peel it. Unfortunately, the “banana” turned out to be an actor auditioning for a part in a commercial. The actor thought he would impress the director by appearing in costume. Alice has a court date on May 11. No word on whether the actor got the part.

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Raccoon charged with breaking and entering. Rocky, a neighborhood raccoon, was walking down the street when he smelled a delicious aroma. “It smelled just like my wife’s stew,” according to Rocky. Entranced by the smell, Rocky allegedly jumped in the window and sat at the kitchen table. In his rush, Rocky knocked over three plants and a television. Unfortunately, Rocky also didn’t notice that he wasn’t entering his own house. The owner said that Rocky had made the same mistake on two other occasions, and this time they were going to press charges. Rocky has a court date on May 8.

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Koala charged with driving under the influence. Danny K., a koala bear from nearby Critter Cove, was stopped by the police for weaving in and out of his lane while he was driving. When he got out of the car, police allegedly smelled eucalyptus on his breath. “Hey. No worries; it all natural,” Danny is reported to have told the police. The police took away his keys and drove him home. Danny has a court date on May 10 and faces the possibility of losing his license.

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Cat charged with trespassing. Oscar C., a large Maine Coon, was out for a walk on a hot day when he became extremely tired. Being an exceptionally furry cat, he looked for a shady place to nap.  Oscar found what he says he thought was an abandoned tree house. He woke up to hissing and spitting from the feline owners of the house. Currently there is a restraining order keeping Oscar at least two blocks from the tree house.

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Magpie charged with theft. Maggie M., part of the notorious Henry Magpie crime family, is accused of breaking into several houses and stealing jewelry. Maggie does not deny that she took the jewelry. She is claiming that, as a magpie, she is naturally drawn to shiny things. Maggie has used this defense successfully on several occasions. Prosecutors are requesting a hearing before a judge rather than a trial by her peers.

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Donkeys charged with creating a public disturbance. Joe and Jack, two donkey brothers, went to a theater to see the latest Superhog movie, a comedy about pigs pretending to be superheroes. The brothers sat in the last row of the theater and munched loudly on their straw salads. Once the movie started, the brothers began to bray and talk to each other. One patron said she couldn’t even hear the movie over the braying. After several requests to quiet down, the ushers escorted the donkeys out of the theater. The donkeys protested that braying is how donkeys laugh. One patron has filed a complaint against the brothers. They have a date with an administrative law judge on May 18.

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Parrots charged with using profanity in public.  A group of parrots were enjoying a day at the park. It was a beautiful day and the park was crowded. A small squirrel ran up to her parents and asked what *&#@# meant. The parents were appalled and asked her where she heard such language. She pointed at the parrots. The squirrels went to the park ranger who told the parrots that they couldn’t use that language in the park. Allegedly the parrots told the ranger that they had learned the words from the humans. The ranger told them it didn’t matter where they learned the words, they had to leave. She also gave them a citation with a court date of May 4.

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all pictures courtesy of Google Images

11

Sharks Protest Human Stereotypes

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Our correspondent, Maurice Mako, is off the coast of Australia attending the annual Sharkmania Festival. The festival is a celebration of all things shark. All types of sharks are welcome. Intermingling between sub-species is encouraged. However, there is a rule against eating or intimidating fellow attendees. Even if he takes the last shrimp canape that you had your eye on.

Maurice filed this report:

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As usual, the attendees are having a wonderful time. Much of the early part of the day is spent in seminars and roundtables with the evenings being reserved for socialization. Some of the more popular presentations have been:

Oral Hygiene: Just Because You Can Replace Your Teeth Doesn’t Mean You Should Abuse the Privilege

Following the Scent of Blood Doesn’t Always Lead to a Tasty Meal

Standardized Testing: Don’t Worry if Your Child Doesn’t Score Well on the Shark Intelligence Metric (SIM)

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However, there was one seminar that was full to overflowing and the topic of extensive conversation at the dinner tables. The Preservation of Shark Society presented the provocatively titled

Why are Humans So Ignorant About Sharks After All these Years?

The talk addressed three major topics:

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Sharks are bloodthirsty predators who seek out humans to kill them.

Totally untrue. There are more than 400 types of sharks. Do humans focus on that? No! All they want to talk about are the great whites and hammerheads. And do they ever talk about invading our space? No!

How many of them ever focus on the dwarf lantern shark? Only 21 cm long. Or how about the whale shark? Forty feet long and only eats plankton.

Besides, who would want to hunt down a human anyway? Most of them are fatty and full of unhealthy chemicals. Anyway, we’re seafood lovers.

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Sharks are stupid.

If we’re so stupid, why are they worried about us catching and killing them?

Shark brains are size-appropriate to the shark. Their favorite shark, the great white, has a brain that’s two feet long and extremely well-developed.

It’s true that shark brains mainly focus on smell, but that’s what important to us. It’s how we find food and keep from being food.

And which species spends a LOT of time in front of a box full of make-believe humans rather than enjoying their environment? Clue: not the sharks.

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Sharks have to keep moving to stay alive.

Nope. Most of us have cheek muscles we use to filter water into our mouths and over our gills. We are not as good as humans at being “couch potatoes.” (We don’t have couches or boxes of humans to watch.)

The humans may be confused by the “glamour sharks.” Their favorite great whites, the whale shark, and the mako sharks as well as a few others do have to move to pass water over their gills.

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Humans need to get to know us to love us!

And how to we do that? We make pictures to go into those boxes the people spend so much time with!

Our next project is to find out how to be as interesting as those fake people or kittens.

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pictures courtesy of Google Images

16

Cat Forum: Interview with Blondie’s Cats

 

Snoops and Kommando here. Welcome to another edition of Cat Forum. A few of you might remember that we have two human siblings, one female and one male. The female moved out a couple of years ago, and we don’t see much of her. But she has the good sense to be living with several cats (as well as the additional humans required to serve the cats). We wanted to talk to our new-found nieces and nephews. None of them complained about her, so she must be doing OK.

Maya

Tell us a little bit about yourselves.

Angel: I’m Angel. I happen to be an adorable muted calico with tons of energy and a huge appetite. I love playing with both humans and other cats, but no one seems to appreciate my creativity or fun.

Spaz: I’m Spaz. Everyone says I’m spoiled, but I’m a diva, so no less is acceptable. Also, isn’t being spoiled part of being a diva?

Maya: I’m Maya, a very sweet but shy plus sized cat. My favorite motto is “if I fits I sits”. I’m very dark, so I hide unintentionally quite often.

Onyx: I’m Onyx. I’m a jet black cat, but I bring no bad luck. I’m verrrrrrryyyyyyyy sweet and cuddly, and my appetite is as big as my heart and love of cuddles.

Patches: I’m Patches. I’m a very vocal and social kitty with a slight fur loss problem. But my lack of fur makes me just that much more lovable.

Patches

How well do you all get along?

Angel: I think my playmates and I get along quite well. They always run when I play chase, and Onyx loves to wrestle! The hissing and growling emitted by Maya and Patches must come from the frustration of being older and not as fast And flexible as I am.

Spaz: These young cats are loud and irritating. Also, they seem to think my food dish is a public buffet.

Maya: Everyone but that Angel cat is okay. Angel is a tad too rough for my taste.

Onyx: I’m a fairly docile cat, so I get along with everyone until someone *cough cough Angel* gets too rough or growls at me first.

Patches: The other cats are okay. I’m not a fan of too much action, so I try to avoid them at times.

Onyx

We hear that you live with a lot of humans. Do you get enough space to do cat things like sleeping in sun puddles and watching cat TV through the windows?

Angel: Luckily the blonde girl likes blankets and soft stuffed animals, so there’s plenty of nap spots. Sadly, there is limited access to windows, though I can always climb the curtains and watch special episodes of cat TV.

Spaz: Yes, I get to spend most of my day lounging. In between attention time and meals, of course.

Maya:I have a table that is right under a window, so I get a decent amount of time  doing cat activities.

Onyx: When I’m alone I do. However, when other cats or people are around, I prefer their company to lounging.

Patches: I certainly do. My favorite spot is on the kitchen table, where the sun shines directly.

Angel

Do you have a favorite human or do you think they’re all annoying?

Angel: My buddy is Ryan, AKA the big gamer dude, although Blondie “Victoria” is tolerable. But the other two fight a lot, and lock me out of their room at night, so nip to them.

Spaz: My human is Ryan. Everyone else is good for pets, dish refills, and nothing else.

Maya: Melissa is my human, and by extension, that means I’m stuck with Jeremy as well.

Onyx: Victoria is my primary human- she makes the best piece of human furniture. The others are okay, but I don’t want to share my human, so that rules them out.

Patches: Jeremy is cool. He remembers to feed me at night, at the very least.

What do you like to do with your human? Do you get enough time doing it?

Angel: I love to climb him, and we play hide and seek a lot. He also likes to play chase me away from the wire toys his TV offers. Aside from that, his lap is pretty comfortable. I don’t think we do it enough, but he insists two or three hours is enough with his work and family schedule.

Spaz: I like to watch YouTube videos with him, and receive cuddles. Also, lately, I’ve enjoyed seeing how loud I have to meow before he replies.

Maya: I like to see how long they can hold their breath by sticking my tail and/or butt on their faces. Also, I like rearranging their room under Jeremy’s supervision. I don’t get to do it as much as I sleep, though.

Onyx: I like to train her on dish refilling times and different types of cat cusines, especially those from a trash can. I also love cuddling and riding on her shoulders. Sadly, she has to spend eight hours at “work” to keep me in kibble. Aside from that, I’m usually around her.

Patches: I like to bowl with objects on the kitchen table. I’ll knock them over, wait for him to fetch them, then knock them over again. We do this every night!

What’s your favorite game/toy?

Angel: I have a little blue Mousie I found in Spaz’s cache that I love, and I also have a squeaky mouse that keeps Ryan up at night. Also, the humans brought home pizza one night, and there was a really neat white triangle in the box that I adore.

Spaz: I have a boa toy Ryan and I play with that I love.

Maya: I like wires and balls with bells.

Onyx: I like climbing, And I’m a fan of string.

Patches: Aside from bowling, I like those plastic bags Walmart has.

Spaz

Do you have a pet peeve/something that really annoys you?

Angel: I’m not a fan of being told no. Also, when I’m roughhousing with Onyx, Blondie doesn’t need to intervene. Onyx likes being choked.

Spaz: I hate sharing. My food, toys, water, litter and human are MINE!

Maya: No one shall pick me up, unless they’re looking to donate to the Maya blood bank.

Onyx: I don’t like being woken up. Also, once I claim an area, it’s quite rude to try and move me.

Patches: I don’t like being forced to move. My comfort obviously exceeds a human need.

Any nip-heads in the house?

Angel: Unless nip is synonymous with mashed potatoes or bacon, not me!

Spaz: I’m a sucker for Temptation treats, but not nip by itself.

Maya: Not me, that’s for sure. I’m about as picky as they come.

Onyx: Nip is okay. I’d rather have a cookie or cupcake.

Patches: Not that I’m aware of. Although I’ll eat anything, so I’m not a good one to ask.

Does anyone like human TV, computers, phones or some other “human” gadget?

Angel: I like the wires that come with them. The TV wires and phone chargers are the best.

Spaz: I like the phone, since it plays my YouTube videos.

Maya: Not me, because that takes attention away from me!

Onyx: I like sitting on the phone when it’s warmed up from being used. Same with the computer. Also, I like watching Ryan play his video games.

Patches: Nah, they make too much noise.

Anything you’d like to add?

Angel: I really wish humans could interpret our meows properly. A low grumbling mewl does not mean pick me up and coo “awe, such a sweet kitty”! Also, human legs make the best scratching post- and their socks are awesome toys.

Spaz: Always respect the calicos- we’re the most beautiful and the smartest.

Maya: Plus sized kitties are just as lovable as little kittens. Also, don’t mock your cat if she’s skittish- Skittles is not a feline approved nickname.

Onyx: Black cats are not bad luck! I’m sure a of the black cats out there with a bad rep were just upset from having to wait for a food dish refill or something equally as awful.

Patches: I don’t understand why humans leave breakable glasses on my bowling field if they want them kept whole. I know the glass would look better shattered. Also, why can’t I eat plastic bags? It’s good enough to hold my food, but not to eat? Weird.

  

22

Cats Tell (Some) Secrets

Snoops and Kommando Kitty here. We thought that we would help you humans understand a little more about us cats. So we decided to try to answer some common questions.

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Why do cats spend so much time sleeping in the sun? 

Some of sleep in the sun because it feels so nice on our fur. It’s also nice and warm on cool days. Other cats are partly solar-powered. You can tell who these cats are by their behavior after dark. Regular kitties want to play with their humans before bed then sleep at the same time (more or less). Solar-powered kitties will play a little before bed. But when the lights go out, they turn on the stored solar energy. They race around the house, play with their loudest toys, and try to wake up their humans to play some more. If the humans lock the door, they will stand outside and cry or bang at the door.

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Can cats really use computers?

That’s an interesting question. We don’t like to type. The claws get in the way and our paws are really too wide to be effective. However, we can use Internet sites. For example, if the human has an Amazon account we can watch them sign in and type enough to copy it. As long as there’s a credit card and address registered, all is good. We cannot use Alexa. She’s pretty smart. She knows we’re cats, and cats can’t get credit cards.

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Do cats watch TV?

Occasionally there’s a show about cats or birds that’s interesting. And some of us like sports (the faster ones; cats don’t follow golf). But for the most part humans watch junk about other humans. Humans talk a LOT on TV. If we want to listen to humans talk, we have our own.

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What do cats like to talk about to each other?

That depends on the cat. Some (like Kommando) talk more than others. Generally speaking we talk about why the humans won’t fix the weather so it’s not so cold or hot or wet or snowy. Are there any good clothes around to lay on or paw through? Is there anything good to eat?  Did the humans forget to put anything away that we like to play with or eat? We complain about clumsy humans who trip on us. What’s on Cat TV? Should we tell the humans that they smell weird?

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How do cats feel about sharing the house with other animals (besides the humans)?

It depends on the cat and the other animal. For example, our housemate Horatio Hedgehog isn’t a problem. He has a cage and is pretty quiet. He’s nocturnal, so we don’t hear too much from him. Some sort of small rodent would be acceptable. It’s always fun looking at prey. Same for fish or small reptiles. Another cat or a dog would be totally unacceptable. Three humans and two cats live here. That’s a spare human in case we need him. Other cats prefer to be alone with their human. And some cats are really outgoing and say the more the merrier. We don’t really understand those cats, so we can’t comment.

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Why do some cats like to go out and others don’t?

Most of us like the occasional look outside. Some cats are naturally timid or have had bad experiences and are more than happy to stay inside. Some have complete access to nature and are happy roaming and coming home for dinner and bed. Personally, we don’t want to be snacks for the coyotes or hawks and are happy inside. It all depends on the cat’s personality and how unpleasant it is to be with their human all day, every day.

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Why do cats act so superior?

Because we’re beautiful and smart and don’t ask dumb questions.

That’s all we have time for today. We hope we’ve helped your understanding of cats. If you have other questions you’d like answered in the future, just send them in.

Pictures courtesy of Google Images

17

Happy Easter Billy Bilby!

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We’d like to introduce you to a special animal, the Easter Bilby. He’s a celebrity in Australia although he may be less known by some of you. The Easter Bilby is busy this time of year, so we’re going to talk to a close friend.

Billy Bilby, welcome to Cheeseland. Thank you for taking the time to introduce us to the Easter Bilby.

No worries, I’m happy to be here and spread the word about the Easter Bilby. After all, we bilbies are having a problem with our population declining and want people to be aware that we even exist.

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On that note, can you tell us a little bit about bilbies?

We’re small, furry marsupials who live in the desert. Our bodies are about 55 cm/22 inches long and our tails about 29 cm/11.5 inches. We weigh about 2.5 kg/5.5 pounds. We have long noses (excellent sense of smell) and large ears (excellent sense of hearing and help keep us cool). The ladies are about half the size of the gents.

We have extremely soft fur that is mainly blue-grey with white tummies. Bilbies live in fancy burrows. We only come out and night and will eat anything.

Two fun facts about bilbies?

The word bilby is from the Aboriginal Yuwaalaraay language. (I wouldn’t try to pronounce it unless you belong to the group.)

We don’t drink water. We get all we need from what we eat.  (Like koalas)

So how did the Easter Bilby replace the Easter Rabbit in Australia?

Unfortunately, rabbits are not very popular in Australia. They were brought in by the Brits in the 19th century and reproduced until they had taken over the country. Rabbits drove some of the native animals and plants to extinction.

In the 1990’s, the humans decided that the rabbit had to go as the symbol of Easter. They wanted something native to replace it. Since we look something like a rabbit (ears only), we got the job. We’ve been around Australia for a very long time.

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And the tradition has stuck.

Yes, but we’ve lost the association with the anti-rabbit people. Now it’s more of a survival issue. You see, we’re endangered in some parts of Australia and vulnerable in others.

That’s awful. What happened?

The usual: loss of habitat, hunting. I am actually a Greater Bilby. There used to be Lesser Bilbies, but they died out about 70 years ago. (Unless the humans lost them.)

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Is the Easter Bilby tradition working?

It seems to be. There is much greater awareness of who we are and why we are important residents of Australia. In fact, The Commonwealth of Australian Endangered Species Program has chosen us as a mascot, so we’re becoming famous.

They have even started to introduce populations of us into places that haven’t seen bilbies in a very long time. Did you know that we once populated 70% of Australia? And that’s a big place!

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What does the Easter Bilby do?

Pretty much what the Easter Bunny does. Except he delivers chocolate bilbies instead of chocolate rabbits. And he runs rather than hops.

Do you think the idea of the Easter Bilby will spread?

Probably not. The rabbits pretty much have a lock on the market. But that’s OK. We only live in Australia and want to continue living here for a very long time. We have no plans to invade Britain.

Thank you so much for sharing your story with us.

I’m happy to share.

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Trivia – In March 1968, 9-year-old Rose-Marie Dusting wrote “Billy the Aussie Easter Bilby.” She published it 11 years later.

Sales Pitch: Chocolate bilbies are produced by Pink Lady and Haigh’s Chocolates. (Cadbury pulled out of the market shortly before Easter.) The companies give a percentage of sales to conservation efforts. Pink Lady parent company, Fyna Foods manufactures chocolate bilbies as part of the Australian Bush Friends Easter chocolates. A percentage of the Bush Friends sales is also donated to the Save the Bilby Fund.

 

8

Why We Don’t See the Easter Bunny – Part 2

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Previously – Gunnar, a current descendant of the original Easter Bunny (a real bunny), has decided to see what was happening with Easter now that the family has outsourced most of it to the humans. So far, he is not happy. He is going to see the Easter Bunny at the mall for an explanation.

Gunnar arrived at the mall. He had never seen such a thing. The mall was huge. And full of humans. Rather scary for a small rabbit. He hopped past all the signs for Easter sales. They were on almost every window: clothing stores, technology stores, mattress stores, perfume shops. Do people really give each other mattresses for Easter?

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He finally found a sign for the Easter Bunny. He saw a large group of people lined up before a throne. On the throne was a creature in some kind of costume with large ears and fake whiskers. There was a sign next to him that said “Easter Bunny”.

“Oh my carrots, is that what the humans think the Easter Bunny looks like?” wondered Gunnar. “That’s not even a rabbit.” He got as close to the line as he could without being seen. He wanted to hear what the humans thought of the fake rabbit.

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“Mommy, is that the real Easter Bunny?”

“Of course he is.”

“Is he going to bring me a basket with toys?”

“Yes, dear. On Easter morning.”                                                                           

Gunnar moved along the line.

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“Mama, he looks kind of scary. I didn’t think he’d be so big.”

“That’s OK. He’s actually very friendly.”

“Do I tell him what I want for Easter?”

“I don’t think that’s the way it works. We’re here to have your picture taken with him. Grandma wants to show it to her friends.”

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Gunnar thought about it. People were standing in line to take pictures of their children with a big, scary fake rabbit. Humans were very strange.

Then he heard a grumbling at the front of the line. Hopping up he saw a sign, “The Easter Bunny will be taking a short break. His assistants are available if you have any questions about the photo packages. No personal checks.”

Gunnar went behind the screen to see if he could talk to the “Easter Bunny.” He heard voices from a small room. Gunnar was speechless. The man in the costume had taken off the head. He was unshaven and didn’t even look clean.

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Gunnar wrinkled his nose. The man didn’t smell clean either. And he reeked of cigarettes. Gunnar listened.

“Whoever designed this thing should have to wear it for a while. It’s hot,” smelly and I can’t even see out of the eyes.”

Gunnar wanted to tell the man why the costume smelled, but continued to listen.

“I need to go outside for a cigarette.”

“You know the rules. No leaving this room without the head.”

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“I can’t smoke with the head on.”

“That’s OK. The Easter Bunny doesn’t smoke. Besides, it’s time to go back out.”

“Great. The next kid that tries to rip off my head is going on the floor.”

“Eddie, you can’t do that. No hurting the children.”

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“Fine. But the next one that pees on me is going back to Mom.”

“That’s why we got you the plastic sheet to go under the blanket on your lap.”

“The talent agency never told me what a miserable job this is.”

Gunnar left without talking to the man. How could someone who didn’t like children pretend to be the Easter Bunny? And who would believe that disgusting man was really the Easter Bunny?

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As he was leaving the area, Gunnar noticed a sign, “Brunch with the Easter Bunny.” It had a picture of the same rabbit imposter who was on the throne. “What a disgusting idea,” Gunnar thought.

Depressed, Gunnar returned to the forest. He poured himself a large glass of carrot juice and thought for a while. His relatives had made a huge mistake. The humans had changed the idea of the Easter Bunny almost beyond recognition.

“I wonder who I call to give the humans responsibility for the rest of the Easter goodies.”

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