18

O, Give Me a Home – Part 2

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Where we are: The Bison family is going to Wyoming to see Jen’s brother Bruce. Bruce has advised them to take the train. John has just discovered that his family will be sharing their space with two jackrabbits. You can read Part 1 here.

John explained the situation to his family and they returned to their car. He opened the door quietly and saw the jackrabbits asleep in the corner. The bison entered, trying not to make any noise. They put their things down as the train started to move.

 The adults settled in for a nap, and JJ went to explore the train. After a couple of hours, his parents joined him, and they went and got something to eat. While they were eating, they watched the scenery.

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JJ: Isn’t this great, Dad? We just sit here, and the train does all the work.

John: I guess you’re right. This is a lot better than walking.

Jen: I’m glad you like it.

The rest of the trip was uneventful. The next afternoon, the train pulled into their station.

Jen: While you and JJ get our luggage, I’ll go find Bruce.

John: If you do, it’ll be the first time he’s been where he’s supposed to be.

Jen: Be nice, John. Remember, he invited us to stay with him.

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John: I’ll try.

She goes outside, but doesn’t see Bruce. John and JJ join her.

Jen: I can’t find him anywhere. You look. Maybe I missed him.

John: He’s a full-grown male bison. How could you miss him? I’ll call him.

On the phone:

John: Bruce, it’s John…I’m fine. We’re at the station waiting for you…Yes, it’s today…Today IS Thursday…Of course, I’m sure…I have no idea where you live…No, it’s OK. If we get lost, I’ll call…All right. See you soon.

To Jen:

John: Your brother is an idiot. He thinks today is Wednesday. He told me I was lucky he answered the phone. [snort] He’s lucky he answered the phone.

Jen: Is he on his way?

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John: He said that he was bathing and gave me the directions. It’s probably safer that way.

They followed Bruce’s directions and found a nice shelter in a meadow.

Bruce: Sis! It’s great to see you! Beautiful as ever. JJ, almost a bull! John, it’s been a long time!

John (thinking ‘not long enough’): Good to see you. What have you been up to?

Bruce: Funny you should ask.  I have exciting news. I was cleaning up because I’m going to be in a commercial.

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JJ: Really, Uncle Bruce? What kind of commercial?

Bruce: It’s for hoof wax. They should a handsome buffalo with ugly hooves. Then his feet get waxed, and it’s a handsome bison with beautiful hooves.

JJ: You’re the handsome bison?

Bruce: Not exactly. I’m the hooves.

JJ: Oh. Why can’t they use the other guy’s feet?

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Bruce: He has really, really ugly feet. He survived a nasty fungus, but his hooves were ruined.

Jen: So why can’t you be the handsome bison?

Bruce: This guy’s been their spokes bison for a long time. People know his face.

John: You’re going to be Hardwax Jack’s hooves? Congratulations! It sounds like you’ve actually found a job.

Bruce: Thanks, John. I hope I meet someone who sees how talented I am.

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John: Good luck. I hope it works out.

Jen: I’m so excited for you, Bruce! When does it shoot?

Bruce: Monday.

Jen: So you’ll have a few days to show us around.

Bruce: Sure do. As long as it doesn’t interfere with my real job.

John: You have a real job? Maybe it was a good idea for you to move out here. What do you do?

Bruce: I joined a herd out here. Really nice bunch. They needed a night watch bison. So I took the job.

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Jen: That’s great, Bruce. But bison sleep at night.

Bruce: That’s why the job was open.

Jen: How do you stay awake?

Bruce: That’s been a bit of a problem. I started by walking around, but that didn’t work out so well. When I stopped for my break, I fell asleep.

Jen: What are you doing now?

Bruce: The humans have something they call caffeine. In comes in coffee, tea, and soda. You drink it.

Jen: Bison don’t drink those things. It doesn’t sound like a good idea.

Bruce: It took some practice. Humans are kind of scrawny, so I needed to drink a lot. And it tastes awful. I swear, people will put anything in their mouths.

JJ: That sounds awful, Uncle Bruce. Did it work?

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Bruce: I think it would have. But I had to take so many bathroom breaks that I wasn’t much of a guard. Luckily, we live in a safe neighborhood.

Jen: So I’m right. It isn’t a good idea.

Bruce: Well, the coffee wasn’t. But the caffeine worked; I stayed awake. Now I take pills. The people stores sell them.

John: Don’t the humans think it’s odd to be selling to a bison?

Bruce: One of the small humans does it for me. I give him rides in exchange.

John: Do you work every night?

Bruce: Pretty much. I’m going to take off Sunday night to be ready for Monday.

Bruce goes to work and the family relaxes, tired from the trip. Jen decides to do some research on caffeine. She didn’t like her brother taking something meant for humans.

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Next week: Does Bruce really have two jobs? Can bison become addicted to caffeine?

Pictures courtesy of Google Images.

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22

O, Give Me a Home

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Jen Bison had been wanted to visit her brother Bruce, but her husband John had been putting it off. Finally, he decided that the only way to get her to stop talking about it was to take the trip. The two of them, with their son JJ were planning the trip.

John: Why on earth did your brother decide to move from South Dakota to Wyoming?

Jen: He said it was too cold here.

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John: We’re bison. Look at us. We’re built for the cold. I assume he’s figured out by now that Wyoming isn’t exactly Miami Beach when it comes to cold weather.

Jen: You know Bruce. He’s never happy. He says there are too many humans in Wyoming. He’s thinking about moving again.

John: I guess we better see him now. Next thing we know, he’ll be in Hollywood, trying to be a movie star.

JJ: That’d be cool! My uncle the movie star.

John: Knowing Bruce, he’d end up in a movie with a hundred other bison. You wouldn’t even be able to tell which one is him.

Jen: John, that’s not nice. He thinks he has potential. He’s just not sure where it is.

John: Well, he certainly is different.

Jen: When did you want to visit him?

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John: That’s a long walk. I guess we should leave soon, so we’ll be back before the snow starts.

Jen: What do you mean walk?

John: We’re bison, remember? That’s how we get around.

Jen: Bruce says no one walks there anymore. They travel in buses or trains. It only takes 2 days.

John: I am not getting on either of those things.

JJ: Why not, Dad? It’s a lot better than hoofing it.

John: Those things aren’t built for bison. We’re too big.

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Jen: That might be true for a bus. They seem more wolf-size. I’ll make reservations on the train.

John: Make sure they’re refundable. If it’s bad going down, we’re walking back.

Jen: Yes, dear.

JJ: This is going to be great! Wait til I tell my friends.

John knows he’s outnumbered and goes to play “Buffalo Bill and the Planet of Doom.”

A few weeks go by before the trip. John is getting grumpier. He can’t find any bison who have been on a train. The thought of the train and a few weeks with Bruce was almost too much to bear. Finally, the big day arrived.

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JJ: I’m so excited! Aren’t you excited, Dad? It’s your first time on a train too.

John: I’ll be more excited when we’re on our way.

Jen: You’ll be glad to know we have a sleeper. And there are very few passengers. Look around.

John looked. A few gophers, a wolf family, and some hares. Maybe it wouldn’t be too bad. John opened the door the conductor pointed out and started to walk in. He took a couple of steps in, then backed out.

John: Excuse me. I must have the wrong room.

John turned around, embarrassed.

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John: I need to find the conductor and get this straightened out. There’s a jackrabbit couple in our car.

He hunts down the conductor and explains the situation. The conductor looks in his book.

Conductor: Yes, Mr. Bison. That is the correct room. I’m afraid we overbooked. We’re doubling folks up. Didn’t you get our email? You could either get a voucher for a different train or receive ½ off for sharing space. It would have told you the species you’d be sharing space with. Carnivore/non-carnivore issues, you know.

John: Honey, did you get an email about overbooking for this trip?

Jen: Yes. I asked Bruce what I should do. He said that most animals choose to not take a chance on their roommates and rebook. So I kept the tickets.

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Conductor: Ma’am, unfortunately your friend is wrong. Very few animals rebook. Most are on a schedule.

John: I should have known. Mr. Conductor, I’d like to take a different train.

Conductor: I’m sorry, Mr. Bison. You needed to make your decision by last Friday. I’m afraid I can’t help you.

John: Are all of the cars overbooked? Perhaps the rabbits wouldn’t mind moving.

Conductor: They arrived first and are fine with sharing. You’d have to move, and there are no empty cars.

John: They don’t mind sharing space with three large bison?

Conductor: They plan to sleep the entire trip and have earplugs. As long as you don’t step on them, you’re good.

John: Well I guess that’s that.

Next week: Is the trip going to improve for John or is the beginning just an omen of things to come?

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Pictures courtesy of Google Images.

17

Cat Forum: Fur, Beautiful Fur

 

Darlin’ give me a body with fur, long beautiful fur

Shining, gleaming, streaming, flaxen, waxen

Fur, fur. Fur, fur, fur, fur, fur, fur

Flow it, show it, long as I can grow it, my fur.

Fur, fur, fur, fur, fur, fur, fur, fur

Flow it, show it, long as I can grow it, my fur.

Fur, fur, fur, fur, fur, fur, fur, fur

Flow it, show it, long as I can grow it, my fur.

Flow it, show it, long as I can grow it, my fur.

Flow it, show it, long as I can grow it, my fur.

Flow it, show it, long as I can grow it, my fur.

With apologies to “Hair”. You can hear the original Broadway version here.

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Kommando: Why does it say “Apologies to Hair?” It’s about fur.

Snoops: It was originally about human hair.

Kommando: Why would anyone write a song about that? It’s disgusting.

Snoops: They wrote a whole play about it according to Mom.

Kommando: Humans are so weird. It’s not like it even covers their whole bodies. You have to look at all that disgusting skin.

Snoops: Seriously. Those pores and bumps. And those marks when they fall down.

Kommando: Yeah. And when they bleed. Ugh. Revolting.

Snoops: That’s why we’re talking about fur today.

Kommando: Pawsome!

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First, we are identified by the type of coat we have. There are hairless, short-haired, and long-haired.

Hairless – Hairless cats are not hairless (but they are cats). They are covered with very fine hair that feels like suede. Hairless cats are actually quite a bit of work. They have to be bathed regularly to remove some of the oil from their skin (the rest of us have fur to do it). Also, these cats shouldn’t be outside in cold weather (no coat). And they sunburn (Don’t put aloe on it; it’s poison to cats). Examples include the Sphynx and Peterbald.

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Short-haired – These cats are low-maintenance. The fur is no more than 1.5 inches long and requires very little brushing. Examples are the British Shorthair, the Burmese, the Manx, the Bengal, and the Savannah.

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Long-haired – These cats are furballs with feet. Their fur is longer than 1.5 inches, but it can grow up to 5 inches long. They require a lot of brushing, and they shed year-round. They are also prone to coughing up hairballs. Examples are the Maine Coon, the Ragdoll, and the Persian.

Now we move on to colors and patterns. As many varieties of patterns there are, cats are limited to 8 colors: white, black, red/ginger, bluish/gray, cream, brown, cinnamon, fawn. If cats were good at math, we’d tell you how many combinations that is; we’re not, so it’s lots.

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Solid/Self Color – These cats are easy to spot, if you can find one. If there are furs of other color (any furs), they are not a solid.

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Bi-Color – a base of white with patches of color. There are many variations: random, random with colored tail, colored head and back, and between the ears and a colored tail.

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Tabby – the most common patter in domestic cats; they are striped or marbled. The markings trace back to the ancestral wild cats. There are four sub-groups:

Striped or Mackerel – vertical stripes running from spine to belly.

Classic or Blotched – no distinct stripes, but a marbled effect.

Spotted – Spots instead of stripes.

Ticked – Each hair is more than one color, often with striped legs and tail.

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Tortoiseshell – they come in a variety of shades. The most common is gingery-red and black; the lightest is blue-grey and cream (diluted). Sometimes the colors are mixed/brindled and sometimes they are in patches.

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Torbie – a mixture of tabby and tortie. The markings are a mix a blend of tabby and tortoiseshell.

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Tri-Color/Calico – a mixture of gingery red, black, and white in any variation. They dilute down to grey, cream and white.

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Color Point – one color, but darker on the face, paws, and tail; the parts that are the coolest.

Kommando: Gee. I had no idea that fur was so complicated. Imagine if we each got to pick out our own coat. The line would go on forever while cats looked at samples.

Snoops: That is a very strange idea. Even from you. But there’s more. Some cats only have a top coat. That’s the longer guard hair. Others have that and an undercoat. The undercoat is very fine and cottony; excellent insulation. Those are the cats that don’t mind being outside in the winter.

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Kommando: We have double coats, and we don’t like cold weather.

Snoops: Good point. I guess fur is only part of it.

Kommando: These cats are all beautiful. I guess that’s the advantage of being a cat.

Snoops: Very true. We’re all gorgeous.

Kommando: Of course, the best looking are the bi-color with random black spots.

Snoops: Not even close. It’s the classic calico.

Kommando: Bi-color!

Snoops: Tri-color!

Kommando & Snoops: Mom! We need you!

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Pictures courtesy of Google Images.

18

Cat TV – Part 2

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

Josie: Mooom, I’m bored.

Mom: Did you do your homework?

Josie: Yes. Now I’m bored.

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Mom: Read a book.

Josie: I don’t have any.

Mom: Go to the library.

Josie: Yuck! What if someone sees me?

Mom: What if they do?

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

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Kenny: I’m bored.

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

Kenny: Nope.

Mom: Then clean your rooms.

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

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

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

Dad: Oh, that is a crisis.

Kenny and Josie glare at him.

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

Josie: It has to be better than today.

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

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

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

Josie: No TV?

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

Josie: All of our friends do.

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

Kenny: Why would we do that?

Grandma: That’s what real cats do.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kenny: How do I get down.?

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

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

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

Josie: Thank you, Grandma. That was great.

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

Josie: What’s Cat TV?

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

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Josie and Kenny ran home for dinner.

Dad: Did you have fun at Grandma’s?

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

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

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

Josie nodded. Their parents were astounded.

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All pictures courtesy of Google Images

 

 

 

13

Snoops and Kommando in the Kitchen

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

Image result for cat with a cold meme

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

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Protein Smoothie

3 mice, preferable without tails1

1 cup cream

½ cup cat grass2

Ice cubes to make it smooth

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

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

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

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Tuna Melt

1 slice bread1

1 can tuna

1 slice cheese1

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

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

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Chicken Soup

2 cups chicken broth1

1 cup shredded chicken2

Vegetables3

Noodles3

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

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

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

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

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

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Potatoes au Gratin

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

Caesar Salad

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

Pickled Pig’s Feet

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

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Meat Loaf

1 pound meat1

1 onion

1 egg

1 cup bread crumbs

Salsa or barbecue sauce

Salt and pepper

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

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

We hope you will enjoy these recipes.

Purrs, Snoops and Kommando Kitty

 

Pictures courtesy of Google Images (except us)

 

 

5

Cat TV

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

Josie: Mom! The TV lost its signal again.

Kenny: That’s the fourth time this week.

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

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

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

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

Kenny: Dad, the TV’s out again.

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

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

Josie: What did they say, Dad?

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

Josie: OK, what time will they be here?

Dad: Thursday, between noon and five.

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

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Dad: Find something else to do.

Kenny: But I need the TV for my homework.

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

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

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

His mother started to laugh.

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

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

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

Mom: I guess not.

Josie: But we still need something to do.

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

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

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

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

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

Kenny: That would be lame.

Mom: Why?

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

Mom: Well, I guess you’re stuck.

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

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

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

Image result for cats cooking meme

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

All pictures courtesy of Google Images

 

4

Cat Forum: Party Treats

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

Snoops: I think so.

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

Snoops: I don’t remember.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Snoops: Did you find any good recipes?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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