15

Cat Forum: Ask Snoops and Kommando

We get all types of questions from readers of our blog. Today we thought we would share a few of them with you.

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Dear Snoops and Kommando, I want to get my girlfriend a special gift for her birthday, but she’s already said that she doesn’t want a dead animal. Can you believe it? Any ideas?

It sounds like she doesn’t want a traditional gift. However, that doesn’t mean you don’t have options. We recommend something personal. Girls like her tom making her dinner. Maybe a nice salmon patty or beef shreds. You could still use the mice for kebabs or a nice protein for a salad with cat greens. Catnip tarts are always a winner for dessert.

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Dear Snoops and Kommando, My human keeps trying to get me to dress up in human clothes. Then they take pictures and post them. It is totally humiliating. What can I do?

We recommend the direct approach. If you find the outfit before they put it on, wet hairballs are a good option. They don’t look as suspicious as using the clothes as a litter box.

If the clothes are sprung on you, try to get away to someplace hard to get at or too small for them to come after you. With a little luck, they will give up trying to catch you.

It should always be a last resort to fight with your human. They are the keeper of the treats. However, extreme squirming is acceptable. Make it as hard as possible.

If all else fails, hide once the outfit is on. It’s much better for them to tell their friends that you were a fashion fail than have those pictures circulating on the Internet.

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Dear Snoops and Kommando, My human keeps letting small humans into our house. We have our own small humans who are rather sweet (and good for getting us treats). However, these visitors are miserable little creatures. We do not like being held in sticky hands or chased around the house. They do not listen to our little humans. What do we do?

Do not, under any circumstances, hiss or try to claw the little monsters. You will get in trouble with the large humans. Our first idea is to stick around your human mom or dad when they come around. Any good human cat parent will protect you from grabby hands.

A cat tree or shelf is also a possibility. If you have an outdoor enclosure, head for that. Hiding under a bed will usually do the trick. (Make sure you’re in the middle where short arms can’t reach.) The key is to try to stay out of their sight.

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Dear Snoops and Kommando, Our humans brought home a dog. It is huge (and smells awful). It wants to play with us. How do we deal with it?

First off, be grateful that it doesn’t want to be alpha animal. Some dogs come into a house and need to be taught that cats rule the roost.

It is a good idea to be as friendly as possible. Large dogs are useful in reaching things you cannot. And they can be blamed for all sorts of things.

Dog aroma is usually not too bad once you get used to it. A good way to adapt is to sleep in his bed whenever possible.  If the smell is excessive, the humans will force him to take a bath.

It’s fun to chase the dog rather than let him chase you. Whatever you do, protect your food.

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Dear Snoops and Kommando, we hear that your blog recently celebrated its fifth anniversary. Congratulations!

Thank you very much, but the celebration is much too early. It is true that Cat registered the blog five years ago. But in our opinion, it was rather pathetic. Very human-centric and total lack of focus.

We actually took over the blog in July of 2015. If you look at it before and after that date, you will notice a marked difference. We have improved the content, standardized the publishing schedule, and drawn in more followers.

In other words, animals rule!

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11

If I Had Designed Suri

I recently saw a commercial that has Suri answering questions about AT&T’s mobile plans. For those of you living in a corner of the world that Apple has not yet conquered, Suri is the iPhone’s voice-activated digital assistant. She has a calm soothing voice that would drive me crazy.

The ad reminded me of the original ads for Suri. She was shown answering all types of questions: How far is the moon? Where’s the closest Thai restaurant? Is it going to rain tomorrow?

My car can tell me where the closest Thai restaurant is. What I really need to know is whether they have ever unintentionally poisoned someone. Or if anyone returns for a second visit. Or if it’s going to cost as much as a month’s rent.

If you ask five forecasters about the weather, you will get five different answers. What I would rather know is the percentage of the drivers in my area who turn into turtles  when the pavement gets wet.

Of course there are other things that I think would be useful:

Who scheduled a concert the same night the football and hockey teams are in town and how do I contact them?

Who decided to put the male enhancement drugs next to the sleep aids in the pharmacy?

Where is one of the sixty-eight empty spots the sign outside the parking structure said were available?

When will it be safe to remove the mulch around my plants?

What time will I be able to pick someone up at the airport following the on-time flight that was actually a half hour early but held up on the tarmac for an hour and had its luggage mixed in with five other flights?

Which candidate is using more of those masked phone numbers to make calls to get my vote?

Who decided that sales calls could be blocked but political campaign ads could not?

What route are the salt trucks taking?

How long is the freeway really going to be down to one lane for construction?

What is the perfect gift for a bride and groom who obviously have no taste based on their (very expensive) registry?

What does a room freshener called Fiji smell like?

Does this dish contain black pepper? (I’m allergic)

Is the police car behind me just driving along or is it watching my driving?

Is the impossibly slow car in front of me turning off soon or should I go around?

Who is wearing half a bottle of cologne and what is it so I never get it by mistake?

Will this cold remedy actually make me feel better?

What is that horrible smell in the break room? Is it a person or food?

What niche does this blog fall into?

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6

Cats + Hedgehog + WordPress = Success

You may have guessed that I am not particularly detail-oriented about a lot of things. For example, I looked at the WordPress Stats page for the first couple of weeks I was blogging and haven’t been back. (It’s probably a little less depressing now.)

I am gracious enough to see who has joined the blog and check out their site. I reply to comments and look at the notification of who has “liked” a blog.

I’m guessing that the posts that continue to get “likes” as time goes by are the ones that appear in the little box you get telling you that someone liked your post. Which keeps them in the little box until you write something even more thrilling.

Anyway, after a period of (more or less) being clueless, it has slowly come to my attention that some subjects are significantly more popular than others. (I can sense the collective “duh!” out there.) Based on nothing other than a vague recollection of what I have received in my in-box, I think my topics are cats, hedgehogs, and WordPress/blogging.

So I had a brilliant idea. <groan> The cats and hedgehog should get their own blog. They could write about their adventures and become a WordPress sensation. Then I started thinking. (It’s a bad sign when the thinking comes after the great idea.)

  • Collectively, they sleep between 55 and 60 hours/day. That doesn’t leave much time for adventures.
  • None of them can type.
  • They don’t speak the same language. And none of them speak any type of human.
  • There are several cat-narrated blogs out there. I’m not sure that working with a hedgehog would be enough to differentiate them.
  • None of them are particularly good at working in groups (“diva syndrome”)
  • They don’t seem very interested in schedules, unless it’s for feeding time. Hugely irregular posting is not the route to celebrity.

So I’ve decided to share my blog with them. They will be making occasional appearances as guest-bloggers. I will type and make sure everything is in English.

That said, they need User Profiles. In order of adoption into the family:

Super Snooper – I am a beautiful calico cat. I joined the family in May 2012 when I was 2 years old. They rescued me from a shelter that must have had a million dogs in it. It was awful! My favorite activities are eating, sleeping and cuddling. I also like to eat photographs. I enjoy an occasional mousing expedition. Since it’s gotten colder, I really enjoy sleeping by the fireplace. I tried to climb in it after a cleaning, but the human made me get out. (There wasn’t a fire in there; I don’t know what the problem was.) My favorite toys are a stuffed sheep and a stuffed rat. I also go by the initials SS.

Kommando Kitty – I am part Siamese and part generic snow cat. I have extremely thick, white and gray, ultra-fine fur made for cold weather. I prefer to cuddle in front of the fire or in bed. I also enjoy sleeping and mousing. I joined the family in July 2012 when I was about 4 weeks old. My first humans deserted me. I tried to jump in the window here twice, but fell in the window well both times. Finally they brought me into the house. My new favorite toy is something Mom (the alpha female here) calls a laptop computer. I am making it do things even she doesn’t understand. I go by the initials KK.

Horatio Hedgehog – I am an African Pygmy Hedgehog. I have black and white quills and a furry tummy. I joined the family last Christmas. It is really cold here. Luckily the humans have given me a heater. I don’t really like cats, but these two are OK. Dad (the alpha male) finally figured out that I was tired of only getting kitty kibble to eat (I’m not a cat, you know). So now I get a few wax worms at night. They are extremely yummy. I only have one toy, my wheel. But I really like it and use it every night. I go by the initials HH.

So that’s the team. They wanted a title for their posts, so people won’t confuse them with mine. We have come up with Kritter Kapers. (Nobody gets their name in the title.) I read that the letter “K” is supposed to appeal to readers. I don’t get it – it just looks misspelled to me. You will see the first post sometime next month.

Assuming I can keep Kommando from turning off my email or Internet access.