17

Cat Forum: New Year’s Resolutions

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Greetings fellow felines and assorted others. Snoops and Kommando Kitty here. The is our first opportunity to tell you about our New Year’s resolutions. We decided to make joint resolutions this year. So, here they are:

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We resolve not to fight so much.

Kommando: You mean you won’t lick my neck only to chomp on it?

Snoops: I have to make sure it’s clean. And it’s not like I can actually get to the skin through all that thick fur. Besides, I think it’s more directed at you hiding out and then attacking me.

Kommando: I do not hide out.

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Snoops: What do you call running in from another room or behind a box?

Kommando: Strategic placement of my body.

Snoops: Grrr.

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We resolve not to eat each other’s food.

Kommando: Yeah. No more snarfing my canned food.

Snoops: I do not snarf your food.

Kommando: I’ve seen you do it.

Snoops: I don’t touch your food until you’ve left the room. Besides you do the same thing.

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Kommando: I still think you get more than your share.

Snoops: What about you? I wait at the kibble dish or the water fountain while someone fills it, and as soon as you hear the sound of them being refilled you run in and push me out of the way.

Kommando: I’m just trying to protect you from being poisoned. You should thank me.

Snoops: Thank you? Mom is not going to poison us. You’re just being rude.

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We resolve not to fight over Mom.

Snoops: Meaning that you will not step on me or push me out of the way to get next to Mom.

Kommando: She’s MY human.

Snoops: She belongs to both of us.

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Kommando: Nope. Don’t you remember? Your humans were Dad and the blond girl. My humans were Mom and blondie’s brother. It was all Kommando, all the time for Mom. You can’t blame me because you ran out of humans and mine are both still here.

Snoops: That’s just mean. Mom said that she’s the primary human for both of us.

Kommando: It doesn’t mean that I don’t get first cuddles.

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Snoops: Lucky Mom goes out of her way to make sure I get enough pets and cuddles.

Kommando: Grrr.

Snoops: Was there anything else?

Kommando: No. I think apart from those things, we’re pretty much perfect.

Snoops: I agree. Let’s take a nap.

Kommando: Sounds good to me.

All pictures (except us) courtesy of Google Images

6

Cat Forum: The Visitors Respond

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Greetings. Snoops and Kommando Kitty here. You may recall that a few weeks ago we had invaders visitors. Mom said that since we had a post to tell the truth complain, they should have the opportunity to give their side of the story. In the interest of fairness, we have agreed.

 Please introduce yourself with your name and one interesting fact about yourself.

I’m Onyx – I’m very quiet and laid back, but love being around my people.

I’m Spaz – I’m the oldest (and according to Mom, the crankiest). Unlike Onyx, I would be happy by myself with one servant.

I’m Angel – I love playing! (And climbing, and running, and eating. Really, I’m easy to please).

I’m Gypsy – I like playing hide and seek. My beautiful muted colors make it really easy to hide.

Did your humans ask if you wanted to come to our house?

Spaz– No, they did not. First Mom and Dad disappeared for three nights (they said something about a wedding), then they show back up, load us into cages and transport us across at least half the state. It was really disturbing.

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Did they bring back presents to make up for leaving you?

Onyx– although they brought back gifts for other humans, the only cat approved item brought for us was a large paper bag- and you will not believe the challenges I’ve faced, keeping the other cats (especially Angel) out of it.

Did you like staying at our house?

Gypsy– it was a lot roomier, which was nice. And the quality (and quantity) of both sofas, chairs and cat trees were much nicer. We would definitely approve if Mom and Dad were to move all of us in.

We heard Mom tried to starve you.* Have you recovered?

Angel– Barely. Since we’ve stayed, I’ve started fighting to make sure I get the most food- and that I’m fed first. After all, what if next time we get nothing? I’ve also started stockpiling extra food- although Onyx and Spaz don’t seem to want to share their rations for the cost.

What do you think of our Mom (excluding the whole starving thing)?

Gypsy– She was really nice, and seemed to have more attention to give us. She wasn’t distracted by “video games” like Dad or “working double shifts” like Mom.

Do you want to come back or was once enough?

Onyx– Although we appreciate the hospitality, once was definitely enough. The travel to and from is traumatic enough, and we missed our familiar smells and sun spots.

Sorry we weren’t allowed downstairs. Did you want to meet us or were you happier with just the four of you?

Spaz-I waz okay without you. I guess it would have been tolerable to meet you, although I am of the opinion that each kitty should be a single kitty, with individualized attention. Don’t take it personally though- I am still trying to convince Dad to get rid of the other cats (Mom keeps saying no).

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Do you miss anything about being here?

Angel– yes, as a matter of fact. The extra space, the additional cat trees, all of the toys, the abundance of sun and nap spots… The 24/7 access to kibble was nice as well (we’re supposed to have that at home, but Mom and Dad are really bad about remembering to refill the dish when it runs empty).

Do you want to say anything else?

Onyx– if your humans say they’ll be home soon, don’t believe them. Humans are really bad at measuring time. Also, if the carrier comes out, run.

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Spaz– bring extra food, and bulk up before all road trips.

Angel– appreciate the little things in life. Our humans aren’t cool enough to have multiple cat trees.

Gypsy– thank you for having us. We appurciate it furry much.

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*While they were here, they got a half can of wet food and all the kibble they wanted. At home they each get a full can. They are sleek and definitely are not being overfed at home.

Memes courtesy of Google Images

 

 

49

Cat Forum: Interview with Kosmo

Snoops and Kommando Kitty here. Welcome to Cat Forum. We have a  very special guest this month: Kosmo, who comes all the way from Finland. We didn’t know where Finland is, so we had to look it up. It is a LONG way from Michigan. And he speaks really good American cat (which is a good thing, since we didn’t even know there was a Finnish cat language.) Kosmo appears in the blog Photofinland with a lot of really cool pictures. In fact, Horatio Hedgehog convinced us to put a second link further down when Kosmo talks about the hedgehogs he knows.

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Tell us a little bit about yourself.

 My name is Kosmo and I live in the western part of Finland. I am about Four years old. I don´t remember much of my childhood, but one day when I was walking around hungry and tired, I heard humans talking in one yard. So I walked there, a woman was sitting on the steps and I walked straight to her lap. She asked me if I am hungry, and then I knew I will live in this house forever.

Kosmo´s mom: We tried to find Kosmo´s home with no result, nobody had seen him earlier. Kosmo had been a home cat, because he was used to living inside.

Kosmo’s Mom is also an extremely talented photographer

Your humans seem to really love the outdoors. Do you get to help them with their projects?

Not much, because at first I was really afraid to go out, because of my past, somebody had left me out. Dad took me out at first in his lap, then in a leash, and now after three years effort I walk well in a leash. I have my own path and I walk it with Dad twice a day.

You may know that we live with Horatio Hedgehog. Have you ever met one?

Oh yes! Hedgehogs are living in my yard. In a most peaceful corner in my yard is a place for hedgehogs to hibernate. Dad has made two small houses for them and then covered the houses with dry leaves and branches. In our blog are photos of one house and hedgehogs.

It looks really snowy and cold there (and dark). Do you get extra snuggles this time of year?

Yes, my humans like to snuggle with me, because I am snoring really loud, and they love it.

Do you live with other creatures (furry or non-furry) aside from your adult humans?

 No, just we three together. One cat girl comes every day to eat here. She is waiting outside the door, then I invite her to come in to eat. We know where her home is, but our food is better, I think. I just watch her eat, maybe some days we are playing together.

What’s your favorite thing to do with your humans?

 Snuggling, of course, daily brushing, playing “running around like crazies”, and my walks outside with Dad.

What’s your favorite way to play?

Pawball is the number one.

Are there special Finnish treats that you get? Maybe something fishy?

This is really embarrassing, but I am afraid of fish. When I was new here, my humans had real, tiny fishes for me, I and ran away under the bed.

Do you have good cat TV (window viewing) there?

I have two great cat TV’s and lots of birds.

Is there anything you would like to add?

 This interview in your blog is a great honour to me , thank you!

Horatio here. Kosmo really is a good guy – for a cat. If you get to Finland, you should definitely look him up.

 

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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10

Davy Kitten, Superstar

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Davy Kitten fell asleep after his mother had read him several stories from his favorite book, 100 Cats Who Changed Civilization by Sam Stall. He began to dream about a beautiful cat. Her name was Colette. She told him that any cat as good-looking as he was should be a model. Davy blushed.

Colette told Davy to follow her. They went into a building and down a long hall. Davy was a little frightened. What if she was taking him to some big dogs who were going to eat him? He was afraid of dogs. Finally Colette slid through a crack into a large bright room.

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“Ah, Colette! You found me a model for my cat beds! He will be purrfect.” The man picked up Davy and cuddled him. Davy began to purr and rub his head against the man’s face.

“Now, little one, all you have to do is lay in my beds and pretend to sleep. I will take pictures. You will be famous! And so will my beds.” Davy curled up in several of them. Finally, the man was done.

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Davy went home with the man, whose name was Bob. Bob gave Davy good food and a nice warm bed. Shortly after, Bob showed him a magazine with Davy’s picture in it. Davy thought that he actually did look pretty good. He purred at Bob.

Bob’s phone rang. He talked for a few minutes. Then he told Davy, “You won’t believe it! That was Mon Cheri Cat Food. They want you to be their spokescat. What do you think about that?” Davy wasn’t sure; he didn’t know what a spokescat was. He didn’t speak human.

They went to the Mon Cheri offices. The studio was huge. There were all types of rooms for Davy to wander through. Finally they showed him the food they wanted him to sell. “Eww! That’s awful! I can’t eat that.”

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Bob picked up Davy. “You don’t have to really eat it. It’s all pretend. I’ll see if they have another flavor.” They put another bowl in front of Davy. That one was yummy. Davy ate it all as the people took the pictures.

The cat food ads were a huge success. Davy began to get fan mail. They took pictures of him, made him put his paw in something gooey and press it on the picture. His fans loved it.

Finally the cat food people decided that he needed to go on tour. Davy didn’t like to travel. Bob said he’d be right beside him, so Davy agreed to go. He had a big bus with his picture on the side. Bob made him a special bed for the trip. Davy thought it might not be so bad.

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At the first stop, they put a harness on Davy and took him out to meet his fans. Davy had never heard so much noise. And they all tried to touch him! Nobody had said anything about sticky fingers in his beautiful fur.

The fans adored him and the tour continued. In California, he was set up with a cameo in a movie. They gave him a bath in some kind of stinky soap and blew his coat dry. He looked in the mirror. He was a ball of fur. He went on the set. There were so many people. And they all wanted to touch him.

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Davy couldn’t take it anymore. He ran away from Bob and out the door. Outside there were more people who wanted to grab him. He couldn’t get away.

“Davy! Over here! Davy! Davy!

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Davy felt someone pushing him. He opened his eyes. It was Mama!

“Mama, I had the worst dream! There were humans everywhere and they all wanted to touch me. I couldn’t get away. I never want to be a famous cat. It was terrible!”

Mama snuggled Davy next to her and started to groom him. She decided to read about historical cats that night.

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28

Cat Forum Interview with Chloe and Charlie

Today we are here with Chloe and Charlie from Insights from the Edge  (We are not sure what it is the edge of; it must be a human thing.) It is written by their mom Amy. She does not write about cats, but it’s pretty interesting anyway. Apparently she writes for a living, so that’s probably why it’s pretty good. It would be better if she wrote about cats.

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Tell us a little bit about each of you.
Chloe: My lady told me other humans found me under a dumpster at three weeks old. I was the only girl. I had many brothers. One was blind. He was a good guy. The rest were annoying. I met my lady when I was eight weeks old. She ignored me, so I liked her. All the other humans who came were so annoying. They picked me up and tried to poke me. My human wouldn’t look at me. So don’t you know, I had some things to say to her. I climbed up her arm and stuck my nose in her nose and that was it. I told her she was to be my lady. That was that. And oh, yah, Charlie. Well, that first night the lady put me in the bathroom. I said, “Absolutely, no way, lady. You will take me out of here right this instance.” She did. Then I met Charlie and he was so dirty I had to start cleaning him right there. 
Charlie: All my brothers and sisters died in a flood. Well, there was one other, my last sister. We were together a few weeks, then my lady came and took me. I heard her tell her man that my sister was adopted by a little girl. On her fifth birthday my sister ran into the street and was hit by a car. I’m happy with my lady. But she left me alone a lot in the beginning and when she got back I let her know how unhappy I was. She brought home a few friends for me. They weren’t any fun. One hid under the cold thing where food comes from. She took them away. All I wanted to do was play. Why does everyone get so mad at me? 
When my lady brought Chloe I liked her a lot. She cleans me and sleeps with me and when she thinks I’m not looking she puts her legs around me in the winter. 
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How many humans do you have? Do you live with any other creatures?
Chloe: I have two humans, a lady and man, and one cat, an orange Charlie. After he goes, I’ve called a moratorium on pets. Charlie is just too much. He whines all the time, sleeps on my human when I want to, and doesn’t even have the decency to cover his number one or two. Also, he almost never cleans himself, which means I have to. Exhausting. 
Charlie: I have a lady and there’s a guy that lives here, and another cat. She’s not very nice all the time. I like it when it’s just my lady and me. She loves only me. She feeds me treats and everything. I like that because it is just like it was when I was a little boy, before everyone else. 
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Do you guys always get along or do you get hissy once in a while?
 Chloe: (heavy sigh) I guess he’s all right. He’s big and warm. I do enjoy sticking my paws under his belly where it’s especially soft. But that’s all. Sometimes he really makes me mad and we fight and he’s huge and I end up under the piano bench yelling at him to go away. 
Charlie: I love her and love to play. Then she gets really mad. I don’t know why. Then mom separates us. I don’t know why. But then she comes upstairs, where I am, and she sits by the door until mom lets me out. So I think she loves me too. 
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Do you have a favorite place to hang out?
Chloe: The couch
Charlie: Ditto
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It says that your Mom lives in LA. Is that a good place to be a cat?
Chloe: It’s not. We don’t get to go outside very much. Too many humans and dogs and loud scary monsters roaring and racing by. We have a nice porch outside, but I don’t spend much time there anymore. I did when I was young, but I’m tired now. I do occasionally. I like to smell the smells.
Charlie: I’d like to go outside and explore, but mom says no. We play inside with the red dot. One day I’ll catch it. I  have a little bird that makes a lot of noise, but I’d rather go outside. I get bored.
(We like cat TV. It varies at the different windows.)
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Do you get to eat trendy food?

Chloe: Oh, we do. Venison. I’ve made my human spare no expense. And the most expensive treats I could find. You get what you pay for, after all.

 

 

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What’s your favorite way to spend time with your human?
Chloe: I think I speak for both of us when I say, when she’s at home, on our couch and it’s just us. (except it’s annoying when she’s tapping away on that board of hers. I always let her know it’s time to stop. She should be sleeping, like any sane cat.)
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If each of you had one wish, what would it be?
Chloe: To be well. I’ve been sick all my life. Mommy holds me and walks me around and I like that. She makes it better a lot. She tries to know what to do. And I don’t ever want to go to that place where they poke me and stretch me and make me so scared. I don’t ever want to go there again. I want to feel good.
(We agree. Those people try to be nice, but they’re not. Have you tried catnip tea? If it doesn’t make you healthier, at least you’ll be happy.)
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Charlie: To be with Mommy, alone.
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Don’t forget to check out Insights from the Edge. Even if it’s not about cats.
(We apologize if the formatting is weird. WordPress would not cooperate.)