11

Cat Forum: A Guide to Summer Cat TV

Snoops and Kommando here. Welcome to this month’s Cat Forum. (Yes, we have been pushed back a week because of the stupid bison story. Maybe the editors will learn to count by June. We are the second week feature, not the third week feature. How are our fans supposed to find us?)

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Oh, well. On to this month’s topic. We’re going to talk about summer Cat TV. Unlike humans, we never have to worry about seeing the same program twice. Just another sign of cat intellectual superiority. We don’t have to turn our brains off to watch the same stuff day after day. (We know some humans are like that because our Dad used to do it – watch the same stuff, not turn his brain off.)

We live in a house without air conditioning, so we are lucky enough to have sound. Some of you air conditioned cats aren’t so lucky. (Although you don’t have to deal with sticky humans, a definite plus.)

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First are the birds.We live in Michigan, so we have more birds this time of year than when it’s cold. Some of you who live in warmer climates might not see much of a difference. Our favorites are the hummingbirds. They’re small and fast, so they’re a lot of fun to watch.

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Our human brother has a really big lilac bush just outside his bedroom window. It’s full of birds most of the time.All kinds of birds: sparrows, finches, wrens, robins, blue birds, blue jays, …. He complains about the noise waking him up. We’ve tried to tell him that they’re calling us, but he doesn’t seem to get it.

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The squirrel and deer channels get a lot more active too. The squirrels like to chase each other around. It looks like fun, but they get pretty mean sometimes when they fight. We’re glad they’re only on TV.

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Every once in a while, there’s a show on the squirrel channel that we really like. The little guys look a lot like squirrels, but much smaller with stripes down their backs. Mom says they’re called chipmunks. They look like they’d be fun to chase. But we don’t know what we’d do with it if we caught one. Mom says we can’t bring it in the house.

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The funniest show is Woodchuck Adventures. Woodchucks (aka groundhogs) look like huge rodents. (Bigger than us.) They like to lay in the sun. They probably don’t have to worry about sunburn, because they’re really furry.. As soon as they hear a noise, they race for the nearest shelter. It’s great watching something that bulky and slow running that fast. It’s even better when they climb trees. One went up a baby peach tree and was too big to sit on the branches.

We get the boring specialty channels too. We don’t have many snakes in Michigan. The ones we do have just lay in the sun. If we want to watch someone sleep, we can watch Mom.

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(silk moth – we don’t have those on our channel)

The night channel is pretty boring too. We like to watch the fireflies. Mom says their tails are poisonous, so we cant play with them. Moths are the best. They’re fun to play with, and crunchy and tasty if they get annoying.

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The worst show on that channel is the skunks. We were really disappointed. They’re kind of cute; they reminded us a little of cats. But they seem to fight dirty (and loud). When something scares them, they make a huge stink (for real). It smells awful. You air conditioned cats should be grateful. We hear some dogs try to make friends with them. Big mistake. Tell your dog friends if they upset a skunk, they’ll smell even worse than usual.

We recommend you check your local channels. Chances are, there’s something good out there that you haven’t seen for a while.

All pictures courtesy of Google Images.

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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

 

 

 

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

18

Cat Forum: Interview with Twilight

Snoops and Kommando Kitty here. Today we are very pleased to be talking with Twitchy Twilight, star of the popular Cattitude Chronicles. Read on to see what makes her so special.

Please tell us something about yourself.

Well, I was born in this nice human’s backyard a couple of summers ago, and there were 3 other katlings (kat version of siblings) with me.

The human found homes for the other 3, but she couldn’t find me because I love to explore so I had “vanished”- So she thought someone had found me and took me home until one day when a really bad rain and wind storm hit and I was wet and cold and hungry so I came back to the yard I was born in – and the human who lived there saw me all wet, cold and hungry and infested with fleas and she took me in right away and cleaned me up and I immediately fell in love and claimed her and human #2 as my own!

How did you get the name “Twitchy Twilight”?

The human started calling me Twitchy, because I’m ALWAYS frisky and ready to play, and at the slightest little movement, I may be purrfectly still, and my eyes laser focused – but my tail immediately begins twitching and Twitches with every slight movement I see and then I POUNCE when they least expect it!

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We know you thought you had some big paws to follow after Shrimp went over the Rainbow Bridge. It looks like you’ve adapted pretty well. What do you think?

Well, my humans were so crazy about Shrimp, and so broken hearted when she died, that I knew I’d have my paws full.

I knew one of the things they loved about her was all that cattitude, and I tried my best to develop cattitude of my own – but it just wasn’t me. So I decided to take my chances (in spite of Shrimp’s teaching)- and just be my adorable, sweet self.

And I’m glad I did – because what my humans needed most wasn’t cattitude – but cuddles! And now I’m their little purrincess!

Who do you live with? 

My human and her husband – he doesn’t play with me much, but he’s very in love with me!

Do you have a favorite thing to do with your humans?

Oh yes! I love to eat popcorn with my human when she watches movies -(“Hubster” doesn’t like popcorn, and I’m not allowed to eat his hot and spicy Cheetos)!

I also love to paw at my human from on top the kat tree every morning when she brews her coffee (it’s right next to the Keurig), and she spends the first part of her morning playing with me!

And I also like to help her with her morning workouts – (I’m the “weights” she uses)!

Do you get to go outside?

Only for a little bit in the morning before my human leaves – and a little bit in the evening – but I’m always home by curfew – and when the weather is bad, she won’t let me out at all – she tells me, “I didn’t adopt you so you could still be cold and eaten up with fleas like a stray!”

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How’s the cat TV (watching out the window) there?

Oh my KATS! It’s the BEST! There are squirrels, baby birds, hummingbirds (in the spring), ducks and even RACOONS- (but they’re bigger than me)!

Do you have a special thing you like to do when there are no humans around?

Yes – I like to try to sneak my friends inside for a box party – but she caught me the last couple of times!

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What’s your favorite treat?

Redi Whip!!!

Is there anything you’d like to add?

Yes – I’d like to tell people not to be afraid to adopt “feral kats”- I was feral for almost the first year of my life – but now I know what it’s like to be pampered, warm and treasured- and I’m thankful someone took a chance for me!

15

Snoops and Kommando: On the Prowl

Kommando: Hi everyone! We’ve been so busy interviewing other cats that we forgot our most interesting subjects.

Snoops: Who’s that?

Kommando: Us, silly!

Snoops: Things have been a little interesting recently.

Kommando: We got two new channels of cat TV. It’s pretty pawsome. They’re on the second floor.

Snoops: You may remember that we had four humans – two male and two female. Now we’re down to three.

Kommando: The younger female moved out. She brought home a strange male human one time. It was awful. He smelled worse that Horatio Hedgehog.

Horatio: Hey! I’m right here, you know.

Snoops: She didn’t mean it. You know we love you.

Horatio: Cats!

(He huffs and goes back to sleep.)

Kommando: Anyway her room is on the second floor and has views from two directions. One is even a new direction!

Snoops: It’s true. But it’s probably the most boring. There aren’t any trees that way.

Kommando: That’s true. But still, she was hiding it from us.

Snoops: True enough. It was so messy that it was hard to get over there.

Kommando: It hurt my delicate little paws to walk on it.

Snoops: Whatever you say, Kommando. Let’s move on to the pawsome TV show we found on human TV.

Kommando: That’s right; I almost forgot. It’s called “My Cat from Hell.”  Every time we see it, there are cats just being cats. You know, racing around and getting into stuff.

Snoops: Well, some of the cats are a little obnoxious. There seem to be awful lot of them who bite their humans. We don’t approve of that at all.

Snoops: She right. The pawsome part is that the human who runs the show, Jackson Galaxy, always blames everything on the humans! All the “bad” stuff that the cats do is because of something the humans do. Even scratching the drapes and pooping outside the litter box.

Kommando: Yep. They get homework and everything. And the humans work really hard to get their cats back to our usually sweet selves.

Snoops: He always says that there are no bad cats. We already knew that, but it’s really cool to hear a human admit it.

Kommando: Every week, the humans have done what they need to, and the cats have become snuggly like the rest of us.

Snoops: Life has been good.

Kommando: Well except recently. We got abandoned again.

Snoops: Oh yeah. Last night.

Kommando: Mom has been home with us 24/7 for the last few weeks. She had the other tunnel opened, on her left wrist. That’s two, so I think she’s done.

Snoops: It’s too bad. For the first couple of weeks, she wasn’t supposed to lift much of anything. And after that she had a weight restriction.

Kommando: It was great. Naps and snuggles and cuddles…

Snoops: It’s a good thing that she went back though. We used our last can of food the day before she went back. And she gets our food where she works.

Kommando: Oh, right. That would have been bad.

Snoops: At least she works nights. So we have someone here to wait on us all the time.

Kommando: And Dad had that flu thing a couple of weeks ago. He wasn’t much fun, but he was good to sleep on.

Snoops: And they get different days off, so they’re both here together.

Kommando: All right. I guess life is pretty good.

Snoops: And it would be perfect if we could get rid of all the noisy machines…

 

6

Critter Capers: Kommando’s New Hobby

Hello humans and cats with computers. I hope it’s as nice there as it is here. We’ve had full Cat TV for the last couple of days. Drapes and windows open. Sun. Birds. Two channels: dining room and living room. Hopefully the upstairs channel will be available soon. It’s harder to watch the things in the window wells (I think the humans call them frogs), but we can see a lot farther. We can sleep in the sun on the inside porch too. Purrrr.

Before it got so nice, Blondie (B for short) taught me a new hobby. She has a really little box that shows pictures and she talks into it. But it also does this:

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Pretty cool, huh?

B says I don’t like to get my picture taken. That’s because you couldn’t even see me in the first few pictures she took. I guess it took her a couple of days to figure out that since most of me is white, I need a dark background. I could put a dumb blonde joke here but I’m kinda blonde too.

Anyway, now that she knows how to do it, I think I like it.

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I just wish they would clean the house. I don’t know who Mr. Beer is, but I don’t want his stuff in my pictures.

My Grandma used to take lots and lots of pictures. But you can’t see them on the computer. They’re on some kind of paper. Snoops says they’re delicious. They’re all of the same people and cats. Some of them look like Mom and Dad, but better looking. Grandma must not have known too many people.

B isn’t around when I do most of my really cute stuff like lie in Mom’s arms in bed. Maybe she should teach Dad about this. He has one of those little boxes too.

Now that I think about it, I don’t know what to do with all of these pictures. Do they just live in the computer forever? Do new ones come and eat the old ones?

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Guess I just have to lay here and think about it for a while.