23

Party Time! August 8 is International Cat Day

It’s time to celebrate all things cat! Monday is International Cat Day, so everyone should be celebrating the wonderfulness of us.  Here are some suggestions for ways your human can spoil you on this special day.

Presents

Who doesn’t love a new toy? It doesn’t have to be anything extravagant. Just something to let you know you’re appreciated. Here are a couple of do-it-yourself ideas:

Wine Corks – Soften the wine cork by boiling it. Make a hole in one end, and insert feathers, pipe cleaners, ribbon, etc. Secure the attachment with epoxy. Let fully dry before use.

Cat Tent – Bend wire hangers into an interesting shape. Pull a t-shirt over the hangers. Glue the bottom and sleeves over. The neck hole leaves an opening for the cat to get in and out of the tent. (Full instructions are here.)

Pom-poms – Loop yarn around your hand multiple times (25-50). Slide the yarn off your hand and tie it around the center with another piece of yarn. Cut the loops and fluff it up. You can attach it to a stick if you’d like.

Catnip

Is it really a party if there isn’t any catnip? You can enjoy it fresh, dried, or in a toy. Maybe you’d even like to try some cool catnip tea. You can try sprinkling some on a favorite climbing tree. We know everyone doesn’t love catnip, but it’s the perfect opportunity for those who do to enjoy a little.

Most elegant cat I have seen ever.

Pictures

Maybe it’s finally the right occasion to have your official portrait taken. What better way to commemorate the day than to have a professional picture. Selfies are nice, but wouldn’t it be pawsome to see yourself captured in all your regal beauty. You can consider letting your human share the spotlight. You’ll have a family keepsake. And the human can pay.

This Cat Eating It's Birthday Cake Is An Actual Cat And Not A Meme

Kitty Cake (More recipes here)

Why should humans be the only ones who get to each cake on special occasions? The one below is super easy. If your human is more talented, you should definitely check out the link above.

Step 1 – Mix drained tuna, shredded chicken, and pureed sweet potato/pumpkin in a large bowl. Add rice flour to get a firm consistency.

Step 2 – Use a cookie/biscuit cutter to make small cakes. Your human can also form them by hand.

Some cats like to have whipped potato frosting. That sounds pretty yucky to us, but we won’t judge you.

Why You Should Massage Your Cat - Stay-N-Play Pet Ranch

Pampering

You should definitely expect extra attention on the holiday. Maybe you’d like an extra-long play session. Or a kitty massage. Your own human can massage you or you might get lucky and they’ll know a professional kitty masseuse (most likely your vet has a name). Maybe you can get a new kitty bed to get ready for the cool weather that will be here before we know it. At the very least, demand some extra pets and rubs.

If your human is interested in some massage basics, you can find them here.

110 Lovely Cat Memes

Go For a Walk

If you’re an adventurous kitty, tell your human that you want to go for a walk. Whether you use a leash, halter, or stroller, International Cat Day is the perfect time to spend some quality kitty/human bonding time exploring the neighborhood. Maybe the human can just spend some time with you on your porch or catio.

Volunteers of the Burbank Animal Shelter – Volunteers of the Burbank Animal  Shelter

Celebrate for a Cause

Maybe you don’t really want/need anything. Talk your human into donating some money in your name to a good cause. There are many cat-related charities that could use help. Or donate supplies to the local shelter. Best of all, if you’re looking for a sibling, it would be a great day to adopt a kitten/cat.

However you decide to celebrate, have a great day!

International Cat Day This Month - Catwatch Newsletter

Pictures courtesy of Google Images

31

The Big Catnap: A Kommando Kitty Thriller – Part 2

The story so far: After Mom’s new catnip was found strewn across the porch in a mess of potting soil and shattered dreams, Kommando Kitty, Purrivate Investigator is on the case. But despite her super sleuthing, she has yet to discover the perpetrator. When last we saw her, what looked like her own fur had just been discovered at the scene of the crime, prompting her partner and sister, Snoops, to go back inside for a nice nap. Now it’s up to our plucky hero to crack the case and clear her name. You can read Part 1 here.

As I watched Snoops slink away, I pushed the doubts from my mind and got ready for the stakeout. I knew the only way to get through to her would be to find the real culprit, since Snoops had never acquired my own unshakable faith in myself, for some reason. I found a nice spot on a window ledge overlooking the porch and settled in.

Something that detective stories never tell you though, is that stakeouts are really, really boring. After the first hour of waiting, my paws started to fall asleep. After the next hour, the rest of me was catching up. After FOUR HOURS (that’s ONE WHOLE CAT in paws, for the mathematically-inclined), I was almost ready to give up hope, but that’s when Lady Luck came a-knocking on my door.

While I was wondering whether the ants on the porch or the hours of the stakeout were crawling by more slowly, I suddenly caught a flash of movement on the sidewalk. A huge, burly young tomcat was stalking up toward the house, practically radiating evil intent [Editor’s Note: the cat in question might weigh seven pounds. Might.] Not wanting things to take an ugly turn, I sprang into action, throwing myself in front of the intruder.

“Stop, in the name of the law!”

Aaah! What’s going on? Who are you?”

“Paying dumb, huh? Well, nobody’s dumber than… wait… uh, hang on…”

“What?”

“Nevermind, I’m asking the questions here! Who are you, and why did you mercilessly destroy Mom’s catnip?”

“I asked first. And I didn’t do anything to any catnip, anyway. Are you okay? You’re acting kinda weird.”

“And you’re acting very suspicious! Wait a minute… Do I know you? You seem familiar.”

“Well, I grew up here…”

“Hang on…” I squinted at the interloper, “you’re my good-for-nothing sister’s kid! Sergeant Stripes!” My sister and I had never seen eye to eye, ever since I’d managed to make it big.

“Hey! Good-for-nothing? You’re not very nice.”

“Don’t play coy with me! You two are trying to frame me for your crimes, that’s why you planted my fur in the catnip pot! She was always jealous of me! Well, it isn’t going to work. Now that I’ve unraveled your nefarious scheme, Mom’s finally going to stop putting food out for you, and I’m going to be back to my usual spot as #1 cat around here! [Editor’s Note: this is a spot Kommando shares with Snoops]

“Uh… I really don’t know what you’re talking about. How long were you laying in that sunpuddle for?”

“I was doing a stakeout! And now I’ve caught you. That means you have to tell me all the bad stuff you did. So stop stalling and spill the beans! Sheesh, haven’t you ever seen any detective movies? How do you explain this?” I finished triumphantly, thrusting the incriminating furs in his face.

“Seen any whats? Look, I’m still not really sure what’s going on, but if you’re mom’s sister, then you should know that she’s been napping in that catnip. That’s probably where that fur came from. Now, can I get back to my snack?”

“So she IS the perpetrator!”

“…look, I’m guessing you and mom don’t get along well, since we haven’t met before, and I think I can see why. But she didn’t knock over the catnip. It’s her favorite new bed, why would she?”

“I’ve never understood why anyone does anything, I’m just a detective. But that doesn’t mean she didn’t do it. Maybe it was a crime of passion.”

“Would you trash your own bed?”

“Well… no. But this is my only lead!”

“…I’m going back to my kibble.” With that, he turned away, with all the inscrutability of an Egyptian sphinx. The statue kind, not the hairless kind. They’re weird. I stared hard at his back, but he didn’t waver. Maybe his story was actually true. It did put me in a bind, though. Who actually did smash the catnip?

So that’s how I ended up sitting under the bed, with a thunderstorm hammering at the windows, trying to figure out what had actually happened. As I lay there frustrated, I heard the rain start to slow. I made my way up to my perch by the window, staring forlornly out at the row of pots sitting below, mocking me. Then, out of nowhere, it hit me.

“Snoops!” I ran toward my partner, elated, “I know who knocked over the catnip!”

“Of course you do, it was your fur in the pot. Are you done playing detective?”

“That wasn’t my fur, it was my sister’s! And I didn’t knock over the pot, it was that big, ugly possum out there!” I exclaimed, pointing at the possum in question.”

“Big, ugly…?” Snoops slowly turned, eyes widening in surprise as she beheld the uninvited guest helping himself to the cat food Mom had put out for my sister and her pack of strays. “…Huh. I’ll bet you’re right. Congrats on cracking the case, detective.”

I purred happily. “I couldn’t have done it alone, partner!” (I just had, but Snoops likes to feel included. She’s a little insecure, and gets jealous easily.)

So that’s the whole story. Mom had to repot the catnip another time, after it got dug out again, and now she’s just started keeping it up on the railing, where it’s harder to get at. To make amends for her false accusation, Snoops gave me a bath. After that, I finally got back to that catnip mouse and my soft, fluffy new bed. Another mystery solved by Kommando Kitty, Purrivate Investigator!

27

The Big Catnap: A Kommando Kitty Thriller

The Cat Detective! | Kittyworks

In honor of our 9th anniversary and 500th post, our human brother has written a noir classic about us:

It was a dark and stormy afternoon. I lounged casually under the bed, where the thunder couldn’t get me. As the rain battered the windows of my bedroom, I turned the facts of the case over in my head. That’s right, I’m Kommando Kitty, purrivate investigator, and at that moment, I was the only thing standing between an audacious villain and an easy life living off their ill-gotten gains (Editor’s Note: nothing, much less anything of value, was stolen).

It all started with an innocuous Mother’s Day present. My sister/assistant (Editor’s note: Snoops is not Kommando’s assistant) and I had gotten mom a giftcard to a local plant nursery, so she could get us some catnip—a little quid pro quo, as we say in the business. Everything was coming up catnip, too. She liked the gift; she bought some catnip plants, and after a bit, she even transplanted them to bigger pots so they’d keep growing. Everyone was happy, then.

That was when the dastardly blackguard struck. One morning, we went outside, and the catnip was crushed! Something, or someone, had seen our innocent plants and decided that they needed to be taken down a peg. Once proud stalks were smashed, smushed, or smooshed. Leaves were torn and ragged, and dirt spilled from the sides of the previously neatly-kept pot. As soon as I saw the scene of the crime, I knew I would be the one who had to find some answers, even if I had a catnip mouse and a soft new bed on top of a cat tree in the window waiting.

“Did you see that dark business earlier today, Snoops? I think they might try to call me back in for this one.”

“…you mean the catnip over there? Mom’s repotting it. She says she thinks it’ll be okay.”

“Of course, I can’t very well sit idly by while some knave gets off scot-free, and they did always say I was the best.”

“…at what?”

And I suppose I won’t have any peace until I’ve apprehended the miscreant. Fine, fine, you’ve convinced me. I’ll do it!” She gave me a long stare, like she was trying to search for hope within the beautiful lines of my face. Finally, she sighed.

“…well, good luck?”

“We won’t need it, partner! Like they say, I’m the best.”

“Oh yay, I get to be a partner.” Snoops had an oddly deadpan tone, but she was clearly thrilled to be working with me again. I just hoped I’d be able to protect her from whoever did this.

The first thing we did was familiarize ourselves with the crime scene. I laid in a sun puddle looking out at the porch where it happened for several hours, but I made little headway. Whoever had done the crime was fiendishly clever.

Next, Snoops and I checked the catnip itself. It was very aromatic around the scene from all the broken leaves and stems. Whoever it was, they’d been thorough. Therefore, my partner and I concluded that we must be equally thorough, but about two hours of closely inspecting the catnip later, and we still had no leads.

“Hey Kommando,” my partner beseeched me.

“Talk to me.”

“Isn’t this your fur in the pot?”

I looked at what she’d found. Sure enough, gray and white fur, with the right length and texture to have come right out of my own luxurious coat. That’s when I knew things were getting dicey. Someone was trying to set me up, and I had to act fast before I was sleeping with the fishies, and I don’t mean the catnip ones.

“I’ve been framed! But who would want me gone? And why? Something isn’t adding up. We need to do a stakeout.”

“You’re not just trying to cover up that you knocked the pot over, are you?”

“…so it comes to this. Betrayed by my own partner. I should have known that when the going got tough, you’d get going. You didn’t grow up on the streets like I did, so you never had to get tough yourself.” (Editor’s Note: Kommando was less than four weeks old when she was found in a suburb. Snoops was adopted from a shelter after having had kittens on the street).

“Uh… okay, I’m just going to go take my nap. Good luck cracking the case, Purrlock.”

“Fine! I didn’t need you anyway, I’ll solve the case myself! And when I’m living on easy street, don’t expect to come crawling back!”

My partner stormed off, probably overcome with jealousy of my good looks and intimidating intellect, as I settled into a good spot where I could survey the porch. I had known from the start that this mystery wouldn’t be an easy one, but the stakes had just gotten a lot higher, with my own reputation on the line.

NEXT WEEK:

Will Purrivate Investigator Kommando Kitty find out who overturned the catnip and clear her name? Will Snoops be able to take her nap without interruption? Will the mysterious perpetrator be brought to justice? Find out, only on Adventures in Cheeseland

20

There Goes the Neighborhood: The Groundhogs’ Bad Season

Groundhog Photos and Facts

The groundhog family had been living under the porch of the old farmhouse for generations. It was a pretty nice location: the humans didn’t spend too much time outside, and they never bothered the groundhogs. There was plenty of clover to eat and even an ornamental peach tree to climb.

Life had been particularly good in the past couple of years. Something had happened to the male human, and the female human stopped working in the yard almost entirely. The garden in front of the porch got overgrown, and it was hard to even see under the porch. The groundhogs were thrilled. Nothing bothered them, and they came and went as they pleased.

File:Groundhog on rock.jpg - Wikipedia

But this past spring something changed.

Harold: Hey Madge, you notice that the human seems more active than usual?

Madge: Yeah. She’s been over at the side of the house digging around. She’s talking about putting in a rock garden.

Harold: That would be nice. It would give us someplace to sun.

Madge: That’s true. We wouldn’t have to walk around to the back of the house anymore.

Harold: I hope she doesn’t dig up all the clover.

Madge: I wouldn’t worry about it. It hasn’t happened in the 20 years our family’s lived here.

Harold: Excellent point.

Woodchuck Food Habits - Woodchuck Wonderland

Indeed, soon enough the human stopped digging up the side of the house. She came back one day with a bunch of plants that she put on the porch.

Madge: Did you see all that gorgeous greenery. It looks pretty yummy.

Harold: It’s awfully close to the house. I’m not going up there to explore.

Madge: I think she’s going to plant some of it in our yard.

Harold: Oooh. That will be nice. The more green, the better.

Nature Notes: Winter is Coming | The Michigan Nature Guy's Blog

However, the human didn’t put the new plants in the yard. She moved them into larger pots and left them on the porch. One morning, the groundhogs heard digging.

Harold: Look, Madge. She’s clearing the part of the yard by the other front porch. Maybe that’s where she’s going to grow our new plants.

Madge: That would be convenient. I wonder if we should figure out a way to tell her where to put the stuff we like best.

Harold: Let’s go explore what’s up there.

Woodchuck Food Habits - Woodchuck Wonderland

The groundhogs discovered that most of the plants were too high to reach. There were a couple of bushes and some catnip. They also found tomatoes and peppers in pots.

Harold: This is very disappointing. I hope the good stuff is in the pots up top.

Madge: Let’s ask the rabbits to check it out for us. They can jump up there and see.

Safe Wood and Other Plants For Rabbits

The next night, Pierre jumped up on the railing and had a look around. All he could see were herbs. Except, there was one particularly appetizing smell.

Pierre: Bad news, guys. There’s nothing really good up there. Oregano, sage, rosemary. Nothing that’s really going to appeal to anyone.

Harold: Well, rats.

Madge: I hope she finishes putting it in soon. At least we won’t have to worry about having a human out all the time.

Groundhog Trapping & Removal Near Willow Grove, Pennsylvania

The human continued cleaning out the yard. The groundhogs weren’t really paying much attention. One Saturday, they woke up to loud noises a few feet from their nest. They looked out in horror.

Madge: Do something, Harold! She’s digging up right next to our porch! We’re going to lose all our privacy.

Harold: What do you want me to do about it?

Madge: I don’t know. We have to stop this.

violentbaudelaire: A squirrel lunch meeting | Cute squirrel, Cute animals,  Animals wild

Later that day, they heard the humans discussing the work. They were very excited about how much “nicer” it looked and how much better it would be once all of the weeds were gone. The groundhogs decided it was time for a neighborhood meeting.

Harold: We wanted to get everyone together to discuss what’s going on in the neighborhood.

Sara Squirrel: You mean the humans’ “Beautification” project? It’s awful. They’re picking up all the sticks, digging out all the weeds, and cleaning up the sidewalks.

Roger Raccoon: Before we know it, the whole place is going to look like it belongs on the front of one of those sales brochures. Like it was when the humans first moved in.

Pierre: We can’t let that happen. What if this human decides to sell it? No one is ever going to be as easy to manipulate as she is.

Texas family wakes up to raccoon on bathroom sink - ABC7 New York

Roger: That’s true. She lets us pretty much run the place.

Harold: Maybe. But she’s destroying my peace of mind right now. She’s ruining the entrance to our home.

Priscilla Rabbit: She’s bringing in nasty plants too. I thought she had planted some fennel. Super yummy. But when I dug up the bulbs, it was only the plant, not the edible kind. Talk about rude.

Madge: A couple of cats have started hanging around too. You know the neighborhood won’t be safe anymore if they stick around.

Roger: We have to do something before we get beautified out of our happy homes.

Next Week: The animals’ plan and how it works out.

15

Mittens and the Science Fair – Part 3

Catnip: It's Not Just for Fluffy! - Farmers' Almanac

Where we are: Mittens had been studying different ways to grow catnip and was accepted to present at the Scientific Cat science fair in hopes of winning a college scholarship. A few days before the fair, a classmate’s mother had tried to destroy her plants. Mittens has been trying to salvage something to present at the fair. You can read part 1 here and part 2 here

Why cats love boxes so much

Mittens was very excited. She thought that she had found a way to still compete at the fair. Some of her plants had survived being sprayed by Mrs. Lynxette, and were looking fairly strong by Friday. She packed everything in boxes and went to the auditorium where they were holding the fair.

Registrar: Hello. What is your name?

Mittens: I’m Mittens McIntyre. And I have a project about growing catnip.

The Registrar looked at her list.

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Registrar: Yes, here you are. You’re in Booth #12. You’ll be competing in the Nature category. Good luck!

Mittens took her plants and charts and found her spot. Just then her mother came in.

Mittens: Mama, look! This is my table. Will you help me set things up please?

Mama: Of course. What did you finally decided to do?

Mittens: I brought all of my plants, even the dead ones. I’m going to show how which nutrients made plants strong enough to survive the attack. I have “before” and “after” pictures.

Mama: That’s a great idea!

Reader's Digest | 20 Houseplants Poisonous to Cats | Plants That Are Toxic to Cats

Mittens: Unfortunately, there wasn’t enough time to show that some of them will probably recover more slowly than others. I just have to hope that what I have is enough. I also can’t show whether there will be any lasting effects.

Mama: I’m sure you’ll do well.

Mittens finished setting up, and they went home for the night. Early the next morning, they were back at the auditorium for the judging. Mittens was very nervous; she had never spoken in front of a large crowd before. And she had been forced to rewrite her entire presentation.

When she got up to speak, she saw a group of her friends and teachers near the front of the audience. She smiled bravely.

How to speak cat. - Modkat

Mittens: Hello, everyone. When I started this project, I intended to present a number of catnip plants that had been grown in various types of soil with different nutrients as well as plants that had been grown in water. I was going to show how the different growing environments impacted the health of the plants. Unfortunately, a few days ago there was an accident at my lab.

Mittens saw a commotion at the back of the auditorium. She hoped she was dreaming. Or having a nightmare. Mrs. Lynxette was trying to get to the stage. She was arguing with the security staff. One of the senior members of Scientific Cat magazine went to speak with her. Soon Mrs. Lynxette was escorted from the room.

Mittens continued speaking about how her plants had been attacked. She explained which plants had survived the attack and which had not. She had charts, graphs, and pictures of everything. After a few minutes, she sat down to loud applause.

Group shot of a pack of kitties ❤ #grouppicture #kittens #cats #adorablecats | Cats, Cute cats, Cute cat memes

After the presentations, she met her friends.

Twyla: Pawsome presentation, Mittens! You did a great job.

Suzy: You made it look easy.

Ms. Minx: Congratulations! No one would ever guess that you almost dropped out.

Mittens: Did Todd bring his mother here?

Ms. Minx: No. He came by himself. Then she showed up. He left when she did. He feels terrible.

Mittens: It’s OK. I feel bad for him. She’s very passionate about catnip.

Ms. Minx: You don’t have to worry about her anymore. They banned her from the auditorium. She refused to pay to get in and pushed some of the security staff.

Mittens: Goodness!

Twyla: I hope she learns something from all this. Catnip was not the problem.

Ms. Minx: We better get back to our seats. They’re going to announce the winners. Good luck, Mittens!

Man Comes Home To Find Cat Waiting In His House But He Doesn't Own a Cat - Love Meow

Mittens went back to her seat and waited nervously. She waved to her mother. They finally got to her group. Mr. Katz, one of the senior editors, was speaking.

Mr. Katz: We had an excellent group of young scientists competing in the Nature category. We also had a little excitement during their presentations. We want to offer our appreciation to Mittens McIntyre for even making it here today. It sounds like it was quite an adventure.

Mittens smiled. She just wanted to know if she had won.

Mr. Katz: It was an incredibly hard decision, and we’d like to thank all our participants. The winner is Peaches Murphy for her study of feral cat migration. Congratulations!

Unsubmitted_Images disappointed cat Memes & GIFs - Imgflip

Mittens felt numb as Peaches took the stage and received her scholarship. It was so unfair. But she smiled and clapped. The Scientific Cat executives were standing at the side of the stage looking at her. After the presentations were complete, one of them approached Mittens.

Ms. Pixie: Mittens, we all feel terrible about what happened to your project. Even with the accident, you were very close to winning. We think that you have a lot of potential and would like to help you. We’d like to offer you a work-study with Scientific Cat. You’d work for us, and in return we’ll pay for your education here at the local college.

Mittens was speechless. She was going to college!

Online School for Cats Soon to be a Reality - Learning Liftoff

Pictures courtesy of Google Images

18

Mittens and the Science Fair – Part 2

Catnip and other feline favorites in the garden

Where we are: Mittens had been working for months on a project that was accepted by Scientific Cat for their science fair. She had been growing catnip in a variety of media to see what worked best. A few days before the fair, the mother of a fellow student sprayed something on her plants that caused them to wilt. It looked like her project was ruined. You can read Part 1 here.

Mittens was almost hysterical. It looked like all of her plants were dying. She didn’t know what Todd’s mother had sprayed on them, but it was effective. Her mother was trying to console her.

What's wrong with my catnip plant? : r/plantclinic

Mama: Maybe it won’t be so bad.

Mittens: Mama, look at them! She killed them all. And it’s only four days until I have to be at the fair. I guess I need to call Scientific Cat and tell them I withdraw.

Mama: Don’t do that yet. Why don’t you try calling Ms. Minx and see if she has any ideas.

Mittens loved the Science Club sponsor, but she really didn’t think she could help. But her mother was persistent, and finally Mittens called.

Cat on the Phone Big Boss | Funny cat videos, Funny cat compilation, Funny cat pictures

Mama: What did she say?

Mittens: Since I don’t know what that woman sprayed, Ms. Minx really wasn’t sure what to do. But she did say that I should try to rinse the plants off completely. Maybe I can stop whatever is poisoning the plants.

Mama: What can I do to help?

Mittens: The rules say that I can’t have anyone help me with the project since I registered as a solo participant. But I don’t think it would hurt if you helped me carry these outside so I can use the hose on them.

Cat and watering can | drink with the paw | Fabio Bini | Flickr

They carefully carried all of the plants outside. Mittens took them out of their boxes and containers and gently laid them on the ground. She thoroughly rinsed all of them and then re-potted each one. She put the ones she was growing in water into fresh jars. They still looked awful.

Mittens didn’t get to bed until after midnight, and she could barely sleep. When she looked at her plants in the morning, she started to cry again. She was miserable when she got to school. Twyla ran up to her.

Twyla: Mittens, I’m so sorry! Todd told us what happened. How are your plants?

Mittens: I think they’re dead. I re-planted everything, but they’re all wilted and starting to go brown.

Cats rule the World! on Twitter: "tired of working #cat http://t.co/DelBEqgZ" / Twitter

Todd slowly walked up. He looked like he hadn’t slept either.

Todd: I’m really sorry, Mittens. I didn’t have any idea my mom was going to do that. I feel terrible. Is there anything I can do?

Mittens: I know you were just trying to educate your mom. It isn’t your fault. I don’t think there’s anything anyone can do. I’m pretty sure all of my plants are dying.

Todd: Do you have to withdraw from the fair?

Mittens nodded, starting to cry. Ms. Minx joined the group.

Computer : r/cats

Ms. Minx: Mittens, I was thinking about what happened. Could you present your data without the plants? You’ve been working so hard, you must have the results.

Mittens: It won’t be the same. I don’t have the final pictures illustrating the differences. And I don’t have any exhibits. I think I need to withdraw.

Ms. Minx: It was an excellent project. Try to think of some way you can salvage it. It will be such a thrilling experience to present in front of all of those important cats. And your friends too.

Mittens: All right. I guess it won’t hurt to think about it.

Ms. Minx: By the way, Todd. Do you know what your mother sprayed on the plants?

6 Of The Best Ways To Clean Cat Pee In Your Home - CatTime

Todd: It was the stuff that she uses to clean the floor. It’s not toxic to cats.

Ms. Minx: That’s good. Otherwise, she’d really be in trouble.

Mittens walked home slowly. She was trying to think of a different way to present her data without any exhibits. She hadn’t really come up with anything when she arrived.

Mama: Hi, sweetie! How was your day?

Mittens: About like you’d expect. Ms. Minx wants me to try to salvage the project. I’m not sure I can do it. I can’t bear to look at my plants, and it’s depressing to think about trying to make it interesting without them.

Mama: I think you should go look at them. Maybe you’ll get inspired.

Mittens: By a bunch of dead plants?

8 Benefits of Catnip for Cats - Everything You Need to Know! | Pet Keen

Mama: Just go look.

Mittens went into the back room and her mother followed. Some of the plants were definitely not going to make it. But several were still green. What was going on?

Mittens: Mama, did you do something to my plants?

Mama: No. I just came in here a few minutes ago. I wanted to see how bad it was. I think a couple of them are going to survive.

Mittens was forced to agree that Mrs. Lynxette had not been able to totally destroy everything.

Next week – Will Mittens be able to salvage her project? (You can read Part 3 here.)

Your Cat Probably Understands Physics

Pictures courtesy of Google Images.

 

17

Mittens and the Science Fair

How to Plant and Grow Catnip | Gardener's Path

Mittens was not having a very good day. She had forgotten her lunch, and all the cafeteria had was kibble. Then she had slipped during gym class and fell in the some mud. Finally, her best friend Twyla had to stay after to make up a test, so Mittens had to walk home alone.

Her mother saw her come in.

Mama: Hi, Sweetie! How was your day?

Mittens: I’ve had better. I’m starving.

Mama: Have a seat. I’ll fix you a snack. You got a letter in the mail.

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Mittens opened the letter and let out a squeal.

Mittens: It’s from Scientific Cat. They accepted my project for their fair. I get to present my results next month.

Mama: I’m so proud of you, Mittens! I know how hard you’ve been working on that.

Mittens: If I win, I could get a full scholarship for any state university. There’s a whole bunch of good schools.

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Mittens was really excited. She had been working on finding a more efficient way to grow catnip. It didn’t grow well in the soil in her neighborhood, so she had been running a variety of experiments using various nutrients. She even had several plants growing in different types of water.

She and her mother went into the room at the back of the house where where kept her plants after she finished her snack. It was the sunniest room in house.

Mama: Your plants are beautiful! What are you going to present?

Mittens: I’m going to make a bunch of of charts and graphs with the data I’ve been collecting. Then I’m going to show the different plants so everyone can see which ones are the biggest and strongest.

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The next day, Mittens went to school and told everyone in Science Club her exciting news. They seemed really happy for her, except Todd. He seemed a little jealous.

Todd: That’s great, Mittens. But I really don’t understand why anyone is interested in you growing a bunch of catnip. It’s practically a weed. I’m not even allowed to go near it.

Twyla: It isn’t the plant that’s important. She’s showing different ways of growing something. It a method to improve productivity.

Todd: Yeah, but it’s catnip. That’s like growing drugs.

Twyla: No, it’s not. Catnip’s not illegal.

Todd: My mom says it should be. I just don’t think that Mittens should be getting credit for doing something unethical.

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Ms. Minx, the club sponsor, tried to talk to Todd.

Ms. Minx: Todd, do you understand why Scientific Cat accepted the project for its fair?

Todd: I guess. She’s done a lot of work on it. It just doesn’t seem fair that she might get a scholarship just for growing a bunch of plants.

Tony: It does sort of seem like gardening.

Mittens was disappointed. She thought that the entire club was going to be supportive. Now it looked like Todd was going to cause trouble.

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Ms. Minx: It’s not gardening. Mittens has tried growing the same plant in a variety of ways to see which worked best. It’s a classic experiment. She deserves the honor, and we should all be supporting her.

Mittens felt better, but her moment was ruined. Why did Todd have to be so mean?

She went home and worked on her plants. She was definitely seeing some interesting results. Someone knocked on the door.

Mittens: Todd! I’m surprised to see you here.

Todd: I felt kind of bad about what I said. I was wondering if I could see what you’re doing?

Mittens took him into the back room and showed him her work. She spoke excitedly for several minutes about what she was doing. She showed him all of her plants and a lot of her data.

Todd: I guess I was wrong. This really is pretty interesting. I hope you do well.

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Mittens was thrilled that she had been able to show Todd the importance of her work. For the next two weeks, she finalized her data and created the charts for her presentation. Several days before the science fair, Todd asked if he could bring his mother over to show her what Mittens was working on.

Todd: I tried to explain it to her. How it’s science, not weeds or drugs. But she really doesn’t get it. I thought that if she saw it, it might make a difference.

Mittens: Can’t she just come to the fair like everyone else?

Todd: She said that she wanted to talk to you.

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Mittens talked to her mother and they agreed that Todd and his mother could stop by the next day after school. Mittens was really nervous about it. She had never tried to explain her project to someone who didn’t really understand anything about what she was doing.

Mittens: Hello, Mrs. Lynxette. Welcome to our house.

Mrs. Lynxette: Hello, Mittens. Todd tells me you’ve been experimenting with catnip.

Mittens: I guess you could say that. I’m growing it in a variety of mediums to see which one works best. Come see what I’ve done.

They walked into the back room. Before anyone could say anything else, Mrs. Lynxette pulled out a bottle and sprayed her plants. They all started to wither.

Mittens (screaming): What did you do?

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Mrs. Lynxette: I’m stopping you from spreading that weed. I’m the head of the local catnip temperance league, and I’m not about to let you find a better way to grow that poison.

Todd looked like he wanted the ground to swallow him. His mother pushed him out the door. Mitten’s mother was in shock. Mittens was in tears.

Next week: What will happen to Mittens’ project?

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You can read part 2 here.

Pictures courtesy of Google Images.

17

The Do’s and Don’ts of a Happy Easter

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Greetings, everyone! Easter is tomorrow and we’re here with some last-minute tips to share with your human to ensure you have the best Easter ever!

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Easter Eggs

We don’t like chocolate and chocolate doesn’t like us. It contains something called theobromine that causes problems with our hearts and nervous systems. So NO chocolate eggs for us. On the other hand, those hard plastic eggs are really cool. You can put pieces of kibble in them. They make noise when when chase them around the house. When we finally break them open – VOILA! – a food puzzle has been solved!

Or even better – just give a couple of our favorite treats.

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Easter Plants

Easter lilies are extremely toxic to kitties. Even eating a couple of leaves can be deadly. There is no safe part of this plant as far as we are concerned. Too bad, because they really are pretty and some humans seem to be particularly fond of them this time of year. Please tell your human to also avoid bringing in daffodils (our human’s favorite), tulips, hyacinths, or daisies. They all can make us extremely sick or even kill us. Also on the no-no list are cyclamen and amaryllis.

We recommend silk flowers if your human wants some extra color around the house for the holiday. Or maybe something more feline-friendly like roses, gerber daisies, sunflowers, orchids, snapdragons, or freesia.

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Easter Basket

In addition to avoiding chocolate, make sure you don’t eat any raisins. We cats are sensitive to grapes, and raisins are just wrinkly grapes. On the other hand, Easter grass looks really yummy, but is not. It’s really just strings of plastic. The plastic can irritate our digestive systems or even cause a blockage. Blockages are really bad – they usually require surgery to fix.

Tell your human that if they want to give you a basket, it should be lined with catnip or cat grass. Good gifts include catnip bunnies, felt eggs, and egg-shaped treat dispensers. A new blanket is always welcome too.

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Easter Dinner

Easter dinner smells so yummy! Ham is really good, but it’s full of fat. So if you do score some, make sure to enjoy it in moderation. And avoid the garlic and onions. They can both be toxic to cats. And do not let silly humans make you drink alcohol. It is not good for cats! (And you’ve probably seen how stupid it can make humans act.)

A better holiday dinner is to convince your human to get you some luxury cat food. Or gourmet cat soup. Lobster bisque is a favorite around here.

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Easter Guests

Make sure your human remembers that having people over is stressful for you too. It might be nice to get extra pets and cuddles, but strange people bring strange sounds and smells which can be hard on us. And sometimes a cat just wants to get away and be a cat.

Remind your human to keep a safe space for you where you can get away from the humans and relax. A nice quiet place to hide and take a nap away from everything going on.

Easter Bunny - Wiktionary

Just Something Interesting

While we were looking up stuff on the Internet, we found lots of information about the Easter Bunny. We were hoping for find some kind of Easter Cat, but no such luck. However, we did find three other animals. We knew about the Easter Bilby (we even wrote about him here.) He brings treats to children in Australia.

But did you know that children in Switzerland get treats from the Easter Cuckoo? They go on a hunt Easter morning for colored eggs and chocolate eggs left by the large bird. And in Germany, some children leave a nest of moss and hay for the Easter Fox who leaves them treats to find on Easter morning.

We still think an Easter Cat would be very cool.

50 Cats/Easter ideas | cats, easter cats, crazy cats
Pictures courtesy of Google Images
23

Springing into Spring

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Greetings! We are on the verge of one of the best times of the year: it’s almost time for Spring Fever. Spring officially arrives in the Northern Hemisphere at 11:33 am (Eastern Time Zone) tomorrow, March 20th. It’s the vernal equinox which means that the day and night are the same length on Sunday. Then the days start getting longer than the nights. It should also start warming up. Finally!!

Here’s some of what what we’re looking forward to:

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Cat TV – There are so many more birds during the summer. We get robins, sparrows, woodpeckers, wrens, bluebirds, and lots more. And the animals are more active. We’ll have squirrels, bunnies, groundhogs, deer, raccoons, possums, snakes, frogs, and maybe some other stuff. And there’s bugs to chase too.

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Sun puddles – Spring means more sun, and more sun means more sun puddles. There is no better place to take a nap than in the middle of a sunny spot. Either curled up or all stretched out. There’s nothing like warm fur.

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Earlier breakfast – Mom gets up at the same time during the week, but on the weekends she usually feeds us when we get her up. But she’s grumpy about it if it’s still dark out. In the summer, she gets up much more willingly. Now if we can just figure out some way to get more treats.

Why Does My Cat Pounce?

More energy – We don’t have to use up so much energy staying warm, so we can do more roaming and exploring. We’re not really interested in zoomies anymore, but we do feel more energetic. And we usually take shorter naps. There’s so much more to explore and look at.

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Spring smells – It’s almost time to open the window. And it smells so good outside. There’s grass, flowers, other animals, and all kinds of stuff to sniff.

Opening the catio – It’s only a few weeks until we get to go back out on the catio. We didn’t get to use it much last year, but our human brother has promised improvements. It’s gonna be great!

Can Cats Eat Catnip? Here's What You Should Know About the Herb

Planting catnip – We don’t really like plants, so Mom never learned how to keep us out of them. But it was a huge problem when she tried to grow catnip. So it has to go outside. She promised to plant a bunch this year. We can’t wait.

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Pictures courtesy of Google Images

17

The RHCCC: Valentine’s Dance

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It’s been a while since we checked in with the ladies who make up the Real House Cats of Crabapple Cove (RHCCC). They are all looking forward to the big Valentine’s Day party thrown annually by the Loyal Order of the Saber Tooth Tiger. Everyone except Bella, that is.

Bella: I think I’m going to skip the party this year. I’m not really in the mood.

Fluffy: You have to go! We already paid for the table.

 Miki: Yeah. We always go together. It’s a tradition.

Bella: I know. But I don;t have a date. I don;t want to be the only single kitty at the Valentine’s party. It’s too depressing.

What is Kitten Season?

Daphne: What happened to that guy you were seeing? Jack?

Bella: I had to dump him. Turns out he had two other girlfriends. And one has kittens.

Fluffy: The two-timing rat! I knew he was no good! The ones that seem to good to be true are always trouble. I’m sorry, sweetie.

Bella: It’s OK. But I don’t feel much like partying.

Miki: Do you want Ralph to get one of his friends to join us? He knows some nice guys.

Bella: Thanks. But I don’t think so.

Fluffy: I’m on the organizing committee, so I’ll be pretty busy. If I don’t bring a date, will you come?

Bella (hesitating): I guess.

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Miki (clapping her paws): Pawsome! We’ll have a great time!

Bella arrived at the party early and helped Fluffy get things set up. Before long, Miki and Daphne showed up with their husbands. Daphne’s husband Sam was grumbling.

Sam: I don’t understand why they call this a party. It’s a dinner. They only call it a party so they can charge more.They don’t even have an open catnip bar.

Miki: I told you. The Saber Tooth TIgers only have one fundraiser every year, and they don’t want a bunch of stoned cats getting into fights.

Daphne (laughing): Ignore him. He’s just grumpy because the kids were teasing him about his fur.

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Ralph: You are looking extra fluffy tonight.

Sam: Yeah. Daphne talked me into going to the groomer today. She went wild on the blow-out.

Daphne: Well, I think you look adorable. And isn’t that what matters?

Sam: I guess. I’ll just avoid the mirrors.

Fluffy came up with a tray of niptinis.

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Fluffy: Enjoy, everyone! Gunther makes the best niptinis in town.

The others began lapping up the drinks and talking. Before long, it was time for dinner. The food was wonderful – a seafood buffet with various greens. After the food, there was dancing.

Fluffy was mingling. She was a very social cat and loved big parties. She knew everyone and was having a great time.

Daphne and Sam got up to dance as soon as the music started. Miki didn’t want to leave Bella at the table by herself, so she and Ralph stayed around to talk. But the loud music made it difficult to hold a conversation. 

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Bella: You guys go ahead and dance. I can’t even hear myself think in here. I’ll go see if I can help with something.

Miki and Ralph left the table. Bella looked around. She didn’t really know anyone working. She had just followed Fluffy around earlier.

Finally, Bella decided that she wanted some tuna juice. She went up to the bar and said hello to Gunther. Things were fairly quiet at the bar.

Gunther: What would you like, pretty kitty?

Bella: Tuna juice, please.

Gunther: Anything for your date?

Bella looked around, confused.

Bella: I don’t have a date.

How Do Cats Communicate with Each Other?

Gunther: Good. I was just making sure before I asked if I could join you for a drink. I’m going on break, and I’d like to spend it with you. I’ve been watching you ever since Fluffy introduced us.

Bella was flattered, but nervous. She was a quiet, shy cat and not used to this type of attention.

Bella: I guess so.

They sat near the bar and sipped tuna juice. 

Bella: Crabapple Cove is a small place. I don’t remember seeing you around. Are you visiting someone?

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Gunther: Actually, I moved up her to write the Great American Cat novel. I made a bunch of money in New York, and then relocated.

Bella: Really? I work at the library, and I love reading. That’s wonderful! Very impressive.

Gunther (laughing): Not yet. All I have so far is the idea and the outline.

Bella: I’m still impressed. I never met a novelist before. Why are you here tonight?

Gunther: I ran into your friend Fluffy at the meat market. She told me about the party and convinced me to come help. She’s very persuasive.

Bella (laughing): She usually gets what she wants.

Gunther: I’m glad I came. I don’t know many folks, and it’s been great meeting everyone. And I got to meet you.

Bella blushed under her fur.

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Bella: Well, I’m sure I’m the least interesting cat here.

Gunther: I don’t believe that. Tell me about yourself.

Bella talked about the library and her daycare. They had just started talking about books when Gunther was called back to the bar.

Gunther: That was fun. I’d like to talk some more. Can I take you home after the party?

Bella: I’d like that.

Bella went back to her table and watched the dancing. When the party finally ended, Gunther escorted Bella home. And he was a purr-fect gentleman.

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Pictures courtesy of Google Images.