17

A Cat’s Guide to Welcoming Fall

Greetings fellow felines. Snoops and Kommando here. Whether you realized it or not, fall has fallen. Last Thursday was the autumnal equinox, which means that fall has officially arrived in the northern hemisphere. We like this time of year because the days are getting shorter and that means more time for cuddling. We also get to break out our favorite blankets.

We’ve been looking around the Internet to see what other kitties enjoy doing this time of year, and to be honest, we were a little surprised. It seems that a lot of cats enjoy taking in the sights this time of year. We’ve gathered a few of the most popular ideas.

Can Cats Eat Pumpkin? (+ Pumpkin Cat Food Recipes) - Fluffy Kitty

Visit a Pumpkin Patch

Some patches allow pets, so if you’re the adventurous type, maybe you want to stroll among the pumpkins. They come is all sizes and we’re sure your human could use the help when it comes to picking out the perfect one for your porch. And it will make a great social media post. Just make sure you’re in a stroller or on a harness/leash. You don’t want to be left there.

4 years of kittens on Twitter: "https://t.co/k9j32wIf1o" / Twitter

Play in the Leaves

Once they come down off the trees, leaves are a lot of fun to play in. You can run and jump and hide. Loose leaves blowing in the wind are fun to chase. It’s also a lot of fun to supervise the humans putting them into big piles for us to jump in. If you don’t want to play with them outside, maybe you can talk your human into bringing a few into the house. If they put a couple of small logs in a box with the leaves, you will have a pawsome sensory pit. Your human can also decorate your catio with fall foliage.

Adventure cats: These felines love to surf, swim and hike

Go Hiking

If you like walking outside, now is the perfect time. It’s not too hot to enjoy wandering around. There should be lots of leaves and other stuff on the ground to explore. If you don’t want to walk; try talking your human into carrying you in a backpack. Or a stroller would be cool too. Make sure you don’t snack on anything you can’t identify.

How to Stop a Cat From Freaking out During a Car Ride

Go for a Drive

We’re told that some cats love cars. We are not those cats. But if you are, this is a great time to talk your human into a drive around the neighborhood to look at the fall colors and how things are changing. Maybe they’ll even stop at a cat-friendly shop and get you a spiced pumpkin cream drink.

Baking cat biscuits: quick, easy and delicious | zooplus Magazine

Make Pumpkin Treats

Many cats love pumpkin puree. It’s full of fiber and is good for our digestive systems. Pumpkin has lots of vitamins A and C, as well as antioxidants. You can either get it canned or out of one of those pumpkins you found at the pumpkin patch. Some kitties like it mixed with a little chicken or tuna. You can even have your human grind up the seeds and mix them in.

Came down stairs and my cat was just chilling, watching tv like this :  r/funny

Watch a Scary Movie

It’s perfect weather for curling up under a blanket and watching a movie with your favorite human. The best part is that they won’t move for a couple of hours. Maybe you can talk them into getting you some freeze-dried cat treats as a special movie munchie.

Oktoberfest Newquay - Posts | Facebook

Visit a Fall Festival

This doesn’t really sound like all that much fun to us, but we’re putting it out there for you ultra social types. There are lots of outdoor festivals in the fall, but they usually come with a lot of people and noise. If your human thinks you might enjoy it, insist on a stroller or backpack. A related idea is Oktoberfest which also has activities in a brewery, some of which are pet-friendly. You can enjoy a snack on the patio.

Can Cats Eat Apples? Are Apples Safe For Cats? - CatTime

Go Apple Picking

Some orchards allow pets on the premises. You might want to join your human when they go to pick apples. We recommend a backpack or stroller – those places are huge! Definitely see if you can score a bite or two of apple while you’re there.

Can Cats Eat Corn? - All About Cats

Tour a Corn Maze

We really don’t understand the appeal of a corn maze. Human wander around down rows of corn plants, trying not to get lost. But it sounds like it would be a fun way to get some fresh air. You definitely want a backpack or stroller. Who knows how long your human might be wandering around.

28 Good Looking Animals That Take Better Pictures Than You | Team Jimmy Joe  | Animals, Funny animals, Cats and kittens

Do a Photo Shoot

Does your human need more pictures of beautiful you? This is the perfect opportunity. If you like to dress up, you can do a Halloween shoot. Otherwise, just some pictures among the fall foliage would be beautiful.

These are only a few of the things we found to do this time of year. Of course, you can always follow our lead: fall is the time when we both move back onto Mom’s bed for lots of cool weather snuggling.

Pictures courtesy of Google Images.

22

What to Do When Your Human Gets Sick

Greetings. Snoops and Kommando here again. Mom’s sick, so we’re back on blog duty, as if being the talent wasn’t enough trouble without needing to keep this whole operation afloat by ourselves. Since this clearly won’t stand, we’re going to nurse her back to health. Mom says we’re not “Get Well” kitties, though. (She keeps talking about some former cat – we hate it when she loses focus on us like that.) So we’re going to us this post to prove her wrong. Here are some common human ailments, and what you can do about them.

Why do cats sleep on people? - Quora

Coughing

Just like us, humans cough sometimes. Unlike us, it’s not because they get hairballs. Since they aren’t actually coughing anything up, the whole thing is a bit of an unsightly waste of time. Sometimes it can help to lay on your human’s chest. However, if they are really seriously coughing, then this isn’t always enough. Not to mention that it can make their chest seriously unstable, what with all the convulsions. In these cases, we advise laying over your human’s mouth and nose, which is almost guaranteed to stop their coughing.

Fever

If you’ve ever thought that your human is even warmer than usual, then they might have had what Mom calls a fever. You’re not dreaming; they actually do get warmer! As an added bonus, they’re even more likely to lay down when it happens, so make sure to take full advantage and get in a nice nap with your human. Ours keeps water on the bedside table when she has a fever, which we think is extra-considerate, since it means we only have to get up if we need to eat or use the litter box. Humans reading this, take note.

7 Common Household Items That Can Kill Your Curious Cat | Atlantic Vet  Seattle

Runny Nose/Stuffy Nose

You’d think a nose as basic as the average human’s would require little to no upkeep, but you’d be wrong. Somehow, it’s one of the most failure-prone parts of many humans, whether it gets clogged or starts to ooze human juice. On the whole, it’s pretty gross, so we recommend that you stay away until your human is healed on their own. It might feel callous, but there’s really nothing you can do. Humans are tougher than they look (thank goodness).

sleepy cat Blank Template - Imgflip

Lethargy/Drowsiness

On a more positive note, your human may become tired and lie down because of their illness. This is what we mentioned when were talking about fevers. As we stated earlier, this is the perfect time to catch up on all those missed nap opportunities from when your human was making lame excuses to leave the house, like “work.” (Your very presence should comfort and reassure your human. If it doesn’t, or if you can’t tell, make sure your human knows you’re there, by batting at their face, jumping on their chest, gently gnawing their toes, or whatever you normally do to get their attention. Your human might be sick, but that’s no excuse for them to be ungrateful.)

Headaches

Occasionally, your human might complain about a sore head. We’ve seen how their brains work, so this isn’t surprising. In general, they’re kind of like fevers, where making sure your human is resting and recovering on their own is the best option. Some headaches are made worse by loud noises, though. If your human winces and holds their head when you hear something noisy, take note. We recommend loudly meowing to cover up the noise aggravating your human’s condition – be sure to drown it out entirely, working in a team if necessary.

Cats Don't Beg For Food Pictures, Photos, and Images for Facebook, Tumblr,  Pinterest, and Twitter

Upset Stomach

Some humans have very delicate dispositions. For example, Mom gets queasy when Snoops brings her mousy bits to snack on. Many humans complain of tummy trouble from time to time. Our best advice is to just be proactive and keep an eye on what your human is eating. If there’s anything you don’t recognize, you should at least give it a sniff test, if not a taste test. remember that your human might no know what’s best for them, and don’t be afraid to be persistent if they don’t want to let you see their food. If you’re not careful, Bast knows what they will put in their mouths. Ours keep trying to eat lentils.

Lolcats - medical - LOL at Funny Cat Memes - Funny cat pictures with words  on them - lol | cat memes | funny cats | funny cat pictures with words on

This list, with the exception of lethargy/drowsiness, is by no means exhaustive, but we hope it provides insight on some of the more common human maladies. Proper care, treatment, and maintenance will have your human performing at peak efficiency – a properly taken care of human takes care of you properly. Also, we had to prove that we’re better get-well kitties than what’s-her-name. With that done, we wish you the best of luck using our tips to keep your own human in tip-top shape!

Purrs & Headbonks,

Snoops and Kommando Kitty

Pictures courtesy of Google Images

24

Sgt Stripes: New Kid (Cat) in Town

There’s talk on the street it sounds so familiarGreat expectations everybody’s watching youPeople you meet they all seem to know youEven your old friends treat you like you’re something new
Johnny come latelyThe new kid in townEverybody loves youSo don’t let them down.

Greetings. Snoops and Kommando here. It finally happened today, and we are not pleased. That intruder from outside is now inside. We saw them take him away this morning and thought he was gone for good. It was quite the struggle. It looked like he had about eight legs when they were trying to get him into the carrier.

But now he’s back and hanging out in the spare bedroom. The vet says he’s supposed to stay in there 2 weeks. We’ll see how that goes. It was about five minutes before he made his first escape.

Mom says he got “fixed”. We don’t know what that means. He did’t look broken before. And from what we could see, he didn’t look any different when he got back.

He got his cone off in the carrier on the ride home. He’s hanging out under the bed, and they need to wait for him to come out before they can put it back on. We’re thinking it’s not gonna happen.

Mom thought he was going to come home a little groggy, and she’d have time to coordinate things with him. That’s how it always worked with the girl cats. But he came home ready to run, so she’s trying to wait him out. We think it’s kind of a lost cause. Unless he tries something dangerous, he’s gonna do whatever he wants.

We knew this wasn’t a good idea.

 

15

Thunder Katt: The Tale of the Tail

Hello, everyone! It’s Thunder here, and you may not know this about me, but my tail is extraordinarily long! As a matter of fact, my tail has been referred to as a magnificent tail! (All of me is pretty great, but my tail is extra fabulous!) So, I’m honor of my beautiful tail, I am here to share cat tail facts! 

A cat’s tail contains almost 10% of their bones

The tail of a cat on average has 19-23 vertebrae, which are held together with ligaments, tendons and muscles. The average length of a tail runs between 9 and 12 inches. Female tails tend to be shorter than male tails. 

 A cat’s tail helps them with balance

Have you ever noticed that when a cat is walking, or perched on something high or narrow, our tails are up and swaying? That’s not just us showing off how beautiful they look! Cat tails act as a counterbalance to protect from falling off of high areas, or stumbling in narrow spaces. Our tails also help keep us on balance when we run, or jump on prey.

Tail injuries can cause permanent damage

Spinal columns don’t extend all the way into the tail, but they contain the nerves that control and provide sensation to the tail, hind legs, bladder, and intestines. The nerves extend outward to protect the spinal bones. When a cat’s tail is yanked on, it can overstretch or tear these nerves and cause temporary and permanent inability to walk, inability to hold a tail upright, chronic pain, or incontinence. 

Cats can compensate if they lose their tails

While the loss of a tail certainly is debilitating and will negatively affect the cat, domestic cats can learn to compensate. Their balance will be controlled by their spinal column, and emotional signals (as well as health clues) will be portrayed through body language. 

The tailless gene is dominant

While the tailless gene (found most commonly in Manx cats) is dominant, it is very rare that two dominant-gene tailless cats are bred together. Typically, this gene is paired with a tailed breed. The reason for this primarily lies in the fact that when the dominant trait is combined, major health issues (known as Manx Syndrome) occur. (This can happen in otherwise normal bred Manx’s as well, but it is much more rare). Symptoms of this disease include spine bifida, fused vertebrae, bladder and bowel incontinence, and spontaneous miscarriage. 

Cats communicate with their tail

Because humans have yet to understand the dialect of a meow, cats have learned to primarily communicate with their body language; one of their biggest aids with this method is their tail! Happiness is shown with a tail held high, and a quivering tip. Mild irritation is shown with a low tail that has a twitch at the end, and an angry cat will be thrashing their tails back and forth rapidly. Cats who are on the hunt will keep their tail low and still. 

A tail in the air can be an invitation

Have you ever noticed when a cat gets scratched by the base of their tail, happiness ensues and the tail jots upwards? That’s a good thing! Cats raise their tail to invite you to pet them, and to show you that they’re content. However, a cat may raise its tail around other cats as an invitation to come and investigate. Tails can make or break a relationship amongst cats! 

Only domestic cats can walk with their tails vertical

The ability to walk with our tails held high is a trait unique to domestic felines. All big and wild cats walk with their tails horizontal, low to the ground, or tucked between their legs. 

Tail Ailments

If a cat is feeling unwell or has medical issues arising, their tails will be the first sign something is awry. In a sick cat, the tail will be drooping and not twitching. There are also ailments that directly affect the tail, such as hormonal issues causing inflammation or dermatitis caused by flea bites. This particular dermatitis also causes tail joint inflammation. 

Tails are used as emotional signals

In addition to communication and health aids, cat tails can also show their emotions. Contentment is shown with an upright tail. Confusion is a tail that is at a 45 degree angle. Excitement is displayed with a tail that is angled back with motion. Happiness is shown with a tail that is upright and swaying. Friendliness is shown with an upright, bent-tip tail. A cat who is uneasy will have their tail straight, nearly level with their spine. Aggression in cats is shown by a tail hanging down and a dip near the base of the tail. Angry cats rapidly swish their tails back and forth. Cats who are frightened puff their tails out. A cat who is about to attack will hold their tail at a 90 degree angle. A (domestic) cat who holds their tail between their legs is usually hurt. And a cat who is interested and alert will have their tails sitting upright, with a moving tip. 

The tail tells all! In addition to being beautiful, the tails us all sorts of things about kitties, including how a hunt is going, emotions, and communications. While tails are beautiful, they are very delicate, and are a major part of a cat’s body and function. So while admiring our lovely tails, be sure to take care of them. The tail reigns supreme! 

Purrs and furs, 

Thunder K. Katt 

21

Home Alone Feline Edition: This Time it’s Personal

Snoops and Kommando here. And we are not pleased. Our humans have abandoned us. Our human sister and her very loud family came over a couple of days ago. Of course, we hid. When we came out, our humans were gone. That’s not usual. They disappear regularly, but they always come back.

 But it’s been light and dark and light and dark, and they’re still gone. A strange man came in yesterday and fed us. He said they are on vacation. Vacation? Who would need a vacation from us? Apparently they are going to be gone for a few days.

Now we have to think of a way to get even. The question is, should we do something while they’re gone or should we wait until they get back?

Lolcats - hairball - LOL at Funny Cat Memes - Funny cat pictures with words  on them - lol | cat memes | funny cats | funny cat pictures with words on

Maybe a nice hairball.

Fancy cats and dead gifts - Meme by Capra24 :) Memedroid

Or some kind of varmint.

Lolcats - destroy - LOL at Funny Cat Memes - Funny cat pictures with words  on them - lol | cat memes | funny cats | funny cat pictures with words on

Maybe we can take it out on the plants.

LALALALALALA. Not Listening!

We can give them the silent treatment when they get home.

No touch me, im angy - iFunny :)

Or maybe just act really grumpy.

We think that we’ll just look really cute when they get back. Then they’ll feel bad for leaving us alone. (If you have a better idea, please leave it in the comments.)

Memes courtesy of Google Images.

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

17

There Goes the Neighborhood: The Groundhogs’ Bad Season: Part 2

Groundhog Day: Munching Marmots Emerge From the Scientific Shadows - The  New York Times

Where we are: Harold and Madge Groundhog were concerned that their yard was being beautified in preparation of being sold. They were rather fond of their human; they and the other animals pretty much had the run of the place. You can read Part 1 here.

Harold: It’s getting worse. Now the other human, the younger one, is starting to clean up the yard too.

Madge: I know. The sticks are all gone, and the grass is shorter than it’s been in ages.

Harold: And the sidewalks are all clean.

Glastonbury Bittersweet Battlers: Invasive Plants Journal: Wild Grape: A  Mixed Blessing

Madge: Our human is out every weekend, clearing away the weeds. I guess it’s more the way humans like it, but I miss the overgrowth. She got rid of all the grape vines. She said they were “invasive.”

Harold: Just because they were trying to root in the vinyl siding.

Sara Squirrel: Isn’t that like ivy-league? I thought that was high-class for humans.

Madge: Beats me. All I know is that the sun is getting into our home a lot more than it used to. And I don’t really feel safe anymore.

Roger Raccoon: Me and my friends have been trying to keep it from getting too clean. We’ve dumped the catnip and tomato plants a couple of times.

Ricky Raccoon: Not that you can tell. It gets cleaned up first thing in the morning.

Harold: And they moved some of the stuff inside.

Madge: They keep putting the catnip back down for that new cat to lie in.

Sara Squirrel: Yeah. Those two cats act like they own the place. I thought for sure the inside cats would try to drive them off, but they don’t seem to care.

Pierre Rabbit: I saw the human planting some stuff in front of the house.

Just then a bat flew over. The bats didn’t really like the rest of the animals, but he was curious about what was going on.

Benson: Hey, guys. What’s up?

Madge: We’re worried that the humans are getting the place ready to sell.

Raccoon Will Clean Your House For Treats [VIDEO] | Raccoon funny, Pet  raccoon, Raccoon

Benson: You should see what’s going on inside. Major cleaning. Whole rooms are being cleared out.

Madge: Are they talking about moving?

Benson: I wish. My whole family has been living peacefully in the attic. They stirred everything up; we’re all moving out to the bat house. It’s ridiculous inside.

 Madge: But that’s your home!

Benson: It’s not worth it. The human is afraid of us. Every time she sees a bat, she gets the younger one and he puts us out. We’d rather leave on our own terms.

Guide to game: Rabbit and hare

Pierre: It’s not so bad out here. We have a lot of room, and no one bothers us.

Priscilla Rabbit: Did you hear the humans say anything about selling the house?

Benson: No. That’s not what’s going on. I guess that the other main human died a couple of years ago. They’re just finally getting around to really cleaning everything up. It’s a big house and a big yard.

Harold: Yeah. I guess it would take a lot of energy to get things straightened out.

Benson: The humans who are left said something about the one who’s gone being a pack rat. I don’t really know what that means. I saw pictures. He looks like all the other humans.

Cute Mouse Wallpapers - Top Free Cute Mouse Backgrounds - WallpaperAccess

Harold: Weird. I don’t think we have rats around here. I think they look like big mice.

Mortimer Mouse: Yeah. Kinda. But not so cute.

Harold: Do you know what a pack rat is?

Mortimer: I think it has something to do with the way that some rats hoard things.

Benson: Yeah. That sounds right. They are throwing away a LOT of stuff in the house.

Harold: And a lot of stuff out here.

cat loves bunny | Cat love, Rabbit pictures, Pet bunny

Priscilla: But they attracted those two cats. I don’t really like cats.

Pierre: But as long as they feed the cats, the cats don’t bother us.

Priscilla: Good point.

Roger: If they’re not cleaning to sell, we can probably stop trashing the plants on the porch.

Ricky: Sounds good to me. They’re not growing anything good anyway.

Madge (sighing): I guess that means I have to live with less privacy.

Woodchuck Food Habits - Woodchuck Wonderland

Benson: I overheard them say something about moving some of the peonies into the space they cleared.

Madge: Ooh! I love peonies. I hope that’s soon.

Benson: I did hear one other thing. There is no plan to clear the back area anytime soon.

Ricky: All right! Block party this weekend!!

My favorite animal in i party hat, how cute!! | Pet raccoon, Dumb animals,  Raccoon funny

Pictures courtesy of Google Images

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.