15

Cat Forum: Ask Snoops and Kommando

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In other words, animals rule!

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22

Cat Forum: Summer Safety

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Snoops and Kommando Kitty here. We are taking a break from our interviews to pass along some summer safety tips. We suggest you read them and leave several copies around the house for the humans. In front of the computer screen is usually a good place. In their “bathroom” is another.

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Roads – Hopefully you all remember the rhyme your mother taught you, “Road + Cat = Splat”. You should never play in the street. If you must cross the road, “Listen well, sound will tell.” The things humans drive are noisy. You may hear them before you see them. Be sure your adolescents know that playing “chicken” waiting for the car is a stupid idea. Girls are not impressed by idiocy.

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Machinery – Humans use a lot of things that make noise. They want the grass shorter. They want the tree and bush limbs a certain length. They want to get rid of the high weeds. And they don’t know how to do anything quietly. Or by hand.  The general rule here is, “If it makes your ears sore, head straight for the door.” All of the human machines are dangerous to kitties.

Note – do not let any small human convince you that you will have “fun” riding on one of these loud machines.

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Heat – It seems like we cats should like summer. After all, it’s basically one big sunspot. However, there are a couple of things to keep in mind. First, “Sidewalks are hot. Walk on them not.” If like to take the occasional stroll by yourself or with your human, try to stick to the grass. Our paw pads aren’t covered with fur and are sensitive to heat.

If you do feel your feet burning, find some water to put them in. It will stop the burning. Stay off of them as much as possible until they feel better. Do not let a helpful human try to use one of their remedies. Just because it’s safe for humans, doesn’t mean it’s safe for cats.

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Note – especially stay away from aloe. It’s a plant that humans use on burns and seems to work really well for them. It’s like poison to cats.

Make sure you drink plenty of water. It’s important to keep your body at peak efficiency, How else will you be able to chase after the bugs and moths that are so tasty this time of year?

If you are an indoor/outdoor cat, make sure your human leaves you water both inside and out. The outside water needs to be in a shady spot. That way you can enjoy a drink and nap in the same place.

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Water – Speaking of water, we know that some of you cats like to participate in water sports. Things like sailing, surfing, kayaking, etc. Remember, “Wear a vest for water past your chest.” Most cats are pretty small, so it’s safest to always wear a vest when you go to the beach.

Life vests come in a variety of sizes. Make sure yours is snug but not too tight. The idea is to keep you safe, not turn you into a sausage.

Note – sand is usually hot. Have your human carry you, if possible. If they forget, jump on them. You won’t have fun with sore feet.

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Children – Remember that summer is the time when the human children will be around full-time. They are usually fun and good to sleep with.

Try to avoid being dressed up as a doll. The clothes will be hot and uncomfortable. You will most likely be strapped into a carriage or stroller where you can’t see what is going on. And you won’t be able to get out on your own. Cats hate that.

Note – the older ones will be around more. Be careful. They usually have some sort of gadget in their hands that they are looking at. They will walk around looking at the screen and may trip over you. You should avoid this unless they have irritated you. In that case, get out of the way before they fall.

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Parties – Humans like to get together outside in the summer. Generally speaking, it involves food and some sort of hot surface to cook it.

No matter how good it smells, avoid these parties. There are a lot of noisy humans who may step on you. They may sit without looking and some of them are rather large. Try to snatch your food when no one is looking.

We hope these rules will help you have a safe, healthy summer. We are not responsible for humans who do not cooperate. You may want to find a large spider (or two) to put under the covers of their bed.

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All pictures courtesy of Google Images

5

Alligator Angst

 

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(I could not find a Cajun Gator pronunciation guide. Please use your imagination)

Somewhere deep in Louisiana, Andre Alligator is getting ready to start the Bijou Bayou Neighborhood Association month meeting.

Andre: Everyone, please find a spot and settle down.

(The group of 20 or so gators are quiet.)

Andre: Today’s meeting should be a short one. First, next year’s nesting ground will be in the reeds just past the south pooling area. So please remember that you will be fined if you are in that area during nesting season.

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Andre: Next item. The humans are upset again. Apparently some of us are getting too close to them. Even coming into their yards.

Gator 1: So what? We stopped eating their tasty little dogs.

Gator 2: And they should stay outside if they want to keep the things on the grill. The smell is too much to resist.

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Andre: It doesn’t matter whether it’s their fault. They threatened to turn me into a pair of boots if it doesn’t stop.

(Pierre pushes through the crowd.)

Pierre (breathless): That’s not the worst part of what the humans are saying.

Andre: What do you mean?

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Pierre: I was peacefully sunning myself when a couple of humans came by. You know how loud humans are; I couldn’t help hearing them talk. I could barely understand one of them. Must be from out of town. Anyway, one of them said, ‘The new President said he was going to drain the swamp.’

(gasp of disbelief)

Pierre: Then the other one says, ‘I hope it’s soon. It’s about time. Those varmints are all over the place. We need to get rid of them.’

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Gator 1: Do you think they’re talking about us?

Gator 2: Who else would it be? You heard Andre. They want to turn him into a pair of boots.

Gator 1: But a lot of other things live here too. They don’t want to get rid of all that too, do they?

Gator 2: I don’t know. Humans can be pretty stupid. Maybe they’ll just get rid of enough of it so we can’t live here.

Gator 3 (hopefully): He said swamp. This is a bayou. Maybe they’re talking about somewhere else.

Gator 4: Do humans know the difference?

Gator 5: What should we do? What if they’re trying to get rid of all the American gators?

Gator 6: We need to leave the swamp.

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Gator 5: Where would we go? It’s too cold in Canada and too dry in Mexico.

(The gators all begin arguing.)

Andre: Everyone, please calm down. We only have one choice. We have to talk to the humans and convince them not to do it.

Gator 4: How are you going to do that? They don’t understand us.

Andre: The little ones do. They just outgrow it.

(The gators look at him in amazement. Andre swims to the edge of a lawn an lays in the sun. Before long he hears a young girl’s voice.)

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Girl: Hi Mr. Gator. How are you today?

Andre: I am well. And you?

Girl: I’m really excited. My cousin is visiting.

(Andre realizes she may be related to the men Pierre heard talking.)

Andre: Would you do something for me, sweetie?

Girl: Of course.

Andre: Please ask your father why the new President said he is going to drain the swamp.

Girl: Why would he do that? We live here.

(She runs off. Andre worries that he might have upset the child. He lays in the sun and tries to relax. Soon he hears laughter.)

Girl: Mr. Gator, wake up!

Andre: Hello, miss. Did you ask?

Girl (giggling): He says that you’re a very silly gator. They’re not talking about a real swamp. They want to get rid of a bunch of people who make a lot of money but don’t do any real work.

Andre (smiling): Thank you for helping me.

(As he swims away to reassure the others, he couldn’t help but wonder why human beings are so strange.)

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(All pictures courtesy of Google Images)

2

If I Were in Charge: Parents in Public

Every once in awhile, I run across a child I would like to throttle. Or to quote a customer, “That’s the reason they invented birth control.” In more rational moments, I know it’s the parents I want to go after. So I created my version of “Crime and Punishment.” Unlike that story (for the three of you who have read it), my penalties are not intended to cause any actual harm.

Snow is falling an inch an hour; there’s already several inches on the ground. The schools are closed. The roads are a mess. A woman comes in with her two children to do her weekly shopping. There’s a reason the schools are closed, and you are the only customer in the store. Penalty: the next two times you are late for work, your car won’t start. No one will come get you because the roads are so bad.

You have brought your child shopping. She is old enough to enjoy the idea of shopping with mom (unfortunately, every time I’ve seen this it’s been a woman). However, mom is on the phone with a friend discussing another friend or talking about what they will be doing later. The woman is so focused on getting her groceries and talking on the phone that the child is totally ignored. You are treating the child like she is just one more task for you to handle.  Penalty: the next time you are out with your friends, you lose your voice. After a little while, they pretty much forget you are there.

You have brought your child shopping. You see an old friend that you haven’t seen since the soccer game two days ago. (I know this because one of your topics of conversation is that game.) You and the friend start talking about various things. Time starts to go by. Before you know it, you’ve been talking for ten minutes. While your child is standing around with nothing to do. Penalty: at the next soccer game it’s raining, your friend had to work, and your phone won’t work, so the only thing you have to do is actually watch the game.

You are shopping and concentrating on what you are looking for, not paying any attention to the child. The child is nagging about something. You continue to shop. You do not address the child to find out what she is trying to tell you. Penalty: get home and realize that your child was trying to tell you that you forgot to get the milk that you needed for dinner.

On the other hand – you are shopping and your child is nagging and whining about nothing or being told that you won’t buy something. You ignore them, hoping they will stop. The rest of us have to listen to them because you won’t address the issue. Penalty: you’re locked in a room full of howler monkeys for an hour. Extra time: If you escalate the situation by allowing them to scream or shriek without addressing it, you will be with the monkeys for two hours.

The child wants to help. You tell him he can get the milk. He gets a gallon of milk out of the cooler. He’s not strong enough to hold onto it and drops it so the container breaks and there is milk everywhere. The child is devastated. Small children need to be given tasks you know they can do in public. They don’t know the rest of us think the parent is the idiot, not the child. Penalty: when you decide to take a yoga class, you discover the night of the first class that your outfit makes you feel like a cow. The only spot is in the front, and you spend the rest of the class wondering if everyone thinks you have a big butt.

The child wants to help. You tell him he can get the string cheese. He brings back the wrong brand. You tell him you want the kind you always get. He goes back and gets the right brand, but the wrong type. You tell him you want the sticks not the strings. He looks at the cheese he’s holding that says “string cheese”. He looks at what you are pointing at, and it says “cheese twists”. He’s frustrated and so are you. Penalty: your boss invites you to an important dinner meeting with a client at a French restaurant. You are sure you ordered stew; the waiter brings you a cow brain.

You stand in front of a cereal display with your child. You ask the child which type of cereal she would like you to buy. She tells you a name. You tell her that she doesn’t like that kind. She tell you that she does. You tell her that she doesn’t like that, she likes another kind. She tells you she doesn’t like what you are holding. You put it in the cart anyway. The child can’t figure out why you asked her opinion in the first place. Penalty: you go to get your hair colored. You tell the stylist that you would like to be medium-blonde. When she is finished, she tells you that she decided to make your hair deep auburn because she knows you will like it better.

Christmas Bonus Situation – You’re tired. Your child is tired. The child is crying. You are snapping at him. You can’t remember what you want to buy. You tell him that if he doesn’t stop crying, you’re going to take away all of his presents/he won’t get the special toy he wants/etc. You are not making the situation better. A child who is that tired is not going to respond to threats. Penalty: your company is having a holiday party for a customer. It is after work, and you don’t want to go. You have a million things to do, and you don’t really know most of the people anyway. The boss tells you that if you don’t go, it will be written up for your file, and you will not be eligible for the promotion you want.

Now all I need is the howler monkeys and a genie to make the rest of it happen. Oh yeah, and a video camera to see if the parent’s expression matches the kid’s.

2

For Hire: Two (Semi) Trained Cats

The holidays are coming and I need some extra money. After much thought, I have decided that the best way to do that is to return to my former occupation as a manager. I can hire out my family and make sure they do the work correctly. Please understand it would be a temporary situation and that payment is expected before services are rendered. Rates are based on work expected. If you commit, you will sign an agreement stating the steps to be taken if you are not happy with the results. Please do not plan on using this same money for your own gift purchases. Tips to the worker are always appropriate.

In light of current economic conditions, I have also listed a number of things I would be willing to barter for these services. That way I can use the money I would have spent on them for gifts. So here are the workers:

Husband – electrical work, mechanical work, industrial cleaning, varmint removal. Note: you will want to schedule your jobs around certain college football games (list provided at time of inquiry)

Daughter – manicures, pedicures, typing, mainstream social media. Note: you will want to schedule your jobs around school, choir, and sleeping requirements. Also some football games. Available times will be provided if you are interested.

Son – academic writing,  satire, cutting edge social media. Note: he is nocturnal as well as attending school. Available times will be provided if you are interested.

Cat A (Super Snoops) – varmint control, light typing, prime cuddling. Note: cuddling generally occurs when you are typing. Note: semi-trained indicates she will use a litter box, not that she will obey any human command.

Cat B (Kommando Kitty) – varmint stalking (she plays, you kill), warming, cuddling. Note: cuddling generally occurs when you are sleeping or trying to do crossword puzzles. Note: semi-trained indicates she will use a litter box, not that she will obey any human command.

In addition we have a variety of wilder animals. Moles and groundhogs for underground tunneling needs. Rabbits and deer for garden control. Bats and snakes for child control. We also have possums, skunks, raccoons, and coyotes for various types of jobs. Note: these animals become your responsibility.

Items Taken for Barter – ruminant to replace our broken lawn mower, hoarder to help clean out my mother’s house, chocolate.

If you think it’s only fair that I offer services as well – baking, cooking (except red meat – my husband says I ruin it), cliched uplifting sayings. Note: Times will be negotiated. Reserve now for holiday baking. How you keep the cookies fresh will be your responsibility. (Some family members feel I should add sarcasm to my list of talents.)

If you would like to talk about any of these rare services, you may respond to this place. Please remember that the situations are temporary; I want my family back. Unless you offer a really, really good deal.