25

Seasons Greetings from Cheeseland

The staff has taken the weekend off to be with family and friends, but didn’t want to forget their friends in BlogWorld.

 

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14

Cat Forum: The Purr-Fect Gift

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Greetings Fellow Felines. Snoops and Kommando Kitty here. It’s time once again for us to give gift suggestions for the holidays. But unlike last year’s list of gifts for the well-to-do cat, this year we have ideas for you to gift your human. (We know it’s backwards, but we do try to be humorous once in a while.)

Does your human like to work in the garden? Do they come in smelling of dirt (or worse)? Do they complain about you leaving “deposits” among their flowers? Are the tables and counters full of fresh veggies part of the year?

Maybe a gardening companion:

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Or a new plant:

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Does your human like to dress up? Do they leave you alone a lot while they go out?

How about a fancy companion:

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Or some new  clothes:

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Does your human like to do crafts? Knit? Crochet?

Maybe their own living pincushion:

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Or some nice fabric:

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Does your human sleep a lot? When you want to eat? When you want to play?

Maybe a pillow buddy:

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Or some new bedding:

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Haven’t seen anything good?

In that case, we recommend the gift no cat-owned human can resist:

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All pictures courtesy of Google Images.

18

Feral Purrfessional – Part 5

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Where we are: Katie Kitty has been given a scholarship to Mid-America Animal Tech where she will study providing medical care to the feral cat population. She has bonded well with her roommate. Elise and her father spent Thanksgiving with the Kittys. They are coming back for Christmas. You can read the beginning of the story here.

Katie: I can’t believe it’s already the end of the semester. It seems like we just got here.

Elise: I know. We’ll be getting our first grades in a couple of weeks.

Katie: Yeah, just in time for Christmas. Great timing.

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Elise: I don’t know why you care. You have gotten the top grade in everything.

Katie: I know. But the school’s paying for everything, and it makes me nervous.

Elise: Let’s talk about Christmas break. I can’t believe your mom is going to put up with me and my dad for a whole week. It’ll be just like having a real family.

Katie: Be careful what you wish for. My mother can be a little overwhelming.

Elise: Well, I think it’s going to be fun.

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Before they know it, finals are over and it’s time to go home for the holidays. Edgar has bought the tickets for the train, and they settle in for the ride. Edgar seems to be in a particularly good mood. He even buys the girls mousicles as a snack.

Katie: Professor Khatt, thank you so much for buying my ticket. I’m sure my mother appreciates that she didn’t have to spend the money.

Edgar: I was glad to do it. After all, your mother is going to let us stay with you for most of the holiday break.

Katie: I think she enjoys having people to cook for and fuss over.

Edgar: She is a very nice lady. She has been very kind.

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Rose meets them at the station. She hugs them all and talks about all the decorating and baking she has been doing. When they get to the house, it smells wonderful.

Edgar: Rose, I want to thank you again for inviting Elise and me here for the holidays. I think she’s tired of spending all her time with me.

Elise (hugging him): Daddy, I love spending time with you.

Edgar: I know that. But it’s nice to be somewhere with all these decorations and food. And more cats.

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Elise: That’s true. Your house is beautiful, Mrs. Kitty.

Rose: Thank you. I really enjoy this time of year. Everything’s so sparkly and bright.

Edgar pulls out several boxes in Christmas paper.

Edgar: Do you ladies exchange gifts on Christmas Eve or Christmas?

Rose: Edgar! You shouldn’t have bought us anything!

Edgar: I couldn’t come here without something for the kittens. As long as I was shopping for the kittens, I decided to get something for everyone.

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The kittens surround Edgar, looking at the packages and purring.

Rose: We generally open everything Christmas morning, after Santa Claws has come.

Edgar: Sounds good. I forgot that Santa Claws would be coming here. Elise has been too old for a while.

The next night is Christmas Eve. They sit in the living room and talk about past Christmases and tell stories. Finally, they go to bed. It seems like they just get to sleep when the kittens start meowing.

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Muffin: Get up! Santa Claws has been here!

Fluffs: And you should see all the stuff he brought!

Edgar: You must have been very good kittens.

Fluffs: It’s hard sometimes.

Edgar laughs, and they all go downstairs. The kittens are right. The front room is full of kitty toys and treats.

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Elise: Wow! Santa Claws never brought me this much stuff!

Edgar (teasing): Well, I guess you weren’t this good.

The girls exchange gifts with each other, Rose and Edgar. They ooh and aah over everything. There are only two gifts left. They are from Edgar to Katie and Rose. Edgar picks up Katie’s and gives it to her. He also hands her an envelope.

Edgar: Read the letter first.

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Katie reads the letter and squeals.

Mama: Katie! What does it say?

Katie: It’s from the Dean at Animal Tech. She says that since I have the highest grades in the class, I get to study with Maria Meowska.

Edgar: Maria is a former student who runs a feral clinic near the school. The first-year student with the best grades in her first semester gets to work with her at the clinic. There’s very little paws-on experience, but the student learns at lot.

Elise: Katie, that’s paw-some! My roommate is a star!

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Katie: I can’t believe this! It’s so exciting! Thank you Professor Khatt!

Edgar: That’s not my gift. The letter is from the school.

He hands her a package. When she opens it, she squeals again.

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Katie: It’s my own stethoscope and examination tools! Thank you!

Rose: Those look awfully expensive.

Edgar: We can’t have our intern looking like she had to beg for her equipment. Besides, I get a faculty discount. (He grins.)

Finally, Edgar gives Rose her present. He watches nervously while she opens it.

Rose: Oh, my goodness! It’s a necklace with a heart on it. Edgar, you spent too much money.

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Edgar: Nothing is too much for you. Will you come north and marry me?

Rose looks at him and starts to cry. Edgar looks scared.

Rose: Of course, I will.

Epilogue: Rose and Edgar were married a few weeks later. She and the kittens moved into Edgar’s house. Katie graduated with honors. She and Elise joined Maria’s feral clinic and expanded it to offer services to the entire area around the school.

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9

Feral Purrfessional – Part 4

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Where we are: Katie Kitty has been given a scholarship to Mid-America Animal Tech where she will study providing medical care to the feral cat population. She has discovered that one of her professors is her roommate’s father. Rose is much calmer about leaving Katie since she met the Professor. You can read the beginning of the story here.

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After the first day of school.

Katie: That was tough. I can’t believe how much homework we got on the first day.

Elise: And we have two quizzes on Friday!

Katie: Cats’ vital signs and the systems in the cat’s body.

Elise: Guess we better get started.

Katie: Can you believe some of the cats are going to a nip party tonight? It’s not even the weekend.

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Elise: I know. Maybe they don’t know how hard the program is.

Katie: Did you see that cute boy cat that was looking at you?

Elise: How could I miss him? Every time I turned around he was there.

Katie: Did you talk to him?

Elise: Yeah. All he wanted to talk about was my father, the professor.

Katie: That stinks.

Elise: It’s OK. I’m used to it.

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Katie’s phone rings.

Katie: Hi, Mama. How are you?

Rose: How was your first day of school?

Katie: Great! I think I’m going to like it here.

Rose: Were you OK after we left?

Katie: Yes, we were fine. (Rolls her eyes.)

Rose: What are you doing now?

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Katie: We’re getting ready to study.

Rose: OK. I won’t keep you. Say hello to Elise and her father. Talk to you tomorrow.

Katie: Bye, Mama.

Katie looks at Elise.

Katie: She is going to drive me crazy. I think she’s going to call every day. She says hello to you and your father.

Elise: She just misses you.

Katie: I guess. But I don’t think I’m going to be doing anything very interesting every day.

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Elise: She seemed to like Daddy. I’ll see if he has any ideas.

Katie: That’s a great idea. Thank you!

They decide to go to the cafeteria and eat before studying. After salmon mousse and cream, they return to their room and work until bedtime. The next afternoon, Katie gets another call.

Katie: Hi, Mama. How is everybody?

Rose: We’re all fine. How are you?

Katie: I’m good. Elise and I are going to see a movie tonight. Take a break after studying.

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Rose: You’re not going to be out after dark are you?

Katie: I’m a cat. Dark doesn’t bother me.

Rose: But it’s not safe.

Katie: Don’t you remember what Professor Khatt told you? It’s perfectly safe here. Besides, it’s just down the block.

Rose: OK. But call me when you get home. I want to make sure you’re safe.

Katie: All right. I’ll talk to you then.

Katie disconnects the phone.

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Katie: Meowsers! She is crazy. I have to call when we get back. Did you talk to your dad?

Elise: I almost forgot! He said that he would call her tonight and explain how distracting it would be for you if she called every night.

Katie: I hope he doesn’t hurt her feelings.

After the movie, Katie calls her mother.

Katie: Hi, Mama. We’re home. All safe and sound.

Rose: That’s nice dear. I hope you enjoyed the movie. I got the nicest call from Edgar. He told me that you are adapting well, and I don’t need to worry so much. He is going to call me every Friday to let me know how things are going. He suggested that you call me once a week since you will be very busy. I think Monday.

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Katie (confused): Sure, Mama. Mondays will be fine. Are you sure you’ll be ok with once a week?

Rose: Oh, yes. I don’t want to interfere with your studies. Love you.

Katie: Love you too.

Katie disconnects the call.

Katie: Your father is a magician! I only have to call once a week.

Elise: How’d he manage that?

Katie: He’s going to call her every week to reassure her.

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All goes well for several weeks. Everyone is making plans for the Thanksgiving break. Katie is talking to her mother during the weekly call.

Rose: Edgar tells me you’re doing very well in school.

Katie: So far, everything is fine.

Rose: Did you know he and Elise will be spending Thanksgiving alone?

Katie: She says that’s the way they always do it.

Rose: Well, I think it’s terrible. So, I invited them down here.

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Katie (in disbelief): Really, Mama? I don’t think it’s a good idea to spend that much time with one of my professors. It would look strange.

Rose: Don’t be silly. Cats shouldn’t be alone on holidays. Besides, you can spend your time with Elise.

Katie: I guess, Mama.

Rose: It’s set then. You can all take the train down on Wednesday.

Katie disconnects the call.

Katie: That’s weird. She invited you and your father for Thanksgiving.

Elise: That sounds like fun. I’ve never been south.

Katie: I’m so glad you’re going to be there.

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Rose makes a huge Thanksgiving dinner with an entire turkey. The kittens love Edgar. He has brought some of his cat models down and plays with the kittens. On Sunday, Rose drops Edgar, Elise, and Katie at the station.

Elise: Thank you, Mrs. Kitty. I had a wonderful time.

Rose: You’re very welcome. I enjoyed having you.

Katie: I guess this wasn’t as weird as I thought it was going to be.

Rose: I told you everything would be fine.

Edgar: You were a wonderful hostess, Rose. I’m so glad you invited us.

Rose: Thank you, Edgar. I’m looking forward to seeing you both at Christmas.

Edgar: We’ll see you then. I’m planning special gifts for both you and Katie.

Katie and Elise look at each other.

Next week: The finale. What is going to happen on Christmas?

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23

What Do You Get the 1% Cat for Christmas?

For those unfamiliar with the U.S. economy, 1% of the population holds an extremely disproportionate amount of the country’s wealth.

Snoops and Kommando Kitty here. We know that all any cat really wants is a loving furever home, complete with human staff. A catnip mouse or feather on a string are good gifts. Maybe one of those battery-powered toys. But some cats live in luxury, eating only the finest hand-prepared food and sleeping in customized beds. We decided it would be fun to see what types of things might be on their Christmas wish list. We are helpfully providing contact information in case you see something you like.

Modular Cat Wall (https://www.catswall.com/modular-cat-wall)

“The modular design not only extend the spaces for cats but also reduce the oppression which is caused by narrow living space.  For long-term, cats might be bored and refuse to use the bulky traditional cat trees. All the hanging accessories of Catswall modular cat wall can be mounted on (or dismounted from) the hanging tracks directly, it is easy to take down for cleaning or change position.”

Price: Starts at $1,1159

Cool Cedar Cat Cottage (http://www.catsplay.com/cat-furniture-types/cat-outdoor-houses/kool-cat-kottage-cat-house-with-porch-deck)

 

“The Cool Cedar Cat Kottage comes already insulated. Standard, at no extra charge, are 9 inch lounging ledges that wrap around two walls. The upper level has two real glass lookout windows and an escape/exit door. The many available options make it possible for the customer to customize the Kool Cat Kottage to fit the needs their cat(s) may require. We offer remote control air conditioner, one or two cat heat pads, larger multiple cat heat pads, porch and deck systems, raised foundation with 12 inch tall support legs and magnetic seal safe doors.”
Price: $1,004.99 base model; slightly over $2,000 fully loaded
Animal Print Holiday Hollow Cat Gym (http://www.catsplay.com/holiday-hollow-cat-gym-1079030396)
Animal Print Holiday Hollow Cat Gym

“The Holiday Hollow Cat Tree is a whopping 82 inches tall and is styled like a high-rise apartment building with its 3 interconnecting condos and its penthouse Condo on top. Your cats can climb between the condo levels.  Inside the Cat Tree Condo are the platforms which are designed to allow easy upward travel. Our animal print versions are made from real carpet, not faux fur!  Available in leopard or tiger!”

Price: $830.99

Buckingham Palace (https://kittymansions.com/collections/featured-products/products/buckingham-palace)

Buckingham Palace

“It’s finally here! Buckingham Palace is a place where cats can feel like part of the Royal Family. It features large bedroom areas, overhead tunnels, royal seats, large scratching posts, ramps, slides, and everything else you can think of for a fancy cat! It stands at just under 9 feet, is 80 inches wide, and 44 inches deep. It’s a massive play area for your lucky cats!”

Price: $2,200 (marked down from $2,890)

Park Place Cat Tree (https://playtimeworkshop.com/product/park-place-cat-tree/)

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“The wonderful Park Place Cat Condo is simply the most accommodating piece of Cat Furniture on the market. This unit is all your “kids” could ever wish for. With 4 separate cat condos you cats will love exploring this grand cat tree. The Extra large upper beds will handle two cats at a time effortlessly. The upper and lower main condos are multiple cat accommodating. The end units which are interconnecting to the main condo are nice single guest rooms. This cat tree is super heavy with a low center of gravity which guarantees your “kids” a wobble free environment.”

Price: $599.99 (for the bargain hunter)

We also found this pawsome cat flap:

cat flap

“Forget your standard cat flap, for £1,000 you can have a Swarovski studded cat flap! Fitted with 1000 crystals, this flap made waves in 2009 when it was launched by Hertfordshire based company, Doors4Paws.” Unfortunately, the flap is no longer available. They do still make wooden flaps for us commoners. (The funny-looking “L” is British for money. It usually takes more dollars than pounds – money not weight – to buy something.)

You will note that these are off-the-shelf products. If you are looking for something truly unique, you need to contact an “artisan”. That is someone who does awesome work for a lot of money. We do not have a list of those people.

Happy shopping!

11

Job Application for Santa’s Reindeer

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Tony saw the poster announcing tryouts for Santa’s Sled Team. Tony came from a long line of sled reindeer going back to Blitzen and was eager to take his turn. He wrote down the web address for the application and went home to complete it.

When he opened the application, he was surprised by the length. As he read through it, he wasn’t sure he would make it after all. Or if he wanted to.

Application for Seasonal Employment

Santa’s Reindeer

Job Description: Work as a team member of an eight reindeer group to pull Santa’s sleigh on Christmas Eve.

Image result for santa's reindeer

General Requirements:

  • Ability to fly long distances at a consistent speed
  • Ability to make frequent short stops for an extended period of time
  • Ability to haul large cargo for long distances
  • Ability to work in a close, team-oriented environment
  • Ability to work in stressful environment
  • Ability to be flexible
  • Working knowledge of GPS preferred
  • Prior package delivery experience preferred

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Physical Requirements

  • Antlers must have sloughed for season
  • Hooves must be tough enough to stop quickly on icy roofs
  • Must be between 75-80 inches long
  • Must weigh between 350-400 pounds
  • May not be pregnant
  • Must be able to train for at least 12 hours/day without physical collapse

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Please note: Santa’s workshop is a drug-free environment and you will be required to pass random drug tests as well as a pre-employment screening. Additionally, all applicants will be required to pass a physical exam prior to hire.

Name:

Address:

Phone Number (home):

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Phone Number (cell):

Email Address:

Preferred method of contact:

Why do you want to be one of Santa’s reindeer (200 words or less)?

Why do you think you would be a better candidate than other reindeer (200 words or less)?

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Describe any previous experience in a related field.

Do you have any relatives currently working for Santa?

Do you have any relatives who have worked for Santa in the past?

Are you currently under contract with the Easter Bunny?

Date Available:

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Thank you for your interest in being one of Santa’s reindeer. If you are chosen for an interview, you will be contacted. Please do not call our office.

Santa’s Workshop is and equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate based on species, gender or age.

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7

No Hippopotamus for Christmas

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Editors: Before Christmas, Cat kept singing a stupid song about wanting a hippopotamus for Christmas

Apparently she was only kidding, or the other humans had more common sense, because there were no animals under the tree. Don’t get us wrong. You know we’re all about animals here in Cheeseland. But most of the animals work from their native habitat, and we weren’t sure there is enough space here for a hippo.

We wanted to do some research and asked R. Tavi, our Asian correspondent, to take a trip to Africa.

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I went to Kenya to speak with Nala, an East African hippopotamus. I first thing I noticed was that hippos are really big.

Tavi: Good morning Nala

Nala: Good morning. Don’t bother asking. I weigh 1,200 pounds. I don’ know why everyone is so interested in my weight. I have a big skeleton. In fact it runs in the family, the hippo family. We’re big animals. My husband weighs 2,000 pounds. Get over it.

Tavi: I apologize. I just don’t get around large animals much. I live in India. We have elephants, but that’s about it.

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Nala (huffily): Then you should have seen someone bigger than me.

Tavi (trying to change the subject): So what do hippos generally eat?

Nala: You want to find out why I’m so big? For your information, we hippos live on salad. I have never touched meat. And I don’t eat sugar. I’m not fat. It’s just genetics.

Tavi: I apologize. I obviously have offended you. Perhaps we could start over.

Nala: I suppose that might work.

Tavi: How do you spend your days?

Nala: It’s pretty hot here. I like to be submerged in the water most of day. There is excellent eating in the lake. Once in a while I go over there. (Points at some yams growing in a field.) I love yams.

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Tavi: Doesn’t the farmer object to you raiding his field?

Nala: What do you mean “raiding”? If he didn’t want hippos in his field, he shouldn’t have planted so close to the lake.

Tavi: So it’s an amicable relationship.

Nala: Not really. I’d really be just as happy if he would just go away. Then I wouldn’t have to try to kill him every time he comes after me.

Tavi is beginning to wonder if there was anything they could talk about that wouldn’t upset the hippo.

Tavi: What do you like to do for fun?

Nala (giggling): My favorite is to fling dung at people and other animals.

Tavi: It doesn’t sound like you’re very fond of humans.

Nala (growling): I hate humans! They bring their stupid boats into our lakes and try to take pictures of us. It serves them right when we tip over their boats and kill them. They’re lucky we’re not carnivores.

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Tavi: I suppose you’re right. You’re very fond of living here, aren’t you?

Nala: It’s a wonderful place. Cool water, good food, warm sun.

Tavi: I don’t suppose you’d be interested in traveling, would you?

Nala: Never. I can’t imagine living anywhere else.

Tavi: Thank you for your time. I wish you well.

Nala: Thank you.

Tavi returns home understanding why hippos have a reputation for being aggressive. He can’t imagine why Cat would want to bring one home.

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All pictures courtesy of Google Images, video from Youtube.