23

Hibernation Prep – Fall 2021 – Part 2

Winter Rituals: Nighty-Night Bears - Earthfire Institute

Where we are – the Bearlingtons were in the midst of preparing for hibernation when Papa’s brother Sam appeared at their door. He had been kicked out of the house last spring after disrupting the previous hibernation and eating all of their food. Sam has recently been kicked out by his girlfriend and is looking for a place to stay.

After being greeted with less-than-open-arms by Mama, Sam is taking a walk while the family discusses his situation.

A Bears Quest for Food | Wise About Bears

Papa: Shelly, be reasonable. He doesn’t have any place else to go.

Mama: That’s his own fault. It sounds like he was as much of a loaf at her house as he was here.

Kenny: I like Uncle Sammy! He’s fun.

Carl: Yeah! He let’s us eat whatever we want and run around the cave.

Kenny: And he give great rides.

Finland: Teacher 3 Bear Cubs Dancing & Playing Like Human Kids

Mama: And you boys are totally wild when he’s here.

Carl: Mama! We’re bears. We’re supposed to be wild.

Mama: We live in the suburbs. You need to behave like civilized bears.

bear on the beach | Bear, Polar bear, Beach

Penelope: He’s really funny. Remember those impressions he did of the humans he met at the beach? (mimicking) “Alice, is that a bear? That can’t be a bear! Bears don’t go to the beach.”

Papa (laughing): I’d forgotten about that. He is the only bear I know who goes to the beach when the humans are around.

Penelope: He must be really brave.

Mama: Or not very bright. Humans carry diseases. He should stay away from them.

BEARLY HOLDING ON: A BEAR SQUADICLE | SCAD Radio

Just then, Sam reappeared. He was carrying a basket of salmon and and another one fully of blueberries. He handed them to Mama.

Sam: Here, Shelly. I wanted to make up for some of the food I ate last year that you had been saving.

Mama: Thank you, Sam. That’s very sweet. Where will you go if you can’t stay here?

Sam: I was thinking about that. I think that there may be an empty spot further up the coast. I remember hearing some deer talking about a shelter near Kapoka.

Papa: That’s a long ways off. Do you know anyone up there?

Sam: Not really. But it should be fairly sheltered and safe.

happy bear, spring, grass,happiness | Cute animals, Animals, Cute creatures

Penelope: Will you come back in the spring, Uncle Sam?

Sam: I don’t know. There really isn’t anything for me around here. Maybe it’s time for me to make a fresh start.

Penelope: You can’t go that far without knowing for sure you’ll find shelter.

Kenny: What if the place is full of mean bears?

Sam: Don’t worry about me. I’m a tough old bear. I’ve been in tight spots before.

Best place to see a crowd of grizzlies (A good place to bear witness) —  High Country News – Know the West

Mama: Sam, are you sure there’s a spot for you up there?

Sam: Well, a friend of a friend said that they usually have openings in the late summer.

Mama: It’s not late summer anymore. You don’t really have a place, do you?

Sam: Not really. But I know I was a problem last year. I was just hoping that you might forgive me.

Kenny and Carl: Please, Mom? Can he stay here?

Depressed Bear sitting by a river: photoshopbattles

Mama: I don’t want to be heartless. Do you promise not to raid the pantry every time you get bored?

Sam: Cross my heart.

Mama: And you have to start picking up after yourself. You can’t just go out for a long walk in the spring when it’s time to do the big clean-up.

Sam: I promise.

Mama: And when it’s time for the boys to hibernate, you have to back me up and tell them to go to bed.

Sam: I promise.

Mama: Then you can stay.

There was much cheering and dancing around. When everything finally settled down, they sat down for a big meal of salmon and blueberries.

What are bears up to this winter? - Bearwise.org

Pictures courtesy of Google Images.

 

20

Hibernation Prep – Fall 2021

Could humans hibernate like bears? | TheHill

Mama: Well, it’s that time of year again.  Is everybody ready to settle in for the winter?

Papa: I can’t wait. It’s been a long summer.

Mama: Penelope, you sweep out the cave. Kenny, you and Carl start gathering fresh moss and leaves for the beds.

Papa: I’ll suspend our subscription to Grizzly Times until April.

Mama: Don’t forget to have them hold our mail too.

Papa: Do you like the message I have for the phone?

“Thank you for calling the Bearlingtons. We can’t come to the phone until spring. Please leave a message and we’ll return your call after April 15. Please do not leave more than one message. We will not be checking our calls.”

Glacier National Park Cameras Capture a Black Bear Waking Up From Hibernation | Mental Floss

Mama: Yes. That sounds about right. Do you think April 15 is late enough?

Papa: You know Penelope and the boys. There’s no way they’ll let us sleep past mid-April.

Penelope: Mama, can I keep my InstaBear account active this year? I’m going to miss so much.

Mama: You know the rules, dear. Hibernation season is family time. No electronics. Besides, you’ll be sleeping most of the time.

Penelope: I know. But it’s so boring until we actually settle down. Can Jessica stay here for hibernation?

Papa: Of course not! She should be sleeping with her own family.

Penelope: She’s mad at them. They wouldn’t let her run away with her boyfriend.

Papa: The zoo runaway? He seems a little old for her.

Black Bear Sightings In New City Prompt Police To Release Safety Tips | Clarkstown Daily Voice

Penelope: Yeah. He was kind of weird. He wanted to move to the city and open a food truck.

Mama: She’s probably better off with someone local.

Papa: Did you pay the mortgage ahead? We don’t want to get kicked out mid-winter.

Mama: The bills are all set.

Kenny and Carl returned with armloads of bedding material. Mama Bear created hibernation spots for each of them to spend the winter. Looking around the room, she tried to remember what else needed to be done. Suddenly, she heard a familiar voice.

Voice: Anybody home?

She looked at Papa Bear.

Black Bears Emerging From Hibernation | Naturally Curious with Mary Holland

Mama: You did not invite your brother Sam to hibernate with us, did you?

Papa: Sam! What are you doing here? I didn’t think you even knew where we lived.

Papa’s brother Sam had spent the previous winter with them. He had eaten all of the spare provisions and generally made a mess of the cave. Papa and Mama had several fights over his lack of responsibility When spring came, they kicked him out and switched caves.

Sam: Joey! Long time, no see! I had a heck of a time finding you. After we parted way, I met up with a beautiful girl. I really thought she was the one. But fall comes, and she tells me I have to find some place else to hibernate. I don’t understand.

Papa: That’s too bad. Things had been going well?

Give us a bear hug! These rescued grizzlies enjoy life again in Europe's largest bear sanctuary | Daily Mail Online

Sam: I really thought so. Except for that time I confused her with her sister. Her sister’s really pretty too.

Papa: If she dumps you after one mistake, she’s not the girl for you.

Sam: Maybe not. Too bad though. She had a really nice cave. But she was kind of particular about keeping it clean. Reminded me of your wife. Speaking of which, is Shelly around?

Mama: I’m right here, Sam. To what do we owe the pleasure?

Sam: Good to see you! I missed you guys!

Kenny: Uncle Sam!

Sam: Hey Kenny! You miss me?

Free Bear Wrestling | Bear, Cute animal pictures, Animals wild

Kenny: I really did! Mom won’t let us wrestle in the house when you’re not here!

Papa: Are you living around here now?

Sam: Well…actually…

Mama: Tell us the truth Sam.

Sam: Lydia kicked me out and I don’t have anywhere to go. Everything around here is booked.

Kenny: You can stay here. Right, Mom?

Sam: I don’t think your Mom’s going to want me around for another winter.

Sad Bear Is Sad

He looked sadly at Mama.

Penelope: I’m sure she’s fine with it. She was just talking about how hibernation should be spent with family.

Papa: And he said he doesn’t have anywhere else to go.

Mama: He was a terrible guest last year. I don’t know.

Sam: Please?

Next week: Will Mama let Sam stay for the winter?

Autumn Bear Wallpapers - Top Free Autumn Bear Backgrounds - WallpaperAccess

Pictures courtesy of Google Images.

22

Thunder K Katt: Kitchen Wiz

 

Greetings! We want to welcome back our cousin and collaborator, Thunder K. Katt. She’s here with tips for helping your human cook.

Hello everyone! It’s Thunder, and I’m here to show even how the most undomesticated kitty can help their human in the kitchen! Make sure your human is in a good mood before you help, though, or you may not get the compensation for your time that you deserve. All of these tricks have been tried by me and my sister, Onyx; hopefully they work well for you! 

Help set up by clearing off a space on the counter or table.

I’m not sure if all humans are as bad as mine are, but any time they clean off our counter and table, within two days it’s cluttered with new stuff! Cans of food (usually yucky foods, like canned veggies or sauces), bills, spices (again, nothing good like catnip- mine humans favor salt and white pepper), or bottles of soda- anything that fits will sit. Then, when she goes to mix the cake batter, or assemble the hamburgers, my mom gets super frustrated with the lack of space. Thankfully, cats can help with that! Use your paws or tails to swipe off the smaller items, such as pens, coins, and those pesky bills. If there are larger, bulkier items in the way, plop down next to them, forcing the full brunt of your weight against the item. They’ll move, and your human will have room to cook! Be careful not to disrupt anything glass, as the shards can hurt your paws, and try not to knock over any open containers of liquid- not only will you get wet, your humans will get grumpy. 

Help gather the ingredients.

Have you ever seen your human pace back and forth to the refrigerator and cupboard five or six times to gather what they need, only to realize they forgot one last ingredient, yet again disturb your afternoon lounge to gather it? Put an end to it by grabbing the ingredients for them! Although most containers won’t fit into our mouths (sticks of butter and some smaller produce varieties are the exception), you can jump on the shelf and knock the ingredients off for them. I’ve found this works best with sticks of butter, packages of cream cheese, meats and cheeses, and spices kept in sealed, plastic containers. I would avoid doing this with anything liquid, and with flour, sugar, or loose spices. If they’re looking for a produce item, roll it to them with your paw- try to avoid putting it in your mouth, as many things humans cook with are either too bulky to carry or can harm you if ingested. 

Test out the viability of the cookware.

What would be more tragic than your human working hard to prepare something, only to realize the dish they wanted to use wasn’t suitable to cook with? Save them the time and frustration by testing it out yourself! As soon as your human selects and lays down the dish they intend to use, jump into it. You can stalk around in it, roll in it, or just sit in it. Make sure you’re given enough time to truly test the quality of the dish- if you have to, repeat the procedure until you are satisfied. It is imperative that you perform this maneuver as soon as the dish is set out, to prevent anything from being put in the dish prematurely.

Quality inspection!

This is definitely one of the best parts of helping out in the kitchen! As yummy ingredients are opened and mixed together, make sure the quality is up to par! Simply go up to what you want to test and start licking. You can also stick your nose or paw in whatever you want, if there are multiple options. By doing this, you’re alerting your human that you’ve claimed that piece of food, and that they need to leave it for you. Don’t hesitate to perform quality checks multiple times throughout the cooking process- after all, a block of cream cheese is going to taste much different than cream cheese combined with milk, butter, and powdered sugar. You want to ensure that only the best is created in your kitchen!

Add fiber!

A big bonus to helping is the added fiber that cat fur brings to the meal! While performing your quality checks, take the opportunity to shed in some loose furs. You’re making yourself more comfortable, and adding the gift of beauty and fiber to your human’s creation! This sounds like a win-win to me. 

Make sure the oven is heated properly. 

It is important to note that this can only be done with ovens, not stoves, and this must be done with caution and good judgement! Most baked goods and oven roasted meals require the oven be preheated to a certain temperature before baking can ensue. Although most ovens beep to let you know when the desired temperature has been achieved, don’t leave anything to error. As soon as the door warms up, snuggle right up against it to make sure it is properly heated. Walk away as soon as your human opens it up, though- no kitty wants a nose burn! 

Help with cleanup.

Cleanup is typically seen as boring, and should mostly be left to the humans. However, there are a few ways you can have fun and help clean up. First, make sure you lead your human to the sink or trash can each time. This ensures your space is clean, and that they don’t get lost or distracted along the way. You can even sit in the sink if there’s room, since there’s no way any human can miss the adorableness of a cat. Secondly, much like how you help clear the space to cook, you can do the same for cleanup. Swat egg shells and wrappers onto the floor, or use your tail to sweep away powders. Paper towels make a wonderful crinkly toy that you can claim upon discard. Just avoid messing your beautiful furs up!  

Be a natural timer.

This trick works best with meats. How many times have you been able to smell the delicious meat being cooked, knowing full well that your meal is done, only to have your human sit around for minutes more, making you wait? As a natural timer, you can fix that problem! Cats have a superior sense of smell, and by extension, knowledge of when food is cooked. As soon as your nose and tummy agree that the meat is cooked, let your human know! This can be done by sitting in front of the oven and yowling, rubbing against your human while purring and then running towards the oven, or by jumping on and off of your human repeatedly. This way, even if they forget to set a timer, or if they set the incorrect amount of time, you’ve got them covered. 

Test the finished product! 

The final- and best- step of helping in the kitchen is being able to test the finished product. As soon as temperature allows, go up to the food in question and give it a few nibbles. You can start slowly by licking it, or you can go for a large chomp. If neither of these options appeal to you, you can step on it and leave a paw print, or you can leave nose smudges on it. If you enjoy the food, do everyone else a favor and drag it over to share! That’s the greatest compliment you can give to a chef! 

Hopefully these tips and tricks make your time in the kitchen more enjoyable! Everybody needs help; now you can be the purrfect assistant to your humans cooking needs!

Purrs and furs,

Thunder K. Katt

 

18

Cat TV – Part 2

Image result for cats and tv

So far – Josie and Kenny’s TV have gone out, and the technician won’t be available for at least three days. They are devastated, but Mom and Dad aren’t very sympathetic.

Josie: Mooom, I’m bored.

Mom: Did you do your homework?

Josie: Yes. Now I’m bored.

Image result for cats and book

Mom: Read a book.

Josie: I don’t have any.

Mom: Go to the library.

Josie: Yuck! What if someone sees me?

Mom: What if they do?

Josie (sighing): Mom, you’re impossible.

Image result for cats cleaning

Kenny: I’m bored.

Mom: I don’t suppose you have anything else to do either.

Kenny: Nope.

Mom: Then clean your rooms.

They look at her and roll their eyes. She doesn’t move. They stomp off to their rooms. At dinner:

Dad: You two look gloomy. Did you have a bad day?

Image result for cats cleaning

Kenny: We didn’t have anything to do, so Mom made us clean our rooms.

Dad: Oh, that is a crisis.

Kenny and Josie glare at him.

Mom: Well, tomorrow you can go visit Grandma. I’m sure she has something for you to do.

Josie: It has to be better than today.

The next day, they walk over to Grandma’s house. She’s outside getting ready to pounce on something. Josie and Kenny run up to her.

Image result for cats pouncing

Josie: Hi Grandma! Mom sent us over here because we’re bored. Do you have a TV we can watch?

Grandma: Goodness, no. What a waste of time. Wouldn’t you two rather run around the yard?

Josie: No TV?

Grandma: Josie, we’re cats. Cats don’t watch TV.

Josie: All of our friends do.

Grandma: When did you pick up that nasty human habit? Doesn’t it interfere with your running around and climbing things?

Kenny: Why would we do that?

Grandma: That’s what real cats do.

Image result for cats pouncing

Josie: Next thing you know, she going to tell us we should be out chasing mice and pouncing on bugs.

Grandma: Exactly! Those are excellent cat skills. Look over there; the bush is moving. Let’s see who can pounce the fastest.

The kittens thought it was silly, but since it was Grandma they played along. To their surprise, she was faster by far. She jumped at the bush, but the bird got away.

Kenny: Wow, Grandma! You can run a lot faster than we can.

Grandma: That’s because I’ve been running since I was a kitten. Now, see if you can catch me.

Image result for cats in tree

Grandma took off with Kenny close behind. She got to the maple tree and ran up the side to the first branch. Kenny stood under her.

Kenny: No fair! How can I catch you up there?

Grandma: The same way I got here. Climb the tree.

Kenny: How do I get down.?

Grandma: It isn’t very high. Jump off.

Kenny: Wow! This is fun. Can you show us how to do all this old-fashioned stuff?

Image result for kittens playing

They had so much fun that it was time to go home before they realized it.

Josie: Thank you, Grandma. That was great.

Grandma: I had a lot of fun too. But if you’re going to watch TV, watch Cat TV. That human stuff will rot your mind.

Josie: What’s Cat TV?

Grandma: If you have to be inside, watch what’s out the window. You’ll see all kinds of interesting things. You can practice your running and pouncing in your head.

Image result for kittens running

Josie and Kenny ran home for dinner.

Dad: Did you have fun at Grandma’s?

Kenny: It was pawsome! She taught us all the things she learned when she was a kitten. We ran around and tried to kill bugs and climbed trees.

Dad: That does sound like fun. You should be happy. The TV technician comes tomorrow. You should have TV by nighttime.

Kenny: That’s OK. We’re going to watch Cat TV instead.

Josie nodded. Their parents were astounded.

Image result for cats looking out windows

All pictures courtesy of Google Images