18

A Kitten of Great Price – Conclusion

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By archy cockroach and mehitabel cat, City Desk

You can read Part 1 here and Part 2 here.

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We saw a long building with three pens attached. In the first one, there were probably 8 adult cats, male and female. The second pen had pregnant females, and the third had nursing mothers with kittens. They had access to the building for shelter, but couldn’t roam free.

mehitabel immediately went up to the first pen and started talking to the cats. He noticed that they were all beautiful long-hairs. Strangely enough, the males all appeared to be Angora and the females were Himalayan. Five were female and three were male.

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mehitabel: We’re reporters from the Cheeseland News. We heard that humans were holding some cats captive out here against their will. Can you tell us what’s going on?

Tom 1: That’s right. They’re breeding us and then selling our kittens. These are lovely ladies and don’t deserve to be treated this way.

Female 1: Thank you Thomas. That’s very kind of you. But all of the adult cats were stolen from their homes and brought here, even the males.

mehitabel: How long as this been going on?

Female 2: Well, let’s see. The first batch of kittens were taken to be Christmas presents, they said. So that would be about six months.

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archy: That’s awful! Are they still stealing cats?

Female 2: No, we’re the last.

Tom 2: They said they were done after each of these ladies had two litters. They thought they’d have enough money by then.

Female 3: And they’re afraid of getting caught.

mehitabel: So each female is let go after having two litters?

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Female 1: They said they want a variety of kittens.

Tom 1: But not too varied. So everyone’s an Angora-Himalayan mix. They think the kittens look exotic enough to be sold as purebred.

mehitabel: So what happens after a female has two litters?

(The cats look at each other.)

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Tom 3: We don’t really know. They say the humans release them at the edge of the woods. Of course, none of them would ever come back here, so we don’t really know. You might want to talk to some of the females with kittens. They probably know more.

mehitabel: Thank you for your time. And try not to worry.

We continued to the next pen. There were three pregnant females in that one.

mehitabel: Hello ladies. We’re from the Cheeseland News and we’re trying to get to the bottom of what’s going on here. How long have you been captive?

Female 6: Almost three months. This is my second litter. They’re going to release me after my kittens are weaned.

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mehitabel: Do you know where they are going to release you?

(She motions with her head to the woods.)

mehitabel: Is that where you live?

Female 6: No. I have no idea how to get home from here. I hope someone in the woods can help me. Or maybe I can find some of the other cats from here. We’re all going to be out soon.

(She motioned to the others in her pen and the nursing mothers. Then she started to cry. mehitabel tried to comfort her before moving on to the final pen where two nursing mothers were laying. Once again he introduced us.)

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Mother 1: Can you help us? They’re going to take my babies away next week, and I’ll never see them again. And then they’re going to throw me in the woods. I’ll probably get eaten by something. I’ve never been in the woods before.

(She finally caught her breath. We looked at each other.)

Mehitabel: Ma’am, we’re on our way to do just that.

We ran to the house. Fortunately it was still night, and the men were asleep (very noisily.) Our luck held, and we found a computer. mehitabel quickly sent a message to George and Lenny (our editors). As quickly as possible given that he had to use two paws.

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We raced out of house to try and find our own way home.

 

Follow-Up

George immediately called the local police and told them what was going on with the cats. By morning, the police were at the farm with people from the local shelter. The men were arrested and are in jail. They have to pay back all the people they cheated when  they sold them mixed breed cats as purebred.

It turned out that the humans who had adopted the kittens had already fallen in love with them and had no interest in turning them over to shelters. The kittens were equally happy with their homes and wanted to stay. The humans know that they will be waiting a long time for their money, but are happy the scammers were caught.

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The shelter took in the pregnant females and nursing mothers to make sure everyone was healthy and safe. They weren’t sure what to do with the adults. No one knew how to get home. Finally the cats agreed to be matched with humans, but only if they had the right of refusal on the human.

The shelter wasn’t sure how easy it would be to find homes for 8 adult cats who were rather grumpy after being penned up. But they took pictures and put them on the website. Within a week, they all had forever homes. It turned out that they weren’t as difficult as they pretended once they were cuddled and petted.

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The humans never found the cats who had been released. But after a little digging, we discovered that they had formed their own family. They settled near a human artists’ colony where they could come and go as they pleased. They artists considered them furry muses. The cats considered the humans providers of treats and shelter when needed.

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(All pictures courtesy of Google Images)

 

13

Cat Forum: Interview with Andy and Dougy

 

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This month we are interviewing Andy and Dougy from weggieboy’s blog. We don’t know what a weggieboy is, but we’re pretty sure it doesn’t have anything to do with cats. Which is a little weird since everything in the blog is about cats. Humans are really strange sometimes.

Tell us a little bit about your brother.

Andy: Dougy is my best buddy. In fact, the lady who had our mother was so impressed with how we played together as kittens that she offered him to our human, too! I was really happy about that because it meant our new home was going to be together! Our other brother and sister went to someone in South Dakota. They didn’t like each other. Dougy and I are lucky that way.

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Dougy: Andy is too serious for his own good. I think his high blood pressure stems from that. He needs to lighten up and play more! Of course, we do that that string game we play. Andy usually starts the game, but we really, really, really like it! We both are smoke Persians, but he takes after our Birman father more, with a less broad (or big!) head than mine. We both are pretty, though, if you ask me!

 

What is your favorite thing about your human?

Andy: He tells me I’m a good boy even when I’m not, and he gives me kitty treats. He could be a bit better about when he serves us kitty food. Dougy complains to him about that but I just hang around because I’m more patient.

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Dougy: He lets me do anything I want. I know he doesn’t like me scratching on furniture, so I do it right in front of him sometimes! Hee! Hee! He lets me get away with it, and I’ve been doing it ever since I was a kitten. He even made a video of me as a kitten doing that, and I am very proud of that! He also gave me his ottoman because, well, I took it from him. Pretty neat, eh?!

(Dad would have killed us!)

 

We like cat TV (looking out the window for you non-felines). Do you watch? What’s your favorite program?

Andy: You know I do! I especially like the fir tree revue in the backyard. I watch it all the time because there are lots of squirrels and birds there just about any time of day! Sometimes Dougy and I fight over the best spots, but, really, there are many good watching spots on the computer desk.

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Dougy: Oh, I love, love, love cat TV!!! I can’t get enough of it. Andy gets upset with me when I watch it out the back window from the computer desk, but that’s the best spot to check out the squirrels and birds in this place. Sometimes we even see neighborhood cats. You know we are indoor cats, don’t you? Our human worries that I would follow my nose to Fargo if he let me outside because I like to explore! I guess I would. But he worries naughty people would hurt Andy and me because we are black cats or that we might get run over on the busy streets nearby. We have each other to play with, so we basically are happy (and warm and safe!) indoors.

(Wonder if they ever have trouble with reception this time of year?)

 

What do you like to do when your human isn’t home?

Andy: That would be telling, eh?! Actually, I sleep most of the time, maybe eat some crunchies, then drink some water. (I do a lot more than that, but I have my reputation for sobriety to protect!)

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Dougy: I’m a good boy so I sleep mostly. I guess I do some of the stuff Andy does, too, and we play our game or just run like wild horses all over the house! We like doing that together.

(See, everyone tells their human all they do is sleep. Don’t want the humans to be jealous of our private lives. Or ask too many questions.)

 

Do you ever get annoyed when your human wants to take your picture?

Andy: Not really, though I like to “hide” in dark places because he has a hard time getting good photos of me then! Hee! Hee!

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Dougy: Oh yes! I hate that bright light his camera makes, so I turn my head or blink my eyes. That new one he uses doesn’t make a bright light as often, so he likes it to take my picture. He says that way people on his blog get to see my beautiful eyes! (Couldn’t agree with him more!)

 

Does your human ever let you use any of his toys?

Andy: When he’s not watching, I sit in his chair or walk on his computer keyboard. I get away with roosting on top of his PC. I like that a lot! It’s warm and high!

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Dougy: He IS my toy! Hee! Hee! I can get him up whenever I want in the morning and get him to do anything I want by talking in my most annoying “meow”! And my most annoying “meow” is pretty darn wretched, if I do meow myself!

(Look Kommando – Dougy knows your trick!)

 

Is there anything you’d like to add?

Andy: Yes. My full name is Andrew James Thomas. I’m named after the patron saint of Scotland, St. Andrew. I think my human chose that name because I’m usually very serious. Truth is, though, I do like to play, but it just takes me a bit longer to get in the mood than my goofy brother Dougy! He’s up for play any  and every time. I choose my time to have fun.

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Dougy: Yeah! Don’t put your feet or fat butt on my ottoman! I do not allow it! Ask Andy about that. Or my human! Oh, yes, my full name is Douglas James Thomas. It’s a family joke. My middle name is different than his, so I am not a junior! It is a good Scottish name, and my human comes from a long line of crazy Scots! He wanted to honor that part of his heritage by giving us both Scottish names.

(Wow! I don’t think we want to go there in person. Sounds a little testy. 🙂 )

Don’t forget to visit Andy and Dougy at their blog. They don’t get to talk as much, but they are extremely photogenic.

4

Where’d Everyone Go?

(Kommando and Snoops woke up Monday morning starving as usual. Snoops went over and woke up Kommando.)

Snoops: Hey! Why isn’t there any food? Didn’t you wake up the humans? You know that’s your job. It’s already light outside.

Kommando: Bad news. Remember when they got in the car yesterday? They never came home. They aren’t anywhere in the house.

Snoops: Oh no!! I wonder if something happened to them? Who’s gonna feed us and take care of us? I am NOT going back to that shelter. They stuck me in a cage and all I could smell was dogs. And there is no Cat TV. And the food was awful!

Kommando: What about me? This was my only home. I was left at the side of the road.

Snoops: Don’t panic! It’s not a crisis yet. We still have dry food and water.

Kommando: I have a great idea!! We could use that computer thingy and order out.

Snoops: That is a great idea! And we can look for new humans too. When it gets cold again we’ll need someone to snuggle up against.

Kommando: OK, Snoops, you’re the one who spends all the time in here. What do we do first?

Snoops: Well, the first thing Dad does is push in that button. (points to “ON” switch).

Kommando: Oof (pushes with her whole body). Maybe it’s stuck. Mrrrrow! (Falls over as the computer turns on.)

(Hear somebody at the back door.)

Kommando: Run! That’s not our humans.

Male Voice: Here kitty, kitty. I’m here to feed you while your humans are out of town.

(Cats look at each other.)

Snoops: What do you think?

Kommando: Anyone could come in and say that. Maybe he wants to kidnap us and sell us to rogue Canadians to use as sled dog trainers.

(Snoops stares at Kommando.)

Kommando: What? It could be true.

(They hear a can of food being opened and sneak forward.)

Kommando: He doesn’t look too dangerous.

Snoops: Naw, I’ve seen him with the beta male. Just watch out for his feet.

Male: Oh there you two are! Here’s your food. I’ll change your water too.

Kommando: Should we trust him?

Snoops: I’m hungry! And he’s feeding us the right stuff. I’m eating.

(Runs over and starts to scarf down the food. Kommando sniffs her food and begins to eat.)

Kommando: Yumm! It’s our food. We won’t starve.

(They don’t notice the male leaving. The next day he appears about the same time. They greet him at the door, meowing.)

Male: Hi, cats! How’ve you been?

(Kommando rubs her head against his leg.)

Male: You’re so cute. No wonder your humans said they’d miss you while they were gone. They’ll be back in a couple of days.

(Snoops and Kommando look at each other. They wait until the male humans leaves.)

Snoops: They’re coming back! They’ll probably bring treats to make up for leaving us. I wonder where they went.

Kommando: Who cares? We should have a party to celebrate!

Snoops: Great idea! You send out the KittyChat, and I’ll check out what’s in the refrigerator and cupboards. Tell them to bring their own milk if they want it.

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(Later)

Snoops: Kommando, how many people did you send that KittyChat to?

Kommando: Just our mailing list.

Snoops: Then why did so many cats come?

Kommando: Ummm – Well, I did tell them they could bring a friend if they wanted. I wanted to make sure they knew they could bring their mates. And I did tell them it was going to be awesome because the humans were out of town.

Snoops: We don’t know a gang of alley cats. There aren’t any alleys around here.

Kommando: They said you were cage-mates at the shelter. At least everyone’s gone before the neighbors saw.

Snoops: This place looks awful. We need to clean it up.

Kommando: Why? Most of the damage is outside. We don’t go outside. They’ll think raccoons did it.

Snoops: What about the house?

Kommando: They didn’t clean before they left. They’ll just think we did the rest because we thought they deserted us.

Snoops: You’re smarter than you look. Let’s take a nap.

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2

A Cat’s Life

My name is Snooper Katt aka SuperSnooper and Snoops. My human thought it was a cute name after I spent the first few days in my new home exploring. What did he expect? I’m a cat. I had to make sure I could find all the important cat places: sun spots, hiding places, litter box, food, etc. I have heard that many humans are under the impression that all we cats do is sleep. I am writing a summary of a typical day to dispel that error. I have used Google Translate to make it intelligible to you. It would be a lot easier if you humans would just learn to speak our language.

2:30a – I hear my human’s mate (from this point forward human #2 due to the order of her appearance) coming down the stairs. I can hear her telling cat #2 to keep moving so she won’t get stepped on. That human is the clumsiest thing I’ve ever seen first thing in the morning. It’s OK though, she’s come to get our breakfast. I used to get up and go into the kitchen with her to make sure she picked out the right food. Now I can trust her, so I stay in my tree and let cat #2 make sure it gets done.

3:00a – Human #2 comes back all wet. I’ve been in the kitchen to try out breakfast. Not bad. I’m sitting on the table waiting for her. She reaches over to pet me. I let her scratch me, a couple of times. She sits down at the thing she calls a computer. I stand at the table behind her and watch. Then I jump on her table to check out Cat TV. Since it’s still dark out, sometimes there are some good moths on the screen.

3:30a – Human #2 leaves. I check out cat #2 to see if she got any treats I didn’t. Sometimes we clean each other or play or fight or ignore each other. Depends on the mood. I make a quick check of the perimeter on Mouse Patrol. If I hear anything, I stay on guard. Otherwise, I go upstairs and wait for my human. Sometimes on his bed, sometimes in the hall. Sometimes in human #3’s room.

Sometimes I see human #4 in this period. He used to get up for school, but now he’s “graduated”. I think that means he’s nocturnal. He eats and/or does laundry then disappears again.

5:00a – My human wakes up. I like to be there to make sure he’s up. First thing in the morning is the best time to get good skirchies from him. (Human #2’s father came up with that word to describe the kind of petting-cuddling-scratching attention we cats like when we want full attention from humans.) It’s best to get him before he’s fully awake. That way I can help him get dressed.

5:10a – We go downstairs. He does human stuff in the kitchen while I check out the food again. It’s always the same stuff. Guess I’ll get some kibble. And get some water.

5:15a – We go into the study. He turns on the big “computer” while I settle in his lap. I help him get his messages and type anything he needs. I really like it when he plays games – one hand for the mouse and one hand for me. Why do they call that thing a mouse? Humans are so silly sometimes.

5:30a – My human goes upstairs. Sometimes I go up ahead of him and lay on the bathroom floor. It’s the best place for tummy rubs. It’s the best place because he can shut the door and cat #2 can’t hog in.

5:40a – My human leaves. He usually closes Cat TV so I have to watch through the window and can’t hear anything out there. I use the facilities. I love my human, but sometimes he forgets to clean the litterbox at night. I bet he wouldn’t want to step in that.

5:45a – Perform a more thorough Mouse Patrol. The best place to find the little guys is in the pantry. We find quite a few in the dining room too. Cat #2 is a pain in the neck, always getting in the way with the humans and talking nonstop, but she is a pretty good mousing partner. We can watch for them from two places. Morning Mouse Patrols are rarely successful.

6:00a – Get another snack. Time for my morning nap. Should I go to the cat tree? The chair in the living room? My human’s bed? Human #3’s bed? If it’s chilly, there’s no question about going to sleep with human #3. I think she “graduated” too, but she’s only part nocturnal.

Noon – Get up and wander around the house. Cat #2 is asleep in her chair (it’s pretty funny how human #2 thinks it’s her chair). Do a perimeter scan. Sit in the tree.

1:00p – Human #2 comes home. I like her new car. It’s a lot quieter than the old one. I go to meet her at the door. She bends down to pet me. I let her scratch behind my ears. I try to lead her into the house, but she almost trips on me. See what I mean?

1:15p – Human #3 comes downstairs. She and cat #2 are both trying to talk to human #2. Human #2 eats something that looks unappetizing, but I check it out anyway. Cat #2 talks her into taking a nap. I stay down with human #3. She has a “computer” too so I only get minimal attention. It helps if I walk on the “computer”. Eventually I go to sleep.

3:30p – My human comes home. They all eat. Most of the time it is pretty unappetizing. But everyone once in awhile, she makes good meat. Regardless, I have to make sure I don’t like it. How would I know if I don’t get close enough to smell it completely?  The best is when I sit in front of human #4 and stare at him. They all say he really likes cats, but he is bad about sharing. But he does talk to me and pets me.

4:30p – My human and I spend a few minutes on the “computer” then go watch TV. The only thing he ever watches is people so I get bored pretty easily and either go on Mouse Patrol or take a nap. This is the best time to track down a mouse, although sometimes it takes cat #2 and me quite a while to actually make the kill and deliver the gift.

Cat TV usually gets opened up again somewhere around now.

10:00p – Human #2 gets the rodent out of his cage. He’s big and smelly and covered with quills. She tries to cuddle with him. Sometimes he’ll sleep; other times he just makes a lot of noise. I try to stay as far away as possible unless I’m bored. Then I try to stare him down. He’s really boring.

11:00p – My human and human #2 go to bed. Cat #2 goes with them. Sometimes I go up and let them pet me. If it’s cold, I ‘ll sleep up there. Otherwise I go back to sleep downstairs. The rodent is on his wheel. He walks on that thing for hours.

So that is a typical day for me. Is your life any more interesting?