3

Vox Animalibus*

*Voice of the Animals

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Angus McFluffin

 

We received a lot of feedback from our recent article, Cat Forum: Interview with Abby. We thought that we would share some of it with you.

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Princess Pawsome: I enjoyed your recent interview with Abby. I thought it was very interesting to hear from such a nice dog. Perhaps in the future, you could do interviews with other animals. Maybe you could talk to a bird or a fish.

(Thank you for your idea. We will put that in our file for further research.)

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Muffy Manx: I think that Abby sounds like a very sweet doggy. However, I read Cat Forum to learn about cats and cat stuff. I don’t think dogs fit in either of those categories. If you do something similar in the future, maybe you could call it “Animal Forum” or something so I will know not to read it.

(Thank you for your feedback. We apologize if we created any confusion.)

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Maxx Katt: Thank you for your recent Cat Forum about Abby. I read it to my girls and they loved it. However, now they want to get a dog. I have no idea where to look. Would you please advise?

(We have never actually had a dog in-house. However, we recommend that you try the local shelter.)

Probably the most unusual feedback we got came from a dog:

Louie Dog: I don’t get how a nice dog like Abby would get caught up with a group like you. I know Abby, and I can’t believe she’d talk to a bunch of cats. Cats! I hate cats.

Needless to say, Snoops and Kommando Kitty were pretty upset by Louie. But since we are an equal opportunity organization, we decided to give Louie the chance to explain himself.

Snoops and Kommando refused to talk to him. So we put our new investigative reporter, Angus MacFluffin. on the job. His interview follows.

Is it true that you hate cats?

Well, it’s not that I hate them. They’re just so funny looking and easy to chase.

Have you ever met a cat?

Actually I live with 3 cats. They really don’t care for me due to the fact that I look at them as targets to chase!! Hahahahahahahhaaha

Rumor has it that you have used controlled substances. Is that true?

Well see my extravagant human mom smokes constantly and I love to smell her tubes and bags. I can’t help it – they smell so good!!!! I love to roll around in her empty bags!

Do you think that it’s has any impact on your opinion of things?

No, I don’t. I think helps out a lot people and dogs. It helps my mom’s moods… she yells A LOT.

What breed of dog are you? Do you consider yourself a large dog?

I am a handsome fluffy full of p*** and vinegar 24/7 Shitzu. I have a large macho man personality! I’m very aggressive with my woman Roxie and she’s a German Shepard!

Do you get along with other dogs?

Well like I said I have a woman. It’s a cougar thing – she’s very old. And we have a roommate named Rascal. He’s a pug, and he’s off the charts of being on the weird side. I only like these 2 dogs; others I don’t pay no mind to.

What about other animals?

I wouldn’t know. I’ve only came across cats and dogs.  But mom keeps asking me about an iguana…. whatever the h*** that thing is.

Do you always have such a strong opinions about things?

Yes I do. I hate it when my mom doesn’t let me always have my way!!!! I get very, very vocal with her even though I’m going to get yelled at and my cookies taken from me!! Seriously – the cookies??

Do you think your human has any impact on the way you feel about things?

No – I really don’t know – she’s crazy – even though – we clash but I know she means well… FYI SHES SO D*** LOUD! She keeps saying it’s a Leo thing like I’m supposed to know what that means. Hahahaha

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

No there isn’t. But I read Abby’s interview and I loved it. That’s my home girl even though she don’t ever wanna play with me!! Love her human, though. Wendy’s so nice to me!

(ed. note –  We will not be interviewing any more dogs for Cat Forum.)

 

15

Cat Forum: Interview with Abby

Snoops and Kommando Kitty here. We have a special treat for you today. We are interviewing Abby. She is a dog who owns a human Cat knows. We weren’t sure what to expect.

(Remember: If it looks like this, we are talking to each other)

Kommando: I have never met a dog.

Snoops: My only experience was in the shelter I lived in for a little while before I found my forever home here. I really didn’t like the dogs there. They smelled weird and barked all the time. Apparently they smell better when they live with a human. I don’t know about the barking.

 

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We’ve never had a dog on here before. How do you feel about cats?

I’m excited to be the first dog on here, thank you for inviting me. As for cats, I’m not sure what a cat is. I’ve never met one. If they are smaller than me, I’m OK with them.

(Wow. Her mom sure has let her lead a sheltered life. She has no idea how pawsome we are.)

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How many humans do you live with? Which one do you own?

I live with my adopted Mom and her family. There are two big humans who I don’t get along with. When I was a baby I did my business on their bed. I was sorry but I didn’t know any better. (sometimes I poop in their shoes now cause I know they don’t like me….I’m not sorry)…..There are a bunch of little humans that I love though so it’s OK. They love me and leave snacks for me all over the house. I love to run around sniffing until I find them. I’ve heard they have a game called hide and seek, maybe that’s what it is.

Anyway, my Mom and I kinda own each other.  I came to live with her after she lost her own Mom, (she went to live somewhere called Heaven, I think it’s over the Rainbow Bridge). We helped each other not be lonely, now I really hate being alone, it makes me sad and I cry.

There is another human, his name is Cody, he loves me too and helped keep me company. He moved to another house though. When he visits I get so excited. I love him as much as I love my Mom. He lets me kiss his face until he can’t breathe and he laughs and laughs. I miss him.

(Wow. She sounds just like us. We hate it when all the humans are gone. This Cody person sounds like he could be a cat person. The treats all over the house thing sounds really good. We need to tell Mom.)

What’s your favorite thing to do with your human?

Mom works at night so we sleep a lot. I love to snuggle under the covers and keep her warm. I have sudden bursts of energy and run laps down the long hallway. It makes everyone smile so I like that too.

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(Wow. Sleeping all the time. Maybe we could make her an honorary cat.)

We heard that you moved here from the South. Do you miss it?

I was so little when I came to Michigan that I don’t remember what it was like in the south. I hear it is warm though so maybe that’s why I don’t like the cold wet stuff that always falls around here. Mom says it’s because I’m spoiled. If I am it’s her fault. I just don’t like the feeling when my feet get wet.

(Her mom’s crazy. No one likes that stuff. Especially the slippery kind.)

Do you get to go outside a lot? Can you come back in when you want?

I mostly go outside to do my business, do cats do that too? I have to wait for someone to open the doors for me to come back in. I’m pretty smart but can’t open the doors myself.

When we go out just to play, Mom keeps me on a long leash. Sometimes I escape when the door is open and I get so excited that I run away. I don’t mean to. It just smells so different out there. One time I ran down the road across from our house. It made Mom mad so she went inside the house…That scared me so I started back home. I was so glad to see her when she came back outside that I went right to her when she called me. I wish I could remember to do that every time…she gave me special treats.

(Someone needs to tell her about litter boxes. Do they make them for dogs?)

We have something called cat TV. It’s what we see out the window. It can be birds or squirrels or rabbits or whatever. Is there something similar for dogs?

Wow, I sit on the back of the couch watching the same thing. That’s cat TV? Maybe I’m a cat. I see strange humans out there and I growl and puff the hair on my back up so they will be afraid of me. There are birds and rabbits out there. I growl at them too, but I don’t think they can hear me because they don’t run away. I must not be very scary.

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(Guess dogs aren’t very scary. Or the animals know dogs won’t eat them. Maybe cats could get closer if we used dog cologne.)

We’ve heard that dogs are rather flexible about what they eat. Do you have a favorite food?

Mom feeds me kibble, but shares her food with me too. I will eat just about anything but my favorite is this sticky stuff called peanut butter. It sticks to the roof of my mouth but it tastes so good I don’t care. The humans will use it to trick you into taking medicine, so you have to be careful. Oh and I love cheese. I hear the noise the wrapper makes and come running to get a bite.

Dogs are social animals, right? Do you get to see a lot of other dogs or other types of animals?

I was never around other animals when I was small. Mom says that’s why I am afraid of other dogs; I never learned to play with them. When dogs come to visit it makes me very nervous. I try to be nice, but get overwhelmed when they try to play. Sometimes I bite them and we fight but if they would leave me and my humans alone I would be OK. Mom calls these visitors her 4 legged grandkids. Does that make them my nieces and nephews?

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When we camp out, at my human Grandparents house, I watch out the window for strange four legged animals. Recently I was watching these really big dogs at the house next door. I wasn’t growling at them so Mom took me to meet them. She said they are called horses. I got brave and touched noses with them. They smell funny.

(Those dogs are all huge. I’m glad Cat’s friend didn’t have one of those for us to interview.)

What’s the best part about where you live? Is there anything you don’t like?

There is a big puddle of water behind our house that the little humans play in. I try to join them but they splash me, and I get scared. It smells funny and there are things living in there that must really like being wet because they never come out. I try to catch them but they are too fast.

I really don’t like to be alone. When Mom goes to work, I sit on the stairs and cry. I’m not allowed upstairs, where the other humans, live unless Mom is with me.  I don’t know the rules and I get in trouble. I would stop if they would teach me, but like I said before, they don’t like me much.

(Those upstairs people sound really mean. We should teach Abby how to sleep while her Mom is gone. It works really well for us.)

Is there anything else you’d like to say?

I hope I was able to answer your questions about dogs. I am not a normal dog though. I was brought to my human before I learned how to act like a dog. Some humans think I’m special in the bad way. My Mom just loves me anyway and that’s what matters.

I want to thank you again for asking me to be your guest. I have to say, I think I may like cats if I ever get the chance to spend some time with them. Maybe my humans will get one for to learn from.

(This dog is OK. If they’re all like this, maybe we should stop making fun of them.)

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18

Cat Forum: Interview with Purrseidon

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This month we welcome Purrseidon to Cat Forum. She is a very talented kitty and writes her own blog. It’s called Purrseidon, so it’s really easy to remember. She highly recommends her mom’s blog too.

(Remember: Our comments are in italics. Snoops and Kommando)

How did you find out that you like water so much?

I’ve loved playing in puddles and getting baths as long as I can remember, but I guess my staff first noticed when they caught me playing in Saphera’s water bowl.

(For such a sweet cat, that is sooo weird.)

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Tell us what it’s like to live with a dog. Do you and Mr. M ever gang up on her?

Actually, Saphera is sort of my surrogate mom. I was living feral, when my sisfur, Lucy Fur, died and then the humans who were to become my staff saw that a neighbor dog had me by the scruff of the neck and was shaking me. They managed to save me and when they brought me in, Saphera sort of adopted me – she is very motherly. Truth be told, it would be more likely for us to gang up on M, but we don’t do that and if we ever did, I’m not so sure we’d win – M has some amazingly effective moves.

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If you can’t get to the water, what’s your favorite thing to do?

I like to go hiking and climb my oak tree (but only when those horrid squirrels aren’t around). I also like to play tag with Saphera’s best friend, Livie Lou, who is a chihuahua and just a bit smaller than me, but she is very, very speedy. That all said, water is usually pretty easy to get to, but getting the staff to take me to the beach is a lot harder – they have work and school schedules to juggle and then the weather (including rip currents) is a big factor.

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(Kommando: Maybe she was a dog in her first life, then discovered cats are cooler so she changed for the other eight. Snoops: Then why are there still so many dogs around?)

Do you, Mr M and Saphera each have a favorite human?

Mr. M’s favorite person is mom and my purrsonal human is Master Munchkin. Like I told you, Saphera is very motherly, so she loves babies of all sorts… She does not like most adults (though she makes exception for family) and – I hate to admit this failing, but she doesn’t like adult males with dark skin, so Mr. M avoids her, even though he shares her love of babies – sticky fingers and all. (Eww)

Saphera was found running next to the interstate when she was about 6 months old. Her tail had been broken and she was in rough shape. Obviously, I was not around then (I just turned 2 and she is 8), The staff think she was abused and that she has some form of puppy PTSD. 

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What’s it like to live with a writer? Is she away from home a lot?

Mom and Mr. M collaborate on writing family-friendly fantasy and they are basically home-bodies. They finished The Chatterre Trilogy last year and are currently working on a new episode for Xander de Hunter’s Sea Purrtector series … I help with this, too.

During his youth, Xander de Hunter gained fame in Catamundo’s kickboxing tournaments. When, he and his family moved aboard sailing vessel, Whispurring Winds, Xander became Catamondo’s first Sea Purrtector. Latitudes & Cattitudes is a short (free) prequel to the series. It takes place when Xander is still purrticipating in the kickboxing tournaments. M and mom worked on that one and The Red Claw without me, but I started learning to be a muse during Purr-a-noia and by the time we wrote Me-YEOW!, M started muttering about me and my character, Mischief, trying to replace Xander. That is not exactly true, but Mischief does have my water skills, so I think she would make a wonderful Sea Purrtector. 

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Do you get to eat a lot of fresh fish since you live so close to the ocean?

Not as much as I’d like to eat – I love, love, love sea food. Saphera does, too, but M purrfers chicken.

(Dad would love her. Someone to appreciate the fish he catches. Wish he’d fish for deli ham some time.)

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Tell us one thing about each of your family members that you really like.

Mr. M tends to be quiet and keep to himself, but he is very smart and I learn a lot from him. He is also a big help with the blog and I can depend on him to share information about science and/or space at least one day per week.

Saphera is an excellent watchdog, except that she mainly watches so she knows when to hide, thus M is a better purrtector, but Saphera is a great surrogate mom.

Pop is super smart and knows a lot about music, gardening and loads of interesting stuff. 

Mom is really good about keeping on her writing schedule and still serving tasty meals on time.

Ms. Munchkin is also very smart and she’s learning to be a good cook.

Master Munchkin is my favorite person and we spend as much time together as possible. He reads me a bedtime story every day.

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What’s it like writing a blog every few days?

It’s pretty easy compared to writing a novel, but then, I get a lot of help from M and mom. 

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

I would like to thank you for choosing me and taking the time to ask these questions…. Purrhaps, if you are ever near Florida’s Space Coast, you’d like to come to a pool party.

 (We need to look up Florida. I don’t think we can walk there. Maybe a business trip so Cheeseland pays for it.)

 

35

Cat Forum: Interview with Fast Eddie

Hello. Snoops and Kommando here with another edition of Cat Forum. This time we are lucky enough to be interviewing Fast Eddie from Notes from the UK. The lady who writes it, Ellen Hawley, is very nice but only seems to write for humans.

(Our comments will look like this.)

We really like your name. How did you get it?

I’ve always been Fast Eddie.

People call cats silly things, but we have our own names. I don’t have to tell you that—you’re cats; you know these things—but we’re letting humans read this, so I’ll explain. If our people call us something silly, we ignore them and keep our names to ourselves. Sometimes they call us by our real names, though, and that happened to me. My people looked at me and said, “That’s Fast Eddie.” And I said, “Yeah. That’s me.”

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Since it seems to be cloudy a lot there, do you have trouble finding good sun spots?

Nah. I can find a good sunny spot anytime the sun’s out. If it’s cloudy—well, yeah. I see your point. But in the winter, as soon as it gets dark my people make me a fire.

(Snoops: I hope Mom sees this.)

Horatio Hedgehog says that there are wild hedgehogs in Britain. Have you ever seen one?

Not for a while. We had one in the neighborhood, but she didn’t talk to me. I haven’t seen her for a long time. Maybe she went somewhere else to sulk. I figured hedgehogs weren’t friendly, but maybe that was just this one, huh?

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Have you ever eaten clotted cream?

My people might read this, right? So, no. Never tried the stuff. That time on the table? Never happened.

It’s wonderful.

(Kommando: We definitely need to make sure Mom reads this.)

Do you get to go outside? Mom says it’s too dangerous here.

I have my own window that I can go in and out of. And a door in the summer. It can be dangerous, though. My predecessor, the mighty Smudge, got killed on the road, so I don’t go over there. But there’s plenty to do right here, in the back yards.

(Kommando: Mom, if we get the fire and the cream, I won’t trip you trying to get outside.)

You live with a dog, right? Does he try to boss you around?

I live with two dogs, and one of them is my mother. I mean, I had a cat mother but she had a whole lot of kittens and she kind of got tired of us. My dog mother, though? She never gets tired. She cleans my ears for me.

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But the other dog? I told my people he was a bad idea, but they brought him home anyway. And he leaked. I told them, “This dog’s defective,” but you know what people are like. Even people who call you by your real name. They don’t listen.

So I told him, “You do that in the house and they’ll send you back,” and he doesn’t leak now. But he was still a bad idea.

(Snoops: I don’t think we want to take the chance. No dog.)

You live with two humans. What is the best thing about each of them?

They like me. And they feed me good things and keep my window open and pet me and stuff. So yeah, it’s a good home.

Is there anything else you would like to say?

Tell your hedgehog I said hi. And I’m sorry for what I said about hedgehogs. It must be just that one over here. She wasn’t very nice.

(Snoops: Horatio has days like that too. I think it’s a hedgehog thing.)

We want to thank Fast Eddie for his time. Be sure to stop by Notes from the UK. You can find lots of pictures of him if you follow a link at the top of the page. If you’re a human, you might like the human part too.

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0

The Five W’s (and H)

(Who, What, Where, When, Why, and How for you non-journalists)

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This is what happens when my brain doesn’t have enough to do:

Who decides when the orange barrels go up for a construction project? Sometimes they go up weeks before the project and sometimes they magically appear the day before. My theory is that sometimes they have nowhere else to store them.

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Who was the person responsible for the company needing to put “for external use only” on curling irons to prevent another lawsuit?

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Who decided that making robocalls from various area codes would really make a difference in the number of people who pick up? Why would I answer a call from Wichita more readily than one from Washington or the local campaign office?

What is the point of a clock in an emergency room? So a person can tell the staff exactly how long they’ve been irritated?

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What happens if I don’t feel amazing when I read a blog I’m following? Do they lose one amazing follower and gain a slug?

What would happens if you took Sominex (a sleeping pill) with two cups of coffee?

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Where do old soldiers fade away to? (Douglas MacArthur: “Old soldiers never die, they just fade away.”)

Where did the leprechauns get gold in the first place?

Where do fruit flies come from? Ours seem to appear by spontaneous generation.

When do the cows come home? I’ve always heard it as an expression meaning some time in the future, like when pigs fly. Pigs still aren’t flying, but I think cows come home somewhat frequently. Maybe there’s some kind of hierarchy among the cows, the pigs, and hell freezing over?

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When do time travelers get a chance to wash their clothes and check email?

When do texters/tweeters have time to think about what they’re “saying”?

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Why do I always panic when I have to get a specimen for the doctor? It’s not like my kidneys and intestines are going to stop working for that one day.

Why do some people slow down to 60 mph on the freeway when they see a police car on the shoulder two lanes over? The trooper is not going to give you a ticket if you stay at the limit (70 mph).

Why can cats and small dogs push large dogs around?

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How do some of the truly reprehensible political ads get on the air? Is there someone who wants to be known as being that nasty?

How many digital pictures of someone’s child must I look at before I can claim eye fatigue?

How much time does the average shopper spend critiquing the purchases of the person ahead of them in line?

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(pictures courtesy of Google Images)

12

I Want to Meet the Person Who…

Came up with the Starbuck’s drink that uses chocolate, caramel, whipped cream, and milk. Oh yeah, and coffee. I read somewhere that the large size has around 1200 calories. Do people really want to use up two-thirds of their recommended daily calorie allotment before they even look at food? I guess you could ask for low fat milk.

Decided that Christmas should start the day after Halloween. Do stores really want to advertise that the chocolate Santas will be two months old before they make it into someone’s stocking?

Designed women’s suede boots to be worn outside. How chic is it to arrive at a party and have to immediately excuse yourself to clean your boots before the salt permanently stains them? Or walk around with stained boots?

Thought up carrying a small dog as an accessory. I’m not convinced the dog really enjoys the crowds and the noise. And I have never seen one allowed to pick out his own food or toys. Not even a Halloween costume.

Decided that women weren’t injuring their feet and calves enough in 3” heels and introduced 4” and 5” shoes. And then thought up the ad campaigns to get young women to wear them.

Introduced the idea of “No Poo.” (Which, thankfully, has fallen out of favor.) And convinced a lot of women that not washing their hair for six weeks would be good for it. Hair is dead. Not shampooing every day to allow the natural oils to do their work? Good. Looking like a refugee from a ‘60s commune? Not so good.

Has convinced some people that a giant inflatable Santa looks good next to a Nativity scene on their front lawn. Two different concepts of Christmas. At least separate them by a sidewalk. Santa blowing over onto Jesus is not festive.

Decided not to commercialize Thanksgiving. You’ve missed untold opportunities for people to hang turkey ornaments on their outside trees, buy chocolate turkeys, and exchange tacky cards. Would you please talk to whoever is in charge of Christmas and Easter?

Sold people on the idea that they need a separate set of dishes for Christmas, Thanksgiving, and Easter. Not serving dishes or candy dishes. Full soup-to-nuts sets. (Does anyone know that phrase anymore?) I know there are people with enough room to store all that stuff. Do they really shop at Walmart?

Designed some parking lots so all the handicapped spots are down one lane rather than across two or three lanes in front of the store. Are you hoping to catch scammers that way? Or do you hate your mother and decided it would be a better outlet than becoming a serial killer? (Too many episodes of Criminal Minds?)

Decided to put “ethnic” vegetables in stores in “non-ethnic” neighborhoods without educating us. I wouldn’t mind trying the yellow, oblong, spiky thing or the green thing that looks like a mace with the long handle and round ball at the end. But there are no pictures (or there are 12 pictures, none of which look like what I have in my hand) and no description of its taste or use. Google is not helpful when you type in “yellow spiky vegetable.” And I don’t want to buy something that is going to make my chicken taste like dirty socks because it’s supposed to be eaten raw.

Designed my car radio with six buttons, but forces me to have two FM, one AM, and three Sirius stations. I don’t have Sirius; I don’t drive enough to justify the cost. With my husband, my son, and me driving the car, it’s easier for me to just listen to whatever is on. I never know whether I’m going to get Tom Petty or The Congos when I turn the key. At least I know I won’t get opera or bluegrass.

Designed the website for our Secretary of State. It wouldn’t let me use the location finder because I wouldn’t let its tracker know where I was. But when I backed up the screen, it gave me the closest office.

6

Doggy Doggerel

They’re not all about dogs, but I couldn’t resist the title.

 

There once was a dog named Jerome,

Who chewed up the neighbor’s best gnome.

The neighbor was mad

Jerome was so bad,

He now chews his gnomes up in Nome.

 

An aardvark was feeling some stress,

That his love life’d become such a mess.

He’s been dating a twin,

But the trouble he’s in –

He bought the twin’s twin a new dress.

 

Gorillas love termites, you know.

The teens thought they’d put on a show.

They sat by the hill

Being ever so still

While their rivals’ envy did grow.

 

My pet armadillo named Rusty

Noticed he’d become rather musty.

He went out for some air,

Rolled in sand while out there;

Now Rusty is dusty not musty.

 

Have you been to the animal fair?

My friend the platypus took me there.

He poisoned a child,

Was sick on a ride,

Got kicked out when he pummeled that bear.

 

The sloth was so late for his date,

The girl thought she just didn’t rate.

She cried for a while.

Then with a smile,

She went out and found her true mate.

 

And now you know why I never claimed to be a poet.