25

Cat Forum: Interview with Bertie

 

Snoops and Kommando Kitty here. Welcome to another edition of Cat Forum. This month we’re talking to Bertie. We liked him the first time we met him. He has cattitude and a great personality.  He’d fit right in here at Cheeseland. You can read more of his adventures at Bertie’s Blog.

Would you please tell us a little about yourself?

Not much is known about my history because I haven’t told anyone. It has  left me with abandonment issues and I am always scared that I shall be left behind the way my previous family did. Because of this I asserted myself very early on. I didn’t care for the humans who called themselves Ma and Pa. I wanted to know what the outside space consisted of, how many houses I could go to try and get food from should the same happen again.

Of course now I’ve been here for nearly 12 months and I don’t think Ma and Pa will leave me but I do have next door to go and visit… I haven’t paid rent yet for their’s but I do consider it my second home, as you can see me sneaking in in the photo.

You’re pretty new to the blogging world; how do you like it?

I am still finding my way a little bit. I tend to be very busy so don’t always get the chance to write or comment on blogs as much as I would like to – sleeping and catching mice is very time-consuming.

Do you have any non-human housemates or just the humans? Could you tell us about them?

It is only me here. I wouldn’t mind a companion as I’m a sociable chap. My cousins live next door who I visit frequently but they don’t like me. I was there yesterday actually. I snuck in and ran upstairs. Mo was under the bed so I joined him. Joe fights more than Mo (Mo is just a scaredy-cat) and he came to find me. He stood at the top of the stairs so I couldn’t get out. The humans decided to leave us to it. I could hear them chatting in the living room.

I made a run for it. First Mo ran down the stairs and then Joe ran. At the bottom they decided to fight each other and hiss. I found this rather amusing as they are brothers and thought they were fighting me but they got confused!

Other than that I just have Ma and Pa. Ma is at home most of the time. She is neurotic. The best thing about that is when she changes the bed linen, I can hear her sniffing the air and taking delight in the new fresh smell. I go out and get my legs soggy in wet grass and then come home and jump on the bed… I don’t just find one place on the bed I walk all over it. It’s simply purrfect!

What do you like to do in your spare time?

I love sleeping best and of course catching mice.  I do also like to get into places I shouldn’t be – like the laundry basket which I knock down and then get inside.

Do you get to roam the yard or do you prefer cat TV (window watching)?

Oh my days, I HAVE to have access to outdoors. Ma will tell you that just 2 days after taking me home I had actually escaped. I had even pulled the screw caps off the catflap (I clearly need a job in construction as I’m good!).

That first time I got out was early Nov 2016. The sun was shining. I breathed the fresh air, and then ran and ran. Over the fence I went, and over another and another. The freedom was amazing! And then I bumped into a grey little fella called Sydney. Friend or foe? He had to be friend, surely, and his home looked nice. So I sat in their driveway and stared at him. I also used the cut out hole in the fence to get into his garden. His name is Sydney and I was waiting for him to relax so that we could have a chat – he could tell me about this new area – but the next thing I knew Ma was shouting at me and running towards me. She even went into the house and into the garden. I hid! Ha! Eventually I sat at Sydney’s wall at the front and I could see Ma 4 houses down but I looked away. I would hear her coming and run at the last minute. I didn’t realise she had taken her shoes off and was treading lightly with bare feet. Before I knew it, she had grabbed me.

I cannot tell you the disappointment I felt.

I’m a lot more laid back now though.

What do you like to do with your human(s)?

I’m a very chatty boy. I always have been. As soon as I hear Ma and Pa I chirrup and chat. I come to the door whenever they arrive home.  I also like to be in the garden with ma.

However, I also love to cause trouble for them. When they are watching tv in the evening and I want to go outside I shall bang the catflap in the backdoor until they get up and open the front door.

I like bringing mice home. It’s not a gift I just want to show them what a clever boy I am. As soon as they open the door I know it’s my cue to take it out the front.

Do the humans understand that we cats are the superior species or are they still being trained?

I think I have got the humans pretty well trained. They come at my beck and call. The only thing I haven’t got them trained in is giving me the correct food. I refuse to eat their food a lot of the time. They empty my bowl and put more food down. But it’s no better!! Why can’t they give me live mice so that I don’t need to go out and catch them?

Do you have special treats or toys?

I love my Dreamies biscuits. I also love my hammock which was placed there specifically for me.

Where’s your favorite spot to sunbathe?

Anywhere there is sunshine. I’m not fussy at all. I’ll even bathe on the patio table.

Is there anything else you’d like to tell us?

I’m learning human speak. I study as much as I can but it is difficult. Sometimes I give up and just purr instead.

Purrrr puurrrr

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17

Cat Forum: Interview with the Cats from Down Under

(Orion)

Greetings. Snoops and Kommando Kitty here. We have a pawsome interview for you today with the cats from Autistsix, It’s a great blog, except the cats don’t get nearly enough space. It’s about a family who live in Australia,which is apparently Down Under something. (The editors said to include it.) The lady who writes it says the whole family is a little unique because of something called Autism Spectrum Disorder. We don’t really know what she’s talking about; as far as we can tell, they aren’t any stranger than a lot of the other humans we know.

(Pixie)

Would you please introduce yourselves?

Orion – I am Orion Prince of Burmese Tigers, I am also a star.

Smokie – I’m Smokie, pleased to meet you.  I am a puppy cat.

Pixie – I am Pixie, I am confused, oh wait that’s not what I mean, I am a Princess.

Echo – Hello, a pleasure to meet you both.  My name is Echo and I am a cat.

(Smokie)

 It seems a little hectic around there sometimes. How do you keep your cat Zen?

Orion – I run round and round the house until I am sleepy then I find someone to cuddle me.

Smokie – I just live and let live until something becomes intolerable, then I bop it on the head and nap.

Pixie – On a leather band around my neck, whoops, that’s my tag.  I don’t know where I put my Zen.  Do you think Echo stole it?

Echo – I avoid the others.

(Echo)

Do you hang together or are you hissy sometimes?

Orion – I love everybody.  Echo seems grumpy sometimes when I helps her diet or wake up and Cherry Bopple gets grumpy sometimes but I don’t know why.  Rabbits knock you over if you play rough and rats can bite if you poke them, so don’t do that.

Smokie – Unfortunately in my role as ruler of the cats I occasionally have to discipline the others.  Pixie keeps being a girl cat, Echo is evil and the kitten can get a bit too big for his boots sometimes.  But really it is only Echo that I get really mad at.

Pixie – My stupid brother Smoke thinks he’s my boss.  But he is better than that evil Echo.  When I was younger she was mean to me so now I just smack her in case.

Echo – I live with the stupidest cats that ever lived and yet they expect me not to hit them.  I simply don’t understand.

(Cherise)

How many creatures do you live with (furry and not)? Do you get along with everyone?

Orion – We have humans, and dogs, and rabbits, and rats, and fishies and birds.  My bestest mate is Cushion the dog.

Echo – Charles you little ignoramus.

Orion – Where’s the amus?

       (Echo rolled her eyes.)

Echo – There are only 5 people in this house that I do not loathe; Mum, Dad, Cat and Tabby (both humans) and the dog Charles.  All the others are uncouth ruffians who don’t know how to treat a lady and don’t have a sense of humour.

Smokie – My best friend is Cherise AKA Cherry Bopple Berry we have hanged together since I first arrived.  Charlie is a great cushion.  Grandma’s dogs worship the ground I walk on which is great but they also love Orion which kinda takes the sheen off their adoration but they are great guys.  The rabbits are cool, the rats are great fun, I play with them and they feed and groom me,  I let them keep my shed fur to sleep in, I love those guys.  I like watching the birds and they sing to me, but they get a bit flappy if I try to touch them so I don’t.  I like to watch the fish but my best wet friend is the axylotyl, he and I touch through the glass.

Orion – Yeah I’m the same; I love all the other guys here although I play with the rabbits and watch the rats, the reverse of Smokie and the different best friend dog. Oh and the birds love me, I climb up on their cage and play with’em and then a hooman comes and takes me away but my birdie buds cry and squwark until I am allowed to go back, ‘cept at night, sleepin’ birds have no sense of humour, like sleepin’ Echo.

Pixie – Rabbits smell funny.  Rats feed me and groom me I love them.  Birds flap, fish are wet, and dogs are rough.  I do like the spaniel Snuggie though, he is soft and gently affectionate, I like him more than the other cats.

Orion – ‘Cept me!

Pixie – Except you, Sweetie.

Echo – Moron, the spaniel, WHOSE NAME IS CHARLES, is a dog.

Pixie – I don’t think so!

Smokie – No Sis, he’s a dog.  He’s just not a terrierist!

Pixie – Oh, I don’t hate dogs, I hate terrierists.

Do you have a favorite human?

Orion – Mumsy and then all of ‘em.

Smokie – Tabby slightly pips Dad.

Echo – Dad and Mum then human Cat.

Pixie – Mum, then Tabby and Cat.

Do you think you get enough cuddle time?

Orion – Hoomans are difficult; they want cuddle when I want run and they are doin’ stupid stuff when I want cuddle, but Mummy usually stops when I ask.

Smokie – No, I want cuddles much more.

Pixie – I want cuddles when I want them, and I almost always get them.  The secret is, scratch people until they cuddle you.

Echo – I never get enough cuddles.

Australia sounds kind of scary with big spiders and other things. Do you go outside?

Orion – Spiders are fun and yummy but they make Mummy scream and snatch me up.

Smokie – Spiders are dangerous so a nice man comes around and sprays around the house so we hardly ever see them.  He cuddled me and called me handsome last time.

Echo – The new house has no spiders, I miss them they were fun and tasty.

Pixie – Which ones are the spiders again.

Orion – I am not allowed out because Burmese are too clever to avoid danger or cars, plus I am so beautiful and friendly that I will get stolen.

Pixie – I have enough trouble finding my way around inside.

Smokie – We aren’t allowed outside there are cars and stuffs that eat cats.

Echo – We aren’t allowed outside because apparently the sun can kill us.  Another cat fell asleep in the sunshine outside and when Mum and Dad found her she needed them to put water down her throat and she almost dies.  And there are these things that look like rope ties but they bite and poison you call snakes.  They are so irresistibly wiggly that they have killed lots of outside cats.

Smokie – How do you know all this stuff?

Echo – One, I’m not stupid!

(Smokie bopped Echo.)

 Smokie – Really, yet you didn’t see that coming.

Echo –   Two, I’m older.

Pixie – Echo is really, really old.  I mean ancient, older than… you know old stuff.

Echo – Yes, thank you Princess Pointless!

Pixie – Smokie!

(Smokie bopped Echo again!)

 Echo – Finally, I actually listen!

Smokie – So you know because you are old!

Where’s your favorite place to nap/hang out?

Smokie – It is duty to sleep everywhere so that all recognize my dominion.

Pixie – I like bookcases in high traffic areas so I can get cuddles.  I sometimes get confused, but apparently I am not a book.

Orion – I mainly sleeps in doggie beds near Mummy or if she’s out Grandma, but I also love beds and my cat tree (top spot) next to Smokie, on Cushion the spaniel, and places that annoy Echo.

Echo – Couches in one of the two front rooms.

Do you have favorite snacks? Do the humans share their food?

Orion – Steak or prawn pieces from Mummy’s plate, Mummy is a great sharer, the others make me steal.

Pixie – Mummy plate fish.  There are quite a few Mummy plate foods I like.

Smokie – Chicken flavoured noodles.  Mum shares but if I want a lot of noodles I have to steal and run.

Echo – Fancy Feast Party Treats.  People food is for dogs, or morons.

Is there anything you’d like to add?

Echo – I am not volatile, I just have high standards.  Oh and I like scratching things at random as a joke, because I have a sense of humour.

Smokie – Peace out, guys.

Pixie – Add to what?

Orion – Make sure you spell me name right; O… ask Mummy!

14

April the Giraffe: Motherhood Suits Her

You might remember us introducing you to April, the pregnant giraffe, back in March. We asked several animals for advice on motherhood and the media. Since then, April has had her baby, and is thriving as a mother. Below is what she had to say when we caught up with her.

Tell us about your son.

His name is Tajiri, which means means hope and confidence in Swahili. My favorite keepers, Allysa and Corey, picked it out. I guess it fits him. He is full of energy and loves to entertain the humans who come to see us.

Has some of the craziness stopped now that you have given birth?

Oh my goodness, no it has been a zoo around here. Oh I made a joke…any way, the humans who watched my butt for 2 months are traveling here to the park to see us. It has been a good thing for my Jordan. He loves us animals so much. This has allowed him to do things he never dreamed of being able to do.

Are you still streaming video and all?

Where can people find it? Yes we are live every day from 4 pm to 8 pm. Our public missed us so much we put the live feed back up. Jordan also goes live to teach about the other animals he has here. The link can be found on the Animal Adventure Park website and Facebook page.

Your baby looked so big when he was born (compared to kittens), how big was he?

He was 5 ft 9 in and weighed almost 150 lbs. He is now 4 months old and is 8 ft tall and weighs 300 lbs. He is a fast growing boy.

What do baby giraffes eat? Does he get treats from the humans? 

Giraffe calves nurse from their moms, but they also sample the hay and feed that the adults eat. Tajiri is starting to take carrots from the humans who come to visit. They make such a fuss over him.

How does he get along with the vet and other humans he sees regularly?

He is learning the right way to behave around humans. He does sometimes act out though, and Allysa has had to scoot out of the way. She is so patient and loves us. She works with Tajiri daily, teaching him to move where she wants him to go and to tolerate human touch.

What types of things do giraffe moms teach their children?

Since we are in the care of humans our job is made easy. We do most things by instinct though. Humans say we have a VERY short attention span so we are always learning and exploring our habitat. Food is our biggest motivation….we love romaine lettuce and carrots.

Do you like showing him off to the humans?

I don’t mind sharing the limelight with him. I trust my humans so I let them in with us right away. He is famous now so Oliver, his Daddy, and I accept that he will get as much attention as we do. He is just so darned cute.

Would you like to have another baby?

I wouldn’t mind having more babies. I’m only 14 and in the care of my humans I could live til my mid 20s or more. Jordan said I had an easy time and am a good mom, so maybe there will be more….stay tuned…it will probably be Giraffe watch 2020…

Is there anything you would like to add?

I guess I don’t understand all the excitement I caused, but I am very glad it has done so much for the Park. All of the attention it has brought to the conservation of Giraffes has been great too.

11

Clarice Kitten and the Dangerous Noms

Image result for kitten litter

 

Tom and Kate lived in a nice section of the forest with a group of other cats. There were humans close by, but otherwise the location was perfect. Lots of food and a clear stream. One day, they had a litter of kittens.

They were typical kittens, playful and curious. One kitten in particular, Clarice, was into everything. One day, she ran home, all excited.

Clarice: Guess what! I discovered a different kind of food!

Kate: Really dear? And what is that?

Clarice: I’m not sure. But it’s really yummy!

Kate: Why don’t you show me this food. Maybe I’ll know what it is.

Image result for house in woods

Clarice led Kate to where she had found the food. It was at the edge of the woods near a house. She pointed to an old log.

Clarice: It came from under there.

Kate: What did it look like?

Clarice: It was small and furry. It had a long tail and sharp teeth.

Since that described the majority of the food Kate had been teaching Clarice to catch, the description wasn’t very helpful.

Kate: I guess I’ll have to see one to let you know. But you need to find one closer to home. This is too close to the humans. They might see you.

Image result for kitten with human

Clarice: What’s wrong with that? Will they hurt me?

Kate: You’re such a beautiful kitten, they might want you to live with them instead of here with us.

Clarice didn’t understand why her mother would care about that. Of course Clarice would never leave her family. Then she heard a strange sound. Her mother became fully alert.

Human: Oh look. The pretty kitty came back! And she brought a friend! Wait right there and I’ll bring you a treat.

Kate was horrified. She had been right. Clarice had gone too close to the humans, and now the woman had seen both of them. Before she could tell Clarice to run, the woman was back.

Image result for cat running

Woman: Here kitty, kitty. You must be hungry. Look at the tasty noms I brought you.

Kate was offended. How dare that woman imply that she let her kittens go hungry. But Clarice was fascinated.

Clarice: Mama, what’s a nom? Maybe it’s one of the animals I caught earlier. Let’s go see.

Kate: Clarice! Run!

Kate raced back into the woods. Clarice was confused, but ran after her. When they reached home, Kate finally stopped to explain.

Kate: Clarice, you can’t ever go back there. Noms are what humans call the food they use to try to catch cats.

Clarice: Why would they want to catch cats?

Kate: I’m not sure, but we’ve lost a few neighbors that way. And they particularly like kittens.

Image result for kitten eating cat food

Clarice went to bed soon after the conversation. She had nightmares about humans chasing her. In the morning, she vowed to never go near the humans again.

But soon her curiosity got the better of her and she went to the edge of the forest. After a couple of days, the woman saw her again. The next day, there was a bowl of food just out of the forest. Clarice tried it. It was delicious. She ran home.

Clarice: Mama! Mama! I knew you were wrong!

Kate: Clarice! What are you talking about?

Clarice: The human! She left food out and it was delicious. And she didn’t come near me.

Kate: I told you not to go near the humans.

Clarice: It’s OK. She won’t hurt me.

Image result for kittens

A few days later, Kate heard a terrible yowling and crying. She ran to the edge of the woods in time to see the human pick up a cage with Clarice in it. She watched in horror as Clarice was carried into the house. All night, the cats could hear Clarice crying.

In the morning, Kate watched as the human carried Clarice’s cage and put it in some kind of machine. The human got in too, and they disappeared. Kate sat there for hours wondering where they had taken her kitten.

Finally, the machine returned. Kate was relieved to find out that the woman had brought Clarice back. Clarice was still crying, but she sounded tired. Kate ran back to the other cats, determined to find a way to rescue her kitten.

Image result for kitten in cage

Kate: They still have Clarice. We have to save her.

Tom: How are we supposed to do that?

Kate: I don’t know. But we have to do something. Let’s ask Frank. He knows a lot about humans. He can help us.

Kate and Tom found Tom, and Kate explained what has happened to Clarice. Frank listened with a worried expression.

Frank: That’s terrible. You know, the humans think they know more than we do about what is best for our kittens. Let’s go see what we can do.

Image result for cat pawing at screen door

To be continued…

(Ed. note – Cat Forum with Alberto from Feline Opines was supposed to run next week. However, Clarice’s story turned out to be longer than we expected. Not to worry. Alberto will get his full say in two weeks – August 19)

all pictures courtesy of Google Images

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.

 

this-is-me

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.)

my-little-friends

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.

me-and-mom

(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.

dog-tv

(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?

my-neice-and-nephew

meeting-the-horses

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.)

me-watching-big-dogs

 

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.)

 

5

Alligator Angst

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(Pierre pushes through the crowd.)

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

Andre: What do you mean?

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

(gasp of disbelief)

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

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

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

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

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

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

Gator 4: Do humans know the difference?

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

Gator 6: We need to leave the swamp.

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

(The gators all begin arguing.)

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

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

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

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

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

Andre: I am well. And you?

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

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

Andre: Would you do something for me, sweetie?

Girl: Of course.

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

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

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

Girl: Mr. Gator, wake up!

Andre: Hello, miss. Did you ask?

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

Andre (smiling): Thank you for helping me.

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

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(All pictures courtesy of Google Images)