2

Breaking News; Film at 11

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It’s been a pretty exciting day in Cheeseland, and we’re here to bring you the latest on the following stories:

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Cat Burglars Break into Another Animal Mart 

The stealthy felines are at it again. Early this morning, security cameras captured two cats running away from the store with what appeared to be a trout apiece. Unfortunately the video is rather fuzzy, so it’s unclear what they actually look like. A passerby said that one was a tabby and the other a calico. Police are requesting the public’s assistance. If you have any information, you can call 555-HELP.

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Iguanas in Need of New Home

Two young iguanas have left their humans after an extended dispute over the reptiles’ diet. It appears that the humans insisted on sharing their own tastes for arugula and bean sprouts, while the iguanas wanted collard, mustard, turnip, and dandelion greens.  They all agreed on kale and beans, but the iguanas were feeling more lethargic than normal for their species. Animal Aid is hoping to find a reptile family that can foster them. Please note that the two have not reached their full size and could potentially grow another foot in length.

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Dry Weather Affecting Berry Crops

The unusually dry spring and early summer has resulted in a markedly smaller berry crop this year, particularly strawberries and raspberries. As a result, animals that rely on these fruits as a staple in their diets are having a hard time finding them. The berries that are available are extremely expensive. Some bears have been seen foraging in human orchards. We recommend that you go to our website to find the best prices and alternative food sources.

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Protection Against Fleas and Ticks

As you are probably aware, July 21 – 28 is Flea and Tick Awareness Week this year. Unfortunately, the more appropriate dates in May were taken over by the Cicada Welcome Celebration. You can get a free exam at the Health Center all week, as well as information on non-chemical treatment and prevention options.

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Rabies Hospice Center Needs Your Help

Since there still is no cure for rabies, the best that we can do is try to help these animals in their suffering. Since each patient must be kept in isolation, it can be an expensive undertaking. Any financial donation is welcome. The Hospice says that they are well-stocked in poison for those who wish to end their own suffering. Please visit our website for more information on how you can help.

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Preparation for Winter

If you are an animal who hibernates or goes into torpor, it’s not to early to start thinking about your needs for this winter. The Center for Seasonal Studies at the College of Animal Wellness is offering a free seminar on the necessities for survival.It is open to anyone interested in the subject, The seminar is free, but space is limited. Registration is required. Contact the Center for further information.

These are just the highlights of the stories. Join Biff and Buffy tonight at 11 for these stories and more, plus the weather and sports.

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(all pictures courtesy of Google Images)

7

Cat Forum: Interview with Charlie, Lily, Ting, and Tooty

Snoops and Kommando Kitty here.Today we are interviewing the ladies from samanthamurdochblog. It’s supposed to be about crystals (they look like rocks), but we think it would be a lot more interesting if it were about the cats. As you will see below, the cats are much more entertaining than rocks.

Here is the human’s introduction of the sisters: Charlie (tabby) is the oldest, at 7, Lily (smaller black cat) is younger by a couple of months and Ting (Siamese) and Tooty (larger black cat) are litter mates and sisters, four years old. Charlie doesn’t have an awful lot of time for the others, she is, after all, “Madame La Princesse”, Lily is the hunter of the family, while Ting and Tooty love each other and even now will still sleep curled up together.
Would each of you please introduce one of your sisters and tell us one good thing about her?
“I’m Charlie – well, actually Princess Charlotte Oddpaw – and I’m Number One Girl… Mummy really wanted me…what? Something nice? I’m beautiful, obviously… oh about one of the others. Oh. That’s Lily. She has green eyes.”
Lily (yawning) : “Madame’s already introduced herself… so this is me. Fierce huntress…night goddess…those two grinning idiots over there are Ting and Tooty.”
Ting;: ” Yes, I’m Ting, she’s Tooty and we’re – “
(Ting and Tooty sing like the Beverley Sisters): “Sisters! Sisters! Never were there such devoted sisters!”
Ting: “Tooty is really cuddly and soft and she has lovely golden eyes and I like to sit and cuddle with her!”
Tooty:”My little sister Ting. Isn’t she beautiful?”

Are you all buddies or are there times you wish you were an only cat?
Ting: “Oh no, we’re all really good friends!”
Tooty : “Sometimes, I’m actually a bit scared of the older girls..”
Lily:”Only cat.”
Charlie: ” I was here first, so yes, only cat.”

 It looks very pretty where you live. Do you get to enjoy the wildlife?
Charlie (bossily) : “Well, we’re quite lucky actually, we do have a large garden that’s right next to a park, so we do have plenty of room to explore and maintain our own territories – a princess needs her kingdom. And yes, sometimes there are other…creatures that dare to enter without permission…a smelly old fox came in once and I soon saw him off!”
Lily: “Hehehe…oh yes, I just LOVE to get up close and personal with our native wildlife… mice…frogs…sparrows… I’m always willing to further my acquaintance with nature…
Ting (looking worried):” What’s wildlife? You mean like …tigers..and bears..?”
Tooty whispers in her ear…
Ting: “OH!” I see… well, there’s George, Bert and Harry, down by the pond, they’re always good for a laugh, Sharon, Tracey and Henrietta, the sparrows…Hey! Lily! Do you remember when you caught Barry the Newt? Wild? He was furious!!”

 

Does your human ever let you get near her special healing stones?

Charlie: ” Oh yes, Mummy says it’s good for us to be around crystals, they encourage positivity and help a happy atmosphere…”

(The others look vaguely sceptical and the word “catnip” is muttered…)
What’s your favorite thing to do with your human?
Charlie: “Mummy does a lot of scribbling in her little books, I like to sit by her and provide inspiration with my beauty.”
Ting:”I like to be outside with her, we play and we look at things like beetles and flowers and she tells me things about them.”
Lily:”I always like to be there for her when she’s sleeping… I sit on the windowsill and keep watch.”
Tooty:” I’m generally always around, making sure that things run smoothly.”
Charlie:” It’s nicest when we’re all outside together… or all sleeping on the bed around her, as she reads, or writes, or drinks tea…”
Do you think your human spends enough time with you?
Charlie:” Oh yes. Even when she has to go out, Daddy is usually in, so we’re very rarely alone…I happen to know that Mummy draws a lot of inspiration for her blog from us – I even have my own hashtag on Instagram, #madamelaprincesse – we’re generally always together.”
(others actually nod in agreement.)
What’s your favorite way to spend time?
Charlie:”With Mummy, of course!”
Lily:” Hunting…”
Ting: “Playing. We could play now?”
Tooty :”Sleeping…eating…”
Ting:” Well that’s totally boring!”
Have you ever met a hedgehog? (Horatio Hedgehog asks this question every time we interview someone from across the Pond)
Ting: “Is that what you are? I thought you looked like Ernie…”
Lily:” Are they edible…?”
Tooty: ” Ah yes, we had one in the pond once…”
Charlie:” I must apologise for my family’s rudeness… yes, we do, in fact , have a large – and rather grumpy – hedgehog that lives at the bottom of the garden.”

 How do you feel about dogs?
Lily: ” My birth mother lived in a house with three dogs, and Mummy had a little dog when we came to live with her. She’s crossed over Rainbow Bridge now…”
Charlie: ” She was a good dog – not so sure about some of the ones we see on the park. They’re a bit rude!”
Tooty: ” we owe our lives to a dog. We – “
Ting: ” – were only little, and lost, and a kind lady’s dog found us in the hedge, then Mummy took us home!”

 

Is there anything else you’d like to say?
Charlie: ” It can be tough, living in a multi-cat household, but it’s the 21st century. We all have to adapt and get along…just leave my mousies alone… I’m looking at you, Ting…”

 

(ed note: We tried and tried to get the spacing right on this interview, but for some reason WordPress won’t let us. It looks really cramped to us. It may have too much white space by the time it gets to you. Our apologies.)

8

Road Trip! The Gators’ Summer Vacation – Part 2

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Al and Abby Gator have left their swamp in southern Florida for a visit to more temperate Tennessee. You can read Part 1 here.

Soon enough Abby and Al had a good idea of what the human’s desire to “go viral” was going to mean for them. It seemed like every time they started making progress on the drive, they would pull over. It was usually at a gas station or restaurant. The guy would get out and invite people over to see “his” alligators. Invariably he would draw a crowd of people to look at his “tame” alligators. It was totally humiliating, and the Gators hoped no one they knew would see it.

Abby and Al tried to endure it with dignity. It was terrible having a bunch of humans trying to put dirty hands on their bodies. It wasn’t even the children who wanted to pet them; it was the adults. Finally Al had enough. When one particularly obnoxious man said he wanted to “pet the suitcase-to-be”, Al snapped at him.

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The driver loved it. At the next stop, he showed the video of the “vicious” alligator he was courageously transporting. Luckily they arrived at Orlando before Al tried to discover how courageous he really was. They were dropped at the station for the Raccoon Brothers Regional Rail Lines.

Abby: Thank goodness! I thought we’d never get here.

Al (growling): It’s a good thing. The world was almost minus a couple of humans. Not that anyone would have noticed those two were gone.

Abby: Forget about them. I’m so excited! We’re finally on our way!

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Conductor: Welcome aboard. We don’t see many alligators.  May I see your tickets, please?

(Abby hands them to him.)

Conductor (looking at the tickets): Don’t think I’ve ever seen a gator go that far north. You sure this is really where you want to go?

Abby: Oh yes! I’ve done a lot of research. We can’t wait!

Conductor: Well then, have a wonderful time.

Abby: See how nice he was? He wasn’t even afraid of us.

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Al: I guess you’re right. This will be a good trip. I’m worn out from that horrible truck ride. Wake me when we get there.

(Al fell asleep almost immediately. Abby cuddled up next to him and was soon asleep too. A while later, the conductor noticed that their breathing had slowed considerably. Afraid of what would happen if they got too cold, he found a large blanket and covered them.)

Abby: Al! Wake up! Look out the window!

Al (mumbling): mmm…why?

Abby: We’re almost there. It’s very pretty.

Al (looking out): Where are we?

Abby: Tennessee, silly. Don’t you remember?

Al: What happened to the ground? It’s not flat.

Abby: I know! The conductor says that the little ones are called hills and the big ones are mountains.

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Al: And the trees look funny. Where are the palms and the cypress trees?

Abby: They don’t have those here.

Al: We better take pictures of it. The other gators will never believe this.

(The train stops and they get off. The sun is hot, and Al relaxes a little. )

Al: So where’s the swamp? I want to bask and warm up a little.

Abby: This is Tennessee. They don’t have swamps. They have rivers.

Al: You didn’t tell me they don’t have swamps.

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Abby (nervously): I didn’t know they didn’t have swamps. I thought there were swamps everywhere, so I didn’t ask.

Al: What’s wrong, Abby?

Abby: Everyone’s staring at us. And I don’t see a single reptile anywhere.

Al: I’m sure they’re staring because you’re so beautiful. Where are we staying?

Abby (pointing): Over there. The Critter Comfort Inn.

(They enter the lobby. The lobby empties and the little opossum behind the desk faints. The gators look around, confused. The manager, a rather large raccoon, comes out. He is accompanied by two large bears.)

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Manager: May I help you?

Abby: Yes, please. We have a reservation. It’s under Al and Abby Gator.

Manager (looking at his computer): Did you register online?

Abby: Yes.

Manager: What did you put down as species?

Abby: Alligator, of course.

Manager (embarrassed): There seems to be a problem with your reservation. It shows the species as “unknown”. The system doesn’t recognize “alligator.” We’ve never had one stay here.

Al (irritated): Is that a problem?

Manager: Unfortunately, it is. We cater to small mammals.

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Al: And you can’t make an exception?

Manager: I’d like to. You seem like nice folks. But like I said, we cater to small mammals. If word got out that we had alligators here, it would ruin our business.

Abby: Why?

Al (sarcastically): Because they think we’re going to eat them.

Manager: I’m sorry. But alligators do have that reputation.

Al: Fine. We’ll take our business elsewhere.

(The gators stalked out without eating anyone. As a gesture of goodwill they left a bag of their favorite treats, Boa Bites. They thought the mammals probably didn’t like snakes either.)

Abby (sobbing): I’m so sorry Al. I had no idea they’d be so specie-ist. They looked so nice in the pictures.

Al: Don’t worry, honey. We’ll hydrate ourselves in one of their rivers and take the next train home.

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Abby: OK. But let’s go out of town. I don’t like it here.

(They found a nice spot with a soft sandy bottom. Neither of them realized that the night air would get as chilly as it did. They were unable to move when they heard a noise.)

Cub: Daddy, what are those?

(The gators looked up to see one of the large bears they had seen earlier at the Comfort Inn.)

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Next time: Dinner Guest or Dinner? The Conclusion

 

All pictures courtesy of Google Images.

 

9

Road Trip! The Gators’ Summer Vacation

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It had been abnormally hot and steamy in the southern Florida swamp. While most of the gators loved it, Abigail had had enough. She was a Carolina gator who had met Al on a spring trip to Panama City. It was love at first sight, and they spent their time curled up in a hot tub some human had forgotten to drain.

When it was time to go home, Al invited Abby to come with him. She didn’t hesitate and had been living south of Miami ever since. It had been an adjustment. She thought it smelled weird, and all the gators did was lie around. She loved Al and she soon adapted. But this summer was too much.

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Abby: Al, the heat is starting to make me cranky.

Al: Sweetheart, you’re an alligator. Being cranky is part of our charm.

Abby: I want to go somewhere for vacation.

Al: OK, we can go to somewhere on the coast. You pick the spot.

Abby: I was thinking a little more north.

Al: Back to Panama City? That would be nice.

Abby: Um. A little further north.

Al: How much further north?

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Abby: Tennessee.

Al: Where is Tennessee? I’ve never heard of it.

Abby: It’s north of Georgia.

Al: That doesn’t sound very tropical. Exactly how far is it?

Abby (hesitating): Well, I couldn’t get the exact mileage, but it’s about 850 miles.

Al: 850 miles! Abby, we’re alligators. It would take us years. There’s no way we can take that kind of trip. Find someplace closer or we’re not going.

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Abby (starting to cry): Just look at the pictures. See, the humans are wearing shorts. That means it’s warm. And the place I found has a hot tub. It’ll be romantic, just like when we first met. We can leave the kids with your sister.

Al: What’s that big, furry thing standing in this picture?

Abby: It says it’s a bear. I’m not sure what that is, but I’m sure it’s well-mannered since it’s at a resort.

Al: I don’t see any alligators in these pictures. All the animals are furry.

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Abby: I’m sure it’s just because of where they took the pictures.

Al realizes that Abby really has her heart set on going to this place.

Al: OK. How do we get there?

Abby: I thought that we could take an airplane, but we gators don’t have our own airline. Apparently, not enough of us fly. We used to be able to take All Animals, but they went out of business. The last one available is Creature Air Comfort, but they’ve banned gators.

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Al: Isn’t that discriminatory?

Abby: Apparently not. In the past few years, there have been five instances of gators eating other passengers.

Al: Trust some hooligans to ruin it for everyone.

Abby: So the next fastest way to get there is by train. The only problem is that the trains from Miami charge gators double because of the eating other passengers thing. We’d need to go to Orlando to get a decent rate. Apparently there are lots of humans in the area who spoil the alligators, so they don’t bother the other animals.

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Al: Well, there’s one positive to the human invasion down here. So how do we get to Orlando?

Abby: Well your sister Jean told me about something the humans have, called ride-sharing. Some people do it because they’re friends, but other people do it for anyone to make money.

Al: Well, that’s great, but we don’t know any humans.

Abby: Jean does. Some guy who was out here taking pictures. He said that driving alligators to Orlando would make him “viral.” We don’t know what that means, but she made sure that he would deliver us to the train station alive and in good shape.

Al (defeated): So when does he pick us up?

Early Saturday morning, the driver arrives in an old pickup truck. He has filled the bed with water after laying down blankets for their comfort. He has a friend who is recording everything while talking the whole time. Abby and Al climb in, ready to start their adventure.

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Next time: Tennessee is definitely not the tropics.

(Pictures courtesy of Google Images)

 

 

17

Cat Forum: Interview with Marty the Manx

Snoops and Kommando Kitty here. Today we are interviewing Marty from martythemanx2, a pawsome blog about Marty and his family. He lives with a human. (Of course, otherwise he wouldn’t have anyone to fulfill his every wish.) But unlike most (all?) of the cats we have interviewed, Marty lives with more woofies than meowies. He is a model of inter-species tolerance. Head on over to his place and see all the great pictures. He has great tummy floof, and since he likes flowers they also do an amazing Flower Friday.

(Remember – if you see something that looks like this, it’s us talking.)

You look like a cat. What is a Manx?

Well hi guys! I am a cat. I am just a cat born without a tail. Manx like me with no tail are called Rumpy Manx. So, I am a classic tabby Rumpy Manx! (Makes me sound like I am special doesn’t it MOL!)

(No worries about humans thinking it’s funny to say he has a “handle” We like it!)

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You live in a multi-species household. Would you please introduce everyone?

I am Marty The Manx. Ralphie is my grey tabby brother. We also live with Mazie the Lab, then Abbe, Anne and Breezy the Chinese Crested Powder Puffs.

(Do you think their Mom uses those dogs to put on powder?. They look pretty fluffy. They probably hold a lot of powder.)

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But the cats rule, right?

Yes we do! Ralphie is the head of the household and doesn’t let anyone forget it!

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It looks like you spend a lot of time outside. What do you like to do? 

We do get to spend part of every day outside if it is nice. I love hanging out in the hostas and chase bugs.

(Kommando – I’m so jealous. Mom’s afraid I’ll run away. Snoops – Rats. I’ll have to work on getting that door open.)

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Do you have friends in the neighborhood or do you prefer to hang out with your brothers and sisters?

We have our own private yard and are never allowed to leave it. Ralphie and I hang out together and explore when we are out in the yard.

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We never see any humans. Are there any around?

We live with Mom, she is our pawparazzi and personal attendant.

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

I like to cuddle a lot with Mom, and I love it when we play with my Da Bird!

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Do you help around the house?

I am the chief bed inspector. I make sure there are NO sheet mice hiding in it when Mom and I make it every day.

(Kommando – I really like this cat!)

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What’s your favorite part about blogging?

I love all the great bloggers I get to meet and all the fun activities we do here in Blogville.

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

One question that seems to come up a lot is how do I stand living with woofie sisters.  Truth be told, Mazie is my very best friend and I love her the most. I even sleep with her every night when we all go to sleep in the big bed with Mom.

Don’t forget to go visit Marty at home.!

 

(All non-Marty pictures are courtesy of Google Images)

 

11

Cats: Enjoy Your Bugs Responsibly This Summer

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Every cat knows that summer is the time to enjoy bug hunting. Whether you chase the occasional fly that manages to get into the house or go on hunting sprees in the great outdoors, we have some tips to share.

Humans do not enjoy bugs the same way we do. If you bring a nice, crunchy moth over to share with your human, you will probably be disappointed. The response will be something along the lines of “Very nice, kitty. Please take your moth somewhere else to eat it.” Or “Take that disgusting thing away from me.” They will not even taste it.

Note: Do not eat Tiger Moths or caterpillars. They might make you sick.

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Some bugs look better than they taste. We have something around here that the humans call a “stink bug” It looks a little like a really big tick. They fly around like other bugs. But when you start to eat them, they taste awful, like they’re way past their “eat-by” date.

Some bugs should not be eaten at all. You know those annoying bugs that fly around at night with their own lights? The humans call them “fireflies”. They’re almost impossible to catch and it’s a good thing. That’s not really fire in their rears; it’s poison.

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Note: It is considered poor etiquette to catch one and offer it to a dog. Many dogs will eat anything.

Then there are those nasty things that sting. The humans call them “bees, hornets, and wasps.” Although they are usually just a pain in the nose or paw; they can kill some cats. They are poisonous to those cats and can cause them to stop breathing. That is never a good thing.

There is also something called a “fire ant.” You can probably step on one and be OK. But they can also cause some cats to stop breathing. And being stung by a bunch of them will do the same thing to any of us.

Note: We recommend you stay away from anything the humans call “fire”. Except, of course, that toasty thing they have inside during the winter. Sleeping in front of that is a cat’s right. The human’s job is to keep it safe and keep it burning.

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Spiders are not insects, no matter what the humans say. Spiders are usually a lot more fun to play with. For one thing, they are usually within paw’s reach. And they move in a lot of directions to get away. You can play for a long time if you’re not too rough. (More like mice that way.)

Of course, there are a few to avoid. The humans like to give them human-type names: “black widow” or “brown recluse”. Generally speaking, humans will have an “ick”-type reaction to the fun, tasty spiders. They are more likely to go with an “eek”-type response to a poisonous one. Even humans who tolerate the regular ones will usually try to kill these. Self-preservation and all that.

Note: We live in Michigan and have a temperate climate. The cold keeps away most nasty spiders. If you live in a hot tropical place, make sure you know the locals. If you live in Australia, we recommend you not eat anything with 8 legs until you talk to an elderly cat (who has probably seen some unfortunate victims). Particularly if the spider is bigger than you are.

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Bug Hunting on a First Date. If you want to take a fellow feline on a bug-hunting trip, make sure they like to hunt in your style. Unfortunately, there are many instances of a run-and-play cat being partnered with a stalk-and-kill cat. There is little hope for the relationship.

Hunting as a Team. Usually bugs are small. So it is unrealistic to think that you will share the kill. However, it is polite to take turns bringing down the prey and eating it. If you catch something you don’t like, by all means offer it to your partner. You may both try for the next bug.

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If you are inside, watch for wall and tripping/falling hazards. If you are chasing a bug and fall off a table or run into a wall, you can be sure your human will be watching, laughing, and pointing a camera at you. Then they will show the video to all of their friends who will also laugh at you. In this situation, it is appropriate to make your next bug-hunting trip in their bedroom, in the middle of the night. Make a video. Send it to your friends.

Enjoy your summer. And Happy Hunting!

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(photos courtesy of Google Images)

14

Snoops and Kommando: On the Prowl

Kommando: Hi everyone! We’ve been so busy interviewing other cats that we forgot our most interesting subjects.

Snoops: Who’s that?

Kommando: Us, silly!

Snoops: Things have been a little interesting recently.

Kommando: We got two new channels of cat TV. It’s pretty pawsome. They’re on the second floor.

Snoops: You may remember that we had four humans – two male and two female. Now we’re down to three.

Kommando: The younger female moved out. She brought home a strange male human one time. It was awful. He smelled worse that Horatio Hedgehog.

Horatio: Hey! I’m right here, you know.

Snoops: She didn’t mean it. You know we love you.

Horatio: Cats!

(He huffs and goes back to sleep.)

Kommando: Anyway her room is on the second floor and has views from two directions. One is even a new direction!

Snoops: It’s true. But it’s probably the most boring. There aren’t any trees that way.

Kommando: That’s true. But still, she was hiding it from us.

Snoops: True enough. It was so messy that it was hard to get over there.

Kommando: It hurt my delicate little paws to walk on it.

Snoops: Whatever you say, Kommando. Let’s move on to the pawsome TV show we found on human TV.

Kommando: That’s right; I almost forgot. It’s called “My Cat from Hell.”  Every time we see it, there are cats just being cats. You know, racing around and getting into stuff.

Snoops: Well, some of the cats are a little obnoxious. There seem to be awful lot of them who bite their humans. We don’t approve of that at all.

Snoops: She right. The pawsome part is that the human who runs the show, Jackson Galaxy, always blames everything on the humans! All the “bad” stuff that the cats do is because of something the humans do. Even scratching the drapes and pooping outside the litter box.

Kommando: Yep. They get homework and everything. And the humans work really hard to get their cats back to our usually sweet selves.

Snoops: He always says that there are no bad cats. We already knew that, but it’s really cool to hear a human admit it.

Kommando: Every week, the humans have done what they need to, and the cats have become snuggly like the rest of us.

Snoops: Life has been good.

Kommando: Well except recently. We got abandoned again.

Snoops: Oh yeah. Last night.

Kommando: Mom has been home with us 24/7 for the last few weeks. She had the other tunnel opened, on her left wrist. That’s two, so I think she’s done.

Snoops: It’s too bad. For the first couple of weeks, she wasn’t supposed to lift much of anything. And after that she had a weight restriction.

Kommando: It was great. Naps and snuggles and cuddles…

Snoops: It’s a good thing that she went back though. We used our last can of food the day before she went back. And she gets our food where she works.

Kommando: Oh, right. That would have been bad.

Snoops: At least she works nights. So we have someone here to wait on us all the time.

Kommando: And Dad had that flu thing a couple of weeks ago. He wasn’t much fun, but he was good to sleep on.

Snoops: And they get different days off, so they’re both here together.

Kommando: All right. I guess life is pretty good.

Snoops: And it would be perfect if we could get rid of all the noisy machines…