10

How Dogs Solved the Cat Food Crisis

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We got a very unusual call recently. It was from a human. We almost never hear from humans; most of them assume we are a foreign-language publication. A very nice lady said that some neighborhood cats were very sick. The veterinarian said that it was probably just a virus.

The lady and her friends think it is a new food that they got for their furry friends. It’s supposed to have a special additive that would improve their immune systems. It’s called “Cat Power”. She wanted to know if there was a way for us to check it out. Our editor George said we would see what we could find out.

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We put one of our best reporters, Penelope Porcine, on the case. She discovered that “Cat Power” is sent out by a large distributor in the U.S. There was no information about who actually made the food. She decided to talk to the distributor. The closest distribution center is in the middle of the state.

Penelope drove up to Livingston and found the plant. She called, but only got a recording. She tried to see someone in person (so to speak). There was only one entrance, and it was guarded by a very large German Shepherd. The German Shepherd refused to talk to her. He said he couldn’t speak pig.

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Penelope decided that we needed to find a German Shepherd of our own to help. Not having one on staff, we thought it would be best to recruit one locally. It was a small town; they might even know the guard.

We posted a notice: “Looking for a German Shepherd. Temporary assignment. Must be fluent in several animal languages. The position requires persistence and a persuasive personality. Compensation will be discussed if you are called for an interview.”

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Apparently there is a shortage of positions for German Shepherds in Livingston. We immediately received more than 20 responses. Some of them we could delete right away:

“Speak several dialects: Pekinese, Beagle, and Chow. Have trouble communicating with other species. Once I misunderstood a mynah bird and ate him.”

“Experience speaking with other animals. Would prefer it not be any animals that I might consider as toys. Especially cats or squirrels.”

“I am qualified for your position. Compensation must include both kibble and meats of my choosing.”

We interviewed three candidates. We hired a wonderful dog named Lexi. She has a gentle disposition but is a very determined manner. Lexi speaks flawless pig, cat, mouse and hedgehog as well as a variety of dog dialects.

Penelope explained the situation to Lexi, telling her that we needed to find out where the food came from. Lexi was appalled and thought that humans had to be involved. She promised to call Penelope the next day after she had spoken with the guard.

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The next day Lexi said that she needed to meet with Penelope in person to tell her what the guard had said. Penelope wondered what could be so important that it couldn’t be told over the phone.

When she arrived at the restaurant, Penelope discovered that Lexi had two other German Shepherds with her. She hoped they were friendly. Three large dogs were a little intimidating.

The dogs patrolled inside the plant. The place was full of humans, but none of them had anything to do with making the food. The cans came in huge crates that the humans opened and put on conveyor belts. At the end of the belts were trucks that delivered the “Cat Power” and other foods to the stores.

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Penelope asked if they had any idea where the food came from. One of the dogs, Brutus, said that the crates were written in Shar-Pei. Brutus said that he hoped Shar-Pei’s were only clerks and not actually involved in poisoning anyone.

Penelope thanked Brutus and his friend. She bought dinner in appreciation. They said they had never met such a nice pig. Or any pig, for that matter.

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Later Lexi told Penelope that she had done further research on Shar-Pei’s and discovered that they specialize as guard dogs in Guangzhou, in southern China. She had also learned that there were two factories that made cat food in Guangzhou, both of them owned by the same company.

To be continued

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14

Cat Forum: Interview with Valentine

 

Welcome to Cat Forum. Snoops and Kommando Kitty here. We’re talking to Valentine this month. Not only is he a very good-looking Persian kitty, he’s funny. And if you go to his blog, Noir Kitty Mews, you will also see that he is very talented.

Please tell us a little about yourself.

Mew Mew hellos Snoops and Kommando Kitty!  Well, for starters, I am a Persian kitty. But I’m not an evil one like those depicted in the movies.  In fact, I’m a kind kitty with a lot of heart.  I’ve never been in films, except for some home videos by Mom who also takes pictures galore of me.  I have my own bloggie and am on other social media.

Mom and Dad got me in 2012 from a nice lady that was fostering me through a shelter in Cali-for-nia.  Before that I lived with another lady and another even before her.  For reasons I’m not sure, those ladies didn’t want to keep me and so I was handed over to the shelters.  I was already an adult kitty with the name Valentine by the time Mom and Dad came for me.  Mom thought I looked like a Valentine so she chose not to rename me.  My furr-iends also call me Val, V, or Valentino.  Sometimes, I’m mistaken for a girl, but I am a gentleman kitty.  I own my Mom and Dad, a doggie, and a whole house full of furniture.  I also own a front and back yard.  I enjoy cuddling, dancing in the dark, day dreaming at my window, and spending lots of time with those I love.

Our mom loves fluffy black cats (grr). Do you get that reaction a lot?

Yes, I seem to get that reaction from others.  I am told I’m adorable and cute from my family and furr-iends all the time, but as far as I’m concerned all kitties are adorable and cute.  My mom falls for my fluff, too, and my eyes.  And I’m at my fluffiest this time of year, but then I lose my heavy coat when the new year comes along.

 Being a black cat, how do you feel about Halloween?

Oh, thanks for asking!  I love All Hallows Eve!  It is something I look forward to every year and I count down the days on my catlendar.  And even though I’ve heard it is not a safe time to be a black pussy cat outside on that particular holiday, I enjoy it by staying perfectly safe inside with my family.  I keep watch at the door for spooks, zoms, and cursed mousies, don’t you know?  It is also my job to greet the lil’ beings that come for candy treats.  They marvel at me as I peer at them through the window.  Sometimes they ask about me, too.  I’m sure if they had their wish they would rather be pussy cats instead of children and why would they not, right?!

You always look so well-groomed. Is that a lot of work or natural?

Why thank you.  That is so nice of you to say.  Well, I have a wonderful built-in comb that never fails me and always leaves me handsome.  I even use it on Mom’s cheeks, her eyebrows, and the top of her nose to try and help her out, ‘cause I notice she’s not so fastidious with her personal hygiene.  But I confess… I can’t take all the credit for my groomed appearance, just most of it.  Mom brushes me almost daily and sometimes multiple times a day.  I think it feels nice.  She says brushing me relaxes her.  I’m sure she is envious of my silky furrs, ‘cause hers are dry and wiry and don’t stay put – but I love her, no matter what.  She always has a tissue ready to dab my eyes when they get a little extra watery from allergies and to dab the doggie’s drool off my coat.

Do you have other furry roommates or just your humans?

Yes, there is the Basset Hound, Bessie, that lives in the same house with me and my humans.  My minion, I call her, was already living with my people when I became part of their family.  She is a senior now, but seems to still have energy to go on walks with my humans and to dart after me on occasion down the hall.  I don’t mind her so much, in fact, sometimes we play tag.  But I do mind her odors; I go over and sniff her most evenings wondering how she can smell the way she does!

What do you like to do in your spare time?

I’m doing one of them right now – I’m curled up on the sofa, relaxing with Mom and Dad while they watch the moving pictures on the black box.  I also like to keep a watchful eye on the perimeter, as my yard tends to attract many foul, feathered beasties and thieving squirrelygigs.  If I think something is amiss I send out my minion to run them off.  I also silently serenade my Tortie neighbor through the glass some days even though she doesn’t return my affections.  I also enjoy good long baths of my own making.  They relax the soul and keep me smelling fine.

Do you get to spend a lot of time outside or are you a fan of cat TV (window viewing)? 

Well, if you could touch my bean pads, you would know how soft and smooth they are – I am a kept kitty, so I do not venture into the wild yonder on my own.  Don’t get me wrong, I would really like to, but the house came with some sort of built-in, kitty security system and I haven’t yet been able to breach the doors to the outside.  But once in a while, like today for instance, Mom did take me on a nice stroll around my neighborhood.  And once in a while I am given opportunity to sit outside in a small mobile catio (kennel really) for a breath of fresh air.

Window viewing is something I do often.  There is always something interesting to spy on out the glass – strange pussy cats and dogs crossing my yard, kiddos playing with toy balls, motor cars whirring by, and the brown truck man coming to deliver me a package!

You seem like a pretty quiet kitty. Is that really you or a blog personality?

I am an introverted kitty as most Persian kitties tend to be I think.  But for some reason my bloggie lets me explore that little bit of inner extrovert in me.  I paw posts two times a week and talk about anything that interests me at the time.  Mom says I have subtle humor.  I’m not sure about that.  There are sure a lot funnier kitties than me.  I would say I’m an observer in my household, but I do like to know what is going on.  There are few things that I’m afraid of.

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

I like to share sleepy time with my humans.  That means I’m usually sprawled out on Mom’s pillow, snuggled in her arm, tenting under the blanket next to Dad or nestled between the two of them.  I also like to receive pets from them over and over again and I sound my purrs in exchange.  Then there’s supervising my humans and I’m pretty grr-eat at that.  I supervise them doing all sorts of things, you name it: household repairs, cooking, chores, sewing and crafts.  Humans need direction and I provide that for them.  I get them through each and every day.

Is there anything you’d like to add?

Well, if I may, I would like to give you kisses, ‘cause you have treated me so kindly and I so enjoyed answering your questions.  I am touched that you wanted to interview me.  And I welcome you and your readers to visit me anytime on my bloggie at noirkittymews.com.  Thank you, thank you, thank you Snoops and Kommando Kitty and Adventures in Cheeseland!  Mew Mew!

 

11

Job Application for Santa’s Reindeer

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Tony saw the poster announcing tryouts for Santa’s Sled Team. Tony came from a long line of sled reindeer going back to Blitzen and was eager to take his turn. He wrote down the web address for the application and went home to complete it.

When he opened the application, he was surprised by the length. As he read through it, he wasn’t sure he would make it after all. Or if he wanted to.

Application for Seasonal Employment

Santa’s Reindeer

Job Description: Work as a team member of an eight reindeer group to pull Santa’s sleigh on Christmas Eve.

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General Requirements:

  • Ability to fly long distances at a consistent speed
  • Ability to make frequent short stops for an extended period of time
  • Ability to haul large cargo for long distances
  • Ability to work in a close, team-oriented environment
  • Ability to work in stressful environment
  • Ability to be flexible
  • Working knowledge of GPS preferred
  • Prior package delivery experience preferred

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Physical Requirements

  • Antlers must have sloughed for season
  • Hooves must be tough enough to stop quickly on icy roofs
  • Must be between 75-80 inches long
  • Must weigh between 350-400 pounds
  • May not be pregnant
  • Must be able to train for at least 12 hours/day without physical collapse

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Please note: Santa’s workshop is a drug-free environment and you will be required to pass random drug tests as well as a pre-employment screening. Additionally, all applicants will be required to pass a physical exam prior to hire.

Name:

Address:

Phone Number (home):

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Phone Number (cell):

Email Address:

Preferred method of contact:

Why do you want to be one of Santa’s reindeer (200 words or less)?

Why do you think you would be a better candidate than other reindeer (200 words or less)?

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Describe any previous experience in a related field.

Do you have any relatives currently working for Santa?

Do you have any relatives who have worked for Santa in the past?

Are you currently under contract with the Easter Bunny?

Date Available:

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Thank you for your interest in being one of Santa’s reindeer. If you are chosen for an interview, you will be contacted. Please do not call our office.

Santa’s Workshop is and equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate based on species, gender or age.

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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

10

Davy Kitten, Superstar

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Davy Kitten fell asleep after his mother had read him several stories from his favorite book, 100 Cats Who Changed Civilization by Sam Stall. He began to dream about a beautiful cat. Her name was Colette. She told him that any cat as good-looking as he was should be a model. Davy blushed.

Colette told Davy to follow her. They went into a building and down a long hall. Davy was a little frightened. What if she was taking him to some big dogs who were going to eat him? He was afraid of dogs. Finally Colette slid through a crack into a large bright room.

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“Ah, Colette! You found me a model for my cat beds! He will be purrfect.” The man picked up Davy and cuddled him. Davy began to purr and rub his head against the man’s face.

“Now, little one, all you have to do is lay in my beds and pretend to sleep. I will take pictures. You will be famous! And so will my beds.” Davy curled up in several of them. Finally, the man was done.

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Davy went home with the man, whose name was Bob. Bob gave Davy good food and a nice warm bed. Shortly after, Bob showed him a magazine with Davy’s picture in it. Davy thought that he actually did look pretty good. He purred at Bob.

Bob’s phone rang. He talked for a few minutes. Then he told Davy, “You won’t believe it! That was Mon Cheri Cat Food. They want you to be their spokescat. What do you think about that?” Davy wasn’t sure; he didn’t know what a spokescat was. He didn’t speak human.

They went to the Mon Cheri offices. The studio was huge. There were all types of rooms for Davy to wander through. Finally they showed him the food they wanted him to sell. “Eww! That’s awful! I can’t eat that.”

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Bob picked up Davy. “You don’t have to really eat it. It’s all pretend. I’ll see if they have another flavor.” They put another bowl in front of Davy. That one was yummy. Davy ate it all as the people took the pictures.

The cat food ads were a huge success. Davy began to get fan mail. They took pictures of him, made him put his paw in something gooey and press it on the picture. His fans loved it.

Finally the cat food people decided that he needed to go on tour. Davy didn’t like to travel. Bob said he’d be right beside him, so Davy agreed to go. He had a big bus with his picture on the side. Bob made him a special bed for the trip. Davy thought it might not be so bad.

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At the first stop, they put a harness on Davy and took him out to meet his fans. Davy had never heard so much noise. And they all tried to touch him! Nobody had said anything about sticky fingers in his beautiful fur.

The fans adored him and the tour continued. In California, he was set up with a cameo in a movie. They gave him a bath in some kind of stinky soap and blew his coat dry. He looked in the mirror. He was a ball of fur. He went on the set. There were so many people. And they all wanted to touch him.

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Davy couldn’t take it anymore. He ran away from Bob and out the door. Outside there were more people who wanted to grab him. He couldn’t get away.

“Davy! Over here! Davy! Davy!

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Davy felt someone pushing him. He opened his eyes. It was Mama!

“Mama, I had the worst dream! There were humans everywhere and they all wanted to touch me. I couldn’t get away. I never want to be a famous cat. It was terrible!”

Mama snuggled Davy next to her and started to groom him. She decided to read about historical cats that night.

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9

Lone Hedgehog in a Cat-centric World

Greetings. It’s Horatio Hedgehog here. I want to share with you a rather unsettling experience I had recently while roaming the Internet. (Mom says this is an example of why I shouldn’t spend so much time on the computer.)

I decided to tour WordPress looking for fellow hedgehogs to befriend. It gets to be a bit boring talking to cats all the time. I figured there’d be a bunch of us. After all, we are rather cute.

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I found one, and he sounds like a pretty decent fellow. He is Hank the Hedgehog over at Living a Beautiful Life. He gets a lot more space on his blog than I do on mine, but I think he speaks well for us hedgehogs. And it appears that he doesn’t have to compete with two self-centered felines. (No offense, Snoops and Kommando Kitty, but you do love the limelight.)

  

The thing is, he was the only other hedgehog I could find. I used to know Alice, but she doesn’t blog anymore. It’s a shame; she was a real cutie. Where are the other hedgehogs? Snoops says it’s because cats rule the Internet. I told her she was crazy.

Then I looked for cats on WordPress. Good Grief! They are everywhere. Big cats, little cats, fluffy cats, sleek cats, real cats, cartoon cats, talking cats, posing cats, on and on. Why on earth are there so many cats? I live with two and they’re OK, but I wouldn’t want a herd of them.

I thought I would check the big Internet. That was really disturbing. It looks like we are pretty widespread (Europe, Asia, Africa). But some of those people think we’re a delicacy. That means they eat us!!

Can you believe that during the 1980’s Britain introduced “hedgehog-flavour” crisps (they’re like American potato chips)?  They didn’t actually contain hedgehog, but still. Have they also tried “badger-flavour”?

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I went on to look for cats. I’m sure you guessed it. The place is overrun with them. On Google, my search for hedgehog brought back 76.4 million responses which I thought was a lot. But there were 2.25 billion for cats. Not a mention of food or medicine. Mom said cats had their bad days a few hundred years ago. That didn’t make me feel any better. Maybe I should start a hedgehog advocacy group.

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Apparently we African pygmies are the only ones who keep humans. Life for us is a lot easier. My humans give me food and water. And waxworms. Yummm. Waxworms are the best. And I think we’re the only ones who get to write blogs.

I guess cats are OK. Not everybody can be a hedgehog.

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Bittersweet Note: Snoops and Kommando wanted to thank Phoebe and her family at 15andmeowing for the cat-astic toys they sent (and a coloring book for Mom). Sadly Phoebe lost her battle with kidney disease this week and is no longer with us. We will miss her.

16

Cheeseland Personal Ads

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(Please note that Cheeseland is not responsible for the content of these ads. It is solely the responsibility of the individual to determine the truthfulness of any claims.)

Lonely male lion looking for mate. Must be sleek, fast and good at presenting dinner. Please no mothers with cubs. Send RECENT picture to S231@chz.catz.

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Attractive hog looking for love. Do you like walks in the woods? Snuffling for goodies? Wallowing in the cool mud on a hot day? You might be my dream girl. Contact me at S232@chz.catz.

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Single lady groundhog looking for gentleman to den with this winter. Must be of good character. Possibility of romance. Prefer country living.  S233@chz.catz.

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Good-looking Tom cat looking for a kitty to share fun times. If you like hunting mice, chasing bugs, and lapping a bowl of good cream, we should talk. Not looking for a relationship, just a friend. S234@chz.catz.

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Male moose looking for girl to take home to Manitoba. Must be willing and able to walk long distances. Good home, plenty to eat. Remote location with no hunters. S235@chz.catz

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Female raccoon looking for male who enjoys city living. Likes: tipping garbage cans, dumpster diving, woodpiles and garages. Dislikes: plastic lawn ornaments, metal cans, and people. Sound like you? Contact me at S236@chz.catz.

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Female monkey looking for partner. Should be hunky monkey who’s good with keys. I want to escape this cage and run away on a romantic weekend. Family in another country a plus. S237@chz.catz.

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Hunting dog seeking same. I need a partner for an upcoming trip. Must be able to handle loud humans, bad hunting skills, and poor sleep. Potential for permanent home with humans. Interested? S238@chz.catz.

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Male sloth looking for companionship. I have a good coat with an attractive moss cover. Prefer local female. Would like to meet face-to-face within the next six months. S239@chz.catz.

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Adorable kitty looking for Prince Charming. Should be clean and well-mannered. Must be willing to treat me like a princess and fulfill my every whim. Human responses will be considered. S230@chz.catz.

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All pictures courtesy of Google Images

Snoops and Kommando here – Next Thursday is Remember Me Thursday – it’s a reminder that every kitty deserves a forever home. Please do your part and adopt several cats. Kittens are acceptable.