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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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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11

Cat Forum: Interview with Alberto and the Tribe of Five

Today we welcome the extremely handsome Alberto, spokescat for the Tribe of Five. You can find him and his siblings at Feline Opines. It’s a pawsome blog. Among other things, Alberto reports on topics of interest to cats and their humans that can be found around the Internet. (Of course, he includes links so it’s really easy to follow even without thumbs.)

Could you tell us a little about each member of the Tribe of Five?
It would be my purrrleasure!   The Alpha of our Tribe is Tucker. Tucker and his sister, Jasmine are 14 years young. The humans got them from a rescue lady in California. They moved here with the humans about 10 years ago. Tucker says it was a loooong trip in the metal moving machine!  Lily was adopted from our local shelter (Panhandle Animal Shelter) four years ago and Oliver and I came to the humans as foster kittens two years ago also from the shelter. My humans are “foster failures” and Ollie and I are very happy that they are!

Tribe of Five is a great name. How did you get it?
After Oliver and I settled in, the female human looked around one day at feeding time and said, “Yikes we have a whole tribe of felines in this house!” and the rest, as they say, is history. (Plus it’s easier to refer to us as The Tribe of Five than use all five or our names!)

Do you felines ever have hissy moments?
Oh yes! Lily gets hissy when it’s time to get her nails clipped (actually “hissy” is a mild term, the humans often have to seek help from the first aid kit in the laundry room after a clipping session.)  Tucker does not appreciate anyone encroaching on his food nor does he like neighbor cats or the local raccoon staring into the room at the downstairs sliders.  Oliver and I are pretty chill but if you sneak up on us and make a loud noise, we might not hiss but I guarantee we’ll have a fuzzy tail!!!

Does it ever cause a problem that there are more kitties than humans (maybe competition for cuddle time)?
Well, it never causes a problem for the Tribe but the humans do have a few challenges. The female human was griping that there was no comfortable place for her to sit in the living room (because the male human and the Tribe occupied the sofa). She bought another sofa but that just gave us more space to spread out so now she has to squeeze between us to find a spot.  I find it quite thoughtful that she provided more comfy space for us and am a bit annoyed that she is still griping about seating.

How do each of you like to spend time with your human?
Tucker loves to be brushed, his favorite thing is sitting on a stool watching the female human prepare dinner (sometimes there’s a little treat forthcoming and Tucker is ever hopeful). . Jasmine, is still trying to transition back into the full household after going through a bullying experience (it was a very sad time for the humans, you can read about it here    https://felineopines.net/2016/07/26/amelias-story-part-1-2/  ) so for Jasmine cuddling with the humans at night is her favorite “me” time. Lily enjoys relaxing on the upstairs deck with the humans, sniffing the air and watching the birds at the feeder. I like walks with the female human. As soon as she puts my harness on me I know we’re going for a stroll and I love it. Oliver enjoys helping the male human play his guitar or assisting the female human as the house cleaning snoopervisor, watching her work and chasing the mop (he doesn’t like to hang around the vacuum monster though).

You Wander the Web every Wednesday. How do you find such interesting stories every week?
My goal is to find the most fabulous, undiscovered  feline stories on the web. I make sure my purrrsonal assistant searches daily and looks for things that we haven’t seen several times already. My favorite stories are about adventure cats and cats with jobs.

You had mentioned that your human was going to start taking you kayaking. Has it happened? What’s it like?
The female human loves kayaking and when she was at BlogPaws she met other humans who took their cats paddle boarding and kayaking. She decided she’d see how I’d take to it (I’m the chillest feline in the Tribe). It’s been a long process. We went through a few life jackets (none of which fit well as I managed to wiggle out of all of them). Until she finds the purrrfect life vest she won’t take me out on the water but we are planning a stroll to a quiet spot by the water so I can dip my paws in and get used to it in the meantime.

You seem to do a lot of the communicating for the Tribe. How did you get the role of spokescat?
The female human is a fiction writer and she says she likes to write in a character’s “voice”, She says we’re all characters and that I seem to have the loudest and most persistent voice and often, the most to say.  The rest of the Tribe do chime in now and then with their own purrrrticular points of view.

Does the Tribe get regular outdoor time or do you rely mainly on cat TV?
We are primarily indoor kitties due to the fact that we are surrounded by woods where all manner of critters live and also due to the fact that Tucker (whose cross eyes cause him a bit of visual difficulty) fell off the railing of the upstairs deck (twice) into the forest ravine below.  We now have a cool pop up net tent that fits all five of us and the humans can set it up for us on the upstairs deck, the front porch and the downstairs patio. It’s pretty cool! We have lots of big windows in the house and squirrel, bird, butterfly watching is very comfy on the wide window ledges.

Is there anything else you would like to add?
Some folks have asked how I got the name Alberto. Actually my full name is Alberto Contador. The male human is a crazy bike racing fan and he said I was a mean fast feline machine and felt that he would honor a racer he admired. Sadly Alberto isn’t doing so hot on the tour this year and retirement might be imminent. I appreciated this opportunity to talk to the Cheeseland folks and want to say to Snoops and Kommando Kitty, “Keep on blogging!” The world needs to hear more from felines!

Purrs & Head Bonks
Alberto

3

Vox Animalibus*

*Voice of the Animals

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Angus McFluffin

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Is it true that you hate cats?

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

Have you ever met a cat?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Do you get along with other dogs?

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

What about other animals?

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

Do you always have such a strong opinions about things?

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

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

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

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

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

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