23

Gator Family Reunion

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The alligator clan was getting ready for the annual family reunion. This year, Granny Gertie was hosting at her farm in the Everglades. Stan was particularly excited since he hadn’t been home in several years. His wife Adele and the girls were less enthusiastic.

Adele: I can’t believe we’re going to South Florida in August. It’ll be a steam bath.

Stan: We’re alligators. We love hot, humid weather.

Adele: I guess. But I’ve gotten used to the ocean breezes here in South Carolina.

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Suzy: Yeah, Dad. And you know how your relatives are. Everyone’s gonna lay in a huge cuddle puddle.

Stan: Of course. We’re family. We only see each other at these reunions. And most folks don’t make it every year.

Justine: Well, I don’t want to cuddle with Cousin Danny anymore.

Suzy: Why not? He’s cute.

Justine: I know. But he thinks he’s too good for everyone now that he’s at Animal Tech.

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Stan: That’s right! He wants to be a bird doctor.

Adele: That’s very strange. What’s wrong with being a gator doc?

Justine: He says he wants to promote inter-species peace.

Suzy (giggling): He probably has plans to start an exotic bird trade.

Stan: Be nice, Suzy! He’s a good gator.

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Adele: Is your cousin Vinny going to be there?

Stan: I’m not sure. He’s been working a lot of hours at that resort in Miami Beach.

Adele: I can’t believe he actually lets humans touch him.

Justine: Eww! What kind of job does he have?

Stan: He’s a guard at an upscale beach club. Your mom has it backwards. He touches the humans. They don’t touch him.

Adele: Even so. He should be careful. They have germs.

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Suzy: And they smell funny. Speaking of smelling funny, I wonder if Roxanne will be there?

Stan: Does Roxanne smell funny?

Justine: Don’t you remember last time, Dad? She got caught in those rose bushes and ate her way out. She smelled like flowers for days. Not a natural gator aroma.

Adele: It could have been worse. Your Uncle Stu wandered through a pasture full of cow droppings. He’s so low to the ground that he picked up quite a stink.

Stan: Stu has a terrible sense of direction. He gets lost every time he leaves his own swamp. He really should use public transportation.

Justine (giggling): No one’s going to let an alligator who smells like cow poop on the bus. Most folks are afraid of us even when we don’t stink.

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Suzy: That’s true. Some of us are kind of scary, though. Like Uncle Charlie.

Justine: Yeah. He growls a lot. And snaps.

Adele: He just doesn’t have much patience. He doesn’t suffer fools gladly.

Suzy: Gladly? He almost took the head off our waiter the last time we saw him.

Justine: Yeah. The poor guy looked like he wanted to crawl in a hole when Uncle Charlie told him his food was overcooked the third time.

Suzy: He should have just brought him a raw steak.

Adele: It is unfortunate that Charlie normally eats his food wild. He has a hard time in restaurants.

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Suzy: Do you think Granny will be serving boa constrictor? It’s been trending on GatorGram and looks yummy.

Stan: I don’t know. I hear they can be hard to catch. I don’t want Mom getting hurt over a stupid picnic.

Adele: Maybe your brother Norm could catch some. She lets him live there rent-free. Seems like he could catch dinner once in a while.

Stan: I guess that’s a possibility. He’s pretty fast.

Justine: Maybe they sell them in the deli or at a roadside stand. Pickled boa is supposed to be good.

Suzy: And smoked. It doesn’t have to be fresh.

Adele: That does sound good. What are we going to bring?

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Stan: Since we’re traveling so far this time, I was just going to contribute to the wild boars.

Suzy: Ooh! Who’s bringing boar? I love pig!

Stan: Your Uncles John and Jacob know a farmer who lets them hunt on his land. I’m helping pay for the refrigerated truck to get them to the party.

Adele: That’s a good idea, honey. That way we don’t have to lug anything on the train. You’re sure John won’t eat them on the way, right?

Stan: He promised.

Adele: I hope so. He’s the biggest gator I know. He could probably eat a couple of them by himself.

Stan: That’s true. But he promised.

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Justine: Did you say we’re taking the train? Why can’t we take the car? I hate the train.

Suzy: What’s wrong with the train?

Stan: I’m more comfortable on the train. Gators aren’t built to spend hours in a car. You can tell they were designed by humans.

Justine: I guess. But I hate the way everyone looks at me like they think I’m going to eat them.

Suzy (giggling): Some of them do look pretty yummy.

Justine: I’m serious. It’s embarrassing. And annoying.

Adele: I know what you mean. It’s like they can;t tell the mean gators from the rest of us.

Stan: Don’t pay any attention to them. They’re just being ignorant.

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Justine: Maybe we should travel with kittens to show how gentle we are.

Suzy: Ooh! Kittens are cute! And they could give us massages.

Adele: I don’t think kittens would enjoy the reunion.

Justine: Probably not.

Stan: If anyone gives you a hard time, I’ll growl at them. Sometimes you have to embrace your inner gator.

Justine: Love you, Dad.

Stan: Anytime, sweetie.

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Adele: We should bring your Mom a gift since we’ll be staying with her.

Suzy: Cool! We get to stay at the farm?

Stan: Of course. Granny insisted. She misses you girls.

Justine: We miss her too. Maybe she’ll teach us more authentic gator moves.

Suzy: And tell us more secrets about Dad!

Justine: I can’t wait!

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Next week: The reunion.

Pictures courtesy of Google Images.

 

21

Cat Forum: Interview with Blondie’s Cats

 

Snoops and Kommando here. Welcome to another edition of Cat Forum. A few of you might remember that we have two human siblings, one female and one male. The female moved out a couple of years ago, and we don’t see much of her. But she has the good sense to be living with several cats (as well as the additional humans required to serve the cats). We wanted to talk to our new-found nieces and nephews. None of them complained about her, so she must be doing OK.

Maya

Tell us a little bit about yourselves.

Angel: I’m Angel. I happen to be an adorable muted calico with tons of energy and a huge appetite. I love playing with both humans and other cats, but no one seems to appreciate my creativity or fun.

Spaz: I’m Spaz. Everyone says I’m spoiled, but I’m a diva, so no less is acceptable. Also, isn’t being spoiled part of being a diva?

Maya: I’m Maya, a very sweet but shy plus sized cat. My favorite motto is “if I fits I sits”. I’m very dark, so I hide unintentionally quite often.

Onyx: I’m Onyx. I’m a jet black cat, but I bring no bad luck. I’m verrrrrrryyyyyyyy sweet and cuddly, and my appetite is as big as my heart and love of cuddles.

Patches: I’m Patches. I’m a very vocal and social kitty with a slight fur loss problem. But my lack of fur makes me just that much more lovable.

Patches

How well do you all get along?

Angel: I think my playmates and I get along quite well. They always run when I play chase, and Onyx loves to wrestle! The hissing and growling emitted by Maya and Patches must come from the frustration of being older and not as fast And flexible as I am.

Spaz: These young cats are loud and irritating. Also, they seem to think my food dish is a public buffet.

Maya: Everyone but that Angel cat is okay. Angel is a tad too rough for my taste.

Onyx: I’m a fairly docile cat, so I get along with everyone until someone *cough cough Angel* gets too rough or growls at me first.

Patches: The other cats are okay. I’m not a fan of too much action, so I try to avoid them at times.

Onyx

We hear that you live with a lot of humans. Do you get enough space to do cat things like sleeping in sun puddles and watching cat TV through the windows?

Angel: Luckily the blonde girl likes blankets and soft stuffed animals, so there’s plenty of nap spots. Sadly, there is limited access to windows, though I can always climb the curtains and watch special episodes of cat TV.

Spaz: Yes, I get to spend most of my day lounging. In between attention time and meals, of course.

Maya:I have a table that is right under a window, so I get a decent amount of time  doing cat activities.

Onyx: When I’m alone I do. However, when other cats or people are around, I prefer their company to lounging.

Patches: I certainly do. My favorite spot is on the kitchen table, where the sun shines directly.

Angel

Do you have a favorite human or do you think they’re all annoying?

Angel: My buddy is Ryan, AKA the big gamer dude, although Blondie “Victoria” is tolerable. But the other two fight a lot, and lock me out of their room at night, so nip to them.

Spaz: My human is Ryan. Everyone else is good for pets, dish refills, and nothing else.

Maya: Melissa is my human, and by extension, that means I’m stuck with Jeremy as well.

Onyx: Victoria is my primary human- she makes the best piece of human furniture. The others are okay, but I don’t want to share my human, so that rules them out.

Patches: Jeremy is cool. He remembers to feed me at night, at the very least.

What do you like to do with your human? Do you get enough time doing it?

Angel: I love to climb him, and we play hide and seek a lot. He also likes to play chase me away from the wire toys his TV offers. Aside from that, his lap is pretty comfortable. I don’t think we do it enough, but he insists two or three hours is enough with his work and family schedule.

Spaz: I like to watch YouTube videos with him, and receive cuddles. Also, lately, I’ve enjoyed seeing how loud I have to meow before he replies.

Maya: I like to see how long they can hold their breath by sticking my tail and/or butt on their faces. Also, I like rearranging their room under Jeremy’s supervision. I don’t get to do it as much as I sleep, though.

Onyx: I like to train her on dish refilling times and different types of cat cusines, especially those from a trash can. I also love cuddling and riding on her shoulders. Sadly, she has to spend eight hours at “work” to keep me in kibble. Aside from that, I’m usually around her.

Patches: I like to bowl with objects on the kitchen table. I’ll knock them over, wait for him to fetch them, then knock them over again. We do this every night!

What’s your favorite game/toy?

Angel: I have a little blue Mousie I found in Spaz’s cache that I love, and I also have a squeaky mouse that keeps Ryan up at night. Also, the humans brought home pizza one night, and there was a really neat white triangle in the box that I adore.

Spaz: I have a boa toy Ryan and I play with that I love.

Maya: I like wires and balls with bells.

Onyx: I like climbing, And I’m a fan of string.

Patches: Aside from bowling, I like those plastic bags Walmart has.

Spaz

Do you have a pet peeve/something that really annoys you?

Angel: I’m not a fan of being told no. Also, when I’m roughhousing with Onyx, Blondie doesn’t need to intervene. Onyx likes being choked.

Spaz: I hate sharing. My food, toys, water, litter and human are MINE!

Maya: No one shall pick me up, unless they’re looking to donate to the Maya blood bank.

Onyx: I don’t like being woken up. Also, once I claim an area, it’s quite rude to try and move me.

Patches: I don’t like being forced to move. My comfort obviously exceeds a human need.

Any nip-heads in the house?

Angel: Unless nip is synonymous with mashed potatoes or bacon, not me!

Spaz: I’m a sucker for Temptation treats, but not nip by itself.

Maya: Not me, that’s for sure. I’m about as picky as they come.

Onyx: Nip is okay. I’d rather have a cookie or cupcake.

Patches: Not that I’m aware of. Although I’ll eat anything, so I’m not a good one to ask.

Does anyone like human TV, computers, phones or some other “human” gadget?

Angel: I like the wires that come with them. The TV wires and phone chargers are the best.

Spaz: I like the phone, since it plays my YouTube videos.

Maya: Not me, because that takes attention away from me!

Onyx: I like sitting on the phone when it’s warmed up from being used. Same with the computer. Also, I like watching Ryan play his video games.

Patches: Nah, they make too much noise.

Anything you’d like to add?

Angel: I really wish humans could interpret our meows properly. A low grumbling mewl does not mean pick me up and coo “awe, such a sweet kitty”! Also, human legs make the best scratching post- and their socks are awesome toys.

Spaz: Always respect the calicos- we’re the most beautiful and the smartest.

Maya: Plus sized kitties are just as lovable as little kittens. Also, don’t mock your cat if she’s skittish- Skittles is not a feline approved nickname.

Onyx: Black cats are not bad luck! I’m sure a of the black cats out there with a bad rep were just upset from having to wait for a food dish refill or something equally as awful.

Patches: I don’t understand why humans leave breakable glasses on my bowling field if they want them kept whole. I know the glass would look better shattered. Also, why can’t I eat plastic bags? It’s good enough to hold my food, but not to eat? Weird.