14

Ranger Bob – Part 2

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So far: Four raccoon kits have met a bear at the park. The bear turns out to be the beloved Ranger Bob. However, when they go back to invite Ranger Bob to dinner, he has disappeared. You can read the details here.

Mama: Did you find out when Ranger Bob is available for dinner?

Sally: We couldn’t find him at the park.

John: And they made me go into the forest to look for him.

Anna: It wasn’t dangerous. We hid from all the big bears. We talked to a cub.

Mama: Did the cub take you to Ranger Bob’s den?

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Anna: No. He said that Ranger Bob had gone away and didn’t tell anyone where he was going.

Sally: It sounded like he was sad when he left.

Mama: That’s too bad. I hope he’s OK.

Sally: We still want to find him to thank him. Where do you think he might go?

Mama: I’m not really sure. He was always around when I was little. We didn’t need to look for him. Let me talk to Papa and some of the other parents.

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Mama and Papa talked to some of their friends. They were embarrassed to realize that no one had noticed that Ranger Bob wasn’t around much anymore. In fact, no one could remember the last time they had spoken with him.

The parents wondered when the last time was that he had given a safety talk at school. Mama and Mrs. Squirrel decided to talk to the principal.

Mama: Thank you so much for seeing us, Ms. Porcupine. We won’t take up too much of your time.

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Ms. Porcupine: It’s no trouble at all. How can I help you ladies?

Mrs. Squirrel: We were wondering if you know why Ranger Bob doesn’t visit the school anymore?

Ms. Porcupine (puzzled):  Who is Ranger Bob?

Mrs. Squirrel: You know. The big black bear who explains safety to the school children.

Mama: You didn’t grow up around here, did you Ms. Porcupine?

Ms. Porcupine: No. I moved when I got this position.

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Mama: Ranger Bob taught us all about safety when we were little. We recently discovered that our children have never met him. In fact, he startled my kits a few days ago.

Ms. Porcupine: Was he an employee at the school?

Mama: No. They invited him to speak at the beginning and end of the school year. We all loved him. He was particularly popular at the “Fun in the Sun Day” at the end of the school year.

Mrs. Squirrel: Yes, and we’d see him all summer at the beach and river.

Ms. Porcupine: I’m sorry. I didn’t realize I’d been overlooking such an important part of the teaching team. If you’ll tell me how to reach him, I’ll explain what happened and invite him in.

Mrs. Squirrel: That’s the problem. We can’t find him. We thought maybe you’d have some ideas about where to find him.

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Ms. Porcupine: I’m afraid not. But let me talk to some of the teachers. I’ll let you know what I find out.

 Ms. Porcupine asked for any information available about ways to reach Ranger Bob. The only thing she learned was that he had a daughter on the other side of the river.

She left a message at the number listed, but got no response.

Mama: I guess we’ll have to try going over there.

Papa: I would like to find him and make sure everything is OK.

Sally: Can we come too? Please?

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Papa: All right. But we have to stick together.

The raccoons left early the next morning. They weren’t sure how to find a bear among strangers, but hoped for the best.

The animals on the other side of the river were all friendly. One of the local raccoons said that a strange male bear had passed through a few days earlier looking for a female named Emily.

Papa found a bear and explained the situation. He asked for directions to Emily’s den. The raccoons walked on, paws crossed.

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Before long, they saw a bear sitting on a rock with his head down.

Papa: Excuse me, sir.

The bear looked up. Papa ran up and hugged him.

Papa: Ranger Bob! We’ve been looking all over for you. Why did you leave?

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Next week: What the future holds for Ranger Bob.

Pictures courtesy of Google Images.

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22

Cat Forum: Summer Safety

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Snoops and Kommando Kitty here. We are taking a break from our interviews to pass along some summer safety tips. We suggest you read them and leave several copies around the house for the humans. In front of the computer screen is usually a good place. In their “bathroom” is another.

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Roads – Hopefully you all remember the rhyme your mother taught you, “Road + Cat = Splat”. You should never play in the street. If you must cross the road, “Listen well, sound will tell.” The things humans drive are noisy. You may hear them before you see them. Be sure your adolescents know that playing “chicken” waiting for the car is a stupid idea. Girls are not impressed by idiocy.

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Machinery – Humans use a lot of things that make noise. They want the grass shorter. They want the tree and bush limbs a certain length. They want to get rid of the high weeds. And they don’t know how to do anything quietly. Or by hand.  The general rule here is, “If it makes your ears sore, head straight for the door.” All of the human machines are dangerous to kitties.

Note – do not let any small human convince you that you will have “fun” riding on one of these loud machines.

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Heat – It seems like we cats should like summer. After all, it’s basically one big sunspot. However, there are a couple of things to keep in mind. First, “Sidewalks are hot. Walk on them not.” If like to take the occasional stroll by yourself or with your human, try to stick to the grass. Our paw pads aren’t covered with fur and are sensitive to heat.

If you do feel your feet burning, find some water to put them in. It will stop the burning. Stay off of them as much as possible until they feel better. Do not let a helpful human try to use one of their remedies. Just because it’s safe for humans, doesn’t mean it’s safe for cats.

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Note – especially stay away from aloe. It’s a plant that humans use on burns and seems to work really well for them. It’s like poison to cats.

Make sure you drink plenty of water. It’s important to keep your body at peak efficiency, How else will you be able to chase after the bugs and moths that are so tasty this time of year?

If you are an indoor/outdoor cat, make sure your human leaves you water both inside and out. The outside water needs to be in a shady spot. That way you can enjoy a drink and nap in the same place.

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Water – Speaking of water, we know that some of you cats like to participate in water sports. Things like sailing, surfing, kayaking, etc. Remember, “Wear a vest for water past your chest.” Most cats are pretty small, so it’s safest to always wear a vest when you go to the beach.

Life vests come in a variety of sizes. Make sure yours is snug but not too tight. The idea is to keep you safe, not turn you into a sausage.

Note – sand is usually hot. Have your human carry you, if possible. If they forget, jump on them. You won’t have fun with sore feet.

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Children – Remember that summer is the time when the human children will be around full-time. They are usually fun and good to sleep with.

Try to avoid being dressed up as a doll. The clothes will be hot and uncomfortable. You will most likely be strapped into a carriage or stroller where you can’t see what is going on. And you won’t be able to get out on your own. Cats hate that.

Note – the older ones will be around more. Be careful. They usually have some sort of gadget in their hands that they are looking at. They will walk around looking at the screen and may trip over you. You should avoid this unless they have irritated you. In that case, get out of the way before they fall.

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Parties – Humans like to get together outside in the summer. Generally speaking, it involves food and some sort of hot surface to cook it.

No matter how good it smells, avoid these parties. There are a lot of noisy humans who may step on you. They may sit without looking and some of them are rather large. Try to snatch your food when no one is looking.

We hope these rules will help you have a safe, healthy summer. We are not responsible for humans who do not cooperate. You may want to find a large spider (or two) to put under the covers of their bed.

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All pictures courtesy of Google Images

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.)

 

9

Critter Capers: Snoops Speaks

Welcome. Snoops here. Mom said that we could each write a post about whatever we wanted.

I want to tell you about a new game I discovered. If I put my paw under the edge of the water dish and push a little, I can make waves! I really like to watch them. The humans sometimes tell me to stop if any water gets out. (They should put less in, more often.)

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But they like it a lot more than the game I played before. I would put my paw into a glass and see how far it would go in before it got wet. Sometimes the glass would tip over and lots of water would run out.

It was fun to see the water run out (but I had to be careful so my paws didn’t get wet). It’s their own fault. What else would I do with a glass of water that was too low to drink?

Remember how I said that the humans had to fend for themselves and learn how to catch mice? It’s been really slow going. I brought a mouse to Dad while he was on the computer and let it go so he could chase and kill it.

All he did was yell about how I should have killed it. What good would that have done? I already know how to catch mice.

Not only that, the humans are blaming us cats about some missing chocolate chips. It seems that somehow a bag got chewed open and half of them disappeared. I’d say that’s pretty circumstantial. They didn’t check for mice DNA or anything. Maybe one of the kids did it.

The beta female (we call her Blondie, B for short), has been laying on the sofa a lot recently. There was some kind of problem with her foot, and she had to have surgery. If there’s one thing we indoor cats like, it’s a human who can’t move. Especially in the cold weather.

The only unfortunate thing is that B had to use those clompy things to get around with. The ones that can smash a cat’s tail. I think they’re called crutches. But she got a cool scooter thing too. She puts her knee on it and walks with her other leg.

It’s a purrrrfect perch for a cat. And it’s padded!

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Rumor has it that B won’t be couch-bound for too much longer. Good thing the weather has gotten warmer. It’s almost time for cat TV.

I think that’s about it for me.

Oh yeah. Mom won a cool cat mug from a blog called Cats at the Bar (The blog’s great. It’s run by a bunch of cats: http://catsatthebar.org/). I guess she wrote some kind of a poem or something. (It’s a limerick; her real poetry is really, really bad.) You guys seemed to like her other limericks (https://cat9984.wordpress.com/2014/08/25/doggy-doggerel/), so I thought you might like this one:

On a trip to the North for vacation,
Saw a cute cat who lived at the station.
He said, “Name is Orca
“I come from Majorca.
“I’d really like to have some libation
.”

Time for my nap. Thanks for reading.

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(B is still learning how to make good pictures. I think she’s making progress.)