Saturday, December 26, 2009

Meow Culpa

The Old Man got very upset the other day because he found out I had called him the Old Man in the blog. He said to Mom, "What's this "Old Man" #&%*@? Did you get a boyfriend or something?" Well, you could have knocked me over with a mousie! In the cat world, all the dads are called Old Man because we usually don't know for sure which one is our actual dad. Sometimes there are a couple of dads for the same litter; it can get confusing. To cats, Old Man is a title of respect and a certain amount of fear. They are fearsome creatures, scarred up from fighting and everything. It's best to keep your distance.

But I guess to people, it means something else. I'm not sure what, but I know he did not like it. So, in the ancient words of cat spirituality, I say to Dad, "Meow culpa, meow culpa, meow maxima culpa. I will not call you anything but Dad from now on. Oh, and I am pretty sure Mom doesn't have any boyfriends. I have never smelled an outsider male person on her and I get to smell her a lot when I snuggle."

Now that I've taken care of that, I will say a few words about Christmas Day at our house. Tori woke up Mom and Dad at 3:00 a.m. and wanted to go open presents. Mom and Dad BOTH said the %$*&@$* words and told her to go back to bed. She did - after she went in the kitchen and ate snacks. We cats have never gotten a snack at 3:00 a.m. and I would like to figure out how to open the big box so we could do that, too.

Well, I suppose you can guess that Mom could not go back to sleep and Dad didn't get good sleep either. He said he tossed and turned. Just what he was tossing and turning is unclear to me, but I know it was not treats or cat toys. At least he stayed in bed. Mom went in her working room and turned on her machine. I don't really like that machine because Mom won't let me jump up and walk around it or sleep in front of it, like she let's me at her computer.

I tried to jump up and she said, "No, Smudge," and it scared me and I slipped. That made me grab with my claws and part of what I grabbed was Mom's leg, which made her yell again. I got out of there before she could yell anymore, but later she did say sorry to me and that she knew it was an accident.

By 7:00 a.m. both Mom and Dad were up, but not Tori. Dad made himself a breakfast taco and Mom made caramel rolls. The breakfast taco smelled really, really good; the caramel rolls not so much, but Mom and Dad really like them. Dad says they are better because Mom makes them from scratch.

This is a confusing idea for me. I asked Trixie if she knew what"from scratch" meant, but she just hissed and walked away from me. And there's no point in asking Frankie, as we all know. So I am still confused. What I scratch is not anything even a cat would want to eat, although I've heard that some dogs are known to sink that low.

Back to Christmas. When Mom and Dad finished eating, they made Tori get up even though she didn't want to anymore. And then they found a lot of things piled in the living room and more things wrapped in paper under the tree. I am not impressed with this Christmas business in the least. First of all, I was prowling the house, doing my guard duty, when the guy they call Santa came by with gifts. He was in and out so fast he didn't even leave presents for Frankie, the mean cat, or me.

Can you believe that? Maybe the mean cat didn't deserve one, but Frankie and I have been very, very good all year except for one or two small lapses caused by over excitement. (That's my story and I am sticking to it.) So we should have gotten something from Santa.

The second reason I'm not impressed with Christmas is that if it wasn't for our cousins Kasey and Coffee, we would not even have ANY presents. They gave us lovely cat treats, just the kind we like best, but no one else got us anything. So I say, "Bah Junebug," to Christmas.

Tori didn't like Christmas very much either. She was disappointed, I could tell. Dad said, "This is your first grown-up Christmas and you still want a kid's Christmas." But she got gift cards and a lot of money from her Grandma, so today she bought things that made her happy. So now she is excited about Christmas and it is already over. Go figure!

Alix and Adam came over, too, but not until afternoon. I could hear a lot of laughing, so I know everyone had fun, but I had to stay in the bedroom with Frankie because he just gets terrified when outside people come in our house. Trixie does, too, and then she is not so mean to us and let's us get on Mom and Dad's bed with her. I think Trixie would be happier (and nicer) if she would relax a little. She seems very anxious all the time and I know the 'rents are worried about her because she keeps getting smaller and smaller.

If she would not hiss at us, Frankie and I could snuggle up with her and keep her warm, and groom her so her coat didn't look unkempt, and entertain her with our tricks and games. But it doesn't seem as if she will ever relax about Frankie and me. Too bad for her.

After Christmas there was a pretty big mess of stuff on the floor in the living room. Sometimes our people would rummage around in the mess and pull something out. Then they played quietly for a while. It is nice to see people relax and play. They should do it more often. That, and nap more. Who was it that asked, "Why can't people be more like cats?" (I think it was in a song.)

Let's hope New Year's Eve is more entertaining than Christmas.


Wednesday, December 23, 2009

"He's Not Heavy, He's My Brother"

Mom is back in her room for making things. She told the Old Man that when she finished this present, she would be done for Christmas. I hope so, because she has not had much time for me lately. Last night I got my first good snuggle in a long time without Frankie S. butting in.

Frankie is my younger brother. We don't have the same father, but that really doesn't matter to cats. (And it shouldn't matter to people, either, IMHO.) Mom whispered Frankie, Lovie (his twin sister), and Little Bit into our house last June. She didn't want them to grow up wild like our birth mother. We had five cats in this house and that is a lot more cats than anyone should have. In fact, the perfect number of cats to adopt is ONE and it should be ME!!!! (Are you listening, Mom?)

Mom and the Old Man built this cage thing to keep the kittens from running all over the place. At night, they put them in the hallway bathroom so the could run around and play. I got kind of put out, because Mom spent an awful lot of time playing with them instead of me. Finally, she got rid of my two sisters. A nice lady came over with her four people-kittens and they picked Lovie and Little Bit and took them home.

That left Frankie. I know they planned to give Frankie away, but it never seemed to work out. When they found a place that would take him, he ran away! In fact, that kitten ran away two times before he settled down, and he brought us all fleas the second time!! The fleas made me get a b-a-t-h. I hate fleas.

One day, Mom told the O.M. that I liked to play with Frankie and they should let me have him for MY pet. And then they laughed, like it was real funny. They should know that no one can own a cat. Cats own themselves and sometimes people, but we are clever enough to let the people imagine they are the "owners." Mom was right about me liking to play with Frankie. After living with two old, crotchety cats who wouldn't know a real mouse from a toy, I wanted more action and Frankie provided lots of action.

The problem with Frankie is that he is not as ... gifted... as I am. I say this in all humility; I am a tuxedo cat and Frankie is not. Mom oohs and aahs over his fur because "It is the softest fur I have ever touched anywhere," but Frankie is still scared of people a lot and she doesn't get to pet him or brush him as often as she wants.

Here's the bad part. Whenever Mom plays with me, or brushes me, or snuggles me, or even when I sleep on Mom's chest with my head tucked under her chin, Frankie sticks his big nose in. He is not afraid of them if they are being nice to me. I hardly ever get any attention just for me anymore. Plus, he wants to sleep on my cat condo. The old cats never wanted to do that. I admit it has plenty of sleeping places and even a hiding place, and jumping off places, but it is mine and always has been.

It must seem like I don't like Frankie, but I really do. Besides, he needs me because he is ... how shall I put it? ... dumb! We get wet food in the morning and at night, and while Trixie (the mean cat) and I are gobbling ours up, Frankie just stands there looking confused. So every time, Mom has to scoot him over to his food and say, "This is yours, Frankie." And he gets very excited about our evening treats when she opens the treat jar, but if she doesn't put the treats right under his nose he gets all frantic and crazy looking for the treats until she helps him.

I heard Mom talking to the O. M. and she said, "I think Frankie doesn't see well and that's his problem. His eyes are a little crossed, after all." Now I'm a cat, and I'm his big brother, and I'm telling you: Frankie is as dumb as a stump. But we'll let Mom think it's his eyes. After all, he's not getting any little cat glasses any time soon, now, is he?

So that's a little bit more about my brother Frankie. And, BTW, he IS heavy, he already outweighs me. But if he thinks he can be the boss cat around here, he is so wrong. I'm already letting Trixie know that I am boss now.


Sunday, December 20, 2009

Smudge at Your Service

My Mom is busy in the room where she makes things. (I love to go in there now because she has lots of interesting things on the floor called scraps and they are fun to bat around and pounce on.) Mom doesn't know I am doing this, so don't tell her.

She hasn't been using her computer very much to write things lately. I'm pretty sure this is bothering her because I heard her telling the Old Man that someone sent her an anonymous email accusing her of being remiss. Whatever remiss means, she felt bad about it. Also, she overheard two other friends at a Christmas party saying she hadn't posted since October. Even though she feels bad about letting people down, she told the Old Man, she just couldn't post because her heart wasn't in it. So it seems to me that Mom needs some help.

My name is Smudge. I am a very handsome tuxedo cat. I'm not bragging. Mom says that all the time, so I know it's true. I live here with my younger brother, Frankie S., and a mean old cat named Trixie. We used to have another old cat, Jack, who was the boss cat, but he went away a while ago and he never came back. He had gone away a few times and then come back smelling funny, but this time he just disappeared. Mom and the Old Man were pretty upset, so I think something bad happened to Jack.

Mom went away and was gone so long I didn't think she was coming back, but finally she did. I felt so relived. (The Old Man tries hard, but he has a lot to learn about snuggling cats. Cats always say you can't teach old people new tricks, so I guess I shouldn't be too hard on him. He tries.) Anyway, while she was gone for a long time, her father went away and he didn't come back either. That upset Mom and the Old Man more than I've ever seen.

After she came back so sad, Jack disappeared. And after that there was a lot of commotion about holidays and she didn't seem to have much time for us. And, I hate to tell you, we found out that when Frankie escaped that time, he brought back fleas and gave them to all of us! It's embarrassing, but it's the truth. Mom really, really hates fleas and she was yelling about it a lot. Which is kind of dumb (sorry Mom) because everyone knows fleas can't understand people talk or cat talk for that matter. Or if they can, they pretend they can't.

So many things happened this fall that Mom got what's called a flare with her disease. I haven't seen this often, but I've only been here a year. The mean cat has been here 15 years and she told us that sometimes Mom got so sick she had to stay in bed all the time. That doesn't sound too bad to me, but apparently it is bad for people. No one wants her to get real sick like that, especially the Old Man, so he makes her rest. That isn't too hard, because every time she sits in her big chair, she falls asleep anyway.

So I guess that's why she hasn't been writing. She had to go away for a long time, then people and cats started disappearing, then the holidays came (and they haven't disappeared yet), and then she started her sleeping problem. Which is where I come in.

On December 27, 2008, Mom saved my life. She whispered me in from the backyard when I was very, very cold, and I was sick, and my real mom had disappeared. (She did come back, though. I see her out the window everyday now when the Old Man feeds hers.) I felt plenty scared of inside, I'll tell you, but I felt sicker than scared, so I let her tuck me inside her sweater thing and carry me around for a few weeks until the medicine I got at the sick animal place started working. By then, we had adopted each other and she's been my Mom ever since.

So that's why I am helping her out with her writing. I never thought I could write this much, but I am a tuxedo cat and everyone knows how smart we are. Poor Frankie, my little brother, is not a tuxedo cat, and you can really tell, but that's another story.