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.