Wednesday, January 20, 2010


I am surrounded by hooligans. They say I am old and mean. Harrumph, they haven't seen mean yet.

This used to be a very nice home. Jack could be troublesome, but after 15 years together, we had worked out most of the kinks in our relationship. Usually, I could count on him to groom my head and face at least once a day. His antics entertained our people enough that they left me in peace. I had long ago trained then to keep their distance and only touch me when I gave them permission. You don't hear about people going around picking up Queen Elizabeth and living to tell about it, do you? Same principle applies with me.

Then something happened to Jack. He started to shrink, literally. He lost interest in his normal activities. He let that little whippersnapper, Dirty Nose, bully him sometimes. That was not the Gentleman Jack I knew. The people kept taking him away and bringing him back smelling like the poke-at-you place. Then he stayed there long enough that his smell scared me. Then he went away and didn't come back.

I suppose our people think we don't understand because we are cats. Harrumph. I know perfectly well that Jack got so sick and tired of those hooligans that he left the country and didn't look back. I'd do the same thing if I felt more comfortable going outdoors without my entourage.

So now, instead of a suitably adoring, if occasionally curmudgeonly, companion, I have to contend with two hooligans. Smudge - he of the spot as permanent as Lady MacB's - and Frankie - the blind boy - are nothing but trouble. I do feel a little sorry for Frankie because he does not, in fact, see well and it makes him very skittish. (FYI - Skittish comes from the feline word "to skit" meaning "to act like a kitten.") But D.N. has nothing to recommend him. He crawls right up on my person and LAYS ON HER, sometimes even when I am draped regally at her feet on the reclining throne.

I give them a hiss and the back of my paw whenever I can just to keep them on their toes. I am the queen of this kingdom and if they don't show me the respect I deserve, they will be sorry. Let's not forget that the front of my paws have well-sharpened claws and I know how to use them. I've even taken a swing at my M. P. recently when she got between me and the hooligans. She will learn not to overstep.

The Queen of Hearts had it right: Off with their heads!

Queen Beatrix Autumn
(Trixie to her close companions)

P.S. My main person got out her traveling bag tonight and started putting clothes in it. I have been around long enough to know what that means. She will not be around for a while. It could be one treat cycle or it could be several treat cycles. Either way, I will be suitably crabby when she comes back no matter how many treat cycles it is. I hate going without my bedtime treats. The back-up person would give me my regular bedtime treats, but I prefer to keep him in his place by letting him pet me, but refusing to take treats from him. You can't let the people get too familiar, you know.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Who Doesn't Love a Snuggle?

Mom has been moving too fast for me today. She never even sat in her big chair this evening. I like to climb up on her chest, right under her neck, and snuggle in the evening when she's sitting there. But not today. Why don't people learn to relax, like cats do? Napping is a very productive occupation. It is good for your digestion and it makes you a more pleasant creature. Even mean ol' Trixie doesn't growl at us so much when she sleeps on top of Mom and M's bed with Frankie and me.

I noticed that Trixie growls at us more ...

I'm Back! It took me a whole week to get my chance. I got rudely bumped off the computer by Mom (sorry to be harsh, Mom, but you were rude) and then she hardly got on her computer all week. Usually I can count on time during the weekend, but she went all weekend long without even turning on her computer. It drives me crazy, but we've already had the opposable thumb conversation, so I'll try to regain my train of thought.

I noticed that Trixie growls at us more when Mom and M are around, especially if they are talking to us, or petting us, or brushing us. Usually they brush "fraNkie" because he has long hair. My hair does not need brushing because it is just the right length, which is good, because I don't like brushing that much. I like snuggling, which is where I started with this post.

When Mom first whispered me inside, I felt scared and I was sick. Mom wanted to make me feel safe and keep me warm, so she carried me inside her big sweater thing. It has very, very big sleeves - like a shawl with cuffs, I heard Mom tell someone - and I would crawl into the sleeve part and curl up for long naps. When I came out, if I didn't feel like eating or playing, I would sit on Mom's chest, way up high so I could snuggle under her chin.

Now days, it is harder to get into the sleeves of her sweaters, even that big one, but I still squeeze in as much as I can. And I still snuggle on her chest. My head fits under her chin just right and she holds me and snuggles me when I'm there. She rubs me with her chin. (Not very many people know that chin rubs on a cat's cheek and face are very, very special to us because of how we are made, but Mom has always done it and I love her for it.)

I have heard her tell M that I am a lot heavier now than when I was a kitten. And sometimes I jump onto her from the other furniture or off her to the other furniture and then she gets a very wide-eyed look and says "Ooof." She doe not seem to like that. Once, I accidentally got my claws into one of those bumps she has on her chest as I launched myself and then she kind of yowled and said bad words. But most of the time, she is calm and behaves in a very cat-like way.

Decorum is very important to cats, you know. Well, most of the time. We do allow for playtime. "All sleep and no play makes Puss a dull cat," as the old saying goes. "What about the catnip?" you ask. Okay, I'll admit it. When there's catnip around, we can't be responsible for our conduct; however, that is not a fit topic for a public forum and I'm not saying another thing about it.

Mom was taking a shower, but now she is moving around in her den, so I better wrap it up.


Thursday, January 07, 2010

my name is fraNkie

My name is fraNkie. My brother has been saying mean things about me on the computer. I don’t think he should do that because i am just a little cat. I am not even 1 year old yet. I can’t do as many things as Smudge can, but he is not as soft and beautiful as I am. Trixie is the meanest cat alive. She scares me a lot. Lots of things scare me because I am not used to inside noises or people.

I lived outside all my life until my human mom tricked me into coming inside. At first I didn’t mind because my sisters were with me. Then they went away. Most of the time Smudge is a good brother.  He plays with me every day and we sleep next to each other, too. Smudge is not afraid of Trixie. Sometimes he even chases her until she takes a swipe at him, then even Smudge will back away. I usually just flip on my back when she gets close to me. She won’t hurt me when I show her my tummy.

Mom likes to brush me and pet me. I like it too, but sometimes she moves too fast and I get scared and run away. Smudge said I was too dumb to eat my food without mom showing it to me but that is not true. I just don’t like to get too close until I know that it is safe for me.

So please don’t believe things that Smudge says about me. I am a nice cat and he knows it. If you see my cat mom, tell her I said hi and I haven’t forgotten about her. I wish she was not outside in this cold weather, but mom and M are putting out extra food for the outside cats. This will to help them stay warm.

It is nice to meet you.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

I Need an Opposable Thumb!

Cats are nearly perfect creatures in every regard; however, it is a shame that we don't have opposable thumbs. Mom has been distracted and busy, gone for a long time some days, and this is the first chance I've had to get at the computer to update her blog. She doesn't realize how frustrating it is for me when she hibernates her computer during the day or turns it off altogether at night.

I have heard her saying something to him about saving energy. I can't imagine how they could save anymore energy than they already do. Don't tell Mom I said this, but they sit around an awfully lot. Frankie and I play chase with each other, we jump up on high windows and bookcases and, of course, our cat condo. We harass Trixie a little bit if we are feeling very, very rambunctious. (Have I mentioned that she's mean? If we get too wild, or sometimes if we even try to politely walk past her to use the facilities, she growls and she doesn't stop until we are out of sight.)

We also play with Mom and sometimes him, which is about the only exercise I ever see them getting. They have been a challenge to train, him especially, but since Frankie and I both still have all nine of our lives, we can invest the necessary time. Mom has learned to curl up in bed so that Frankie can sleep by her feet and I can sleep by her neck. She hardly ever kicks or rolls on us anymore and, if she does, she stops as soon as she wakes up enough to know what she's doing. When she gets out of bed at night to use their facilities - a lot nicer than ours, btw - she scoots out from under the covers without pushing us off the bed.

That is very thoughtful of her, but I usually get up anyway to escort her. I'd hate to think she ran into any trouble and I was not there to help. Frankie might come along if he's already awake, but if he is sleeping at the bottom of the bed, he just keeps his lazy hindquarters stuck to the bed and pretends he is asleep.

I'm sure you can figure out that someone is not doing quite as well with his training. He kicks a lot and pushes his feet against the railing at the end of the bed, so it is pretty miserable trying to sleep with him. Sometimes he scrunches into the middle of the bed and I can find a little room along the edge of the mattress. Not too often, though, because Mom says, "If you're going to sleep in the middle of the bed, then why did we have to buy a queen-sized?" I am not sure what a queen-sized is, but I guess Mom was not to impressed with it.

You might be wondering why I keep writing him and he, etc. instead of Dad. Well, believe it or not, he objected to a cat calling him Dad!! That just chaps my fluffy butt. How did he get such a big head? Well, I have thought and thought about it, and I decided to call him M. If he doesn't like that, too bad; I'm not going to change one more time for anybody. Even if Mom asks me to really nicely. She spoils M anyway.

Whew, Mom was coming to turn off the computer but she got sidetracked by Frankie. He can be good for something every once in a while. She just started brushing him and that can keep her entertained for quite a while.

Mom's big girl, Alix, came over yesterday and she got a good look at Frankie for the first time in a while. (Frankie's a hider.) She got very excited and said she thought he was some kind of fancy cat. Alix and Mom got on the computer for a long time, looking at cat pictures and reading stuff, and they said Frankie looks just like a Birman cat and acts like one, too. I jumped up on Mom's lap and took a look myself. I must admit there is a strong resemblance.

Birman cats have the darker colors on their legs and face and creamy colors on their body like Frankie. And they have very distinctive mittens and stockings on their feet that do look like Frankie's. They have tiny voices, which is true of my brother, and long silken hair with no undercoat so it doesn't tangle. Frankie's coat is like that, too. (That's why Mom is always brushing him and petting him and making goo-goo sounds about his fur. Yuck.)

I guess I can see why they think he's one of those Birman cats, but I have to tell you, it is sheer dumb luck that he turned out as well as he did. We do not come from fancy cats. We are salt-of-the-earth, backyard cats, and I haven't seen any hoity-toity Birman cats hanging around my birth mother.

Mother is quite stunning and unique in her own way. She is a gray tabby with very, very long hair. There's a big ruff around her neck like a lion's mane. Her coat gets even bigger in cold weather and right now she looks very scary when I see her in the backyard eating. Alix thinks she is a Maine Coon cat, but again, that seems a little far fetched. She might look like the pictures on the computer, but how would a Maine Coon cat end up as a feral living on her wits and the kindness of strangers in this neighborhood?

I am a tuxedo cat, the smartest and handsomest kind of cat anyone could want, and it is hard to fathom why they even care about Frankie's genealogy, but, if it makes them happy, they can believe any fantastic thing that they want.

If Mom would cut me some slack and leave her computer on a bit more, I could visit with y'all more. Why don't you mention it to her if you get the chance? But nicely. She's my Mom and I don't want her feelings to be hurt.