Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Another tag game

Dear Pablo,

Our new friend and club member, DaisyMae Maus tagged us for another game. I decided that I will answer the questions on behalf of Phoebe and I. Here goes:

A. Name four places you have lived

1. on the mean streets of Portland, Oregon

2. in a "foster home" (cat concentration camp)

3. in a little house in Lake Oswego

4. here

B. Four things I love to watch

1. my lazer light toy after I get tired of playing with it

2. birds out the window

3. neighborhood cats that come visiting.

4. Phoebe likes to watch the people doing whatever their doing (that's boring)

C. Four places I have been outside my home

1. in the car

2. at the vet's (yuck!)

3. in the back yard (we snuck out)

4. Grandma's house

D. Four of my favorite foods.

1. our kibble

2. ?

E. Four places I would rather be right now

1. sitting on one of my people

2. napping on the bed

3. visiting Pablo in Tasmania

4. Phoebe wants to go outside and sniff the grass.

F. Four toys I have owned and played with

1. lazer light toy (the best toy ever)

2. felt mouse with catnip

3. plastic round doo-hickies

4. ball-in-the-round-thingy

G. Four nicknames people call me

1. Monica

2. Phoebe is called Phoebe

H. Regarding catnip

Grandma buys us some every once in a while.

I. Regarding cat grass

Grandma buys it for us regularly. It's a good digestive.

J. Four things I do besides eat, sleep, and litter box

1. supervise my household

2. blog

3. read about Pablo

4. Phoebe works on her research regarding the grooming habits of humans.

K. Four things I want to do this summer

See above

L.Which of the following is your favorite place to hide and play

1. under the bed

2. in a box

3. in a paper bag

4. Phoebe likes to hide behind the curtains and jump out at me.

M. Four other pets that Mommie has had with me

1. Phoebe

2. a glass fish

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Laundry how-to

Dear Pablo,

Sydney and Gilbert have been arguing lately about which of them is to help their mom with the laundry. Since I am an expert at helping with laundry, I thought I would give a simple primer for all of our friends.

In case anyone has not noticed, the human species does not have much fur to keep them warm. (If you look closely, they have very thin hairs, but certainly not enough to guard them from the chill.) Because of this unfortunate disability, they drape themselves with clothing to fend off hypothermia. The poor things are slaves to their clothing, always needing to wash it, fold it and get it out again. It's a vicious cycle. It's the least I can do to help them out a bit. Here are some tasks that you can do to help your people with the laundry as well:
1. sitting in the empty laundry basket helps to remind them that it is time to wash a load of clothes.
2. sitting on top of the clean clothes (unfolded) in the basket helps to compress them in preparation for folding. (flatness is important to make the clothes fit into the drawers). Above you can see me performing this task recently.
3. similarly, sitting on top of the folded clean clothes offers further compression. There is also the added benefit of contributing some of your fur to the clothes so that they will be warmer.
4. inspection and supervision. The "sniff test" ensures that the clean clothes are truly fresh-smelling.

Of course, cats are more suited to these tasks. Dogs are generally too big to fit into the basket. But it's nice of them to try to help.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Fan Club Expands

Dear Pablo,

Tracy explained to us the other day that a fan club is generally comprised of more than just two cats. So in the spirit of inclusiveness, we have enrolled our friends into the fan club member list (seen on our side panel as "Pablo admirers"). We weren't sure about including Beto. I'm not sure if he is really an admirer of yours so much as an apprentice. Plus, he, Possum and Luna do not live in the US, but oh well. Who cares about the details.

So, Daisymae, Luna, Gilbert, Possum, Jake, Jazz, Sydney, Sherman and Beto, welcome to the fan club!

Addendum: Sherman asked a very good question about what you do when you are a member. After consulting with Tracy again about fan clubs, I have decided that we need a fan club pledge. So please repeat the following oath in front of a witness ( everyone will have to provide their own witness. We will take your word for it):

I, (insert your name), do solemnly swear to remain faithful to the Pablo Fan Club purpose, which is to admire the exceptional qualities of the great feline leader, Pablo of West Hobart, Tasmania, Australia. I will heed his wise counsel in feline social causes, defend his honor to any detractors and strive to follow his example in my daily life.**

** We understand that canine members will not be capable of some of the advanced feline skills, but membership will still be extended on the basis of friendship with Pablo.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

A Poem

Roses are red
Violets are blue
Pablo is Tiger-striped
And he's very handsome, too.

Thank you for our Valentine's Day message, Pablo!

Saturday, February 3, 2007

Tips from Monica

Dear Pablo,

I'm afraid that Phoebe has led little Possum astray on a couple of her points. As a number 2 cat, Phoebe is not aware of the big responsibilities which come with being the number 1 household cat. In a multiple cat home, one cat must take on this important role and in our case, that is me. As an only cat, I can only assume that Possum will need to assume this role as well. At any rate, I cannot passively practice being "polite and demure" in order to gain special privileges. I have to make sure that I continue to assert my authority around here. People have such short memories and need to be reminded constantly to see to the daily chores involved in serving the cats in their home. Here are some ways to maintain an atmosphere of proper respect for cat authority:
1. sit on your people whenever you feel like it. Don't be discouraged if they push you away, just wait a few minutes and go at it again. With repetition, the people generally get the point and start petting you.
2. stare at your people and tell them what they need to do. Since people do not understand meow, you need to speak slowly and loudly and repeatedly until they get the message.
3. train your people to do an action on command. In my house, this involves turning on the water faucet. My cue is jumping into the bathtub and staring at them. If that is not enough prompting, I remind them of the proper action by licking at the faucet. Ongoing practice in obedience is very helpful in reminding them who is in charge.

In a multiple cat household, it is also necessary to maintain the number one position with your colleagues. Other cats are much more responsive to the subtle means of maintaining order than people are. From time to time, however, it is just necessary to interrupt attention that is being bestowed on the other cat and redirect it towards you. The goal here is not to be mean, just to maintain order. All cats deserve the people's attention. They just need to remember that you have the first rights to all things.

PS. I do not stay in the bedroom at night because it is boring. Not because I'm not allowed...