WINTER IS HERE!!!

 OCTOBER IS COMING!!

Yesterday Mommie told me that October is coming to visit. Huh? I thought October is ten months from now. She noticed the questioning look on my face so she just said: Just wait, It will be fun.”

I hardly slept last night worrying about October. If we went right past February 28th and went straight to October I would miss my birthday party. Patches didn't really care. No one knows when his birthday is anyway and he has never had a birthday party. I was really sad and grumpy until the doorbell rang.

Mommie opened the door and let her friend Andria in with a BIG black cat (he weighs at least 22 pounds) in tow. Mommie called: “Sparkles, come here. I want you to meet October.” Meet October? Yes, I met October. He is Andria's kitty. (“Kitty”, I would say a big fat blob of a cat.) He went straight for Mommie's chair (my chair) and nestled in for the duration.

It turns out October is really a very nice cat. He just sat and purred loudly. When I talked to him he explained his mommie,Andria, actually pushed food in front of him all day long. He loves Andria and didn't want to hurt her feelings by not eating. Then he got so fat he can hardly move, let alone exercise.

Actually, it was rather refreshing to talk to another cat that is not a rival. Patches just sat and stared at the two of us having a pleasant time. Mommie said she would take me to see October some time.

“I have a friend, I have a friend, I have a friend.” I gloated this to Patches the rest of the day after October had gone. Patches was so upset that he doesn't have a friend like October so he went to sleep on Mommie's bed. I knew his feelings were hurt so I didn't run him off the bed. I just went to sleep on Uncle Tom's bed – so there!

PLAYING TOGETHER

Together Patches and I got a Cat's Meow for Christmas. You know the one where you chase a covered up mouse around under a yellow circle of felt (or whatever). I figured out right away that I was never going to catch that mouse no matter how hard I tried. Patches keeps chasing in high hopes of catching that sucker – you can see it on his face – hope.

Yesterday I figured out that if Patches keeps chasing I can be on the opposite side and really catch it. That puzzled poor Patches to no end. Here I was catching the silly thing and he was just missing every time. So one time I chased it to let Patches catch it. He was in seventh heaven.

Poor Patches. He thinks he actually has a chance at catching it on his own. Mommie saw what was going on and praised me for “letting” Patches catch it once in a while. Pl-u-u-r-r. I'm practicing for next Christmas season. Once in a while I have to be the good boy.

Mommie: “Once in a while is right.

ICE – WHEE-E-E-E  

When I lived in Texas, if it snowed, the snow stayed around for 2-3 days max, even if it snowed 4-5 inches. The sun would begin shining and the temperatures would rise to 40 to 50 degrees. Here in Nebraska, it snowed 1-2 inches last week and it is STILL here. Two days ago the wind was really blowing hard so the snow got mounded into snow drifts.

What makes it fun is that there is ice underneath the snow. If you haven't skidded or slipped on ice, you have missed an adventure. Mommie doesn't like the ice, but I do. It is fun to skid around on the ice. Once in a while I see Patches falling down. Of course he doesn't have far to fall since his stomach almost reaches the ground anyway (ha ha).

The little outdoor cats always seem to have a ball around the ice. Yesterday I was chasing the little calico one and I slipped on the ice. My belly got bruised a bit, but it was still fun. I didn't notice the pain until I came into the house. When I went to sleep on Mommie's bed, I had to find a spot that was “just so” because the pain was there. I didn't complain because I want to go out and play with the kittens again tomorrow.

Uncle Tom says the snow might last until spring. When is spring?

WON'T DO THAT AGAIN!

Had a horrible night last night. When Uncle Tom went to the shop to get some tools to use in the house, I meandered into the shop and looked around for some mice. Uncle Tom called “here kitty, here kitty, here kitty” when he was leaving the shop. He actually looked around for me.

Stubborn (and stupid) me ignored the call and continued to look for mice. All at once the shop was dark and quiet. I saw some moonlight from the window. Uncle Tom was gone and I was all ALONE. I was scared. I have never been shut in the shop over night. I kept hearing eerie voices – maybe rats talking to each other. I have been told the rats are pretty big here.

I climbed onto the golf cart and tried to sleep. Fearfully, I had to keep one eye open to look for the rats. About 2 am it started getting cold. BRRR. Even though there is some geothermal heat coming in from the ground, it was still cold considering the temperature outside was minus six. I looked around the best I could and found a pile of dirty rags in the corner. I sank down into the pile hoping they would keep me somewhat warm. It worked.

Bright and early I heard Patches outside the door meowing to see if I was OK. He told me that Mommie and Uncle Tom were concerned about where I was. This was the first night I slept away from Mommie's bed. Finally, about ten o'clock Uncle Tom remembered his visit to the shop last night. Mommie came flying out of the house up to the shop. She picked me up and carried me down to the house holding onto me for dear life.

Mommie said: “I hope you learned a lesson here. When someone calls you, COME.”

DID SOMEONE SAY “SPOILED”?

Yesterday I heard Mommie's friend Carolyn say that Patches and me are “spoiled rotten”. What does that mean? They went on chatting about pets that are spoiled, including Carolyn's dog, Jake. Uncle Tom chimed in with: “I have never seen two such spoiled brats.” I guess he meant me and Patches. (For a second I thought he meant “brats” as in sausage wieners with German spicing, but, I didn't smell any so he probably meant us.)

I know what rotten is and what spoiled is, but how do those words apply to us? Uncle Tom listed several examples: Patches and I won't eat leftover food. Whenever we get the top layer off our individual food dishes, we won't eat what is left in the bowl. We won't use each others' litter pan. We both like to sleep on our masters' beds.

OK. Here are my rebuttals: If the food dish is several layers full, I know that if I eat the top layer off, sometimes Patches comes by and takes a bite. He leaves an odor that only I can smell. Who wants to eat out of that dish after he's been in it? Not ME!!!

The litter pan. Patches needs one that is deep and wide (he is deep and wide – ha ha). I only need a shallow one because I am much more careful when I do my “chores”. I don't let the litter fly everywhere like he does.

Our masters' beds. I like to sleep where I can smell Mommie if she isn't there. I know I could sleep in my hidey hole, in Mommie's chair or even on the floor, but Mommie's bed is so soft and comfy, especially for my ten-hour afternoon snoozes. Patches likes Uncle Tom's bed for the same reasons.

Spoiled? I still don't get it. Please someone explain it to me.

MY NEW HIDEY HOLE 

This morning I heard Mommie looking all over the house for me. Uncle Tom swore (not the bad words kind) that he did not let me out overnight. She called “here kitty, here kitty, here kitty”.

I chose to believe that the “advice” “to COME when called” didn't apply in the house. That was only necessary in the shop and outdoors, right? So this morning when she least expected it I jumped out at Mommie when she was bending over my food bowl. I didn't know Mommie could yell so LOUD. That yell even scared the little outdoor kitten that was looking in through the patio door – that little kitty went running.

You see, I found this neat hidey hole that Patches can't get at and Mommie can't see because it is behind the old wood stove that isn't used any more. (PLEASE don't tell Mommie where it is – even I like a little privacy once in a while .) I have to climb up and over the stove and Patches is just too fat to do that. And, Mommie is just a tad too short for her to peek over the edge.

It seems Uncle Tom stored an old pillow case with clean shop rags stuffed inside behind the stove. Several days ago I heard him say “I wonder where my old clean shop rags are. I know they are in an old pillow case somewhere in this house.” But because of all the “stuff” that is stored inside this house, it would be difficult to find this space.

I have been here for six or seven months now and yesterday was the first time I spotted this wonderful space. It is about 2 foot square and nestled into a corner behind the stove. The pillow case is on the floor. I pulled out a few rags and arranged them “just so”. It was wonderful. Pl-u-r-r-r. 

UNCLE TOM'S HIDEY HOLE 

Uncle Tom has a new hidey hole. And, he doesn't even know it!! You see I have been “helping” fill up the space with “stuff”. You can go ahead and tell him though, because he really needs to know about it.

It is behind the new fireplace. After he pushed the fireplace into the corner he left his 12' tape measure on top as well as three pop rivets and two teeny tiny screws. Last Monday he forgot and left his favorite pencil on top; Wednesday he left his change – four dimes, six pennies, and one quarter on top.

Of course, you know I couldn't resist sending them over the edge too. Because the space is too narrow for me to get down into it, this space has no special meaning to me so I don't really care what I push over. Like today: Mommie left her old watch and Uncle Tom left his new truck key on top – down they went! Both of them are ranting and raving about “where is my watch / key?”

The kicker to this episode: I'm not even supposed to get on top, but it is so-o-o easy; one leap and there I am – just like Superman!

OUTDOOR FUN

Would you believe the temperature is around 50 degrees here in Nebraska in the middle of January? That's what it was like last January in Texas – maybe this year too.

When it is this warm the mama cat lets her babies (almost as big as she is!) out to play in the sunshine. Yesterday we had a great game of hide-and-seek going on until Blackie, another outdoor cat, horned in and spoiled it for me. The babies thought he was a real hero. He pointed to where the players were hidden so the one that was “it” could find the others real fast. EXCEPT when I was “it”. I had to look high and low for those four kittens. (Personally, I think they moved around from hiding place to hiding place just to tease me.)

Mommie looked out the window and could see what was going on. She could tell by my lethargic attitude when I came in that I was upset. She told me that people – and cats – sometimes don't play fair and they “pick on” a particular player. Mommie said it wasn't exactly bullying and she reminded me that I was a “mature” cat and could take the taunting.

I understood, but it still hurt. P-O-O-E-Y on Blackie. I don't need a friend like him anyway; I have Patches. Please don't tell Patches I said that about him because he will become a real pest and want to be included in everything I do!!!

PATCHES IS FIREPROOF 

When we lived in Texas Mommie stressed the idea that I should not get too close to the fireplace. In fact, one time I almost burned my tail when it hung down from a counter top right in front of the fire – a counter top that I was not supposed to be on.

So, yesterday when Patches marched right up to the “fire” I was actually afraid he might get hurt. He even rubbed his fat tail against the glass in front of the fire. Even though he is my nemesis, I still care if he gets hurt.

It was too far out for me to believe that Patches couldn't get burned by that fire. It really puzzled me for several hours. Then I got it! Since Patches is so old his skin and hair must have lost their sensitivity to heat or pain. That wasn't it either because when I intentionally swiped at his side (the side he rubbed against the fireplace) with my claw he felt the pain.

This morning when we were playing tag I accidentally hit the fireplace with my left front paw. It didn't burn! Wow. Then I REALLY got it. Those flames are just fake. They look so real, I guess I can imagine Mommie accepting fake flames.

Patches, I'm sorry about the “fat tail” comment. (Mommie made me write that.)

PATCHES IS A SNITCH! 

Patches has seen me many times on top of the fireplace. I think he is jealous that I can jump that far and he can barely get up onto a chair. Even the bed is a problem for him, but since he likes to sleep on the bed, he uses every muscle he has to get up on top of it.

I sing to myself “Patches is a fattie, Patches is a fattie, Patches is a.....”. Every once in a while it comes out of my mouth and Patches pouts. So I guess I shouldn't be surprised that he has become a SNITCH. (Tit for tat? – whatever.)

Patches watched me yesterday as I did my Superman jump and got up on the fireplace mantle. He sat and smiled at me as he did his little growling thing. I wasn't paying attention and Mommie came running when he did a real mournful m-e-e-o-o-w.

AH, HA!!” Mommie screamed when she saw me on the fireplace. “GOTCHA, you big fat cat. Get off the fireplace!!” (Later she and Uncle Tom found their treasures behind it.) I couldn't believe that Patches had figured out a way to tell on me. And, I was stupid enough not to notice the signs.

“...big fat cat.” Now that hurt! No wonder Patches pouts. I guess I should be nicer to him and quit commenting on his weight.

MORE TROUBLE 

Tuna and bacon (Kevin and Keith) the next door twins moved in about three weeks ago. When Mommie took me along for the house warming party, I was excited. Even though the boys were awful to me sometimes, I still liked the idea of the adventure of playing with them. After all, Melanie and Lakisha were 600 miles away in Texas and I wanted some young kids to play with – Mommie is old.

Not only do they have matching kittens – two yellow tabbies – as playmates, they have a DOG named Rusty. Rusty is a slow moving German Shepherd. He plays well with the two kittens, so I assumed he would be nice to me. Bad mistake! Rusty decided he didn't like me and he chased me around the house (like as outside, literally, around the house). He was NOT like Sparky, my dog friend in Texas.

The two tabbies, Peaches and Pepper, really laughed when they saw Rusty chasing me. Now I have two more cats against me. Will I ever win? My ego is really taking a beating. If I knew how to use the speed dial on Mommie's phone I would call Sparky's mommie in Texas and ask her to come and get me.

Should I?

DOUBLE TROUBLE

Since we moved to Nebraska, I haven't given much thought to Melanie and Lakisha. After all they are just girls. I am macho cat. (If you could see me you would see the muscles in my legs!)

Well, today I met the neighbor boys – six-year-old twins – Kevin and Keith. Sometimes their mommie says she can hardly tell the difference, they look so much alike. I can tell the difference because they each have a distinct odor. Kevin smells like tuna and Keith smells like bacon to me. (Mommie says: Sparkles puts a food connotation on everything he thinks about.)

The minute I met the boys, I could tell I was going to be in trouble, BIG trouble. Right away Kevin grabbed me and Keith pulled my tail. I don't like anyone, not even Mommie, to grab me. Of course, my tail is my pride and joy. I knew Mommie would be upset if I clawed either one, but it was sure tempting.

For a few minutes each of the boys would hold me and pet me properly, so I was always unprepared for the next minute when they would pull my whiskers or some other teasing (and sometimes painful) maneuvers. Once in a while they would hold me up high to see if I landed on my feet when they dropped me.  Fortunately, they always held me feet down.

Mommie said their mommie would be back to pick them up in thirty minutes. I hope thirty minutes is not long – I can't wait for them to go home!

 

FOOTPRINTS IN THE SINK

Yesterday Mommie came storming into the family room while I was eating breakfast. “Who was in the bathroom sink and left fat paw prints everywhere? I hope you didn't lick the toothpaste.”

For once my normally (cute) “who me” face did not work. Of course I was guilty. Patches can't jump high enough to get on the bathroom counter and Uncle Tom doesn't have kitty paws at the end of his arm.

Mommie, let me explain: You know you leave extra cat food on the counter so you don't have to go to the family room every time my bowl in the bathroom is nearly empty. Well, my bowl was almost empty because that big fat lug of a cat, Patches, ate all the food and I was hungry. I accidentally slipped in the sink and the faucet was dripping so my feet got wet. I must have had some outside dirt still on my paws.

Mommie you really should check that faucet because it leaks some.

I did not lick the toothpaste. I remembered from the last time I was up on the counter that your toothpaste is too minty for me!!!

“IT'S SILLY TO TALK TO ANIMALS”

So says Uncle Tom. This must mean that Mommie is silly. She is always talking to me, Patches, the outdoor cats, stray dogs, etc., wherever and whenever she sees one of us. She loves talking to us.

When Mommie is away for a few hours she will tell me about her adventures which occurred while she was gone. Sometimes the “adventures” are boring (y-a-w-n) and other times she gets so excited that she just goes on and on (and on and on).

Like today. She went visiting the twins and they tried to play a trick on her by trading their names for the morning. Fortunately, Mommie knows that Kevin has a small (very small) red mark on his left ankle. Their mommie clued Mommie in on the secret. Mommie said she went along with it for a little while and then decided to play a trick on them. She gave some candy to Kevin and because they pretended to be each other, Mommie gave Kevin another piece and didn't give one to Keith. Of course this resulted in a fight and the truth.

While Mommie was gone I heard Uncle Tom ask Patches if he, Patches, was having a good morning. He also asked him if he wanted to go outside. So now who is silly?

A NEW TOY!!! 

Yesterday when Mommie and Uncle Tom were outside working on the storage shed, I played nearby. I spotted a soft cuddly toy about ten feet away. Since I like to pounce I did.

POUNCED right on top of a baby mouse. He was really cute. As soon as I touched him, he ran. Then the baby and I played hide and seek. He hid and I tried to find him. There was lots of hay on the ground so he had real good cover. He didn't know it, of course, but I could smell him. I found him every time he tried to hide.

After a while he got tired and just laid out flat. I nudged him because I wanted to keep playing. Mommie saw the situation and scolded me for chasing that baby mouse. She said I should pick on someone my own age; someone like the baby's mother.

If you are wondering why I didn't eat him, I don't like killing mice and then eating them. That is why Mommie feeds me in the house. I understand that the outdoor cats hunt and kill them because they don't get the kind of food I do. But most of the time the outdoor cats have really bad breath – their breaths STINK.

I let the little sucker live.  OK?

 "...TEMPATURES WILL BE MINUS 10 TONIGHT...STAY TUNED"

I heard this voice coming from somewhere.  Patches and I started looking for the man behind the voice when a woman interrupted and said "Freeze warning today, keep your pets inside." We looked all over the house and couldn't find either the man or the woman.  

We were beginning to think we were hearing things, when all of a sudden I found the place the voice was coming from -- in the living room on the end table next to Uncle Tom's chair. There it was: the little white box with an antenna popping out the top.  I heard Uncle Tom call it a weather radio.  I must have stepped on the "play" button when I was exploring earlier.  (I only do this kind of exploring when Mommie and Uncle Tom are gone.)

Before I could try to shut if off, Mommie came home from town.  She didn't hear anything when she was bringing in the groceries and putting them away because she is kind of hard of hearing.  All at once she yelled at me: "Sparkles, did you turn on the weather radio?"  Of course she knew Patches couldn't have done it and Uncle Tom wouldn't leave it on when he went outside.

I couldn't deny it.  Mommie cuddled me and assured me she wouldn't tell Uncle Tom.  But she did remind me not to do it (the exploring) again.

I love Mommie.

 

 

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24.06 | 17:14

Mommie, I am glad you are back! I was beginning to worry.

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30.03 | 13:11

Other places charge for these. Thanks.

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05.09 | 15:06

Interesting concept. I am sending an envelope with my name, address, and stamp on it so I can receive these for free.

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