Thursday, December 30, 2010

Let it Snow!

Happy Friday! Happy Weekend! Haaaaaaappy Neeew Yeeeeeeeeaaaar! Hope you had a wonderful Christmas and are geared up for the New Year’s celebrations. My Christmas was wonderful! Lots of good food, presents and family. Our neighbors brought over a plethora of cookies and candies for us to enjoy, and did we ever!! I must have gained at least 2 pounds over the last week!
The day after Christmas turned out to be quite the fun day. The snow started late Christmas night and kept falling through the late afternoon Sunday. The roads were so terrible we couldn’t go anywhere, so we spent most of the morning eating a big breakfast topped off with some cookies and candy. We then sat around feeling bloated. Someone mentioned that it would do us some good to go outside and perhaps clean off the deck so that Steve and Barnaby could get to the back door for their treats. Since no one wanted to volunteer to exert themselves, it was decided that we ALL would get up and spend some time out in the beautiful snow.
I dressed myself in a warm woolen hat and waterproof boots. I gathered up all my other warm hats to share with any of my friends who might venture into our yard on this special winter’s day. I stepped out onto the back deck to find some friends already waiting for me!

I offered Steve and Jibbers a hat and they hastily accepted. There’s nothing worse than frostbitten ears! I noticed the vigilante cardinals hovering in one of the trees. I told them that they could each have one of my hats if they promised not to harass me today. Head cardinal told me that he could not promise that since I was on their watch list. I felt bad for them and let them have hats anyway. They might just as well be warm while they watch me!
It was an especially good snowball making snowfall, so I knew it wouldn’t take long before the snowball fights would begin. I immediately set to work building a snow fort I could hide behind when the snowballs started to fly. That proved to be a very wise move on my part, as Steve took snow into his fat, fluffy paws and began shaping the first snowball. I quickly started making snowball after snowball to stock my arsenal. I hid them behind my fort wall so no one would know how well armed I was. I should have known the little white snowballs were going to attract the attention of the vigilante cardinals. I looked up to find them staring at me with disapproving looks on the little birdie faces. “What?!?!?!?!?” I asked. Head cardinal sternly told me they were there to protect the pile of eggs I had next to me. I explained to the cardinals that the white orbs were snowballs, not eggs. I told them to stay and observe, and they could see that when the white orb hit the ground it would disappear into a puff of snowy crystals. They agreed to stay. I could only hope someone would hit them with a snowball!!!
As I stooped to pick up snow to make another snowball I felt something whiz past my head. I popped back up to find Steve lying on his back, just waving his arms and giggling away. He had no idea that I was about to exact my revenge! I used my stockpile of snowballs to throw one after another. Jibbers jumped behind the fort wall with me to help pummel Steve and Cali. Steve tried to stop and make snowballs, but when he did he found himself an easy target. One time, I hit Cali square on and knocked her off her feet!

Eventually I ran out of snowballs which evened things up. We finally had to stop when Steve was so covered with snow he was hard to find. He had those funny little clumps of icy snow matted on his fur. He looked like he was made up of a bunch of tiny snowballs! I suggested we go inside to defrost and have some warm milk. Everyone agreed that would be great, and we adjourned to the inside. Before I went inside, the vigilante cardinals told me that they were convinced that the white orbs were not eggs, so they would leave – but as always they reminded me that they would be watching me!
We enjoyed our warm milk and Christmas cookies. After a while we were itching to get back to playing, so we headed back out into the winter wonderland. We saw some of the neighbors making snowmen, and thought since people mad snowmen, we’d make a snow cat! We watched the neighbors for a while to learn the technique and then we set to work!
Steve got the ball rolling by making the bottom snow ball – a big one!

Then the rest of us jumped in and we were creating fools!

We had fun turning the plain white piles of snow into a creature of our own making! As the snow cat started to resemble a cat we looked at each other and smiled. We were doing a good job! Now came the tough part – adding the accessories to make it look more real. Can you guess who the head designer was?

We stood back and admired our handiwork. The others looked at me, then the snow cat, then back at me, then back at the snow cat. They agreed that the snow cat certainly did look a lot like me. They especially liked the Junior Mint I used as an eyeball. I had to keep an eye on my friends to make sure no one ate the eyeball - everyone loves Junior Mints!!
We were again in need of warming, so we headed back inside. After all the activity, I knew I was ready for a catnap. I don’t know if there is such a thing as a ferretnap, but I think Jibbers was in need of one! My friends headed home and I headed to my bed. One sleeps so soundly after lots of fun activities!
Well, I better go get ready for the New Year’s Eve Party in the Park. Fayetteville has a big party with food and music in Festival Park. Last year my parents had a lot of fun, so they’ve invited me to join them this year. Mom’s favorite local band “Hot Sauce” is playing, so she’s very excited. The event is put on by the Dogwood Festival folks, so I know it’s going to be done right! Hope you have great plans for New Year’s eve!!

Love & licks,


Friday, December 24, 2010

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

Happy Friday! Happy weekend AND Merry Christmas! At last it is Christmas eve, and I am all atwitter with anticipation. This is my third Christmas with my family, and every year I learn more and more about the holiday. I’ve unraveled the tree mystery, so I can now move on to experience the other events that make up the holiday season.
Every year Mom and Dad go to a company Christmas party. Mom gets all gussied up and she and Dad disappear for a few hours. This year Dad had to work, so Mom asked me if I would like to be her date for the party. I jumped at the chance to add to my Christmas experiences! I put on the hat I had purchased for Matthew and Georgie’s wedding and headed out with Mom.
The room where the party was held was decorated all glittery and Christmasy. We had a wonderful dinner and played some games. Just as things seemed to be winding down, the music was turned up and the dancing began. One song for which everyone headed to the dance floor was the Electric Slide. I trotted out to the dance floor with Mom and she taught me how to do it. It didn’t take long before I was the best slider!

We had lots of fun dancing the night away. I was worn out by the time we left and I slept like a kitten that night.
The next Christmas mystery I felt it was time to tackle was the Santa issue. I had seen the children sitting on his lap talking to him, a picture was taken and then they just left. He didn’t give them anything. I wanted to find out what the deal was.
I went to the mall and sought out this mysterious man in the red suit. I found him sitting in a big chair at the end of a long path. I fell in line behind a whole bunch of children and waited my turn for…. I had no idea what. When it was my turn I jumped on his lap and waited to see what would happen.

The first thing he told me was that he liked my hat. I thanked him and told him that I liked his as well. He then asked the question that he evidently asks all the children. He asked me what I wanted for Christmas. That’s why the children wanted to sit on his lap! I bet they all had big long lists of what toys and goodies they wanted. I thought and thought but couldn’t think of a thing I needed. Then something jumped into my head. I told Santa that the one thing I wanted for Christmas was for all my friends at the animal shelter to find families to love them. Santa smiled, gave me a big hug and told me that I was a special kitty. Then the elf snapped a photo and I had to leave. I had a warm, happy feeling inside. Okay, I get the Santa thing now.
That night the partying continued with a family get together at our house. I helped Mom clean and prepare for the guests. I made sure all my toys were put away and that none of the tree ornaments that might have been accidently knocked down were lying on the floor.
All the relatives came over for dinner. After dinner we popped open our crackers and found hats, jokes and whistles inside. The crackers are a British tradition, and it is a cool idea. We put on our hats and figured out who had which numbered whistle. I was selected to be the conductor, so I sat where everyone could see me to lead us in a tune.

As hard as we tried, we couldn’t get it quite right - but we had fun trying. At one point we were all laughing so hard no one could blow their whistles. The night was a huge success and we made plans to meet for dinner the next night.
It didn’t take me long to figure out that food is an integral part of the holiday season. The next time I saw all my relatives again it was at a restaurant for dinner. We had fun deciding what to order because it all sounded so good. I didn’t see my favorite dish on the menu, but the waitress said they would make it up especially for me. How nice! I was so pleased when the waitress served me a lovely plate of tuna salad on a Ritz.

Well, the tuna wasn’t actually ON the Ritz, but I had all the fixins to make a delectable meal. I liked it that way since now I could decide what the best ratio of tuna to cracker was for me. We had a lovely meal and when we said goodbye at the restaurant we made plans to meet for dinner the next night. (I’m seeing a pattern here!!)
The next morning, I was tickled to see my face in our local newspaper. There was a lovely story about me and my book on the front page of the Life section. I really liked the picture of me and Mom that was big at the top of the page. It had several pictures from my blogs and told people where to buy the book.
Well, evidently a lot of people read the newspaper. Sales of the book took off and suddenly people knew who I was. One very nice lady stopped by FAPS to buy a copy of the book and wanted to know if there was any way I would be able to autograph it for her. FAPS called me and I arranged to meet her at the shelter. It was fun meeting a fan, and I made sure to write carefully in her book.

We chatted a while and she was nice enough to buy yet another book. Another lady came into the shelter and also purchased a book and I signed hers as well. This was fun! I would have hung around all day signing books but I had some Christmas shopping left to do. I bid adieu to my fans and headed to the mall.
I had much shopping to do and not much time in which to do it. I felt I would be prudent to disguise myself so I wouldn’t be slowed down by my fans. I quickly scurried through the mall and purchased some items to help disguise myself.

It worked like a charm, though I think some people still recognized me as I received many stares as I did my shopping. I just tried not to make eye contact, as it would have been rude to not speak to someone who recognized me.
I finished up in time to meet my family for dinner. We had a lovely time, and when we said our goodbyes at the restaurant we made plans to meet for dinner the next night.
Well, *burp* - oh excuse me – all this dining out has played havoc with my tummy. Have a very, very Merry Christmas. I hope Santa brings you everything you asked for!

Love and Licks,

Thursday, December 16, 2010

O Christmas Tree

Happy Friday! Happy weekend! I am getting sooooo excited about Christmas!!! My family and I finally got around to decorating this week, so now I’m really in the Christmas spirit!
Now that I am an expert on Christmas trees (note my authorship of the literary work “Where Did This Tree Come From?”) I am invited out on the family’s Christmas tree hunt and capture excursion. The whole family goes out and argues – um, I mean discusses – which tree is the best. Everyone has different tastes. Some people prefer a really fat tree, some like tall and slender, some like thick needles, some like long thin needles. I really don’t care what it looks like as long as it stays in one place once we put it in the house. Somehow we ended up with a really tall, fat Christmas tree.
Since my parents and brother have been so busy working as well as helping me promote my book, I volunteered myself and my friends to do the decorating. While it seemed like a good idea at the time, there proved to be some obstacles. The tree was very tall. My friends and I are not. Nothing can keep me from accomplishing that which I set out to do, so I grabbed a step ladder, some friends, and got to it!
Malcolm, Steve and Cali were the lucky kitties milling about the yard when I went out to recruit my tree decorators. While Malcolm tends not to be a whole lot of help, I can always count on Cali to be my right hand. First, we had to wrap the tree in a pretty tree skirt to keep it warm and hide the not so attractive container it was sitting in. Malcolm didn’t mind helping with that because it didn’t require much effort on his part.

Then it was time to start decorating. We decided to start from the top and work down, so Steve held the step ladder while Cali held me as I decorated - Malcolm sat and watched.

We had a hard time balancing three cats and a stepladder, so after a couple of efforts to decorate the top of the tree, we decided to focus our efforts on the more accessible bottom half.
We had fun adding color and shine to the beautiful tree. It didn’t take long before we had most of the tree – at least the bottom half – nicely covered. We stood back to admire our handiwork.

I think we did a pretty good job! The top looked a little sparse, but the bottom was rockin’.
I thanked my friends for their help and offered them some refreshments. I was then ready to move on to the next Christmas project - wrapping the presents! Once that’s done, I’ll be ready for Christmas.
Hope you are just about ready for the arrival of the best holiday of the year! Next week, Friday will be Christmas Eve!!! The countdown to Christmas begins!!!!!

Love & licks,

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Love Is In The Air

Happy Friday! Happy weekend! Happy love! Well, no, not for me….yet, but for my dear friend Matthew and my new friend Georgie. They threw the most elaborate, elegant wedding I have ever seen two cats host. Oh it was beautiful. The pageantry, the gowns, the food, the cake, the dancing and the HATS!! I was in heaven!
I was very excited to receive the wedding invitation. Matthew is one of my best Facebook friends and he has accompanied me on several of my adventures. I wanted to look my best, so I used some of my earnings from my jerky sales job to buy a gown and a new hat to match. I had heard that many single wedding attendees often find love at weddings, so I wanted to look my best. Not that I NEED a man in my life, but it would be fun to have a special tom!
I arrived a little early since I wasn’t familiar with the area where it was being held. It didn’t take me long to figure out I was in the right place!

I made my way to where the ceremony was being held and mingled for a while and met some lovely cats, dogs and ferrets. Soon it was time for the ceremony to begin. I saw Matthew for the first time standing up at the front in his military style attire. He looked quite handsome! Then the bride entered – she was breathtaking! She looked so beautiful in her white gown with the looooooong train. I was wondering if any of the smaller guests had be swept up under it!
The ceremony was lovely and we all cheered the new Mr. & Mrs. Matthew Brown as they walked down the aisle. We didn’t throw rice, but rather catnip. In retrospect, I don’t think that was a good idea. Some of the guests went a little nuts and ended up getting sweaty and dirty jumping all around and rolling on the ground. Fortunately, I don’t get that crazy over catnip and I certainly wasn’t going to do anything to ruin the sophisticated look I was going for. I put distance between myself and the catnip immediately after throwing my share. Then it was time to head for the reception – let the fun and frivolity begin! The happy couple led the way.

We all headed inside the beautiful banquet hall. It was a nice sunny day, so critters were wandered between the inside and the gardens. One could get anything they wanted to drink and there were very jazzy hors d’ouvres. I grabbed a glass of milk and some caviar and milled about inside waiting for the band to start playing. It didn’t take long before Dominic Catone opened the microphone and introduced the newlyweds to the crowd.

He then started singing a very beautiful slow song - Chicago's "Color My World." The happy couple floated onto the dance floor and had their very romantic first dance. Aaaaah, I thought, how lucky they are to have found each other.
When their special dance was over, the band launched into some lively music. I put down my milk and twirled myself out to the dance floor. It was a song that didn’t require a dance partner, so the floor was filled with critters just letting loose and having a great time. When that song was over, the band started to play a slow song. A tall handsome stranger walked up to me and asked me to dance. My knees became wobbly, but I managed to nod my head yes. He took my hand and spun me around – he was a very smooth character!!

We danced cheek to cheek all over the dance floor. He told me his name was Vincenzo and he was a very good friend of the bride and groom. He asked me if I was having a good time so far, and again I was at a loss for words…ME…at…a… loss…for…words. I just nodded and smiled.
When the music stopped he bowed and kissed my paw and then disappeared into the crowd. I don’t know how long I stood there before I snapped out of it, but I finally regained my wits about me. I needed a fresh glass of milk!!
I decided to get some fresh air and calm down. As I stepped outside I spied something beautiful that looked absolutely delicious; one of the wedding cakes.

No one was around, so I thought I would sneak a taste of the icing. I took just a tiny bit and quickly licked it up. Oh boy, was that delicious.! I was ready for dessert before I had even had dinner! I heard the band start to play dinner music, so I headed inside to dine. I had worked up quite an appetite with all that dancing and swooning!
Dinner was delicious and I was feeling quite sluggish and in need of a nap until talk of throwing the bouquet started. All of us single ladies would stand behind the bride and she would throw the bouquet over her head and whoever caught it would be the next to be married. I’m a plucky little thing, so I had a great chance of out-elbowing my fellow felines and nabbing the prize!
We went outside for the bouquet toss – which was good – more room to maneuver. Georgie wished us luck, counted to three and then flung the bouquet in the air (for a little thing she has quite a strong arm!) I never took my eyes off the bouquet as I leapt on an intercept course. I think I pushed another cat out of the way - I’m not sure, because I was on a mission.

It paid off – I grabbed the bouquet and held it high – victorious! Okay gentlemen, watch out! Let the hunt for my future husband begin!!!
I went back inside and danced up a storm. I never was at a loss for a dance partner and the party was rockin’. At one point we had a big ol’ conga line going that was so long that at one point some of us were inside, and some of us were outside! I had so much fun, though I did not meet my husband to be. While it was fun dancing with Vincenzo, he was a man of mystery and, I’m sure, quite the ladies man. I was looking for someone a little more down to earth and wholesome – like me!
We all danced and danced until we could dance no more. We waved goodbye to Matthew and Georgie as they headed off to start their honeymoon. Finally, the banquet hall people told us we had to leave so they could clean up, so the last of us hearty partiers had to head home. I can’t wait for the next wedding…maybe it will even be mine!
Well, I hope you all have a wonderful weekend. I’m sure there’s lots of Christmas preparations to do. My family is going to get all the decorations down from the attic and start transforming the house to a winter wonderland. Okay, maybe not a winter wonderland, but there’s lots of cool shiny stuff yet to be hung!

Love & licks,

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Jerky! Get Your Jerky!

Happy Friday! Happy weekend! I hope you’ve started your Christmas shopping since Christmas will be here before you know it! I’ve already done some shopping on-line using Mom’s magic plastic card. But I got to thinking that it wouldn’t be very nice of me to buy my Mom’s gift with her magic plastic card. She would know how much it cost and that is a big no-no in the realm of polite gift giving. And being the Emily Post aficionado that I am, I would never do such a thing, But what is a clever feline to do? Since it would be hard to convince people who didn’t know me what a hard working, smart, trustworthy cat I was, I decided to see if any of my Mom and Dad’s friends might need some help.
It didn’t take too many inquiries before I landed a sales job. Now that is right up my alley. I can be quite charming and I’m sure I could sell ice cubes to an Eskimo! I couldn’t wait to get started, but then I found out what I would be selling…beef jerky!!!! Oh no, do you have any idea how delicious beef jerky is?!?!??!!?? But that’s not the worst of it. I tried some of my friend’s beef jerky and it’s 100 times better than your average beef jerky. How was I going to keep from eating all the profits?!?!?!?
My Mom suggested I eat a really big meal before leaving for work. She also reminded me that eating my friends’ profits would be stealing. Oh, I could never do that! I set my mind to not think about the tempting morsels inside the packages I would be selling. I would simply buy a couple of packages to devour at home.
I bribed my brother to drive me to work by promising to bring him some jerky when I came home. He dropped me off in the Crown Coliseum parking lot – my new place of employ…the Crown, not the parking lot.
Uncle Zip met me at his truck and gave me my official Uncle Zip’s headgear and my vendor pouch. I looked quite professional!

The pouch was a little heavy, but I was in good shape from chasing Steve, Malcolm and Barnaby around the yard. Uncle Zip lead me inside and showed me the huge area that I would be covering. There were going to be lots of soldiers in the seats cheering for the Fayetteville Fire Antz hockey team. My job was to walk up and down the sections of seats selling the packs of jerky. This should be easy since the jerky was so delicious!
As people started to arrive for the game, I threw myself into my work. I would greet people and offer them some jerky. Do you know some people actually told me they didn’t like beef jerky!! I told them they might have tried some other beef jerky, but this jerky was special and EVERYONE loves it. Non-jerky eaters would just laugh and give me a pat. But if they would only try it, I knew they would love it! Then I had a kitty brainstorm. I would buy a couple of packs of jerky and give out samples. That’ll do it!!
As people came in I offered them a delectable bite of jerky. As they took that first bite and started chewing I would smile and purr waiting for the reaction I knew would be forthcoming. Folks would gasp with delight when they tasted the wonderful flavor of the jerky and would immediately buy a big bag. It didn’t take me long to sell out my first pouchful. I went back to Uncle Zip’s stand to reload and head back out. I had created a high demand as people told each other how great Uncle Zip’s Beef jerky was. I went up and down the steps as fast as I could, trying to keep everyone full of beef jerky.

On my tenth trip back to the jerky stand to reload, Uncle Zip grabbed me and gave me a big ol’ hug. He couldn’t believe such a little kitty could be such a big help!

I told Uncle Zip that all this hugging was very nice, but it wasn’t selling any jerky nor making me any money!! He laughed and place me gently back on the ground. I scurried back into the arena to continue my sales bonanza.
When the hockey game was almost over, with the home team holding a large lead, I was absolutely exhausted! My little paws were just aching and my tail was tired from trying to stay out of everyone’s way. My customers waved goodbye as they headed for the exits and many of them thanked me for turning them on to the jerky experience. I was just happy to have helped Uncle Zip as well as making me quite the little pile of dough!

I told Uncle Zip that I had a great time and would be willing to help out whenever he might need a super jerky saleswoman. Besides the pile of money, I also received several bags of jerky. That was very generous of Uncle Zip. I hugged him goodbye and ran out to the front of the arena to see if my brother had come to pick me up yet.
Being the good brother that he is, he was there! I plopped my poor, tired little kitty body down in the seat and ripped open a bag of jerky. Tristan and I took care of that bag in no time and I opened another…and another….and another. By the time we arrived home, there was no more jerky. We ate it ALL. My Mom and Dad were not too happy,because they both love Uncle Zip’s jerky and they were looking forward to sharing at least one bag. Oh well! At least I can buy Mom a nice present for Christmas. Now I just have to figure out what to buy her!!
Before I close for this week, let me just say that Uncle Zip’s beef jerky really is fabulous. You can try some by going to his website . Tell him Josie sent you!
Have a great week!

Love & licks,

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Give Thanks (burp!)

Happy Friday! Happy weekend! Hope you had a happy Thanksgiving! Now that we’ve celebrated Thanksgiving the holiday season has officially begun. Fun, food and hats – right up my alley!

My grandparents were coming over for dinner, so there was much to be done to prepare! Mom and Dad did the cooking (mostly Dad, because Mom isn’t much of a cook and Dad is a fabulous cook!) so I helped with setting the table.

I had trouble folding the napkins just so to fit in the napkin rings, but after a little practice I got it right. I was very careful to put the silverware in its proper order. I am a sophisticated kitty after all!
The aroma of the cooking food was making me hungry. It seemed like it was taking forever for our guests to arrive so we could eat. Finally they started to arrive and the time for dinner was drawing nigh!
We sat in the living room and visited for a while. We chatted while sipping on beverages and snacking on chips, dip and nuts. I didn’t want to ruin my appetite for dinner, so I didn’t snack much. At last it was time to eat and we headed for the dining room.
Everyone insisted that I sit at the head of the table with Dad at the other end. Before we began to eat, the family raised their glasses and toasted my literary success. I was very flattered and I raised my glass of milk and thanked them for their good wishes. I offered my own toast… to family, friends and felines!

Once all the pleasantries were done, it was time to eat. I piled my plate high with food and dug in. I cleaned my plate and moved on to seconds. Before I could finish my second plate, talk of dessert started and I realized I had better stop eating and save room for some sweets!
Since I finished first, I went to the kitchen to get ready to serve the dessert. My Grandma had made a delicious pumpkin pie. I cut a slice for every member of the family and waited patiently for everyone to finish their dinner.

When everyone was ready I served the pie and coffee. I did not have coffee….I don’t think kitties and caffeine are a good combination! The pie was delicious!! I especially liked the whipped cream on top!
After dinner we all retired to the living room and sat around complaining about how full we were. I excused myself and went to the kitchen to collect some leftovers to share with my feral friends. They were all very appreciative and I sat with them a while. Then it was time to help with the cleanup. I helped as much as I could, but I was so sleepy! As soon as we were done, I headed to my bed and immediately fell asleep.
Now it’s time to gear up for Christmas, which will be here before you know it. I won’t be hitting the store tomorrow on Black Friday, but I will get going on my Christmas shopping very soon. Good luck with your Christmas shopping – and don’t forget to buy something special for your special critter!!

Love & licks,


Thursday, November 18, 2010


Happy Friday! Happy weekend! Happy birthday to me! Yes, this week I turned 3 years old. My friends tell me I don’t look a day over 1 and ½! I have great friends. Speaking of great friends, I would like to thank all my wonderful Facebook friends who popped in to say happy birthday. It was so much fun having so many posts to read. But that was only part of my birthday fun…
My Mom and Dad had to work, so they gave me lots of birthday hugs and kisses in the morning before they had to leave. They promised they would treat me to a special birthday dinner that evening. Oh boy!! I was hoping it would be a big pile of tuna on a Ritz, my favorite meal.
My brother, Tristan, didn’t have to work, so I figured I would get to hang out with him and have him do my birthday bidding. But for some reason he was up early and said he had to leave for a while. Oh no! Everyone was leaving me on my birthday! He promised he wouldn’t be too long, but he ended up being gone over 2 hours!!!
When he returned he didn’t have any large packages wrapped in birthday paper, nor did he have any large sacks of food. So what was he doing for the last couple of hours? He didn’t say much as he passed me to head to his room.
I hopped onto the den couch to pout when I noticed movement in the backyard. I had a feeling something was up when Corny had stopped by when passing through the yard earlier in the morning. He had landed on the deck rail and opened his mouth to say something - all of a sudden he stopped, mouth open wide and just stared at me. Finally he screamed that he wasn’t allowed to talk to me and he abruptly flew off. I had suspected that my friends were going to throw me a surprise birthday party and Corny is not very good at keeping a secret. Now the activity in the yard proved me right. I ran to the mirror in the downstairs bathroom and started practicing my surprised look. I didn’t want to disappoint my friends – I wanted them to think I was really surprised.
I sat patiently on the den couch watching TV and trying not to look at the shadows passing by behind the drapes. After sitting through several Jerry Springer shows (where do they get these people!?!?!?!?), there finally came a knock on the back door. This was it! I collected myself and headed to the door. When I swung open the door, I was genuinely surprised!

I squealed with delight when I saw how many friends had gathered to help me celebrate my birthday. Neighborhood dogs and cats, Facebook friends, squirrels and ferrets. Wow! What a wonderful collection of critters!

And best of all, right smack in the middle of all my friends was a big, beautiful fish birthday cake. I don’t know who baked it, but it sure was beautiful. Everyone sang a round of Happy Birthday to Josie and then the party began!
I found out why Tristan had been gone so long. When I saw the backyard, I knew he must have helped my friends set up the activities. Even thought there was food and milk, I couldn’t wait to play, so I deferred eating until after I had some fun. Some of the party goers headed for the food and some scurried down the deck steps to have some fun!

I headed straight for the slide, while Lucy and Anthony headed for the seesaw. The biggest crowd was at the bounce castle. My squirrel friends had gotten there first - Bobbi, Skippy and Hammy were just chirping with glee as they bounced off each other. The others decided to wait for them to finish which caused a line to form outside the castle. After a while we all switched and my friends who had eaten, started playing and all of us who had been playing headed to the deck to get something to eat. I was relieved to see there were plenty tuna on a Ritz left on which to gorge myself.
Corny showed up again and apologized for being so rude earlier. He said he didn’t want to ruin the surprise and he knew he couldn’t have kept himself from telling me. He brought a whole bunch of noisemakers for us to… well … make noise! Now that was fun!!

We all made this funny honking kind of noise. We took turns to see who could make the loudest noise and at one point we were all honking at once. We started laughing so hard none of us could make a sound. We figured we had better cut that out before the neighbors started to complain!
My friends starting calling for me to cut the cake so I gladly obliged. It was delicious! We all had our fill of cake and milk and agreed that it was time for a long nap. I gave everyone a noisemaker as a party favor - I’m sure their families were thrilled!
I hugged each of my friends as they filed out of the yard. I thanked them for making my birthday so special. It was fun not being the one to plan the activities! When Mom and Dad finally arrived home from work I excitedly told them about my party. I thanked Tristan for helping my friends with the slide, seesaw and bounce castle. I gave them each a kiss on the nose and promptly fell asleep.
Now that my birthday is over, I can start looking forward to Thanksgiving! The holiday season of food and hats is upon us and I am excited!! Have a great week!!

Love & licks,

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Josie's Book Tour

Happy Friday! Happy weekend! First, I must apologize for totally dropping the catnip ball! I feel badly that I did not offer anything new on my website last week. Shame on me! But when you read today’s recount of the week, you will understand why!
I was very busy all week doing some heavy duty self-promotion, and I didn’t get to see my friends at all. But I did make lots of new friends and may even have found a new romantic interest! I have a very interesting story about that, but that’s a whole other blog!
First came the Holly Day Fair. A four day selling/shopping frenzy that was evidently attended by every human being in Fayetteville and a few other places too. I promised myself I was going to give one of my Josie Tales bookmarks to everyone that passed my table, but that proved impossible. I did my best, using the slower times to jump out from behind my table to present a lucky shopper with a free bookmark. Who doesn’t love free stuff?

I was lucky to have a great setup. My friends at brought in several of their beautiful trees to encourage people to preorder their Christmas trees. Great idea! It smelled and looked like Christmas. I sat with my back to the trees so I wouldn’t have to fight the urge to run and swat at a dangling branch!

Many people stopped to smell the trees and when they did I pitched my book to them. It was a lot of fun meeting so many nice people and even more fun selling some books and mugs. I asked people to send me pictures of their cats, and I have received some! I hope some other folks send me pictures too.
The best thing of all was that some very generous people stopped at my table to donate money to FAPS – the shelter I lived in before I was adopted. I ended up collecting a nice little amount which made me proud! I called my friends at FAPS and asked them if I could stop by and present them with a check for the donations. Miss Kittie, the shelter director, told me they would love to meet me. She also agreed to sell my book at the shelter – how kind!
My brother, Tristan, was working, so Mom agreed to give me a ride to the shelter. She also wrote a check to the shelter for the donation funds. It was kind of weird seeing the shelter again. I could hear the dogs barking as soon as we got out of the car. I was nervous about seeing some of my old friends – that is if any of them were still there.
Miss Kittie and Miss Janice greeted Mom and I as we walked through the door. They were very excited to be working with me, as was I to be working with them. You know I never want to miss a photo opportunity, so I brought along the camera. I asked Ashley to take a picture of all of us as I presented Miss Kittie with the donation check.

I couldn’t stay long because I had reserved a table at the E Melvin Honeycutt Elementary School’s craft fair, so I took a quick trot through the shelter and said hello to a few cats and dogs who still had not found homes. It reminded me how lucky I am to have found a family.
I barely made it to EMHE on time, so I had to hurry to get set up. Mom helped me carry some of the boxes, but I still had to do my decorating. I somehow managed to get everything settled before the fair opened to the parents and students.

I made many children smile with my bookmarks, and managed to sell a book or two. All the children were very nice and we had fun looking at the pictures in my book and giggling. I was seated right next to a very nice lady selling caramels. Oooooh, yummy! She offered me a sample of her wares and I couldn’t resist. It was delicious, though I did have some stuck on my fang for a while. I don’t think cat’s teeth are made for eating candy!
My friend Isaiah stopped by to say hello. Isaiah attends EMHE and his Mom was the one who suggested I get a table at the fair. Isaiah picked up one of my books and started singing the 12 Days of Josie’s Christmas. I jumped in and we proceeded to sing it aloud all the way through. We had so much fun singing, I wish we could have added a few more days. How about the 20 days of Josie’s Christmas??!?!?!
Isaiah and his family graciously agreed to help me take my books and decorations back to Mom’s car when the fair was over. I waved goodbye to my new friends and thanked Isaiah, Faith and Miss Pam for their help.
I was exhausted from all my socializing and I couldn’t wait to crawl in to my bed and get some beauty rest. I started dozing on the way home, and Mom had to carry me in the house. She said I was snoring, but I don’t believe that!
I think I’m going to take a break from book selling this week and get the records in order. There’s something called sales tax that has to be paid by 11/20…maybe Mom can help with that.
Have a great weekend…read a book!

Love and Licks,

Thursday, October 28, 2010


Happy Friday! Happy weekend! OOOOOOOOOOOooooooooooooOOOOOOOOOOO! Happy Halloween! I hope you have prepared a wonderfully scary costume in which to go trick or treating. It’s not easy coming up with the perfect goulish ensemble!
I spent quite a bit of time and much worry over coming up with my costume. Other years I have always done something non scary that didn’t hide my identity. I’ve done the glam rock thing:

I’ve done the 50’s thing:

I’ve even done the nun thing :

Everyone could see that it was me. I decided it was time to do something scary that would disguise my true identity. I knew the perfect costume:

No one would ever guess it was me. Plus ghosts are very scary …well, at least to me.
I had invited my friends over to check out each others’ costumes to make sure we were ready for the big day Saturday (the city of Fayetteville declared Saturday as the official trick or treating day even though it’s only the 30th!?!?!?), but that wasn’t until late afternoon. Since I had already come up with the perfect costume, I had some extra time to kill. I decided to try my hand at pumpkin carving. We had bought a big old pumpkin, but no one had any spare time to carve it. I bet I could come up with something creative. If I could just keep from cutting myself, I would do just fine!
I put down some newspaper on the kitchen counter so I wouldn’t get the gooey inside of the pumpkin all over the place. I found a big knife and started hacking away. The cutting part was fun – the clearing out of the inside with my paw was not. Pumpkin guts are really slimy and creepy feeling. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to eat pumpkin pie again!!
Once I got past the gut clearing out part, I was rolling. I felt like Edward Scissorhands the way pumpkin parts went flying as I carved my masterpiece. As the last pumpkin shard landed on the counter I stepped back to check out my handywork.

Magnificent! I couldn’t wait to show my friends!
It wasn’t long before my friends arrived and they all agreed my pumpkin was quite the work of art. We had some smaller pumpkins that I let my friends carve. Everyone enjoyed that and it helped us get into the Halloween spirit.

We had quite the assortment of costumes! From Nemo to Raggedy Ann to Spam – very weird. At least none of us chose the same costume. Isn’t that the worst – when someone has the same exact costume as you?!?!??!?
I suggested we head outside and plan our route. I knew the houses where children lived would probably have the best candy so we made a plan to hit those houses first.
As we wandered through the neighborhood I had to be careful not to trip over my ghostly sheet. I guess one can’t disguise charisma, because several of the neighbors called hello to me by name. How else could they know it was me?
We had our strategy in place and felt ready to tackle the trick or treating mania. We agreed to meet back at my house Saturday afternoon just before the sun started to set. Not that we were afraid of trick or treating in the dark – we just want to make sure the neighbors don’t run out of candy!
I hope you are as excited about Halloween as I am! Be careful not to eat too much candy!!

Love & licks,

Thursday, October 21, 2010

You're Fired!!

Happy Friday! Happy weekend! I must start by offering an apology to all of you. I learned a valuable lesson last week….don’t trust a strange monkey with important work. I was horrified when I read last week’s blog and discovered that Preston had added his own comments and opinions. I truly believed that he was tippy tapping exactly what I said with no embellishment. I will never publish anything again without reading it first.
I don’t like to read my own writings once I’m done, so I don’t go back and reread my blogs. I would never have known what Preston had done if it wasn’t for the ruckus in my yard Saturday morning….

There was a crowd of animals, most of whom I recognized from the job interviews, protesting on our back deck. Their signs were all in reference to Friday’s blog. Since I knew nothing about Preston’s additions, I was at a loss. When I walked out on the deck, the crowd booed – you know I was horrified. I had to keep myself from crying.
“What is going on?” I asked incredulousy, “Where are your hats?” The crowd booed again. “Please tell me, I have no idea!!” I pleaded. The raccoon waved his sign at me and said he and the rest of the job applicants did not appreciate being called losers. They also felt Preston was given preferential treatment because he was so good looking – why else would I keep talking about how handsome he was in the blog? I assured them I had no idea what they were talking about, but I was going inside right then to reread my blog.
As it turned out, Preston had insulted me as much as anyone else! I was so mad at Preston I couldn’t think straight. I knew what I had to do. I ran upstairs to my hat rack and started picking out hats. The animals knew that I expected all visitors to be properly chapeaued, so they had purposely not worn their hats. I carried the pile of hats downstairs and stopped in the kitchen to whip up some snacks. I knew it was going to be hard to quiet everyone down to listen to me, but the fastest way to calm down distraught animals is to offer them some tasty snacks.
The crowd was still waving their signs and booing when I went out to put the hats on the deck. I quickly ran back inside and prepared to begin making amends. The crowd stopped booing immediately when I walked out with a tray of snacks. One by one they came up to select a nosh.

Everyone found something to their liking. Once I had them all calm, I began to explain what happened. I told the critters that Preston had written the snide comments unbeknownst to me. I pointed out that there were several comments alluding to the fact that I was not very bright. Why would I right something derogatory about myself? The animals all looked at each other and shook their heads in agreement. They apologized for making a scene and upsetting me. I told them I was sorry too and I would never publish a blog without first reading it very carefully. That meant I would have to fire Preston. I had a feeling he really didn’t like me anyway, so I didn’t think there would be any hard feelings.
We all sat and finished out snacks. We had a lovely time chatting and getting to know one another. Just as we had decided out bellies were full, Preston arrived for work. I told the others that I needed to speak to Preston alone. I told them to pick any hat they would like from the pile and take it with them. They each carefully chose a hat and put them on for their walk home – much better!! They grabbed their signs on their way out and were swatting each other with them and giggling as they left the yard.
I told him that I did not like what he did with the blog and I was very disappointed in him.

He apologized but could not promise he would not do something like that again. I thanked him for his time and told him his services would no longer be needed. Boy, hiring someone is a lot more fun than firing them!
I hope you have a great weekend and a productive week. And remember, never trust a strange monkey with important work!!

Love & licks,

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Help Wanted

Happy Friday! Happy weekend! Fall has disappeared already and it has been 80+ degrees every day this week. This may be the first Halloween we see witches in shorts and tank tops! (Woo! Hoo!) Oh, that reminds me, I have to get going on planning my Halloween outfit!
My Mom hads been working all the time on something called a budgie. I looked it up and found that a budgie is a type of Australian bird – like a parakeet. (Everyone knows that!) Why was Mom working with birds? I thought she was an accountant – oh, maybe she was counting them. Well, that’s silly, (yes, it is) it wouldn’t take all day and night to count birds. When I couldn’t figure it out on my own I asked Mom to explain to me exactly what she was doing with the budgies. She laughed and told me no, it’s a budget. When she explained what a budget was, it made more sense that an accountant would be working on planning next year’s expenses than counting birds. Life is confusing sometimes! (Only if you’re not too bright)
As I was saying, Mom had been working late and on weekends, which was not allowing me enough time to write a proper blog. Since I don’t have fingers, it takes me a long time to tippy tap my stories. I only have access to my Mom’s computer when she’s home so I needed a way to get my blog done quickly.
I know there are a lot of people out there looking for jobs. It occurred to me that one of those unemployed people (Preston) might appreciate the honor of working as my assistant!! If I could find someone (Preston) who was really fast at tippy tapping on the computer, I would be able to dictate my musings to (Preston) them and be done in no time. But how would I find this administrative genius?
I posted signs around the neighborhood and told my friends to pass the word. Some lucky creature (Preston) was going to get to be my right hand man/woman – at least until Mom was working normal hours again. (Hopefully never)
I asked interested applicants to show up on our deck the next day at 9:00am sharp to be interviewed. I was curious to see if anyone would even be interested in the job.
Next morning at 9:00am sharp (more like nine-ish) I opened the back door and was pleased to see a variety of critters (losers) interested in working with me. I handed out applications and asked everyone to fill them out. A vole, an opossum, two squirrels and an owl had to bow out immediately because they didn’t know how to read. I guess I should have been more specific about the requirements. (Duh!)
I collected the applications and invited everyone to have a seat. I would call them one by one to sit down with me in the kitchen to discuss their qualifications. (None) The first application belonged to Bobbi. I was trying to be professional so I called for “Ms. Bobbi Squirrel” and my dear friend Bobbi came forward.
Bobbi looked so professional in her pillbox hat. I led her to the kitchen and we sat at the island to talk about the position.

I read through her application and asked her how it was she came to work at a psychiatric hospital. Did she have medical training? Was she an orderly perhaps? Bobbi had this confused look on her face as she asked what in the world I was talking about. I pointed to a line on her application and she said “Oh!” and giggled. She told me she has experience with “nuts”, but not of the crazy kind, but of the edible, delicious kind. Boy was I embarrassed. (You should have been!)
I let Bobbi sit at the computer and try it out. Turned out her little hands were too small to type quickly and accurately. As much as I would have loved to have my trusted friend work alongside me, she was not going to be able to perform the duties as I needed them done. I thanked her for coming and told her I’d see her later. (Alligator)
Next up was one of the vigilante cardinals. (?!?!?!?)

He said he was tired of being a vigilante. While being a vigilante had its noble aspect, people tended to get mad and chase you when you confronted them. Besides, he told me, they were always jumping into situations that were not what they seemed and he was tired of being embarrassed by a mistaken accusation. He was looking for something more quiet and cerebral. I pointed out to him that he did not have fingers with which to type on a keyboard. (Basic!) He told me he would be able to do it anyway, so I let him try – he couldn’t. (Liar) I thanked him for coming and told him to keep his vigilante job. Jobs are scarce and evidently he was good at vigilanting. (Whatever)
I went through most of the stack of application before I came to a creature with whom I was not acquainted. I called for Preston Hollingsworth and a very statuesque (handsome) primate stepped forward.

Where in the heck did he come from?!?!?!?!? I invited him in and we had a lovely conversation. (Handsome)Preston had been imported illegally into the United States and had escaped from his captors before he could be sold. He had been travelling by train all over the country and had recently arrived in North Carolina. He was thrilled to see my flyer looking for an assistant as he was in need of food and a place to stay. I let (handsome, smart) Preston try out the computer and was pleased to see his long fingers just fly over the keyboard. I had found my assistant!! (Yippeeee!)
I immediately offered (handsome, witty) Preston the position and asked him if he could play the piano too. He smiled and accepted the position and said no, he did not play the piano, but he was willing to learn. (Not really, just wanted the job) I told him as compensation for his work, we - as in my Mom’s plastic card - would provide him with food , but he could not stay inside. (Stinks) Only I was allowed to stay inside. (Unfair) He was welcome to sleep under the deck or in the dog igloo still in our backyard from the previous owners if he wanted to. (Handsome) Preston was very pleased and thanked me for the opportunity. (Thanks!)
I led him back outside to the deck. We shook hands and I gave him a pat on the back and told him how happy I was to meet him. (Likewise!)

I told him we needed to get started first thing the next morning because we had a blog to write.
It was late in the week so we would have to get it done quickly. We worked well together and finished the blog in time. (Obviously ) I didn’t have time to proofread it so I hope (handsome, efficient) Preston did a good job. (But of course!)
Have a wonderful weekend. Start decorating for Halloween. It will be here before you know it! (Know what?)

Love & licks, (yuk!)
Josie (& Handsome Preston)

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Author! Author!

Happy Friday! Happy weekend! First, let me apologize for the brevity of my discourse this week. It has been a very busy and exciting week, and my burgeoning literary career (and the obvious merchandising opportunities) have taken up most of my time. But I do want to share my exciting news with you!
As many of you already know, I have been working on a Christmas book. It’s not an easy task and many a tree was killed in the process. I would tippy tap on the computer and then print the page. I would read it and decide it was terrible and start the process over again. This went on for days and weeks and months. I figured I had better finish up before I couldn’t find my desk anymore!

I did indeed finish the book and had a graphic designer work with me to make it look nice and festive. Then I had to wait for weeks for the printer to get it all done and in my hot little paws. I was so excited when the printer called and said it was ready!! Mom and Dad drove me over there to inspect the books. They were just beautiful! It was so wonderful to see my name on the front cover! I am an author! I was so proud that I started purring and couldn’t stop. Mom took out her magic plastic card and gave it to the printer. When he was finished doing whatever one does with those little plastic cards, he helped us load the books and we headed home.
We had boxes and boxes of books, so I decided I’d better get busy selling them. I set up a stand in the backyard and waited for the literary aficionados to arrive

It didn’t take me long to figure out that there were no literary aficionados in my backyard. It finally dawned on me that my friends were wild animals and most, if not all of them, could not read. They didn’t have families to teach them like I did. I was sad that my friends were not going to be able to read my story, but then Bobbi came by and offered a wonderful solution. She suggested I do a reading of my book. What a great idea! My friends would meet and enjoy my story together! Bobbi is so smart!
It didn’t take long to round up some friends that were nice enough to agree to listen to my story. Corny, Malcolm, Skippy, Tux, Jibbers and Cami all came over! They sat quietly and listened, laughing in all the spots where I had meant it to be funny. Even Corny held his tongue the whole time I was reading aloud!

I read slowly and turned the book to show everyone the pictures. When I was all finished, my kind friends gave me a standing ovation. I felt so happy and proud. I invited them all to stay for refreshments. We ate our snacks and talked about the book. My dear friends congratulated me on my accomplishment and assured me that if they could read and had money they would most certainly buy a book! It had been a very exciting day and I was in need of a lengthy nap, so I thanked them for their time and kindness and bid them adieu.
I’m hoping my Mom has time to help me set up a store on my website this weekend so I can start selling my books so, as my Mom put it, her “magic plastic card doesn’t explode.” Another reason I am anxious to sell my book is because I am giving $1.00 from each book sale to the shelter that took such good care of me when I was familylesss. I have 1,000 books which means I could give them $1,000!!!! That would make my friends there so happy!
I hope you all have an exciting weekend. Sit down and write a few pages about something you’re interested in. I bet you enjoy it, and who knows – maybe someday you’ll have your name on the cover of a book!

Love & licks,