Thursday, May 27, 2010

Welcome to Wal-Mart!

Happy Friday! Happy weekend! Welcome to Wal-Mart!! Okay, well, maybe not welcome to Wal-Mart. But didn’t I make you feel welcome? I had been promising Corny for weeks that I would go with him to Wal-Mart so he could teach me to be a Wal-Mart parking lot greeter in case he ever needed to take a day off. Despite all his silliness, Corny is very serious about his work and would never want to leave the Walmart parking lot unattended. We decided it would be a good idea if Bobbi came along also in case I wasn’t available when Corny needed his vacation. I am a busy girl!
Corny has been a self-designated parking lot greeter for as long as I’ve known him. He looks very official in his vest, name tag and hat. Evidently, when a Wal-Mart employee becomes an ex-Wal-Mart employee, they don’t take their Wal-Mart paraphernalia with them and Corny takes it off their hands. He had a lovely collection of vests and hats for us to choose from, though we did have to do some alterations for them to fit properly. Corny had gone to the trouble of making us name tags – I didn’t even know he could write or spell. Corny is a lot smarter than he lets on!
I had my brother give Bobbi and I a ride to Wal-Mart where we rendezvoused with Corny who obviously did not need a ride. Oh, to be able to fly wherever you want to go – must be nice. We met up and prepared to train.

Corny inspected us and deemed us good enough to join the proud legion of Wal-Mart parking lot greeters. I had to be honest. I had heard of Wal-Mart greeters, but never parking lot greeters. I asked Corny about it and he seemed quite insulted – I think I almost lost the job! He explained that the first impression is made on someone as they get out of their car. They could have a bad experience in the parking lot which would ruin their whole Wal-Mart experience. No greeter inside could undo a bad experience outside. Ooooookay. I’ll go with that. If it made Corny happy, I would gladly help out.
Things were unusually slow at the Wal-Mart so we decided to go find people to greet. There was a couple hanging out by the shopping carts, so we went over there for Corny to show us what to do.

Corny cawed at them and almost dropped his cigarette. They ignored us. He flapped his wings and cawed again. The girl looked over at him and sort of smiled while her friend just ignored us. Couldn’t he see us? Good heavens! We were three animals wearing hats and vests!!!! We finally gave up and left to look for people who appreciate being greeted. As we walked away we started giggling about the funny outfit the guy was wearing. Maybe that’s why he didn’t look at us – he was too embarrassed that he was still in his pajamas!
Knowing what a social animal I am, Corny decided that I should greet the next customer that got out of his or her car. We waited a few minutes and then watched as a car pulled up and parked. I trotted over to the car and put on my best smile and beamed as I meowed “Welcome to Wal-Mart!”

The woman was startled, but she smiled when she saw my smile and enthusiasm. I was a natural at this. She told me she was new to the area and needed to buy some food for her dog and cat. I knew there was a reason I liked her! She was an animal person. She asked if I could show her where the pet food aisle was. I really had no idea, but I figured it was better to be lost in Wal-Mart with company than to be lost in Wal-Mart alone. The nice lady followed me into the Wal-Mart. Fortunately, the inside greeter was a slacker and wasn’t at their post. I snuck inside and walked as if I knew where I was going. I could smell the cat food, so it didn’t take too many aisles before I found it.

The lady was very thankful and complimented me on what a great job I was doing. She gave me a scratch behind my ears and I purred loudly. With my task completed, I then headed back to the parking lot to join my co-workers.
Bobbi was a little shy, so we worked as a team. We didn’t greet everyone though. We skipped the folks with gun racks mounted in their trucks. Not that I was worried about anything, but I thought it would be safer for Bobbi and Corny. After awhile Corny had decided we were doing such a good job that he could pretty much just hang out on top of the big lights and smoke cigarettes. After a couple of hours we were worn out. It was hot and we were in need of something cool to drink. Corny knew of a soft drink machine inside and he had found some change in the parking lot we could use. We hung out by the door until the inside greeter wandered away again. We scampered into the lobby and before we reached the drink machine we spied some cool looking shopping carts. I just couldn’t resist. Poor Bobbi kept telling me to stay away – nothing good could come of us wreaking havoc in the Wal-Mart. She told me it really wouldn’t look good to be thrown out of a Wal-Mart. I said we could just sit on it and pretend we were riding around – like we did with the coin horses. Bobbi and Corny thought that would be okay. We all climbed aboard. It was cool!
Then something happened. I’m not sure what, but all of a sudden we were driving into the store. It was an electric basket and I don’t what one of us did to start it moving. Poor Bobbi almost fell off, but she grabbed the basket and stood on the floor of the cart like she was surfing. Corny squawked with glee as he sat on top of the basket with his feathers ruffling in the breeze! We raced up and down aisles with Corny’s squawking acting as a horn to alert people to get out of the way. Bobbi was having fun pretending to surf and she chirped with delight. It would have been a lot of fun if I wasn’t so afraid of being thrown out. My Mom and Dad shop there and I didn’t want to jeopardize their shopping rights. I pushed any button I could find until the basket finally stopped – at the pet food aisle.

I guess folks thought we were part of some kind of promotional stunt because we didn’t get thrown out. We still thought it was prudent to get out quickly, so we headed to the exit.
As we headed out the door we saw that my brother had returned to pick Bobbi and I up, so we thought we should call it a day. We did decide to do one last parking lot greeter task and help a couple with their bags. It felt good to help people out!

Corny told us that we did good and he would be proud if we would fill in for him when he needed time off. We told him we would be happy to and promised not to ride on the electric baskets anymore. We make a good team!

Needless to say, Bobbi and I were exhausted! Before we left, we asked Corny if he would impart one of his Knock knock jokes upon us. He looked so pleased and squawked loudly, "Knock! Knock!" "Who's there?!" Bobbi and I shouted together. "Tank" Corny answered. "Tank who?!" we said on cue. "Tank you for helping me out!" Corny giggled and flew up onto one of the big lights. Okay, it wasn't his best joke, but it was very sweet!
When we got back to the house, I gave Bobbi some peanuts before she headed off to her nest for dinner and a good night’s sleep. I had a quick bite and headed to the snuggy to catch up on my beauty rest. It was quite an interesting day! We went back to work with Corny a couple more days to make sure we were well versed in the ways of the Wal-Mart parking lot greeters.
I hope you have a great week. If you go to your local Wal-Mart keep an eye out for parking lot greeters – or maybe a crow or two on the lights. Just stay away from the electric carts – they’re wild!

Love and licks,

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Rubbin' Is Racin'

Happy Friday! Happy weekend! I had a very busy weekend and week! I didn’t realize there was going to be big doin’s at Rockingham Speedway last Saturday, so I was surprised when Mom asked me if I wanted to go there with her and Dad. She told me I would have to be carried around in her big purse, but that was okay. I do wish she would put a small fridge in there so I could bring along some tuna sandwiches.
It was a long ride to “The Rock”. I had never seen a stock car race before so I was very excited. I thought Dad’s car went fast – ha! That was nothing compared to those bad boy stock cars!! Dad was going to ride in the pace car so we had special parking passes and media credentials. We could go anywhere we wanted!
I had ridden on my Mom’s lap in the car, so I didn’t notice anything or anyone in the back seat. When we opened the doors to get out of the car, Malcolm leapt from the backseat and jumped out into the infield. Mom was worried because she didn’t have enough room in her big purse for the two of us (I beg to differ) and she couldn’t leave us in the car because it was too hot outside. As were standing there trying to figure out what we should do, one of the track managers came by to say hello to my Dad. He noticed me hiding behind Mom and recognized me from my renowned Dogwood Festival performance. He was honored to have me at the track and told me to jump right in and have fun. Now, Malcolm doesn’t strike me as a man of adventure, so I feared he would cramp my style. I told him he could tag along as long as he stayed out of everyone’s way. He mumbled something about being hungry and headed off to find a snack bar. I waited for him to return so we could start exploring the racetrack. Finally, Malcolm returned with a giant turkey leg. The first thing we came upon in the garage area was a big pile of tires. We played a modified version of whack-a-mole. I would hide in a tire, then pop up and Malcolm would try to hit me with his turkey leg – or what was left of it.

It didn’t take him long to devour that whole turkey leg! It was kind of disgusting…

Dad stopped our frivolity to introduce me to a great NASCAR race driver, Bill Elliott.

He was very nice and evidently is quite the animal lover. He told me all about his pets and I told him about how lucky I was that someone adopted me from the shelter. His son was racing in the next race, so I told him I wished his son luck. I had to excuse myself to go chase Malcolm – he was disappearing around a corner – oy!

All of a sudden, there was this loud roar as the race cars started their engines. It almost made Malcolm jump. I heard someone in the pit area complaining that they were short a tire changer, so I jumped in and volunteered like the plucky girl I am!! They didn’t have a fire suit for me, but they did have a teeny tiny helmet to fit my dainty head. Malcolm ran to the corn dog stand so he’d have something to nosh while I participated in the festivities. Everyone in the pits just loitered around for a while, until the head guy yelled for everyone to get ready.

All the cars started roaring toward the pits and everyone started moving all at once. I grabbed a tire and started to roll it toward the car. Being a cat, I was having lots of fun rolling it along…wheee!... until I realized I rolled it down three pit stalls! By the time I rolled it back, the car was back on the track with 3 fresh tires. The guys in the pit crew were laughing so hard they couldn’t get mad. They suggested next time around I might want to try carrying the gas can – it didn’t roll!

The first race was really short, so there were no more pit stops. The pit crew thanked me for the entertainment and told me they had found another pit crew who could use my services. They had graciously arranged for me to carry the gas can for a car in the next race. What could go wrong with that (dat dat dummmmm)

Malcolm and I headed to the other pit stall where I was needed. We had to stop at the cotton candy stand on the way – not for me, I was too excited to eat. Everyone in the pits was very nice to me. They showed me what I needed to do every time the car came in. I was going to hand the gas can to the head gas guy who would then put the gas in the car. Simple enough. I was the girl for the job!

The signal was given to prepare for a pit stop. I was so nervous. I wanted to do a good job. I clutched the gas can as tight as I could – I was NOT going to drop it. The car came to a screaming halt – break dust went everywhere. Before I knew what was happening the gas guy grabbed the gas can and slung it high in the air to get it into the gas tank in the car.

I had no time to let go, so I hung on so I wouldn’t fall to the cement. I dangled from the can the whole time the car was filling up. I was so relieved when the gas can was finally empty. The gas guy slowly lowered the can and pried my little paws open to get me off of it. After the car left to head back to the track, they took off my helmet and scratched behind my ears and made sure I was okay. I explained to them I was very adventurous and the whole thing was a lot of fun – a little scary – but fun – sort of like a roller coaster!

It was evident that I was not well suited for pit crew work, but all my new friends put their heads together and came up with something right up my alley. It would make me the center of attention – all eyes, including the drivers’, would be on me…….. they were going to let me wave the flags! I had to climb waaaaay up the tower in which the flag guru stood. He gave me a quick lesson and when the caution was over and it was time to get moving again, I was going to wave the green flag. The cars came roaring around the corner and I started my little arm just a wavin’ that flag all around. No one was going to miss my green flag!!!!

The cars sped up and were off! I stayed up there for the rest of the race. Boy, was my arm tired when the race was over!!

Once I finally climbed down from the tower, my racing buddies had one more treat in store for me. They rigged a car so I could drive it. I was going to drive a race car!!!! I asked Dad to ride in the car with me to help me out and he was brave enough to oblige. I asked Malcolm if he wanted to come, but he said he wasn’t finished his ice cream yet. I think he was too scared anyway. I put on a helmet and strapped myself in. I waved to Mom then stomped on the gas.

I drove around the track a few times. I only made it over 100mph once and that was quite a thrill. Dad seemed thrilled too – if that’s what clenching your teeth and closing your eyes means. He seemed more than a little relieved when a track official started chasing me to make me stop and return the car to the garage. That was certainly an experience of a lifetime!

After all that excitement, I was exhausted. Malcolm had disappeared, but we found him next to the pizza stand with a lovely array of junk food.

He thought I might be hungry so he arranged a buffet for me. One question kept running through my mind. Where did he find all this stuff and how in the world did he pay for it?!??!?!??!

I had to stop at the Media Center to give interviews before we could head home. The media folks were all very interested in my life story, and many of them took notes. Some of them were just doodling, but that was okay. I liked feeling like a celebrity!

I fell asleep on the way home, which is just as well. Mom told me that Malcolm kept burping very loudly the whole way. I don’t even remember Mom picking me up and putting me in my bed. I was one tired little kitty!

Hope you have a great week. Don’t be afraid to try something new and different this weekend. It’s fun!

Love & licks,


Thursday, May 13, 2010

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Friday! Happy weekend! Hope all you Moms out there had a wonderful Mother’s Day! I tried to make my Mom’s day special. I made sure to give her plenty of kitty kisses whenever she came near me. She seemed to really appreciate it!
I started the day by making my Mom breakfast in bed. Everyone loves tuna on a Ritz for breakfast, so I whipped up a big plateful. Dad made her some special mocha, latte, espresso, cappuccino, coffee, frappaccino thing. It smelled good, but when I took a little sip, it was rancid!!! I shook my head so hard my night cap went flying off!

You should have seen Mom’s face when I put the tray on her lap!
Mom was polite and raved about how good the drink was, but she liked my tuna on a Ritz best – I could tell. She was very nice and shared some of her breakfast with me. We sat and read the Sunday newspaper and munched on our crackers. Mom read some of the comics to me, and one of them was so funny I laughed really hard and spewed cracker crumbs all over the bed. I told Mom I would clean the crumbs up before I went back downstairs.
Mom loves to sit on the back deck and feed the squirrels on Sunday morning, so I told her to go ahead and do that while I cleaned up the breakfast dishes. It didn’t take me long to clean up . When I was all done, I headed out to chase the squirrels that Mom was feeding (I never catch one – it would upset Mom) It was a beautiful day so the whole family sat out and enjoyed the lovely weather. Our nice neighbors, the Wilsons, were out also. They asked us if we would like to see some kittens. I was so excited – kittens!! I wondered which one of my friends had their kittens in the Wilson’s shed! Just as we reached the shed, Dot appeared. She looked a little frazzled.

I asked her if those were her kittens in the shed, and she said yes! She asked us if we would like to see them. We were all anxious to see the little critters so we all answered “yes!” immediately. She told us we had to be very quiet so we didn’t scare them. They had yet to see people, so they might be frightened, She brought them out one by one. They were all so beautiful…and tiny! Their eyes were open already so we figured they had to be a few weeks old. There were four of them, but one was sleeping and he/she got cranky when Dot tried to wake him up so we left it alone! Dot said she hadn’t named them yet. She let Mom and my brother hold them.

Well, this was certainly a very special Mother’s Day for Dot, it being her first one as a Mom and all. We all gave Dot a big hug and wished her a Happy Mother’s Day. We left her to feed her hungry babies.
When we got back to our house, we talked about how sad it was that Dot didn’t have a family to take care of her. We were the closest thing she had to family. We decided we would buy a few things for the babies. So we grabbed Mom’s magic plastic card and giant purse and headed to the store.
We had fun picking out cute little frilly baby things for the kittens. And of course we had to buy a couple of baby toys. We wrapped them up in pretty pink and blue paper and put them in a really big gift bag. Dot was going to be so surprised!
Dot had just finished feeding the kittens (again!) when we stopped by to surprise her with the gifts. She was so touched and grateful I thought she was going to cry. She loved everything and couldn’t wait to share them with the kittens. I picked out the baby bonnets which were a big hit!

The babies all looked adorable in their bonnets and it gave us a good giggle. It doesn’t take much to wear out a kitten, so in a few minutes they were ready to nap again. It was time to leave the new little family alone and head back home. Dot thanked us profusely for our kindness. She told us she would let us help name the babies when it was time. Oh goody!
When we arrived home I gave my Mom a big hug. There’s a lot of work to taking care of children! Mothers are very special and I’m glad there is a special day to honor them!

Give your Mom a big hug and let her know you appreciate her! Have a great week!

Love & licks,


Thursday, May 6, 2010

Derby Day

Greetings, fellow equestrian afficionados! Hope you found the perfect hat to wear on Kentucky Derby Saturday! I had to go through my hat collection to find something appropriate not just for me, but for Cali, Malcolm and Bobbi as well. Since they don’t have human families, they don’t have one of those magic plastic cards that gets you stuff from the stores. It’s probably just as well - heaven knows what Malcolm and Cali might pick out! I can’t wait for Memorial Day to get here so Cali’s white shoes will finally be back in correct fashion!
I was planning on watching the Derby with my family. I figured Dad would whip up some mint juleps and Mom would make those little finger sandwiches I like. I feel so refined eating sandwiches with the crusts cut off! That was pretty much the extent of my plans until I ran into Bobbi in the yard. She asked what I was doing for Derby day. I told her I planned to wear a fabulous hat while sipping a mint julep and noshing on little tuna sandwiches. She said that sounded nice, and asked what time she should come over. I didn’t have the heart to tell her that it was a private soiree, so I told her around 4pm would be good. I knew that word would get out anyway, so I told Bobbi to make sure to invite Malcolm, Cali, Dot, Tux and Corny for me. I then got to tippy tapping on my computer to invite all my one-eyed friends. As the r.s.v.p.’s came in, I started getting excited about the party. Here was my chance to host the social event of the year! I told Mom she was going to have to make another couple of loaves worth of finger sandwiches for the Derby. Her eyes got all weird, but she agreed to do it. I told her to keep the crusts for my bird friends. I could put them in a lovely serving bowl for the party.
When Derby Saturday arrived I got to work! I headed to the backyard to get set up. I first set up the coin operated horses that my neighbor loaned me. I couldn’t resist trying out the carousel horse that was mixed in with the others. It had pinache – just like me!

After I finished pretending to ride around the yard, I put up the tables for the refreshments and Dad helped me set up the big screen tv.

I made sure to have spare hats on hand for anyone who might have forgotten to wear one. Felisha, Lucy, Grady and Winky all had their own hats that their families had bought for them. They were the first to arrive. They were excited to see the horses and some of them decided to give them a try. We had fun pretending we were riding in the Derby. We would scream and hoot as we “raced” and then argued over who had won. The horses were very slippery so we kept sliding down the sides of them. We’d grab for each other as if we could help the other stay on and we’d all end of laying on the ground laughing. I don’t know how many times we did that, but it sure was fun!

After a while, my feral friends started to trickle in. None of them had their own hats – not of derby caliber anyway – so they had fun going through the pile of fashionable hats. Cali put a big feathery hat on Malcolm then started laughing hysterically. We all started to giggle as well until Malcolm got mad and grabbed the hat off his head and skulked off into the yard. I called after him that the buckets of chicken had just arrived which stopped him in his tracks . He turned, stomped back, grabbed a straw hat with racehorses on it and plopped himself in the chair next to the chicken . He stayed there for most of the evening.

As guests came in they would try riding the coin horses and then head for the refreshment tables.
Everyone seemed to enjoy the mint juleps, milk, tuna finger sandwiches, bread crusts and chicken. I told everyone to eat up so they had energy to cheer for their favorite horse. I had bought (or should I say Mom’s magic plastic card had bought) a couple of trophies. One was for who looked best in their hat and one was for the creature that picked the winning horse.
I never imagined picking horses was going to be so complicated!!While Malcolm sat and ate chicken, we all debated who wanted which horse. Of course, all the cats wanted to pick Dean’s Kitten! Finally, I decided we would put all the horse’s names in an empty chicken bucket and we would each draw a name. That would be the horse for which we would root. Everyone agreed and we did the drawing. I thought it was great that Bobbi ended up with Dean’s Kitten so there were no hard feelings among the feline members of our party.
It seemed to take foreeeeeeever for the race to begin. We all stood arm in arm, swaying back and forth while singing “My Old Kentucky Home.” We were thankful they put the words up on the tv screen because none of us knew them on our own. After the song was over, we all huddled near the screen, giddy with anticipation. At last the bell rang and we all cried out together, “They’re off!!!” We were pretty subdued until the horses got to the top of the stretch, and then we went wild. We were cheering our horses on – jumping up and down as if that was going to make the horses run faster. As they crossed the wire, Lucy started dancing around – her horse had won. I was so excited for her! I ran over and danced around with her. We threw our hats in the air and finished up with a high five!

After we all calmed down, we found we were very thirsty from all that screaming. We had something to drink and another snack. Then I called for everyone’s attention as it was time to award the trophies. First I presented the winning horse trophy to Lucy. She was a very gracious winner. She thanked me and lady luck for the lovely trophy. Then it was time for the big one. I decided we should pick who looked best in their hat by popular vote – very democratic. Since none of us could write, I would have to come up with another way. I went inside to find someone who could write. I finally dragged my human brother out and he went from critter to critter writing down their choices. He tallied the vote and wrote it on a piece of paper and put it in an envelope. He handed it to me to open like the Academy Awards. And the winner was… Grady !!! His Churchill Downs steeples hat was the ultimate Derby hat. Plus he was able to balance it all evening and look fabulous at the same time. He had won by a landslide!

We finished up the sandwiches and milk and decided to call it a night. We all agreed it was quite the party and we were definitely horse racing fans! I had so much fun! I’m glad Bobbi wanted to have a party!
Hope you have a good weekend. I highly suggest climbing aboard a coin operated horse and letting your imagination take over. It’s fun!!

Love & licks,