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,