Thursday, June 30, 2011

Litter Bugs

Greetings friends! So happy you stopped by to check out my blog! I hope you read my tale last week about the wonderful folks and kitties at the Blind Cat Rescue and Sanctuary. I certainly had a wonderful time and I hope you enjoyed reading all about it.
The problem with visiting a place such as that is that you feel like there is so much more you would like to do to help. Unfortunately, my lack of a thumb and inability to drive a motor vehicle limits the contributions I am able to make. I keep in touch with Miss Alana and wait for her to mention something with which I am able to help.
Such an occasion presented itself recently when Miss Alana mentioned she was heading to the Food Lion to pick up some necessary supplies for the shelter. I have been to the Walmart and have experience operating an electric shopping cart – albeit the shopping cart ran amok, but I think that was more Bobbi and/or Corny’s fault – I think I would be able to handle it with my fellow feline companions. I told Miss Alana I was an experienced shopper and I offered my assistance. Miss Alana gladly accepted my help and I agreed to meet her that afternoon for some serious shopping.
My brother wasn’t working, so I bribed him with food to drive me to the shelter. Miss Alana hadn’t told the others I was coming, so they were surprised to hear the pitter patter of my feet as I entered the shelter. They all rushed up to me and gave me hugs and kitty kisses. We chatted for a while so I could catch up on all the shelter news. After I was up to date, I asked for volunteers to head to the Food Lion with me and Miss Alana. I couldn’t believe all the paws that shot up – everyone wanted to help!
We assembled by the shelter’s van and I handed out lovely hats for our journey. Not ones to keep still, we killed the time by chasing each other around the van. When Miss Alana finally arrived we all climbed into the van and found a place to sit. We each had to find something to hold on to so we wouldn’t slide around in the back of the van – though that would have been a funny sight!

It was a quick trip and we arrived at the Food Lion in no time. We were very excited about getting out of the van! We were all pushing to be the first out the door, so a bunch of us went spilling out into the parking lot when Miss Alana opened it. We scrambled to our paws and I led the way into the store. I told the others to follow the sound of the jingling bell on my collar and I would lead them to the pet aisle. That worked great! We went parading through the parking lot and through the automatic door. Poor Miss Alana was left behind as she had to grab her purse and lock the van.
I grabbed the first basket I found and helped the others get in it or hang on the side. It was not electric, so it was a lot easier to control (though not as much fun!) It didn’t take me long to find the pet aisle and I stopped in front of the Frisky Party Mix packages. I pointed the others in the right direction and we all started flinging bags of snacks into the basket until there was room for no more!

Just as we finished and had started to talk about which bag we were going to open first when we arrived back at the van, Miss Alana walked up shaking her head. We showed her our basket full of “necessary supplies” for the shelter. Evidently, Miss Alana did not have the same idea as we did as to what constituted a necessary supply! She told us that while she loves to buy treats for the residents, there was a more pressing need at the shelter for cat litter. Litter?!?!?!?! Well that’s no fun! We all groaned and made faces. Miss Alana told us we could each pick one bag of treats and leave it in the basket. We begrudgingly put back the excess bags and headed for the boxes of litter.
The boxes of litter were pretty big and we could only get so many of them into the basket. It’s a good thing Miss Alana brought us along, because we ended up carrying a bunch of boxes!
We piled the boxes of litter on this moving black belt thing. Some of my fellow shoppers didn’t know when to let go of the boxes - they went rolling down the conveyor belt along with the boxes! I told the cashier that Casper was priceless, so don’t ring him up. We all had a good giggle at that!

Miss Alana paid for the necessities with money donated by generous supporters, and then we were ready to head back to the van. Before we left, I stopped at the customer service desk and asked if it was possible for us to meet the food lion. The women behind the counter looked at me funny. His likeness is on signs all over the store, so surely he was around somewhere. I told the lady that I thought he/she would like to meet some of his/her feline distant relatives. When she finally realized what I was talking about she apologized and told me that there was no actual food “lion” and that it was just a logo. What a disappointment!
We each took a deep breath, picked up a box or two of litter and headed across what now looked like a really biiiiiiiig parking lot. Some of the braver cats stacked the boxes high and looked like jugglers trying to keep them balanced. There were a few boxes dropped, but they eventually they all made it to the van in one piece.

It took a while to load all the boxes in the van. The litter took up most of the back of the van so we had to crowd in the front for the ride home. Fortunately, we had the bags of treats to keep us busy, so we opened up some bags and passed them around.
We had full bellies when we arrived back at the shelter. Now we had to unload all those boxes! We kitties decided we were going to make things easier by having fun with it, so we took off our hats and went to work.
While Miss Alana was distracted by a phone call, we started bringing in the boxes one by one. We carefully stacked them just so. It was tough balancing some of them just right, but when we were finished, we called to Miss Alana to come check out our creation. Can you tell what it is?

If you guessed it’s supposed to be a cat head, you are right! Pat yourself on the back and have a Friskies Treat!
We had fun poking our heads through the holes we left for the eyes, nose and mouth. Miss Alana thought it was pretty good, though she warned us that with it being in the middle of the floor, someone was bound to knock into it. She had a point, and since we didn’t want anyone to get hurt, we helped Miss Alana move the boxes to the storage area. I guess she won’t have to worry about running out of litter for a while!
After we finished moving the boxes, we all agreed that it was time for a catnap. I cuddled up with the others to nap while I waited for my brother to return. I was so exhausted that Miss Alana had to carry me to the car when my ride arrived. I slept all the way home. Hard work wears you out!!!
Well, that’s all for this tale. I hope I have other opportunities to help out Miss Alana and the kitties. I’ll let you know about it if I do!
Have a great week, and Happy 4th of July!

Love & kitty kisses,

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Blind Cat Rescue

Hello my friends! Welcome to my blog! This week’s tale is very special!! I am honored to have had the privilege of visiting with some very special kitties and humans in a town not far from where I live! Now that I know where these fine folks are, they won’t be able to get rid of me!!!!
It all started with the invitation Miss Alana sent to all her Facebook friends. She told us that they were having a visitor’s day at the Blind Cat Rescue and Sanctuary to celebrate their new building. I told Mom about the Blind Cat Rescue and asked if she and Dad would like to give me a ride there. She was very excited about going and promised me we would make time in our busy Saturday to find our way to St. Pauls.
The day of the open house finally arrived and I couldn’t wait to get going. Dad had to work for a little while in the morning, so I passed the time by picking out lots of hats to take with me. I stuffed Roody full of all my favorites! I wasn’t sure how many kitties I was going to meet, so I brought as many as I could cram into Roody’s pouch. Poor Roody looked like she was going to explode, but she assured me that she wasn’t uncomfortable.
When Dad finally returned home, I scampered to the car with Roody in tow. We sat and waited for slow poke Mom to get in the car. The ride seemed to take forever – I just couldn’t wait to get there. I was a little nervous though – I wasn’t sure what to expect from the blind kitties. My friend, Mimsy, was blind, but she had a forever home and had a sister to look out for her. How would this group of all blind kitties be able to get along?!?!?!?!
We turned onto the dirt road that led to the shelter. I was the first to spot it at the very end of the road. Before the car was even fully stopped I was bounding out the car door, calling out Miss Alana’s name. When my Mom caught up with me, she scooped me up and told me to calm down. She explained we needed to be quiet and calm when we entered the shelter as to not scare the residents. That made sense, so I toned it down…for now anyway.
I was the first to reach the door and I led my family inside.

The first person I saw was Miss Alana and I rushed up to her to give her a big hug. She laughed and welcomed us to the shelter and showed us around. All the time Miss Alana was talking I was peeking into the rooms to see if there were any felines around.
It was really cool - each housing area had both an inside and outside space for the residents. They had a hole cut out in the door with a flap over it for the kitties to go in and out as they pleased. There was a big fan out in each run to help keep the sunbathers cool. I know I would spend lots of time outside if I lived here! There was a wall – like a garage door – that could be pulled down when storms rolled through the area or when it got really cold. Wow! This place was great!!!
After we finished our tour, I asked Miss Alana if I could visit with some of the residents. She told me that the kitties had been looking forward to meeting me and they were anxious to show me around.
I pulled a couple of hats from Roody’s pouch and headed into one of the kitty rooms. There were pictures on the wall of each of the occupants which made it easy to get to know everyone. They heard me enter the room, and the first fine felines to welcome me were Hermes and Snicker. I let each of them select a hat and then we turned and posed for a picture.

Snicker acted as host and introduced me to the other kitties. They all moved about so sure footedly that I almost forgot they were blind! We chatted and they showed me all the nice things they had to climb on. They offered me some food and water from their bowls, which I must say was quite delicious!
The kitties were all different colors, shapes and sizes. Speaking of shapes, I felt quite scrawny when I was introduced to a………um….”robust” kitty named Maggie. She had a unique shape – more barrel-like than any kitty I had ever met. Maggie was very sweet and friendly and she didn’t take it wrong when I went out to the car to bring in some fat free milk for her.

I explained to her that when I start putting on weight I switch from regular milk to fat free and it really helps. We all shared a bowl of the fat free milk and Maggie agreed it was quite tasty.
Our milk snack fueled us up for some fun. Lily and I headed out to the supply area to wrangle up so more toys. The toy bins were way up high, so Lily hoisted me up so I could grab a tub. What lucky kitties – so many toys!!

We had so much fun pulling toys out of the tub and batting them about the room. I couldn’t get over the fact that these blind kitties were able to play just like sighted cats! They knew no fear as the leapt all over the room chasing catnip mice and balls with little bells in them. At one point I was so busy chasing a leopard print mouse that I didn’t pay attention and crashed into Paul. He was very nice and told me not to worry. He was probably thinking to himself – silly sighted cat!
After we managed to bat every toy in the tub under beds or blankets or cages, it was time to think of a new game. How about a game of Marco Polo? Even though the game is usually played in a pool, the enclosed room would give the same effect as being in a pool – without the wet fur smell and awful wet cat appearance!
Casper volunteered to be “it” first. Everyone scattered and climbed up high to avoid being tagged. I was the slowest of the bunch and it took Casper no time to tag me with his paw and yell “You’re it!” Drats! These blind kitties were putting me to shame! They were certainly a lot quicker than Steve and Malcolm, my usual playmates!
We had to ask Miss Alana for a blindfold for me. I was interested to see how well I did without the benefit of my eyesight. Even with the limit of only one eye, what a difference that one eye makes. It was so weird not being able to see anything. So this is what the blind kitties felt like! I took off my hat so I could hear better. I found I would have to rely on what I heard to figure out where the rest of the gang was. I tilted my head and listened closely. I reached out my hand to keep me from walking into things.

I moved very slowly. I could hear my new friends snickering as they heard my paws shuffling on the floor. From the snickering, it sounded like they had settled themselves up on the beds and the scratchy climby thing. I called out “Marco!” and a chorus of voices replied “Polo!” They were indeed way up high. I took a deep breath and started feeling my way up the obstacle course. It really didn’t take too long to get used to not seeing and after a few minutes I managed to corner Chester and tag him – actually, I think Chester was being nice and let me catch him!
After a few rounds of me being “it” every other time, we decided it was getting late and we should check on the humans to see what they were up to. When I found Mom, she told me that visiting hours were going to be over soon and we would have to head home. My goodness! Time had just flown by!
As I was waiting for my parents to finish talking to Miss Alana, I noticed a magazine sitting on a table. It was published by Purina and there was a picture of a beautiful blind cat on the cover. Hmmmm, that cat looked familiar. I asked Lily to take off her hat…I took a close look at her markings and then at the markings of the cat on the cover. That was Lily on the cover!!!! I was very impressed. It was a beautiful photo! I asked Miss Alana if I could have a copy of the magazine and she told me I could. I asked Lily if she would autograph a copy for me and she graciously obliged.

As I stood admiring my autographed magazine, I noticed that the visitors had tracked a bunch of dirt onto the floor. A couple of us felines decided we would help out and clean up after the messy humans! Lily grabbed a broom, Casper collected some trash and I took a sponge to wipe the floor.

Miss Alana told us we did a wonderful job and she gave each one of us some treats -Friskie’s Cheezy Craze Crunch - yum, my favorite!
I went from room to room saying my goodbyes. I hated to leave my new friends, but I had to go home. I promised them I would come back and visit again very soon!
As we walked to the car I realized that I had almost forgotten that I had asked Mom to write a check from my book sales account to give as a donation to the shelter. I collected the check from Mom and presented it to Miss Alana.

She was very grateful and gave me a big ol’ hug. I told her that she was very special and that kitties everywhere sleep better knowing there are people like her in the world.
As our car pulled away, I waved at my friends out the window. Mom told me that Miss Alana had mentioned to her that they are in need of volunteers to help take care of all the precious kitties. I told Mom that I would help spread the word and see if we could drum up some help. I know if people visit the shelter they will fall in love with the special residents and want to be a part of it.
As I settled in next to Roody for a much needed cat nap, I thought about how amazing it was that the blind cats were just like any other cats. They are loving, playful, independent and very patient with silly cats who stink at playing Marco Polo!
If you would like more information about the Blind Cat Rescue and Sanctuary, just go to and check out all the beautiful kitties available for sponsorship. There are also many great videos showing the playful blind kitties doing their thing! It will make you smile and feel all warm inside!
Until next week…

Love and kitty kisses,

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Kitty Kare

Happy weekend, my friends! I tell you, it was nice to keep my kitty self at home this past week. With all the traveling I’ve been doing lately, it’s a rare week when I don’t go traipsing off to some other state or country. This week I stayed put and my tale takes place in my own back yard. As Dorothy said “There’s no place like home!”
It all started one morning when there was a knock at the back door. All my human family members were at work, so I carefully peeked through the curtains on the door and saw that it wasn’t a burglar, the fashion police (I know they would never have to come after me, but they might have been looking for my Mom) nor animal control, so I felt it was safe to open the door. As I swung the door open I saw the most peculiar sight….

It was a raccoon, who I had never seen before, cradling a kitten in her arms. I must say it was an amusing sight! I knew this raccoon and I were going to become fast friends as she had an adorable hat perched perfectly on her head.
The raccoon introduced herself as Roxanne Raccoon, who was in town visiting relatives. She had originally come to help her niece with her litter of babies, but they were grown up enough now where they didn’t need looking after. She thought she might earn some food for her niece’s large family by helping the other critters in the area tend to their springtime litters. She had found the little kitten she was holding just wandering around crying and she hoped I would know to whom the kitten belonged.
I told Roxanne that I believed it was one of Dot’s little ones. We had a couple of new litters of feral kitties in the neighborhood, and I knew Dot was one of the proud mamas. I told Roxanne if she wouldn’t mind waiting, I would send Steve out to find Dot. I’m sure Dot was worried sick about her adventurous little kitten!
I went upstairs and awakened Steve from his nap in the music room and asked him to go find Dot and bring her to the backyard. He yawned and just stared at me. Then I remembered what my Dad does when he wants Steve to go outside – shake a bag of kitty treats. I went down to the den to find the kitty treats. I stood at the bottom of the stairs and shook the bag as hard as I could. Sure enough, Steve came trotting down the stairs. I opened the front door and threw some treats out and he went right out after them. As I closed the door I told him now he could go find Dot.
By the time I returned to the back deck, Roxanne was loaded down with kittens!! Evidently, word spread quickly that there was a critter willing to take one’s kittens off one’s hands for a few hours. All the worn out momma cats had rushed over and deposited their kittens with Roxanne. I imagine most of them were heading home to get an undisturbed bite to eat and a nice long nap. The kittens took an immediate liking to Roxanne as she patiently cuddled them and gave them gentle tummy rubs. She seemed to be in heaven. She was a natural born nanny!

Steve returned with Dot, who was quite relieved to be reunited with her kitten. She was quite pleased to meet Roxanne, and asked if it was okay if she met her back on the deck the next day, so she could have a few hours to herself. Roxanne said she would love to – they agreed to meet back the next day. Roxanne stayed out on the deck all afternoon playing with the kittens. I’d pop out every now and then to join in the fun or just to check to see if they needed more milk.
After the last kitten was retrieved by its mother, Roxanne knocked on the door to tell be goodbye. I gave her a bag of peanuts as pay for all her hard work, and she seemed most delighted. She happily headed for her niece’s nest, balancing the big bag of peanuts in her little raccoon hands.
I made sure to be up early the next morning so I could greet Roxanne when she arrived for work. Hours passed and I answered the door several times to moms wanting to drop off their kittens for a bit. I apologized and told them to check back later.
Around noon I heard a very hard knock on the door. I was hoping it was Roxanne. I swung open the door and was shocked to see Preston!! He was wearing Roxanne’s hat! I asked him quite pointedly where Roxanne was. He looked offended and told me she was tied up and couldn’t make it, so she had asked him to take her place taking care of the kittens. He told me he had lots of experience taking care of babies and he had heard I would pay a bag of peanuts for an afternoon’s work.

I didn’t feel good about the whole thing…something didn’t seem quite right. Still, if it was okay with Roxanne, I guess it was okay with me. Preston said he had to run out and get some supplies, so if anyone showed up I should tell them to wait.
By the time Preston returned, the deck was filled with kittens. I left him to his work and went inside. After about an hour, it started getting rather noisy on the deck. That was odd, because it was so quiet when Roxanne was out there yesterday. While I didn’t want to have to deal with Preston, I wanted to make sure everything was okay. I stepped out onto the deck and could not believe my eyes…

The kittens were running amok!!!!!! Preston must have stopped at the carnival a few blocks down and taken some of every kind of junk food he could find. There were corn dogs, fried oreos, turkey legs, French fries and a huge bucket of Kool-Aid. The kittens were eating all this fried food instead of lapping some healthy milk!! Not only that, but I saw one kitten running around with a pair of scissors. First of all, I don’t know where the kitten found the scissors, and second of all, I don’t know why Preston didn’t stop him. After surveying the situation, I decided that Preston did not, in fact, know anything about taking care of little ones. Some of the kittens were all hopped up on the sugar from the Kool-Aid and fried oreos, while the others were just sick from eating things they shouldn’t have eaten. I had to remove one kitten from on top of a plate of French fries – the poor little thing had quite the tummy ache!
As I was busy collecting all the unhealthy food from the kittens, our neighbors called over the fence to me. They wanted to know if I knew of any raccoons living in the area. I told them about Roxanne, including the part about her not showing up for work. They told me I needed to come to their yard for a moment. I piled the food just inside the back door and headed over to the neighbor’s yard.
They led me to their shed and swung open the door.

There was poor Roxanne – duct tape on her mouth and hands. I knew it! That devious Preston did this! I rushed to get the scissors (with which Preston must have cut the duct tape) so I could get the tape off Roxanne without ripping out bunches of her hair. The neighbors helped as well, and soon we had Roxanne free with relatively little hair loss. She was a bit shaken up, but generally fine.
I confronted Preston and told him I didn’t like liars. He said he didn’t lie. He had told me she was tied up and couldn’t make it. He admitted that, okay, he should have said she was TAPED up, not tied up. And maybe she didn’t exactly ASK him to take care of the kittens for her, but surely she wouldn’t have wanted the kittens to be unattended, right?
I snatched Roxanne’s hat off his head and told him to leave. He asked if he could have the bag of peanuts first. I just stared at him until he mumbled something and stalked off. I should have known he was going to be trouble.
I apologized to Roxanne and helped her take care of the kittens until their mommas came to get them. I begged her to not hold Preston’s terrible behavior against the other animals in the neighborhood. She said she wouldn’t, though when it was time to go back to her niece’s nest, she said she would be heading home the next day. I told her if she was ever in the neighborhood again that she should stop by to say hello. I gave her two bags of peanuts, and a big hug before watching her disappear into the trees.
I hope sweet Roxy comes to visit again. I will be keeping an eye out for Preston. Every time he shows up, something goes wrong!
Please make sure to stop by next Friday, for a special blog tale. I’m going to visit the Blind Cat Rescue and Sanctuary this weekend and I will tell you all about it next time.
Have a great week!

Love & kitty kisses,

Thursday, June 9, 2011

The Milkman Cometh

Hello friends! I hope you had a wonderful week and are ready to read my tale about a day at the Formula One races. I was fortunate enough to go to the historic 100th running of the Indianapolis 500! I had been to a Grand Prix event in Australia during the Moomba Festival, so I was familiar with the sport and all the particulars. I felt I was ready to participate in the festivities.
The Indy 500 is called “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing.” Oh really? They have never seen me behind the wheel of the car, or in the pits, or in the snack room or in victory lane…I am a spectacle! By the time the day was over, I was sure everyone else would agree.
I arrived to the track bright and early to see if any of the drivers I had met in Australia were racing. I did see one racer I recognized though he wasn’t racing in the Indy 500. He recognized me as well and ushered me past the security into the pits where the area was abuzz with activity. I was determined to stay out of the way, but I have a way of forgetting about that when I see something interesting I want to learn about.
There was a really old gentleman hanging out in the pits and I went up to him and introduced myself. We talked about the cars and he explained the history of the event. Since I think it’s important to learn about the things you are about to experience I listened intently. He told me that when the track was built in 1909 it was just gravel and tar… when that started wearing out and becoming dangerous, bricks were laid…when it was resurfaced again, only a small area of bricks were left… The Indy 500 is always held on the last weekend of the month which corresponds with the Memorial Day Holiday… approximately 400,000 people attend the race…yes, that’s 400,000 people! He was just a font of knowledge. He alluded to the fact that there were some interesting things in which the winner gets to partake in, but he didn’t want to ruin the fun – he wanted me to be surprised. I was impressed with how much he knew about the race and asked him if he had attended all 100 races. My question gave him a good laugh, and he just shook his head as he walked off into one of the garage areas. I guess I’m not very good at estimating a human’s age.
I heard someone mention the name Andretti, and I turned to see if I might catch a glimpse of one of the famous Andretti family members. As I turned, I walked smack dab into Marco Andretti. I apologized and complimented him on his pretty red car. He thanked me and asked if I might like to take a spin in it. Oh, how exciting!!! He told me I would have to put on a fire suit and helmet. I told him I look fabulous in a helmet, so bring it on!
Marco’s crew suited me up and right before I was to climb into the car, they put the helmet on me.

Holy mackerel (yum, mackerel!) The helmet weighed about three times what my whole body weighs. It felt like I had no neck and that my head was sitting on my shoulders. I tried to look cool, but my compressing neck was too distracting.
I motioned for them to take the helmet off - and they did - which was quite a relief.
Marco apologized – he should have realized that I was a delicate flower. He found a lighter helmet which meant I needed to drive a different car. Pink and red do NOT go together!! A proper car was found and I was ready to give it another go.

I started down the pit lane and the car was quite hard to control. There was so much power in the engine that I didn’t feel comfortable stepping on the gas. Thusly, I inched my way down the track. This wasn’t quite the thrill I had in mind!
Marco’s crew were determined to give me the full racing experience, so they put their heads together and came up with a plan. They told me to stay nearby and they would come back to get me shortly. I couldn’t wait to see what these engineering geniuses were going to do!
I squealed with delight when they rolled a tiny little race car out of the garage. It would fit me just perfectly! I didn’t have the heart to tell them that the red paint clashed with my pink helmet, so I tried not to think about it and just climb aboard for some fun!
It was still far enough before the race that there were a couple of cars out practicing on the track. They would slow down when they neared me so I could pretend I was racing them.

I had so much fun in my custom car. I drove around and around the track until I was the only one left on it. As the stands started to fill in, I figured I had better head back to the pits and find a good spot in which to watch the big race!
The stands were packed by the time the cars revved their engines and started on their quest to win the prestigious race. They went through the course over and over. The race was relatively uneventful until the very end. The crowd was cheering as a rookie headed for the last turn looking like he was going to do the impossible and win his first Indy 500. But then he slid too far right and hit the wall, leaving the door open for Dan Wheldon to slip by him and take the checkered flag.
Dan Wheldon had won the Indy 500 once before, but you never would have guessed it by how excited he was as he climbed out of his car. It took him a while to get out of the car – he took great pains to adjust his hat so it fit just right – a man after my own heart!
While he was busy adjusting his hat, I slipped into his pit area to find a spare fire suit so I would fit into the celebration with his crew. I arrived back at victory lane just as someone was placing a wreath of flowers around Dan’s neck. That must be one of the surprises the old gentleman was talking about! Dan saw me in my spiffy fire suit and came over to drape a piece of his wreath around my neck. I thought that the flower wreath was the coolest thing I had ever seen in an auto racing victory lane, until ….
I don’t know where he got it from, but when I turned back after congratulating some of the crew, Dan had a bottle of milk in his hand. What?!?!?!?!? Milk instead of champagne?!?!? This was GREAT! Dan handed me a bottle of my own and we toasted his win, then guzzled down a big swig.

The old gentleman was right. He knew I was going to be blown away by all the bottles of milk – and the surprise of it was fun!!
Next came the Borg-Warner Trophy. It was big and old and beautiful…and big…really big. Evidently, it was tradition to kiss it. Who was I to break with tradition. I puckered up my kitty lips and planted a big ol’ smackeroo on the trophy.

On to the next tradition…more kissing. For a bunch of macho race car drivers, there’s an awful lot of kissing going on! Dan and his crew lined up on the strip of bricks still left from the days of yore, knelt down and kissed the bricks. While this seemed really weird to me, I trotted over to Dan and laid down on the ground next to him and looked for the least dirty brick to kiss.

It took a while, but I found a brick nearly devoid of grime and gave it a quick peck.
The celebration continued on off the track, but I was too tired to join in. Experiencing so many new things at once can be exhausting, and I must say, I was exhausted. I headed back to the hotel for a loooooong nap knowing it would be a looong drive home the next day.
Well, that’s all for this tale. Hope you have a wonderful week.

Love & kitty kisses,

Friday, June 3, 2011

Pensive Memorial Day

Hello My Friends! My bog this week is the summer break edition of Josie Tales. I have taken the week off and am re-running my Memorial Day tale. It is one of my favorite stories, so I hope my long time readers enjoy revisiting this adventure and that my new friends enjoy it for the first time! Next week I will recount my time in Indianapolis for the Indy 500! Have a great weekend! Josie

My fellow Americans and blog readers from other countries,
Happy Friday! Happy weekend! I trust you had a productive week? My friends and I decided to forego any frivolity last weekend and observe Memorial Day in a dignified manner. Well, as dignified as a group of adventurous critters can be!
Living in a military town gives one an appreciation for the members of the armed services. For my new friends who may not know, I live in Fayetteville, NC, home of Ft. Bragg and the famous 82nd Airborne. If you’ve never lived in a military town, it’s quite the experience. Large military planes fly over your house. Sometimes people jump out of them making a stream of parachutes that look like they are just floating the sky. Other times your house will shake from artillery being fired at a range that seemed far away, but evidently isn’t! One especially cool thing about a military town is that you will see license plates from absolutely every state in the union! You don’t have to drive from one end of the interstate to the other to see them, just go to the mall parking lot! I’ve even seen Alaska and Hawaii license plates. It’s also cool to meet people from so many different places. I think my Mom really likes that she’s not the only one around here with a northern accent. Everyone else in our household is a southerner, so Mom is the odd man out. She promised me someday she would take me to NY so I could see where she grew up.
But I digress! Memorial Day, that’s what I want to talk about. I recruited a group of friends to help me to find some way to properly recognize this special holiday. First we sat and talked about how Memorial Day touched us in our own personal way. I know my Mom lost a cousin in the Viet Nam war. Corny said his family has a long history of doing recon for the U.S. Someone in his family has served and several have given their crow lives in every conflict the U.S. has been in. Bobbi had heard family stories about her family members throwing acorns at Union solders in the Civil War. Fortunately, my human Mom’s family didn’t come to the U.S. until after the Civil War, so Bobbi’s family hadn’t thrown any acorns at anyone in her family! Malcolm mumbled that his family was very brave and saved many lives, but he didn’t want to talk about it. He then asked if we were going to eat soon.
Lucy was visiting and she said she had heard about special events going on at the Airborne and Special Operations Museum downtown. I had seen pictures on TV of all the American flags that were put in a field by people honoring family members. We all agreed that we wanted go downtown and help put flags in the ground.
First we all had to be properly attired. Naturally, I have a lovely collection of patriotic hats and scarves. I let my friends select a hat and scarf to their liking. Malcolm growled something about not wanting to look ridiculous, so he refused to pick anything to wear – this from a tomcat who wears a chicken bucket on his head!!!
We asked my brother, Tristan, to drive us downtown. Corny told him he’d give him the money he had found in the Wal-Mart parking lot so he could buy himself something to eat while he waited for us. Tristan agreed and we all climbed in to his car and headed downtown!
I was already familiar with downtown since that is where the Dogwood Festival is held. I didn’t remember seeing the museum. When we drove up to it I didn’t know how I could have missed it. It was beautiful! Tristan dropped us off in the back of the building and told us he’d be back in an hour. He then hurried away. We found some flags sitting in a bucket and we each grabbed one. We decided we would make our own parade and march to the front of the museum.

We hummed every military march we could think of – which wasn’t many. Still, we knew enough to be able to march all the way to the front of the building. People made way for our parade and applauded as we hummed and marched by. We were so busy enjoying the attention that we didn’t notice that we marched right into the middle of a ceremony!
We immediately quieted down. There were a bunch of soldiers standing there. They were unveiling a special stone with much fanfare. The soldiers were having trouble getting the heavy covers off the stones, so Lucy and I jumped in to help.

They were very heavy but we were finally able to lift them off. The soldiers thanked us and invited us to help add more flags to the Field of Honor after the next event was over. We said sure, but we didn’t know what the next event was.
Suddenly, Corny became very agitated and took off into the sky, hat and all. He headed toward a large bird that had just come out of a plane flying overhead. As the bird got closer we realized it was a parachuting soldier. Corny flew along with the soldier to make sure he wasn’t scared and to give him some flying tips. Since the ground was very hard and the soldier was coming down pretty fast, Lucy and I ran to find something in which to catch the parachutist

I guess he had done this a few times before, because he landed perfectly without our help. That was very exciting!
Now it was time to get to work helping with all the American flags.
Even Malcolm took some flags and put them carefully in the ground.

As we stepped back to take a look at our handiwork, we agreed that this was the perfect way to celebrate Memorial Day. We chatted with some soldiers and their families until Tristan came back to pick us up. As we were heading for the car, a bugle in the distance started playing taps. We all stopped in our tracks, took off our hats, stood quietly and listened.

By the time the song was over there wasn’t a dry eye in our group. We put our hats back on and slowly walked to the car.
On the ride home we told Tristan all about our parade, the stone ceremony, the parachutist and our helping with the flags. We certainly did pack a lot into an hour! Malcolm asked if we could go through a drive through to get some chicken. Tristan was nice enough to oblige him. We thanked Tristan for being our chauffer and complimented him on his good driving.
When we arrived home I gave each of my friends a hug and thanked them for sharing this special day with me. I let them keep the hats and scarves as a memento of the occasion. I think this will be an annual event for me.
I hope you enjoyed your long weekend, but still found time to honor those who have served our country proudly. Until next time…

Love & licks,