Thursday, August 25, 2011

Surf's Up!!

Happy Friday! Happy weekend! Hope you all took advantage of the gorgeous summer weather and spent last weekend lounging on the beach. That’s what some of my friends and I decided to do.
We needed my brother to drive us to the beautiful Carolina coast, so Bobbi and I started talking about all the bikini clad babes that would most definitely be sunbathing on the beach. It didn’t take long before he volunteered to take us. Bobbi and I are two smart critters!
I called Sonar and invited her to come along. I heard she was a plucky sort and thought she might like to join me on one of my adventures. She was very happy to be included, and was at my front door ready to go right on time!
I thought it would be fun to have two hunky men accompany us womenfolk to the beach. I checked with Matthew and Anthony to see if they were free, and much to my delight, they were! I asked them if they would mind if a squirrel joined us. I know there are many cats who cannot help themselves – when they see a squirrel they have to chase it. The boys assured me they would respect my friend and not chase her. With that all settled, we piled in the car and headed for fun in the sun!
It took a couple of hours to get there, but it was worth the ride. We all bounded out of the car and headed toward the sand. Once we hit the beach, sand was flying everywhere. We just ran and laughed – the sand felt funny between our toes. We suddenly noticed that everyone was looking at us. We calmed ourselves down and started looking for a place in which to settle.
One beach activity I always found so funny was when someone was buried in the sand by their friends. I mentioned it to the others in my party and Matthew immediately volunteered to be buried. Before I could tell the others to go to work, they were already digging away, throwing dirt on top of handsome Matthew. Tristan found a bucket in the back of his car that he let us use. Since Matthew is so nice and slim, it didn’t take much sand to cover him up. When we were finished we all stepped back and started to laugh. Matthew was just a head – he had no body!!!! We asked him if he wanted to get out, but he said no. He liked when people passed by and noticed him. I thought we should at least give him some cold milk to keep him cool, and an umbrella hat to keep him in the shade. Much to our delight, that made him look even more amusing!

We all sat and had some milk while deciding what to do next. Something daring and adventurous I would hope. Out in the ocean we could see some surfers. I looked at Bobbi and she closed her eyes and started shaking her head “no” while quietly saying “no,no,no Josie.” I looked at Matthew’s head and I didn’t know if he couldn’t shake it or he was in for the adventure. Anthony seemed a little nervous, but he got swept up in my enthusiasm and agreed to give surfing a try.
Off we went to the water’s edge to find a kind surfer willing to loan us a surfboard. I’d send dashing Anthony to ask the girl surfers and I asked the guy surfers. It turned into a competition to see who could get a surfboard, and I eventually persevered! A kind gentleman with a very large surfboard thought his board we be perfect for us. Since Matthew was still up to his neck in sand, we had to excuse ourselves for a moment and go unbury him.
The five of us scurried back and jumped on the surfboard. The surfboard’s owner was kind enough to push us out into the ocean. It was a bit scary. If we didn’t hit the wave just right water would pour on top of us. Since cats do not look very good when wet, we told our new friend to be very careful. We made it out pretty far and when the first wave came by just right, we were on it!!! Whoooooooaaaaa! It was tough keeping one’s balance on the wet board, but all four of us managed to hang on.

We glided in looking like quite the experienced surfers. When we made it back to shore, we got a round of applause from our fellow beachgoers! We all took a bow and thanked our navigator. On to the next beach activity!
We thought we should go back to some sand activity - a much more sedate and dry endeavor. Since we had a bucket, I suggested we build a sandcastle. The others were up to the task. Bobbi worked on the lower areas, and we taller cats worked on the higher. We ended up being a very creative bunch and our sandcastle was the hit of the beach.

We sat for a while and talked about trying to start up a game of beach volleyball, but somewhere during the conversation some of us fell asleep…

Fortunately, Tristan came along after a while and woke us up. Good thing – I didn’t need a sunburned nose! He told us we needed to head home. I had that sandy, salty, wind blown feel to my fur, so I agreed it was time to go!
There was much napping and snoring on the drive home. Going to the beach wears one out! I was glad to have had a chance to spend a day having some beach fun. I think my friends had a good time too!!! Have a great week!
Love & kitty kisses,

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Come Fly With Me

Happy Friday! Happy weekend! We have had a little relief from the heat. It was only in the 90’s this week as opposed to the 100’s the week before. Break out the sweaters!!
Corny has been bugging me about learning to fly. I tried to explain to him that one must have wings to fly. He told me about the people dressed in green who he meets in the sky all the time. It took me a minute before I figured out what he was talking about. Ooooh! He meant soldiers parachuting at Ft. Bragg. I asked him if he had happened to notice the big puffy pieces of cloth above their heads. He responded that yes, he had noticed, but he had already figured out what they were. Even though I knew that they were parachutes, I couldn’t resist asking him to enlighten me. Corny seemed very proud that he knew something that I did not. I couldn’t wait to hear this!!! He patiently explained to silly me that they were sun shades to make sure the skydivers didn’t get too hot or sunburned. He told me that being that much higher and closer to the sun might hurt the delicate human skin. They weren’t protected with feathers like birds.
It took a lot of effort to stifle my laughter, but I told him that his theory made sense. I told him that the pieces of cloth also served to catch the wind to slow the person down so they could land easier (and not break any bones) and help them steer where they wanted to go. Corny thought that sounded plausible. He then suggested I should get a parachute so I could fly. I told him I could get a parachute, but I would also need a plane to take me high up in the sky so I could jump out of it. Unfortunately, he knew of a small airport about a half hour away that had little planes that people jump out of all the time. Being the plucky feline that I am, I would never back down from a new adventure. I agreed to try skydiving.
I was not going to do this by myself, so I recruited several of my bravest friends to accompany me into the clear blue yonder. Bobbi said she would try it if she could bring Skippy and Hammy along. I told her the more the merrier! Cali, Dot and Vuvuzela surprised me by saying they thought it sounded like fun. I figured it would be nice to include one of my new ferret friends, and Jibbers jumped at the chance to skydive. Then there was Malcolm. He wanted to know what food was involved. I told him it didn’t matter to me if he came along or not. I was not going to ply him with food. He seemed disappointed but didn’t want to be left out of a trip that might involve passing a KFC. He mumbled something about us needing him to keep us out of trouble so he might as well tag along – I don’t think those were his words exactly, but I’m too much of a lady to say what I think I heard him say!!
I tippy tapped the Raeford airport and let them know that a party of nine would be coming to skydive the next day. They tippy tapped back and said they were looking forward to meeting us. They had seen me perform at the Dogwood Festival and were visitors to my website. Oooh! Fans! Now I know how Sandra Bullock must feel!
Our brave team assembled in our front yard at the crack of dawn and we all piled into my brother’s car for the trip to the Raeford airport. The car was pretty quiet – I think some of us were having second thoughts. I know I was. Corny greeted us at the airport and showed us some of the airplanes. We knew which one was going to be our plane!

The nice folks at the airport showed us around and answered all our questions. We had to take a class before we could board the plane so we all sat quietly while we waited for the instructor. All except Malcolm, that is. He was getting hungry and grouchy. Tristan agreed to drive back to town and find a KFC. Before the class was over, he returned with several buckets of chicken. He thought we all might enjoy a snack since we skipped breakfast. Most of us were too nervous to eat, which left lots of chicken for Malcolm. He was in heaven.
When we were sufficiently educated in the art of skydiving, we put on our jump gear and headed for the plane. I tried to tell Malcolm to leave the leftover chicken behind, but he thought the trip into the sky would take a long time and he would get hungry again. I didn’t know how he could think of food at a time like this. It was much too exciting!!
The plane taxied down the runway, getting faster and faster. It was a small plane so it shook and rattled as we sped up to takeoff speed. Just as I was beginning to think something must be wrong – whoooosh! The plane smoothly lifted into the air. We all sighed aaaaaaaah at once. We climbed higher and higher until we leveled off at a gazzilion feet (or so it seemed – actually it was around 13,000) We peeked out the window and couldn’t believe the view. Everything looked so different from up here!!
Then it was time to start jumping out of the plane. It goes against every logical bone in one’s body, but I was determined to see this through. Each critter wanted someone else to go first and we just went around and around about it. Finally, Jibbers had had enough and scurried to the door. He looked back at us, smiled and jumped out!

Wow! What a brave ferret! We all peered out the door to see him waving and laughing as he fell through the air. Now we all wanted to do it. One by one we jumped out of the plane – Geronimoooooooooooooooooooooo! We all loved it. Everyone was smiling and waving to each other.

Surprisingly, there was no sensation of falling, more like floating – and very windy!!! Our little tails were just flapping around. We had no control over them! It was such a cool sensation that I didn’t want to end.
Then I noticed Malcolm wasn’t anywhere to be seen. I looked back at the plane in time to see Malcolm and all his chicken come flying out the door of the plane. I was hoping I wouldn’t get hit with a piece of chicken once I hit the ground!

Our instructor, who jumped with us, signaled us to open our parachutes. It seemed like only a minute since we had left the plane, but I didn’t want to become a large splat on the ground. We all pulled our ripcords and braced for the slowing of our fall. We must have been a sight; nine of us floating in the sky. Now all we had to do is have a safe landing and we would have done it. After being so high up and having so far to fall, the ground seemed to suddenly come up fast! But our excellent instructor had us prepared and we all made nice controlled, gentle landings

As the instructor went around helping us gather our parachutes we were all chattering with excitement: Did you see me? Did you see that? Wasn’t that cool? We were high fiving each other and just grinning with satisfaction. Well, most of us were. Malcolm was frantically running around with an empty KFC bucket trying to find the chicken that had gone flying out the plane door with him. He was not pleased. “Wasn’t that a blast Malcom?” I gushed and slapped him on the back. Even in his agitated state, he couldn’t help but let a smile creep onto his face. “Yes, that was cool,” he said in the clearest voice in which I have ever heard him speak.
Poor Tristan had to listen to our stories all the way home. Each one wanted to tell him what they did and saw. He was very nice and tried to act interested in what we were saying. I’m sure he was relieved when we finally arrived home.
I invited everyone back to the deck for a beverage before calling it a day. We thanked Corny for encouraging us to try flying. We all decided he was very lucky to be able to do that whenever he wanted. I am so glad we weren’t afraid to try something new!
Hope you have a great weekend! Go out and try something new – even if it seems scary. Especially if it seems scary!
Love & licks,

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Utopian Seafood Buffet!

Happy Friday! Happy weekend! Hope you all had an enjoyable week. My friends and I had quite the little adventure in our quest for the Utopian Seafood Buffet. Twist my arm and maybe I’ll tell you about it!
…Okay! I know humans are big on “urban legends”, but did you know us felines have urban legends of our own? Like the one about the biggest ball of yarn in the world that can entangle a curious cat so strongly that the cat can never get out. I don’t like that one. I like the more fun, positive ones. Like the one about the most fabulous seafood buffet in the world. It’s an all you can eat buffet offering every kind of the freshest fish imaginable! Many cats have claimed to know someone who knows someone who has been to it, but no one has been able to produce any photographic proof of its existence…until now.
It all started a couple of weeks ago when I was in the Payless Shoe Store with Mom. They were having one of their big BOGO sales, so she said she just had to go stock up on some summer sandals. I hadn’t been there before, but I figured if they had shoes, surely they would have a lovely assortment of accessories - including hats. Seems I figured wrong - Payless does NOT have hats. Oh, well. I helped Mom shop for shoes – she trusts my judgment since I am such a fashionista. I couldn’t help but overhear two ladies talking about a place on the North Carolina coast that had every kind of fish you could imagine swimming around in large tanks. Wow, I thought, that must be the Utopian Seafood Buffet. Legend has it that you can pick your fish right out of the tank and either eat it right then, or give it to one of the master chefs to have it cooked to perfection. Oooh, I didn’t know which option I would take. My mouth started to water and I closed my eyes and imagined how great a fresh fish would taste. Suddenly, I realized the ladies had left without divulging where exactly this place was. At least I knew that it was located on the coast of NC.
I was now more determined than ever to try to find the Utopian Seafood Buffet. I didn’t want to go on my quest alone – who would believe me if I didn’t have witnesses…not to mention the fact I am unable to drive on my own. It wasn’t too hard to recruit some friends to come along. Convincing my brother to drive a couple of hours to the coast took a little more coaxing. I asked him very nicely, tilted my head just so and purred. It didn’t take long before he was eating out of my hand and agreed to be our chauffer to the coast.
We (Tank Fuzzbutt, Cali, Dot, Malcolm and I) decided to start out bright and early in the morning before any traffic could build up. My friends and I were so excited we were already in the car well before we were scheduled to leave. Tristan, evidently, was not as eager and we sat and waited and waited for him to get in the car and drive!

We had carefully placed our hats in the trunk so they would not get squished. Nothing is worse than a squished hat! We figured we would not be very comfortable wearing our hats while in such tight quarters in the car. It was probably a wise move though I hate going out into society without a hat! Tristan finally emerged from the house and started us on our way to new discoveries!
We had fun in the car singing along with the radio and looking for animals in the fields along the way. We headed in the general direction of the Carolina Coast figuring we could ask people for directions as we closed in on our destination. It took a couple of hours before we needed to start interrogating the locals. We stopped at several convenience stores before we found a person who knew of what we spoke. They kindly gave us the sacred directions to Utopia.
Malcolm was getting hungry so we had to drive through Kentucky Fried Chicken to buy a bucket of chicken. I scolded him and told him he would ruin his appetite if he ate a whole bucket, but he just mumbled something about being hungry again in a little while. I think he called me a not nice name!!
We had to stop several times before we found it. As soon as it rose up in the horizon I knew that it truly did exist – the Utopian Seafood Buffet!!!! It was beautiful!! We all started howling with delight –well, except for Tristan; he just covered his ears – and we leapt out of the car before it had come to a complete stop. We scurried up the stairs and made a bee line for the door.

There was no Maitre D to greet us when we entered – which was good. We didn’t know their policy on feline diners. It was tough to keep the group together as we were all pointing at something wonderful. We were whipped up into such a frenzy we had to stop and figure out where the buffet line started. We sat down and started to talk among ourselves when something behind me caught my eye. I turned to look and it was a tank just filled with tasty looking fish! I shrieked with glee and my friends all turned at once to look. Tank and Dot jumped up to get a better look and Dot took a few swats at some fish but didn’t catch any.

Since the drool was beginning to puddle on the floor, we decided we absolutely had to find the buffet line NOW. We were trying not to be noticed, so we really couldn’t ask people where we should be going to find the buffet.
As we walked around past all the beautiful fish tanks in search of a meal, Malcolm growled that he was glad he had eaten that chicken or he’d be famished by now. We all just rolled our eyes and forged onward.
We had heard that you were allowed to pick your own fish, but how could you do that when they were so far under the water? Then the answer appeared before us like an answer to our hungry prayers:

Aha! We had to put on scuba gear and go pick out our fish under the water. How ingenious! Combining adventure and sport with eating. What a great idea. No wonder no cat will admit this place exists. They want to keep it all for themselves!
Not everyone in our party was up for scuba diving. Tank and I volunteered to don the scuba gear and secure provisions for the whole group. Malcolm looked especially relieved. I don’t think he’s much into athletics.
It took a while, but we found some scuba gear in a closet behind one of the huge fish tanks. Tank and I grabbed some gear and jumped into the water.

What fun it was to swim under the water like that! I almost forgot about the fish. I finally remembered what I was supposed to be doing and got to work gathering dinner. It proved to be a daunting task. It was hard to get near any of the fish – they were much better at swimming than I was. Tank and I swam all around to no avail. We were unable to catch any fish. We were finally exhausted and decided to call it quits. I did not look forward to telling Malcolm there would be no fish for dinner.
As Tank and I climbed out of the tank, a couple of waiters came over to help us. They explained that we were not supposed to swim in the fish tanks – only the caretakers were supposed to do that. They told us that even though cats were not supposed to be roaming around, they were in such awe of our courage and swimming abilities that they would let us stay to eat dinner. Food at last!
They led us to a lovely dining room and showed us to a table. The waiters left us for a few minutes. When they returned they had trays full of food! You should have seen Malcolm’s eyes light up! There was a variety of fish – very fresh and very delicious. There was a plate with fish sticks piled high. That was Malcolm’s favorite.

We ate until we were about to burst! I think even Malcolm was full – didn’t think it was possible!
Tristan finally tracked us down. He figured if he found food, he’d find us. We had a long trip home ahead of us, so Tristan said we needed to get going. We stopped to thank the kind waiters who took such good care of us before we headed to the car. When we got outside we turned and took one last look at this wondrous place…now we know it DOES exist. Tristan pulled out his cell phone and snapped a picture, though I don’t think anyone would believe it anyway.
Poor Tristan had to listen to us burp and moan all the way home. It was a treat to not have to listen to Malcolm continually ask to stop to get something to eat. We agreed that we would not divulge the location of the Utopian Seafood Buffet to anyone – it would be our little secret. We were all exhausted when we finally pulled up into our driveway and we went to our respective homes immediately. My head barely hit the pillow and I was out, content in the knowledge that I had been where few cats had been before.
Have a wonderful weekend and week. Visit your favorite seafood restaurant and pig out. It may not be the Utopian Seafood Buffet, but any seafood is still good!

Love & licks,


Thursday, August 4, 2011

Working Girl

Happy Friday my friend! I hope you had a fun and interesting week. I didn’t know what to do with myself this week, now that there are no holidays to celebrate nor traveling to be done! With this week being the first week of the month, I knew Mom was going to be very busy at work which wouldn’t leave me a whole lot of time to use her computer to tippy tap out my weekly discourse. I believe in being part of the solution, so I decided I would help Mom at work. I figured if she accomplished more during her workday, she would be home more, thus I would accomplish more tale tippy tapping! Don’t you just love logic?
I have never worked in an office setting so I wasn’t sure what hat would be appropriate. I couldn’t go by Mom because she is a fashion nightmare, so I had to use my own sense of style to decide. Since I was going to be meeting lots of new people, I figured I should dress formally, yet with a little flair. Rather than throw a bucket hat on my head, I chose to start out my day in a fabulous, tres chic, number that my friend Icy bought for me. I brought along many other hats as well. I figured a hat for each different task would be appropriate.
Mom insisted that she didn’t need any help, but I think she was just too proud to admit she needed another assistant. Even as we were driving to the office, she would tell me it wasn’t too late to turn around. I stressed to Mom that I didn’t mind and that I was very excited about becoming a modern working woman! I don’t know why she seemed so stressed about the whole thing. We were going to have fun!
As soon as we arrived at Mom’s place of work, I headed straight for her office and booted up the computer. While Mom went to alert her co-workers of my presence, I went on-line to check on a few things.

I was relieved to find that the surprised kitten was on Mom’s work computer. One never knows when one might need the surprised kitten to cheer one up!
When Mom was ready to get working, she shooed me out of her chair and gave me my first task. She had a whole stack of papers that needed to be put in their respective files. That sounded easy…certainly I could do it! I found a box to stand on and set to it!

Without a thumb, this was NOT an easy task. I could sort of hold it between my toes, but I kept getting paper cuts in my delicate little paws when I tried to push the paper into the file folder. After a few tries and a few cuts, I decided that filing was not for me!
Mom thought of something else to make me productive. She promised me that shredding would be a lot easier because the shredder grabs the paper out of your hand when you push it near the opening. That sounded easy – I could do it! She turned on the machine and proceeded to slide a piece of paper down into the slot. It made a very loud grinding noise and little slivers of paper came out the bottom of the machine. Yikes! I better keep an eye on my tail! I had to make sure it didn’t do one of its flicky moves and end up as a pile of fluff in the shredder bin! I took off my boa- to avoid it being eaten by the shredder – and I went to work!

I tried to control my tail, but the more I thought about it, the more agitated I became, which made it swish around more. While I did love pulverizing paper – I wasn’t sure why - my paranoia about my tail was taking all the fun out of it!
I asked Mom if there was something else that I might do since I didn’t like paper cuts or taking the risk of losing my tail. She stared at me for a minute, sighed and handed me a stack of papers that needed to be copied. All I had to do was lay the paper in the tray and it automatically fed into the copier and both the original and the copy came out the other end. That sounded easy – I could do it! I took the stack of papers Mom had given me and laid them in the feeding tray. I pushed the big green button and the huge stack of papers started feeding through the copier. It was fun watching the paper go in side and come at with a clone of itself! I took a look at the copies so I could see how much the copies resembled the originals. When I looked at the copies I wondered why Mom had asked me to copy blank white sheets of paper?!?!?!? I called to Mom and she came into the copy room. I didn’t want to make her feel dumb, so I acted like I was proud that I learned to use the machine as I held up the blank pieces of paper. Mom grabbed her head with her hands, shook her head and informed me that I had put the originals in upside down, so I had copied the back of them. That meant I had to do it all over again.
I was careful to put the originals in so that when it fed into the copier the side with all the printing was laying face down on the glass. The second time’s the charm, and I completed my first administrative assignment! As I was collecting the copies from the tray, the empty glass caught my eye. I had seen in movies how people make copies of themselves just for fun. I peeked up and down the hallway outside the copy room and saw that no one was around. I closed the door over and jumped onto the copy machine…

I sat for a while and made several copies to give my co-workers as souvenirs of my visit. I figured they could put it on the walls of their offices like they do with the pictures of the famous people they meet. After I felt like I had done enough copies, I jumped down from the copier to admire my work…

Well, what did you think I was copying?!??!!?!??! Shame on you!!! I’m a lady!!!
I went from office to office distributing the copies of my tail. Everyone was very excited and thanked me profusely! I made sure to give one to Mom to put on her wall!
I had worked up quite a thirst, but I didn’t see any water bowls on the floor. Mom said I had to use the water cooler if I wanted a drink of water. They had these funny little cone cups with which to drink the water. I thought the cup would make a cute hat – and I was right!

I suddenly realized it looked too much like a dunce cap, so I quickly took it off and selected another hat from my collection with which to adorn my fabulous noggin.
As I headed back to Mom’s office, I noticed a blank dry erase board hanging in the hallway. There were dry erase pens just sitting on the little shelf attached to it. I thought I would create some art to brighten up the hallway. I got to work and created one of my favorite things to draw.

As I put the finishing touches on my Stick Cat Steve sketch, Mom came up to me and told me it was lunch time. We had a lovely lunch at Mi Casita – which I mistakenly thought was My Catsita. I was very disappointed there was no tuna on the menu, but they had some delightful beef dishes.
By the time we returned to the office I was exhausted. I told Mom that I needed a nap so I curled up in a box in her office and took a nap….a really long nap. Mom had to wake me up to take me to the car to go home. I felt bad I hadn’t helped all afternoon, but Mom said it was okay – she was able to get a lot done once I went to sleep. That was good…I think. Hmmmmm…
The next day I decided I was going to go back to being a housecat/adventurer. I would rather chase giant fleas up a pole (see my January 6th, 2011 blog) than file pieces of paper! I have new respect for Mom…and her thumbs!
Have a great week!!

Love & kitty kisses,