Carolyn Holm

One Dog, Two Cats
Grand Ideas
InterSpecies Memos

Whack

Dear Mom,
Have you recovered?
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
From what?
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
From your psychotic episode.
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
My what???
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
That’s what Mia said it was. When you got violent this morning.
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
I was violent?
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
You were. It was terrifying.
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
It seems like I should remember something like that.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
You were whacking furniture with this stick.
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
Oh. The fly. There was a fly.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
You were very violent.
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
I was trying to whack the fly. This is a fly swatter.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
There is a weapon just for flies?
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
Yes, because they are diabolically difficult to nail. You can use a magazine, but this swatter is much more effective.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
Puffin hid under the bed.
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
I’m sorry I frightened everyone.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
We thought you’d lost your mind. And that you’d whack us next. With this stick.
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
Oh sweetie, you should know I wouldn’t! And this is a fly swatter. It is just for flies.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
Wait. Does this mean there are whacking weapons for other animals? Is there a dog swatter?
XOXO Poppy 

Dear Poppy,
No baby. Just for flies. Let’s have a cuddle and put that fly behind us.
Love, Carolyn

A note to our readers…
Subscribe and get this every week in your email in-box! The subscription button is at the top of the page, on the right. If you are reading this in an email, go to blog.carolynholm.com to find the subscription box at the top right. See you every Friday!

Cat Mint

Cher Madame,
Mon Dieu, what is this?
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
It’s Nepeta. Cat mint. Catnip.
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
Where did this interesting vegetation come from?
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
I brought it in from the garden. As a treat for you two cats.
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
C’est like the magic! I am forgetting what I was about to do.
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
Is it better than food?
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
Ouf, nothing is better than food. Can Madame be serious to ask this? But these petit twigs they are vraiment close. Peut-être this makes a petit cat forget about dinner!
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
That would actually be good. We still need to get your weight down a bit more.
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
La diet she is oppressive. And unfair. Madame lets Mia eat all day long. And then takes her bowl away before this pauvre petit cat can join in. So unfair.
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
Life is unfair, sweetie. Most animals, except humans, understand this.
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
C’est still unfair.
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
You’ve been mooching Mia’s food for far too long. She needs her food. She’s elderly now and we don’t want her to get too skinny.
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
I am going to tell her you said she is elderly.
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
Please don’t, sweetie. She would hate to hear that.
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
Madame should have thought of that.
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
Here, have some more cat mint.
Love, Carolyn

A note to our readers…
Subscribe and get this every week in your email in-box! The subscription button is at the top of the page, on the right. If you are reading this in an email, go to blog.carolynholm.com to find the subscription box at the top right. See you every Friday!

Black Friday

Dear Mom,
Today is Black Friday! That’s so exciting!
Love, Mia

Dear Mia,
Exciting? Seriously? Do you even know what Black Friday is?
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
Not really, but I like that it’s about money – look at all the money I found on Dad’s dresser!
Love, Mia

Dear Mia,
You plan to use that for some Black Friday shopping?
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
Black Friday is for shopping?
Love, Mia

Dear Mia,
It is. What did you think it was for?
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
I didn’t know but I like that it sounds so sinister.
Love, Mia,

Dear Mia,
Well, okay. I guess you could argue that it is. Sinister.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
Will you take me shopping?
Love, Mia

Dear Mia,
I’d rather cut off my right arm.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
That’s a terrible thing to say!
Love, Mia

Dear Mia,
I don’t think you’d really like shopping. Too many people, too much stuff. We don’t need any more stuff.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
Ok boomer. 
Love, Mia

Dear Mia,
I’m going to pretend you didn’t make that comment. But it doesn’t change anything anyway; we still have a house full of stuff. 
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
Your stuff. But Puffin and I need another scratching post. For the living room. Near the sunny spot. And another catnip mouse. And probably about five bags of treats. And we need a lot more of the yogurt that you and I like so much.
Love, Mia

Dear Mia,
We’ll take that under consideration. But you’ll need a bigger pile of cash.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
No problem. I know where to find it. Where Dad empties his pockets.
Love, Mia

A note to our readers…
Subscribe and get this every week in your email in-box! The subscription button is at the top of the page, on the right. If you are reading this in an email, go to blog.carolynholm.com to find the subscription box at the top right. See you every Friday!

Carnage

Dear Poppy,
I’m sorry, I’ll have to take your stuffy away.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
Why????? It’s so much fun!!!!!!!
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
You are pulling the stuffing out, and you were trying to tear off the head. That was horrifying.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
I know!!!!!!
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
You are such a sweet creature, but you are a terror with a plush animal.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
That’s what we do with plush animals!!!!!
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
A lot of dogs cuddle with their soft toys.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
Just cuddle?
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
Yes, and mouth them. But gently. Just getting them very wet and disgusting looking. Not eviscerating them.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
Are you annoyed because you had to clean up the mess?
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
There was stuffing everywhere. I didn’t know such a small plush animal could have so much packed inside it.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
Well, good thing I took care of it. Now it’s not nearly so stuffed. I’m sure it feels better now. So can I have it back?
XOXO Poppy

A note to our readers…
Subscribe and get this every week in your email in-box! The subscription button is at the top of the page, on the right. If you are reading this in an email, go to blog.carolynholm.com to find the subscription box at the top right. See you every Friday!

Photo Bomb

Dear Mia,
That was supposed to be a picture of Poppy.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
Oh. Well, now it’s a picture of me!
Love, Mia

Dear Mia,
Just because you are a senior doesn’t mean you can get away with being rude. You had to have noticed that I was taking a picture of Poppy.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
I don’t care for this senior talk.
Love, Mia

Dear Mia,
It is what it is, honey. I mean, you look great. But that said, you are showing your age. After all, you are not a kitten any more. You are fourteen now.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
Well obviously, none of us are kittens any more. You aren’t either. But fourteen? Does that mean I’m old? I don’t like this discussion. You’re not calling me elderly are you?
Love, Mia

Dear Mia,
No sweetie, we won’t call you elderly. But you have changed a bit recently. You have relaxed one of your rules – you let me pick you up now. You never used to let me do that. If I picked you up you twisted and struggled. Now you relax into my arms.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
Do you want me to twist?????
Love, Mia

Dear Mia,
Well no, I’m just saying. It’s sweet. I’ve also noticed that you have become deaf.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
Wait, what????? I’m deaf??????? I had no idea!!!!!!! Is that why it has been so quiet lately?
Love, Mia

Dear Mia,
I’m afraid so, sweetie. I say your name and you don’t even cock an ear, let alone come over to me like you usually did. 
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
I don’t want to be deaf. Please fix it.
Love, Mia

Dear Mia,
I wish I could fix it, but I guess it’s just part of growing old. 
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
These comments are beginning to sound rude.
Love, Mia

Dear Mia,
Maybe you aren’t deaf, maybe you’ve just been ignoring us lately.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
Well, if I’m deaf the silver lining is I no longer have hear Puffin’s endless complaints. Now I think I’ll go finish my breakfast before he tries to steal it. And you can take Poppy’s picture now.
Love, Mia

A note to our readers…
Subscribe and get this every week in your email in-box! The subscription button is at the top of the page, on the right. If you are reading this in an email, go to blog.carolynholm.com to find the subscription box at the top right. See you every Friday!

Sharks

Cher Madame,
The dinner hour is upon us and Madame is late with the preparation.
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
Dinner time is 5:00. It is 4:56. I am not late.
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
Alors, the preparation, she must begin before 5:00 if Madame is to serve promptly at 5:00.
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
Is that why all three of you start assembling at around 4:00? You are like sharks circling the kitchen.
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
This hour, c’est le highest point of the day. 
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
What about breakfast?
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
Breakfast is the other highest point of the day.
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
But if 5:00 is dinnertime, why are you assembled at 4:00? That’s a bit early.
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
C’est le common knowledge that Madame does not pay the attention and sometimes serves the early dinner. We assemble because toujours there is hope.
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
How do you know exactly what time it is?
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
Bien sûr, Madame should know this. You have the old clock, she chimes. Cats can count. Dogs cannot, but we inform Poppy. 
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
That is very kind of you. I must say, I’m a bit surprised. You are not usually doing nice things for Poppy.
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame, 
We inform the dog because she reinforces our numbers. Three of us in the kitchen, not just two of us. To overwhelm Madame and convince her to feed us. It works.
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
I had no idea.
Love, Carolyn 

A note to our readers…
Subscribe and get this every week in your email in-box! The subscription button is at the top of the page, on the right. If you are reading this in an email, go to blog.carolynholm.com to find the subscription box at the top right. See you every Friday!

Halloweenish

Dear Mom,
This vegetable was outside on our porch. 
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
I know, honey. You needn’t bark at it any more. 
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
Mia says the children left it. She says they do that every year.
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
No, I put it there to be festive. Last night was Halloween.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
A vegetable means Halloween?
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
Okay, I was supposed to carve it into a jack o’lantern. But I didn’t get around to it. So our front porch was just Halloween-ish. Still, the kids came anyway.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
The kids were very boisterous. They were strangely dressed. And they shouted when you opened the door. Mia left the room and hid. Puffin was already under the bed.
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
They were shouting “Trick or Treat!!!” I realize this is not normal front door behavior, so you were right to bark.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
When I barked, they all jumped back. That was very satisfying.
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
Yes, I’m sure it was. But that’s why I had to lock you in the bedroom with the cats. Your barking made the children nervous. And it was too much to expect you to understand what they were doing, dressed in costumes and shouting on our front porch. They just wanted candy.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
And you gave it to them? Mia says that was extortion.
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
Like I’ve told you before, don’t listen to the cats. I did give the candy to the children. But don’t expect me to start giving you treats just because you shout.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
How did you know what I was thinking?
XOXO Poppy

A note to our readers…
Subscribe and get this every week in your email in-box! The subscription button is at the top of the page, on the right. If you are reading this in an email, go to blog.carolynholm.com to find the subscription box at the top right. See you every Friday!

Cream

Dear Mia,
You ate my yogurt!
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
Not all of it. Just a little. You ate most of it.
Love, Mia

Dear Mia,
You are not supposed to be eating any of it! I wasn’t finished!
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
You walked away from it.
Love, Mia

Dear Mia,
I just went to get a glass of water! I left it on the table because I was coming back to finish it.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
I thought you were finished. It was DELICIOUS, by the way. I love this yogurt. It has cream on top.
Love, Mia

Dear Mia,
I know it does. That’s why I love it too. That’s why I was planning to eat the entire cup of it. Before someone stole it.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
You should have thought that out before you left it sitting out in plain sight.
Love, Mia

Dear Mia,
I’m very disappointed in you.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
I’m not sorry. It was delicious.
Love, Mia

A note to our readers…
Subscribe and get this every week in your email in-box! The subscription button is at the top of the page, on the right. If you are reading this in an email, go to blog.carolynholm.com  to find the subscription box at the top right. See you every Friday!

Heritage

Dear Puffin,
When Poppy and I were in Los Angeles recently we saw your old neighborhood.
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
My old neighborhood? En France?
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
Of course not France, Puff. Los Angeles. Where you were found as a teeny tiny kitten. A wide-eyed toddler, lost and wandering the streets of South Central LA. 
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
Comme d’habitude Madame is mistaken. This petit cat has no recollection of this South Central. Surely Madame meant to say Paris. My heritage is French.
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
We’ve been through this before, honey. Over and over. Unless you were brought to this country when you were still a nursing infant, you are from Los Angeles. That’s where you were found, barely old enough to be away from your mom. 
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
This story of the finding. It may not be true.
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
Of course it’s true. And it’s a sweet story, Puffin! You were rescued from a rough life in the gutter!
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
Mais, this is a tale of the fairies. Does Madame have proof? Of course not. Alors, je ne suis pas of Los Angeles.
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
You were found in a LA gutter by a friend of my daughter’s. You were filthy and crawling with fleas, drinking gutter water, and sick with diarrhea. But sweetie, you were completely adorable. And just think – if they hadn’t rescued you, and if she hadn’t brought you here to us, you’d have grown up to be a tough LA street cat. Instead, look at you! Luscious, indolent, and completely delusional.
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
Toujours sordid, these details of filth. Madame is unkind to insist on them. Je suis Français. 
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
Well, okay Puff honey, you are French in your heart.
Love, Carolyn

A note to our readers…
Subscribe and get this every week in your email in-box! The subscription button is at the top of the page, on the right. If you are reading this in an email, go to blog.carolynholm.com to find the subscription box at the top right. See you every Friday!

The Rat

Dear Alpha Mom,
I miss the two back yard mice. They were fun. I don’t like the rat who replaced them. He’s intimidating. He sneers at me.
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
I miss the cute mice too. I liked their little white feet. I guess Rodney Rat saw their franchise and told them to get out so he could take over. Don’t worry about his attitude. I’ll bet he’s pretending that he’s not afraid. He is probably grateful that you haven’t been able to catch him.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Alpha Mom,
He runs right past me.
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
He is bold, isn’t he? But you are doing a good job of keeping him on his toes.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Alpha Mom,
I do what I can! He is stealing our sunflower seeds.
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
Just the seeds that drop from the bird feeder. He can assume the same arrangement we had with the mice. As long as none of them come into our house, they are allowed to pick up the mess the birds make. I like that you are on it, though.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Alpha Mom,
He is too fast for me. If Molly were here she’d have caught him. She was the true Rat Dog. I’ll never measure up to her.
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
You’re doing fine, honey. Molly was one of a kind. When you get frustrated, just spend some time with your plush rat. That always makes you feel happy.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Alpha Mom,
But Mia wants to play with it too.
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
Don’t let the cats bully you, sweetie. It’s your plush rat.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Alpha Mom,
Mia says that if I were a good dog, I would share.
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
Sharing can be an overrated activity. Especially when it involves the cats.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Alpha Mom,
I think I’ll go back outside and chase the rat.
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
Wise choice.
Love, Carolyn

A note to our readers…
Subscribe and get this every week in your email in-box! The subscription button is at the top of the page, on the right. If you are reading this in an email, go to blog.carolynholm.com to find the subscription box at the top right. See you every Friday!