Carolyn Holm

One Dog, Two Cats
Grand Ideas
InterSpecies Memos

ZigZag

Dear Poppy,
It’s time for our walk!
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
Our walks have become so weird. What’s going on?????????
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
Maybe you could be more specific?
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
All the humans with covers on their faces. I thought that was a passing thing. Like Halloween. But you are all still doing it. I don’t like it.
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
Nobody likes it. But we have no choice, sweetie. We have to wear masks when we go out.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
Everyone looks scary. You and Dad don’t look the same when you wear your covers. Thank heavens you smell the same.
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
That’s the important thing.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
And waving at everyone. That’s something new. Waving is so scary!!!!!
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
It’s scary for you because you remember being beaten when you were young. Waving arms led to being hit. But people are doing it on our walks because no one can see a smile under a mask. We used to smile and nod when we passed each other on the sidewalk. Now we wave from across the street. A kind of acknowledgement for keeping distance and wishing we didn’t have to. There is nothing to be frightened about, sweetie!
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
Why are we constantly crossing, back and forth, zig and zag, zig and zag, and sometimes just walking down the middle of the street?
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
That’s to keep distance between us and other walkers. It’s a good thing there aren’t many cars these days!
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
So many changes. Changes on our walks. Changes at home because Mia is sick. Changes are unsettling. At least it isn’t raining.
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
It is indeed a nice day. No rain.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
I don’t poop in the rain.
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
I know that.
Love, Carolyn

A note to our readers…
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The Guest Room

Dear Mia,
Your illness has saddened everyone. It came on so fast. From one week to the next you went from your normal spunky self to unsteady and feeble. It’s heartbreaking.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
It’s final. I understand that.
Love, Mia

Dear Mia,
You must have had this tumor for a while.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
It was too much for me to ignore any more.
Love, Mia

Dear Mia,
We were mystified when you moved into the guest room. Your hangout was always on my bed or with us in the living room or kitchen. You never spent time in the guest room. None of us hang out there. It’s for guests. That’s why it’s called a guest room. Now it’s become your central place. It’s a bit odd, sweetie.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
I needed to be in a different place. Because everything has changed. Everything feels different.  It’s no longer my old life.
Love, Mia

Dear Mia,
No, sadly it is not. But I don’t understand why you withdrew so completely for a few days.  You didn’t sleep with me. Or sit on my chest and lick my face while I was reading. Or join us at dinner. You didn’t wake me for breakfast.  It was very upsetting. I’m so glad you are not withdrawing quite so much now, though you still spend most of the day in the guest room. At least you come out now and then to look for me, and last night I woke to find you sleeping cuddled against me. What a relief to have you back!
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
I thought I was about to die, so I went to a quiet place. Then when I didn’t die right away, I figured I can still be with you sometimes.
Love, Mia

Dear Mia,
But not like it used to be. I’ve missed you so!
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
It’s not about you.
Love, Mia

Dear Mia,
My god you’re right. I’m so sorry. But I do miss you.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
We have to let go of each other.
Love, Mia

Dear Mia,
That’s easier said than done. It’s hard to accept. I want to have as much time with you as possible in the time we have left.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
We have each other. I like it when you come to the guest room to sit and read next to me. It’s nice to nap knowing you are right there. But some of the time I need to be apart from the household.
Love, Mia

Dear Mia,
We’re trying to respect that.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
Puffin and Poppy are too much.
Love, Mia

Dear Mia,
Puffin is very upset. He doesn’t understand. Or he does, and he doesn’t like it. But he has not been himself. Especially at first. He was restless and meowing. He still doesn’t understand what you are doing in the guest room.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
He keeps coming in to look at me.  And Poppy won’t stop sniffing me.
Love, Mia

Dear Mia,
Poppy is consumed with curiosity.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
They are both too much.
Love, Mia

Dear Mia,
I guess that’s why you keep moving to a spot under the bed.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
Yes.
Love, Mia

Dear Mia,
We miss you when you do that. When you are on top of the bed at least we can see you, and you raise your head when we pass by and check in on you. It’s weird to have to peer under the bed.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
I like it when you do! I like seeing you. And I do like the sun patch on the bed. But sometimes I need to withdraw.
Love, Mia

Dear Mia,
At least there are some things you come out for now. To say hi to me and Dad. To let me cuddle you now and again. To drink some water. Use the litter box. You still like to lick your catnip toy. And you really seem to be enjoying your meals.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
The meals have been lovely!!!!!
Love, Mia

Dear Mia,
I’m so glad we finally found something you want to eat. You had me so worried when you went days without eating.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
I love the new food! I just can’t eat very much at a time. It’s too much effort.
Love, Mia

Dear Mia,
You are so very tired and fragile.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
Weary. I’m so very weary.
Love, Mia

Dear Mia,
I still can’t understand how you went downhill so fast. I even wonder if you had a small stroke at some point the day we went to the vet. You’ve been so wobbly ever since. It all changed so fast.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
I knew something was wrong, and I couldn’t bring myself to eat, and then we went to the vet, and I found out about the big growth in my gut, and that changed everything. So, when we got home, I moved to the guest room.
Love, Mia

Dear Mia,
You make it sound like we shouldn’t have gone to the vet. If we hadn’t, maybe you’d still be ok.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
That’s magical thinking.
Love, Mia

Dear Mia,
You’re right. I’m having trouble processing this.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
It’s simple, really.
Love, Mia

Dear Mia,
It is. 
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
I’ll always be in your heart.
Love, Mia

Dear Mia,
You will.
Love, Carolyn

A note to our readers…
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FaceTime

Cher Madame,
Things have been very strange here.
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
You’re telling me.
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
I’m telling you?
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
It’s an expression. It means I’m emphatically agreeing with you. That things have become very strange everywhere.
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
This pauvre petit cat was hoping that peut-être Madame would explain le strangeness.
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
Where to start! The masks, the isolation, the worry, the numbers, the people behind the numbers, the sadness for the suffering, the masks, the ordering everything on line…
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
The masks were mentioned twice by Madame.
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
Well, there you are. That’s how strange it is.
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
But you are not mentioning another strangeness. Madame is talking to people on her laptop these days. That does not seem like a normal thing to do.
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
You are right. That is part of the strangeness. Having to rely upon FaceTime and Skype and Zoom to visit with friends and with our daughter. 
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
It is better than when your daughter comes to visit in person. With her dog. That rude cur. Who was on the FaceTime and barking on your screen. 
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
Mika was probably barking at you. They could see you sitting there. Looking bored. Until the barking started. Then you looked like you had been goosed.
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
Toujours le sarcasm.
Regards, M. Le Poufin

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 Deal

Dear Mom,
Puffin and Poppy want me to ask you to stop vacuuming the house.
Love, Mia

Dear Mia,
That’s not going to happen, sweetie. 
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
I don’t worry too much about it, but it terrifies Puffin, and it makes Poppy nervous.
Love, Mia

Dear Mia,
I’ve noticed that it puts Puffin in a panic. You’d think I was going after him with a knife.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
A knife would be quiet. He’s terrified of the noise. And Poppy is also worried about the noise.
Love, Mia

Dear Mia,
Why are you the spokesperson? Or spokescat. Whatever it is.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
They both think that I’m the one who is closest to you.
Love, Mia

Dear Mia,
You are indeed, you’re my spirit animal.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
So, will you stop the vacuuming?
Love, Mia

Dear Mia,
How about we make a deal. If the three of you stop shedding, I’ll stop the vacuuming.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
I don’t know how to do that!
Love, Mia

Dear Mia,
Probably it would mean twice-daily rubdowns with The Grooming Glove.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
We HATE the Grooming Glove!!!!!!!!!!
Love, Mia

Dear Mia,
Well, there you are. We’re at an impasse.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
We’ll have to get back to you on this.
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!

Bear Hunt

Cher Madame,
Je suis worried about the window.
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
The window? Which window? Honey, how can a window be worrisome?
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
Il faut point out that there are two creatures sitting in our window. By the front door. They are not alive. But they are provocative. 
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
I get it. You mean the teddy bears. They are just plush toys.
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
They do not belong there. They are possibly signaling to people passing by.
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
They are part of a neighborhood “Bear Hunt.” For families with small children going for their daily walk. The little kids look for bears in their neighbor’s windows.
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
Mon dieu, we have les bears in our neighborhood?????!!!
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
Plush bears, sweetie. It’s a nice game for kids while we all have to stay apart from each other.
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
So, actually these window bears ARE signaling to les people who are passing by.
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
Okay, in a sense. But don’t make too much of it, sweetie. It’s all in fun. It’s a nice thing to do for children. 
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
Ouf, les children. This pauvre petit cat is grateful that this household is free from les children.
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
I’m sure you are, Mr. Grouch.
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
Toujours le sarcasm.
Regards, M. Le Poufin

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!

Social Distance

Dear Mom,
Everyone was standing in the street yesterday! It was so exciting. Rosie was there. And Spencer. And Cody.
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
Yes, a lot of us brought our dogs. 
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
But why were we standing in the street?
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
We were all keeping a safe distance from each other while we chatted. 
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
But in the street?????????
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
There have hardly been any cars on our street. When one approached, I just moved. We were safe, sweetie.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
It was strange. You all look funny with masks.
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
It’s a funny time, isn’t it? But this once-a-week gathering of our neighbors helps some. Since we stand ten feet away from each other, we’re safe. It’s called Social Distancing. 
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
You all had glasses of wine.
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
We did. That made it a very nice social occasion. Too bad I had to cut it short. Because you wouldn’t stop barking at sweet little Rosie. The other dogs were so much better behaved.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
Rosie and I have a lot to say to each other. She barks at me every time we walk by.
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
Well, it meant I had to take you back home because you were so annoying.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
I was helping you Social Distance.
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!

Delivery Danger

Dear Puffin,
There is no need to tear out of the room when someone delivers a box to our doorstep.
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
C’est le Delivery Danger.
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
No, seriously, there is no such thing as Delivery Danger. And since we are having everything delivered these days, all this drama is becoming really annoying.
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
Molly made this very clear. Before she died. She told us if you hear the delivery truck, RUN FOR YOUR LIFE!!!!!!! Straight for the bedroom and hide under the bed.
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
I should have known this was Molly’s work. She always assumed the worst.
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
Then while we hid she barked at the delivery guy and caused him to retreat. 
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
No, she didn’t make him go away. He was going away anyway. I wish you would all calm down. When you jump up and race out of the room, you set Poppy off. She explodes into frantic barking and chases you down the hall and then comes back and barks insanely at the front door.
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
And la cur makes the terrifying delivery man go away with her barking.
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
NO SHE DOESN’T. He goes away anyway. And by the way, Mia doesn’t participate in this madness. She doesn’t run out of the room. She just sits and watches you and Poppy go nuts. At least one of you has some common sense.
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
Toujours le sarcasm.
Regards, M. Le Poufin

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!

TP Redux

Dear Mia,
Please don’t play with the toilet paper! It has become a precious commodity.
Love. Carolyn

Dear Mom,
Of course it is precious! Toilet paper is SO MUCH FUN!!!!!
Love, Mia

Dear Mia,
It may be, but that’s not the reason it is precious. It’s because people have gone batshit crazy hoarding the stuff. The grocery shelves are bare. Which makes no sense. People are nuts.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
Puffin says there will be food shortages.
Love, Mia

Dear Mia,
You all need to stop rumor-mongering. There are NO food shortages. I was kidding Puffin when I suggested that, and he took me completely seriously. I forget how literal he is. I’m really sorry I told him that.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
Puffin is a worrier.
Love, Mia

Dear Mia,
He is indeed. He’s like our old Molly. You know what she would be saying right now.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
Molly said that a lot. 
Love Mia

Dear Mia,
I’m glad you have a more positive spin on life than she had.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
I may not understand what is going on, but I love that you are home all the time!
Love, Mia

Dear Mia,
That’s my girl. That’s positive.
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!

Catastrophe

Dear Mom,
The cats say the world outside our house is dangerous now.
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
I’ve told you not to listen to the cats. 
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
But they both watch television. They know what is going on. I don’t usually listen to Puffin, but Mia is very smart.
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
She is. But the world outside our house is just going through a tough time. That’s why Dad and I are pretty much staying home.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
Except for our walks.
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
Yes, thank heavens for our walks!
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
Mia says this plague will make everyone sick. Are you going to get sick?
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
I don’t intend to. Please don’t worry! 
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
Puffin says it’s a catastrophe. And Mia says catastrophe has the word cat in it so we should all be worried.
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
They are being insufferable. It’s another reason not to listen to the cats. Poppy, sweetie, we’ll be fine. We’re doing everything we can to stay healthy. And speaking of being healthy, pretty soon it will be time for our walk. If it stops raining.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
That’s another thing! Rain!
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
It’s spring, sweetie. It’s the time for rain. That’s as it should be.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
But I don’t poop in the rain.
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
There is that problem. At least that’s a problem I’m accustomed to.
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 Plague

Cher Madame,
It is wonderful, n’est-ce pas, that Madame and Monsieur remain home all the time now! You are always here to keep the food bowls full!
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
Do you ever think about anything other than yourself? You are a funny old cat.
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
It is not just pour moi. It is a good thing for Madame and Monsieur also, to stay home and enjoy the snuggles with us. This new program is wonderful!
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
That’s sweet of you to suggest that this is a good thing. And we do enjoy the snuggles. But actually we are not very happy about the new program.
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
Not happy to spend time with your excellent cats? Ouf. Madame she knows how to hurt the feelings of a pauvre petit cat.
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
Of course we love spending time with you. But we are stuck at home for a sad reason, the sickness that is spreading like wildfire and turning our world up-side-down.
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
This is the plague that everyone on the television goes on and on about? Ouf.
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
That’s right! You have been listening.
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
Of course we listen. We do not miss a thing. They say there is a shortage of le toilet paper. We cats have a special regard for le toilet paper. It is exhilarating to play with.
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
There is no shortage. And please keep your mitts off our toilet paper.
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
If there is no toilet paper shortage, then we do not understand why people are making such a lot of noise about this plague.
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
It’s so contagious! And so lethal. No one wants to be the person who spreads it to others. So, to avoid spreading, everyone has to stay home. And all events are cancelled. We had tickets for all kinds of wonderful things. The ballet, concerts, plays. All cancelled.
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
You are sad without the events? Why? Humans put too much value on going out. You should curl up in front of the fireplace with us.
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
We like the fireplace as much as any cat, but it is natural to miss going out, and we miss our friends. But I should not be complaining, because we are fine. But schools are closed, businesses are shutting down, people are getting sick, and many people are worried about how they will get by. It’s a terrible time.
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
But one thing is better now. This plague is good for keeping you home. When you were going out, leaving us, leaving your pauvre petit cats all alone with a moronic dog, that was not a good thing.
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
Well you might change your tune if food shortages start.
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
The shortage of the food? C’est un catastrophe!!!!! Madame must be sure the dinners continue so these sweet petit cats do not starve.
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
I’m kidding. I just wanted to get your attention. There won’t be food shortages. We have plenty of cat food. And dog food too. The three of you will be fine.
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
Et le toilet paper?
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
And toilet paper.
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!