Carolyn Holm

One Dog, Two Cats
Grand Ideas
InterSpecies Memos

Seduction

Dear Puffin,
Good news! The vet says your blood work results came in and they show you are extremely healthy!
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
C’est horrifying. Blood work? C’est morbid.
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
It’s just a medical expression, sweetie. They take a little bit of your blood to test for all kinds of things. The vet was pleased with your results, especially for a thirteen-year-old cat. She says you are the picture of health. With just a bit of arthritis. But that’s not unusual for your age.
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
She is saying I am old?
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
There’s no getting around it, sweetie, you are a senior cat. The mystery is your weight. I assured her that we measure your food carefully every day, and we just give you the bare minimum. Not much at all! Still, you remain overweight. Round like a basketball with feet. She says with your gorgeous pelt you are like a big round bunny. We’re going to try a different food. We’ll see how that works.
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
bunny? Mon dieu, that woman she calls me a bunny? Ouf. I am what you call a Handsome Dude. You call me your Handsome Dude all the time. I seduce you with mon regard. 
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
You seduce me? With your look? Seriously?
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
With mon pouvoir.
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
You seduce me with your power? Sweetie, the only thing you’ve been seducing is the food bowl.
Love, Carolyn

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

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The Lampshade

Dear Winston,
Someone bit my lamp.
Carolyn

Hey Mom,
That’s crazy!!!!!
Winston

Dear Winston,
That’s what I said. 
Carolyn

Hey Mom,
Who would bite a lamp???????
Winston

Dear Winston,
Who indeed? Actually, it was the lampshade, not the lamp itself.
Carolyn

Hey Mom,
Still crazy. I don’t think anyone would bite a lampshade.
Winston

Dear Winston,
Think again. There are teeth marks on my lampshade. Two punctures, perfectly spaced to match the front teeth of a cat.
Carolyn

Mom,
Must be Puffin’s!!!!!
Winston

Dear Winston,
He’d have had to get on the sofa arm and stretch up on his haunches to reach this lampshade. That’s a bit athletic for an old guy with arthritis, don’t you think?
Carolyn

Mom,
What are you getting at?
Winston

Winston,
What do you THINK I’m getting at? That you bit my lampshade.
Carolyn

Hey Mom,
I don’t think so. Not remembering this.
Winston

Dear Winston,
The lamp next to the sofa. The one with a set of teeth punctures on the rim. From your teeth.
Carolyn

Hey Mom,
Maybe. Maybe it was one of those in the moment things. A one-time sort of thing. The lamp comes out of nowhere. And BOOM. It gets bit.
Winston

Dear Winston,
You had a moment. With a lampshade. What were you thinking? 
Carolyn

Hey Mom,
A lampshade has a nice crunch to it.
Winston

Winston,
Just once I would love to get inside your head and see life as you see it.
Love, Carolyn

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Starting Over

Dear Mom,
Puffin says it’s New Year’s Eve. Why do we need a new year?
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
It’s a human thing. We like to start over once a year. 
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
Start over???????? Why??????????
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
Maybe we’ll get it right this time.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
Now I’m confused. Humans don’t always make sense to me.
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
Don’t worry about it, sweetie. It’s not up to you to make sense of it.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
That’s a relief.
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
Now we need to take that walk we’ve been putting off.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
Is it still raining?
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
I’m afraid so. But you really need to go out.
Love, Carolyn 

Dear Mom,
Not going to happen. Absolutely not.
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
It’s just water! You make such a big deal about getting wet.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
Not going to do it. 
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
You only have one job. One. Job. And that job is to take me for a walk every day.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
Okay. But. Just a short walk.
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy, 
Wonderful! We’ll celebrate New Year’s Eve with a brisk walk around the block!
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
Here’s hoping the rain will stop when the year starts over.
XOXO Poppy

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Holiday Cheer

Dear Puffin,
I hope you are not removing the ornaments from our holiday tree. 
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
These are the ones that Winston removed from the tree. I am keeping an eye on them for Madame.
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
Thank you for that. Fortunately Winston isn’t a climber. When I was a child we had a young cat, a glossy black fellow named Spooky, who shot straight up a fourteen-foot fully decorated tree and brought it all down. There was some breakage.
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
The youngster doesn’t climb, but he causes a lot of trouble. Right now he is sleeping in my Spot.
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
Winston is in the sunny place in the dining room?
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
Not that Spot. The Spot on the bed. The Winston keeps taking my spots and  Madame does not regulate him.
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
But that spot on the bed isn’t just for you. It’s a shared spot. Besides, it’s actually MY spot.
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
Alors, Madame does not do the lounging in bed during the day, so that spot is available for the petit cat who needs a comfortable nap.
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
Right now a nap sounds like a wonderful idea. But I’ve got the family coming for our Christmas Eve dinner, and I’ve got a long list of things to do. You and Winston will need to work this out, sweetie. And since you are the senior cat, it’s up to you to show some generosity of spirit. In the spirit of the holidays!
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
Enfin, it’s come to this. This petit cat will curl up near the tree to keep an eye on it. And to ensure that the spirit of the holidays does not come crashing down. Vive la Holiday Cheer!
Regards, M. Le Poufin

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Rotund

Cher Madame,
We have noted that there is a new water bowl. Thank you, Madame for this.
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
I’m glad to hear I did something right for a change! I thought it would be convenient for you if there was one more, and the bathroom seemed like a good place for it. 
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
The food and water in the kitchen are not in such a good place.
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
They are in an excellent place, sweetie. On the cabinet where you don’t have to compete with Poppy. 
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
A jump is required.
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
Not a very high jump.
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
This pauvre petit cat has some difficulty with jumps. 
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
I know, sweetie. Because you are neither pauvre nor petit. You are a fat and sassy cat. 
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
Fat is a word that is harsh.
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
I’m sorry. But it has to be said. You are not exactly petit, and that is part of the problem. You are becoming more and more rotund in spite of your strict diet. Are you sneaking Poppy’s food when she isn’t around to defend it?
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
Possibly.
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
Possibly? I guess that means probably. What are we going to do with you? We can’t let this food theft continue. It’s not healthy!
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
This pauvre petit cat should inspire the kindness in Madame. Je suis un senior cat.
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
You are indeed a senior cat. I can’t believe you are thirteen years old. It seems like yesterday that you were a crazy kitten.
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
This pauvre petit cat is presque 14. Très, très senior. There should be respect.
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
Okay, I respect you so much that I’ve moved the Cat Tree closer to the dining cabinet, so you can get up to your food and water by way of the cat tree steps. Now we just need to find a way to keep you out of Poppy’s food.
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
The food of the dog is not up to the quality of cat cuisine. And Poppy is very annoying. She barks every time I walk into the kitchen.
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
Of course she does. Now I understand why! She’s on to you. Now we all are, sweetie. We know what you are up to, and it’s putting pounds on you. Soon you’ll be as big as Poppy.
Love, Carolyn

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

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Cussing

Hey Mom,
Puffin cussed at you just now. 
Winston

Dear Winston,
He did indeed.
Love, Carolyn

Hey Mom,
He does that a lot. Hissing at you when you move him from your chair.
Winston

Dear Winston,
He does. But not a lot. He’s just saying “F— off” in a general sort of way. I don’t take it personally.
Love, Carolyn

Hey Mom,
I don’t either. He hisses the same thing to me. 
Winston

Dear Winston,
Most of the time he is quite sweet. 
Love, Carolyn

Hey Mom,
He is with you. He’s tender with you in a way that he isn’t with anyone else.
Winston

Dear Winston,
Tender is a good word choice! He is tender and sweet with me.
Love, Carolyn

Hey Mom,
He talks a lot.
Winston

Dear Winston,
He does, he is a very chatty cat. 
Love, Carolyn

Hey Mom,
I don’t always understand what he is saying. He uses words I don’t know.
Winston

Dear Winston,
That’s the French.
Love, Carolyn

Hey Mom,
Why French??????????
Winston

Dear Winston,
Good question. Who knows? How did a kitten found in a Los Angeles neighborhood where there is a preponderance of Spanish-speaking immigrants come to think of himself as French? It’s a mystery.
Love, Carolyn

Hey Mom,
How does he expect everyone to understand him?
Winston

Dear Winston,
I don’t think he really cares.
Love, Carolyn

Hey Mom,
He just cares about the household schedule. 
Winston

Dear Winston,
He’s put himself in charge of that. That’s his Number One issue.
Love, Carolyn

Hey Mom,
When he’s not hogging your lap.
Winston

Dear Winston,
He does love my lap. But this is the guy who hisses “F— off” while I try to comb him. Go figure.
Love, Carolyn

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People

Dear Mom,
I overheard you say yesterday that cats are your people.
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
I’m sorry if that made you feel bad, sweetie. I love dogs too!
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
There have been a lot of dogs in this household. I remember Molly.
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
She was awesome. Weird, but awesome. Before her, there were Bruno and Pepper. And wonderful Sally. When I was a kid there were Chrissy, Christopher, and crazy Penny. An interesting assortment of dogs!
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
But cats are your people.
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
Well, I guess I understand cats better than dogs. I’m fluent in Feline.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
But cats are rude sometimes.
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
Okay, sometimes. Nobody is perfect. Dogs bark a lot and eat disgusting things.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
You were really upset yesterday on our walk when I found some cat poop.
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
Of course I was. I don’t want you eating cat poop.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
You wouldn’t let me lick you.
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
Of course not. I knew where that tongue had been.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
I want to be your people too.
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
But you are! You are part of my heritage. You’re my little Nordic dog. If you go back far enough in my family history, you’ll find a whole bunch of Vikings, and Spitz dogs are a breed that came from the Vikings. So, you are my people too!
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
WE’RE RELATED!!!!!!!!!!!
XOXOXOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
Even better, we’re a Pack. You and me and Dad and the two cats. A solid Pack. My Pack is my people.
Love, Carolyn

Get a new post every week!  To get this weekly blog delivered every Friday to your In Box, it’s easy to subscribe: scroll up to the top of the blog page, enter your email address in the subscription box on the right, and click the subscribe button. If you are reading this in an email, go to blog.carolynholm.com to find the subscription box. (And if you’ve already subscribed, multiple paws are raised to salute you!

Time Change

Cher Madame,
The Schedule she is now une catastrophe totale.
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
That sounds extreme. What makes it a catastrophe?
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
The Schedule she has completely broken down. Every meal is late. Toujours. The evening playtime has been late. Malheureusement, there is no longer a comfortable feeling of regularity. And when we bring this up, Madame makes light of it.
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
I see now. This is about the time change. It happens every year, sweetie. Twice a year. The clocks get moved back in the Fall and forward in the Spring. And every time you all get flummoxed by the change. Especially in the Fall because you think everything is late. 
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
Comment??? This makes no sense. Madame should listen to herself. You move the clock????
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
It’s a human tradition, sweetie. I realize it is hard for you, but you will adapt. You do every year.
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
Time she is immutable. 
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
We aren’t changing time, just changing the clock.
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
Now it becomes clear. Madame’s cavalier attitude about the Time demonstrates that she is insane. We are at the mercy of an insane woman.
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
Whoa, slow down, buddy. You are getting far too dramatic. This is merely a human tradition. If it were up to me, I’d skip all the clock changes, but society insists upon it. So, let’s not start hurling insults around.
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
This petit cat does not mean to do the hurling. It is just that we are all, as you say, flummoxed, by this dire circumstance.
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
It’s not dire, sweetie. But here’s what I’ll do. Tonight I’ll give you all a little extra dinner. To make up for the inconvenience of living with such a strange human tradition.
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
The household will appreciate this kind gesture by Madame.
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Get a new post every week!  To get this weekly blog delivered every Friday to your In Box, it’s easy to subscribe: scroll up to the top of the blog page, enter your email address in the subscription box on the right, and click the subscribe button. If you are reading this in an email, go to blog.carolynholm.com to find the subscription box. (And if you’ve already subscribed, multiple paws are raised to salute you!)

Shredding

Hey Mom,
I’m demolishing this roll of paper towels.
Winston

Dear Winston,
Apparently.
Love, Carolyn

Hey Mom,
I’m totally shredding!!!!!!!!!
Winston

Dear Winston,
Well, you are literally shredding that roll.
Love, Carolyn

Hey Mom,
Shredding is what cool guys do.
Winston

Dear Winston,
If you want to be cool, “shredding” is usually used in a different context.
Love, Carolyn

Hey Mom,
I’m pretty sure I’m shredding. In the totally cool sense.
Winston

Dear Winston,
It means playing a really intricate guitar solo.
Love, Carolyn

Hey Mom,
I’m still pretty sure I’m shredding.
Winston

Dear Winston,
Okay, it’s also used in reference to skiing. Or skateboarding. Really tearing into it.
Love, Carolyn

Hey Mom,
I’m LITERALLY tearing into this roll. How can you not call that shredding???????
Winston

Dear Winston,
Okay, fair enough. You are doing some epic shredding.
Love, Carolyn

Get a new post every week!  To get this weekly blog delivered every Friday to your In Box, it’s easy to subscribe: scroll up to the top of the blog page, enter your email address in the subscription box on the right, and click the subscribe button. If you are reading this in an email, go to blog.carolynholm.com to find the subscription box. (And if you’ve already subscribed, multiple paws are raised to salute you!

Authority

Cher Madame,
Because je suis le cat with the badge, il faut that I give Madame some necessary feedback. 
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
The badge? Are you referring to the spot on your chest?
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
Mais oui, but of course. Mon badge.
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
And this badge confers some sort of special authority?
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
This goes without saying. It is strange that Madame is ignorant of the power of le badge.
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
And this feedback, it is about what, exactly?
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
There have been the irregularities. The schedule she has been loosely applied.
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
I don’t know what you are complaining about. I just gave you your breakfast at an absolutely appropriate time.
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
We pauvre tiny cats would appreciate it if you would arise earlier. To provide an earlier breakfast.
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
That’s not going to happen, sweetie. Okay, maybe once in a while, but not every morning.
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
Sometimes the dinner she is late.
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
Not very late, sweetie. Anything else you’d like to bring up?
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
The wand games started late last night.
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
I was finishing the chapter I was reading. Not to mention you and I were having such a nice snuggle while I read. And you know that I’ll play with you as soon as I finish reading. 
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
The snuggle was very nice, but this fudging of the times, Madame has a very cavalier attitude about le schedule. 
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
I think you are exceeding your authority. I may need to have you demoted. In that case, we’d have to figure out how to remove your badge.
Love, Carolyn

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

Get a new post every week!  To get this weekly blog delivered every Friday to your In Box, it’s easy to subscribe: scroll up to the top of the blog page, enter your email address in the subscription box on the right, and click the subscribe button. If you are reading this in an email, go to blog.carolynholm.com to find the subscription box. (And if you’ve already subscribed, multiple paws are raised to salute you!