Carolyn Holm

One Dog, Two Cats
Grand Ideas
InterSpecies Memos

Dog Food



Cher Madame,

Mia has found this interesting box. C’est food!!!

Regards,

M. Le Poufin

 

Dear Puffin,

Did Mia get on the counter again? She is such a rascal. That is not food intended for cats.

Love, Carolyn

 

Cher Madame,

Mais je voudrait dire, this is a delicious smell. Pourquoi these starving little cats cannot have it?

Regards,

M. Le Poufin

 

Dear Puffin,

It does smell wonderful, doesn’t it? It’s fettuccine with a porcini mushroom sauce that came home in a doggie bag when we went out for dinner last night.

Love, Carolyn

 

Cher Madame,

Je suis shocked. Shocked. Madame brings home the delicious food for the dog? That depraved dog Poppy?

Regards,

M. Le Poufin

 

Dear Puffin,

No, silly. A doggie bag is just a funny expression. It’s what we call it when the restaurant gives us our left-overs in a takeout container, to finish at home. It’s funny because it’s as if we are too embarrassed to ask for it for ourselves so we ask for it for the dog.

Love, Carolyn

 

Cher Madame,

This makes no sense. And it’s not even funny. You bring home the food for le dog and not for your starving cats?

Regards,

M. Le Poufin

 

Dear Puffin,

No honey, it is not for Poppy. It’s for me. And you two cats are hardly starving. Especially you, sweetie. You are quite portly.

Love, Carolyn

 

Cher Madame,

Toujours, toujours le sarcasm.

Regards,

M. Le Poufin

 

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Molly’s Life Lessons

Dear Mommy,

When we go to the mountains again, will there be thunder?

XOXO Poppy

 

Dear Poppy,

No, no storms are predicted this time. Are you worried about it? You shouldn’t worry. The last time we had thunder you handled it very well!

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

That’s because I watched you.

XOXO Poppy

 

Dear Poppy,

You did keep your eyes riveted on me.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

And I could see that you weren’t upset, so I wasn’t going to worry about it either.

XOXO Poppy

 

Dear Poppy,

That’s so wise! I’m proud of you, sweetie.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

Molly used to be terrified of thunder. It made her shake all over. Why didn’t she just look at you and understand that it was ok?

XOXO Poppy

 

Dear Poppy,

I used to wonder that myself, but then Mia told me that Molly thought I was useless.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

Useless????? You????? You are our goddess!!!!!!!!

XOXO Poppy

 

Dear Poppy,

Thank you for that. But you have to remember that Molly was a Terrier. Terriers are Competent. She felt far more competent than any mere human. She thought humans were generally unreliable. And that we are way too lax about security.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

Mia told me about the Easter Bunny. Molly was horrified that you were fine about a big bunny coming into our house.

XOXO Poppy

 

Dear Poppy,

That was difficult to explain to her. She clearly thought I was a moron. And Santa Claus was another security risk that I was cavalier about.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

Mia says that Molly wondered why you tolerated children.

XOXO Poppy

 

Dear Poppy,

She had no use for kids. And she was appalled that they would one day take over. I couldn’t get through to her that they’d be grown up by the time they did that.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

She said that we are all doomed.

XOXO Poppy

 

Dear Poppy,

She did say that a lot. “We’re doomed” was her most frequent expression. I miss her terribly, but she was a bit of a gloom and doom kind of girl.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

Molly was very smart, but I think I’ll rely on you when there is a big storm.

XOXO Poppy

 

Dear Poppy,

And I’ll try to be reliable.

Love, Carolyn

 

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Musical Chairs

Dear Mommy,

Dad sat on me.

Love, Mia

 

Dear Mia,

Somehow I don’t think that really happened.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

Yes it did. He sat on me at dinner.

Love, Mia

 

Dear Mia,

He didn’t sit on you. He was trying to edge you off of his chair so he could sit down.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

It was rude. I was there first.

Love, Mia

 

Dear Mia,

It was his chair, sweetie. You have your own chair.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

Still, it was rude to push me like that.

Love, Mia

 

Dear Mia,

We were sitting down for dinner and he was carrying a platter, so he couldn’t shoo you off with his hands. You should have been sitting in your own chair.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

Puffin should have his own chair too.

Love, Mia

 

Dear Mia,

That’s nice of you to think of him, but there is just room for three chairs. And I’m not sure he is all that interested. He’s not as sociable as you are.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

Well, I thought we could switch chairs just this once.

Love, Mia

 

Dear Mia,

We aren’t switching chairs.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

Humans are surprisingly inflexible.

Love, Mia

 

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Rivals

Dear Puffin,

You are looking a bit sulky today. Is everything ok?

Love, Carolyn

 

Cher Madame,

This petit cat does not have an easy time of it.

Regards,

M. Le Poufin

 

Dear Puffin,

Okay, maybe you’d better tell me what’s on your mind.

Love, Carolyn

 

Cher Madame,

Who is this Cody that you and Monsieur speak of?

Regards,

M. Le Poufin

 

Dear Puffin,

Cody is a magnificent dog who lives down the street.

Love, Carolyn

 

Cher Madame,

Magnificent???? Pah. Je me demande, how can a dog be magnificent?

Regards,

M. Le Poufin

 

Dear Puffin,

This dog is truly magnificent. He’s an enormous and stately Malamute.

Love, Carolyn

 

Cher Madame,

And now, alors, this cur is what you call stately?

Regards,

M. Le Poufin

 

Dear Puffin,

Why are you so worked up about Cody?

Love, Carolyn

 

Cher Madame,

Toujours you et Monsieur go on about him. You look out the window and say “Look, Cody’s walking by.” All the time the comments from the two of you. “Oh look, it’s Cody!” Or even “Incoming Cody!!” You are besotted. Je suis embarrassed for you.

Regards,

M. Le Poufin

 

Dear Puffin,

You have a serious case of the Jealousies. You need to calm down, sweetie. He is no threat to you. We still love you. Most of the time.

Love, Carolyn

 

Cher Madame,

Most of the time?

Regards,

M. Le Poufin

 

Dear Puffin,

I’m sorry, I should not have said that. I just can’t resist teasing you. You are so serious.

Love, Carolyn

 

Cher Madame,

Toujours le sarcasm.

Regards,

M. Le Poufin

 

Dear Puffin,

Seriously, I’m sorry.

Love, Carolyn

 

Cher Madame,

Seriously, c’est le word correctly used. This is a situation quite serious. Madame spends very little time with moi and much time with that miserable mutt Poppy.

Regards,

M. Le Poufin

 

Dear Puffin,

That’s because she takes me for a walk every day. It’s her job. Really, I love all of you.

Love, Carolyn

 

Cher Madame,

You love Mia more than moi. You are always loving her while you read.

Regards,

M. Le Poufin

 

Dear Puffin,

That’s because Mia comes to me and sits on me and grooms me and tells me she loves me.

Love, Carolyn

 

Cher Madame,

She thinks she owns your lap.

Regards,

M. Le Poufin

 

Dear Puffin,

I have always welcomed you on my lap!

Love, Carolyn

 

Cher Madame,

Mia even has her own chair at your kitchen table.

Regards,

M. Le Poufin

 

Dear Puffin,

Mia started that on her own initiative. She’s so cute. Sitting there with just her little head clearing the table top, looking out at us.

Love, Carolyn

 

Cher Madame,

Vraiment, this is what I refer to. Madame and Monsieur love Mia more because she sits at la table.

Regards,

M. Le Poufin

 

Dear Puffin,

Seriously? Oh c’mon Puffy. We enjoy her company at meals. She is very sociable. It doesn’t mean we don’t love you. We love all of you!

Love, Carolyn

 

Cher Madame,

This petit cat has so many rivals.

Regards,

M. Le Poufin

 

Dear Puffin,

But you are the only cat I call my Handsome Dude. Meanwhile it wouldn’t hurt for you to be sociable. Once in a while.

Love, Carolyn

 

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Tigger

Dear Alpha Mommy,

You’ve hidden my Tigger!

XOXO Poppy

 

Dear Poppy,

You were destroying it, Sweetie.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Alpha Mommy,

I was loving it!

XOXO Poppy

 

Dear Poppy,

You chewed the face off. It was looking grotesque.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Alpha Mommy,

One eye was still there.

XOXO Poppy

 

Dear Poppy,

Not for long. And the head would have been the next to go. I’m not going to watch a beheading. Even if it is a toy.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Alpha Mommy,

But you let me chew my Nylabones.

XOXO Poppy

 

Dear Poppy,

Your bones don’t have a face.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Alpha Mommy,

Molly said we should chew up our toys.

XOXO Poppy

 

Dear Poppy,

Molly has a long reach, hasn’t she. She has been gone for ages and she still runs this household. But sweetie, not all of her advice was good. She had no use for toys because she was a serious working dog. And she was very comfortable with violence. Remember how much she relished killing rats?

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Alpha Mommy,

The rat killing was horrifying! But really exciting!!!!!!!!!

XOXO Poppy

 

Dear Poppy,

Well, it may have been, from a dog’s point of view. And it was one of her jobs.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Alpha Mommy,

What were her other jobs?

XOXO Poppy

 

Dear Poppy,

In addition to killing rats she protected our house, and maintained the household agenda. It was a lot to handle, but she was a Terrier, and as she liked to point out, Terriers are Competent.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Alpha Mommy,

That’s a hard act to follow.

XOXO Poppy

 

Dear Poppy,

You have your own jobs, sweetie – to keep the crows out of the birdbath and to take me for a daily walk. You’re proving quite competent yourself.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Alpha Mommy,

So I think I deserve to get my Tigger back.

XOXO Poppy

 

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Half-Full

Dear Mommy,

We like the lady who came to feed us, but we didn’t like that she sent you away.

Love, Mia

 

Dear Mia,

She didn’t send us away, sweetie. We went away on our own. You saw the suitcases. We went traveling.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

Why would you do that??????

Love, Mia

 

Dear Mia,

To visit friends and see new sights!

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

But we all miss you so much when you go away! Besides, we’re your friends!!!! You should stay with us! You don’t need to go visit other friends.

Love, Mia

 

Dear Mia,

That’s sweet. I miss you too when we go away. But we ALWAYS come back.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

Molly used to tell us that predators got you when you went away and didn’t seem to be coming back.

Love, Mia

 

Dear Mia,

Please don’t tell Poppy the predators story. She has enough anxieties as it is.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

It’s wrong for you to leave.

Love, Mia

 

Dear Mia,

No it’s not, sweetie. And we always arrange to have someone care for you. Cathie is a wonderful pet-sitter!

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

She is nice. She plays with us and she’s more generous with treats than you are.

Love, Mia

 

Dear Mia,

I’m glad you have a positive outlook. You’re a cup-half-full kind of girl.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

What do you mean when you say my cup is half-full?

Love, Mia

 

Dear Mia,

Depending on how a person sees life, their cup looks half-full or half-empty. I like that you pretty much see your cup half-full. You have a positive outlook.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

What kind of cup does Puffin have?

Love, Mia

 

Dear Mia,

I’m afraid his seems to be generally half-empty.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

I think Molly’s cup was entirely empty.

Love, Mia

 

Dear Mia,

She was a doom and gloom girl, wasn’t she!

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

I don’t think Poppy thinks about it much.

Love, Mia

 

Dear Mia,

She probably doesn’t.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

What about your cup?

Love, Mia

 

Dear Mia,

My cup is completely full.

Love, Carolyn

 

 

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Travel

Cher Madame,

Je veux dire there has been a terrible offense to this petit cat.

Regards,

M. Le Poufin

 

Dear Puffin,

Now what, honey?

Love, Carolyn

 

Cher Madame,

It is that Madame and Monsieur went to Paris without me!

Regards,

M. Le Poufin

 

Dear Puffin,

We did indeed. We would have loved to have you as a travel companion, but Puffin honey, I don’t think you would have been very happy on an airplane.

Love, Carolyn

 

Cher Madame,

Madame assumes a lot. This little cat would have loved to sit in a comfortable carrier under le seat. And dans l’hotel, lounging in a beautiful hotel room, c’est perfect.

Regards,

M. Le Poufin

 

Dear Puffin,

I’m not sure it would be all that perfect. For one thing, the hotel did not appear to provide litter boxes.

Love, Carolyn

 

Cher Madame,

Ouf! C’est terrible! What do les French cats do?

Regards,

M. Le Poufin

 

Dear Puffin,

Well I’m sure they aren’t living in hotels.

Love, Carolyn

 

Cher Madame,

And Madame et Monsieur visited Monsieur’s cousin and her French cats. C’est simply wrong to go without moi.

Regards,

M. Le Poufin

 

Dear Puffin,

That was lovely, but you would have hated the train ride to get there.

Love, Carolyn

 

Cher Madame,

Et puis, la French cousin she lives with more than cats. Bien sûr, her dog is of no interest to a cat, but there was also a Miss Violette. Who is this creature that you and Monsieur became so besotted with?

Regards,

M. Le Poufin

 

Dear Puffin,

Do I hear a hint of jealousy here?

Love, Carolyn

 

Cher Madame,

You et Monsieur keep talking about cette animal. What is a small cat to think?

Regards,

M. Le Poufin

 

Dear Puffin,

Miss Violette is a lovely white Percheron horse who is really quite stunning. She is enormous, the biggest horse I have ever stood next to! But Puff honey, Miss Violette is no threat to a fine cat like yourself.

Love, Carolyn

 

Cher Madame,

Pah. Je repeat, pah. A horse, c’est like a dog, beneath a cat’s interest. But il faut dire, Madame truly should have brought this petit cat to visit the cousins. Quelle disappointment.

Regards,

M. Le Poufin

 

Dear Puffin,

I’m sorry sweetie. Maybe next time.

Love, Carolyn

 

Cher Madame,

C’est what you said last time. Madame she is forgetful. Peut-être senile?

Regards,

M. Le Poufin

 

Dear Puffin,

Speaking of forgetful, don’t you forget to be nice to me – I’m the one who feeds you.

Love, Carolyn

 

 

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Stickers

Dear Alpha Mommy,

I hate it when my feet pick up stickers!

XOXO Poppy

 

Dear Poppy,

It’s that time of year, isn’t it? When the weeds start producing stickers.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Alpha Mommy,

They go straight to my feet when we go for our walks!

XOXO Poppy

 

Dear Poppy,

That’s because your feet are like four fluffy slippers. They sweep those stickers right up.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Alpha Mommy,

But then I have to sit down and pull them out with my teeth.

XOXO Poppy

 

Dear Poppy,

I think it’s wonderful that you sort out your own foot problems. It is awkward sometimes, though. When you stop us right in the middle of a street crossing.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Alpha Mommy,

But I have to remove the stickers!

XOXO Poppy

 

Dear Poppy,

I understand. But the street crossing is sort of an inappropriate place to do that. Inevitably cars pull up and have to wait while you suck on your feet.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Alpha Mommy,

If you had stickers in your feet I’m sure you would sit right down in the middle of the street and chew them out, cars or no cars.

XOXO Poppy

 

Dear Poppy,

Now I’m going to have that image in my head for the rest of the day.

Love, Carolyn

 

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Wildlife

Dear Mommy,

I overheard you tell your friend that you lived with a cat once who brought baby snakes into the house!!!!! That’s so exciting!!!!!

Love, Mia

 

Dear Mia,

Yes indeed! That was Alice. She brought several baby garter snakes into the house one year. They were beautiful!

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

Did you let her keep them to play with?

Love, Mia

 

Dear Mia,

Of course not! I released them in our garden.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

I want to go outside and find some baby snakes!!!!!

Love, Mia

 

Dear Mia,

I’m sorry sweetie. The outdoors is a very dangerous place for little cats. You’ll just have to play with your rubber snake.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

But you let Alice out!

Love, Mia

 

Dear Mia,

And we lost our Alice. It broke our hearts! She suddenly disappeared and we never knew what happened to her. She may have been hit by a car or caught by a coyote. Coyotes and cars are the main reasons I changed to a Strictly Indoor cat policy.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

But Poppy says coyotes are just dogs! I’m not afraid of a dog. Look at how nicely Poppy and I get along!

Love, Mia

 

Dear Mia,

Honey, coyotes are not just dogs. And especially not a dog like our sweet Poppy. A coyote would pick you up for lunch in no time.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

Are you telling me that Alice was EATEN???!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Love, Mia

 

Dear Mia,

I’m sad to say that is entirely possible.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

THAT IS HORRIFYING!!!!!

Love, Mia

 

Dear Mia,

It is horrifying. And that’s why I don’t want you and Puffin to roam outside.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

I could outrun a coyote. I’m really fast.

Love, Mia

 

Dear Mia,

I’m sorry honey, but you are no match for a coyote. You would be an easy lunch.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

I’ve been sitting in the window looking at the garden for hours now, and I haven’t seen a single coyote. Just two deer, three squirrels, and the chickadees at the bird feeder. I think you are making up this coyote story.

Love, Mia

 

Dear Mia,

There’s a lot of wildlife out there that we rarely see. Not only coyotes (though once I saw one loping down the street in broad daylight!) There are raccoons, foxes, skunks, possums, and who knows, probably a bobcat now and then. There are even mountain lions from time to time, though they rarely come down to our neighborhood. But just because we don’t see them doesn’t mean they aren’t there.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

Last night we smelled a skunk!!!!

Love, Mia

 

Dear Mia,

And yet you’ve never seen one. I rest my case.

Love, Carolyn

 

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Destruction

Cher Madame,

This petit cat overhead Madame slander moi.

Regards,

M. Le Poufin

 

Dear Puffin,

Slander? Puffin honey, what are you talking about?

Love, Carolyn

 

Cher Madame,

The tiny ears they heard this. When Madame was talking to a neighbor.

Regards,

M. Le Poufin

 

Dear Puffin

Is your tiny head thinking about the comment I made about how destructive you were as a kitten?

Love, Carolyn

 

Cher Madame,

Oui! When you said M. Le Poufin was the most destructive youngster you’d ever known.

Regards,

M. Le Poufin

 

Dear Puffin,

I should think you’d be proud of the distinction!

Love, Carolyn

 

Cher Madame,

May I remind Madame that this petit cat is a cat of great dignity, culture and refinement.

Regards,

M. Le Poufin

 

Dear Puffin,

You certainly are more dignified than you were as a kitten. You once brought down a five-foot-tall potted palm. There was dirt scattered everywhere. On the carpet I might add.

Love, Carolyn

 

Cher Madame,

C’est un ACCIDENT. The tree she took a great leap and toppled over.

Regards,

M. Le Poufin

 

Dear Puffin,

And you kept pulling out the water plants from the aquarium. Several times I came home to find dried out aquarium plants all over the kitchen floor. And that poor goldfish cowering in the corner of the tank.

Love, Carolyn

 

Cher Madame,

Le goldfish was extremely difficult to catch.

Regards,

M. Le Poufin

 

Dear Puffin,

Well, not for lack of trying. I’ve never seen a cat reach into a tank of water, all the way up to the shoulder. And then jump down soaking wet to track water around the house.

Love, Carolyn

 

Cher Madame,

The tank was deep, Madame, so it required the full reach to catch the fish.

Regards,

M. Le Poufin

 

Dear Puffin,

And catch it you finally did. But that wasn’t all. There were all the shoestrings you chewed through. Monsieur was exasperated with you.

Love, Carolyn

 

Cher Madame,

Les shoe strings, they were replaced, n’est pas?

Regards,

M. Le Poufin

 

Dear Puffin,

But it’s annoying! Then you destroyed my laptop charger cord. That was an expensive chew.

Love, Carolyn

 

Cher Madame,

Monsieur and Madame made too much of all this.

Regards,

M. Le Poufin

 

Dear Puffin,

Then there were all the houseplants you frayed with your chewing. There was the paper towel roll that you hugged and kicked with your hind claws until it completely shredded into tiny bits, all over the living room. And the countless times you unrolled toilet paper rolls around the house. But probably the most astonishing thing was your fascination with toilets.

Love, Carolyn

 

Cher Madame,

Always, always, Madame brings up les subjects sordid.

Regards,

M. Le Poufin

 

Dear Puffin,

I’ve never known another cat to come running at the sound of the toilet flushing, to jump on the seat and actually reach in to the swirling water.

Love, Carolyn

 

Cher Madame,

Le swirling water was exciting, and a cat will always want to chase the things that move!

Regards,

M. Le Poufin

 

Dear Puffin,

Fortunately we always managed to intervene before you scooped anything out. It’s amazing what we put up with when you were young. But you were always entertaining.

Love, Carolyn

 

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