Carolyn Holm

One Dog, Two Cats
Grand Ideas
InterSpecies Memos

Side Hustle

Dear Mom,
Look what I found!
Love, Mia

Dear Mia,
That’s a violin. Please don’t touch it. 
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
I’m being gentle!
Love, Mia

Dear Mia,
It’s not a toy, sweetie. Please don’t play with it.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
When I pluck the string with my claw it makes a wonderful sound!
Love, Mia

Dear Mia,
Not all that wonderful, sweetie. Please be gentle with it. A violin is very special.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
This is going to be my new side hustle. I’m thinking about becoming a busker. 
Love, Mia

Dear Mia,
Where were you planning to do this?
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
On Solano Avenue! Right in front of one of the restaurants! I’ll pick a really busy one. People will love me. I’ll play musical favorites, like the guy with the accordion in front of Peet’s Coffee. Poppy told me all about him. You always give him something, so I figure people will give me treats.
Love, Mia

Dear Mia,
One problem. Actually, two problems. One, you don’t know any musical favorites. And two, you can’t play on the street in front of a restaurant because you are strictly an indoor cat. Not to mention problem three: you don’t know how to play the violin. And actually, there is also a problem four: most people don’t stroll around with cat treats in their pockets.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
Human negativity has never stopped me before.
Love, Mia

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Moving Parts

Dear Mom,
The best thing about babysitting Mika is going on walks together. So why are you taking us out separately?
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
I know you and Mika like to go out together, but it’s just too much hassle.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
We’re a hassle?????
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
Not you, just the experience. 
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
We thought it went well! We weren’t hooligans this time!
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
No, you were both on your best behavior. It was just too many moving parts. The leashes crossing, me trying to pick up Mika’s poop while trying to keep you from eating grass, my earbuds falling out of my ears, me dropping the mail I was going to post. Like I said, too many moving parts.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
It’s weird to see you go out the door with another dog.
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
I know it is. I’m sorry. I appreciate that you understand my hand signal that says you are to stay behind.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
I thought it means that you are going to come back!
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
It means both of those things. You need to stay and I always come back. 
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
Mika understands the signal too. 
XOXO Poppu

Dear Poppy,
I’m sure she finds it weird to see the two of us go out without her.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
On her walk, where do you go? Does she get a better walk than I do?
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
You both get to go on good walks. Mika and I make a big circle of the neighborhood, and then come back to the house. I switch dogs, and then go the opposite direction to make another circle of the neighborhood. Basically a big figure 8.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
Mika said hers is the good walk. She said she’s your favorite.
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
They are both good walks. No favorites. But between you and me, you are still my best girl.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
I was pretty sure I was. We won’t tell Mika.
XOXO Poppy

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Airborne

Dear Mom,
Your daughter’s dog Mika is SO MUCH FUN!!!!!!!!
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
It was nice to have her here while we babysat her. A bit chaotic, but fun.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
The cats were a little upset. 
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
A little? More than a little. They were very upset about it. They didn’t realize that Mika was barking because she just wants to play with them.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
They don’t know how much fun she is!!!!!!!!!
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
They have different ideas of fun.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
They just wish they had her flying skills!!!!!
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
Mika is full of surprises.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
Especially the jumping!!!!!!!!!
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
Who knew that dog could jump like that! For an animal built so low to the ground, she really took off.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
Mia says Mika is built like a barrel.
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
That sounds like something a cat would say.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
She really wanted the treat your friend was holding over her head.
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
Then VOOOM. Liftoff. Amazing.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
Airborne!!!!!!!!! She really wanted that treat.
XOXO Poppy

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CBD

Dear Mom,
I’m a little worried about the new treats.
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
Why are you worried? Have the cats said something about them? I’ve told you not to listen to the cats!
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
No this time it’s Dad. He says I’m going to get stoned on the new treats.
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
Oh dear. He’s kidding, sweetie. They are just CBD chews. They won’t get you stoned. Exactly.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
Exactly? What do you mean exactly?
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
Hopefully they will help you become less anxious. We’re just trying them out.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
Why was Dad kidding about the treats?
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
That’s just something humans like to do. We forget that you take things so literally.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
So the CBD chews are because I’m anxious?
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
Yes, I’m hoping they will help you. Your PTSD has been happening a lot lately, every time we laugh loudly. I’d love to get my hands on the person who hurt you when you were young.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
Wait. I’m getting the CBD chews because someone hurt me?
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
Oh honey, I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have brought that up. 
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
Now I’m confused. I thought you just gave me a chew because I sat so nicely when you said sit.
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
That’s exactly right! You are getting the chews because they are a nice treat for a very good dog!
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
I’m sitting very nicely now.
XOXO Poppy

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Improvements

Cher Madame,
Il faut examine les resolutions of the New Year. I am ready to list them.
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
It’s not absolutely necessary sweetie. 
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
Comment*???!!!!! Not the necessary thing?
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
No, not really. I don’t make resolutions. I haven’t for years.
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
That would explain a lot. 
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
Wow. Are you suggesting I need to make some changes?
Carolyn

Cher Madame,
We have all made resolutions. Peut-être Madame should begin a self-examination. For improvements.
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
And what are these resolutions you have all made?
Carolyn

Cher Madame,
Mia’s is for you to let her lick your face as long as she wishes. And Poppy’s is for you to let her bark at everyone who walks by the house. I think Dad’s should be for you to start eating Thai food. My resolution is for you to feed us three times a day instead of two.
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
Those are all resolutions for me! 
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
Oui. Those are the important things to change in the household. You are the goddess, so you must bear the change.
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
I’m honored to be regarded with such importance, but honey, that’s not how it works. You should make a resolution to improve yourself in some way.
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
Improve moi-même? Ouf. Madame is surely joking. Does Madame have a specific complaint about this petit cat?
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
No, I don’t. Still, you could make a resolution to keep off the weight you have lost. You’ve done so well! You look so good now that you have lost two pounds!
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
Toujours les insinuations about the weight. Pah. Mais, what about the resolutions from the rest of the household?
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
For starters, when Mia licks my face it’s very sweet, but her tongue is like sandpaper so at some point I HAVE to stop her. And it’s rude for Poppy to bark at our neighbors as they walk past our house. And finally, I don’t think Dad would care for you to make his resolutions for him. And besides, I know Dad loves Thai food, but Thai food doesn’t love me. So, it’s not a matter of choice. Let’s just say Happy New Year to each other and forget the resolutions!
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
Always the excuses. Madame is la weasel, weaseling out of the family’s complaints.
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
But, remember, I’m the goddess.
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
La weasel goddess.
Regards, M. Le Poufin

*Loose Translation: WTF

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Merry Gifting!

Dear Mom,
It’s time for presents!
Love, Mia

Dear Mia,
It is indeed. Are you going to help me with the gifts?
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
I am! Puffin and I have been peeking in all the bags.
Love, Mia 

Dear Mia,
Have you found anything interesting?
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
Just people stuff. Why don’t you give cat treats to everyone in your family?Who wouldn’t want to get a bag of Temptations!
Love, Mia

Dear Mia,
Who indeed! I’ll keep that in mind. Maybe for Dad.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
Dad would LOVE cat treats.
Love, Mia

Dear Mia,
I’m sure he would. Maybe I’ll give him some. A little surprise in his stocking.
Love, Carolyn 

Dear Mom,
This gift bag has the famous Japanese Celebrity Cat on it!
Love, Mia

Dear Mia,
I got that with you in mind. I know that you aspire to be a celebrity cat like Hello Kitty. Maybe we’ll call you Hi Kitty.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
We can call Puffin Bonjour Kitty.
Love, Mia

Dear Mia,
Very clever! But I’m not sure he wants to be a celebrity. Still we can keep that name handy in case he does.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
Do you have presents for me? And for Puffin and Poppy?
Love, Mia

Dear Mia,
Of course I do! And for my daughter’s dog Mika.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
We’re going to have a house full of family here!
Love, Mia

Dear Mia,
We are indeed.
Love, Carolyn 

Dear Mom,
And there will be a lot of snacks.
Love, Mia

Dear Mia,
Oh, of course. Always lots of snacks.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
And we’ll all get along.
Love, Mia

Dear Mia,
I’m counting on that.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
It will be Merry Merriment for all!
Love Mia

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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

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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…
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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

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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

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