Carolyn Holm

One Dog, Two Cats
Grand Ideas
InterSpecies Memos

The Scary Bunny

Dear Mommy,
I want this little suitcase!!!!!!!
Love, Mia

Dear Mia,
It’s perfect for you, isn’t it! Except that you don’t need a suitcase. You don’t go anywhere.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mommy,
Did this come from the Scary Bunny?
Love, Mia

Dear Mia,
The what?
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mommy,
Back when Molly was still alive, she told us that there was a giant Bunny that came around every spring at about this time, bringing candy for kids. In cute little baskets and tins. And hiding eggs. That all sounds very nice but the bunny sounds scary.
Love, Mia

Dear Mia,
It’s not scary. It’s a nice tradition. Since ancient pagan times people have recognized that rabbits and eggs were all about spring and fertility. When we had chickens, they stopped laying over the winter, and started up again about this time. That made their eggs even more special and a real sign of spring!
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mommy,
Molly was very concerned about this giant rabbit. She didn’t like that tradition at all.
Love, Mia

Dear Mia,
She regarded the whole thing as a security risk. 
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mommy,
A rabbit is a security risk???????
Love, Mia

Dear Mia,
She didn’t like the idea of a sneaky nighttime invasion by an over-sized mammal. Molly was a terrier. Terriers take security very seriously.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mommy,
Now I’m worried! Is this giant pagan rabbit going to invade us? 
Love, Mia

Dear Mia,
Probably not. The bunny just delivers candy to houses with little kids. But if it shows up, Poppy will bark at it. We’ll be fine.
Love, Carolyn

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Kidnapped

Cher Madame,
Je suis EXHAUSTED. Today was an outrage.
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
I know, you are upset.
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madam,
This poor innocent petit cat was kidnapped. KIDNAPPED. 
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
You weren’t kidnapped, honey.
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madam,
I was! I was kidnapped this morning. C’était outrageous.
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
That wasn’t kidnapping, Puff honey. Kidnapping is when someone comes along and takes you away against your will… well okay, I guess you could call it kidnapping. It was sort of like kidnapping. But we were just taking you to the vet.
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madam,
I was lounging innocently on the bed when Monsieur grabbed me and stuffed me in a box.
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
It was a carrier.
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
A box. And then the kidnappers drove me in the nasty car. To the place where people poke cats. C’est humiliating.
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
I know it was. I’m sorry. But there was no way around the poke. They needed to take your temperature. 
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
You et Monsieur were in collusion avec the kidnappers.
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
Okay we were the kidnappers. It was just for your annual vet visit. You won’t have to go again until next year!
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
This pauvre petit cat can never trust Madame et Monsieur again.
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
Calm down. You’ll have forgotten it by dinnertime.
Love, Carolyn

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Rainy Day

Dear Poppy,
We really do need to take you outside.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Alpha Mommy,
Is it still raining?
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
Well, yes, sweetie, it is, but it’s not a heavy downpour.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Alpha Mommy,
But it IS still raining.
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
Yes, but you REALLY need to go outside. This morning you just stood in the doorway and refused to go out. 
Love, Carolyn

Dear Alpha Mommy,
Of course I did. I don’t like the rain. And I don’t poop in the rain. Or pee. In the rain.
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
You must be ready to burst.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Alpha Mommy,
I can hold it. I’m not going out in all that wetness.
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
We’ll just go out with your new raincoat on then. Give it a try!
Love, Carolyn

Dear Alpha Mommy,
Why are you punishing me?
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
I’m not punishing you. I’m concerned about you. You haven’t even stepped outside since last night.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Alpha Mommy,
But I DID step outside this morning! It was raining so I stepped right back in.
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
I stand corrected. But we’re going out now. We’re going to walk down the street together, and stop looking so sad in that raincoat. It’s not the end of the world. You need to poop and pee and that’s all that’s going to be said about it.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Alpha Mommy,
I’ll walk in that dreadful coat but you can’t make me poop and pee. I don’t do that in the rain.
XOXO Poppy

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In Charge

Dear Mommy,
When you said “My cat would make a better President”, which of us did you mean?
Love, Mia

Dear Mia,
Oh, of course I meant you. Puffin would be a terrible president. He’s a bit of a bully.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mommy,
So you think I’d be a good President?
Love, Mia

Dear Mia,
Oh dear, well, that was just an expression. One of those things one says without meaning anything.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mommy,
But sometimes when you are going out, you put me in charge!
Love, Mia

Dear Mia,
Oh that. Yes I do. And you do a very good job of it, too.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mommy,
And sometimes you say, “While we’re out, Poppy, you’re in charge.”
Love, Mia

Dear Mia,
True, sometimes it’s Poppy.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mommy,
And once in a while you put Puffin in charge.
Love, Mia

Dear Mia,
Not very often, though. I never put Puffin in charge if I’m going to be out for more than an hour or two.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mommy,
Puffin is a jerk.
Love, Mia

Dear Mia,
Yes, but he’s our jerk, isn’t he? We love him anyway.
Love, Carolyn

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Teeth and Claws

Cher Madame,
Il faut dire, Madame is very loud today.
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
Because you chewed through another phone charger cord dammit.
Carolyn

Cher Madame,
Why this makes Madame irritable is a curious thing.
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Puffin,
Of COURSE I’m irritable. You chewed right through it. Who DOES that?
Carolyn 

Cher Madame,
Does Madame ask a rhetorical question?
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
Puppies chew things. You’re not a puppy. You are not even a kitten. You are an adult cat.
Carolyn

Cher Madame,
Il faut dire Madame she states the obvious.
Regards, M. Le Poufin 

Dear Puffin,
My point is, chewing a charger cord is not an adult cat activity. And it’s very annoying. Why do you have to chew everything you come across?
Carolyn

Cher Madame,
Le cord suddenly appears in the mouth. C’est completely mystérieux. So the teeth, they find they must thoughtfully chew on it.
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
Thoughtfully? Seriously?
Carolyn

Cher Madame,
This petit cat is always serious.
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
By the way, there is also my bedroom curtain. You clawed a hole in it! Who does THAT?
Carolyn

Cher Madame,
Ahhh, le bedroom curtain. The finch was in the bush outside and it was necessary to reach out to it. The curtain she jumped in the way. C’était un petit snag. Madame is making too much noise about it.
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Puffin,
A small snag? It’s two inches across! Your teeth and claws do a lot of damage. There’s also there’s my poor Peace Lily. You chewed on the tips of the leaves and made them raggedy. It looks terrible! Not to mention it is toxic. Actually eat that stuff and I’ll have to rush you to the vet. God knows what they will do to you there.
Carolyn

Cher Madame,
Biting the lily leaf was un experiment très unpleasant. The taste, it is ghaack. Not the nice little snack, the amuse-bouche, that had been anticipated. Madame needn’t worry about this petit cat becoming poisoned. There is no need to make threats of the vet to add to the general unpleasantness. That petit experiment will not repeat.
Regards, M. Le Poufin

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The Schedule

Dear Poppy,
I don’t know how you do it. You always know what time it is.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Alpha Mommy,
I DO??????
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
Well, not exactly clock time, but you know when it’s time for something on the schedule. You are right on top of it!
Love, Carolyn

Dear Alpha Mommy,
The SCHEDULE?????
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
Like when it’s breakfast time! Well, that’s not a good example. We all know when it’s breakfast time. It’s when we wake up hungry, right?
Love, Carolyn

Dear Alpha Mommy,
I LOVE breakfast!!!!!
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
We all do. But you also know when it’s five o’clock and time for all of you to get meds and dinner. Is it because the cats are lobbying so loudly for their meal? 
Love, Carolyn

Dear Alpha Mommy,
I know it without the cats. And we all start thinking about it at least an hour before. Just in case you’ll get mixed up and feed us early.
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
But you always have some kibble in your dish so you can graze all day. So it doesn’t matter when I refill it.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Alpha Mommy,
But you CHECK it. Before she died Molly told me it was very important to make you check it. So the bowl won’t go empty and we’ll starve. I also need my daily Prozac.
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
Fair enough. That five o’clock event is very important. But that’s not the only part of the schedule that you are on top of. You also know just when it’s time to go out for our walk. 
Love, Carolyn

Dear Alpha Mommy,
It’s my business to know. Sometimes you get busy and it looks like you are going to forget, so I remind you.
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
And you do it very nicely. I appreciate the reminder when I’m late. But I wish I knew how all of you know what time it is. It’s like you are wearing a watch!
Love, Carolyn

Dear Alpha Mommy,
Am I supposed to know how we do it???????? 
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
Don’t worry about it. You have a watch somewhere and it’s working.
Love, Carolyn

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Titles

Dear Mia,
You are such a sweet girl! I love our snuggle when I stretch out on the sofa to read.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mommy,
I like it too.  And I like the bedtime cuddle.  But last night you were thrashing around.  I wish you would lie quietly.  When you push me off, Puffin comes to steal the good spot.
Love, Mia

Dear Mia,
I’m sorry I disrupted your sleep.  But you know, there are two good spots. You each get one.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mommy,
But mine is the best one. And Puffin steals it when you thrash around and bump me off.
Love, Mia

Dear Mia
It was cold and I had to move you to wrestle the second blanket on.  If you didn’t jump off the bed in a huff you’d probably get the good spot again as soon as I settled.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mommy,
Puffin is too fast. It would be better if you didn’t move at all. You should try to be more like Molly.  She never moved all night.
Love, Mia

Dear Mia,
Molly didn’t move because she was tied to the bed.  She lost her privilege of wandering loose around the house at night because late in life she sometimes peed where she shouldn’t.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mommy,
But she stayed in her basket all night even when you forgot to attach the leash.
Love, Mia

Dear Mia,
You’re right, she did.  Because she was a very good girl.  Well, with the exception of the occasional peeing lapse.  But mostly she was the Best Dog Ever. I miss her!
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mommy,
What about Poppy?
Love, Mia

Dear Mia,
Oh I’m sure she misses Molly too.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mommy,
No! I mean, is she a Best Dog Ever?
Love, Mia

Dear Mia,
Oh yes, she inherited the title.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mommy,
And I am the Best CAT Ever?
Love, Mia

Dear Mia,
Well, no honey, that title doesn’t exist for cats. 
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mommy,
But there is a “Best DOG Ever”?????
Love, Mia

Dear Mia,
Yes, it’s a Thing.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mommy,
That’s outrageous!!!!!!!
Love, Mia

Dear Mia,
I’m just messing with you, sweetie. Of course there’s a Best Cat Ever title.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mommy,
And that’s me, right?
Love, Mia

Dear Mia,
Time will tell.
Love, Carolyn

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Angst

Dear Puffin,
I wish I knew what you are trying to tell us when you walk around the house yowling.
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
The cats, we do not yowl.
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
Okay, then. That very loud sound. While you walk around. What does that mean?
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
To what does Madame refer?
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
The moaning. The hollering. The caterwauling.
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
This noise that Madame insists upon describing sounds très vulgar. It must be that of Mia.
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
No, I know it’s you. You were doing it downstairs yesterday. While Mia was sitting right here on my lap.
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
Peut-être c’était la Poppy?
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
Oh please. It wasn’t Poppy. She barks, she doesn’t moan and yowl.
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
Toujours les insults.
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
I’m not trying to insult you. Your cry sounds profoundly sad. This is why I call out to you when I hear it. So I can comfort you. You wail like a lost soul! What is it about?
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
Eh bien. Since Madame she insists. C’est angst. Existential angst. L’angst of a petit cat who is far from his homeland.
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
Oh sweetie! You are homesick! I’m so sorry!
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
Oui, for France. Madame is kind to care.
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
Not France, honey. You were rescued from South Central Los Angeles. A tiny baby plucked from the gutter by a sweet USC student. My daughter took you home and cleaned you up and got you treated for fleas and diarrhea and various parasites. You were a very lucky kitten to end up with her!
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
Toujours Madame brings up les disgusting unmentionables. There is no respect. No dignity.
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
I’m sorry! I just wanted to understand this strange cri de coeur.
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
This angst, c’est because toujours, toujours,Madame refuses to acknowledge that this petit cat is French.
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
Poor boy! I’m sorry. In your depth of being I’m sure you are truly French.
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
So now peut-être Madame could serve some French fromages.
Regards, M. le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
Cheese! Just the thing to sooth the angst of a French cat.
Love, Carolyn

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Barky

Dear Poppy,
I love your enthusiasm, but maybe we should work on your barking.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Alpha Mommy,
I don’t need to work on it! I’m a terrific barker!!!!
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
Like I said, I love your enthusiasm. But you are way too barky. I’m thinking we might dial it down.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Alpha Mommy,
What does that even mean?????
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
Well, okay, sometimes your barking is completely appropriate. I’ll give you that. Like when someone rings the doorbell.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Alpha Mommy,
Or when the postman comes and stuffs trash into our postal box!
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
That’s right! I mean, it’s not all trash. But yes, that’s a good time to bark. But honey, you don’t need to bark when someone simply walks past the house.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Alpha Mommy,
But I don’t do that!!!!
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
You just did!
Love, Carolyn

Dear Alpha Mommy,
Oh, you mean the ladies who were laughing and talking loudly. They weren’t just walking past our house. They were making exciting noises.
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
Well, they were on the sidewalk. Maybe we can allow that without barking? Also people walking by with dogs.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Alpha Mommy,
I only bark at the dogs I know. Like Cody, or Spencer, or Rosie.
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
You just barked at a Bichon I’ve never seen before.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Alpha Mommy,
He’s left his scent on every car tire parked on the street. So he’s a dog I know.
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
You also bark at bicycles, even when they are half a block away!
Love, Carolyn

Dear Alpha Mommy,
Of course I do! Bicycles are very provocative!
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
And when people come to visit. The doorbell bark is a good thing, but once they come in and I introduce you, I wish you wouldn’t keep barking. You drive us nuts, and sweetie, you sound crazy.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Alpha Mommy,
But I’m crazy with excitement!!!!!
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
It’s exhausting trying to teach you not to bark so much, sweetie.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Alpha Mommy,
I like it that you try! I love the little treats you offer to distract me!
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
I think I might need to rethink our training program.
Love, Carolyn

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Heart Box

Dear Mia,
Thank heavens I found you and Poppy with the Valentine box before it was too late!
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mommy,
You were very abrupt. That was rude.
Love, Mia

Dear Mia,
It wasn’t rude. There are chocolates in that box. I took it away from the two of you to save you from eating some. That would have made you a very sick cat.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mommy,
You can’t fool me. Humans eat chocolate all the time.
Love, Mia

Dear Mia,
Well not all the time. Though we do like to indulge. But it’s not for cats.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mommy,
What about Poppy?
Love, Mia

Dear Mia,
Oh definitely not for dogs either.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mommy,
Humans make such a big deal about chocolate. And hearts. And heart boxes.
Love, Mia

Dear Mia,
Heart boxes are one of the ways we say “you’re the best human ever” to someone we love. They are nice little gifts.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mommy,
All boxes are nice little gifts. Cats know all there is to know about boxes. The very best are the ones we can crawl into. This one is too small for that, but I have to say it was particularly exciting to pry it open and rustle through the candy papers. Pretending there is prey inside.
Love, Mia

Dear Mia,
I’ll have to give that a try.
Love, Carolyn

If you want 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.comto find the subscription box. (And if you’ve already subscribed, multiple paws are raised to salute you!)