Carolyn Holm

One Dog, Two Cats
Grand Ideas
InterSpecies Memos

Busy

 

Dear Poppy,

I left a surprise in your red toy.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

PEANUT BUTTER!!!!!!! It’s peanut butter! I LOVE peanut butter!!!!!!!

XOXO Poppy

 

Dear Poppy,

I know you do. That should keep you busy for a while.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

My tongue can barely reach it all!

XOXO Poppy

 

Dear Poppy,

That’s the idea. That’s why I say it will keep you busy for a while.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

Done.

XOXO Poppy

 

Dear Poppy,

You’ve cleaned it out already? That was fast. So much for keeping you busy.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

That’s okay! I’ve still got my digging hole outside in the garden. And I need to check the kitchen floor periodically for anything edible that might have dropped.

XOXO Poppy

 

Dear Poppy,

And you need to check the deck for squirrels.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

And let you know when someone walks by the house with a dog.

XOXO Poppy

 

Dear Poppy,

And don’t forget your nap.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

We almost forgot! The daily walk!

XOXO Poppy

 

Dear Poppy,

That’s not just a leisure time activity, it’s your job, and it’s an important one. I definitely need someone to take me for a walk every day.

Love, Carolyn

 

 

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The Hunter

Dear Puffin,

You look like a real hunter!

Love, Carolyn

 

Cher Madame,

I am a real hunter. This catfish toy is my prey.

Regards,

M. Le Poufin

 

Dear Puffin,

Of course it is. And it is excellent exercise. You are looking very svelte these days! Congratulations!

Love, Carolyn

 

Cher Madame,

Mon diet is finally achieved!

Regards,

M. Le Poufin

 

Dear Puffin,

And you will be healthier for it.

Love, Carolyn

 

Cher Madame,

Et no more lectures from the lady vet. Who was so rude at my last visit.

Regards,

M. Le Poufin

 

Dear Puffin,

She wasn’t being rude, honey. She was concerned about your weight. She wants you to live long and enjoy a healthy old age.

Love, Carolyn

 

Cher Madame,

She said I was obese.

Regards,

M. Le Poufin

 

Dear Puffin,

That was a fact, honey, not an insult. But she won’t say that now. You have lost weight since she saw you.

Love, Carolyn

 

Cher Madame,

Now this poor petit cat can eat freely, non?

Regards,

M. Le Poufin

 

Dear Puffin,

Maybe we can ease up on the rules now and then. As long as you are good about getting your exercise.

Love, Carolyn

 

Cher Madame,

Le catfish toy, as you say, is a good exercise.

Regards,

M. Le Poufin

 

Dear Puffin,

It is. And you can pretend you are playing with actual food.

Love, Carolyn

 

Cher Madame,

Toujours Madame is with le sarcasm.

Regards,

M. Le Poufin

 

 

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Gurlz

Dear Mommy,

Poppy and me, we’re a Gurl Posse.

Love, Mia

 

Dear Mia,

What have you been watching?

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

It was something on YouTube.

Love, Mia

 

Dear Mia,

It figures. Well, I like your cute spelling. What does Poppy think of this?

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

She’s confused by it.

Love, Mia

 

Dear Mia,

Of course she is. Have you told her what she’s supposed to do as a member of the posse?

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

I’m supposed to tell her that?

Love, Mia

 

Dear Mia,

Well I would think so. First of all it’s your big idea. And second, Poppy is quite young, and you’re the senior cat.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

I am not a senior.

Love, Mia

 

Dear Mia,

Actually you are. The other day, in fact, the vet clearly referred to you as a senior cat.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

That’s terrible. And she seemed like such a nice lady, too. Now I’m sad.

Love, Mia

 

Dear Mia,

Not for long, I’m sure. You don’t look like a senior. And you definitely don’t act like a senior.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

That’s a relief. Well, brace yourself, this Gurl and her Posse are going to run up and down the hall together for a bit. Things might get loud.

Love, Mia

 

 

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Labor Day

Dear Mommy,

I’ve got a plan for Labor Day weekend.

XOXO Poppy

 

Dear Poppy,

That’s lovely! So what is your plan?

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

I’m going to have puppies. I’m practicing for it with my bunny.

XOXO Poppy

 

Dear Poppy,

What do you mean you’re going to have puppies?

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

Just what I said! I’m going to pop them out! On Labor Day!

XOXO Poppy

 

Dear Poppy,

We need to have a little talk, honey. It doesn’t work like that.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

Yes it does. And I’m really excited about it.

XOXO Poppy

 

Dear Poppy,

It’s not possible, honey.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

You told me I did it once before.

XOXO Poppy

 

Dear Poppy,

You did. And sadly the rescue group had no idea what had happened to your poor babies.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

So I’m going to do it again. On Labor Day. Labor means giving birth. It means having puppies. And I love puppies!

XOXO Poppy

 

Dear Poppy,

Wait, Labor Day refers to work in general. It’s to honor workers. It’s not about the labor that comes at the end of pregnancy. Though I have to say, birth is a lot more work than most workers will ever know. But even if Labor Day did mean Puppy Birth Day, I’m sorry to tell you this, but you really can’t have any more puppies.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

None? Never?

XOXO Poppy

 

Dear Poppy,

I’m afraid not. You had a surgery that pretty much eliminates that possibility. So we’ll have to celebrate Labor Day with some extra treats and by going to the dog park.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

This is a little bit disappointing.

XOXO Poppy

 

Dear Poppy,

But you have your bunny. And you were rescued. That’s more than some dogs will ever have.

Love, Carolyn

 

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The Accident

Dear Puffin,

I was wakened by a loud noise last night.

Carolyn

 

Cher Madame,

Does this concern moi?

Regards,

M. Le Poufin

 

Dear Puffin,

You know it does. I came downstairs this morning and found this vase on its side on the floor. Water everywhere.

Love, Carolyn

 

Cher Madame,

C’est un terrible sight for Madame. But, il faut dire, how does this dreadful accident concern moi?

Regards,

M. Le Poufin

 

Dear Puffin,

I know you knocked it over. You were eating flower leaves again, weren’t you? You know you are not supposed to. They’re not good for you! Not to mention you made a big mess.

Love, Carolyn

 

Cher Madame,

Pah, c’est probably Mia who ate les leaves. Et knocked over le vase.

Regards,

M. Le Poufin

 

Dear Puffin,

No, she was with me at the time of the loud noise. Sleeping quietly. Not eating leaves and knocking over a vase.

Love, Carolyn

 

Cher Madame,

Peut-être the insane dog Poppy, she is le guilty party.

Regards,

M. Le Poufin

 

Dear Puffin,

No, she was sleeping soundly next to the bed at the time of the loud noise.

Love, Carolyn

 

Cher Madame,

Bien sûr, it must have been Monsieur who caused this accident.

Regards,

M. Le Poufin

 

Dear Puffin,

He was sound asleep at the time. I’m afraid you can’t weasel out of it, Puff honey.

Love, Carolyn

 

Cher Madame,

Toujours les accusations. Je suis un pauvre innocent little cat who gets les accusations toujours hurled in his general direction.

Regards,

M. Le Poufin

 

Dear Puffin,

We usually give you a pass, honey. You are lucky you’re so cute.

Love, Carolyn

 

 

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Strife

MEMO TO: Mia, Puffin and Poppy

FROM: Carolyn

Everyone needs to calm down. Now.

 

Dear Mommy,

Puffin has been bullying me again!!!!!! He just chased me away from my magazine. He doesn’t appreciate a well-informed cat.

Love, Mia

 

Cher Madame,

That Mia, she sniffed my ear and then like a crazy cat she attacked me.

Regards,

M. Le Poufin

 

Dear Alpha Mommy,

Puffin sits on the stairs blocking the way so I can’t come down to see you!

XOXO Poppy

 

Cher Madame,

La Poppy she chases moi, a pauvre little cat, out of the kitchen. Which she seems to think is hers.

Regards,

M. Le Poufin

 

Dear Alpha Mommy,

Puffin ambushes me when I walk down the hallway.

XOXO Poppy

 

Dear Mommy,

Poppy is ok, but Puffin is terrible. This morning he chased me off your bed. Again. Like he does every morning when he gets hungry and irritable.

Love, Mia

 

MEMO TO: Mia, Puffin and Poppy

FROM: Carolyn

This is insane. Other people have animals who manage to get along. Even sleep together. Why can’t the three of you find a way to get along? Your life is cushy – you have no need to stake out so many boundaries.

 

Dear Mommy,

I have a solution.

Love, Mia

 

Dear Mia,

You do? Okay, I want to hear it.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

It’s very simple. We should remove the problem cat.

Love, Mia

 

Dear Mia,

Seriously Mia? That’s your solution? Why can’t everyone sit down, accept that there will be differences, and work it out? Why do we have to have all this strife?

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

It would be easier just to get rid of Puffin.

Love, Mia

 

Dear Mia,

No. Just no.

Carolyn

 

 

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Best

Dear Alpha Mommy,

You told me I’m the Best Dog Ever.

XOXO Poppy

 

Dear Poppy,

I did indeed!

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Alpha Mommy,

But according to Puffin you said that about Molly.

XOXO Poppy

 

Dear Poppy,

I thought Molly told you never to pay any attention to what the cats say.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Alpha Mommy,

Puffin is hard to ignore. And he says there can’t possibly be two Best Dogs Ever.

XOXO Poppy

 

Dear Poppy,

Okay. Best Dog Ever refers to current dogs. And you are my current dog!

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Alpha Mommy,

Is Mia the Best Cat Ever?

XOXO Poppy

 

Dear Poppy,

She is!

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Alpha Mommy,

But Puffin says you called him the Best Cat Ever once. He says you throw that title around very carelessly.

XOXO Poppy

 

Dear Poppy,

Oh dear. Puffin is always causing trouble, isn’t he? Well, that doesn’t change the fact that you are indeed the Best Dog Ever.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Alpha Mommy,

I’m so relieved to hear that!!!!!!!!!

XOXO Poppy

 

 

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Expensive


Cher Madame,

I found a pile of money! Je suis rich!!

Regards,

M. Le Poufin

 

Dear Puffin,

I think you probably should hand it over. Dude, you totally owe me.

Love, Carolyn

 

Cher Madame,

Pah, je suis un pauvre petit and innocent cat. How can it be that I owe you?

Regards,

M. Le Poufin

 

Dear Puffin,

You are the most expensive cat I’ve ever lived with.

Carolyn

 

Cher Madame,

Bien sûr, because I am an expensive purebred!

Regards,

M. Le Poufin

 

Dear Puffin,

I’m sorry, that’s not really the case. You are a nice example of a tuxedo domestic shorthair, but that’s not exactly posh. And we didn’t buy you anyway, you were found. On the street. Dirty and sick.

Love, Carolyn

 

Cher Madame,

Always you have to bring that up. I know what Madame will bring up next.

Regards,

M. Le Poufin

 

Dear Puffin,

The internal parasites? The diarrhea? The hundreds of fleas?

Love, Carolyn

 

Cher Madame,

Oui, toujours Madame must bring up these embarrassing details.

Regards,

M. Le Poufin

 

Dear Puffin,

I’m sorry. But these details ran up a big vet bill, so they became memorable. This is part of why you were so expensive.

Love, Carolyn

 

Cher Madame,

Part? There’s more?

Regards,

M. Le Poufin

 

Dear Puffin,

Oh much more. There’s the time you swallowed a needle and thread. Who even does that?

Love, Carolyn

 

Cher Madame,

Alors, le pink thread she was so enticing. I thoughtfully sampled this pink thread and zut! there was a needle attached. Enfin I swallowed just as Madame reached for me. And then, Madame became, shall we say, agitated.

Regards,

M. Le Poufin

 

Dear Puffin,

Of course I was agitated. So we made the run to the Emergency Vet, at midnight no less, and they did an Xray and confirmed that you had done this moronic thing. They had to call in the Endoscopy lady to remove your enticing needle and thread. Do you know what this cost?

Carolyn

 

Cher Madame,

Moi, I don’t want to know. Madame is getting worked up over this. We should peut-être change le subject.

Regards,

M. Le Poufin

 

Dear Puffin,

Well, it was very expensive. And that isn’t all. There was the time Monsieur found you foaming at the mouth and spitting and hacking. We thought you were poisoned, and again we had to take you to the expensive Emergency Vet, and the nice lady there said you probably just ate something that tasted terrible. That this is what cats do when something tastes bad. I had to pay a lot of money to find that out.

Carolyn

 

Cher Madame,

Not many things taste terrible to moi, such a hungry petit cat. But that houseplant, she was vile.

Regards,

M. Le Poufin

 

 

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Hygiene

Dear Mia,

I’m so proud of you sweetie!

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

Of course you are! I’m a wonderful artist and dancer!!!!!

Love, Mia

 

Dear Mia,

You are, honey, but that’s not what I was thinking about. I’m proud of your personal hygiene!

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

Isn’t all hygiene personal?

Love, Mia

 

Dear Mia,

Okay, well, yes. So. I’m proud of your hygiene. You have gone twelve years without needing to go to the vet to have your teeth cleaned!

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

That’s because I chew on your towels.

Love, Mia

 

Dear Mia,

You do, and it makes them a little raggedy, but it keeps your teeth gleaming white. As does the special dental kibble. You are really to be commended! You are holding the family record!

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

Do I get an Award?

Love, Mia

 

Dear Mia,

We’ll try to think of something. Now if we could just work out a grooming regimen so there will be fewer hairballs.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

Will the hairballs count against my award?

Love, Mia

 

Dear Mia,

Good point. They might.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

I also do a good job with pedicures.

Love, Mia

 

Dear Mia,

I have to say I’ve never known a cat who does such thorough pedicures on your hind feet. All that gross sucking and pulling on each claw is quite a performance.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

Well I am a performance artist.

Love, Mia

 

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Molly’s Life Lessons

Dear Poppy,

I’ve always been mystified by the way you dogs take the kibble nugget out of the bowl and eat it somewhere else in the room.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

This is what Molly taught me. Do you remember Molly?

XOXO Poppy

 

Dear Poppy,

Of course I remember Molly. She was part of our family for seventeen years.

Love, Carolyn

 

 

Dear Mommy,

She was very wise. She told me all the important things before she died.

XOXO Poppy

 

Dear Poppy,

Oh dear, she was rather eccentric. What were these important things? Should I be worried?

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

Number one: never let the food bowl get empty. When the supply gets low, start reminding everyone.

XOXO Poppy

 

Dear Poppy,

That was very important to her.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

And chew the nuggets only on one side of the mouth.

XOXO Poppy

 

Dear Poppy,

No no no!  The nuggets are very special kibble designed to clean your teeth. They need to be chewed on both sides. Molly drove me nuts because half her mouth had clean teeth and the other half needed cleaning. Don’t follow that rule!

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

That’s good, because I keep forgetting to follow that one.

XOXO Poppy

 

Dear Poppy,

What else did she tell you to do?

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

Don’t listen to what the cats say. And keep away from kids. And we’re supposed to face north when we poop.

XOXO Poppy

 

Dear Poppy,

That’s good advice about the cats, but I’m not so sure about the rest. She just didn’t like kids. And when you poop you can face any way you like.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

Also when you catch a rat, shake it hard and then drop it and jump back so it can’t bite you. Then grab it again and repeat this until it is dead.

XOXO Poppy

 

Dear Poppy,

Well that was grisly advice. But she was an expert ratter so she knew what she was talking about.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

And finally, we dogs are in charge of the daily agenda. It is very important that the evening schedule is maintained in the correct order: make dinner, give us our meds, feed me and the cats, eat dinner, cleanup, treats, go outside one last time, then hang out until bedtime. Unless you go out. Then the schedule is all messed up. Molly warned me that can happen.

XOXO Poppy

 

Dear Poppy,

Molly was seriously Obsessive/Compulsive, honey. It’s okay if we vary the order of things once in awhile. But I do appreciate your reminding me to give you your Prozac. It’s important.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

I don’t agree with one thing she frequently said, though. She’d say We’re Doomed.

XOXO Poppy

 

Dear Poppy,

She said that a lot, didn’t she? I’m so glad you don’t share her crotchety outlook!

Love, Carolyn

 

 

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