Carolyn Holm

One Dog, Two Cats
Grand Ideas
InterSpecies Memos

The Athlete

Cher Madame,
The moronic cur wants to horn in on our games.
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
Let’s not start with the name-calling. But you’re right, Poppy does get excited when you cats start playing.
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
The barking. The lunging. The interference. C’est très annoying. 
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
I know. It can put the kibosh on your playtime.
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
Kibosh? Comment? What is this kibosh? This is a thing that is canine?
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
It’s just an expression. It means she puts a stop to everything. That’s why when it’s evening playtime for you boys, I give her a treat and leave her in the bedroom. 
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
C’est very kind of Madame. The evening playtime with Madame is much anticipated. As long as Madame chooses the correct toy. With the correct prey.
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin
I don’t know why you don’t like the wand with the feathers. Winston loves it. But you refuse to play with it, and just sit there complaining. I’ve never heard a cat meow so much when it isn’t dinner time. You sound very cranky.
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
C’est simple. The feather prey is not the proper prey. It is inferior to the little animal on the other wand.
Regards, M. LePoufin

Dear Puffin,
That one is fun, isn’t it! And I have to say, you have become quite the athlete since Winston came along and gave you some competition!
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
The Winston is a kitten, Madame. He has nothing to do with the athletic ability that you admire.
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
Regardless, you are magnificent the way you stand on your hind toes and swipe at the prey. You even leap into the air! I didn’t know you could do that. You really go after that catfish.
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
Why is this prey called the fish of a cat? Is it a cat or a fish? It makes no sense.
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
Catfish are fish with whiskers, so apparently someone thought they looked like cats.
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
And how does a fish fly? There is no realism in this game.
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
Okay, catfish don’t generally fly. But this one can. I can send it flying around the room as prey for a pair of excited cats. 
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
This prey, I can catch it every time.
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
You do! And then each time you catch it, you walk away with it clamped in your teeth. Looking very determined. Giving me the side-eye while I follow behind attached with the pole. It’s hilarious. You look like you are searching for just the right place to hunker down and eat that thing.
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
This is what we do with prey.
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
You know it’s not real, right?
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
Mais oui, of course this petit cat understands the pretending. Humans are not the only animals who do le pretend play.
Regards, M. Le Poufin

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Sweet

Hey Mom,
Puffin says this heart box is for treats.
Winston

Dear Winston,
That’s true. It’s for very special treats. Valentine treats, because Sunday is Valentine’s Day. They are not only tasty treats, but they are sweet symbols of love. 
Love, Carolyn

Hey Mom,
I really don’t care if treats are symbolic. Any treat is fine with me.
Winston

Dear Winston,
I know that. You are quite enthusiastic about treats. 
Love, Carolyn

Hey Mom,
Puffin says Valentine treats are normally just for humans. However, other pack members can have a Valentine treat if they are exceptionally sweet.
Winston

Dear Winston,
I wonder how he became such an authority on Valentine treats.
Love, Carolyn

Hey Mom,
He says I’m not sweet enough.
Winston

Dear Winston,
That’s not very nice. You can be a very sweet cat. True, sometimes you are a terror. Especially when you are hungry. And when you play you are insane. But other than that, on occasion you can be a loving purr machine. That’s probably sweet enough. So, yes, I think you deserve a Valentine treat.
Love, Carolyn

Hey Mom,
Puffin says Poppy is too dumb to be anything but sweet. He says being dumb cancels out being sweet when it comes to Valentine treats.
Winston

Dear Winston,
That’s so typical of Puffin. She isn’t dumb. She is as smart as she needs to be. And she is very sweet. Most dogs are, and she’s on the sweet end of the spectrum as dogs go. So, she definitely deserves a Valentine treat.
Love, Carolyn

Hey Mom,
What about Puffin?
Winston

Dear Winston,
I think he’s on thin ice here. Does he think he’s sweet enough?
Love, Carolyn

Hey Mom,
He says he keeps you warm at night.
Winston

Dear Winston,
Can’t argue with that. And he won’t admit it, but he loves it when I say “Hi Baby” when he walks into the room. And he practically swoons when I scratch him under the chin. So, he might be in the running for a Valentine treat after all.
Love, Carolyn

Hey Mom,
Everyone in our pack gets a treat?
Winston

Dear Winston,
Yes, but let’s hold off telling Puffin. We’ll let him work on being nice for a couple of days to earn his treat.
Love, Carolyn

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Notifications

Dear Mom,
The guy on the scooter went by again!!!!!!!!!!!
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
I know. You notified us. But I wish you wouldn’t bark every time he goes by.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
But it’s so exciting!!!!!!!!!!!
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
And then late last night everything was quiet and suddenly you were barking like a crazy dog. It startled us awake.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
I thought you should know. Here it was in the middle of the night and out in the dark our neighbor and his son were zooming down the middle of the street on their skateboards. It was so weird. I had to notify everyone.
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
I’ll give you that one. It was a compelling situation. But you bark at everyone.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
Not everyone. Just the interesting people!!!!! Like the guy who goes by on his bicycle with the trailer full of groceries.
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
Yes, you bark at him every time. And anyone with a dog. The skinny guy with the Chihuahua just went by and you exploded with barking. I nearly spilled my coffee.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
They took me by surprise. I was napping when suddenly there they were, walking by. Of course I exploded. It was a startled notification.
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
Startled is right. You startled all of us. Puffin took off like a shot. He’s probably under the bed now.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
It’s not my fault. It’s because we live in a busy city neighborhood. People walk by all the time. And most of them with a dog or two. That’s a lot of notifying.
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
Maybe we could let some of them pass without a notification? How about if we limit the barking to dogs who we know personally?
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
I know all of them. When I can smell them, I know them.
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
I forgot to take your dog nose point of view into consideration. So, how about if we limit the notifications to dogs we know so well that we know their names? And only bark at Kody, Spencer, Kimi, Rosie and Baxter when they go by?
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
I’ll try. But I can’t guarantee it. I’m not sure I can keep from notifying when barks are bursting to get out of me. 
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
Let’s give it a try. There may be treats involved. 
Love, Carolyn

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Bully Redux

Dear Puffin,
I wish you would stop bullying Winston.
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
This petit cat does not do the bullying.
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
What do you call it, then, when you come up to Winston while he is peacefully taking a nap, loom over him, and give him The Look? So that he nervously jumps up to give you his spot? 
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
C’est an orderly arrangement between the two of us.
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
We’ve talked about this before. Many times. You did the same thing to Mia. Out of the blue you’d go up to her and give her a whack. No one likes a bully.
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
This petit cat does not do the bully.
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
Oh please. You get irritable when you’re hungry, and bite Winston’s tail. You are terrible. 
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
This petit cat knows not what to say. Madame is cruel.
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
I’m just calling you out, sweetie. You’re a bully. Still, you are our bully. 
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame, 
The blonde mutt is the bully. She barks when I walk near her food.
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
You started all that. You used to ambush Poppy. When she first joined our household, she was afraid to walk down the hall. Because of you.
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
And now she barks at me like a moron.
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
She knows you steal her food.
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madam,
The Winston, he sneaks up on this petit cat and whacks me. And then runs away as fast as he can.
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
We love when he does that.
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
The cruel Madame is unfair.
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
Sorry, we should not enjoy that as much as we do. But you have it coming to you. Winston looks up to you now, but one day he will be bigger than you are. Look at those feet of his – they’re enormous. And then he won’t put up with your behavior. You’ll be sorry you bullied him.
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
Toujours everyone turns on this petit cat.
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
No, we don’t, honey. We just enjoy it when you get your just desserts.
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
Desserts? Madame makes no sense, as usual.
Regards, M. Le Poufin

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Starving

Hey Mom,
I’m hungry.
Winston

Dear Winston,
I just fed you.
Love, Carolyn

Hey Mom,
I’m still hungry.
Winston

Dear Winston,
I appreciate it when you tell me you are hungry, with your voice, instead of acting out with biting and scratching. Hunger turns you into such a vicious beast! Anyway, I just fed you. Again.
Love, Carolyn

Hey Mom,
I’m hungry.
Winston

Dear Winston,
You don’t have to draw blood to make your point. I get it. I would give you some more, but you haven’t finished what I gave you fifteen minutes ago.
Love, Carolyn

Hey Mom,
I don’t like that kind of food any more. And I’m hungry.
Winston

Dear Winston,
You liked it this morning. When you’ve finished most of it, I’ll feed you more. Maybe a different flavor this time.
Love, Carolyn

Hey Mom,
I finished it. I’m still hungry.
Winston

Dear Winston,
I’ve never seen a cat eat so much. So often. 
Love, Carolyn

Hey Mom,
I’m still hungry.
Winston

A note to our readers…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.com to find the subscription box. (And if you’ve already subscribed, multiple paws are raised to salute you!)

Vacuum Drama

Dear Poppy,
I appreciate your level head when I vacuum.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
I really don’t like that thing.
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
I know, but it’s impressive the way you stay calm, and quietly exit the room when the vacuum comes roaring in.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
Puffin doesn’t keep calm about it. He says it is a dangerous machine. He said, “Madame does not have le judgement.”
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
What did he mean by that?
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
That you don’t realize how dangerous it is. He thinks you are going to hurt us with that machine. 
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
That’s ridiculous. I should be offended that he doesn’t trust me. But that is SO Puffin.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
I know that you wouldn’t do anything to hurt us. Winston knows it too. We don’t like when it is roaring, but when it is asleep we don’t worry about it.
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
Winston is fascinated by the vacuum. He stalks it. He turns vacuuming into a game.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
Puffin doesn’t think it is a game.
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
He certainly does not. He falls all over himself scrambling out of the room. You can almost hear him screaming inside his head “We’re All Going to Die!”
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
That’s terrible!
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
He’s okay, sweetie. He’s just overly dramatic.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
Cats.
XOXO Poppy

A note to our readers…If 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.com to find the subscription box. (And if you’ve already subscribed, multiple paws are raised to salute you!)

Ripped

Dear Puffin,
Monsieur tells me he found you in a compromised situation.
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
This petit cat never does the compromise.
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
He walked in the door and found you on the dining table. You know perfectly well the table is off limits. He says you looked totally ripped.
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
What exactly is meant by this word ripped?
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
Stoned. Zonked out. Under the influence. Instead of jumping off the table knowing you’re in big trouble, you sat there in a loaf position, staring at Monsieur, looking totally ripped. 
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
Monsieur assumes a lot.
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
And the new catnip toy that I had left on the table? Monsieur found it on the floor. Soaking wet with saliva.
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
The loaf position is a normal cat position.
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
Somehow the loaf position made the situation funnier. Because it is normally a relaxed but watchful position. When you should have been diving off the table, Monsieur says you were sort of frozen there, staring at him. Like you were trying to look really normal. Like you were saying “nothing to see here…
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
Monsieur yelled very loudly. And then he laughed. He was très rude. This pauvre petit cat did not know of what to do.
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
You probably did what you could, under the circumstances. You were, after all, busted. And stoned.
Love, Carolyn

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

A note to our readers… 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.com to find the subscription box. (And if you’ve already subscribed, multiple paws are raised to salute you!)

TGI2021!

Hey Mom,
Why were you and Dad up so late last night?
Winston

Dear Winston,
We were celebrating the New Year!
Love, Carolyn

Hey Mom,
But it was a night like any other.
Winston

Dear Winston,
No, it wasn’t, sweetie. It truly wasn’t. It was the end of 2020.
Love, Carolyn

Hey Mom,
That’s why you both kept clinking your glasses together and saying thank god it’s 2021?
Winston

Dear Winston,
Yes! But you wouldn’t understand, sweetie, because 2020 is all you’ve ever known. It was not a normal year. It was a terrible year. And we’re glad it’s finally over.
Love, Carolyn 

Hey Mom,
Is that why the Outside People made a big racket?
Winston

Dear Winston,
That was fireworks. I’m glad none of you were frightened by that.
Love, Carolyn

Hey Mom,
Poppy said if you weren’t worried, there was nothing for us to worry about.
Winston

Dear Winston,
She has a good attitude. What did Puffin say?
Love, Carolyn

Hey Mom,
He said there were predators outside, but fortunately they couldn’t break into our house. I told him they were just the Outside People. The ones who walk by, that we see from the window.
Winston

Dear Winston,
You were right. The Outside People aren’t predators, they are neighbors. One day you’ll meet them. One day we’ll actually have visitors again.
Love, Carolyn

Hey Mom,
You mean people who come all the way into our house????????
Winston

Dear Winston,
Yes, people who come into our house to talk and laugh and have dinner. It’s so weird that you’ve never known anything but Pandemic Stay-in-Place. You don’t know our family and friends. That is one of the things that was terrible about 2020. Missing friends and family, and all the worry about this dreadful disease. 
Love, Carolyn

Hey Mom,
What else was wrong?
Winston

Dear Winston,
What else? Trust me, you don’t want to know. If I get started on that I’ll go on a major rant. But there was one thing that happened in 2020 that was wonderful. You were born in 2020 and we adopted you!
Love, Carolyn

Hey Mom,
That’s why you were celebrating with champagne last night?
Winston

Dear Winston,
It was indeed. Happy New Year!!!!!
Love, Carolyn

A note to our readers…

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

Deck the Halls!

Dear Mom,
It’s Christmas?????????
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
Yes! I thought you knew that.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
But where is everyone?
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
It’s just us this year. You and the cats and me and Dad.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
But where is your daughter? And her dog Mika? They always come for the holidays!
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
Not this year, sweetie. Because of the Pandemic. 
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
Mika isn’t coming????????
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
No, sweetie. I know, it’s a disappointment. 
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
What happened to the tree?
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
We skipped the tree this year. Can you imagine what Winston would do to a tree? Probably bring it down, right? So, we decided to deck the halls with safer things, like wreaths. But he’ll probably still find a way to wreak havoc. We’ll have a tree again next year. He’ll be an adult then, and hopefully not so wild and crazy.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
What happened to the big party?
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
Our Christmas Eve family party was on Zoom last night. Remember all the laughing and shouting?
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
But it can’t be a holiday party without Mika. Was she in the Zoom?
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
She was in the background. She thought we were carrying on a bit too much.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
So, none of them are here? Your daughter, her dog, all the fun family people? It was a party without the party? 
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
None of them could be here, sweetie. But we had a good time!
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
What about the Christmas Day traditions? The fun nephews, the man who likes to pick me up, the lazy breakfast, the stocking surprises, and then best of all, the Christmas Day walk?
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
We’ll all plan on a big party one day when things get more normal. Hopefully next summer!
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
Next summer is a long time away.
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
It will be here before we know it. Meanwhile, today we’ll have a nice little party by ourselves.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
Will we have treats? 
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
Of course we will! Merry Merriment, sweetie!
Love, Carolyn

 A note to our readers…

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

Reality

Dear Puffin,
When you come to tell me it’s dinner time, you forget that I have a watch.
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
Surely there is a point here that Madame would like to make?
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
Of course I have one. My point is I know what time it is. And I know that you are telling me it is dinner time when it is only half past three in the afternoon.
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
There is a problème with the time when she is half past three?
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
Nice try. I know that you know that 3:30 is too early for dinner. If I fed you your dinner then, you’d be complaining that you are hungry at four in the morning.
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
Madame is trop rigid. Toujours too rigid with the dinner times.
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
And you, sweetie, complain too much.
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
Moi, I do not do the complaining. 
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
You complain all the time. You complain about dinner time. You complain that you are on a diet. You complain that Winston gets more attention than you do. You complain that Winston is fed better food, and more often. You complain that Poppy’s barking is annoying. Sweetie, you complain about everything. Your cousins, the cats in France, say that this is how they know you are French. Because it is so very French to complain.
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
My French cousins may say so, but I do not do the complaints. What this petit cat does is explain the réalité. For those like Madame who do not have a proper grasp of it.
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
I think you create your own reality. But we love you anyway.
Love, Carolyn

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

A note to our readers…

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