Carolyn Holm

One Dog, Two Cats
Grand Ideas
InterSpecies Memos

Night Watch

Dear Poppy,
What’s up with you sneaking out of my room every night?
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
You know about that?
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
Of course I do! You wait until I stop reading, and I’m just about to turn my light off for the night, and you get up and leave. But you are so funny, you always stop and look back to see if I notice.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
And you do?
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
Of course I notice. That you don’t want to sleep in my room. And I have to say, how do you think that makes me feel? So, what am I, chopped liver?
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
What??????? Chopped liver???????!!!!!!!!!
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
It’s an expression. Never mind. 
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
Now I can’t get that out of my head.
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
So what is this business that you go off to do every night?
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
I’m standing guard in the living room! 
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
Standing guard? 
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
Well, more like lying down guard. I’m protecting you! In the living room I can see the front door and make sure no one enters.
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
Who on earth do you think is going to enter?
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
I don’t know!!!!!!! I need to wait there to find out. It could be anyone. Maybe the guy with the three little dogs. He goes by every single day.
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
Of course he does. Jim and his dogs live just around the corner. That’s why they go by on their daily walk. And you go berserk every single time. I don’t know what you’ve got against those little dogs, but you sure have a lot to say about it.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
They bark at me when we go by their house.
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
That’s pretty damning, but I don’t think they are burglars. Anyway, I just wanted you to know that I’m aware that you sneak out of the room.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
And now I’m disturbingly aware of that chopped liver thing.
XOXO Poppy

Get a new post every week!  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!

The Precious

Cher Madame,
Monsieur keeps calling my Precious a banana.
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
He’s being literal, sweetie. Don’t pay any attention to that. We all know it’s your Precious.
Love, Carolyn 

Cher Madame,
The impudent youngster keeps stealing my Precious.
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
Of course he does. You’re not the only one who loves catnip, sweetie. But every evening I give your Precious to you and it’s up to you to hang on to it.
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
When I am finished with the licking of Precious, it is time for Madame to put it away for safe keeping.
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
And to dry out. You leave it soaking wet.
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
It is necessary for Madame to remove the Precious immediately so the Winston can’t have it. Winston has his own. The old one from Cathie.
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
It wouldn’t hurt to let Winston have some time with yours.
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
Mais non, he does not just take some time. He goes crazy.
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
He does indeed. You each have a totally different style. You are the dignified gentleman, lost in contemplation as you lick your big doobie. Winston is an insane teenager on meth, rolling around with it, kicking his heels. You should try his approach one of these days.
Love, Carolyn

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

Get a new post every week!  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!

A Sinister Visitor

Hey Mom,
What are we supposed to do with this thing?
Winston

Dear Winston,
It’s a toy!
Love, Carolyn

Hey,
We’re supposed to play with it?
Winston

Dear Winston,
Yes, play with it! I don’t know why you and Puffin keep looking at it so suspiciously. 
Love, Carolyn

Hey,
It’s just weird.
Winston

Dear Winston,
The ads on TV show cats going wild over this toy.
Love, Carolyn

Hey,
Doing what with it? That’s what I don’t understand. What I’m supposed to do with it.
Winston

Dear Winston,
Wrestle with it! Grab it! Pummel it with your hind feet!
Love, Carolyn

Hey Mom,
But it moves. I don’t know what it might do to me.
Winston

Dear Winston,
The moving part is what makes it like prey!
Love, Carolyn

Hey,
Puffin says it looks like it might be a predator.
Winston

Dear Winston,
For heaven’s sake, it’s not a predator.
Love, Carolyn

Hey Mom,
Puffin says I’m not very manly. But he’s more afraid of the predator fish than I am.
Winston

Dear Winston,
It’s not a predator. 
Love, Carolyn

Hey Mom,
Puffin thinks he’s such a tough guy. Last night he was hissing and growling out the window. It’s all show. There’s a screen on the window so the cat passing by outside couldn’t get to us even if she wanted to.
Winston 

Dear Winston,
That was the neighbor’s cat passing by there, under the shrubs. There’s a cat path there.
Love, Carolyn

Hey Mom,
There’s a Cat Path??????? That’s so exciting!!!!!!! I want to go on the Cat Path!!!!!!!
Winston

Dear Winston,
It’s just for neighbor cats. But let’s circle back to this fish. Maybe if you tried to wrestle with it, you might find you like it. 
Love, Carolyn

Hey,
I might. Anyway, as I was starting to say, Puffin thinks he’s such a tough guy, but he’s more afraid of the predator fish than I am.
Winston

Dear Winston,
It’s not a predator.
Love, Carolyn

Get a new post every week!  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!

Burrs

Dear Poppy,
I’m proud of how well you take charge of your feet.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
I don’t know what you mean!!!!!!!
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
I’m talking about the burrs your feet pick up on our walks. Your paws are like big puffy slippers. They sweep up everything. 
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
You try walking with burrs between your toes. They have to be removed immediately!!!!!!!
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
And you do just that! Some dogs wait for their person to take care of it. Not you! You stop right in your tracks, sit down then and there, and chew out those burrs, right from between your toes. Impressive.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
Sometimes you tell me to stop doing that.
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
That’s not true! I don’t tell you to stop. I’m glad you take care of the burrs. 
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
Yesterday you said I had to stop checking my feet and get moving.
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
Okay. Once then. That was because you were sitting in the middle of the street, and a car was waiting for us to get out of the way.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
See, you admit it.
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
Then when we reached the sidewalk, I waited while you checked all four of your feet. It was just that sitting down in the middle of the street was awkward. 
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
But when I felt the burr scratching between my toes, we were already in the street. 
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
When that happens, I’m just asking you to walk another ten feet or so to sit down on the sidewalk for your burr removal, instead of sitting down in the street. 
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
When I have a burr stuck between my toes, I cannot take another step until it is removed. Not one single step!!!!!!!!!!! Not ten feet!!!!!!!!! Not one single step!!!!!!!!!
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
Let’s not get dramatic, sweetie. I know what we can do. When this happens again, I’ll pick you up and carry you to the sidewalk. Crisis averted.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
What a relief!
XOXO Poppy

Get a new post every week!  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!

Poker

Dear Puffin,
Why am I finding playing cards all over the floor?
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
C’est le business between Monsieur and myself.
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
That sounds a bit secretive. What are you up to, Sweetie?
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
Up to? What is this up?
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
Okay, now I know something is going on.
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
Je suis un petit innocent cat. Madame is mistakenly suspicious.
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
Nevertheless I still want to know what’s up with the playing cards. It’s a bit of a mess.
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
If Madame insists, I am learning le Poker.
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
Seriously? You are learning to play Poker?
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
Monsieur says I have le Poker Face.
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
So, you are playing Poker with Monsieur?
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
Poker, she is played with someone?
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
Sweetie, do you even know what Poker is? 
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
Bien sûr, it’s something to do with cards like these.
Regards, M. Le Poufin 

Dear Puffin,
It’s a card game that Monsieur likes to play. You’ve watched him play it on his phone.
Love, Carolyn  

Cher Madame,
Oui, c’est ça. I play that game.
Regards, M. Le Poufin 

Dear Puffin,
No, you’re not, you are just shuffling cards about.
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
Monsieur says I have le Poker Face. So, le voilà, what I am doing must be Poker.
Regards, M. Le Poufin 

Dear Puffin,
Monsieur is just commenting that you have an inscrutable face. 
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
C’est very confusing.
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
You can stop shuffling the cards now. We’ll go see about your dinner.
Love, Carolyn

Get a new post every week!  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!

Teams

Hey Mom,
Poppy says we’re on different teams.
Winston

Dear Winston,
She’s referring to the differences between cats and dogs. We had a talk about that recently.
Love, Carolyn

Hey Mom,
Are we?
Winston

Dear Winston,
Are you what?
Love, Carolyn

Hey Mom,
On different teams?
Winston

Dear Winston,
Sometimes. In this household the team thing is fluid.
Love, Carolyn

Hey Mom,
So which team am I on?
Winston

Dear Winston,
Sometimes you and Puffin are the Cat Team and Poppy barks at you both. Other times you and Poppy are the Wrestling Team and Puffin is off on his own. Sometimes you are feeling particularly doggish and you and Poppy are the Dog Team, trotting around the house side by side. And now and then, everyone is just napping in the same room.
Love, Carolyn

Hey Mom,
That last one is the Pack Team! 
Winston

Dear Winston,
It is indeed.
Love, Carolyn

Get a new post every week!  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!

Cats vs Dogs

Dear Mom,
I don’t understand cats. Winston comes up to me and bumps me with his head. He does that a lot. Puffin sometimes does that too. It’s a weird way to say hello.
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
It’s a sweet gesture! You don’t think so? 
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
I don’t know. It confuses me.  I think he wants me to move over so he can get into my bed with me.
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
The head bump is a cat sign of affection, sweetie. But Winston probably would also like you to let him snuggle with you in your bed.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
I don’t like to share my bed.
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
I know you don’t. But he keeps trying. You are nice to put up with it sometimes.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
I don’t like it when the cats are rude to you.
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
Rude? We have a lot of banter back and forth, but I don’t think of that as being rude to me.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
They are rude all the time!!!!!
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
Okay, tell me how you mean that.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
Like when Winston rolls over on his back to invite a tummy rub, and then as soon as you touch his tummy, he attacks your hand.
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
Sweetie, in that example I was the rude one.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
WHAT?????????
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
When he shows his tummy, it’s a demonstration of trust. That’s really important to cats. But then I get all playful and rudely attack his belly.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
That makes no sense. He should purr when you rub his tummy.
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
That’s what a dog would do. Cats have a lot of boundaries, especially on their bellies. You are reading him like you would a dog.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
Winston is like a dog!
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
True, as cats go, Winston is definitely doggish. I love that he follows me around the house like a dog. But he is still a cat. And the language is totally different.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
Another thing they do, they will sit in the same room with you, but act like you aren’t even there. That’s so rude!
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
That’s not rude. They are just hanging out. Sharing the room. Sharing time together. 
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
If you say so. But sometimes Puffin hisses at you or Dad. 
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
Boundaries again. That’s when we aren’t paying attention and pet him when or where he doesn’t want us to. He’s a bit of a grump sometimes, but it’s rude on our part not to pay attention.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
There’s another thing cats do. They sit right next to you, but with their backs turned to you. Instead of looking lovingly up at your face!
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
Oh that. Yes, it’s another thing that means something completely different for cats than for dogs. For them, turning your back on someone is a sign of trust. So it’s a compliment. Also, for cats it’s a buddy thing for everyone to sit facing the same way. It shows pack solidarity.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
That makes no sense.
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
That’s because you are a dog.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
Puffin stares at you. And then slowly blinks. It is very provocative. And so rude!
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
It’s a cat version of blowing kisses.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
WHAT?????
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
When a cat blinks, they are sending a loving signal.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
I don’t understand cats at all.
XOXO Poppy

Get a new post every week!  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!

Ça va?

Cher Madame,
Ça va? Is Madame okay?
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
Thank you for asking, sweetie. I’m fine, I didn’t mean to alarm you.
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
The grimace, the huff and puff, the gasping, this petit cat was concerned about Madame.
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
Okay, okay, I’m not that bad. You make it sound like I’m a physical wreck.
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
What is this thing that Madame is doing?
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
This is an exercise called Planking. 
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
It looks like torture.
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
It feels a bit like torture. But it will make me stronger. My ballet teacher challenged the class to do a plank every day. For 100 days. Hopefully it will get easier with time.
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
Voilà. C’est torture.
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
Possibly. The worst thing about it is Poppy licking me in the face. She loves it when I’m within reach.
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
That cur maudit, she takes advantage of Madame.
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
Let’s try to avoid the name-calling. She is not cursed. She is a sweet dog. I just don’t like having my face licked. I know where that tongue has been.
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
This petit cat does not understand the human obsession with exercise torture. 
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
You should consider a hundred-day challenge of your own. Maybe to haul yourself up on the windowsill every day to watch the birds at the feeder.   
Love, Carolyn

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

Get a new post every week!  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!

The Keyboard

Hey Mom,
Poppy and I heard that there are cat videos on this thing. Where are they?
Winston

Dear Winston,
I’ll play them for you. I don’t want you meddling with my laptop.
Love, Carolyn

Hey Mom,
You yell when I step on the keyboard.
Winston

Dear Winston,
You noticed.
Love, Carolyn

Hey Mom,
You don’t yell every time. Sometimes you smile.
Winston

Dear Winston,
That’s probably those times when you somehow step on iTunes and a nice playlist starts playing. Yesterday you did that and suddenly my laptop launched into Murray Perahia playing the Goldberg Variations. The other day it was my Michael Jackson playlist. I don’t know how you manage that.
Love, Carolyn

Hey Mom,
I just step. Put my foot down. And step.
Winston

Dear Winston,
I get that part. The mechanics of it. What I want to know is, how is it possible that about half the time you hit it in just the right way to bring up iTunes.
Love, Carolyn

Hey Mom,
Can’t help you there. It’s just an innate talent I guess.
Winston

Dear Winston,
The other half of the time you delete entire sentences.
Love, Carolyn

Hey Mom,
That’s when you yell.
Winston

 –

Get a new post every week!  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!

Zoom Class

Dear Mom,
Winston and I always know when it’s a Zoom Class morning!
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
You do indeed. You are tuned in to everything around here.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
I love it when I know what’s next!!!!!!!
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
I know you do! So does Winston. The two of you really seem to like the class. Puffin doesn’t though.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
Puffin isn’t interested in it. And he says you aren’t very good at it.
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
Puffin can be a grumpy old man. Don’t worry about what he says. I’m not taking the class because I’m good at it, I’m taking the class to get better at it. So how do you know when it’s a class morning?
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
We know because you move the rug. And then you move a chair. And then you put on these beat up old shoes!
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
They are a bit beat up, aren’t they? They’ve taken a lot of ballet classes. When they start getting holes it will be time to replace them.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
Next, you open up your laptop and the lady starts talking. She sounds very friendly. She likes it that dogs and cats attend her classes.
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
You don’t miss a thing, do you!
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
No, we don’t! So, that’s when we get into our places. Winston on the chair, and me on the floor behind you. On my back with my feet in the air. Ready for class!!!
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
You two are an inspiration. We should all be so ready.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
The class is boring though. That’s why Winston usually naps through it.
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
I’m sure it’s extremely boring if you aren’t a participant. 
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
I liked it better when you did yoga. You were on the floor where I could lick your face.
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
I think I’ll stick to the ballet barre class. 
Love, Carolyn

Get a new post every week!  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!