Carolyn Holm

One Dog, Two Cats
Grand Ideas
InterSpecies Memos

Dr. Seuss

Dear Mommy,

Who is Dr. Seuss?

XOXO Poppy

 

Dear Poppy,

He was a much-loved children’s book writer and illustrator. Why do you ask?

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

Because you said I had ears designed by Dr. Seuss.

XOXO Poppy

 

Dear Poppy,

Oh. I did say that, didn’t I?

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

What did you mean? And why were you laughing when you said that?

XOXO Poppy

 

Dear Poppy,

Because your magnificent ears have a certain look to them. Oh I might as well be honest, his drawings are amusing and your ears look like something he’d come up with.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

Am I amusing?

XOXO Poppy

 

Dear Poppy,

You are. And that’s a good thing! You are amusing and lovable.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

Puffin says you laugh at me because you don’t respect me.

XOXO Poppy

 

Dear Poppy,

How many times do I have to remind you not to listen to the cats! Especially Puffin.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

But is it true?

XOXO Poppy

 

Dear Poppy,

Of course it’s not true. He’s a trouble-maker. Don’t pay any attention to what he says.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

He says all kinds of terrible things. And sometimes he makes me nervous when he ambushes me in the hall.

XOXO Poppy

 

Dear Poppy,

Ignore him, honey. He just does those things to throw his weight around.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

So are my Dr. Seuss ears a good kind of amusing?

XOXO Poppy

 

Dear Poppy,

Yes they are. The cats are probably jealous.

Love, Carolyn

 

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Mi’ja

Dearest Mia,

Are you still upset about last night?

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

No, but I was very very very very very angry then.

Love, Mia

 

Dear Mia,

I know you were. You drew blood when you bit my hand. It still hurts. When you go off like that you are really scary.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

Something comes over me sometimes. All at once.

Love, Mia

 

Dear Mia,

I know it does. And you become a completely different cat. It’s horrifying.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

It’s not on purpose.

Love, Mia

 

Dear Mia,

Was it because I pushed you away?

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

It was! That is exactly what it was!

Love, Mia

 

Dear Mia,

I just wanted you to stop licking my face.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

You don’t want me to kiss you and groom you????????

Love, Mia

 

Dear Mia,

I really appreciate your kissing and grooming, sweetie. But it gets tiresome after a while. It’s like having sandpaper rubbed on my face. But I do love the inspiration behind it. Still I don’t think you should practically take someone’s hand off for such a small disagreement. I mean, there was blood involved. It hurt!

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

But you were rejecting me.

Love, Mia

 

Dear Mia,

I wasn’t rejecting you, Mia, my mi’ja. You are my sweet little girl.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

I love it when you call me mi’ja. It makes me feel like I’m your daughter. It makes me feel loved.

Love, Mia

 

Dear Mia,

I know. It’s a sweet word, isn’t it? So now can we have an agreement that there will be no more violent personality changes?

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

Oh, mi’ja, no. I can’t promise anything. I am a cat.

Love, Mia

 

 

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Dog Food



Cher Madame,

Mia has found this interesting box. C’est food!!!

Regards,

M. Le Poufin

 

Dear Puffin,

Did Mia get on the counter again? She is such a rascal. That is not food intended for cats.

Love, Carolyn

 

Cher Madame,

Mais je voudrait dire, this is a delicious smell. Pourquoi these starving little cats cannot have it?

Regards,

M. Le Poufin

 

Dear Puffin,

It does smell wonderful, doesn’t it? It’s fettuccine with a porcini mushroom sauce that came home in a doggie bag when we went out for dinner last night.

Love, Carolyn

 

Cher Madame,

Je suis shocked. Shocked. Madame brings home the delicious food for the dog? That depraved dog Poppy?

Regards,

M. Le Poufin

 

Dear Puffin,

No, silly. A doggie bag is just a funny expression. It’s what we call it when the restaurant gives us our left-overs in a takeout container, to finish at home. It’s funny because it’s as if we are too embarrassed to ask for it for ourselves so we ask for it for the dog.

Love, Carolyn

 

Cher Madame,

This makes no sense. And it’s not even funny. You bring home the food for le dog and not for your starving cats?

Regards,

M. Le Poufin

 

Dear Puffin,

No honey, it is not for Poppy. It’s for me. And you two cats are hardly starving. Especially you, sweetie. You are quite portly.

Love, Carolyn

 

Cher Madame,

Toujours, toujours le sarcasm.

Regards,

M. Le Poufin

 

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Molly’s Life Lessons

Dear Mommy,

When we go to the mountains again, will there be thunder?

XOXO Poppy

 

Dear Poppy,

No, no storms are predicted this time. Are you worried about it? You shouldn’t worry. The last time we had thunder you handled it very well!

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

That’s because I watched you.

XOXO Poppy

 

Dear Poppy,

You did keep your eyes riveted on me.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

And I could see that you weren’t upset, so I wasn’t going to worry about it either.

XOXO Poppy

 

Dear Poppy,

That’s so wise! I’m proud of you, sweetie.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

Molly used to be terrified of thunder. It made her shake all over. Why didn’t she just look at you and understand that it was ok?

XOXO Poppy

 

Dear Poppy,

I used to wonder that myself, but then Mia told me that Molly thought I was useless.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

Useless????? You????? You are our goddess!!!!!!!!

XOXO Poppy

 

Dear Poppy,

Thank you for that. But you have to remember that Molly was a Terrier. Terriers are Competent. She felt far more competent than any mere human. She thought humans were generally unreliable. And that we are way too lax about security.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

Mia told me about the Easter Bunny. Molly was horrified that you were fine about a big bunny coming into our house.

XOXO Poppy

 

Dear Poppy,

That was difficult to explain to her. She clearly thought I was a moron. And Santa Claus was another security risk that I was cavalier about.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

Mia says that Molly wondered why you tolerated children.

XOXO Poppy

 

Dear Poppy,

She had no use for kids. And she was appalled that they would one day take over. I couldn’t get through to her that they’d be grown up by the time they did that.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

She said that we are all doomed.

XOXO Poppy

 

Dear Poppy,

She did say that a lot. “We’re doomed” was her most frequent expression. I miss her terribly, but she was a bit of a gloom and doom kind of girl.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

Molly was very smart, but I think I’ll rely on you when there is a big storm.

XOXO Poppy

 

Dear Poppy,

And I’ll try to be reliable.

Love, Carolyn

 

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Musical Chairs

Dear Mommy,

Dad sat on me.

Love, Mia

 

Dear Mia,

Somehow I don’t think that really happened.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

Yes it did. He sat on me at dinner.

Love, Mia

 

Dear Mia,

He didn’t sit on you. He was trying to edge you off of his chair so he could sit down.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

It was rude. I was there first.

Love, Mia

 

Dear Mia,

It was his chair, sweetie. You have your own chair.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

Still, it was rude to push me like that.

Love, Mia

 

Dear Mia,

We were sitting down for dinner and he was carrying a platter, so he couldn’t shoo you off with his hands. You should have been sitting in your own chair.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

Puffin should have his own chair too.

Love, Mia

 

Dear Mia,

That’s nice of you to think of him, but there is just room for three chairs. And I’m not sure he is all that interested. He’s not as sociable as you are.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

Well, I thought we could switch chairs just this once.

Love, Mia

 

Dear Mia,

We aren’t switching chairs.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

Humans are surprisingly inflexible.

Love, Mia

 

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Rivals

Dear Puffin,

You are looking a bit sulky today. Is everything ok?

Love, Carolyn

 

Cher Madame,

This petit cat does not have an easy time of it.

Regards,

M. Le Poufin

 

Dear Puffin,

Okay, maybe you’d better tell me what’s on your mind.

Love, Carolyn

 

Cher Madame,

Who is this Cody that you and Monsieur speak of?

Regards,

M. Le Poufin

 

Dear Puffin,

Cody is a magnificent dog who lives down the street.

Love, Carolyn

 

Cher Madame,

Magnificent???? Pah. Je me demande, how can a dog be magnificent?

Regards,

M. Le Poufin

 

Dear Puffin,

This dog is truly magnificent. He’s an enormous and stately Malamute.

Love, Carolyn

 

Cher Madame,

And now, alors, this cur is what you call stately?

Regards,

M. Le Poufin

 

Dear Puffin,

Why are you so worked up about Cody?

Love, Carolyn

 

Cher Madame,

Toujours you et Monsieur go on about him. You look out the window and say “Look, Cody’s walking by.” All the time the comments from the two of you. “Oh look, it’s Cody!” Or even “Incoming Cody!!” You are besotted. Je suis embarrassed for you.

Regards,

M. Le Poufin

 

Dear Puffin,

You have a serious case of the Jealousies. You need to calm down, sweetie. He is no threat to you. We still love you. Most of the time.

Love, Carolyn

 

Cher Madame,

Most of the time?

Regards,

M. Le Poufin

 

Dear Puffin,

I’m sorry, I should not have said that. I just can’t resist teasing you. You are so serious.

Love, Carolyn

 

Cher Madame,

Toujours le sarcasm.

Regards,

M. Le Poufin

 

Dear Puffin,

Seriously, I’m sorry.

Love, Carolyn

 

Cher Madame,

Seriously, c’est le word correctly used. This is a situation quite serious. Madame spends very little time with moi and much time with that miserable mutt Poppy.

Regards,

M. Le Poufin

 

Dear Puffin,

That’s because she takes me for a walk every day. It’s her job. Really, I love all of you.

Love, Carolyn

 

Cher Madame,

You love Mia more than moi. You are always loving her while you read.

Regards,

M. Le Poufin

 

Dear Puffin,

That’s because Mia comes to me and sits on me and grooms me and tells me she loves me.

Love, Carolyn

 

Cher Madame,

She thinks she owns your lap.

Regards,

M. Le Poufin

 

Dear Puffin,

I have always welcomed you on my lap!

Love, Carolyn

 

Cher Madame,

Mia even has her own chair at your kitchen table.

Regards,

M. Le Poufin

 

Dear Puffin,

Mia started that on her own initiative. She’s so cute. Sitting there with just her little head clearing the table top, looking out at us.

Love, Carolyn

 

Cher Madame,

Vraiment, this is what I refer to. Madame and Monsieur love Mia more because she sits at la table.

Regards,

M. Le Poufin

 

Dear Puffin,

Seriously? Oh c’mon Puffy. We enjoy her company at meals. She is very sociable. It doesn’t mean we don’t love you. We love all of you!

Love, Carolyn

 

Cher Madame,

This petit cat has so many rivals.

Regards,

M. Le Poufin

 

Dear Puffin,

But you are the only cat I call my Handsome Dude. Meanwhile it wouldn’t hurt for you to be sociable. Once in a while.

Love, Carolyn

 

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Tigger

Dear Alpha Mommy,

You’ve hidden my Tigger!

XOXO Poppy

 

Dear Poppy,

You were destroying it, Sweetie.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Alpha Mommy,

I was loving it!

XOXO Poppy

 

Dear Poppy,

You chewed the face off. It was looking grotesque.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Alpha Mommy,

One eye was still there.

XOXO Poppy

 

Dear Poppy,

Not for long. And the head would have been the next to go. I’m not going to watch a beheading. Even if it is a toy.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Alpha Mommy,

But you let me chew my Nylabones.

XOXO Poppy

 

Dear Poppy,

Your bones don’t have a face.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Alpha Mommy,

Molly said we should chew up our toys.

XOXO Poppy

 

Dear Poppy,

Molly has a long reach, hasn’t she. She has been gone for ages and she still runs this household. But sweetie, not all of her advice was good. She had no use for toys because she was a serious working dog. And she was very comfortable with violence. Remember how much she relished killing rats?

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Alpha Mommy,

The rat killing was horrifying! But really exciting!!!!!!!!!

XOXO Poppy

 

Dear Poppy,

Well, it may have been, from a dog’s point of view. And it was one of her jobs.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Alpha Mommy,

What were her other jobs?

XOXO Poppy

 

Dear Poppy,

In addition to killing rats she protected our house, and maintained the household agenda. It was a lot to handle, but she was a Terrier, and as she liked to point out, Terriers are Competent.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Alpha Mommy,

That’s a hard act to follow.

XOXO Poppy

 

Dear Poppy,

You have your own jobs, sweetie – to keep the crows out of the birdbath and to take me for a daily walk. You’re proving quite competent yourself.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Alpha Mommy,

So I think I deserve to get my Tigger back.

XOXO Poppy

 

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Half-Full

Dear Mommy,

We like the lady who came to feed us, but we didn’t like that she sent you away.

Love, Mia

 

Dear Mia,

She didn’t send us away, sweetie. We went away on our own. You saw the suitcases. We went traveling.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

Why would you do that??????

Love, Mia

 

Dear Mia,

To visit friends and see new sights!

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

But we all miss you so much when you go away! Besides, we’re your friends!!!! You should stay with us! You don’t need to go visit other friends.

Love, Mia

 

Dear Mia,

That’s sweet. I miss you too when we go away. But we ALWAYS come back.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

Molly used to tell us that predators got you when you went away and didn’t seem to be coming back.

Love, Mia

 

Dear Mia,

Please don’t tell Poppy the predators story. She has enough anxieties as it is.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

It’s wrong for you to leave.

Love, Mia

 

Dear Mia,

No it’s not, sweetie. And we always arrange to have someone care for you. Cathie is a wonderful pet-sitter!

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

She is nice. She plays with us and she’s more generous with treats than you are.

Love, Mia

 

Dear Mia,

I’m glad you have a positive outlook. You’re a cup-half-full kind of girl.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

What do you mean when you say my cup is half-full?

Love, Mia

 

Dear Mia,

Depending on how a person sees life, their cup looks half-full or half-empty. I like that you pretty much see your cup half-full. You have a positive outlook.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

What kind of cup does Puffin have?

Love, Mia

 

Dear Mia,

I’m afraid his seems to be generally half-empty.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

I think Molly’s cup was entirely empty.

Love, Mia

 

Dear Mia,

She was a doom and gloom girl, wasn’t she!

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

I don’t think Poppy thinks about it much.

Love, Mia

 

Dear Mia,

She probably doesn’t.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

What about your cup?

Love, Mia

 

Dear Mia,

My cup is completely full.

Love, Carolyn

 

 

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Travel

Cher Madame,

Je veux dire there has been a terrible offense to this petit cat.

Regards,

M. Le Poufin

 

Dear Puffin,

Now what, honey?

Love, Carolyn

 

Cher Madame,

It is that Madame and Monsieur went to Paris without me!

Regards,

M. Le Poufin

 

Dear Puffin,

We did indeed. We would have loved to have you as a travel companion, but Puffin honey, I don’t think you would have been very happy on an airplane.

Love, Carolyn

 

Cher Madame,

Madame assumes a lot. This little cat would have loved to sit in a comfortable carrier under le seat. And dans l’hotel, lounging in a beautiful hotel room, c’est perfect.

Regards,

M. Le Poufin

 

Dear Puffin,

I’m not sure it would be all that perfect. For one thing, the hotel did not appear to provide litter boxes.

Love, Carolyn

 

Cher Madame,

Ouf! C’est terrible! What do les French cats do?

Regards,

M. Le Poufin

 

Dear Puffin,

Well I’m sure they aren’t living in hotels.

Love, Carolyn

 

Cher Madame,

And Madame et Monsieur visited Monsieur’s cousin and her French cats. C’est simply wrong to go without moi.

Regards,

M. Le Poufin

 

Dear Puffin,

That was lovely, but you would have hated the train ride to get there.

Love, Carolyn

 

Cher Madame,

Et puis, la French cousin she lives with more than cats. Bien sûr, her dog is of no interest to a cat, but there was also a Miss Violette. Who is this creature that you and Monsieur became so besotted with?

Regards,

M. Le Poufin

 

Dear Puffin,

Do I hear a hint of jealousy here?

Love, Carolyn

 

Cher Madame,

You et Monsieur keep talking about cette animal. What is a small cat to think?

Regards,

M. Le Poufin

 

Dear Puffin,

Miss Violette is a lovely white Percheron horse who is really quite stunning. She is enormous, the biggest horse I have ever stood next to! But Puff honey, Miss Violette is no threat to a fine cat like yourself.

Love, Carolyn

 

Cher Madame,

Pah. Je repeat, pah. A horse, c’est like a dog, beneath a cat’s interest. But il faut dire, Madame truly should have brought this petit cat to visit the cousins. Quelle disappointment.

Regards,

M. Le Poufin

 

Dear Puffin,

I’m sorry sweetie. Maybe next time.

Love, Carolyn

 

Cher Madame,

C’est what you said last time. Madame she is forgetful. Peut-être senile?

Regards,

M. Le Poufin

 

Dear Puffin,

Speaking of forgetful, don’t you forget to be nice to me – I’m the one who feeds you.

Love, Carolyn

 

 

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Stickers

Dear Alpha Mommy,

I hate it when my feet pick up stickers!

XOXO Poppy

 

Dear Poppy,

It’s that time of year, isn’t it? When the weeds start producing stickers.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Alpha Mommy,

They go straight to my feet when we go for our walks!

XOXO Poppy

 

Dear Poppy,

That’s because your feet are like four fluffy slippers. They sweep those stickers right up.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Alpha Mommy,

But then I have to sit down and pull them out with my teeth.

XOXO Poppy

 

Dear Poppy,

I think it’s wonderful that you sort out your own foot problems. It is awkward sometimes, though. When you stop us right in the middle of a street crossing.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Alpha Mommy,

But I have to remove the stickers!

XOXO Poppy

 

Dear Poppy,

I understand. But the street crossing is sort of an inappropriate place to do that. Inevitably cars pull up and have to wait while you suck on your feet.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Alpha Mommy,

If you had stickers in your feet I’m sure you would sit right down in the middle of the street and chew them out, cars or no cars.

XOXO Poppy

 

Dear Poppy,

Now I’m going to have that image in my head for the rest of the day.

Love, Carolyn

 

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