Carolyn Holm

One Dog, Two Cats
Grand Ideas
InterSpecies Memos

Game On

Dear Alpha Mommy,

Mia keeps playing with my ball!

XOXO Poppy

 

Dear Poppy,

It’s not just your ball, it’s for all three of you. Though Puffin isn’t much of a ball player.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Alpha Mommy,

But when I try to play with her she runs away.

XOXO Poppy

 

Dear Poppy,

She wants you to chase her.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Alpha Mommy,

I love chasing her around the house! But sometimes she whacks me on the nose.

XOXO Poppy

 

Dear Poppy,

That’s probably when she doesn’t want to play chase.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Alpha Mommy,

I don’t know how to tell the difference!!!! Cats are so difficult. Dogs are much easier.

XOXO Poppy

 

Dear Poppy,

I agree. Dogs are generally more transparent.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Alpha Mommy,

And we’re more important.

XOXO Poppy

 

Dear Poppy,

I’m not sure about that, sweetie.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Alpha Mommy,

We are. I overheard someone on the radio say that this is the Year of the Dog.

XOXO Poppy

 

Dear Poppy,

You are right about that. It’s a Chinese calendar thing. Isn’t it nice to get that kind of recognition?

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Alpha Mommy,

We deserve it. Even our poop is important.

XOXO Poppy

 

Dear Poppy,

I’m not so sure about that.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Alpha Mommy,

You do think it’s important! You collect it! So do all other dog walkers! You all carefully pick up our poops and carry them around in nice little bags.

XOXO Poppy

 

Dear Poppy,

I stand corrected. Your poop is certainly worth saving.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Alpha Mommy,

Thank you. Now I’m going to go drop this ball in front of Mia.

XOXO Poppy

 

 

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Rejection

Cher Madame,

Mon repose was shattered by Madame’s rejection.

Regards,

M. Le Poufin

 

Dear Puffin,

Is this about the hairball? I yelled at you because you deposited it on my nice Armenian rug.

Love, Carolyn

 

Cher Madame,

Madame has repeatedly rejected this pauvre petit cat.

Regards,

M. Le Poufin

 

Dear Puffin,

I have not rejected you, sweetie.

Love, Carolyn

 

Cher Madame,

This morning you pushed me away. Avec rudeness.

Regards,

M. Le Poufin

 

Dear Puffin,

Oh. That. You were in my face.

Love, Carolyn

 

Cher Madame,

It was the time for Madame to awaken!

Regards,

M. Le Poufin

 

Dear Puffin,

No it wasn’t.

Love, Carolyn

 

Cher Madame,

Bien sûr, it vraiment was that time. I was starving. It was time for la breakfast.

Regards,

M. Le Poufin

 

Dear Puffin,

It was almost time.

Love, Carolyn

 

Cher Madame,

Always an argument. And last night also, Madame rejected me.

Regards,

M. Le Poufin

 

Dear Puffin,

I did? I don’t think so.

Love, Carolyn

 

Cher Madame,

Yes, again pushing this pauvre innocent cat away.

Regards,

M. Le Poufin

 

Dear Puffin,

Okay, it was a bit crowded with both of you cats sitting right on top of me.

Love, Carolyn

 

Cher Madame,

But you hurt the feelings.

Regards,

M. Le Poufin

 

Dear Puffin,

I’m sorry. I love you, and your belly hair is wonderfully soft, but I can’t sleep with you practically on my face.

Love, Carolyn

 

Cher Madame,

Voila. See? You rejected me.

Regards,

M. Le Poufin

 

Dear Puffin,

Okay. I’m sorry for that.

Love, Carolyn

 

Cher Madame,

And that is not all. The other day you said you were going to put me down.

Regards,

M. Le Poufin

 

Dear Puffin,

And?

Love, Carolyn

 

Cher Madame,

Put. Me. Down.

Regards,

M. Le Poufin

 

Dear Puffin,

Oh. That’s not how I meant it. I was going to lift you off my lap.

Love, Carolyn

 

Cher Madame,

Then Madame should say ça.

Regards,

M. Le Poufin

 

Dear Puffin,

I think we’ve had this misunderstanding before. I wish we could stop repeating some of these conversations.

Love, Carolyn

 

Cher Madame,

Ouf. Yet another rejection by Madame.

Regards,

M. Le Poufin

 

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The Elder

Dear Mommy,

Sometimes I wish Puffin would just go away.

Love, Mia

 

Dear Mia,

He’s been crabby today. I think it’s because I wouldn’t let him sleep in Poppy’s bed. He purposely lounges there because he knows it upsets her. So I was quite stern with him and chased him out of her bed. He’s unhappy about that.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

That’s when he came straight to bully me. What a jerk.

Love, Mia

 

Dear Mia,

Well, he’s our jerk.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

It happens a lot. Whenever he’s crabby he picks on me.

Love, Mia

 

Dear Mia,

You seem to get back at him when he does.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

He needs to respect me. I’m an Elder.

Love, Mia

 

Dear Mia,

No, you aren’t an Elder. You are just older. Everyone becomes older. Not everyone becomes an Elder.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

I can’t be an Elder?

Love, Mia

 

Dear Mia,

No, only if you are there to help your community.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

But I do! I cause our community to get wild and playful. I instigate full-on racing throughout the house!!!!!!!

Love, Mia

 

Dear Mia,

I notice Poppy has been joining in on that!

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

She does! I run through the room, tap her as I run past, and she jumps up and chases me down the hall. We go up and down the stairs and back again. And when she gets just a little too playful, I leap out of reach.

Love, Mia

 

Dear Mia,

Sounds like the best sort of community.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

So I think I’ve earned the title Elder. Now I’m going to go explain that to Puffin.

Love, Mia

 

 

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The Award

Dear Mommy,

I won an award!

XOXO Poppy

 

Dear Poppy,

That’s so exciting! What is it for?

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

You should know!!!!!! You told me about it!!!!!

XOXO Poppy

 

Dear Poppy,

I did? Are you sure?

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

You did!!!!! But Mia says you say that all the time. To every dog.

XOXO Poppy

 

Dear Poppy,

Okay, I think we’ve had this conversation before. Is this about the Best Dog Ever?

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

IT IS!!!!!!!

XOXO POPPY

 

Dear Poppy,

Sweetie, you are the Best. Dog. Ever.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

But Mia says it’s meaningless when you say that. Because you throw that award around to everyone. And Puffin says you call every cat the Best Cat Ever.

XOXO Poppy

 

Dear Poppy,

You probably shouldn’t listen to the cats. They like to cause trouble.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

Mia says you called Molly the Best Dog Ever.

XOXO Poppy

 

Dear Poppy,

I did call her that. Because she was. But Molly’s gone now, and now you are the Best Dog Ever!

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

Is that better than being the Best Cat Ever?

XOXO Poppy

 

Dear Poppy,

It’s apples and oranges, honey.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

Now I’m really confused. Am I an apple or an orange? Mia says you are trying to evade the question.

XOXO Poppy

 

Dear Poppy,

You tell Mia to mind her own business.

Love, Carolyn

 

 

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Midnight Run

Dear Puffin,

You were very active last night. What was going on?

Love, Carolyn

 

Cher Madame,

Les petits cats are always active. Sometimes active while sitting and contemplating life, sometimes active while racing down le hall.

Regards,

M. Le Poufin

 

Dear Puffin,

I’m referring to the running down the hall kind of active. It was very noisy, and it woke me up. How can you possibly make such a thumping racket when you go down the stairs?

Love, Carolyn

 

Cher Madame,

Le Midnight Run, c’est one of les high points of the day. When this petit cat can dominate le house. Et humiliate le terrain. Madame has such little understanding of our mentality.

Regards,

M. Le Poufin

 

Dear Puffin,

It is not your mentality that I don’t understand. It’s your noisy thumping feet. And as for the high point of the day, I thought that was breakfast.

Love, Carolyn

 

Cher Madame,

Breakfast, bien sûr, Madame is right for once. Also Dinner.

Regards,

M. Le Poufin

 

Dear Puffin,

So that makes three high points of the day. But let’s circle back to that dominating the terrain thing. Does this have anything to do with Mia? I notice you have another bite on your lip.

Love, Carolyn

 

Cher Madame,

Mia, she is une très wild thing. She gives me the evil Side Eye and I jump her. We race around, and then, it must be said, there is some attacking and scrambling and biting and scratching. C’est très exhilarating.

Regards,

M. Le Poufin

 

Dear Puffin,

She nailed you on the lip, didn’t she? Serves you right for attacking her.

Love, Carolyn

 

Cher Madame,

Mia forced me to attack her. With her provocative Side Eye.

Regards,

M. Le Poufin

 

Dear Puffin,

I’m sure you had it coming.

Love, Carolyn

 

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All Heart

Dear Mia,

<3

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

Why are you sending me a sideways nose?

Love, Mia

 

Dear Mia,

It’s a heart, silly girl.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

It doesn’t look like a heart. But thank you anyway. Is this because I had to go to see the vet about my heart?

Love, Mia

 

Dear Mia,

Yes! You gave me such a scare. When you started staggering I was horrified! Then you collapsed! I thought you were having a stroke!

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

YOU were horrified, how the heck do you think I felt????????

Love, Mia

 

Dear Mia,

It was a frightening experience for all of us.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

And then you forced me into the carrier. You know I hate the carrier.

Love, Mia

 

Dear Mia,

It’s for your own safety, sweetie. And we were in a hurry – I had called the vet and they were all ready to receive you. They were wonderful!

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

And then I recovered. It turned out to be nothing.

Love, Mia

 

Dear Mia,

Well, not exactly nothing. It turned out not to be a stroke. But it was a strange episode of vertigo! I didn’t even know cats get vertigo. And even though it passed, it is disturbing that it happened in the first place. And even more serious, during the examination the vet was surprised to find you have a strong heart murmur that wasn’t there at your last examination.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

But I’m fine! I was back to normal in a couple of hours!!!!!

Love, Mia

 

Dear Mia,

Your blood work was great, especially for a 12 year old cat. But the ultrasound showed that you have a slightly thickened heart. So we’ll have to give you a tiny pill every day. It’s a good thing you like Feta cheese, because that makes it easier to get the pill down.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

Well, I’m not going to sit around worrying about it. I’m fine. Now I’m going to sit in the window facing the sidewalk and watch people go by.

Love, Mia

 

Dear Mia,

That’s my girl!

Love, Carolyn

 

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Rules

Dear Mommy,

Am I a Korean Pop Star?

XOXO Poppy

 

Dear Poppy,

Where on earth did you get that idea?

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

Molly used to say that you call me that.

XOXO Poppy

 

Dear Poppy,

I have no idea what she was talking about. I would love to get inside your little heads one day to see how you all actually see the world.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

She pointed out that when you tell me something is OK, you say “K Pop.” Molly said that’s Korean pop music.

XOXO Poppy

 

Dear Poppy,

Oh. Okay. Sometimes Molly was very literal.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

But she was really smart. And she had a lot of rules.

XOXO Poppy

 

Dear Poppy,

True, she did have a lot of rules. That’s because she was a Terrier. But some of her rules were a bit on the eccentric side.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

Like the one about tapping her food bowl before each bite.

XOXO Poppy

 

Dear Poppy,

That was an odd one. That’s because Molly had OCD.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

You say that like I should know what that is!!!!!

XOXO Poppy

 

Dear Poppy,

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. She had strange behaviors that she was compelled to do, even if they made no sense. That was one of them.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

She told me all her rules before she died. One was about killing rats, which was “Shake him hard and then drop him fast before he bites you.” And rules for barking at people in the front yard, like “Don’t bark at the garbage guys, because they don’t bother us, but always bark at the delivery people because they ring the doorbell.”

XOXO Poppy

 

Dear Poppy,

Those were good rules. I’m glad she passed them along to you.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

But why just doorbell people? I bark at anyone who walks by. Especially if they have a dog.

XOXO Poppy

 

Dear Poppy,

No kidding. And that’s really annoying. I’d prefer that you stick to Molly’s rules.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

It’s like Molly is still with us!!!!!!!!!

XOXO Poppy

 

Dear Poppy,

That’s a good thing.

Love, Carolyn

 

 

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The Crush

Dear Mommy,

The new house is so exciting!

Love, Mia

 

Dear Mia,

I’m so glad you like it! I know it’s a bit of an adjustment. You have a great attitude.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

I know I do. Not like Puffin.

Love, Mia

 

Dear Mia,

No, Puffin has been rather dramatic about the whole thing.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

Poppy likes the house. She says this is the Best Neighborhood Ever.

Love, Mia

 

Dear Mia,

That’s because she’s got a huge hot crush on the Malamute down the street.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

A Malamute? What is that????? It sounds like a musical instrument.

Love, Mia

 

Dear Mia,

It does sound like that, doesn’t it? No, he’s an enormous dog. And Poppy’s right, he’s a handsome dude. When we go for our walk down the street he’s often hanging out in his front yard. The first time we saw him, he came up to meet her, and ever since she looks for him, and if he’s there, her knees go weak and she becomes completely goofy.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

What does he think of that?

Love, Mia

 

Dear Mia,

He just looks quietly amused while she bows and scoots and whimpers, giddy with excitement.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

It sounds like Poppy is making a spectacle of herself. A cat would never do that.

Love, Mia

 

Dear Mia,

I’ll remember that the next time you give yourself a pedicure and suck on your toes.

Love, Carolyn

 

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The Move

Cher Madame,

My world she is turned up side down. Madame has done a thing très très terrible. C’est un catastrophe.

Regards,

M. Le Poufin

 

Dear Puffin,

Let me guess sweetie – this is about the new house?

Love, Carolyn

 

Cher Madame,

Oui! C’est un catastrophe!!!!!

Regards,

M. Le Poufin

 

Dear Puffin,

I’m so sorry. I know how you feel. Moving is difficult.

Love, Carolyn

 

Cher Madame,

First you took us to a strange place. You left us there. We thought you were never coming back.

Regards,

M. Le Poufin

 

Dear Puffin,

I’m sorry, I know that was difficult. I boarded all of you so you wouldn’t be upset by the movers. But it was only for two nights! And the lady there was very kind.

Love, Carolyn

 

Cher Madame,

Then you took us to this place that magically has all our house things but it’s not the same house. This is très disorienting. It is our house and it is not our house. What is a little cat to think? Cats do not move. We are completely disarranged.

Regards,

M. Le Poufin

 

Dear Puffin,

Mia is taking it well, though. In fact she has been quite cheerful. Clearly she loves exploring the house, and she likes the views from the windows. And Poppy is comfortable with it too. You need to calm yourself, honey.

Love, Carolyn

 

Cher Madame,

Toujours this will be a black mark on Madame’s record. And now I would like my dinner to be served.

Regards,

M. Le Poufin

 

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!)

 

Cat Trouble

It’s our 4 Year Anniversary!

This is the last of our celebration of four years of weekly Interspecies Memos by sharing some old favorites. This one is from September 23, 2016:

Dear Mommy,

I don’t understand cats at all.

XOXOXO

Poppy

 

Dear Poppy,

Don’t worry, you’re not alone in that.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

Right? Cats are confusing! Especially Puffin. I can’t understand half of what he says! It’s all garbled! He makes no sense at all.

XOXOXO

Poppy

 

Dear Poppy,

That’s because he’s garbling French and English.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

Why does he do that?????!

XOXOXO

Poppy

 

Dear Poppy,

He’s delusional. He thinks he’s French.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

He’s French????

XOXOXO

Poppy

 

Dear Poppy,

No, he thinks he’s French. He’s actually from Los Angeles. He was found wandering around in a South Central gutter when he was a tiny kitten. Poor baby, he was sick and covered with fleas.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

That makes him French?

XOXOXO

Poppy

 

Dear Poppy,

Of course not. That makes him lucky to have a good home. But for some reason he thinks he’s French. He’s pretentious but we love him and let him have this delusion. Just ignore him.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

Ignore him? He’s scary!!!!! He hides and waits for me to walk down the hall, then he ambushes me! And then he says rude things to me in French.

XOXOXO

Poppy

 

Dear Poppy,

Seriously? That’s it? That’s all? He says rude things to you in French? This is way too much drama. Do other households have to put up with stuff like this?

Love, Carolyn

 

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