Carolyn Holm

One Dog, Two Cats
Grand Ideas
InterSpecies Memos

Bear Hunt

Cher Madame,
Je suis worried about the window.
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
The window? Which window? Honey, how can a window be worrisome?
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
Il faut point out that there are two creatures sitting in our window. By the front door. They are not alive. But they are provocative. 
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
I get it. You mean the teddy bears. They are just plush toys.
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
They do not belong there. They are possibly signaling to people passing by.
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
They are part of a neighborhood “Bear Hunt.” For families with small children going for their daily walk. The little kids look for bears in their neighbor’s windows.
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
Mon dieu, we have les bears in our neighborhood?????!!!
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
Plush bears, sweetie. It’s a nice game for kids while we all have to stay apart from each other.
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
So, actually these window bears ARE signaling to les people who are passing by.
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
Okay, in a sense. But don’t make too much of it, sweetie. It’s all in fun. It’s a nice thing to do for children. 
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
Ouf, les children. This pauvre petit cat is grateful that this household is free from les children.
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
I’m sure you are, Mr. Grouch.
Love, Carolyn

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

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Social Distance

Dear Mom,
Everyone was standing in the street yesterday! It was so exciting. Rosie was there. And Spencer. And Cody.
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
Yes, a lot of us brought our dogs. 
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
But why were we standing in the street?
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
We were all keeping a safe distance from each other while we chatted. 
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
But in the street?????????
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
There have hardly been any cars on our street. When one approached, I just moved. We were safe, sweetie.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
It was strange. You all look funny with masks.
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
It’s a funny time, isn’t it? But this once-a-week gathering of our neighbors helps some. Since we stand ten feet away from each other, we’re safe. It’s called Social Distancing. 
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
You all had glasses of wine.
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
We did. That made it a very nice social occasion. Too bad I had to cut it short. Because you wouldn’t stop barking at sweet little Rosie. The other dogs were so much better behaved.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
Rosie and I have a lot to say to each other. She barks at me every time we walk by.
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
Well, it meant I had to take you back home because you were so annoying.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
I was helping you Social Distance.
XOXO Poppy 

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Delivery Danger

Dear Puffin,
There is no need to tear out of the room when someone delivers a box to our doorstep.
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
C’est le Delivery Danger.
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
No, seriously, there is no such thing as Delivery Danger. And since we are having everything delivered these days, all this drama is becoming really annoying.
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
Molly made this very clear. Before she died. She told us if you hear the delivery truck, RUN FOR YOUR LIFE!!!!!!! Straight for the bedroom and hide under the bed.
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
I should have known this was Molly’s work. She always assumed the worst.
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
Then while we hid she barked at the delivery guy and caused him to retreat. 
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
No, she didn’t make him go away. He was going away anyway. I wish you would all calm down. When you jump up and race out of the room, you set Poppy off. She explodes into frantic barking and chases you down the hall and then comes back and barks insanely at the front door.
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
And la cur makes the terrifying delivery man go away with her barking.
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
NO SHE DOESN’T. He goes away anyway. And by the way, Mia doesn’t participate in this madness. She doesn’t run out of the room. She just sits and watches you and Poppy go nuts. At least one of you has some common sense.
Love, Carolyn

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

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TP Redux

Dear Mia,
Please don’t play with the toilet paper! It has become a precious commodity.
Love. Carolyn

Dear Mom,
Of course it is precious! Toilet paper is SO MUCH FUN!!!!!
Love, Mia

Dear Mia,
It may be, but that’s not the reason it is precious. It’s because people have gone batshit crazy hoarding the stuff. The grocery shelves are bare. Which makes no sense. People are nuts.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
Puffin says there will be food shortages.
Love, Mia

Dear Mia,
You all need to stop rumor-mongering. There are NO food shortages. I was kidding Puffin when I suggested that, and he took me completely seriously. I forget how literal he is. I’m really sorry I told him that.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
Puffin is a worrier.
Love, Mia

Dear Mia,
He is indeed. He’s like our old Molly. You know what she would be saying right now.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
Molly said that a lot. 
Love Mia

Dear Mia,
I’m glad you have a more positive spin on life than she had.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
I may not understand what is going on, but I love that you are home all the time!
Love, Mia

Dear Mia,
That’s my girl. That’s positive.
Love, Carolyn

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Catastrophe

Dear Mom,
The cats say the world outside our house is dangerous now.
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
I’ve told you not to listen to the cats. 
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
But they both watch television. They know what is going on. I don’t usually listen to Puffin, but Mia is very smart.
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
She is. But the world outside our house is just going through a tough time. That’s why Dad and I are pretty much staying home.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
Except for our walks.
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
Yes, thank heavens for our walks!
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
Mia says this plague will make everyone sick. Are you going to get sick?
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
I don’t intend to. Please don’t worry! 
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
Puffin says it’s a catastrophe. And Mia says catastrophe has the word cat in it so we should all be worried.
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
They are being insufferable. It’s another reason not to listen to the cats. Poppy, sweetie, we’ll be fine. We’re doing everything we can to stay healthy. And speaking of being healthy, pretty soon it will be time for our walk. If it stops raining.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
That’s another thing! Rain!
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
It’s spring, sweetie. It’s the time for rain. That’s as it should be.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
But I don’t poop in the rain.
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
There is that problem. At least that’s a problem I’m accustomed to.
Love, Carolyn

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The Plague

Cher Madame,
It is wonderful, n’est-ce pas, that Madame and Monsieur remain home all the time now! You are always here to keep the food bowls full!
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
Do you ever think about anything other than yourself? You are a funny old cat.
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
It is not just pour moi. It is a good thing for Madame and Monsieur also, to stay home and enjoy the snuggles with us. This new program is wonderful!
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
That’s sweet of you to suggest that this is a good thing. And we do enjoy the snuggles. But actually we are not very happy about the new program.
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
Not happy to spend time with your excellent cats? Ouf. Madame she knows how to hurt the feelings of a pauvre petit cat.
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
Of course we love spending time with you. But we are stuck at home for a sad reason, the sickness that is spreading like wildfire and turning our world up-side-down.
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
This is the plague that everyone on the television goes on and on about? Ouf.
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
That’s right! You have been listening.
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
Of course we listen. We do not miss a thing. They say there is a shortage of le toilet paper. We cats have a special regard for le toilet paper. It is exhilarating to play with.
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
There is no shortage. And please keep your mitts off our toilet paper.
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
If there is no toilet paper shortage, then we do not understand why people are making such a lot of noise about this plague.
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
It’s so contagious! And so lethal. No one wants to be the person who spreads it to others. So, to avoid spreading, everyone has to stay home. And all events are cancelled. We had tickets for all kinds of wonderful things. The ballet, concerts, plays. All cancelled.
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
You are sad without the events? Why? Humans put too much value on going out. You should curl up in front of the fireplace with us.
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
We like the fireplace as much as any cat, but it is natural to miss going out, and we miss our friends. But I should not be complaining, because we are fine. But schools are closed, businesses are shutting down, people are getting sick, and many people are worried about how they will get by. It’s a terrible time.
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
But one thing is better now. This plague is good for keeping you home. When you were going out, leaving us, leaving your pauvre petit cats all alone with a moronic dog, that was not a good thing.
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
Well you might change your tune if food shortages start.
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
The shortage of the food? C’est un catastrophe!!!!! Madame must be sure the dinners continue so these sweet petit cats do not starve.
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
I’m kidding. I just wanted to get your attention. There won’t be food shortages. We have plenty of cat food. And dog food too. The three of you will be fine.
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
Et le toilet paper?
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
And toilet paper.
Love, Carolyn

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Ice

Dear Mom,
I’m protecting the earth from climate change.
Love, Mia

Dear Mia,
That’s good to hear! We all have to step up, even cats.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
That’s me! I AM stepping up!!!!!!!
Love, Mia

Dear Mia,
That’s wonderful! So, meanwhile, what are you doing with that bowl of ice cubes?
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
I’m stepping up to protect the earth and save us all!
Love, Mia

Dear Mia,
That’s definitely a good thing to aspire to, sweetie! But it begs the question: what does this bowl of ice cubes have to do with saving the earth!?
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
I am making sure this ice doesn’t melt.
Love, Mia

Dear Mia,
I love your enthusiasm, but I’m not sure this will save us.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
It will!!! It will!!! Ice is melting from climate change! It’s science!
Love, Mia

Dear Mia,
Your bowl of ice is all that stands between us and global catastrophe?
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
Yes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Love, Mia

Dear Mia, 
I wish that were so. But sweetie, it’s more complicated than that.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
Every little bit helps. 
Love, Mia

Dear Mia,
Fair enough. Every little bit.
Love, Carolyn

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The Take-over

Dear Mom,
I think Mia has something up her sleeve.
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
She’s a cheeky cat. I’m sure she probably does.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
Seriously, she is planning something. And she’s being sneaky about it.
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
Cats are always sneaky. Unlike dogs. I wouldn’t worry about it.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
She’s been playing with me. She races past me and then out the room. Then back again. So that I’ll chase her.
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
That sounds like a lot of fun! I’ve noticed you both seem to be enjoying it.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
Then she jumps on a chair, turns around, and bats at my face.
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
But gently, right? She’s just playing! It’s so nice to see you two have fun together.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
But why is she suddenly doing this? Why is she suddenly being nice?
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
Ahhh, you think this is maybe a charm campaign.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
Yes! That’s it! Her charm offensive is part of her take-over plan!
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
A take-over plan! That does sound like something Mia would think of. And she has been particularly vocal lately.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
Like when she stands in the hall, early in the morning, yelling for breakfast.
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
True, she never used to do that.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
And she whacked Puffin in the face yesterday when he jumped on the sofa.
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
That’s a reversal, isn’t it.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
She has been shouldering her way into his food dish. He just backs off.
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
True. But then he goes and eats what’s left in her bowl. It evens out.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
All through dinner she sits next to Dad and taps his arm so he will give her tidbits. 
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
She is persistent, isn’t she?
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
Overall, she’s getting very pushy. She’s planning a take-over.
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
I appreciate your intelligence report. We’ll be on our guard.
Love, Carolyn

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Youth

Cher Madame,
Pourquoi Monsieur insinuates a joke about le bathroom paper et moi?
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
That’s from your kitten days. We still laugh to think about it.
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
You laugh at my kittenhood?
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
It’s that or cry. But seriously, you were hilarious.
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
This hilarious activity, it was what exactly?
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
Where to start! You were a wild kitten. The wildest, most destructive youngster we’ve ever had. It’s surprising you turned into such a staid grown-up.
Love, Carolyn

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

Dear Puffin,
It’s not sarcasm. You were off the charts wild. Every day was a new mess. Or several messes. The toilet paper was one of your favorite games. You raced around the house with one end in your mouth, so it unrolled in a long stream threading through the rooms as you went. And then there was your fascination with toilets. Do you remember that?
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
You malign the dignity of this pauvre petit cat. I do not have this fascination.
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
Thank heavens for that. It was a strange and disgusting fascination. Whenever you heard the toilet flush, you ran in and peered inside, reached into the swirling water, and tried to catch whatever was in it. Whatever. Was. In. It.
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
This does not sound like moi. Madame may be mistaking another kitten for me.
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
It was you all right. You weren’t put off by water. You kept trying to catch our goldfish, reaching into the tank up to your shoulder. You pulled out the aquarium plants and left them all over the floor. And when the day came that you finally caught that poor fish, you left him to dry on the floor as well. Then there were the plant accidents. You brought down a large potted Ficus tree. By the time you were finished with that project, branches were broken and there was dirt all over the carpet. It was very dramatic. And then there were all the other plants you chewed up. But you still do that.
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
C’est medicinal.
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
And the laptop charger cord. And the phone charger cord. And the shoestrings. Many, many, sets of shoestrings chewed through. I’m sure they were medicinal as well.
Love, Carolyn

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

Dear Puffin,
Then there were the lamps and vases you knocked over. You broke a beautiful Limoges vase. You were a terror. I’m glad you have calmed down in your old age. You are a lovely, sweet old couch-potato now.
Love, Carolyn

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

A note to our readers…
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Hissy Fits

Dear Mia,
You two cats were not very nice to Dad last night. First Puffin hissed at him. And then you bit him. You two hurt his feelings.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
It was his fault.
Love, Mia

Dear Mia,
His fault for stroking the two of you?
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
Of course. He did not observe the rules.
Love, Mia

Dear Mia,
Did he break the No-Stomach-Rub rule?
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
No, not this time. Dad wasn’t petting sincerely. He was stroking absent-mindedly. That infuriates me. It needs to be mindful. And he was stroking Puffin too forcefully. Neither of us likes rough petting. That makes Puffin hiss. He prefers gentle strokes, and a lot of under-the-chin scratches. But don’t try any of that under-the-chin stuff with me. Or full body strokes. And, of course you are not allowed to pick me up. And Puffin can’t be stroked unless he approaches you first.
Love, Mia

Dear Mia,
You cats have a lot of rules.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
Of course we do. Otherwise you would just be annoying.
Love, Mia

A note to our readers…
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