Carolyn Holm

One Dog, Two Cats
Grand Ideas
InterSpecies Memos

Intense

Dear Alpha Mommy,

Why do you and Dad get so agitated when you watch the news on TV?

XOXO Poppy

 

Dear Poppy,

It’s just human stuff sweetie. I hope it isn’t upsetting you.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Alpha Mommy,

Sometimes you shout at the TV.

XOXO Poppy

 

Dear Poppy,

Oh dear. I don’t mean to worry you. It’s just that sometimes I get a little crazy over things humans say and do. Or don’t do.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Alpha Mommy,

You watch very intently. I can see you getting signals.

XOXO Poppy

 

Dear Poppy,

Signals?

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Alpha Mommy,

Like when I watch you get dressed. Very intently. Because that’s how I get your signals.

XOXO Poppy

 

Dear Poppy,

You mean the wardrobe signals. You are very good at that!

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Alpha Mommy,

Yoga pants mean we are staying at home. The jeans that smell like outside mean we’re going into the garden. But the nice jeans depend on your shoes. The nice jeans with sneakers mean we are going for a walk. The nice jeans with leather shoes mean you are going out without me. And when you wear the black pants you are going somewhere special.

XOXO Poppy

 

Dear Poppy,

You are good at this! You are just as good as Molly was!

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Alpha Mommy,

Before she died Molly explained all this to me.

XOXO Poppy

 

Dear Poppy,

I’m glad she did. And I’m sure she was quite thorough.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Alpha Mommy,

So I know that when you stare intently at the TV you are trying to read the signals.

XOXO Poppy

 

Dear Poppy,

You are wiser than we give you credit for. The election is in a few days and hopefully after that there will be less yelling at the TV.

Love, Carolyn

 

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Candy

Dear Mommy,

When you put this mask on you look completely different!!!!!!

Love, Mia

 

Dear Mia,

I know, isn’t that cool? That’s what masks do.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

Why would you want to look different? I like you the way you are.

Love, Mia

 

Dear Mia,

It’s just something people like to do. Especially for Halloween.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

Halloween is another thing I really don’t understand. Kids show up wearing masks and strange clothes and you give them candy. What’s with that? Candy isn’t even tasty.

Love, Mia

 

Dear Mia,

Candy isn’t tasty for a cat. But imagine if the candy tasted like Temptations. Then you’d go crazy for Halloween.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

Halloween candy tastes like Temptations?????!!!!!

Love, Mia

 

Dear Mia,

No, sweetie, I was just trying to use that as an example.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

But you said it did.

Love, Mia

 

Dear Mia,

I said imagine if it did.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

I’d like to try that Halloween candy.

Love, Mia

 

Dear Mia,

Seriously, sweetie, it doesn’t taste like Temptations.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

How about if I put on a mask? I could put on this bird mask. If I look like a bird will you give me some of that Halloween candy?

Love, Mia

 

Dear Mia,

You’ll just shred the mask. I’ll tell you what, I think I’ll take the easy way out and just give you some Temptations for Halloween.

Love, Carolyn

 

 

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Protocol

Dear Puffin,

Yesterday when Poppy and I got home from our walk, it was after five, and Monsieur had already fed you two, but he said you wouldn’t eat. What’s up with that?

Love, Carolyn

 

Cher Madame,

Monsieur broke le protocol.

Regards,

M. Le Poufin

 

Dear Puffin,

He did not! He told me he fed you both right at five. That’s the official time.

Love, Carolyn

 

Cher Madame,

Mais, il faut dire, c’était wrong.

Regards,

M. Le Poufin

 

Dear Puffin,

How was it wrong? He told me he also gave Mia her pill.

Love, Carolyn

 

Cher Madame,

Le Protocol, c’est very important.

Regards,

M. Le Poufin

 

Dear Puffin,

Monsieur followed every step. Perfectly.

Love, Carolyn

 

Cher Madame,

Non, it was not perfect. Madame is supposed to offer le meds, then le hairball goop, and then le dinner.

Regards,

M. Le Poufin

 

Dear Puffin,

Monsieur didn’t know where the goop was. But he gave you everything else. And at the right time.

Love, Carolyn

 

Cher Madame,

Mais Monsieur is not Madame.

Regards,

M. Le Poufin

 

Dear Puffin,

So no substitutions? But you are perfectly happy to let Monsieur feed you breakfast! Every morning you and Mia are waiting to pounce on whoever wakes up first. And tuck right into your breakfast as if we’ve neglected to feed you for days. Poor starving cats!

Love, Carolyn

 

Cher Madame,

Toujours le sarcasm. But il faut dire, La Breakfast she is informal. Dinner, c’est un occasion formal, so requires le protocol. We are talking here about Le Protocol of Les Meds and Le Dinner at Five.  And non, no substitutions, Madame.

Regards,

M. Le Poufin

 

 

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Origin Stories

Dear Alpha Mommy,

Mia says we are all Rescues.

XOXO Poppy

 

Dear Poppy,

Yes indeed! All three of you are!

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Alpha Mommy,

Why did we need to be rescued?

XOXO Poppy

 

Dear Poppy,

It’s a different Origin Story for each of you. You were found racing around a little rural town called Lodi, absolutely terrified. A woman took you in and a Rescue Group posted you on PetFinder.com. Where I found you and fell in love with you the instant I saw your picture!

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Alpha Mommy,

What about Mia?

XOXO Poppy

 

Dear Poppy,

She was found with her littermates in a bag in a field. She was raised by a wonderful foster mom and I found her on that same website, PetFinder.com. Mia was lucky that she had a happy kittenhood!

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Alpha Mommy,

And Puffin was rescued from France.

XOXO Poppy

 

Dear Poppy,

If he were from France he wouldn’t need a rescue. But sweetie, he isn’t really French. Puffin was rescued from the gritty streets of South Central Los Angeles by some USC students when he was a teeny tiny kitten, and my daughter ended up with him and brought him home to us. But we let him have his little French delusion. As far as delusions go it’s an easy one to live with.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Alpha Mommy,

Mia says that I have PTSD. I don’t even know what that is!

XOXO Poppy

 

Dear Poppy,

You’ve come a long way since your early troubles. But sadly one thing that has stayed with you is PTSD. It’s clear you were badly abused your first year. That’s why you have so much anxiety and certain things can suddenly trigger a burst of frantic barking. But your daily Prozac pill helps a lot. That and lots of love!

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Alpha Mommy,

I don’t even remember the bad stuff. I just remember terror.

XOXO Poppy

 

Dear Poppy,

I’m so sorry you had to experience that. Do you remember having puppies?

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Alpha Mommy,

I HAD PUPPIES?????????

XOXO Poppy

 

Dear Poppy,

You did, sweetie. No one knows what happened to them. But you had been nursing them when you were found. You weren’t even full grown. You were a teenage mom. But I’m sure you were a wonderful mother. You are such a loving dog. That’s why everyone loves you!

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Alpha Mommy,

I’m so glad we found each other!

XOXO Poppy

 

Dear Poppy,

Me too! And it was meant to be. I was looking up Terriers and your listing showed up. They said you were a Terrier mix. Which is hilarious. There is absolutely nothing Terrier about you.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Alpha Mommy,

You always like to say I don’t have Terrier Attitude.

XOXO Poppy

 

Dear Poppy,

No you don’t. Terriers are tough and sassy, and you are sweet and gentle. All the more reason to wonder how someone could treat you cruelly. But at least you got out of that bad house. You lost your puppies, but you found us.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Alpha Mommy,

I love puppies.

XOXO Poppy

 

Dear Poppy,

I know you do. Some day we’ll get another puppy or a kitten, and you’ll get to take very good care of it.

Love, Carolyn

 

 

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Five o’Clock!

Dear Mia,

I wish you would all calm down in the afternoons. Yesterday you were all over me when I walked in the door. And it wasn’t even five o’clock.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

It was close! We knew it was close!!!!

Love, Mia

 

Dear Mia,

I could see that. You and Puffin were right at the door when Poppy and I returned from our walk, and you practically assaulted me. And then you got Poppy all worked up.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

We knew it was time!!!!!!!

Love, Mia

 

Dear Mia,

Okay, it was almost time. I knew what time it was.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

Yes!!!! TREATS TIME! We were all so excited!!!!!

Love, Mia

 

Dear Mia,

Well, those aren’t really treats. They are meds. You get your heart meds in a pill pocket. Every afternoon.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

And Poppy gets her meds too!

Love, Mia

 

Dear Mia,

Yes, she gets her Prozac in a pill pocket.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

And that’s not all!!!!!!!

Love, Mia

 

Dear Mia,

Right. Then after the meds, you and Puffin each get a little bit of hairball remedy.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

And it’s SO DELICIOUS!!!!!

Love, Mia

 

Dear Mia,

I’m so glad you all find this all so exciting.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

Because it’s IMPORTANT!!!!! Because the next thing after the treats is DINNER!!!!!

Love, Mia

 

Dear Mia,

It’s like a party in here when it’s time for meds and dinner. That’s some pretty intense lobbying.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

But we HAVE to remind you! Otherwise you’ll probably be late. You’re late half the time.

Love, Mia

 

Dear Mia,

But how do you even know what time it is?

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

We look at the clock! I’m surprised you don’t know about clocks. That explains a lot.

Love, Mia

 

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High Drama

Dear Puffin,

What on earth HAPPENED last night?

Love, Carolyn

 

Cher Madame,

C’était un disruption. Un disruption très serious.

Regards,

M. Le Poufin

 

Dear Puffin,

I’ll say. Why did you fly off the bed so suddenly in the middle of the night?

Love, Carolyn

 

Cher Madame,

This pauvre cat was discombobulated. Madame moved her leg. Suddenment.

Regards,

M. Le Poufin

 

Dear Puffin,

I simply stretched out one leg for heaven’s sake.

Love, Carolyn

 

Cher Madame,

Mais suddenment.

Regards,

M. Le Poufin

 

Dear Puffin,

And the next thing I knew it was a fracas in the dark, an explosion of sound and fury!

Love, Carolyn

 

Cher Madame,

Le jumping was necessaire.

Regards,

M. Le Poufin

 

Dear Puffin,

But you jumped on Poppy! Why on earth would you do that?

Love, Carolyn

 

Cher Madame,

C’était un accident. This pauvre cat did not know the cur was lying there. Pourquois she wasn’t sleeping in her basket?

Regards,

M. Le Poufin

 

Dear Puffin,

Sometimes she likes to get out and stretch out on the rug! She was sound asleep and you landed right on her! Didn’t you see her? I thought cats can see in the dark!

Love, Carolyn

 

Cher Madame,

Mais oui, we can, but in the shock of le moment this pauvre cat did not look.

Regards,

M. Le Poufin

 

Dear Puffin,

The shock of the moment? Just moving my leg? You panicked? And just jumped blindly? Who does that?

Love, Carolyn

 

Cher Madame,

It was un moment of extreme duress.

Regards,

M. Le Poufin

 

Dear Puffin,

For Poppy it certainly was. She was sound asleep and out of nowhere, in the dark, you came crashing down on her.

Love, Carolyn

 

Cher Madame,

Cette moronic cur made too much of it. All that jumping up and hysterical barking.

Regards,

M. Le Poufin

 

Dear Puffin,

You scared the daylights out of her!

Love, Carolyn

 

Cher Madame,

There was no need to chase this pauvre cat down the hall. Barking the entire time.

Regards,

M. Le Poufin

 

Dear Puffin,

Well that fracas pretty much ruined my night’s sleep. Do other people have to deal with this kind of problem?

Love, Carolyn

 

Cher Madame,

As usual, Madame is making too much drama out of un petit situation.

Regards,

M. Le Poufin

 

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The Hike

Dear Alpha Mommy,

I’m EXHAUSTED.

XOXO Poppy

 

Dear Poppy,

I’m so sorry. It was quite a hike, wasn’t it?

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Alpha Mommy,

And now my leg hurts.

XOXO Poppy

 

Dear Poppy,

I know. I think you pulled a muscle.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Alpha Mommy,

How did that happen? We were having so much fun.

XOXO Poppy

 

Dear Poppy,

I’m so sorry to see you like this. You are too tired to even use exclamation points!

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Alpha Mommy,

Aren’t you exhausted?

XOXO Poppy

 

Dear Poppy,

A little, but I didn’t run around all over creation like a mad dog.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Alpha Mommy,

I was already tired when we had to go up that hill at the end. With all the boulders.

XOXO Poppy

 

Dear Poppy,

That scrambling was probably what pulled a muscle. And I did have to lift you up over a couple of them. A bit strenuous for a small dog.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Alpha Mommy,

What did Molly do when you hiked there with her?

XOXO Poppy

 

Dear Poppy,

She had to be lifted in the same spots.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Alpha Mommy,

That makes me feel a little better. But it was way too much.

XOXO Poppy

 

Dear Poppy,

I can’t believe a dog is telling me that a hike was too much.

Love, Carolyn

 

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

 

The Mouse

Dear Mommy,

I’m so disappointed with Dad.

Love, Mia

 

Dear Mia,

Whatever for?

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

He said he had a mouse. I thought I was going to get a snack.

Love, Mia

 

Dear Mia,

I’m sure he did not say that.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

Oh he did, for sure. But he was sadly mistaken. And I always thought he was smart.

Love, Mia

 

Dear Mia,

Maybe you could fill me in on the details, sweetie.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

This!!! This thing is what he thought was a mouse!!!! I am so disappointed in his intelligence.

Love, Mia

 

Dear Mia,

Okay, I get it now sweetie. This is an interspecies word misinterpretation. That is a computer mouse.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

He clearly has no understanding of basic biology.

Love, Mia

 

Dear Mia,

A word can be used in different ways.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

A mouse is a delicious little morsel, warm and furry with whiskers and an interesting tail.

Love, Mia

 

Dear Mia,

It’s also a piece of computer equipment. And actually, the old ones had tails too.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

It’s no wonder humans are making such a mess of the world. You people can’t even tell the difference between a piece of plastic and a living breathing snack.

Love, Mia

 

Dear Mia,

But you are no longer disappointed with Dad now, right?

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

No. Just with the human race.

Love, Mia

Territory

Dear Puffin,

You know that you are sitting on Poppy’s nice sofa. Why do you do that?

Love, Carolyn

 

Cher Madame,

Je suis an innocent petit cat. To what does Madame refer?

Regards,

M. Le Poufin

 

Dear Puffin,

You know perfectly well what I am getting at.

Love, Carolyn

 

Cher Madame,

C’est so obtuse. Pourquoi Madame does not come to le point?

Regards,

M. Le Poufin

 

Dear Puffin,

You know that Poppy is intimidated by you, and that she doesn’t know what to do when you sleep on her sofa.

Love, Carolyn

 

Cher Madame,

Dommage. This sofa is so nicely located. Le cur Poppy has several other beds. That this petit cat sleeps in one of them, c’est rien.

M. Le Poufin

 

Dear Puffin,

It is not “nothing”. It is a territory grab, for heavens sake.

Love, Carolyn

 

Cher Madame,

Il faut dire one word about that: Pah.

M. Le Poufin

 

Dear Puffin,

You are simply trying to cause trouble by being rude to sweet Poppy. Let’s see if you can be civil for a change.

Love, Carolyn

 

Cher Madame,

Pah.

Regards,

M. Le Poufin

 

Dear Puffin,

Okay, doofus, you asked for it. One of these days when I find you on Poppy’s sofa I’m going to ring the doorbell, and laugh while you race out of the room and hide under my bed.

Love, Carolyn

 

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

 

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

 

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