Carolyn Holm

One Dog, Two Cats
Grand Ideas
InterSpecies Memos

The One Per Cent

Cher Madame,

The water bowl, she is not filled to the top.

Regards,

M. Le Poufin

 

Dear Puffin,

It’s almost to the top, sweetie. I filled it this morning.

Love, Carolyn

 

Cher Madame,

Il faut to keep it completely filled. C’est your job as ma domestique.

Regards,

M. Le Poufin

 

Dear Puffin,

Seriously? Your household help?

Carolyn

 

Cher Madame,

But of course. Mais oui. You have surprise?

Regards,

M. Le Poufin

 

Dear Puffin,

I guess I shouldn’t be. You are incorrigible.

Carolyn

 

Cher Madame,

You serve the food, clean the litter box, provide the comfy cushions. Scratch my chin when I demand. C’est très très clear. You are my domestique.

Regards,

M. Le Poufin

 

Dear Puffin,

And what, pray tell, are you?

Carolyn

 

Cher Madame,

I am le privileged class. I thought you knew.

Regards,

M. Le Poufin

 

Dear Puffin,

We are all in this household together, sweetie.

Love, Carolyn

 

Cher Madame,

But I am, as Madame surely knows, the One Per Cent.

Regards,

M. Le Poufin

 

Dear Puffin,

And the rest of us are…?

Carolyn

 

Cher Madame,

Here to serve me.

Regards,

M. Le Poufin

 

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Tricks

Dear Mommy,

I want to start earning money.

Love, Mia

 

Dear Mia,

That’s ambitious!

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

I want to start turning tricks. For money.

Love, Mia

 

Dear Mia,

Oh my gosh you made me snort coffee out my nose.

Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

Why is that so funny?

Love, Mia

 

Dear Mia,

I don’t think you know what that expression means.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

I’m a very athletic cat. I think I would be very good at turning tricks. In fact, I would be good at all kinds of acrobatics. Like flips, and jumping very high. Especially at jumping very high. I’m sure people would pay to see me.

Love, Mia

 

Dear Mia,

Turning tricks is not about acrobatics, honey.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

It’s not?

Love, Mia

 

Dear Mia,

It’s an old slang expression. Something prostitutes do.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

Oh. Well. Then I don’t want to.

Love, Mia

 

Dear Mia,

I’m so relieved to hear that.

Love, Carolyn

 

 

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Dead Weight

Dear Poppy,

When I ask you to get off the bed, you make things really difficult.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Alpha Mommy,

I don’t want to make anything hard for you!!!

XOXO Poppy

 

Dear Poppy,

But you turn into a dead weight. I can hardly move you.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Alpha Mommy,

That’s because moving is impossible!!!!

XOXO Poppy

 

Dear Poppy,

No it’s not. You can jump up on the bed. So you can jump down off the bed.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Alpha Mommy,

I can jump on the bed because I’m all excited! My excitement propels me there!!!

XOXO Poppy

 

Dear Poppy,

So why can’t you jump back off?

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Alpha Mommy,

Because the bed is where I belong. My body won’t move because it belongs right there.

XOXO Poppy

 

Dear Poppy,

No, honey, it doesn’t. You can visit on the bed while I’m reading, but when it’s time to sleep you need to go to your comfy bed.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Alpha Mommy,

But it’s not with you.

XOXO Poppy

 

Dear Poppy,

It’s next to my bed. You are literally within arm’s reach.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Alpha Mommy,

Why can’t I sleep on your bed?

XOXO Poppy

 

Dear Poppy,

I’ve explained this so many times: there is no room for you when it’s time to sleep.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Alpha Mommy,

But the cats are there!

XOXO Poppy

 

Dear Poppy,

That’s why there is no room. And they were around long before you. They have bed seniority.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Alpha Mommy,

So you have to push me off?

XOXO Poppy

 

Dear Poppy,

Well I wish it could be done more easily. Moving a dead weight each time is no fun at all. Not to mention it isn’t very dignified.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Alpha Mommy,

So, clearly it would be better if you let me stay.

XOXO Poppy

 

 

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The Resolution

Dear Puffin,

Mia tells me you made a New Year’s Resolution this year.

Love, Carolyn

 

Cher Madame,

C’est vrai. I have made one of these resolutions.

Regards,

M. Le Poufin

 

Dear Puffin,

Are you going to tell me what it is?

Love, Carolyn

 

Cher Madame,

Oui, if you must know, it is that Madame will clean Le Litter Box more often.

Regards,

M. Le Poufin

 

Puffin

Not to put too fine a point on it, but you can’t make resolutions for other people to do.

Carolyn

 

Cher Madame,

Je suis un cat. I do what I want.

Regards,

M. Le Poufin

 

Dear Puffin,

That aside, I do keep your litter box properly clean.

Carolyn

 

Cher Madame,

There is un lump in it at this instant.

Regards,

M. Le Poufin

 

Dear Puffin,

I’m not going to go in there and clean it out every single time you use it!

Carolyn

 

Cher Madame,

This is why le Resolution.

Regards,

M. Le Poufin

 

Dear Puffin,

Not going to happen.

Carolyn

 

Cher Madame,

And there was the time you let it go for three days.

Regards,

M. Le Poufin

 

Puffin,

One time! And I was sick! I had the flu!

Carolyn

 

Cher Madame,

Three days.

Regards

M. Le Poufin

 

Puffin,

Seriously, it was just one time. And you do have three litter boxes between the two of you.

Carolyn

 

Cher Madame,

But Madame admits it. I rest le case.

Regards,

M. Le Poufin

 

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Annus Horribilis

Dear Alpha Mommy,

Mia says we need to keep an eye on the time, because the Annus Horribilis will be over at midnight on the 31st!!!!!

XOXO Poppy

 

Dear Poppy,

She is a very clever cat.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Alpha Mommy,

It’s not nice of her to talk about her anus!

XOXO Poppy

 

Dear Poppy,

She isn’t, sweetie. Annus with two “n’s” is a different word. It means “year.”

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Alpha Mommy,

Oh. But I still don’t understand it. Annus Horribilis sounds like a dinosaur.

XOXO Poppy

 

Dear Poppy,

It refers to a terrible year.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Alpha Mommy,

Has it been a rough year?

XOXO Poppy

 

Dear Poppy,

You should be glad you don’t follow the news. It has been a terrible year.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Alpha Mommy,

Is that why you and Alpha Dad get tense and wave your arms around in agitation?

XOXO Poppy

 

Dear Poppy,

We do get agitated when we talk about the state of the world.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Alpha Mommy,

Is it that bad?

XOXO Poppy

 

Dear Poppy,

It is. I think if Molly were still alive she’d be reminding us of her dire worldview. She’d say “we’re doomed.”

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Alpha Mommy,

She did say that a lot. Was she right?

XOXO Poppy

 

Dear Poppy,

I’m too optimistic to go so far as to say we’re doomed. But between the catastrophic election, the hurricanes, the wild fires, guns everywhere, and powerful men behaving badly, it has been an Annus Horribilis.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Alpha Mommy,

But you have me! And the cats! And your family! And lots of friends!

XOXO Poppy

 

Dear Poppy,

I do have all that! And I’m so grateful for all of you! And I’m sorry we wave our arms. I forget that this sets off your PTSD.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Alpha Mommy,

I get startled by waving arms. You might hit me.

XOXO Poppy

 

Dearest Poppy,

You know I’ll never hit you, sweetie. I’m sorry that someone treated you so badly when you were young.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Alpha Mommy,

I’m glad that I’m with you now.

XOXO Poppy

 

Dearest Poppy,

So am I. And let’s hope we all have a better year in 2018!

Love, Carolyn

 

 

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Presents!

Dear Mommy,

I love the holidays!

Love, Mia

 

Dear Mia,

It’s a fun time, isn’t it?

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

I love decorations!

Love, Mia

 

Dear Mia,

We all do.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

I love presents!

Love Mia

 

Dear Mia,

We all do.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

Is this a present for me in the bag?

Love, Mia

 

Dear Mia,

It’s for my daughter.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

Will there be presents for me?

Love, Mia

 

Dear Mia,

Possibly.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

I want lots of presents!!!!!!!!!!!

Love, Mia

 

Dear Mia,

Okay, maybe we need to dial this down a bit. The holidays are not just about presents.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

They’re not?

Love, Mia

 

Dear Mia,

They are about family and good food and donating to good causes and hoping for world peace.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

And about decorations!!!!!! I can reach the ornaments on the tree!!!!!!!!!

Love, Mia

 

Dear Mia,

Please don’t play with them! They are fragile.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

Uh Oh. Oops.

Love, Mia

 

 

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Dress-up

Dear Alpha Mommy,

Why am I all dressed up?

XOXO Poppy

 

Dear Poppy,

I wanted to see how that ribbon looks on you.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Alpha Mommy,

Are we having a party?

XOXO Poppy

 

Dear Poppy,

The family will be here for Christmas Eve. I was just planning ahead.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Alpha Mommy,

And I’m going to be all dressed up?

XOXO Poppy

 

Dear Poppy,

That would be nice.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Alpha Mommy,

Is your daughter coming with her dog Mika?

XOXO Poppy

 

Dear Poppy,

Of course! They will both be here!

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Alpha Mommy,

Is Mika getting dressed up?

XOXO Poppy

 

Dear Poppy,

Of course.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Alpha Mommy,

Will the cats get dressed up?

XOXO Poppy

 

Dear Poppy,

No, they will probably be hiding under my bed.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Alpha Mommy,

That doesn’t sound like fun.

XOXO Poppy

 

Dear Poppy,

It’s because they worry about Mika.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Alpha Mommy,

Mika just wants to play!!!

XOXO Poppy

 

Dear Poppy,

They don’t know that. They just know that she chases them.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Alpha Mommy,

It’s all in the spirit of the holidays!

XOXO Poppy

 

Dear Poppy,

That spirit is a bit one-sided. But we’ll make it up to them when Mika leaves.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Alpha Mommy,

And Santa will probably leave treats in their stockings.

XOXO Poppy

 

Dear Poppy,

He always does.

Love, Carolyn

 

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Bling

Dear Mommy,

I found this box! Is it a surprise for me?

Love, Mia

 

Dear Mia,

No honey, it’s just a box.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

No it’s not just a box. It’s a Gucci box.

Love, Mia

 

Dear Mia,

It’s a repurposed Gucci box.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

I’m so excited!!!!! I think you are giving me something extravagant for the Holidays.

Love, Mia

 

Dear Mia,

Calm down. It’s just an empty box. So you want a jewelry gift?

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

If it’s nice jewelry.

Love, Mia

 

Dear Mia,

You used to have a collar and you slipped out of it every chance you got.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

It was not a nice collar.

Love, Mia

 

Dear Mia,

Yes it was! It was leather, it was blue to match your eyes, and it had your name on a little silver charm.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

I didn’t care for it.

Love, Mia

 

Dear Mia,

You made that quite clear. You left it in the garden. Several times. Once in the compost pile. I got the message.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

It wasn’t my style.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mia,

I think your style is wild and naked.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

So that means no jewelry presents for me?

Love, Mia

 

Dear Mia,

I’ll probably stick to the usual treats and catnip toys.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Mommy,

I love treats and catnip toys!!!!!!!!

Love, Mia

 

Dear Mia,

I know you do. You make gift-giving easy.

Love, Carolyn

 

 

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Scrumptious

Dear Puffin,

You look marvelous on your exotic little blanket. Such a handsome cat! And I’ve never known a cat with such a silky thick coat.

Love, Carolyn

 

Cher Madame,

Moi, I am not thick.

Regards,

M. Le Poufin

 

Dear Puffin,

Well, actually you are, but I was referring to your coat. I love to run my fingers through the fur on your neck.

Love, Carolyn

 

Cher Madame,

Il faut dire, Madame she is correct. I am perfect.

Regards,

M. Le Poufin

 

Dear Puffin,

Well, not perfect. But your coat is scrumptious!

Love, Carolyn

 

Cher Madame,

C’est un très alarming thing to say. Madame is planning to eat this pauvre petit cat?

Regards,

M. Le Poufin

 

Dear Puffin,

Of course not! I was just complimenting you!

Love, Carolyn

 

Cher Madame,

Scrumptious, c’est un food word. Food is scrumptious, Madame, not the little cats. And scrumptious, this word doesn’t show respect.

Regards,

M. Le Poufin

 

Dear Puffin,

I was just commenting on your gorgeous coat, sweetie. It’s glossy, soft and thick. How is that not showing respect?

Love, Carolyn

 

Cher Madame,

Scrumptious. C’est a word for eating un croissant. Pain au chocolat. Or a delicious small bird. Not a word to refer to an aristocratic cat. Un purebred Tuxedo.

Regards,

M. Le Poufin

 

Dear Puffin,

You are way too serious.

Love, Carolyn

 

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Clothing

Dear Alpha Mommy,

When it’s cold people pile on extra clothes. I don’t know why. I just want this thing OFF.

XOXO Poppy

 

Dear Poppy,

Sorry. I was just playing with you. If you’ll stop thrashing around I’ll take it off.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Alpha Mommy,

Dogs and cats wear the same thing all the time. In all weather. Hot or cold. Summer or winter.

XOXO Poppy

 

Dear Poppy,

That’s not strictly true. Your coat gets thicker in the winter. And then you shed it like crazy in late spring.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Alpha Mommy,

But we don’t need scarves and jackets and boots.

XOXO Poppy

 

Dear Poppy,

No, though some dogs have raincoats. And I saw a dog on Facebook wearing boots. In fact, he was a Spitz like you! And that famous London cat, Streetcat Bob, wears scarves.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Alpha Mommy,

Bob is a celebrity.

XOXO Poppy

 

Dear Poppy,

He is indeed.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Alpha Mommy,

If I wear this scarf will I be a celebrity?

XOXO Poppy

 

Dear Poppy,

Probably not. But that’s a good thing.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Alpha Mommy,

You’re right. Mia and Puffin would be jealous. Especially Mia.

XOXO Poppy

 

Dear Poppy,

No kidding. Mia would give anything to be on Instagram.

Love, Carolyn

 

Dear Alpha Mommy,

She should wear scarves. It worked for Streetcat Bob.

XOXO Poppy

 

Dear Poppy,

I’ll pass the word along to her.

Love, Carolyn

 

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