Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Exclusive: Cat Secrets Exposed!

Thought for the day:  Cats are excellent mathematicians. They quickly assess a situation, and calculate precisely where to sit to cause you the most aggravation.


Our cats as kittens: Dash on the left, and Dot on the right
It's been a while since I've written a post about stuff I've learned from our pets, so it's time to rectify that today. One of our cats is lying on top of the printer beside me, and the other is alternating between lying on the keyboard and standing in front of the monitor, swishing her tail in my face, so I think the little narcissists may want me to write about THEM. (They're always so helpful when I'm trying to write...)

A catless writer is almost inconceivable. It's a perverse taste, really, since it would be easier to write with a herd of buffalo in the room than even one cat; they make nests in the notes and bite the end of the pen and walk on the typewriter keys. [Barbara Holland]

They're both staring at me now. Yep, they definitely want me to write about them.

Cats are the ultimate narcissists. You can tell this because of all the time they spend on personal grooming. A dog's idea of personal grooming is to roll on a dead fish.  [James Gorman]

So, our girls are a lot bigger than they were when they first wormed their way into our hearts at the animal shelter a few years ago. And they've taught us quite a lot. (Or as they prefer to think of it... they've trained us well.)

Like... did you know cats aren't equipped with snooze buttons?



And no matter how big they are, they can still wriggle into the smallest places imaginable...  A cat determined not to be found can fold itself up like a pocket handkerchief if it wants to.  [Louis J. Camuti]


Dash, especially. She can curl up into the teeniest ball and scrunch into the smallest boxes and containers. Dot, on the other hand, prefers to sprawl and let it all hang out...

Dogs come when they're called; cats take a message and get back to you.  [Mary Bly]

A cat isn't fussy... just so long as you remember he likes his milk in the shallow rose-patterned saucer and his fish on the blue plate. From which he will take it, and eat off the floor.  [Arthur Bridges]

Now, don't get me wrong. Sure, cats can occasionally be a tad stand-offish. And, yeah, it's entirely possible that they consider us their staff. Or their furniture, or personal scratching posts or jungle gyms. But they're cuddle bunnies, too. When they want to be. When it's convenient for them. Like when you're trying to read the newspaper, or work at the computer, or sleep... I mean, who doesn't like to wake up with a cat licking her face? Cats have an infallible understanding of total concentration, and get between you and it.  [Arthur Bridges]


And they're verrrrry supportive of your writing endeavors. And helpful in oh-so-many ways...


Who else would do such a thorough beer search on your behalf... or help clean up those styrofoam peanuts?


But here's the thing. Dot and Dash are usually right there with us. (Whether we want them there or not.) When I'm on my hands and knees scrubbing the floor, Dash usually hitches a ride on my back. (I dunno... maybe she thinks she's helping?) If I'm using the laptop, Dot manages to squeeze her rather sizable girth between my body and the computer. (I've gotten quite good at typing around her...) If we're in the bed... they're in the bed. Usually on top of me. (I guess Smartacus moves around too much. Then again, it's darned near impossible to move around at all with two cats on top of you...) And since they've taken over our house, I haven't given anyone a present that didn't have cat hair stuck under the tape and chew marks on the ribbon. What can I say? They like to help.

But sometimes... sometimes, they... disappear. Sometimes, they retreat to the sunroom we fixed up. For US. (They DO let us use it from time to time...)

And they do like to claim a windowsill or the front door... to look outside. Rather wistfully at times. Like when other cats are out there... looking in. Or they see squirrels cavorting in the yard.


Still, when they would mysteriously disappear for an hour or so, I always thought they were in some secret hiding place around the house. You know, that special place they go to when they hear you spell v-e-t? When they wanted to hide, there was no way we were gonna find them, no matter how hard we looked. No matter how much we called them, or how hard we shook a bag of treats. If they wanted to hide, they weren't coming out until they were good and ready.

At least, that's what I thought.

 Now I've learned.

 Now I know the truth.

Our cats have been leading  (gasp!) secret lives! It's true! Dot drives the getaway car...


                                            And just LOOK what Dash has been up to...


                                                             Those little stinkers.

                                 
A tom cat hijacked a plane, stuck a pistol into the pilot's ribs, and demanded: 'Take me to the canaries.'  [Bob Monkhouse]

                  So what do you suppose YOUR cats are doing when you can't find THEM...?

                          Until next time, take care of yourselves. And each other.

[The images Smarticus and I didn't take came from seniorark and icanhascheezburger]

62 comments:

  1. SUSAN ~
    You've got some great cat photos - especially the one in the closet and the one with the packing peanuts. Those are really funny!

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

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    1. Thanks. There are a bazillion great cat pictures on the internet. The cat in those two pics you like looks a lot like our Dot, but I must confess, those particular pictures came from seniorark.

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  2. I had to smile when my blog roll updated you and when I checked it said "I Think, Therefore I Am" 30 minutes ago and I knew without looking at the clock it was 1:02.

    Gosh, I love ya'. ::GRIN:: And this post. Awww. Makes me miss my best buddy Rufus. Didn't know I was a closet cat person, didja'? Yep. Rufus was the BEST cat in the hold world. He talked, fetched and best of all he laid on all my open textbooks through High School and College while I tried to study. I could not open a single book for 8 years without a puff of black cat hair floating up into the misma. Probably why I still wear a lot of black. Man, he was a great cat. I miss him STILL.

    Your two are cuties. I WANT. We always say once Spottie is gone [lil' Nazi is never going to die, God love her] we won't have anymore pets. Then the kids all fall off there chairs, tears streaming down there faces, laughing and the oldest son has started a pool on which breed[s] of dog[s], and how many of each we get. The 3 girls want to throw in a column for "The lame excuse Mom and Dad give for going back on never getting another pet again." heehee Stinkers.

    I am going to really surprise them. I'm getting a cat.

    Can I come live with you?

    Hugs and love my friend. Thank you again [if I haven't told you lately] for being there for me. It means the world and it's always nice to know you'll be "there" at 12:34. xo Skip

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    1. Hi, sweetie. No, I'm not at all surprised you're a closet cat person. I'd believe it if you told me you loved ferrets... or skunks. Anything sweet and (okay, so skunks may not be reeeeal sweet...) cuddly, anything that can melt your heart and make you laugh. And cats more than fill that bill.

      We always had dogs, but after my hubby retired, we quickly realized that no matter how much we loved our dog, he was a big furry anchor. We couldn't impulsively pick up and go away for the weekend. We had to make arrangements. There were times it cost more to board our pup, and then have the obligatory bath and flea treatment afterwards than we spent for our motel! But our cat? No need to board him. As long as he had access to plenty of food and water and a super-sized litter box or two, he was good to go. (And WE were good to go.) So, after Buck died, we decided that we weren't getting another dog, and after our cat died, we got TWO so they could keep each other company. That's worked out great so far. I still miss having a dog, and someday, we may adopt another, but for now, cats rule supreme around here.

      And yes, you can come live with me. Our kitties are very friendly and spring has almost sprung. And, hey! We're having lobster tails for dinner tonight...

      Take care. 12:34

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  3. Excellent scientific photos, Susan. Because they invariably seek the shapes --bowls, boxes, recesses on our roof-- of their containers, I have determined cats to be mainly liquid.

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    1. By golly, you just might be onto something! However, depending on their diet, they may contain a considerable amount of gas, as well.

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  4. From the word usage in that post, you wouldn't know I have actually had sleep. Jiminy Crickets.

    It is "whole world" not "hold world" and yes, I do know the difference between "there", "their", and "they're". It should say "their faces."

    I am too afraid to look further. Besides it made my head hurt.

    I think I better lay off the long comments.
    See ya' on the flipside lovely! xo Skip

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    1. You can leave a long comment, or you can leave a short one. Doesn't matter. I'm always thrilled just to hear from you. (And I don't care about your spelling, either. So, there! Or they're... or their...)

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  5. Having lived with a cat for over seven years now, I can fully identify with every word of your post. This is definitely HER house - not mine.

    Cats spend half their time sleeping and the other half thinking up ways to annoy us.
    She demands to sample any food that I happen to be eating.
    She wants to sit in any chair that I happen to be sitting in.
    She pounces directly on top of me when I'm sound asleep in bed.
    She pesters the hell out of me whenever I'm working at the computer.
    Despite the many aggravations, she always makes me laugh.

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    1. Absolutely. My hubby says the cats "love" me, but deep down, I suspect they just put up with me as the lady who feeds them and cleans their poop box...

      All the things you say are true... especially about how they make us laugh. The house wouldn't be the same without the little monkeys.

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  6. i use to have cats...before i discovered kids. ha! they were snuggle bugs, just like my kids are...weird. hmmm... so hey, i noticed you said you couldn't find my "follow me" button. scroll to the right a bit and it is on my side bar. i have a "wide load" blog i guess. maybe it'll beep the wide load beep while you scroll!

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    1. Funny, but when our kids were growing up, we had just about every kind of pet BUT cats. We didn't get our first one until our youngest was in college. Now, our cats... are our "kids".

      Oh, cool! Thanks, I'll scramble over to your blog right now and see if I can find that elusive "follow" button.

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  7. I love the photos where the kitties are driving and surfing!
    They do get into your heart don't they?

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    1. They sure do! (And into every other thing they can squeeze into, too!)

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  8. I never thought I would become a cat person as I grew up with dogs and more dogs. My mom was Catholic and did not believe in birth control, so our one dog presented us with litter after litter. Years later my children gifted us with cats and even though I am very allergic to them, I fell in love with these funny little creatures. Now we have Thelma and Louise whose favorite thing is to walk between my legs, always testing my ability to stay vertical. I have also semi- adopted our farmer's cats that tell me they love me every morning when they stare in my window begging for food. I guess I have become that crazy cat lady of the neighborhood, but somebody has to be, why not me. Excuse me while I sneeze.

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    1. My mother hated cats, so the only time I had one as a kid was the time my father brought a kitten home from the factory where he worked. Alas, we didn't get to keep him for long.

      I had no idea Catholics didn't even believe in using birth control for cats and dogs. Huh. No wonder my girlfriend's dog had so many litters, her belly dragged on the ground. (Um, the dog's... not my girlfriend... although, come to think of it, it HAS been fifty years since I last saw her, so who knows?)

      Thelma and Louise are GREAT names for your cats. We named ours as soon as we adopted them, but if we'd waited until they'd gotten a little older and showed us their personalities, I would've either named them Lucy and Ethel, or Tinkerbell and Tankerbell.

      God bless you!

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    2. You do know I was kidding about the birth control, it was more about the money at that time. It was a choice of getting Micky fixed or Arleen a pair of shoes.

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    3. HA! Well, I wasn't quite sure. I knew some Catholic families who were so (how can I put this nicely?) "strict" (there... that doesn't sound too judgemental) that I wouldn't have been surprised if they made their dogs say grace before eating their kibbles.

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  9. Well our two are right beside me as I type this comment. They occasionally disappear but I've discovered their secret. There's a hot pipe goes under Daughter's bedroom floor and the carpet gets snugly warm under Daughter's bed. She only visits occasionally these days so they have the room to themselves mostly and besides she has her own cat so they're more than welcome to share with her when she does visit.

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    1. They're great company, aren't they? Oh, at least you KNOW where your cats go; we have no idea where our stinkers hide sometimes. And believe me, we've LOOKED.

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  10. The cat driving reminds me of Toonsis the driving cat that used to be on Saturday Night Live. Is that your cat on the hangers? Oh my goodness. A hanger hammock.
    You cats are so adorable. It's so funny how quickly they get their habits ingrained in a new environment. This cat hasn't been with me very long and has all her spots and when I got her she wouldn't come within 15 feet of me.

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    1. No, that isn't Dot on the hangers, but it's a cat who looks very much like her. I found the picture on seniorark.

      You're right about how quickly cats stake their claims when they enter a new environment. Ours have claimed the whole darned house. But at least they still let us sleep on "their" bed.

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    2. Susan
      Thank you, thank you...... It woiks, it woiks.
      I think having the reply to comments like you have is so much easier. You don't have to hunt all over for the reply. But I looked and couldn't figure it out .....I suppose HELP was there. Old broads have so much trouble learning computers. My friend, Marilyn switched to a Mac and gets to go to school where she lives. I have had a Mac for 5 years but this town is so small that there isn't even a Mac store. So I've been trying to learn this on my own.
      Thank you again and once you told me, it was easy. I'm glad that wasn't your cat on the hammock.

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    3. SUPER! I'm so glad my rememberer didn't forget. I like having the comments set up this way, too. Ir works out pretty well if you want to respond to every comment. Hey, I think old broads are amazing, especially the ones who are willing to learn new things. Then they can royally kick butt with both old and new ways.

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  11. Love the cat in the closet! Cats really can make themselves comfortable anywhere, can't they?

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    1. Cats definitely know how to make themselves comfortable just about anywhere, and they seem to derive some satisfaction out of being able to make us UN-comfortable in the process.

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  12. I am borderline on getting another cat...I know I shouldn't.... Love the upside down cat doing its nurse routine.

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    1. Yes, you should. Just think of all those cats and kittens waiting at the shelter. Not only would you be a lifesaver for the cat, but think how nice it'd be to have a cat curled up on your lap in the evenings again.

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  13. As a cat owner (of a precious grey tabby named Ruby), I loved this post. It seems the world's cats all have many of the same commonalities yet also their own individual quirks. I would have ten of them if I could :)

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    1. Hey, why not have ten of them? Why should it only be old ladies who live with a houseful of cats? It's time for a young man like you to step up to the challenge...

      I know what ya mean. I'd have more if I could, too, but two is the perfect number for us. They keep each other company when we aren't home, and since we only have two laps to offer...

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  14. Unfortunately, I believe Spock the Cat here at my house hunts out in the nearby woods. He came home with a mouse one day, damn cat actually played with it for a while.

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    1. What can I say? It's in the nature of the beast. Our cats stay in the house, so the only thing they can hunt is an occasional bug, and they're obsessed with it when they find one.

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  15. haha you shouldn't give away all the secrets of the cat, but then you know only what we want you to know at our mat. And yeah try typing with us on the go, we even help you exercise and clean away at your show.

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    1. It's true; I've decided that
      The Sphinx ain't as mysterious as a cat.
      They regard us through their slitted eyes,
      Looking sage, yes, oh-so-wise.
      But to their brains, we don't need a map;
      They're simply deciding where to nap.

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  16. So funny. I don't have a cat, but I have a small Boston terrier dog that looks like a cat. When I used to work at a desk she insisted on sitting on my lap while I wrote. Now I use a laptop and can sit on the couch, which she likes much better. She just rests her head on the corner of the lap desk I use...and snores.

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    1. Awww, I can picture that. Cat... dog. It doesn't matter. Both make a house a home.

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  17. A catless writer ... hmm. Sus, I have to tell you I think the names Dot and Dash are clever and perfect! We are in the process of acquiring a cat and I have had mixed feelings all along. It's really for our daughter, who wants a pet (other than our fish) desperately. We have all of the accoutrements, now. It's just a matter of cleaning up my husband's office of all its technodetritus to make it safe.

    I'll be honest, I'm both nervous and curious about how our lives are getting ready to change with a fourth family member ...

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    1. I think it's wonderful that you're gonna get your daughter a cat. Pets and kids are a natural go-together. The fact that you're already thinking of the cat as a fourth family member tells me it's gonna be a great experience for all of you. (Gonna name the kitty Pi?)

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    2. My girl was thinking Maple for some reason! I like Maple but I think we'll know when we see her (we want a girl cat.)

      Sus, you are so, so flexible with the False Start posts. I can't thank you enough for participating every time, for going around to everyone's blogs to support their efforts and for contributing such wonderful examples of your own work. Thank you for being willing to post on a day you don't usually post and I'm sure it'll be perfect for you to visit everyone on Friday. I hope you and Smarticus have a beautiful Valentine's Day and I have to be allowed to say this because I really feel it and it's true. I love you!

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    3. Maple is a wonderful name, but like you say, when you see the cat, you'll have a better idea if the name "fits" her.

      Me flexible? Well, I can still touch my toes. I think. (Haven't tried for a while, but I'm thinking I could probably do it at least ONCE, if someone helps me back up...)

      Thank you. The feeling is mutual. I'm so glad we met, kiddo.

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  18. Haha! Love the pictures and quotes. Read this post with Spawn looking over my shoulder and could hear him giggle from time to time.

    My little 'Speedy Tomato' (yes, that was his name) used to lie on top of me and lick my chest at night. Not sure what he was trying to tell me about my hygiene. :)

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    1. Cool. I'm glad to hear Spawn giggled. (That boy is entirely too serious.) Also it's good to have verification that my humor actually is as juvenile as I always suspected.

      Speedy Tomato?? Now, that there's quite a name. Maybe one of these days, you can tell me its origin. (Hey! That could be the name of an alternate rock group!, ya know?) Yeah, my cats are forever licking me, too. I'd like to think it's a sign of great taste and affection, but they also lick each other's butts.

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  19. Hi Susan .. great stories .. how on earth does Dot get amongst the hangers .. amazing position, but Dash in her bowl is pretty special .. well, all I can say, is they rule the roost - and as far as the blog is concerned .. they've got it right .. we are only rearranging 26 letters - more fool us!!

    Cheers Hilary

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    1. Those two pics aren't really Dot and Dash... just a couple of look-alikes. But you're right about one thing; they definitely rule the roost.

      Cheers!

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  20. I have alway said that cats provide a backdrop to a home.
    Take a photo of a room, whether it be a real snap or one in your mind...and there, like magic will be a cat in the background...
    They are as vital to a home as breathing

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    1. Yes, as vital as breathing. Good way to put it.

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  21. I love cats, but Harper the collie does not. He protects me from the urge to let a cat own me.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. Too bad. Our dog and cat used to get along really well. But our dog Buck was about as laid back as an old slipper. And Smokey thought he was a dog.

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  22. Hi just taking part in the blog hop today, and thought I would stop by to visit your lovely blog! I see you are an animal lover...me too!

    I have a cat "Romeo", that loves to have everything his way....or it is the highway, as they say! lol...He is adorable, intelligent, all black, except for a few stray white hairs on his tummy... and very much so into whatever it is I am doing! I frequently need to ask, and politely so of course to remove himself from my keyboard! lol....

    Have a great day and nice to meet you! Sandy

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    1. Hi, Sandy. Thanks so much for stopping by. Nice to meetcha. I'm not (don't THINK I'm supposed to be) participating in a blog hop today, but I'm always happy to have new visitors. Romeo is a great name for a tomcat. (Especially if he hasn't been fixed... HA!) Oh yes, and of course you're right about the importance of employing good manners when asking our kitties to most graciously move their beautiful selves from our keyboards. Don't wanta give them a reason to look down on us., now, do we?

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  23. What sweet kitties. When I can't find my cat, she's usually under the table. Hiding from the dog.

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    1. When our dog Buck and cat Smokey were still alive, they used to hang out together, which definitely put the cat at a disadvantage when it came to hiding. Buck was too darned BIG to hide.

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  24. You have great cats! I never saw a cat drape themselves across hangers like that before. That's an epic cat shot.
    Beest, when she isn't hanging off me, staring at me, clawing my leg, farting at my face or demanding MORE FOOD is attending Communist Party meetings. I know this becauses now her answer to everything is "Mao" when it used to be "Bach." She's obviously given up her musical career and is going into politics.

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    1. Thanks. WE think they're pretty great. Then again, so do THEY...

      That shot with the hangers is one I got from a website called seniorark. It looked like Dot, so I went with it. She's a heavyweight, and a little bit of a wimp when it comes to jumping up very high, so it's not too likely we'll ever catch her sleeping on top of the hangers. Dash, on the other hand, is fearless. She likes to jump to the top of the valances over our bedroom windows. She's our Dora the Explorer.

      HA! I love that "Mao" comment. I can almost hear it. (It really DOES sound like they talk sometimes, doesn't it??)

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  25. Great post and pics! What you say about cats is true - EVERY. SINGLE. WORD.

    Until three years ago, I had Smokey. Whenever there was an open suitcase, she had to sit in it. So far, I've resisted the urge to get another cat. We'll wait and see what happens.

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    1. Thanks. I think all cat owners would agree. (Or maybe that should be, all people who are owned by cats...)

      We had a Smokey, too. A gray Persian. The two we have now get inside of our suitcases every single time. We're pretty sure it's because they don't want their staff to leave them. After Smokey died, I resisted the urge to get another cat. Until we took a trip to the animal shelter. If I could have, I would've brought every single cat and dog home with us. But we're happy with our two kitties. They keep each other company, and do a terrific job of keeping us entertained.

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  26. Greetings human, Susan,

    Yes, it's me, Penny the Jack Russell dog and modest internet superstar! I read this posting with much fascination. Yes, not only can I read, but I can type. Not easy using paws. Imagine yourself typing with mittens on.

    Cats driving cars and cats surfing. Indeed, this is assuredly so. However, many cats disappear in search of me. You do realise that cats adore me. And me think that cats are human owners.

    A very clever posting, my human friend.

    Pawsitive wishes and doggy kisses,

    Penny the Jack Russell dog and modest internet superstar! xx

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    1. Greetings dog Penny. (You can tell your human Gary hello for me, too.) I haven't tried typing with mittens on yet... just with a cat or two "helping". I'm quite sure you're right about cats adoring you. Who could resist such a sweet face. You can probably even drive a stick shift... Dot can only drive an automatic.

      Take care, sweet pooch.

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  27. I set up a sunny perch for my kitties near my desk, which is the only thing that keeps them from wedging in between me and the monitor.

    www.GirlwithaNewLife2.com

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    1. All bets are off on a cloudy day, huh? Never mind. You're in Florida, so I guess you're safe until the sun goes down.

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