Peevish Pen

Ruminations on reading, writing, rural living, retirement, aging—and sometimes cats. And maybe a border collie or other critters.

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Location: Rural Virginia, United States

I'm an elderly retired teacher who writes. Among my books are Ferradiddledumday (Appalachian version of the Rumpelstiltskin story), Stuck (middle grade paranormal novel), Patches on the Same Quilt (novel set in Franklin County, VA), Them That Go (an Appalachian novel), Miracle of the Concrete Jesus & Other Stories, and several Kindle ebooks.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

SOTK Report

by Tanner (Chief House Kitty)

Today I want to present my "State of the Kitties" report. I know it should have been an address, but my meow is so soft nobody would be able to hear me, so I wrote it instead. Note: This report pertains only to the house-kitties, whether they are full- or part-time. It doesn't include the outside cats.

As some of you know, the former Chief House Kitty, Dylan, crossed the rainbow bridge last month. Here is a picture of me and Dylan last September in our favorite spot. He liked to sit in the sun, and I would wash him.

 Chloe and Olivia and I said good-bye to Dylan right before he crossed. He was almost 15, and he'd had cancer for a few months. He let some big paw-prints for me to fill, but I will do my best.

The other kitties and I have made adjustments. Dylan used to walk around the outside of the house every morning and afternoon. He would sniff bushes and pee on ones that didn't smell right to him. George does that now. Jim-Bob, who is second-in-command to George outside, has taken over patrolling some of George's territory in addition to his own territory.

Jim-Bob usually works first shift and George works second shift, but sometimes they work together, It is their job to secure the perimeter of the property and to assist the barn-cats in checking the pasture for invading rodents. I think they are doing their jobs pretty good.

George is my bestest friend.

 I get along OK with Jim-Bob. Usually.

The two old lady cats, Olivia and Camilla, don't do much. They go out and sit on the deck if the weather is nice. Camilla is very old (17!) and spends most of her time sleeping. She has never liked me. Olivia, who is deaf and doesn't have teeth, walks to the barn and back on days when the weather is good. Sometimes Olivia will cuddle me, but not very often.

Chloe is a free spirit and does what she pleases, but she usually works first shift outside and then third shift on rat patrol in the garage. Chloe used to be my bestest friend, but then she started bossing me too much.

I have to confess that I maybe did a few bad things in the past year. The worst is I went AWOL. A few months ago, I got in line with the other cats when they went out at dawn. If it's kind of dark, I look like Camilla, so that made it easy to sneak out. Anyhow, I was gone for almost three days before I got tired of the wild life and came back. It was cold and rained a lot, so outside wasn't as much fun as I thought it would be.

Then there was the episode of the purloined shrimp. Mommy put some shrimp in a colander in the sink to thaw out. She covered them with a paper towel so I wouldn't notice. While she was in another room, I took the towel and just one shrimp. She caught me.

But I learned from that. I learned to eat the evidence a lot faster or else hide while I eat it. I also had an episode of dirt-slinging, but not as bad as what I might have done in the past. I was just trying to get away from Arlo who was pestering me, and I couldn't hide in the flower pot until I removed some dirt first.

Speaking of Arlo, at first I was suspicious of him, and I blogged about it last month in "Refugee Kitty." But I have got used to Arlo, so I took him under my wing.

At a recent cat meeting (we have them every morning while Mommy reads the paper, but she is quiet and doesn't bother us), we voted Arlo in as an official household kitty. He recently met both criteria for membership (neutering + rabies shot), so I proposed we include him. I excused myself from the meeting and went downstairs to get him. When we returned, he stayed behind me (maybe because in the past George chased him and Jim-Bob growled at him), so everybody was impressed by his politeness. He is one of us now.

And that's my "State of the Kitties" report.
—Tanner (Chief Household Kitty)



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