Saturday, January 31, 2015

The StuporBowl

Not very long ago, I wrote about the fact that some four leggers seem to have the ability to predict natural disasters.

Recently however, it has come to my attention that many four leggers can also predict other future events such as the outcomes of sporting events, elections and even the how long the winter weather will last.

This has never been so remarked upon in the local news than this week.

Our local NFL team, the Seattle Seahawks will be playing in the Superbowl again this year against some other football team. So all week long, the news has been airing stories about animals in zoos around the country that are purported to have the ability to pick the winner of the big game thingy. Everything from octopi to bears to prairie dogs are asked to choose either the Seattle Seahawks or that other team.

Charlatans. Each and every one of them.

Now I'm not saying that there are no clairvoyant animals out there. There are indeed proven cases of zoo animals making incredibly accurate predictions. In fact, there is reportedly a monkey who lives at the Arkansas State Zoo and Bait Shop named "Bubbaloo" who has a 99% accuracy rate in predicting exactly which zoo goers will be hit by flying fecal matter on any given day. He simply sits in his cage and seemingly at random, he will suddenly point a long monkey finger at a passing two legger and yell "HOO HOO!!". Invariably, within seconds the indicated two legger will be struck by a wad of airborne poo.


That being said, the news is full of two leggers who claim that their critter is the true oracle of football wisdom. Allow me to tell you how these things work:

The two leggers look for the cutest, cuddliest animal in their menagerie. They then place a flag or helmet from each of the competing teams equidistant from the predictor. Whichever flag or helmet the animal gravitates toward represents the predicted winner. Then all the two leggers cheer loudly because invariably, their team was chosen.

Now obviously the opportunities for subterfuge abound in this scenario. The results are obviously skewed by hiding a bit of the animal's favorite treat under the helmet or flag of the preferred team. It is simply a matter of picking the correct treat for the correct animal.
For example:
If one is employing a panda, a small stick of bamboo would suffice.
If using a lion, a fresh steak or preferably a small poodle would influence his choice.
When asking Justin Bieber, simply placing a large amount of marijuana within the lining of the helmet would encourage his picking your team.

If they truly want an accurate, non-biased prediction, they should come to me.

My opinion would not be swayed so easily. I cannot be influenced by cheap tricks and simple bribery. I would use science and logic to provide an accurate and well thought out conclusion as to the probable victor.

Since no one has bothered to ask my opinion, as usual I will provide it anyway.
After much scientific pondering and thought, I predict that the Seattle Seahawks will soundly defeat that other team.

 I can prove my hypothesis.......

First, let's look at the quarterbacks. Seattle's quarterback, Russell Wilson is a cat lover who visits young sick two leggers in the hospital every week. The other team's quarterback consorts with dogs and has been known to race hamsters on the weekend (usually the hamsters win, but he still races them anyway).

The coaches: Seattle coach, Pete Carroll scampers, cavorts and frolics on the sideline in a most feline manner. The other team's coach wears hoodies.

Seattle has Marshawn Lynch whose nickname is "Beast Mode". VERY INTIMIDATING. The other team has someone named "Gronk". A "Gronk" sounds like something that Ivan left in the litter box after he ate the two legger's leftover sushi.

Finally, the Seahawks are from Seattle. A place so beautiful that it is known as "The Emerald City". The other team is from somewhere called "New England". A place that is known for being newer than "Old England".

Given this overwhelming evidence, I can only conclude that the Seahawks will completely dominate the contest.

Now I must go. It sounds like Ivan is taking another gronk.

Monday, January 26, 2015


It is night and I am restless.

I should be exhausted, given the fact that I only had 21.7 hours of sleep today. Yet I find that sleep escapes me..

I stalk the Stygian darkness on silent paws. The muted night hangs like a black veil, cutting off all light and sound.

All my minions, both two and four legged alike, are wrapped deep in the arms of  Somnus.

Jaq is curled up in the nest she has made of the comforter in the guest bedroom. She smiles sweetly in her slumber, probably dreaming of her glory days when she was the queen of the backyard karoake scene.

Tiger Lily is crashed on top of the refrigerator thingy, secure in the mistaken belief that the stainless steel camouflages her completely. While it is true that it worked for a short while, I became suspicious after I noticed that the relatively new icebox had developed a distinctive whine. Upon further investigation, I discover that it had grown a furry monochromatic lump behind the blender stored atop it. I decide to let her be for now and not let on that I am aware of her new hidey-hole. Sometimes I find it best to bank information such as this for use at another time when it may prove more advantageous.

I find Ivan sprawled on his back across the hallway floor like a large orange unwelcome mat. He is snoring with his mouth wide open and a small gobbet of drool darkens his chin. I momentarily consider smacking him into consciousness, but decide to leave him be. He was up late last night having (and losing) a philosophical discussion with a doorknob and he deserves his rest.

I sit for a while on the bed stand next to the sleeping male two legger, hoping that he will awaken to find my eyes staring at him from the darkness, but to no avail. His slumber is too deep to be disturbed by the creepy feeling one gets when being stared at.

Working up a world-class skulk, I returned to the living room to survey my yard from the bay window. As I peered into the nocturnal landscape of my front yard, I became aware of a pair of eyes peering at me from the front deck railing.

Aaaah, Sheba is also awake.

Sheba is the feral I hired to replace Jaq after I promoted her to the Inner Kingdom. She has been in my employ for the better part of a year now and seems fairly competent. She spends her days scaring birds and worrying the squirrel thingy. She has yet to bring me the flea-bitten corpse of the squirrel thingy, but I hold out hope that her skills will improve with practice.

It is not often that I have a chance to communicate with Sheba. I have always made it my policy to publicly eschew ferals. Whenever I spot one on the deck or in the backyard, I make a huge show of hissing and batting the window, cursing, spitting and showing general displeasure. This display of aggression is a bit of farcical nonsense I put on to amuse the two leggers.

I have a reputation to uphold after all.

I decided to take advantage of this unexpected moment of privacy to let Sheba know how she's doing and perhaps advise her on my expectations.

I smacked the window to gain her attention and began:

"Look Sheba, you've been doing a fairly decent job here. Your bird-scaring tactics have proven effective. The last outdoor mouse thingy I saw was in a most satisfying condition of panic. You have annoyed and intimidated the squirrel thingy admirably. Overall, I am satisfied with your performance to date.
    "However, and please take this in the spirit of constructive criticism in which it is intended, you have yet to slay anything. You have now had over a year to fill my yard with a large selection of little furry vermin parts. The ground below the bird feeders should look like the aftermath of a sorority house pillow fight. I expected that by now I would see the head of the squirrel thingy mounted atop the hat of the garden gnome. 
    "I suspect that the goat thingy may be a better hunter. 
    "So I am putting you on notice. It is time for you to step up your game. Now, go forth and commit violence!"

Sheba took this severe tongue lashing with stoic indifference.

To hide her embarrassment and shame, she sat back and began to clean herself.

Then the squirrel came up and gave her a massage.

Anyone know of any unemployed mountain lions?

Saturday, January 17, 2015

The StareMaster

I am often asked questions by two leggers regarding the behavior of their feline masters.

Everything from "Why is Miffy Snugglebuttons always shredding my curtains?" to "Why does Fluffington McPoofyton always go barfy in my favorite shoes?".

These behavioral issues are generally related and can be resolved with one simple solution: Stop giving us such ridiculous names! Use names that reflect the way we see ourselves, not as you see us. Names like "Marcus Mouse-Menacer" or "Barnabas, Bringer of Badness" or even "Steve". These are names that are worthy of cats.

However, the question that I am most often asked is: "Why does my cat constantly stare at me?"

This question is not so easily answered.

You see, there are 3,846 known reasons for staring at two leggers. Also consider that there are several variables that may dictate the initiation of a feline stare. Factors such as time of day/night, ambient temperature, location and what sort of idiotic or questionable behavior the two leggers are currently engaged in.

Due to restrictions in space (and interest), I have chosen but a few instances of staring to discuss today.

The first and most common stare is the "I Am Bored and Have Decided To Spend The Next 20 Minutes Creeping You Out Stare". Fairly self-explanatory, it is generally utilized whenever a two legger has stopped paying attention to the resident feline and has instead become engrossed in a favorite program on the talking box thingy. The cat places itself in a position directly between the offending two legger and the talking box thingy, preferably situated in a manner that provides maximum visual blockage of the screen.

This stare is maintained until the two legger:
A. Moves
B. Gives up and provides the cat the attention it deserves.
C. Runs from the room threatening to call a priest.

Another common stare is the "Lavatory Lookout". There are several variants of this particular stare. It can be used to intimidate or subtly threaten. It can also be used to simply observe the crude litter habits of the two leggers. However, I find it much more amusing to cause panic and fear when at two in the morning the sleepy-headed two legger flips on the light switch to find eight pounds of furry insanity staring at it from less than six inches away.

Unfortunately I do not have a visual example of this stare owing to the fact that cameras have been banned from my bathroom ever since an unfortunate YouTube incident back in 2012.

My favorite stare however, is the "You Are Not Fit To Even Lick The Litter From My Paws" stare. This wonderful look of disdain is intended to reinforce the fact that all other lifeforms are inferior to Felis Domesticus. Occasionally, our two leggers will get the silly idea that they are in charge. They act above their station and must be reminded that this is simply false. Oh sure, they can be chastised with bloodshed and wanton material destruction, but there are times when I simply don't have the time or energy to mete out physical punishment. I find that on these occasions a stare of derision can accomplish the same goal.
Well, the male two legger has just read what I have written so far. He seems to think that I have perhaps gone too far. He has requested that I delete it and write something about bunnies and such.

This is the stare he will receive for the foreseeable future:

Saturday, January 10, 2015

The Fog Blog

I awoke this morning to a most disturbing sight.

But then he and the female got dressed and left for work.

As they were leaving, I beheld another, almost as disturbing sight.

My outer Kingdom had disappeared. Vanished. Gone. No more.

It had been replaced by a whispy, cottony substance. Slightly opaque, it seemed to glow with the rising sun. I could just make out the vague shadows that were surely my tree thingies. Of the goat pen, I could see nothing.

What could this be?

According to the news, it was called "fog". They explained that it was fairly rare for it to occur in my region of the world, but due to an odd weather system, we would be experiencing it for the next few days. What they failed to explain however, is exactly what "fog" is made of.

So I got on my computer typey thingy and went to the National Weather Service website ( According to the NWS, fog is formed when a whole bunch of huge words interact with a whole bunch of even bigger words which then form into several clusters of small but unpronounceable words which spread out forming a bunch of confusing and confounding terms.

More confused than ever, I decided to look at the website of our local news station. This website featured the same smarmy two legger that delivers the nightly forecast. Every night he offers a highly dumbed-down explanation of weather phenomenon while making it sound slightly profane and suggestive.

Unfortunately, I was only able to watch one of his videos before having to bathe myself in order to remove the smarminess that seemed to radiate from the screen.

Finally, I decided to solve the mystery myself.

The first step in solving a scientific mystery is "observation".

 What were the conditions preceding the development of the fog? Well, the temperature recently had been mild, neither warm nor seasonably cold. Mostly sunny skies (but only during the day, never at night). Little or no wind. I had noticed that the goat thingy had been acting odd, but odd is the norm when referring to goat thingies. The only unusual factor I noticed was an increase in squirrel activity. The squirrel has spent the last two days scurrying back and forth between his tree and the stump where the two leggers feed the bird thingies. I attributed this to the fact that the female two legger had set out a bowl of dried beans that were past their useful date. The squirrel was obviously planning a chili cook-off sometime in the near future. Other than this mad dashing back and forth, I could detect no significant anomalies between this week and any other.

The next step is "testing".

 I approached the edge of the bay window where I know there exists a light draft. I slowly inhaled. While it did not provide a true example of how the fog smelled, I was able to ascertain that the fog smelled unpleasant, stale and stagnant. Not quite on a par with Ivan after Burrito Night, but unpleasant nonetheless. It was also damp. Not unlike the air in the bathroom when the two leggers spray water upon themselves every morning.

So fog is moist, stinky, air.

The final step is "forming a theory and testing it empirically".

I had my theory in mind. Now to test it.

The squirrel was playing on my front deck directly below the bay window. In the past, a simple smack on the window would send the varmint into a panicked retreat back to the perceived safety of his tree. However, this time when I smacked upon the window, he simply turned, twitched the floofiness of his mangy tail, and grinned at me.

He even had the temerity to wink.

Thus proving my theory.

What the weather nerds at the National Weather Service were trying to say, and what The Smarmy One failed to explain, can be summed up in two words:

Squirrel Farts.

Fortunately, the beans are now all gone.

The fog should clear in a few days.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

A Midnight Smack

I profess to having absolutely no phobias.

There is nothing upon this earth that truly scares me.

Don't get me wrong, there are things that I am careful to avoid. A healthy respect for self-preservation is no weakness; large rabid dog thingies, live electrical wires and Ivan after "Burrito Night" come to mind. However, I can think of nothing that really gives me a case of the heebie-jeebies.

That being said, if there was one thing that can be said to worry me, it would be the fear of being accused of being predictable or taken for granted.

Everyone who has read my blog or book thingies knows that one of the great joys in my life is that of smacking. I can think of few things that give me greater pleasure than smacking Tiger Lily. I confess that the feeling of my paw connecting with her unnaturally large face after an unjustified whine just fills my stony heart with happiness. But what you may not be aware of is the fact that unlike most felines, I am capable of embracing change.

If I spent all my days simply waiting around for Tiger Lily to whine, I (and my readers) would soon become listless and bored. Therefore, I make a conscious effort to mix things up on occasion.

So in the interest of keeping things fresh, I have embarked on a new campaign.

I will no longer smack Tiger Lily whenever she whines.

I now smack her at other times too.

I have also found new and inventive methods for deploying The Mighty Smacking Paw:

 There is "The Bushsmack". Simple but effective, I hide in the artificial plant (Plasticus Verbanium) in the hallway. As she walks by on her constant quest for something to complain about, I rustle one of the branches as thought there might be a mouse thingy attempting to hide. When she goes to investigate, she is met with a swipe that rattles her noggin and sends her into hiding.

"The Hammer 'O The Hamper" takes advantage of her predilection to rolling in dirty laundry. This requires both skill and timing. She has grown somewhat wary of late and has taken to approaching anything that may contain a small tuxedo cat with great care and caution. The other day I noticed that as she approached the half-filled hamper, she approached it slowly. Examining every lump and fold carefully before abandoning herself to full blown laundry lolling.. What she failed to examine was the cabinet that sits about four tailspans above the aforementioned hamper. Had she looked up, she would have beheld a black and white feline awaiting his moment of glory. As soon as she was fully involved in rolling around amongst the two legger's dirty delicates, I dropped upon her like a coconut nailing a native. Do not worry, though I fell from a great height, between the laundry and a very startled and slightly chubby gray tabby cat, my fall was broken and I suffered no ill effects.

But my favorite technique has to be "The Pillow Fight". Tiger Lily spends most evenings perched upon the pillow behind the female two legger's head thingy.  This requires my utmost stalking skills combined with healthy doses of sneakiness and subterfuge.

I slink into the bedroom, moving from shadow to shadow. While the female is distracted by her iPad thingy, I sneak under the bed, quietly crawling until I am between the wall and the headboard. In a flash, I reach over the headboard and pop Tiger Lily square in the brain pan. With a mighty yowl she bolts from the bed (leaving massive scratches across the shoulders of the female). When performed correctly, this results in the female banishing Tiger Lily from the bedroom for the rest of the evening as well as leaving Yours Truly undetected beneath the bed.

 All is now right in my Kingdom.

I believe I am now safe from any accusations of predictability.     

I hope everyone has a very happy and blessed New Year filled with amusement and mayhem!