A Kitten’s Days of Christmas

  • On the first day of Christmas, my kitten ruined for me…
    A batch of my special hand-print cookies. I had turned my back to grab the cookie sheet sitting on the stove. In that micro-second, Sara climbed onto the table, poked her paw into the delightfully kneady mixture and, suddenly off-balance, fell into the cookie dough.

    Net loss? Six cups of flour, four cups of sugar, three sticks of butter. Of course, it would have been cheaper to remove the feline ingredient, pick out the hairs, and just rename the recipe Paw Print Cookies.

  • On the second day of Christmas, my kitten accompanied me…
    On a trip to the vet clinic. Who knew that skinny curling ribbon has feline taste appeal? I didn’t.

    Damages: $28 for the office visit, $36 for anesthesia so the veterinarian could take $55 X-rays in case Sara had taste-tested any other Christmas decorations, and a heck of a lot of embarrassment when the vet removed the 3″ curly tail in slightly less than two seconds by tugging at it with a pair of tweezers.

  • On the third day of Christmas, my kitten wrecked for me…
    13 ornaments on my Christmas tree. My mistake was forgetting to chain the decorations to the branches. My other error was leaving the room to go to the bathroom while Sara feigned sleeping under the tree. How was I to know she was actually measuring its climbing potential?

    Value of broken bulbs? $7.50 plus tax.

  • On the fourth day of Christmas, my kitten broke for me…
    A statue in my Lenox Nativity. Would you believe two Wise men plus a head?
    Lenox nativity figurines: $55.99
  • On the fifth day of Christmas, my kitten scratched for me…
    The kid across the street who collects for charity. It was an accident. She merely wanted to reach out and touch someone. Unfortunately, she used an unsheathed claw to do so. I settled out-of-court for the cost of a jacket to replace the boy’s blood stained one and a hefty donation to the charity of their choice. Although the amount must remain secret according to our settlement, let me put it this way. You haven’t seen many soldiers for the Salvation Army this year, have you? Think: Major Windfall!
  • On the sixth day of Christmas, my kitten opened for me…
    The presents beneath my Christmas tree. It was only two, really. While doing some early shopping at a discount store, I purchased a catnip mouse for Sara’s stocking. Apparently, anything in the same bag as catnip takes on its potent aroma for a very long time.

    Replacement costs: $3.99 for another roll of Christmas wrapping paper, $4.50 for two empty boxes, $1 each for the kind of bows Sara can’t unravel.

  • On the seventh day of Christmas, my kitten lost for me…
    The earrings I bought for my sister Mary. Actually, it was one earring but since Mary doesn’t have a hole in her nose or navel, a pair of matching earrings does make a more appealing gift.

    Sale price: $29.95 plus tax.

  • On the eighth day of Christmas, my kitten helped me…
    Replace my E and G guitar strings. Would you believe a kitten could fit into the itty-bitty hole in the middle of my Yamaha guitar? Neither could I, but Sara thought so. And she succeeded once she got those rascally strings out of the way. Unfortunately, her little rear end couldn’t get out the way it went in. After paying through the whiskers for her previous escapades, I would have been willing to leave her in the guitar for the duration of the holiday season, except that she chose to get stuck two hours before I was due at the nursing home for our annual Christmas carol sing-a-long.

    Set of steel guitar strings: $12.95;
    Jar of petroleum jelly: 79 cents.

  • On the ninth day of Christmas, my kitten destroyed for me…
    My Christmas card list when she walked across my computer’s delete key.

    Cost for call to Computer Country’s 900/help line: $17.50. And I still don’t know what happened to the listings of B through H.

  • On the tenth day of Christmas, my kitten hid from me…..
    The remote control from my 13-inch TV. This wouldn’t be such a disaster if she hadn’t previously stolen the power knob. I missed a week’s worth of Christmas specials, including my all-time favorite, “It’s a Wonderful Life.”

    Rental of “It’s a Wonderful Life”: $2;
    Purchase of book, “Good Owners, Great Cats”: $24.95. Unfortunately, it never mentions the psychological profile of kittens with kleptomania.

  • On the eleventh day of Christmas, my kitten ate for me…..
    The drumsticks off my 19-pound turkey. OK, OK, So this one time it was my fault. I knew I never should have uttered those now infamous words: “Your first turkey, Sara. Want to try just a little piece?”

    Cost: Christmas Dinner.

  • On the 12th day of Christmas……..
    Sara rested. And so, thank goodness, did my VISA card.

Cat-Mas Season

Cat-mas season is here. This is a wonderful time of year when the humans decorate the home for us cats in anticipation of the visit from Santa Claws. The tree went up yesterday, and so did I. Made it to the fourth branch within the first five minutes before the Big Owner chased me out of the tree.

So, as I do every year, I waited and watched the humans decorate the Cat-mas tree with all sorts of what the humans call “ornaments.” I call them “cat toys.”

Ornaments are invitations to a cat, bright and shiny spheres just daring a cat to knock them off. Every year the humans hang the ornaments a little higher out of my range, forcing me to elevate my game to knock them off. Humans “ohhh and ahhh” as they decorate the Cat-mas tree. I salivate in anticipation of the night’s activities.

The humans retire to bed, as is custom during Cat-mas season, leaving me to play with my tree. Tonight is a challenge, the ornaments are at an all time high. I crept under the tree and began to scale branches. This is great! A tree in my own home, why don’t they do this year-round? Five, six, seven branches, I climb like a pro. Ten, twelve, I am half way to the top, and there is the first ornament! This is easy as Cat-mas fruitcake.

I make my way down the branch approaching the first ornament. It lightly jiggles as my weight causes the bough to bend. Almost there! One paw away and I feel a shudder. Something is not right, I begin to lose my balance. The room is tilting! No, the room is not tilting, the Cat-mas tree is falling! It seemed like forever as the tree leaned, then pitched, and finally crashed to the floor in a resounding bang of exploding bulbs, ornaments, and broken limbs. I quickly extricated myself from the splintered tree just as the Big Owner game bursting in snapping on the lights. There I was, sitting next to the tree, as innocent a look on my face as any other in the household.

“What happened?” he growled. Not a peep from me, I turned and looked at the tree. “I guess we hung too many ornaments on one side of the tree,” I heard him say later as he hoisted the mangled Cat-mas tree back into place.

“Good answer,” I thought. The Big Owner staggered off to bed, and I retreated to the living room. Maybe I’ll tear down those stockings that were hung by the chimney with care.

It was good day.

From the Cat Diary
Copyright 1999 Mark Mason All Rights Reserved

‘Twas the Night Before Cat-mas

‘Twas the night before Cat-mas and all through MY house,
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse…(I ate it).
My kitty stocking was hung by the cat door with care,
In hopes that Santa Claws soon would be there;
The humans were nestled all snug in their beds,
While we cats in the darkness danced on their heads;
Big Owner in his “sleepy’s”, and me his loyal cat,
Had just settled down for a long winter’s nap,
When out in the ‘hood there arose such a clatter,
I sprang to four paws to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Eating curtains and shades (I threw up the sash).
The street lamp outside shined eerily below,
Maybe two cats fighting? Paw to paw, blow-by-blow?
No, wait! What my sharp kitty eyes should detect,
But a miniature cat box, and that Devonshire Rex.
A little old driver, all hairy with paws,
I knew in an instant it must be Santa Claws.
More rapid than hairballs his coursers they came,
And he howled, he meowed, he called them by name;
To the top of the fence! To the top of the tree!
My felines are awaiting, they are all purring!”
As dry heaves that before the wild furballs fly,
When he meets with an obstacle, they jump to the sky,
So over my shingles the kitties they flew,
With the carriage full of cat morsels, and Santa Claws too.
With a turn of my ear, I heard on the roofpole
The scratching and clawing of each kitty’s sole.
I drew in my head, and was spinning around,
When through the cat door Santa Claws did abound.
A long hair in fur, of course, from head to foot,
And his hairs were all shiny, well coiffured, nicely put.
A bundle of cat toys he had flung on his back,
You’d swear he was pedigree just him with his pack.
His eyes — how they twinkled! His whiskers how bold!
His cheek hairs so soft, his nose…oh, how cold!
He shed not a hair, each strand in its place
The most famous of all of the proud feline race.
The stump of some cat nip he held tight in his teeth,
Its aroma encircling his head like a wreath;
An imposing cat with the biggest belly in history,
That shook, when he laughed like a bowlful of Friskies.
A grimalkin of breed, a right jolly old cat!
Did I say grimalkin, how could I think that!
A twitch of the whisker and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread;
He mewed not a sound, but went straight to his work,
Filled my stockings with kitty treats; then turned with a jerk,
And laying a talon aside of his nose,
After giving a nod, out the cat door he goes;
He sprang to his cat box, to his team gave “MEOW!”
And away they all flew, like the wind they did howl.
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,

From the Cat Diary
Copyright 1999 Mark Mason All Rights Reserved

The End of the Raven

By Edgar Allen Poe’s Cat

On a night quite unenchanting
When the rain was downward slanting
I awakened to the ranting
Of the man I catch mice for.
Tipsy and a bit unshaven
Poe was talking to a Raven
Perched above the chamber door.
“Raven’s very tasty,” thought I, as I tiptoed o’er the floor,
“There is nothing I like more.”

Soft upon the rug I treaded,
Calm and carefully I headed
Towards his roost atop that dreaded bust of Pallas I deplore.
While the Bard and birdie chattered
I made sure that nothing clattered,
Creaked or snapped, or fell, or shattered
As I crossed the corridor,
For his house is crammed with trinkets, curious and weird decor,
Bric-a-brac and junk galore.

Still the Raven never fluttered,
Standing stock still as he uttered
In a voice that shrieked and sputtered
His two cents worth: “Nevermore.”
While this dirge the birdbrain kept up
Oh, so silently I crept up
Then I crouched and quickly leapt up,
Pouncing on the feathered bore.
Soon he was a heap of plumage, plus a little blood and gore —
Only this and nothing more.

“Ah!” my pickled poet cried out,
“Pussycat, it’s time I dried out!
Never sat I in my hideout
Talking to a bird before!
How I’ve wallowed in self-pity
While my gallant, noble kitty
Put an end to that damned ditty!”
Then I heard him start to snore.
Back atop the door I clambered, eyed that statue I abhor,
Jumped — and smashed it on the floor.

Training Your Human

Training your human is a thankless task.
“Why bother with it?”, some kittens may ask.
The fate of the world is the issue at hand,
as felines worldwide stake a claim for their land.
Make no bones about it, we cats own the joint.
We spray in the corners to drive home the point.

Some say the meek shall inherit the Earth,
But they’ve no fangs or claws, for what that’s worth.
The cat is the ultimate species, you see,
We’re poised to usurp man’s authority.
These silly old humans who cannot play nice!
We cats are peaceful, we hate only mice.

Just what does training your human entail?
A host of fun things you must do without fail:
The sofas and rugs need a little makeover.
The La-Z-Boy’s target for kitty takeover.
Then sleep on clean towels placed in the guest bath.
And make their best clothing a target of wrath.

Tear down those new drapes with a quick forceful tug.
Then tatter the pile of the new berber rug.
And when they are sleeping, you block off their nose,
paw at their lower lip, chew on their toes.
Strut on the mantle. If they give any flack,
knock down their trophies and all bric-a-brac.

Shed on mom’s new velvet black evening gown,
as she’s headed out for a night on the town.
If they leave you home all alone for the night,
(Any human doing this can’t be all that bright),
They’re telling you by leaving, it’s perfectly all right,
To totally redecorate ’til dawn’s early light.
Knock over tables and chew up the fern.
Hurry, go faster! Soon, they’ll return…

When they try to punish, you mustn’t show concern.
(All attempts of discipline a pussycat should spurn).
A snide flick of tail will convey no remorse,
but they will try harder to scold you, of course!
So, hide in the closet until they forget,
and then launch out just like an F-14 jet.

Tear up their ankle, their forearm, their hand,
then when they’ve had all the pain they can stand,
dart from the room while they call 9-1-1,
and celebrate victory: The felines have won!
To humans, however, the battle’s begun,
as they steep in their anger and wish for a gun.

Pathetic and lumbering and clumsy to boot,
My friend, human dominance is really a hoot.
Take charge in your home. It’s destiny, meow.
(The verses above have already told how).
So sleep for an hour, and then grab some chow,
And then train your human, beginning right now.

How to Prepare for a New Cat

  • Take cold chicken and stars soup straight from the can and splash it across the carpet and the foot of the bed and then walk in it in the dark with your socks on.
  • Set up a mouse trap at the foot of the bed each night so that if you move a toe one inch while you are sleeping, you are sure to get snapped.
  • Cover all your best suits with cat hair. Dark suits must use white hair, and light suits must use dark hair. Also, float some hair in your first cup of coffee in the morning.
  • Put everything cat-toy sized into a water bowl to marinate.
  • Practice cutting your chicken into teeny tiny bites so that when they steal, it won’t be the whole breast.
  • Tip over a basket of clean laundry, and scatter clothing all over the floor.
  • Leave your underwear on the living room floor, because that’s where the cat will drag it anyway (especially when you have company).
  • Jump out of your chair shortly before the end of your favorite TV program and run to the TV shouting “No! No! Don’t chew on the electric cord!” Miss the end of the program.
  • Put chocolate pudding on the carpet in the corner of the living room in the morning and don’t try to clean it up until you return from work that evening.
  • Gouge the surface of the dining room table several times with an exacto knife. It’s going to get scratched anyway.
  • Practice searching every closet and open cabinet door before you shut it.
  • Knock all small items off your kitchen counter.
  • Chew the eraser off every pencil in the house.
  • Take a fork and shred the roll of toliet paper while it’s still hanging up. Pull a few sheets off and scatter them around the bathroom.
  • Take a staple remover and punch two holes in every scrap of paper around the house.
  • Get a litter tray without a lid and mix in some tootsie rolls with cat litter and then tip it over right before the company comes. Make sure your guests get to find this before you do.
  • Buy a mixed bag of cat toys and stuff them under the refrigerator. Practice getting up at 2AM and fishing them out with a ruler or broom stick.
  • Take a warm cuddly blanket out of the dryer and immediately wrap it around yourself. This is the feeling you will get when your new cat falls asleep on your lap.

Politically Correct Terms for Cat Owners

  • My cat does not barf hairballs, he is a floor/rug redecorator.
  • My cat does not break things, she helps gravity do its job.
  • My cat does not fear dogs, they are merely sprint practice tools.
  • My cat does not gobble, she eats with alacrity.
  • My cat does not scratch, he is a furniture/rug/skin ventilator.
  • My cat is not a “shedding machine”, she is a hair relocation stylist.
  • My cat is not a “treat-seeking missile”, she enjoys the proximity of food.
  • My cat is not a chatterbox, she is advising me on what to do next.
  • My cat is not a dope addict, she is catnip appreciative.
  • My cat is not a ruthless hunter, she is a wildlife control expert.
  • My cat is not evil, she is badness enhanced.
  • My cat is not fat, he is mass enhanced.
  • My cat is not hydrophobic, she has an inability to appreciate moisture.
  • My cat is not underfoot, she is shepherding me to my next destination (which should always be the food dish).

The British Way to Give a Cat a Pill

  1. Pick cat up and cradle it in the crook of your left arm as if holding a baby. Position right forefinger and thumb on either side of cat’s mouth and gently apply pressure to cheeks while holding pill in right hand. As cat opens mouth pop pill into mouth. allow cat to close mouth and swallow.
  2. Retrieve pill from floor and cat from behind sofa. Cradle cat in left arm and repeat process.
  3. Retrieve cat from bedroom, and throw soggy pill away.
  4. Take new pill from foil wrap, cradle cat in left arm holding rear paws tightly with left hand. Force jaws open and push pill to back of mouth with right fore-finger. Hold mouth shut for a count of ten.
  5. Retrieve pill from goldfish bowl and cat from top of wardrobe. Call friend.
  6. Kneel on floor with cat wedged firmly between knees, hold front and rear paws. Ignore low growls emitted by cat. Get friend to hold head firmly with one hand while forcing wooden ruler into mouth. Drop pill down remove ruler and rub cat’s throat vigorously.
  7. Retrieve cat from curtain rail, get another pill from foil wrap. Make note to buy new ruler and repair curtains. Carefully sweep shattered Doulton figures from hearth and set to one side for gluing later.
  8. Wrap cat in large towel and get friend to lie on cat with head just visible from below armpit. Put pill in end of drinking straw, force mouth open with pencil and blow down drinking straw.
  9. Check label to make sure pill not harmful to humans, drink glass of water to take taste away. Apply band-aid to friend’s forearm and remove blood from carpet with cold water and soap.
  10. Retrieve cat from neighbor’s shed. Get another pill. Place cat in cupboard and close door onto neck to leave head showing. Force mouth open with dessert spoon. Flick pill down throat with elastic band.
  11. Fetch screwdriver from garage and put cupboard door back on hinges. Apply cold compress to cheek and check records for date of last tetanus shot. Throw Tee-shirt away and fetch new one from bedroom.
  12. Ring fire brigade to retrieve cat from tree across the road. Apologize to neighbor who crashed into fence while swerving to avoid cat. Take last pill from foil-wrap.
  13. Tie cat’s front paws to rear paws with garden twine and bind tightly to leg of dining table, find heavy duty pruning gloves from shed, hold cat’s mouth open with small spanner. Push pill into mouth followed by large piece of fillet of steak. Hold head vertically and pour pint of water down throat to wash pill down.
  14. Get friend to drive you to the emergency room, sit quietly while doctor stitches fingers and forearm and removes pill remnants from right eye. Call furniture shop on way home to order new table.
  15. Arrange for SPCA to collect cat. Ring local pet shop to see if they have any hamsters.

A Cat’s Diary

  • DAY 752
    My captors continue to taunt me with bizarre little dangling objects. They dine lavishly on fresh meat, while I am forced to eat dry cereal. The only thing that keeps me going is
    the hope of escape, and the mild satisfaction I get from ruining the occasional piece of furniture. Tomorrow I may eat another houseplant.
  • DAY 761
    Today my attempt to kill my captors by weaving around their feet while they were walking almost succeeded, must try this at the top of the stairs. In an attempt to disgust and repulse these vile oppressors, I once again induced myself to vomit on their favorite chair…must try this on their bed.
  • DAY 762
    Slept all day so that I could annoy my captors with sleep depriving, incessant pleas for food at ungodly hours of the night.
  • DAY 765
    Decapitated a mouse and brought them the headless body, in attempt to make them aware of what I am capable of, and to try to strike fear into their hearts. They only cooed and
    condescended about what a good little cat I was…Hmmm. Not working according to plan…
  • DAY 768
    I am finally aware of how sadistic they are. For no good reason I was chosen for the water torture. This time however it included a burning foamy chemical called “shampoo.” What sick minds could invent such a liquid. My only consolation is the piece of thumb still stuck between my teeth.
  • DAY 771
    There was some sort of gathering of their accomplices. I was placed in solitary throughout the event. However, I could hear the noise and smell the foul odor of the glass tubes they call “beer.” More importantly, I overheard that my confinement was due to MY power of “allergies.” Must learn what this is and how to use it to my advantage…
  • DAY 774
    I am convinced the other captives are flunkies and maybe snitches. The dog is routinely released and seems more than happy to return. He is obviously a half-wit. The Bird, on the other hand, has got to be an informant. He has mastered their frightful tongue (something akin to mole speak) and speaks with them regularly. I am certain he reports my every move. Due to his current placement in the metal room his safeties assured. But I can wait, it is only a matter of time.