Saturday, April 27, 2013

Physically Fitting

Every day, I receive 20-30 email thingies from my minions.

I answer each and every one of them personally.

Most of the minion mail consists of praise and adoration with the occasional plea for Royal intervention included. These, I generally answer in private communications with the respective minions.

However, every once in a while, I am asked to lower the bucket into my bottomless well of intelligence and deliver a dipper full of wisdom to a parched minion. Sometimes, I even feel compelled to share this wisdom with the rest of my minions in order that all may drink.

This is one of those email thingies:

Dear Cujo Cat, Wise and Benevolent Dictator, Ruler and High Poobah of All Universes (both known and unknown) Potentate of Poofiness, Magistrate of Mayhem, Creator of Chaos, Chief Warden of Wackiness, Mastermind of Maniacal Miseries, Knower of All Thingies Knowable, and Annoyer of Squirrels,
     I beseech you to impart your sage wisdom upon me so that I may better understand that which I find un-understandable.  I am a young two legger who is soon to complete High School. But there is one obstacle standing between me and my diploma: Physics. My teachers have spent much time and effort attempting to teach me this subject, however they fail to use terms and examples that I can understand.
    Having been a longtime minion of yours (I never miss a post), I have often seen you explain things in ways that make sense to even one as challenged as Ivan. 
     I beg of you to please explain Physics to me so that I can graduate and go to college and someday finally realize my dream of becoming an Assistant Supervisor of Deep Fat Fryers at my local McDonalds.
     I await your awesomeness,
                            Penelope P. Stoppe

Dear Penelope,
    Felines in general, and myself in particular, are experts in the field of Physics.The Laws of Physics when broken down into their component parts are actually quite simple. I shall now attempt to explain all thingies physical:

The entire field of Physics can be summarized by Ivan scurrying down the hallway.

Inertia- A body in motion tends to stay in motion. This is best exemplified by Ivan running down the hallway. Once he gets up to speed, the Law of Inertia dictates that due to his momentum, he will be unable to negotiate the turn into the bedroom, and will instead be carried slipping and sliding past the bedroom door and continue until impacting with the closet door at the end of the hallway.

Friction- Ivan is propelled down the hallway because the claws at the ends of his stubby little legs grip the floor using friction which is instantly transformed into traction thereby launching him upon his headlong flight. When Ivan's claws fail to grip the floor, this is called "non-friction" and can be found in the boring part of your local library.

Viscosity- Viscosity is what causes something to be slippery. This is illustrated by the hairball I left earlier in front of the bedroom door that aids in The law of Inertia carrying Ivan past his intended turn and his subsequent interface with the closet door. The Hairball Theorem is involved in the production of the aforementioned hairball thingy and can be expressed by the simple phrase "What goes down, must come up".

Permeation- Permeation is the rate of penetration of one thing into another. Example: Ivan has attempted this scurry-turn maneuver at least twice daily for the last five years. Yet the concept that it may be impossible has failed to "permeate" the thickness of his skull thingy. Though his skull thingy may someday "permeate" the closet door.

And finally Mass. Okay, I'm not really sure what "Mass" is, but I think the two leggers laugh theirs off every time Ivan collides with the closet door.


Monday, April 22, 2013

Pet Peeves

In many societies those who are eccentric or mentally ill are often considered "touched by the gods" or "blessed by the spirits". If this is indeed the case, Ivan will someday be canonized as "Saint Ivan, Keeper of The Kookiness, Master of The Maniacal, Patron Saint of Silliness and Reverend Father of Feeble Mindedness".

They will erect stubby little statues of him.

I bring this up because of his latest litany of lunacy.

Ivan has adopted a pet.

I know that adopting a pet is not conclusive proof of his insanity. There have been reports of perfectly sane individuals adopting pets. These reports are exceedingly rare and unsubstantiated, however, there are too many to be completely discounted.

No, the evidence lies in his choice of pets.

Ivan has adopted a Q-Tip.

Granted, it is a purebred Q-Tip. Not some generic WalMart type cheapo cotton swab that falls apart with the first twist. This is a true blue, Johnson&Johnson brand, double-headed, tightly-bound pure Egyptian cotton swab with 50% more padding on the tips. (Not for use in the ear canal although every two legger on Earth ignores this warning)

He has named his Q-Tip "Bill" (pronounced "Reynaldo"). For the last week, Ivan has nurtured Bill (Reynaldo). He grooms him, cleans him, takes him walkies, plays with him and generally does all the things that responsible pet owners are expected to do. At night he makes a little nest for Bill (Reynaldo) to sleep in. And like any good pet owner, he is fiercely protective of his new companion.

Therein lies the rub.

Every night, before he is removed from the heated floor thingy in the bathroom, Ivan carefully builds a cozy little nest of towels next to the tub for Bill (Reynaldo) to sleep in. Every night, when the male two legger takes his bath, he spots Bill (Reynaldo) lying next to the tub and promptly places Bill (Reynaldo) in the waste basket. Every morning, when Ivan is allowed back in the bathroom, he finds Bill (Reynaldo) lying the waste basket and in a fit of paternal rage, assaults the male's ankles mercilessly.

This morning mauling has caused much consternation among the two leggers. The male is concerned, confused and contused. He is concerned that Ivan has been even surlier than usual in the morning. He is confused by the appearance of Bill (Reynaldo) on the bathroom floor and he is contused by Ivan's teeth.

Meanwhile, Ivan continues to enjoy the companionship of his newest little buddy. They play together, nap together and engage in deep philosophical discussions. (yeah right)

However, I am becoming concerned. It has been my experience that when there is a large intellectual disparity between companions, the smarter partner will often grow bored and move on in search of a more stimulating relationship.

It is only a matter of time.

Ivan will be crushed.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Breaking News

Over the past few weeks, my two leggers have been attempting to catalog every expense that I have incurred upon their bank account over the last twelve months.

I was suspicious of their motives. Were they trying to justify my existence? Were they assessing their finances in the hopes of having me cloned? Perhaps they were considering taking an insurance policy out on me.

It took some pondering, but I believe I have solved the mystery.

For those of my minions in countries other than The United States (and Arkansas), I feel compelled to explain that April 15th here is also known as "Tax Day". It is the deadline for Federal Income Taxes. Every year, all adults living in America (and Arkansas) have to pay their taxes by midnight tonight.

Last night, I took a nap on a book that was written to help two leggers navigate the rocks and shoals of the American Tax System.

I am now a tax thingy expert.

They basically pay a percentage of their annual income for the honor of living here. Sometimes the amount they are required to pay can be reduced by the implementation of something called "exemptions". These "exemptions" include everything from offspring to work-related expenses. They can claim all kinds of stuff, medical costs, mortgage payments, college tuition........and apparently.....cats.

Not everyone can claim their cat's expenses, but given the fact that I am also a source of income for my two leggers, they have that option.

It seems that every lamp, vase or knock knack I break is tax deductible. It is considered a "business expense".

I took a peek at the tally for 2012:

34 knock knacks- $476.00
8 vases-$382.00
3 sets of drapes-$425.00
Various glasses and cookware-$216.00
1 laptop clogged with cat hair-$900.00
3 pairs of shoes, female type-$295.00
1 pair of boots, female type-$245.00
1 smartphone-$325.00
4 lamps-$200.00
Assorted picture frames-$75.00
Various articles of clothing-$567.00
Bed linen-$150.00
Carpeting -$1145.00
3 window screens-$35.00
1 closet door (Ivan gets claustrophobic)-$125.00

Additionally, they can also claim "medical expenses":
18 boxes of Band-Aids (industrial size)-$165.00
25 bottles of Tylenol- $215.00
Alcohol, antiseptic and antibiotics-$86.00
3 Emergency Room visits-$1845.00
Psychiatric counseling-$2100.00
Sleep aids-$65.00

For a Grand Total of $10,637.00

Now I face a dilemma.

It is my honest belief that with a little more effort, we could more than double that total in 2013.

However, the two leggers do not seem grateful.

I have yet to hear a single "Thank you" for all the taxes I saved them in 2012.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

More Than Word Thingies Can Say

When I first started my blog thingy, almost three years ago, one of my stated purposes was to educate my minions. One post in particular was aimed at teaching two leggers feline body language (see Body Language). However, I realize that I have been woefully neglectful about the other side of the coin thingy. I realize that many of my four legged followers may remain in the dark about how to read their two legger's non-verbal communication. So in order to rectify this, I will now enlighten you.

Two leggers engage in various forms of non-verbal communication. Not only do they employ a wide variety of grunts, snorts, looks and gestures, one can also tell much by simply observing their posture or "body language". Due to the fact that most of them are severely lacking in the tail department, they are somewhat handicapped when it comes to silently conveying their moods. However, by following a few simple guidelines, you should be able to read them and react accordingly.

The first rule of reading the two leggers is to be aware that any gesture or sound made before 8AM is invariably a request for coffee or is at least in someway related to the procurement of coffee. I highly recommend that they be avoided at all costs until they have been properly dosed and mollified. Not only can they turn vicious, but their communications make absolutely no sense and will only serve to confuse the rational mind. Now I am not implying that they should not be messed with from time to time, but you must use caution when causing pre-caffeinated chaos and ensure that you can neither be blamed nor caught. I have found that forgiveness is much more easily attained after their second cup of joe.


Two leggers make several sounds that do not fall into the category of verbiage. I list a few here in order to illustrate my point:

"thnik-thnik-thnik"- This is a sound they make in an attempt to attract your attention. It can be used for a variety of reasons ranging from "I want a cat on my lap", "Down in front!" or "I need you to look at this picture takey thingy so I can plaster your handsome face all over the FaceBook".

"Boooof!"- This is an exclamation that two leggers use to show gratitude whenever one of us uses their ample belly for a trampoline. It is often followed by gasping and bowing at the waist.

"Hay-ay-ay-ay!"- The two leggers make this sound to indicate that the knock-knack that we are just about to destroy is particularly dear to them. The louder and more staccato the sound, the dearer the knock-knack. 

"Ewyewyewyew!"- An exclamation of discovery made when a bare-footed two legger discovers the hairball left in the hallway.


 The waggling finger- The waggling finger is an ambiguous gesture that has several meanings. It can serve as an expression of displeasure, an invitation to play or a 1970's dance move. If the waggling finger is paired with a frown or a water squirty thingy, it is most likely an expression of displeasure. If the two legger is smiling, it is an invitation to play. If the two legger is smiling or inebriated, and KC and The Sunshine Band is playing on the radio thingy, it is a 70's dance move.

The tapping of the toe- This gesture is is used by two leggers who lack tails to express agitation or impatience. It is a direct correlation to a cat's twitchy tail. I am very familiar with this gesture and witness it on a daily basis.

The scratching of head thingy- The scratching of the head thingy indicates one of two things: Either the two legger is confused, or he has fleas again. If the scratching continues for several days, it is usually the latter.


Stooped shoulders- A stooping of the shoulders indicates that the two legger in question is exhausted and therefore ripe to be messed with. Every opportunity should be taken to cause havoc whenever they demonstrate this posture. They are generally easier to fool and less apt to catch you when they attempt pursuit.

Head held high, alert eyes-DANGER!! This should serve as warning sign. This indicates that they are fully alert and feeling very good about themselves. Immediate steps should be taken to negate their self-confidence lest they begin to consider mutiny. They must be reminded that they are still the lower life-form and remain several links down the food chain.

Head held low, glazed eyes and dejected look on face- This is the proper posture for a two legger. It indicates that they have realized their station in life and have accepted that they are fated to serve cats for the remainder of their natural lives. 

Hopefully, with a basic understanding of their rudimentary communication skills, you too will find it easier to subjugate them and bend them to your will.

Unless your name is Ivan, then I recommend using brute force.  


Thursday, April 4, 2013

Troubled Times

The two leggers are always complaining that they have no "time".
I find this complaint ludicrous because they have so many "times".

7:00 AM is "wake em up" time. This when all the alarm clock thingies go off in a slightly staggered manner. This causes the two leggers to jump out of bed in a flurry of clock slapping activity and then flop right back in bed until they repeat the exercise five minutes later. During the five minute pause between the buzzing and concurrent slapping of the alarm thingies, Tiger Lily invariably begins whining and scratching at the door of the two legger's sleeping chamber. This is usually followed by the bellowing of the male, demanding that she "shut the hell up" as well as various threats of bodily harm to "that monochromatic pest". Occasionally Tiger Lily will opt to sleep in and I will perform her duties in her stead. I have over the years developed a passable imitation of her whine and being the generous soul that I am, have no problem with her receiving the credit for my performance.

7:45AM is "daily morning panic time" They vault from their bed thingy, shower, get dressed, guzzle coffee and scurry out the door. The combination of their haste and caffeine deficiency makes for ample opportunities for Ivan to trip them repeatedly. It is a common sight to see Ivan being rolled down the hallway like a stinky orange soccer ball with a two legger falling to one knee in an effort not to spill his coffee.

6:30 PM is "home time". The two leggers return from wherever they have been all day. They are greeted at the door by Ivan who does his best to look like a poor, starving, meek, little homeless waif. His portrayal would be more convincing were he not an obese, extremely aggressive, thuggish cat beast. I will not stoop to such meager attempts at subterfuge and instead use a more direct approach. I simply stand next to a favored knock-knack and convey the message that one of two things is about happen: I will be fed, or the knock-knack dies.

Two leggers usually get the point if you keep the choices simple.

8:00-10:00 PM is called  "family time". During "family time", the two leggers sit together on my couch and watch their favorite programs on the talking box thingy. I monitor their activity from my throne in front of the firebox thingy while Tiger Lily sits on the back of the couch and whines about the fact that there is nothing good on TV these days. Jaq takes this opportunity to pace back and forth from one lap to another, softly humming the themes from the various programs the two leggers are watching while accepting petting and adoration from each of them in turn.. At random times she will stop and appear to settle upon one of their laps. She will begin kneading the prospective landing spot with her amazingly sharp claws, causing the lucky two legger to wince in silent agony. Just as she is about to finally lay down, she will change her mind and return to her pacing. At exactly 9:58PM, she will curl up on the female's lap and fall into a deep sleep.

10:00 PM, the female announces that it is "bath time". She retires to the bathroom and soaks in water. The male follows her to the bathroom and participates in "tabby rubbin time". As he enters, Ivan and Tiger Lily are already waiting for him. He proceeds to rub Tiger Lily's ample belly and wrestle with Ivan who has suddenly transformed into Wampus Cat. Wampus Cat is Ivan's alter ego. He rolls onto his back and attempts to chomp any available part of two legger anatomy within reach. He wrestles with the two legger until either he draws blood or the female banishes them both from the bathroom. I, of course watch and supervise, but take no part in these undignified activities.

11:30 PM is "nigh-night time". The two leggers retire to their bedroom after banishing all four leggers from their sleeping quarters. Their day is officially over until they repeat the entire process on the the morrow.

 I have made mention of this nightly banishment before and many of you have expressed amazement that I allow it to happen, but I have my reasons. There is a madness to my method.  You see, I do not consider it an actual banishment.

No, they are actually conceding the rest of the house to us for the remainder of the night. Though their day is over, ours is just beginning.......

Side note: I have recently made three new friends who are well-practiced in the art of chaos. The Beans have a video that their two legged minion made about them. You will find a link to the video under "links and websites" on the right side of my blog thingy.