Friday, December 31, 2010

My Friend

Say what? I didn't believe it at first. My piss and vinegar pal has taken off for the Rainbow Bridge? But, he was tough as nails, tougher than I'll ever be. I'm angry and upset.

I've always tried to be good, but honestly, right now, I don't care. It's not fair. It gets me so mad, I don't give a damn about all that's holy! There, I said it, aaarghh!

After awhile, I realized I wasn't making any sense, and Vinny would have been the first one to point it out, too.

I've calmed down a little, but my heart's still all torn up. Vinny and I were good friends.

Julie and I finally had our conversation about him:

Tom: We were supposed to adopt him when Patsy died. That was the plan. What are you going to do about this, with your fancy-shmancy book and everything?

Julie: You're in the book, Tom, but Vinny--well, he was going to have a bigger role on the blog.

Tom: Well, his passing certainly shot that in the a**.

Julie: You're beginning to sound like him.

Tom: You bet. And it feels real good, too.

Julie: Do whatever makes you feel better. It's fine with me.

(a long silence)

Tom: I'd give anything just to talk to him one more time.

Julie: Me, too.


Tom: I love you, Jul.

Julie: I love you too, precious. We'll get through this, I promise. We'll continue our tales and your blog. I think I even have a couple of posts about Vinny, in fact, that I never used.

Tom: Really? Cool!

* * * * * * * * * * *

Thank you so much for all of your kind words and comfort. I heard from dear ones I didn't even know, but appreciate everything you all have said to help us through. I have read each and every one of your comments over and over. I never, ever imagined I would be sharing such sadness, or be lifted by such kindness. Again, thank you.


Tuesday, December 28, 2010


When I was a little girl, all my questions started with "why"--why weren't there altar girls, why did smoke come out of smokestacks and wouldn't it make us sick?

Today, I'm asking why my dearest little man would have to leave this world.

I was with Vinny all last night. I slept on the couch and every couple of hours, I would check on him. His eyes were closed, he was still struggling with his breathing, but there was hope. I was grateful that he wasn't gasping for air, prompting me to have to take him to a vet hospital with strangers and strange equipment and lights in the middle of the night.

This morning, I was hoping he would show signs of improvement, but he didn't. His breathing became deeper and he couldn't move. He was helpless. I stayed with him, continued to give him diluted chicken broth, but I knew I couldn't do any more for him.

The vet clinic down the street opened at eight o'clock and the wonderful vet we saw yesterday was there and we talked on the phone. She told me to bring him right in. She could tell he was nearing the end. The tests from yesterday were back and liver and kidneys were fine, so she suspected the heart was failing. We decided not to let him suffer as his symptoms could sometimes lead to spasms and most of all, fright over what was happening to him. I wanted to help him to the Bridge under her care, talking to him as he left us.

Why? How can we get so close to our little friends and have them for only a short while? Some of us get closer to them than we get to other humans. We trust them and they trust us with every purr and woof. They cuddle with us, no questions ever asked, so accepting of everything and everyone.

Thank you, dear friends for all of your purrs and prayers. I appreciate all of you so very, very much. My writing at least gives me a way to express my grief and share my tears.


Monday, December 27, 2010

My Mancat Vinny

Here is my beautiful golden boy, the 16-year-old Vinny Blackwhisker. I normally don't post during the week, but tonight is an exception. Vinny, with his thyroid problems, now has an upper respiratory infection. I recently adopted a new kitty from the local shelter and that may be how he got it, even though there was no sign initially. Right away, our new addition was put on antibiotics, but Vinny, being vulnerable, picked it up.

Right now, I have a steaming teakettle sitting by his bed where he's curled up and resting. I took him to the vet today (thank God she's just down the street from where we live) and she looked him over, starting him on his own antibiotics. She also took some blood which we had planned for tomorrow to make sure his thyroid was getting enough medication.

Dear friends, I read so many of your blog posts where you patiently give your love and devotion to the pets you hold so dear. I ask for your purrs and prayers for him. His heart is strong. All of his organs are in good shape, but I worry about this latest respiratory illness and pray he doesn't go into distress. He's so thin. I would love to see him robust and healthy again. That would be my wish for the new year.

Well, I have to keep an eye on him. I have the emergency vet hospital's number where I can find it if we should need it during the night. I'm trying to think good thoughts, but I want to be ready, just in case.

As always, I appreciate your being there for us.


Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas Smiles

Everyone liked this little nativity so much that we decided to show it again, lit up and magical.

I've found with the passing years that each Christmas is very different. There are some that are quiet, far too busy, or even overshadowed by grief. What's so wonderful is there will always be a Christmas to come with promise, new friends and hope for the spirit. I am grateful to all who have made this Christmas for us particularly special. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts!

Tom & Julie

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Eve

(as told to Vinny by his Grammie Blackwhisker)

'Twas the night before Christmas
And each and every mouse
Found cheese in his stocking
Some seeds and a grouse.

The cats were all lined up
By the chimney so bare
Not a stocking around
"We're so sad," they declared.

Suddenly on the roof there arose such a clatter
The startled cats looked up to see what was the matter
A big old guy in a bright red suit
Was coming down the chimney
They saw his black boot!

He discovered there was nothing for the cats at all
He was shocked, dismayed, and not the least, appalled.

He said, "It's unfair!"
"You mice need to share!"
Ashamed, the mice looked at each other and agreed
They had more than enough food to fill every need.
It was then decided all over the house
In the holiday spirit, they'd give up the grouse.

It's so simple, says Nick
In his jolly old way
For everyone to be happy
On this Christmas Day.

Merry Christmas!
--from our Temptation Parish family
Tom, Vinny, Jack, Will, the housekeeper Mary Lou
& creator J.R. Mackenzie
Love to all!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Happy Holidays!

Excitement's been building for the holidays!

The traffic in and out of the rectory has been crazy, all sorts of goodies are being dropped off, and my naps are almost non-existent. Peace on Earth?! I'd like to know when!

Anyway, please excuse my crankiness. I was so excited and surprised by Vinny's gift this week. It was something I never would have expected or even guessed.

My first reaction was--uh-oh, Cat Nativity? What could he be up to? Well, I needn't have worried. After we lifted up the styrofoam and saw all the figures, we were amazed at how adorable they were!

There were the three kings, a shepherd, angel..

We couldn't believe our eyes! A baby Jesus kitten and Joseph Cat and Mary Cat!

Vinny, you outdid yourself, my friend! I couldn't be happier with your present! It was such a surprise and, in true Vinny fashion, very unique! Thank you so much.

I hope you have the best holiday ever and please give your mom Patsy a big hug from us.

I think I just found a nice, quiet place to sleep. Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Another Church(the)Cat

Fur like ermine, meoww! No mattes as far as this eye can see, I'm so jealous! Here is his story:

The DeLaets of Plainwell, Michigan met our friend on the church steps when they went to attend services one Sunday about four years ago. According to Beth Ann DeLaet, a columnist for the local newspaper, this kitty started greeting parishioners on the steps of the Plainwell Methodist Church.

Despite the fact that he was a very friendly little fellow, she was not taken in, no sirreee! They had two cats at home and that was enough! So, we imagine he wanted to try something else. Either that, or this was his way of dubbing his new family. Anyway, she says he followed them to their van in the parking lot, jumped in and sat between the seats as if to say, "Can we go home, now?"

They named him "Church" and he enjoys his life with the DeLaet family. They can't imagine being without him, but that does happen once in awhile. It is then that he gives in to those primal urges sending him outside for a quick refresher on his prior life. He has always returned.

By the way, she mentioned that he bears no resemblance to the cat "Church" in Stephen King's Pet Sematary. There was a cat with that name in that book? Now, that's scary!

My thanks to Beth who shared her story and provided pictures of her handsome boy, prompting this from me--it's one thing to go to church, it's quite another to have Church come to you!

I know that was too corny for words, and I've given Angel Matilda indigestion, but as we all know, I have a weakness for corny jokes. Since we haven't had one in awhile, here's a chuckle as you get your Christmas shopping done:

One shopper was standing in line with another. To pass the time, they started talking about their husbands. "Mine is so hard to buy for," said one. The other said she had no problem at all. Amazed, the woman asked how she did it. "Oh," she said, "my husband's a plumber. As long as he doesn't have to drain it, flush it, stop it or mop it, he's happy."


Friday, December 3, 2010

Vinny's View

Hi, everybody,

I'm Vinny Blackwhisker and old Tom has allowed me to post for him this week. I think it's a double-dog dare as to whether or not I can really do it, whether I'm reliable enough to make sure a post gets done at all.

I'm not in the habit of forgetting things, thank you very much. I like my travel and I travel light. I do as I damn well please. I won't ever have a blog of my own or anything even close. I'm only doing this because Tom doesn't think I will...and, he doesn't think I'll keep it clean.

I thought I'd put in another picture of the two of us. I met Tom when he first came to Temptation Parish. In fact, truth be told, our roles could have been reversed. I might very well have gotten to the housekeeper first, won her over with my charms and been Father Vinny. But, that would have forced me to change.

The holidays are coming up and I can't wait. All the crawl-under or into places will be lit with candles and sparkly things. Yes, I go to church, too, but I lay low. I like it better that way.

So, keep me in your prayers. My thyroid is acting up which means pills, and I look like a stringbean. I'm getting old, too. I'll be turning 17 soon. Little old lady cats are starting to look hot.

In for Tom,

Friday, November 26, 2010

Vinny's Humor

"Good God, you couldn't find another way $%t*head!..I'm a priest!"

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving Thoughts

When the smells start up in the rectory kitchen, they go through the whole house. It's during the holidays that I really find myself underfoot where the action is and, sure enough, I can count on yummies tossed into my dish. If the housekeeper throws a little wide, that's perfectly okay.

This is the time of year that I start thinking more about friends and family. I want to say thanks to all of you who always come by for a visit, share your funny bone reactions to my foolishness, and more than anything, believe in me. I thank you all from the bottom of my heart for that.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, dear ones!

Tom & Julie

Friday, November 19, 2010

A Pat-Down Warning

I'm ready!

I haven't been scanned yet, nor have I received the once-over, but if I have to show all, I want the world to know that I would willingly expose myself--wait a minute, that didn't sound right--for the health, safety and well-being of everyone, especially lady cats.

Even if my nubbies are gone, I am neither embarrassed nor ashamed to be patted down, inside legs and all. By the way, I am very ticklish right in the groin area, so I would advise all TSA members sporting badge and rubber glove to avoid it altogether. Should that area inadvertently be approached and/or fondled, I will engage in an immediate reaction involving four legs, claws, hissing for effect, and pointed teeth. There are no guarantees of survival.

So, it must be kept in mind the concept of cautious cooperation. I'll cooperate as long as they are cautious!


Friday, November 12, 2010

I Brake For Bookworms

Next week is Children's Book Week. There aren't that many children's books in the rectory, only a few for when we have visitors. They're mostly picture books with trains and little puppies. Not what we have in mind, at all.

You see, I highly doubt I would even exist if a certain author didn't have this thing for talking animals and bunnies in trousers. All of the animals in Thornton W. Burgess' little animal community--Blackie The Crow, Reddy Fox and Grandfather Frog--all became friends with their readers through books.

JRM: That's right, Tom. When I was growing up, my father especially talked about animals and their adventures. My grandfather gave him Uncle Wiggly Longears which he handed down to me. Maybe that's what inspired your special role at Temptation Parish, why you're a puss preaching the straight and narrow.

Tom: As long as I don't have to walk the straight and narrow, I'd never fit. Too fat. Hehehe!

JRM: Tom!

Tom: Okay, okay, a priest. That is a pretty important role.

JRM: You're not really a priest, Tom. The housekeeper just gave you the name Father Tom.

Tom: Can't I be an honorary priest? I forgive sins, don't I?

JRM: Well, you're in on the absolution and penances..

Tom: And...

JRM: You're in the rectory den with the holy water and nips..

Tom: And...

JRM: You officiate at weddings and I guess you are!

Tom: Weddings I only dig if they throw catnip, and funerals I'm always afraid someone'll grab me and stick me in the coffin.

JRM: Oh, Tom!

Tom: Don't get any ideas. That's one adventure I can do without!

Hope you enjoy Children's Book Week with memories old and new!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Turning Clocks Back (If We Only Really Could)

I love this picture taken some years back. If only we could return to then, when Vinny and I got along and our friend the Siamese was in better health. We even posed nicely together.

Now, Vinny is skinny, has lost weight due to hyperthyroidism and my feelings about him alternate between sympathy and regret. Polar opposites we are. He was the one to be inappropriate (ahem--one of these days I'll be more specific, but not on a Sunday) even though he has a more angelic look than I do.

We were a happy little crew and I thought I would share this photo with those of you who don't like to dig back to old posts. Vinny is featured mainly on my blog and isn't in the book. We (J.R.) has enough characters in it as it is.

Getting back to the time, remember it's "fall back." And, make sure there's someone to catch you, hehehe!


Saturday, November 6, 2010

Red, White and Blue Streak

I am a very patriotic cat even though I effectively snoozed through last Tuesday's elections and I can't tell donkeys and elephants apart when it comes to politics. I also know it's Veterans Day next week and a bunch of men from the American Legion will be coming by to visit Jack and me. And, if that isn't enough to salute the colors, there's the birthday of John Philip Sousa, the march king today.

Since the classical station is always left on in the parlor, I've heard my share of Sousa marches and been rudely awakened by horns and clashing cymbals. To return the favor, I have come up with my own rendition of "The Caissons Keep Rolling Along" by a Gen. Gruber who wrote it around 1908. My version has been adapted especially for the feline voice and spirit.

So, all together now, friends--Wouldn't it be fun to have a bouncing mouse over the lyrics as we sing?


Over here
Over there
There is cat hair everywhere
It's how I know
It's here I belong.

Over here
Over there
There is catnip on the chair
I'm living high on the nip
And the song.

I'm dropping fur
With such vigor--it's a blur
And I can't be remorseful in the least
It keeps the humans on their toes
And I'm sure each one of 'em knows
They can't cuss at me since I am a priest.

Very nice! Everybody take a bow!


Sunday, October 31, 2010

Welcome, One and All

Happy Halloween to everyone!

This welcome plaque, wet from the rain, sits by our entrance. It's surrounded by colors of the season in leaves, flowers and a tiny pumpkin!

Tom thinks the only way the cat looks like him is in the chubby cheeks. He said to be sure to mention the little mouse at the very bottom.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Writing Romance in the Company of a Cat

I was trying to remember how I got to the police station. I know I was pulled over, which scared the living bejesus out of me, but the cop was very nice. The only thing was, I didn't have any of the paperwork my dad would always scold me about losing. That's all I remember. Did I drive or did I go with the officer?

(cat tears through room, trilling and talking to itself)

He now stood before me in a small waiting area. The station was quiet and he was ready to head back out on patrol.

"Your car's outside," he said.

"Oh, it is, okay." I can't say I was overly miserable with this turn of events. Here was a handsome man in uniform, young, smiling and very accommodating. I wasn't that upset any more. I was almost disappointed to have my little adventure end.


He seemed to want to say something else, but hesitated.

"What is it?" I asked. "Did I forget something?"

"No." He paused. Then, he gave me a look that suggested an invitation, a hormone-driven, ready-to-explode invitation. His eyes looked into mine and I couldn't breathe.

I wanted to say something, but found myself glancing away. I was afraid of his eyes. I knew they would be looking into mine again when I returned my gaze to his.

They were.

"Let's go outside to your car," he suggested. "It's time for you to go."

I followed him out the front doors and down the steps to my car which I had parked off to the side. He reached for the doorhandle. As I was about to get in, he touched my sleeve.

(cat jumps down and goes to bowl of dry food)

"Can I ask you a question?" I was just inches from his face, the car door like armor between us. I said, "Sure."

And it came.

"Would you mind if I called you?"

(crunch, crunch)

He ran his fingers through his hair, black in the station floodlights, his eyes now cast in shadow but still seeing through me.

"I'd love that," I said softly, pretending not to notice a gold wedding band and lips that I was only bound to enjoy in my dreams.

(crunch, crunch, crunch)

"Good. I would really like that."

My look told him, so would I.

(cat leaves the room--it is peaceful)

I sat inside my vehicle as he shut the door. I rolled down the window. He leaned in and surprised me with a kiss on the cheek.

(cat enters cat box down the hall, scraping is heard, litter flung to the side)

I had just fallen in love. Hard.

As he walked away, I watched him. Oh, my.

He waved as I drove out of the lot.


I have no choice but to leave my attempt at romantic fantasy as the most noxious of fumes wafts toward me. I cannot believe this is happening. I am forced to drop what I'm doing and clean the box.

Cat has made it quite clear what he thinks of romantic notions and pulsing hearts!

--J.R. Mackenzie

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Underground Jungle

"It's a jungle out there," I think is how the expression goes. Well, whoever said that never thought about the jungle that is happening under our very noses.

I had a chance to get out a little bit this week. It was a beautiful day and I was busy enjoying the sunshine when I started hearing all sorts of noises and couldn't figure out where they were coming from. There was scratching and sounds of dropped rocks, chattering conversations, and animal burps, probably from eating acorns.

I had to investigate, of course, but not a single critter stuck his head out while I was watching, which disappointed me no end. I even hid, waiting. I guess they decided not to chance it and headed out somewhere else. It suddenly did get awfully quiet.

It's really quiet here. Now is the best time for me to post since I can't get near the computer during the week. If they only knew, hehehe!

It's been a couple of weeks since I ended a post with a joke, but before I tell you all a new one, I wanted to let you know that I've always been a big fan of the comedians on the old shows. I like Jackie Gleason, Red Skelton, Milton Berle and others I can't recall right now. What was so nice about them is they all shared their jokes with each other in the same spirit that I share this joke with you:

A man felt so bad after running over a cat with his car. He couldn't just leave the animal and go about his business, so he went up to the door of the house right where it happened and knocked. A woman answered and he apologized, "I'm so sorry, I just ran over your cat, but I'll be happy to replace it." She looked him over and said, "Well, hurry up, then, there's a mouse in the kitchen!"


Saturday, October 16, 2010

Temptation Friends

Here you have the Spanky and our Gang of the Temptation Parish neighborhood. They all managed to get together for this photo, a real ragtag bunch if you ever saw one!

Let me introduce them from left to right: Beau(regard) who is black and white, Snifter, the cat showing just eyes and ears, Gloria, Max and Iggy. They are my friends and, unlike Vinny whom you've met already, these guys are more low-key. They're kept indoors and the most you might see them is when they get together for a Blessing of the Pets which was last year. Everybody brings their furry loved ones over and Jack and Will say prayers. The first time, Will had that thingamajiggie that flung water everywhere and the cats didn't care for that too much. Half of them went crazy and wound up in the shrubbery. The priests then wrapped it up and the dogs, of course, thought it was the best entertainment ever.

I don't want to forget to mention that Gloria, who lost her right eye, also has a mysterious past like me. I can't remember where I came from and neither can she.

Missing from the picture is Tinker, also part Maine Coon. He's an accomplished musician. He can play the cello as you can see..(hehehe)

Don't forget the late Shel Silverstein's birthday on Monday, the 18th. He wrote Where the Sidewalk Ends and The Giving Tree. I didn't know this, but he also wrote A Boy Named Sue for Johnny Cash.

I'm glad I have a nice, mancat name like Tom!

Friday, October 8, 2010


I just love this lady. She's one of our parishioners who submitted a photo for the church bulletin in our new section called Temptation People. Everybody likes it when there are chuckles in the aisles and sometimes having a funny-looking cat like me just isn't enough!

On the subject of how people look, I've always been a great admirer of feminine beauty. I've often wondered, though, about all of the things that women use as they seek perfection. At least, Mary Lou does. I can't even jump up on the bathroom counter without knocking over a bunch of stuff and getting into trouble. I feel like a bowling ball hitting some pins. What I've scrambled over includes masks for the face, moisturizers, eye cream, makeup of every description and a cream to take it all off again. There's hair spray and other stuff that smells like roses, happiness for all our noses.. There's hand lotion, foot lotion, lotion for the body, and cream for the elbows, knees and feet.. and swing your partner, do-si-do! hehehe..

Oh, well, me? I always smell good. Jack thinks I smell pampered. Moi?

It reminds me of the story about the model who was being interviewed. She was very pretty and looked to be a great candidate. When the interview was over, she was thanked and the man said, "Where can I get ahold of you?" "I don't know," she answered, "I'm awfully ticklish!"


Friday, October 1, 2010

Hail to the Chief

I love how brave Indians always look in their pictures, especially chiefs. For people who were rumored to be afraid of the camera, they adapted to the new contraption rather well. You could say they were even photogenic. Geronimo here looks very handsome and brave. He doesn't look as if he were ever afraid of anything--white man, buffalo or a Krispy Kreme franchise.

On the other hand, look at me here, not looking very pleased. If I remember right, I was hoisted rather unceremoniously under the ribcage, my fur every which way and pawing the air for dear life. I was miserable, but that's no excuse.

I promise to be a better sport in the future. Like Geronimo or Sitting Bull. I need to project the sort of face that is composed and fearless, instead of ticked off and ready to spit nails..

Wait a minute..hold everything. What am I talking about? 

I just noticed something. The more I look at Geronimo, the more I realize he's ready to spit nails, too. He looks mad and just might use that rifle..

Aaah..Maybe I'm a lot like a chief, after all...


Sunday, September 26, 2010

My First of the Season

No, he's not sleeping.

I am feeling a little triumphant today, even if it is Sunday, a day of rest. In the wee hours when all was quiet, I heard a sound all too familiar this time of year: the sound of intruders on little feet, venturing where they think a church cat is too much the reverend to give in to baser instincts.


A cat is still a cat, even if he's wearing a roman flea collar and this little guy was toast before you could say Hail Mary. I did ask myself what I was doing after the first pounce, but for him, that's all it took.  I gave him his last rites and left him for the priests to find this morning.

"Well, well, well," I heard coming from the bathroom.

"I'm proud of you, Tom. We don't want them getting in and chewing things up in the rectory," said Will.

No we don't, I thought.

The beauty of this is, with one trophy, nobody'll be too concerned about the mice. The little critters will get the word, smell me and high-tail it somewhere else. Maybe over to the condos. For those of you who don't know, the condos are located in what used to be the parish school. You might remember Vinny lives over there.

I better remind him to sharpen his mouse-catching skills!


Friday, September 24, 2010

Refreshing Paws the windowsill for the blue lagoon..

I'm still dreaming about the tropic isle that swept me away in a pirate fantasy last weekend. As you can see, I made a pretty friend during my romp and, after I found me peg leg (I'm still talking with a seafarin' accent), I decided to have a little fun and play hide and seek. Well, here she is--hiding her face, figuring I wouldn't see her. I pretended not to and found myself leaving pawprints on her belly button as I crossed over to the tiki bar.

One thing that isn't a fantasy is my Versatile Blogger Award given to me by Cathy Keisha. I am so pleased and proud to receive it. Actually, she received it first from Mariodacat and was quick to find others to share it. That was so sweet!  

Have a good weekend!


Thursday, September 16, 2010

Pirate Day

Boy, am I excited!

I get to go on a pirate ship, a pirate ship, a pirate ship
I get to go on a pirate ship, hidey-hodey, hay!
I get to talk like a pirate, too and join all my friends for a great day thanks to:
The Meowers from Missouri--yay!


I told them: Ye be needin' a chaplain on the pirate ship to help the poor souls facin' the plunge from the plank and I be handy fer makin' sure there be soul cleansin's after every raid, and to bless booty.

Ooooh, that be the best part, maateys! Blessin' all da booty me sees hauled onto da ship! Make no mistake--I'll take booty glitterin' or shakin'---harrrrrty harr harrrr!

Aye, mateys,  a jolly roger good time!

     --Pirate Tom

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Gone A-Visiting

One of my favorite things to do is the home visit. It gets me out of the rectory for the day and I couldn't be happier. As you can see, I can nap anywhere.

Seeing people is when the flying cage actually becomes a good thing. I get packed into it and Will and I take off to make our rounds. When it's Will who gets out the carrier, I know it's a home visit because he never takes me to the vet. That's the housekeeper's job.

While Will has tea and hears a confession, I have myself a nappray. That's a nap and a prayer as you can see with my little woofie friend. Will teases me about these visits when they involve dogs, but I haven't been scared by one yet. It's usually the dog owners who give me real food like ham and cheese because they don't have cat treats.

This is going to be a busy weekend as we start getting into fall. It's my favorite time of the year!

Blessings, everyone!


Friday, September 3, 2010

Is Nothing Sacred?

One of Mary Lou's favorite candies is the dark chocolate nonpareil. If you ever want to get on her good side, then you might want to get a bag of the little chocolate yummies for her. You know the ones I mean.

This is an embarrassing story to tell, but tell it I must. 

One day, while she was sifting through my catbox leavings, Will rather thoughtlessly and I think to be funny, pointed out that they looked like nonpareils, lightly dusted with the colored granules of litter. At first, Mary Lou didn't know what he meant. He, being the verbal klutz that he is, felt obligated to explain.  She was horrified and got so unbelievably mad. Of course, I heard all about it from Will when he couldn't sleep because he felt so terrible about what he said.
She's not thrilled to have to clean up after me anyhow, but to have my haphazard, half-buried deposits tastelessly referred to as looking like her favorite candy was too much. She refused to speak to Will for the longest time and only opened up after one of the Temptation Nine meetings when the subject was foot-in-mouth incidents and he took the opportunity to confess (now there's a switch).

I was there and saw it all. It was like a wave, all heads turned toward Mary Lou who stumbled all over herself, saying how sorry she was for over-reacting. They hugged and then Will gave her a box of homemade nonpariels the size of silver dollars which made her cry.

All of this stress gave me the worst case of constipation ever.
Hope I didn't gross everybody out too much. --Tom

Thursday, August 26, 2010

A Champion for Cats

  I found a man in Florida who turned thirty acres into a wonderful place for homeless cats. It's called Caboodle Ranch and every building on the property was built by none other than Craig Grant. He didn't always like cats. It was only after his son's cat Pepper had kittens that he fell head over heels over us! (complete with doughnuts) 

"Hurry up, I think we're late for the meeting!"
"Has anybody seen the mayor?"
"Wow, is that real stained glass?"
"George, this is just the perfect bungalow!"
"Hey, buddy, you want to state your business?"
So, if you want to visit, all you have to do is go to Caboodle Ranch on Facebook or Google it and you'll get a chance to sample a little bit of Heaven!