A tale to make your fur stand up

It’s almost Halloween. That seems like a good time to recycle a very personal scary story we’re sure many of you can relate to. We’re calling it

No One Can Hear You Scream from the Closet

Trouble has no time for a fake jack-o-lantern.

Trouble has no time for a fake jack-o-lantern.

Mischief here. Because our Not-Very-Good Weekend ended with a Very Bad Day, and it was all Trouble’s fault, I’m taking over this blog to tell the tale. Trouble can just sit in the corner and think about what he did while I type.

It all started with the houseguests. We have a friend who comes to stay pretty often, and we like her. But every time Betty visits, there’s lots of coming and going. It throws our whole schedule off. Naps are interrupted, breakfast often is late, and dinner is just plopped in our dishes without so much as a “bon appetit.” We don’t like that.

This time, on top of all that, people came over to our house Saturday night for dinner. We tried to be good hosts, but it’s pretty hard when guests are sitting in your favorite evening nap spots.

And we needed our rest. Just before the people arrived, all of our toys got scooped up and put in a box in a corner of the living room, and our favorite pile of brown paper – we love to dive and burrow in its crinkly folds – was rolled up and hidden away.

We finally marched upstairs in a huff. If we can’t be the center of attention, there’s no point in hanging around.

That brings us to Sunday.

There’s a little room upstairs that’s filled with rows of hanging things and, on the floor, shoes and small boxes. There’s lots of fascinating stuff to explore – except we’re not allowed in there.

This Sunday morning, though, Betty and our Decca were rushing off somewhere yet again. I tried to get involved with their preparations and offer fashion advice (I am an expert on shoes and love to help select belts, scarves and shoes!) but got nowhere. So I went looking for Trouble to see if he wanted to wrestle or play Thunder Paws. That’s where we run all around the house and up and down the stairs, jumping over each other.

I couldn’t find him – and then I saw the door to the little room was open. I stuck my nose in and heard him whisper my name.

“Psst! I’m in here behind the shoe boxes!”

“Trouble,” I said, shocked. “You know you aren’t supposed to be in there! Come out right now.”

There’s tissue paper…” And he rolled around just so I could hear the rustling.

“Trouble, I’m coming in there right now to get you. We can take the tissue paper with us.”

Trouble just can't stay away.

You can’t see me here, right? But you’re not going to shut me in here again, are you??

Heart thumping, with one leap I landed in the center of the room. My second leap took me into the corner where I could hear Trouble behind the hanging things, now chewing on the delectable paper. It sounded so crisp I couldn’t think about anything else.

And then the light went out and the door slammed shut.

A few minutes later, we heard the garage door go up. And down. And the car drove away.
We were trapped!

She’ll come back,” Trouble said, trying to sound confident but failing. “She didn’t do a nose count and she’ll remember that and come back. Listen! I think I hear the car now.

“It’s your fault she didn’t do a nose count before she left!” I gave him a nip on the ear, I was so mad.

Hey! What’d I do?”

“She stopped doing the nose count because you started carrying on so much. Remember last week? She had her coat on and was ready to go and couldn’t find you. As soon as she called your name, you bolted to the top of the refrigerator and cowered. You actually cowered! And the way you mewed! It was sickening.”

I don’t want to go back to the vet. She always takes us in the morning…

“You’re pathetic,” I hissed. “Help me tip over the laundry basket. We might as well be comfortable while we wait. In the dark. Without any food or water. We could die in here – and it’ll be your fault.”

Huh. You wanted that tissue paper just as much as I did.

“Go to sleep.”

I want my litter pan.

“Go to sleep!”

We were in there all day. It was dinner time when the door opened and light hit our eyes. I’m proud to say that aside from shedding – we shed gobs when we’re upset – you’d never know we spent The Entire Day shut in that closet. We managed to hold it in and, if I dare say so myself, we looked pretty nonchalant when we sauntered out the door to freedom. A stretch and a yawn can mask a lot of emotion.

Our Decca felt really bad about our ordeal. But it was all Trouble’s fault. Worst of all, we forgot the tissue paper and don’t dare go back to get it.

This post is republished, in slightly edited form, from Central Penn Parent, where we were among a group of pets contributing to the Tail Tales blog in 2013 — until someone decided recipes were a better idea. But the recipes are pretty good, so check them out! How about Oreo Candy Corn Bark (it looks like pizza!) for Halloween?

We pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, start all over again

The life of a writer is full of disappointment and self-doubt – often to the point where you can find yourself wondering if maybe you should be doing something else. We see our Decca go through cycles of passionate work followed by despondent days on the couch, but we didn’t really understand until it happened to us.

Success was within our paws! Last year, we were recruited to join a group of like-minded blogging pets to write for a parenting website.

Mischief and Trouble settle down to write.

Fish gotta swim, birds got fly, these cats gotta write!

Then, despair! After a few months, we all got bumped in favor of a recipe blog. Our precious works weren’t even archived. Something about traffic – or lack of it.

What did we want traffic for? Traffic is dangerous for small furry animals. We wanted readers! Nonetheless, recipes apparently are doing much better with the traffic thing. So we went into a funk and joined Decca on the couch. Boy, has TV gotten terrible. But there we were, licking our wounds (and each other, and her) trying to figure out our next move while our egos recovered.

Here we have to give a shoutout to some bloggers we really admire. Every single day, they produce posts that are fun to read, inspiring or thought provoking, downright educational sometimes and engaging always. So here’s to Savannah and Ingrid and Caren and Cody. We salute you for your creativity and perserverance. And we understand now how hard it is to do what you do.

You bring so much good to the world, and we wouldn’t be able to start the day without you.

We may never rise to your level, but we’re still cats in a writing household, so write we must. To get us back in the groove, we’re offering up the best of our “professional” work, starting with this, since it just happened again this morning.

We discover our inner hunter

We may not have discovered our inner Siamese yet – we still speak softly, and an adult Siamese cat in full voice can bring the cobwebs down from the rafters – but last week we unleashed our inner lions.
And we were heroes in our home! Here’s what happened.

A fly got into the house from the garage. Did we go crazy? Not at all. We got strategic. It’s hard to believe, but even though we’ll be 3 years old next week, [Boy, does time fly, he-he. We’re closer to 4 now.] we’ve never seen a fly in the house before. Stinkbugs, yes. Spiders, check. Even a small moth once, and a centipede (yuck!). So we had to analyze the situation and develop a plan.

But this fly! It was huge! We know now it was a horsefly, but we don’t get it. Why is a horsefly bigger than a housefly, when a house is humongous next to a horse??

Anyway. There it was, buzzing around the kitchen. We kept a close eye on it while we split up. From that point on, we were a team, laser-focused on that fly; if you could have drawn lines in the air, we were the three points that made a triangle, the fly pinned between us by our keen blue eyes.

And then we started walking. Every time the fly landed, it barely got time to catch its breath before we moved in from other side. It didn’t know what to do, except that it had to get up and keep flying. From the kitchen, off the living room lamp, to the stair rail, back to the kitchen, into the pantry, up the powder room wall, back into the kitchen. Repeat.

By the time the fly collapsed, panting, in an exhausted heap on the floor, we were still cool as cucumbers, ready to high-five each other and retire for a well-deserved nap, not a whisker out of place — and no damage to anything in the house.

We had done our jobs. An obliging person picked it up in a tissue and got rid of it. (What? We didn’t want to touch the disgusting thing.)

What a team we were!

You didn’t know cats could collaborate like that? A lot of people think of cats as loners, but it isn’t always the case. That’s why we say we unleashed our inner lions – lions will hunt in groups, some taking on wing roles to keep prey moving and drive it toward the lion that will deliver the coup de grace.

We did a little research about feline hunting techniques for this blog and found a few other interesting facts, too. Do you know why a stalking cat swishes its tail before it pounces? Neither did we – it just feels so good to wind up like a spring before leaping.

This post published on Central Penn Parent in 2013 has been edited for length. Stop by and check out the recipes!