Hey there!

Our Decca finally has a book coming out and we’ve noticed people checking us out. Well, of course. We’re more interesting than some book, even if she did take hours and hours — away from us! — to research and write it. Then there was something called revision, and editing, and copyediting, and … we’re exhausted just thinking about it — because we helped, don’t you know. And there’s a dog in it. Puh-leeze!

Anyway, we’ve been spending our time growing more beautiful and sophisticated every day. Every year! CAN YOU BELIEVE WE’RE 11 NOW??

Just look at us! (Top photo: Mischief showing off his noble profile. Bottom photo: Trouble smiling like the proverbial cat who…. But that’s a story you’ll have to come back for. We’ll be calling it “When Trouble Went Walkabout and Mischief Pretended He Was Sorry.” It’s full of suspense, but don’t worry — it has a happy ending.)

Mischief, a sealpoint Siamese cat, in profile.
Trouble, a chocolate point Siamese cat, smiling.

Would you take advice from your cat?

And then there was the time we tried writing an advice column. What do you think? We’re cats, so we’re full of opinions. Superior opinions. Send us your questions! We like telling other people what to do.

We find our true calling
We’re grown up now. We’ve been watching the world outside our windows for a long time – cats are keen observers – and we read books, too. Interesting people come to our house and we eavesdrop on their conversations. We’re published authors. With all those qualifications, we’re ready – and willing – to offer advice to others. So, we bring to you Ask the Meezers!

Tip of the week!

Tip of the week (from Mischief, who doesn’t take his own advice): Don’t chew on rose bushes. Even the small ones have prickles.

Dear Meezers: What’s a “mee-zher?”
— A New Reader
Trouble: Uh, that would be us. We’re Sia-meeze cats, right? Meezers.
Mischief: Are all the questions going to be this dumb? Instead of wasting time like this, we could be napping.
Dear Meezers: Why?
— Karma Kat
Trouble: Why not? It’s the curious cat’s mantra. Or you want to know why we want to nap? Now that’s a dumb question. We’re cats. It’s what we do.
Mischief: Miao.
Dear Meezers: Miao? Are you French?
— Un nouvel admirateur
Trouble: (Rolls eyes)
Mischief: We’re Siamese. We say “Miao.” Draw it out. Breathe deep from the chest. “My-yaaaao-oo.”
Dear Meezers: My cat prefers playing with empty boxes to all of the sweet little mousies and fluffy toys we buy for her. What am I doing wrong?
— Confused in Carlisle
Trouble: Nothing! You’re providing boxes, that’s a good start. But make sure you’re letting her play with the packages the toys come in, too.
Mischief: Especially if the packaging is crinkly. Trouble won’t admit it, but he likes to lick cellophane and plastic bags. Ick. If your girl doesn’t like the fluffy things, send them my way. I love fuzziness. And feathers. Got any with feathers?
Dear Meezers: My house and yard are full of loud monsters that disturb my sleep and – I admit it – make me puff my tail up to three times its normal size. They’re scary. My heart races. Why won’t my family consider my feelings and get rid of these things?
— Frightened in Fairview
Mischief: Let me go first on this one. Don’t be afraid to call these “monsters” by their proper names. Blender. Disposal. Vacuum. Mower. See? Saying it won’t hurt you. And neither will the machines. Be bold. Let everyone know how you feel. Arch your back and spit at them. If all else fails, a timely nip on the operator’s ankle should help. (Note: This is not recommended for the lawn mower. What are you doing out there anyway?)
Trouble: Ha! Face your fears. I agree with that one. In fact, I’ve found that if you curl up with one of these monsters, people will get all googly over how cute you are and find something else to do rather than disturb you. But I gotta say, Mischief just talks a good game. He won’t go up the stairs if the bedroom ceiling fans are on.
Dear Meezers: I get so tired of deciding what to have for dinner. So I ask you, tuna or salmon?
— Gourmand in Gettysburg
Trouble: Tuna!
Mischief: Salmon!
Dear Meezers: You guys seem to get along pretty well for siblings. What’s your secret?
— Chocolatepoint in Hershey
Trouble: Two halves make a whole. In our case, I like wet food, Mischief likes dry. I like to play with bottle caps and crumpled foil. He prefers trying to catch dangly things and chasing foam golf balls. I like to sleep on top of the kitchen cabinets. He likes to curl up on a chair. I like laps. He likes to sit next to people.
Mischief: You take my food. You take my toys. You take her lap. You hog the bed. You call that getting along??
Trouble: You pounce on me when I’m sleeping. You bite my neck. You chase me!
Mischief: Decca likes me better than you.
Trouble: Nuh-uh. She likes me better!
Mischief: Wuss!
Trouble: Brat!
Mischief: Hisss!
Trouble: Hisssssss!
Mischief: Hey! What are we fighting for? It must be time for a nap.
Trouble: Pssst. You’re lying on my tail. Mischief. Mischief!
Mischief: Snoor.
Dear Ask A Meezer: What’s “snoor?”
— Sleepless in Shamokin
Trouble and Mischief are the pen names of two midstate Pennsylvania cats who blog about books, life and the world outside their windows. Got a question for Ask the Meezers? Post a comment here or send it to deccablog@gmail.com You can follow the Meezers on Twitter at @DeccaCats.

(Ask A Meezer was first published at Central Penn Parent as part of the Tail Tales blog in 2013.)

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!

What makes birthdays special?

Tomorrow is our birthday! We were born June 11, 2010, so we’ll be 3 years old.

It seems like only yesterday that we were still living on the farm. We wrote about our Mama Sophie and our aunts and cousins a while back. We don’t think we’ll be hearing from them — we never do — but that’s OK. Our family is here now, in the forever home we came to when we were 12 weeks old.

Two Siamese kittens pose for a photo.

Mischief (left) and Trouble at five months old.

We are expecting the day to be special. We know we’re getting presents, because Decca said so — and we saw her hiding something a few weeks ago. She went away over the weekend and came back with something, too, that we’re almost certain is for us, from our friends up north.

She also promised to stay in after she gets home from work tomorrow instead of going out again, so we’ll get lots of extra play time in. And snuggling. And back-scritching. Mischief really, really likes that

Human calls that “quality time,” we’ve heard. It’s better than any presents, you know. But we’ll take the presents, too! Trouble is hoping for a new plush mouse, since he’s pretty much knocked the stuffing out of his favorite one. Mischief wants tuna. Real tuna, not cat-food tuna. Not that there’s anything wrong with cat-food tuna. Tuna is tuna!

Do you celebrate your kitty’s special days? What’s more special — birthdays or the big adoption day? We can’t decide. Life’s been good since we came to our forever home.

Two Siamese cats

Trouble and Mischief look for their hidden birthday presents.

There’s one more thing Decca has promised to do for our big day: She’s going to make a donation to our local humane society in our names.

We’re lucky cats and we know it.

And she knows she’s lucky to have us. Humans have a phrase for that, too, that we’ve heard. Win-win. By giving each other something good, we all come out ahead.

We have a better way to describe it, though: Love-love.

If we had a cake (which we could — tuna with butter cream??) and it had candles on it to blow out, that would be our wish — that everybody would find that special furry companion and live the love-love every day.

A Day in the Life: Mischief goes to the vet

I knew something was up right away. Decca kept stopping and looking at my face while she was getting ready for work.

Mischief loves his new blanket.

Mischief loves his new blanket.

Sure, I’m handsome, but this was different.

Then she was on the phone — at 7:15 in the morning! I didn’t know — then — who she was talking to, but I heard my name and something about a “weeping eye.” My eye??

Before she stopped talking I was halfway up the steps, and when she started calling me, I was under the bed. In the guest room, just to throw her off.

But it didn’t work. By 7:30, I was shivering in my cat carrier, in a cold car, torn away from my breakfast, my warm bed and Trouble, who didn’t even say good-bye. He was too busy hiding by then, looking out for his own skin. Some brother!

By now you’ve guessed what I only suspected. Decca took me to the vet. And then she left me there.

Now, don’t get me wrong. They are very nice people at the animal clinic, but this is not how I planned to spend my day. I’ve got new toys to play with, birds to watch, the fabulous fuzzy blanket I got for Christmas. And the sun was out today.

Mischief checks out his carrier.

Did I really fit in that??

Instead, I got a cage, too many distractions to count and did I mention the dogs? I couldn’t see them, but do they ever stop barking? Is that what dogs do when they’re home? Have they no self-control?

I, on the other hand, practiced my vocal scales when I was alone and purred whenever anyone came by. Everyone was so friendly! And even though I fussed all the way there (and, as it turned out, all the way home), I was a perfect gentleman while I was there. I heard Dr. T. tell Decca I was “a very good boy” and “very sweet.”

Let me tell you — it wasn’t easy. I didn’t mind so much being weighed — or even having my eyes and ears peered at. But someone took my temperature when I wasn’t looking. Delicacy prevents me from discussing that further. If you haven’t been through this, you don’t want to know.

In the end, I was pronounced fit and healthy. Since my eye wasn’t scratched — and it had stopped weeping by this time, of course — Dr. T. asked a lot of questions about new things in our home.

Christmas tree? Nope. Different litter? Nope. Plants, dust, anything heavily scented? No, no and no.

Siamese cat in carrier.

Trouble thinks it’s funny to take a nap in his carrier.

We finally narrowed it down to my new blanket, which I’ve been burrowing my face into for hours at a time, I like it so much. So Decca’s going to throw it in the washing machine and then watch to see if this happens again.

Meanwhile, I was really happy to get home tonight, only to have to put up with Trouble. He should be acting Shakespeare on the stage, he’s so dramatic. I’m the one who spent the day in a strange place with strange people and noises. So why is he hiding under the chair? He wouldn’t even come out for his dinner. So I did something I’ve never done before.

I ate it.

It’s a small, small world — and wonderful

We’re just two cats who live with a writer in the northeastern United States. We’re so “indoors” we back away when the front door is open in case somebody gets the wrong idea and thinks we want to go out. No thanks!

cats lounge on their tree

Here we are, watching the world go by from our sunny front window.

We like our comfy lives — warm, dry, fluffy beds, a big soft couch and toys whenever we want them, lots of windows that let us bask in the sunshine or watch the world go by, as the mood takes us. Also, our home is in a busy neighborhood next to a highway where traffic whizzes by too fast, so we know we’re better off in here

cats at the patio door

Check out the body language — that chipmunk is back!

A bonus is that we always know where the food bowls are (and that they’re safe from that pesky chipmunk that takes all the birdseed from the feeder if we look away for even a moment). Our water supply is cool and clean as well.

Since we started this blog, though, we’ve had quite an education in world geography. As of this writing, visitors from 22 countries — every continent but Africa and Antarctica — have come to this site. (If you’re interested, we’ve listed them below)

Whether they’ve been pleased or disappointed with what they’ve found here, we thank all our visitors with our warmest purrs. What a privilege to be noticed so widely!

cat with book in box

We liked the Kindle version so much, we just had to have the actual book.

We’d especially like to thank HHC (aka The Dalai Lama’s Cat). If she and her Transcriber hadn’t noticed our review of her book a couple of weeks ago and then graciously consented to an interview, none of this would have happened.

Here’s a shout-out, too, to the wonderful web of friends growing on Twitter. We love all of you!

All of this just goes to show what a little courtesy and kindness can do. Two virtually unknown cats — nobody really special except to ourselves and our Decca — have been able to reach out from their little world into a greater one of fun, information, advice, sympathy and friendship.

It warms our hearts with the hope that we contribute in our own small way to understanding between peoples and nations. What a small world it is, indeed! Just look:

United States, Canada, Australia, United Kingdom, Mexico, Netherlands, Spain, India, France, Cyprus, Denmark, Russian Federation, Malaysia, Thailand, Taiwan, Germany, Slovenia, Chile, Switzerland, Singapore, Brazil and Hungary.

Philosophers and diplomats no doubt have said it better than we can: No matter where you live or what language you speak, more unites us than divides us. We should embrace whatever helps us remember, acknowledge and act on the things that bring us together. Even if it’s just two cats amusing themselves with a blog.

We invite you to join us on our journey.

Welcome to our world!

Trouble and Mischief

What can be better than felinity? We rule the web; a world-famous art museum recently drew thousands — We suspect millions — to the first-even international cat video festival. (We were resting and did not attend. Here is the winning video.); We dare you to go to YouTube and search for “cat.” There aren’t enough hours in a day!

We realize We are not the first to venture onto the Web, nor will We be the last. But to amuse our favorite in-house author, chronologer and factotum, We graciously agreed to lend our images for this endeavor. We invite you to view our photo gallery. All rights reserved!

Trouble and Mischief *
* (Pseudonyms, of course. If She can do it, so can We.)