Thursday, September 28, 2006

To Ullrich

I have tried to write a tribute for each furriend that Magoo, Smudge, Bella and Dolce have lost. Some came easy, some came not at all, but to Ullrich the following was what came to mind...

Before I went to sleep, I decided that the next morning I would go and get a pet. I was not sure if it would be a dog or cat or bird or something else. All I knew was that I needed, no, wanted to share my life with another creature that would accept my friendship and affection.

As I slept, I fell into a deep dream.

There before me sat the most beautiful creature, neither male nor female. To either side of this wonderous creature, there were two indentical waterfalls with deep clear pools at their base. From each waterfall, the most crystal blue water cascaded down. I was entranced. Never before had I seen seen such beauty, such serentity.

Wordlessly, the creature motioned for me to come towards the pools at the base of the waterfalls. I noticed that at each pool, there was a small silver cup attached to a fine silver chain.
"Dip thy finger into the pool and taste." the creature said as it gestured to the pool to its left.

I did as instructed. As the clear cool liquid touched my tongue, my stomach clenched with pain and my heart pounded fiercely within my chest. A hollowness rang throughout my being that I feared I would never recover from.

"This is the Pool of Loss." the creature said and then it motioned to the other pool of water. "Dip thy finger into the pool and taste."

Warily, I drew my forefinger through the water of the other pool of water. As my finger touched my tongue, a joy so deep and pure touched my soul. A wave of happiness and wonder drowned the pangs of sorrow and loss the first pool had caused.

"This is the Pool of Memory." the creature said. "If you take one of God's creatures into your heart, you must be prepared to drink from both pools. Do you accept this as your covenant, your bond with one of God's creatures?"

Silently I nodded yes.

"Then drink from each pool." The creature instructed as it motioned towards the silver cups at the sides of the pools."For now they will bear no taste, but in time you will discover how much you have partaken of each."

The very next day, I went and found a kitten at a local pound. It was the smallest one of the litter and it was the one who seemed to need me the most.

I watched it grow and play and I revelled in the smallest joy it brought to me. But then without warning, it was taken from me in a way most sudden and cruel.

Once again I felt the pangs I had felt in my dream when I tasted the waters of the Pool of Loss. Only this time, I thought the pain would never leave. Then, I remembered the taste of the waters from the Pool of Memory. Slowly the pain of Loss began to subside, and was replaced with the joy of Memory.

Now I realized that I had drank more from the Pool of Loss than the Pool of Memory in my dream. But now I knew that the Pool of Memory brought more than enough comfort to offset the pain the Pool of Loss could cause.

I now bear the knowledge that each time I open my heart to one of God's creatures, I drink from the Pool of Memory and the Pool of Loss. How much I partake depends on each creature and that, in the end, the power of Memory is so much more powerful than the power of Loss.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Dolce is 1 year old!

In one day, Dolce leaves her kittenhood behind. She will soon be the age that marks her life as an adult Cat. It does not seem possible that the last 10 months have flown past since she came into our house. I tried to tell her how happy she has made us and how much fun she has brought into our lives, but she was a little preoccupied with a box we brought home.

Did you hide some toys in here, Dad? Oh wait I see one. Come here you little fuzzy mouse. Oh You don't want to come out. Fine, I'm coming in after you. Mouse must meet a toothy death!

Like I was saying Dolce was everything that a kitten is supposed to be: cute, playful, overly energetic, curious, destructive and precocious. But in between all that, she managed to wrap my wife and I around her little paw. A plant knocked onto the floor could be forgiven with a tiny little meow. A shredded sock could be forgotten by a well placed sandpaper kiss. A tipped over garbage could be overlooked by a rumbling little purr. She is our kitten and like her brothers and sisters, we love her.

What was that Dad? Where you saying something?

Just thinking out loud, my precious Dolce.

Are you sure? Becuase if you are thinking that the kleenexes that got pulled out of the box in the bathroom was somehow my fault, I want you to know that I was in here the whole time.

Dolce still has that mischevious kitten energy or spunk. In some ways I think she is rekindling it in her brothers and sisters. I may wish for peace and quite at three o'clock in the morning when Dolce decides that she needs to yell at her toys or the sock that she has dragged out the laundry basket. But in my heart, I know I would mourn the silence more if she was not here.


Yes Dolce?

I love you, too.

Monday, September 25, 2006

You Tah? You Tah What?


You tah a puddy tat!

Mom and Dad tells us that this is our cousin Odie. They stayed with her before they left for their big adventure in America. She's an old kitty at 16 years, but she likes chin skritches and to play. We are not too sure if we can approve of Mom giving another kitty chin skritches.


Just to correct the cats' misunderstanding, I did say You Tah, but I meant Utah. We accompanied my aunt and uncle (Gruffy McGruffypants from the camping trip) down to Ogden, Utah for a week for some golf, site-seeing and some shopping (The Wife loved this part the most).

Since we had never been to Utah, we had to make a trip down to Salt Lake City and see the Mormon Temple, even though we are not Mormon.

It is an impressive structure, especially when you consider how long it took them to build it. It took forty years to complete the construction in the 1800's. In those days, that would be a lifetime. It reminded me of a book by Ken Follet called "Pillars of the Earth". It was about the construction of a Catherdral during the Dark Ages in Europe. In it, one family is tied to the construction of this church through three generations. In this day and age is is hard to imagine focussing on one result for your entire lifetime. But sometimes, you just need to see the outcome of such dedication and singlemindness.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

How I Spent My Summer Vacation

By Dolce

(Actually it was Night One)

Dad came by and asked me if I was ready. I thought he was asking if I was ready for some stinky goodness or some whipped cream, so I eagerly purred and rubbed against him. He scooped me up an put me in my carrier and took my out to the truck. "No!" I cried, "No Truck! I said yes to stinky goodness!" I looked back at the window and saw Magoo sitting in the window. He was being very smug and he gave me the paw as I was leaving. Big Brothers can be so mean.

Dad placed me into the truck and then he waited for Mom to show up. She said that she have given the other cast their stinky goodness and that we were ready to leave. "No!" I cried, "I was supposed to get the stinky goodness!" Suddenly, the truck started to rumble. I remembered the last time I was in the rumbling truck: it was to go to that stupid V-E-T who hurt my eyes the last time. "No!" I cried, "I don't want to go to the V-E-T!"

Mom asked if I was ready to go camping. Camping? I had forgot that we were going camping. I asked if I could come out of my carrier so that we could discuss the rules of this camping thing. Dad said not until we were out of the city. He said it was not safe to have excitable little cats running around the truck in the big city. But still I asked to get out of my carrier over and over again.

Dad finally told Mom that I could get out of the carrier. Finally, I thought. He had taken far too long to come to that wise and important decision. I had to let him know exactly what I thought about the excessive delay.

We drove for a couple of hours. My mom tried to get me to sit on her lap, but I figured Dad needed more help with driving then she did with navigation. I laid in his lap and tried to sleep but the rumbling truck kept waking me up. I then tried to sleep sitting up on my haunches with my front paws on Dad's chest. But then something called a Jackass came too close to the rumbling truck. Dad was very upset.I think that these Jackasses are far more common where we live than Vishus Deer, because we saw a few more according to my Dad.

We finally arrived at the campsite. Dad disappeared, and Mom put my leash on. I was not allowed to run around on the ground yet. There were so many new smells for me to investigate. Before I knew it, I was passed over to a person known as Auntie. She nuzzled and snuggled me. She thought I was so very cute. "Of Course, I am." I said, "But I do appreciate you noticing." I also met someone named Uncle. He was very good at chin scritches and head rubs, but he kept saying that little cats need to know whose in charge. I think he was just playing Gruffy McGruffpants with me.

Then the big moment came: Mom and Dad took me into my new home, The Trailer. They showed me where my litter box was and where my food and water was. Mom then gave me my surprise: a brand new toy just for me.

This is me playing with my new toy. I called him "Zeppy" after my new home. Mom had placed him some catnip so he was all sorts of rubby, chewy, and tossy kinds of fun.


I woke up bright and early. There was some serious things to do. First and foremost was to leave a really stinky poo in the litter box. Mom and Dad's noses really scrunched up so I know it was a real good one. Now that I had cristened the litter box, it was time for some exploring.

Dad took me for a walk on my leash around our part of the campsite. This was a good idea, because there were some very young boys who were kind of bratty. One kept trying to pull on my leash and the other tried to tug on my ears. Dad told them not to do that because it was not nice and that I was not used to little boys. One of the little boys says that they do that to their puppy all the time. Dad told him that little puppies do not like it either. By that time, I had had enough of walks and bratty boys. I wanted to go back to my new home. I started to go inside, when I realized that Dad and Uncle were laughing at me. It turns out I went to the wrong house; I was at Uncle Gruffy McGruffpants' trailer. I did not care as long at it got me away from the Bratty Boys.

Dad put me in our trailer instead and they opened a window so that I could lay in the sun on the table and still see them outside. Later that night, Dad brought me out to the campfire, but I really did not think it was a great idea and I let Dad know. Soon, I was back inside my trailer playing with Zeppy, and leaving another gift for Mom and Dad in my litter box.


First thing Mom did was complain that I was awake and playing at 6:30AM. Dad also was not happy that I made him open the big cabinet next to his side of the bed for me to play in. Hey a cat's got to do what a cat's got to do. They might have been mad at me, but I was very purry and loving so they forgave me pretty fast.

Dad took me out for some more exploring today. Thankfully there was no sign of the Bratty Boys. There was however a wonderfully dusty dry road next tot he campsite and I got to roll and flop around in the dust.

We came back to the campsite and Dad let me wlk around with the leash fully extended. I got to chase bugs and flies and bees. Scout was right chasing bugs is a squillion types of fun. Afterwards, I laid on the picnic table and gave my self a good bath.


Unfortunately, like Summer, Summer Vacations also have to end. This is me surveying Dad and Uncle packing up all the camping stuff. I was also keeping an eye out for those Bratty boys.

Mom and Dad packed me back into the rumbling truck, but because I had my leash on, I did not have to go into my carrier. Soon we were saying good-bye to Auntie and Uncle. I actually really liked Uncle. He talked a lot tougher than he really was. I looked out the window and watched the campsite disappear around the bend. I laid in my Dad's lap or on the seat between Mom and Dad for the entire trip home. Mom and Dad said that I was such a good cat that I get to go with them on all their camping adventures.

That was my summer vacation. By the way, Magoo, Smudge and Bella did not even miss me while I was gone.

Monday, September 04, 2006

A Long Weekend and No Dolce

Mom and Dad took Dolce with them for the long weekend to go camping. That means we, the first three cats of the house, finally get to do something without Dolce crashing in and ruining it.

So what shall we do?

Smudge: We can chase each other around the house without Dolce cannonballing us from the bed!

Bella: We can look out the windows without being pushed off them by Dolce.

Magoo: I know what we can do. It's something we can never do without Dolce charging in and trying to wrestle and bite us...

Magoo: Oh sweet, merciful peach and quiet. Thank you Mom and Dad. This was one of the bestest presents ever.

PS: Dad says we're getting real close to our 10,000th visitor. This is very exciting he says. He has something special for the poodin, woofie or bean who is the lucky one.