Monday, December 24, 2007

Dolce's Story Chair - The Tiny Red Sack (Conclusion)

Dolce's Story Chair

Dad: Well, it is Christmas Eve. Dolce, Magoo, Bella and Baci as well as my wife and I want to wish all our of furriends a very Merry Christmas. And with that I give you the last part of

The Tiny Red Sack

Jingles looked at the two sets of eyes glowing the in darkness between the sofa and a bookcase.

“Santa.” Jingles called out to Santa. ”Please wait.”

“Okay, Jingles.” Santa replied. “But we have to get going the night is almost over.”

Jingles turned his attention back to the two cats hidden in the shadows. He warily approached the sofa.

“Hello.” Jingles said quietly, as he tried to coax the cats out of hiding. “I am Jingles. I have brought you a Christmas gift.”

The cats slowly crept out of the shadows. Jingles heart raced as the two felines moved into the light cast by the Christmas tree. One was cream coloured with lynx points and the other was brown with chocolate points exactly like Jingles but without any white socks. Jingles heart jumped as he realized that these two cats were his brother and sister.

“It is you!” Jingled cried out in joy. “It is me, you brother.”

“Brother?” the chocolate pointed male replied.

“Brother!” the cream coloured female cried and moved quickly to Jingles side. “You don’t know how good it is to see you.”

“We never got to say goodbye.” The male said as he rubbed his cheek against Jingles. “One moment we were asleep and then the next thing we knew we were gone.”

“He cried lots that night.” The female replied.

“I did not.” The male replied.

“Did too.” The female shot back.

Santa leaned down and whispered in Jingles’ ear.

“Now you know how they ended up on the Naughty List.” Santa said. He added pointing to the male, “Actually, if he jumped on the female of the house once more in the middle of the night, he was going to get an asterisk next to his name. And that means a big piece of coal.”

“You both don’t know how much I have missed you.” Jingles said with tears in his eyes. “You have to come back to the North Pole with me. There is the biggest Forbidden Cave for us to explore.”

The two cats looked at each and then they took a step backwards.

We can’t leave.” The female said sadly.

“This is our home Jingles. “ the male added. “We belong here.”

“Jingles.” Santa pointed at his watch.

“I have to go.” Jingles said. “But I will come back next year and see you. Now that I know your names, Ruffles and Monkey, I will be keeping an eye of the Naughty List for you.”

“What is the Naughty List?” Ruffles, the female cat asked.

“Whenever a human or animal does something bad or inappropriate, they end up on the Naughty List.” Jingles explained. “If they do something good, they end up on the Nice List. At the end of the year, depending if they have been Nice more than they have been Naughty, Santa brings them a gift from his Toy Workshop.”

“Is that why we got a catnip mouse?” Monkey asked.

“Uhh. No.” Jingles replied. “I brought you the catnip mouse because I found out that all the cats were only on the Naughty List.”

“That’s terrible.” Ruffles cried.

“And a little unfair.” Monkey added.

“I know.” Jingles said softly. He then turned to look at Santa who was getting very anxious to be on his way. “I have tried and will have to keep trying to convince Santa that a cat is always nice when it is being naughty, and even more naughty when it is being nice.”

Jingles placed his tiny red sack over his back and walked towards Santa.

"Are you ready?" Santa asked as he prepared to open the portal.

"I am ready to go home, Santa." Jingles replied.

"That's good. " Santa smiled as he opened the portal." Because you and Sammy have a lot of work ahead of you repairing the hole you put in my sleigh."

The End

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Dolce's Story Chair - The Tiny Red Sack (Part 5)

Dolce's Story Chair

Dad: Dolce, Come here.
Dolce: Yes, Dad.
Dad: Mom wanted to talk you about all the help you're giving her.
Dolce: Well, I do try my best.
Dad: She wants you to stop.
Dolce: Why?
Dad: She had to put back all the bows you took off the presents. Now they don't stick very well and she had to tape them down.
Dolce: Well I better go check and see if they are properly taped down.
Dad: No. I hate to think of Story Chair as a punishment, but you need to sit here and be good.
Dolce: I guess I could do that.
Dad: Thanks Dolce. Let see where we were. Oh right. Jingles had collapsed from exhaustion in the back of Santa's sleigh. He only had three more mice to deliver...

The entire plan for all the cats on the Naughty List was rapidly unraveling on Jingles. He only had three catnip mice left in his toy sack, but he did not have the strength to deliver them. A small tear slid down his furry brown cheek.

“I failed them.” Jingles thought sadly to himself. “I failed all of them.”

Jingles laid his head onto his right paw and reached out and placed his left paw on his red velvet sack. It was so close to coming to fruition. Jingles sighed.

Jingles suddenly felt his head being lifted up. A gentle hand in a black leather mitt held Jingles’ head softly.

“What are you doing Jingles.” Santa Clause asked as he peered into the back of his sleigh.

“I tried to bring some joy to the cats on the Naughty List.” Jingles stammered. “I thought I could do what you do. But I can’t I don’t have the energy to keep going. I can barely lift my head.”

“Cookies.” Santa replied.

“Cookies?” Jingles wiped his paw across his nose.

“Cookies.” Santa knelt down in the snow. “My nutritionist at the North Pole warned me many, many, many years ago that I might experience a blood sugar crash trying to deliver all these gifts. So she and some of the elves in Marketing came up with the idea about leaving cookies for Santa.”

“So the cookies are not for kids to say thanks...” Jingles stated.

“They are there to help prevent Santa from passing out in front of the fireplace from hypoglycemia.” Santa finished Jingles’ thought. He rummaged in a hidden pocket and pulled out several cat treats. “Here have these. I keep some on hand to bribe the household cat when necessary.”

Jingles greedily ate the offered cat treats. He felt some energy return and his spirits began to lift.

“How did you know I was back here?” Jingles asked.

“Jingles.” Santa said authoritatively. “I have been driving this sleigh for a very long time. I can tell if Sammy has overfilled the peppermint lubricator reservoirs by the way the sleigh makes a left hand turn. There is no way I would miss the effect of one cat wearing a red velvet cap and carrying a toy sack full of catnip mice on my sleigh. Not to mention all the banging going on when you almost did not make it back to the sleigh.”

“Oh.” Jingles was embarrassed that he thought that he could outsmart Santa Claus.

“You still haven’t my question. What are you doing?” Santa asked.

“I thought I told you.” Jingles was confused.

“You still have mice left in your sack and you are laying here in the back of the sled.” Santa stated. “Those mice will not deliver themselves. Come on, we shall go together.”

Santa picked up Jingles and held him under his arm. With a smile and a wink, Santa opened the portal that would take them from the roof to the Christmas tree below. Santa set Jingles down on the floor. He carried his own sack to the Christmas tree and he knelt down to pull the proper gifts from the bag.

Jingles followed him and opened his own red velvet sack. His list said one feline. Jingles pulled a single mouse from the sack and placed it next to the tree. His eyes opened as he read the label:

Merry Christmas, To Amaretti (Mom), Jingles

Jingles looked frantically around. The stone fireplace, the maple bookcase, the carpeted stairs were all familiar to Jingles. His heart skipped as he saw the wicker cat bed with the fluffy red pillows. This house had once been his home.

“Mom!” Jingles cried out. “Mom!”

“Son?” A cream coloured cat with lynx points walked into the room. “Is that truly you?”

“Yes Mom.” Jingles purred and rubbed his face against his mother’s.

“We didn’t know where you had disappeared to. The Female of the House was worried sick that you had slipped out into the night. She feared the worst had happened to you.” Amaretti purred back.

“I fell into Santa’s toy bag and ended up at the North Pole. I tried to find you but I didn’t know your name. You were Mom.” Jingles explained excitedly. “I even tried to find my brother and sister, but I couldn’t because I don’t know their names now either. I am so happy to see you again.”

Jingles turned to Santa who was busy munching on a plate full of cookies and enjoying the reunion between Jingles and his mother.

“Can she come with us?” Jingles asked.

Santa started to answer, but he was interrupted by Amaretti.

“I can’t go with you my son.” Amaretti stated. “This is my home now. The Female of the House was so sad when she lost you that she decided that she would keep me and make me part of her family. If I leave, it would break her heart all over again.”

“Jingles.” Santa said. “We need to get going.”

“Just one more thing.” Jingles went to the fireplace or Forbidden Cave as he had known it as a kitten. “I hope the Female of the House will see this and understand.”

Jingles drew a small “J” in the soot and traced a heart around it. He used some of Santa’s magic to make his paw small, like it had been when he left one year ago tonight. Jingles placed this paw into the soot and left a tiny impression.

“Let’s go, Santa.” Jingles smiled, and he looked back at his mom. “I will see you next year, Mom. I love you and miss you terribly.”

“I am very proud of you…” Amaretti said and then hesitated. ”What do they call you?”

“I am now Jingles.” Jingles replied proudly. “And I help Santa out at the North Pole by delivering toys to all the cats on the Naughty List.”

There was a shimmer and a flicker and once again Jingles was gone from the house with the stone fireplace and the wicker cat bed with the fluffy red pillows.

Jingles rode to the last house on this years trip next to Santa instead of in his little trapdoor cubby hole at the back of the sleigh. Jingles heart was pounding. His nervousness and anxiety was gone. He had seen his mother and had been able to show her that he was alright.

Santa guided Jingles down to the living room where the Christmas tree stood. Jingles’ list said to leave two catnip mice, his very last two. He removed them from the sack and looked at the labels. There were two names that meant nothing to him. Jingles was hoping that maybe these last two cats were his brother and sister. After finding his Mother, Jingles’ expectation of finding his brother and sister in this last house had risen to unbearable levels.

There was nothing familiar in this house. No sights or smells told Jingles that his brother and sister were here. As they flew here, Santa had warned Jingles that his brother and sister may not have been on the Lists for other reasons. Those reasons were far too terrible for Jingles to think about.

Jingles placed the two catnip mice under the tree and began to follow Santa back to the shimmering and flickering portal. Jingles paused and looked around the room. A flash of light reflected from a hidden spot near the sofa. It was followed by a second flash. Jingles heart leapt as he saw the reflection of the Christmas tree lights in the eyes of two cats.

To be continued tomorrow…

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Dolce's Story Chair - The Tiny Red Sack (Part 4)

Dolce's Story Chair

Dad: I see that Dolce and Baci have made sure all the refreshments are restocked. I won't bother asking if Dolce is here. I see she is already curled up with Scout next to the fireplace. So lets continue with the story. I left you with Jingles planning to do something nice for all the cats and kittens on the Naughty List...

In the months leading up to Christmas Eve, Jingles had barely a spare moment. Soon after Taylor finished his red velvet toy sack, Jingles delivered it to Loading Dock ZZ99. He placed it under the delivery chute in preparation for the start of the production run of the catnip mice. Jingles and Sammy Sleighmaster had finished the modifications early and Sammy had Jingles practice getting on and off the sleigh daily. Jingles praticed with a large burlap sack filled with teddy bears so that he would be used carrying his own toy sack when the time came.

Soon the great toy production machinery of the North Pole fired up and catnip mice began to fill up the toy sack. As each new cat name was entered onto the Naughty List, a new catnip mouse was built and then delivered to Loading Dock ZZ99. Jingles went by the loading dock everyday and checked on the toys. As the number of mice increased, so did Jingles’ anticipation. Christmas Eve was less than three months away.

A great chiming bell rang out and woke everyone at the North Pole from their slumber; it was Christmas Eve. Jingles quickly rose and had breakfast with Taylor.

“Are you ready, Jingles?” Taylor asked, seeing his friend’s nervousness.

“Yes.” Jingles replied. “I’m just going over the plan in my head. I’ll be better once I’m in the sleigh and Santa and I are on our way to the first house.”

“So is everything ready to go?” Taylor asked as he took Jingles red velvet cap from the desk and held it out to his friend.

“Sammy had my toy sack loaded with Santa’s.” Jingles stated. “He placed it inside the trap door on the back of the sleigh. I have to get there so that Santa can see me wish him well and then I have to dash to the back of the sleigh open the trapdoor and get on board.”

“Will you have enough time?” Taylor asked.

“Yes.” Jingles replied. “Sammy had me train all summer so that I can do it in under ten seconds. Oh. I am so nervous.”

“You will be fine.“ Taylor said. “Just remember all the cats that are depending on you to give them a Merry Christmas. Now you better get going.”

“I will see you after Santa’s ride is finished.” Jingles said.

Taylor smiled and gently pushed his feline friend out the door.

Jingles ran as fast as he could to the Great Square where Santa would be taking off for his yearly ride. Jingles had to slink and manourver through the hundreds of elves who had gathered to see Santa off. He saw Sammy Sleighmaster who gave him a bright cheerful wink. During Santa’s final take off checklist, Sammy was to open the trapdoor for Jingles so that he would not have to try and open it and board at the same time. Jingles took his place.

“Merry Christmas Santa.” Jingles said as he watched Santa Claus climb aboard his sleigh.

“Merry Christmas, Jingles.” Santa said with a wink, he then turned to Sammy Sleighmaster. “Are we ready for final flight check?”

“Ready for final flight check, Santa.” Sammy said, as he gave Jingles the signal.

Jingles slowly moved away from the side of the slay and once he was sure that he was out of Santa’s sight, he made a dash for the open trapdoor. It opened smoothly with a slight pull of his paw. Jingles dashed inside and pulled the trapdoor shut behind him. If any of the other elves saw him enter, no one made any commotion over it. Most were engrossed in watching the spectacle of Santa’s take off.

Snuggly inside his secret compartment, Jingles felt rather than saw the take off of Santa’s sleigh. Even over the tinkling whirr of the wreath gyroscopes, Jingles could hear Santa call out to all his reindeeer. The nervousness that Jingles thought would dissipate once he was in the air only seemed to get worse. Maybe it will get better once I visit the first house, Jingles hoped, as he pulled on his red velvet hat.

Jingles felt the sleigh suddenly slow down and land. Jingles listened for Santa stepping off the sleigh onto the snow covered roof. He pushed the trapdoor open, grabbed his toy sack, and dashed for the shimmering portal that appeared next to the sleigh. Jingle let out a little grunt as he realized that the sack was a little heavier than he expected.

Jingles crossed the threshold just behind Santa. He quickly moved out of Santa’s line of sight. He looked at his list and saw that he was to leave five catnip mice at this house. As he pulled them from the toy, the label was filled in automatically.

The labels read Merry Christmas to Grr, To Midnight, To Cocoa, To Riley and To Rascal. They were signed Jingles.

Jingles saw that Santa had already finished placing his gifts around the tree and eating the cookies left for him. Jingles had to dash to make it to the portal before it closed behind. Jingles felt a sharp tug on his tail and he realized that he had barely made it across the threshold. As he reappeared on the roof, Jingles was horrified to see Santa already calling the reindeer onto the next house. Jingles ran with his toy sack towards the rear of the sleigh. It was already a foot off the roof when Jingles leapt up and tried to catch the edge of the trap door.

Jingles did not manage to get all the way into the sleigh. He flew to the next house with his rear end hanging over the edge and his toy sack banging against the back of the sleigh. When the sleigh landed, Jingles more fell off the sleigh than climbed off. He had to dash to make the portal once again. Once again his list told him how many mice to leave, and the labels filled themselves in as they were pulled from the toy sack.

For all his practicing with Sammy with the dummy toy sack, Jingles was finding it harder and harder to keep up with Santa. Four hundred times he rode to the next house with his rear end hanging out the back of the sleigh. Another thousand times, he held on desperately to his toy sack that did not quite make it into the sleigh with him. Jingles was certain that there was no more hair left on his tail from barely making it through the portal into the house. Jingles cringed at the thought of what might happen if he got stuck halfway through as the portal closed.

As he went from house to house, Jingles felt the exhaustion began to creep over him. Soon the desire to sleep was almost as strong as the desire to deliver the next catnip mouse. The only thing that saved Jingles from collapsing entirely was that the toy sack was slowly getting lighter and lighter. Jingles looked into his toy sack and saw that there were only three catnip mice left. Jingles was so tired; there might as well have been thirty mice or three hundred. Jingles’ heart felt hollow as he worried that he might not be able to fufill his dearest wish.

As the sleigh stopped on the roof, Jingles pushed the trapdoor open. He looked down at the ground. For all he knew this was his last house, but Jingles could not find the energy to jump down onto the roof and follow Santa though the portal. Jingles put his head down on his white mitted paws. A small tear slid down his cheek.

To be continued tomorrow...

Friday, December 21, 2007

Dolce's Story Chair - The Tiny Red Sack (Part 3)

Dolce's Story Chair

Dad: We all hope everyone is enjoying the story. It must be better than last years, because Dolce hasn't fallen asleep once yet.
Dolce: It's because this one is all about a cat. Although, I don't mind stories with dogs, I like your stories that are about kitties.
Dad: Is everything replenished?
Dolce: Reee-plenn-isht?
Dad: Did you put more catnip cookies, and leafy greens and water and catmilk for your furriends?
Dolce: Why didn't you just say that? No point in making up words to make yourself sound smart.
Dad: I didn't make up that word, Dolce.
Dolce: Sure, Dad. I hear people saying Ree-plen-isht all the time.
Dad: Dolce, don't roll your eyes at me.
Dolce: It's only because I love you.
Dad: I love you too. Here come your brothers and sister. I see that your furriends are here now too. How about we get started with the story?
Dolce: That would be great.
Dad: So we left Jingles finding out that all the cats were on the Naughty List. He was determined to find out from Santa why and what could be done to change that fact...

Jingles found Santa in his office looking at the Naughty and Nice Scrolls. Santa had just reset the scrolls from last Christmas, and he was already reviewing names that were showing up on the Naughty List. Jingles jumped up onto the desk and sat down in front of Santa. Jingles waited for Santa to give him a scritch underneath his chin, but Santa’s eyes never lifted from the scrolls.

“Santa.” Jingles put his right paw onto the Naughtly Scroll and pulled it down slightly. “Santa, there is something I need to talk to you about.”

“Jingles.” Santa looked up with a sigh. “I am kind of busy right now. I need to get the preproduction schedules to the elves by the end of this week.”

“I wanted to ask you about the Naughty List.” Jingles stated.

“At least the same thing is bothering us both.” Santa sighed, as he placed the Naughty List scroll down on his desk. “Look here. This little girl lied to her mother about doing her chores, and has already starting asking for toys for next Christmas. This boy hit his little brother with the toy guitar he got this year and he is now asking for a heavier electric guitar.”

Jingles saw a twinge of doubt and worry sneak into Santa’s normally happy blue eyes.

“It’s okay.” Jingles said as he turned away and moved to jump down off of the desk. “I ask you about it later.”

“Jingles.” Santa scooped up Jingles and cradled him against his chest. He started scratching Jingles’ tummy fur. “I’m sorry. It just seems the Naughty List fills up faster than it use to. What is bothering you?”

“It’s about the Naughty List.” Jingles asked over his own purrs, “I looked at last year's list before you reset it for next Christmas. It seemed that there were a lot of cats on the Naughty List.”

“Yes, there usually are.” Santa interjected.

“But there were none on the Nice List.” Jingles countered. “I mean there was not a single cat on the Nice List. Of all the cats in the world, not one made the Nice List. Not even me, and I was a kitten.”

“Oh yes.” Santa smiled. “The reason you didn’t make the Nice List was your many adventures in…what did you call it? Oh yes; The Forbidden Cave. Tracking all that soot across the floor is what got you onto the Naughty List.”

“I only did that once.” Jingles said sheepishly.

“Santa knows, Jingles.” Santa replied. “You did it eleven times.”

“Oh.” Jingles admitted softly. “But all cats can’t be that Naughty all the time. There are times we when we are good. Surely those times more than cover the naughty times.”

“When each item or event is weighed against all others, cats always seem to balance out on the naughty side.” Santa explained. “I have to use the same rules for all creatures; otherwise it would not be fair.”

Jingles realized that Santa was correct. He had hoped he would be able to convince Santa that cats deserved to be on the Nice List. He had only been a kitten and somehow he had ended up on the Naughty List eleven times. If he could not get any of the cats back onto the Nice List, Jingles had to find a way to do something special for all the cats.

“I’m sorry for bothering you Santa.” Jingles jumped down from Santa’s lap.

“Jingles.” Santa said. “You never bother me. It’s too bad you work at the North Pole. You might have actually been the first cat to make the Nice List. But as an employee you are disqualified from any material benefit of goods or services. Don’t blame me, the elves in legal came up with that rule many years ago, after a couple elves tried to corner the market in Cabbage Patch dolls. It was a very messy scene.”

Jingles walked dejectedly back to the small home he shared with Taylor Tailorson. Taylor was busy patching Santa’s red toy sack. Jingles still had some bad memories of the night he came to the North Pole. Jingles watched as Taylor seamlessly repaired a small worn section of the toy sack. His tiny elfin fingers wove the patches into the original cloth with such precision that no one wold be able to tell the sack had ever been repaired. Jingle’s eyes moved from the toy sack that Taylor was repairing to the large bolt of the magical red velvet cloth leaning against the wall of the shop.
“Do you have any extra fabric, Taylor?” Jingles asked as a plan began to grow in his mind.

“I can always put together some scraps.” Taylor replied. “Do you need a coat or some mittens or a hat made?”

“I have something else in mind.” Jingles said. “I will be back tonight just before dinnertime.”

“Okay” Taylor watched as Jingles dashed out of the house.

Jingle tried to walk slowly, but his thoughts were awhirl with the quickly forming details of his plan. He found himself walking faster and faster, until he was running as fast as he could. He skidded around the corner of the Sweet Shop and Taffy Emporium where all the Candy Canes were made and nearly plowed into a crew of Elves who were repairing the Christmas lights on the light standards lining the lane.

“Sorry.” Jingles called out, as he ran past the elves scrambling to get out of Jingles’ way.

Jingles dashed past the professional building where the legal firm of Holly, Holly, Holly and Holly was located. Jingles had spent an entire afternoon there getting his papers to allow him to stay in the North Pole. Jingles turned the corner and found himself on the main street of the North Pole. There at the far end of the bustling street was one of the largest buildings at the North Pole; the Grand Central Toyworks and Imagination Engineering Department. Jingles followed a group of elves in bright green and red coveralls into the building.

With Christmas eight months away, the elves were busy in preproduction mode. Everywhere molds were being cast, fabrics were being printed, and elven toy machinery was being fine tuned. Jingles looked around and saw the door he was looking for; Production Orders. Jingles walked across the Toyworks shop floor to the entrance of the Production Orders department. He took a quick glance around and then snuck into the office.

The Production Orders Department was still quiet. They were waiting for Santa to determine what the list of Toys the elves would be making this year besides the staples of Teddy Bears, Dolls, Toy Trucks and Cars, and Sailboats and Planes. Jingles had spent some time with the elf in charge of the Production Orders Department, Planny McPlannerson; so he knew how the Great Toy Computer worked.

Jingles placed his white mitted paw on the shiny brass colored keyboard, and watched as the Toy Computer started up. Jingles selected New Toy Item from the menu. He glanced up at the doorway to see if anyone had noticed his presence in the office.

“C-A-T-N-I-P M-O-U-S-E.” Jingle typed in the name of the toy he wanted to be built.

“SPECIFICATIONS?” The Toy Computer asked.

“Let’s see.” Jingles thought as he typed.”2 and half inches square with a velcro closure. Filled with two tablespoons of catnip. Color should be random.”

“QUANTITY SOURCE?” The Toy Computer asked.

Jingles grew nervous as he knew his next instructions would cause a warning to go off in the Production Orders office.

“Source: Naughty List; Section: Cats.” Jingles typed. He hesitated slightly before pressing the enter button.

“USE OF NAUGHTY LIST REQUIRES SANTA LEVEL OVERRIDE.” The Toy Computer flashed a bright red warning.

Jingles swallowed hard and then entered Santa’s password. Jingles had seen Santa use it to approve Market Analysis Travel for some Elves to go and find out what the next hot toy was going to be down south.

“PRODUCTION ORDER CONFIRMED.” The Toy Computer flashed a green message. “SHIPPING DESTINATION?”

“Loading Dock ZZ99.” Jingles typed. He hoped that no one would notice a pile of catnip toys located at a seldom use part of the Sleigh Loading Area.

“ORDER COMPLETE.” The Toy computer stated and then flashed a second message. “PRODUCTION QUEUED.”

Jingles turned off the Great Toy Computer. The first part of his plan was in motion. Now he had to get his friend Taylor to help him. Jingles suddenly realized that he was going to have to ask some other Elves to assist him.

Jingles ran back to his house. He found Taylor sitting in his chair with a large cup of Hot Chocolate in his hands. Jingles wiped his paws on the doormat and walked over to where Taylor was sitting.

“Taylor.” Jingles said sheepishly. “I need a favour.”

“There is a fresh ball of yarn in the closet.” Taylor replied as he sipped from his cup.

“There is.” Jingles was momentarily distracted by the thought of a new ball of yarn. Jingles shook the temptation of playing with the ball of yarn out of his head. “Thank you, but that’s not the favour I need.”

“Are you sure you don’t want the yarn?” Taylor asked skeptically. Jingles shook his head negatively. “So what favour do you need Jingles?”

“I need you to make me a toy sack like Santa’s only smaller so that I can carry it.” Jingles blurted out.

“Why would you need a toy sack like Santa’s?” Taylor asked.

Jingles shared his entire plan with Taylor. He explained how he could not find his brother and sisters names on either the Naughty or Nice list. He said that he was hurt to find that not one cat was on the Nice List so not one cat would be getting a gift from Santa this year. Jingles told Taylor that he thought that was very unfair and that as the sole cat at the North Pole it was up to him to do something about it. Jingles told him about the production order for catnip mice he had made. At the end of his story, Jingles felt a huge wave of relief. He did not like having secrets.

“Well, this is going to be a problem.” Taylor looked sternly at Jingles as he sipped from his hot chocolate. “I’ll need to know the exact number of catnip mice you plan on putting in the sack. We will have stress points and flexibility factors to weigh into the design. Not to mention proper reinforcement points.”

Taylor winked and smiled at Jingles. Jingles felt a deep warm glow grow inside his body.

Jingles went to see Taylor’s cousin and fellow tailor about the next item on his list. Taylor had given Jingles a card to give to Purdy Needlepoint. Jingles was thrilled when Purdy read the card and then began sizing him for a red velvet cap with white fur trim. She told him it would be ready two weeks from Thursday. She booked another appointment for proper sizing into her little leather appointment book. Jingles thanked her and left for his next task.

In the main shop of the Sleighworks, Jingles found Sammy Sleighmaster working on Santa’s sleigh with several other elves. Sammy was calling out orders to the other elves.

“No, No. No.” Sammy corrected a young elf who was installing new Candy Cane Control Crystals into the sleigh’s guidance systems. “You have to lick them first. Otherwise they won’t stay in place when Santa has to make that six-gee turn at Fairbanks, Alaska.”

Sammy looked up and saw Jingles sitting quietly in the doorway of the shop. Everyone at the North pole knew that you did not enter Sammy’s shop without permission. North Pole Health and Safety regulations, Sammy would state.

“What can I do for you, Jingles?” Sammy asked his feline friend.

“I have a strange request for you.” Jingles replied. “It has to do with Santa’s sleigh.”

Like Taylor and Purdy before, Jingles told Sammy Sleighmaster about his plan to take catnip mice to all the cats on the Naughty List. Sammy mulled Jingles request over in his mind as he scratched his chin and pulled on his right earlobe.

“It sounds like we are going to have to put a small trapdoor on the back of the sleigh.” Sammy decided. “Probably will have to go along the right side of the Hot Chocolate Heat Pumps and over the secondary Wreath Gyroscopes. How big is the sack going to be?”

Jingles held his paws apart as far as he could to estimate the size of his not yet made catnip mouse toy sack.

“Got It.” Sammy said. “You need to be here at least four weeks before Christmas so that you can practice getting on and off the sleigh. Santa may look old and slow, but I can tell you he moves pretty fast on Christmas Eve. You will need to keep up or you might get left behind.”

Later that night, Jingles sat down with Taylor and told him how his plan was coming together. Taylor smiled as he saw an energy in Jingles’ eyes and voice that he had never seen or heard before.

“You sound just like Santa in his planning meetings.” Taylor smiled.

“I do?” Jingles said in disbelief.

“Yup.” Taylor nodded. “Same fire in the eyes. I think next Christmas is going to be very interesting. Now can I interest you in that ball of yarn?”

“I can never say no to a ball of yarn.” Jingles laughed.

Jingles’ plan was set in motion. All he needed to do was wait eight months for the next Christmas Eve. Jingles was not sure he could handle the anxiety and excitement for eight months.
To be continued tomorrow...

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Dolce's Story Chair - The Tiny Red Sack (Part 2)

Dad: Dolce, Did your friends enjoy themselves last night?

Dolce: I think so. All the catnip cookies are gone and there is very little catmilk left.

Dad: Make sure you have all the plates restocked for tonight.

Dolce: I told Baci to bring out more cookies.

Baci: Commin frew (carrying a large platter of cookies and talking around a cookie in his mouth)

Dolce: Dad, Baci's eating the cookies again!

Dad: Baci. you need to wait until your friends arrive.

Baci: But my hollow leg is bothering me.

Dad: You and your hollow leg. Are Magoo and Bella ready?

Magoo: I'm here.

Bella: So am I.

Dad: Okay, Your furriends are starting to show up, so I will begin the story. I left you yesterday with the little kitten who had just lost his brother and sister getting trapped in Santa's red toy sack...

The little kitten was scared as he felt himself carried from place to place. Each time he felt the red velvet sack stop jostling around, he warily approached the opening. He stuck his little nose out and sniffed the air as he felt the sack come to rest. The air always smelled different and strange. It never smelled of his own home or of his brother and sister whom he so desperately wanted to find. The little kitten grew more and more terrified, and as he did so, he moved deeper and deeper into the red velvet sack.

Soon the sack was no longer being carried around. The little kitten could still feel the sack moving, but he knew it wasn’t just the sack that was moving but whatever the sack was laying on was also moving. It felt just like riding in his cat carrier when he and his brother and sister were taken to the stabby place for checkups and shots. The little kitten worried about his brother and sister, then he began to worry about the Female of the House and his mother; they would not what happened to him.
“I am such a foolish kitten.” the little kitten said to himself, “If I had just done what my mother had told me, I wouldn’t have caused so many problems.”

The little kitten placed his fuzzy brown head onto his fuzzy brown paws with their white mitts. He fretted briefly before he slipped off into a deep dream filled sleep.

The red velvet sack was suddenly lifted and the little kitten was rousted from his sleep. He clamped onto the sack with his tiny claws as the sack swung backwards and forwards. The sack then dropped slightly and then started swinging again. The little kitten perked his eyes as he thought he could hear many voices outside of the red velvet sack. There was one large booming voice biut the others were higher and softer.

“Are you sure the sack is empty, Santa?” The little kitten heard one of the high soft voices ask.

“Of course, I’m sure.” Santa replied. “All gifts and deliveries accounted for. I have done this before, you know.”

“Well it sure feels like there is something in here.” the high soft voice stated.

The little kitten tensed as the opening of the red velvet sack was stretched by a small pair of hands. The little kitten tried to hide, but there was nothing left in the sack to hide behind. The little kitten blinked his eyes and adjusted the to the soft flickering light that shone into the sack and exposed his presence. The little kitten found himself staring up at two faces, one anciently young elfin face with bright green eyes and ears that came to a sculpted tip and the other a wrinkled human face covered in a thick grey beard and moustache with blue eyes that twinkled with mischief and laughter.

“What do we have here?” Santa asked as he peered over the edge of his red velvet toy sack.

“It appears you have a stowaway, Santa.” The elf replied. “A kitten has found its way into your bag.”

“I don’t remember seeing any kittens near my bag at any of the houses.” Santa said thoughtfully.

“So what do we do?” The elf asked.

“I don’t know which house he came from so I couldn't even begin to think of where to return the little guy.” Santa said. “Even if I could, there is no time left to get him back before Christmas morning is here.”

Santa looked down at the little kitten.

“Do you know where your home is?” Santa asked.

“I live in the house with the stone fireplace and the wicker cat bed with the fluffy red pillow.” The little kitten replied.

“Wicker cat bed and fluffy red pillow?” Santa thought “Stone Fireplace? It sounds so very familiar, but I can’t remember if it was on the East Coast or West Coast. It might have even been in the Midwest.”

“So you really have no idea.” The elf stated.

“Not really.” Santa smiled.

“Wait.” The little kitten interrupted the elf and Santa’s discussion. “You can hear me?”

“Of course, I can.” Santa chuckled. “Otherwise, how would I be able to tell Dancer to lay off the broccoli before the big night. It gives him the worst gas. Actually everyone here at the North Pole can understand all animals.”

“Except for the sloths.” The elf corrected. “No one can really understand them.They talk very slowly and mumble a lot when they speak. We just smile and nod our heads when we have to talk to them.”

The kitten look at Santa and the elf with a very confused look on his tiny face.

“Oh, where are my manners.” The elf scolded himself. “Samuel Sleighmaster is my name, but everyone calls me Sammy. You are pretty young. Do you even have a name yet.”

The little kitten tried to think what the Female of the House or his Mother called him. His mother was still calling him Little One or My Son; she not yet given him his True Name yet. The Female of the house was still calling him and his siblings, the Kittens.

“No.” the kitten replied sadly. “I don’t have a name yet.”

“Then I shall have the privilege of giving you a name.” Sammy looked at the kitten. “I know. I will call you Jingles. Since you arrived on a sleigh pulled by nine reindeer covered with bells.”

“Jingles.” The kitten thought about the name. “I like it. Jingles. Jingles.”

“Now we have to find you a place to stay.” Sammy said.

“He isn’t staying in the stable.” Dasher, one of the reindeer, spoke up. “I have enough problem sleeping with Dancer next door to me. The last thing I need is a kitten running around and playing to the wee hours of the night.”

“Hey.” Dancer piped up. “Its not my fault that broccoli doesn’t digest properly. Besides, if they hadn’t made it taste so good, I probably wouldn’t be so tempted.”

“I wasn’t going to stick Jingles in the stable anyways.” Sammy replied. “The rest of you aren’t that pleasant smelling either. Who could we set you up with? I know. Follow Me.”

“Goodbye reindeer.” Jingles said as he followed Sammy towards a row of small houses across the courtyard from the stables.

“Goodbye, Jingles.” Dancer replied and then turned to the other reindeer. “He seems like a nice kitten. I wonder if he has ever tried broccoli.”

“No more broccoli!” The other reindeer all cried out at once.

Sammy Sleigh the Elf led Jingles to a small house that had a small square sign hanging from the wall next to the doorway. It was a picture of a bolt of cloth with a spool of thread and a needle and scissors crossed over each other. Sammy knocked on the door.

“Taylor.” Sammy knocked on the door again, ”Taylor Tailorson are you home?”

“Who is it?” a voice responded from inside. “This better be good. I’m not scheduled to start repairing the upholstery on the sleigh until tomorrow morning.”

“It’s Sammy Sleighmaster.” Sammy stated. “I have someone here who needs your help.”

“It couldn’t wait until morning?” Taylor Tailorson asked as he open the door to his tailoring and upholstery shop.

“Not really.” Sammy said as he motioned towards Jingles. “Santa had an unexpected guest on the ride home. I was hoping you could take him in until we can find a place for him.”

“Kittens.” Taylor Tailorson snorted. “You don’t like playing with yarn do you?”

“Uhh.” Jingles was not sure what to say. “No sir. I don’t really care about yarn that much.”

“Balderdash.” Tailor snapped. “All kittens love yarn. Never saw one that didn’t. Good thing you brought him here. First things first. We will need to teach him how to play with yarn. No knitting needles mind you; just a big ball of yarn That’s the ticket.”

Sammy smiled and kneeled down next to Jingles.

“I think you will be fine here.” Sammy said. “If you ever need anything, come by the Sleighworks that’s where I am most of the year.”

“Year?” Jingles was confused.

“Oh, I’m sorry.” Sammy apologized. “I thought you understood. We won’t be able to try and find your home until next Christmas which is a whole year away.’

Jingle sat down on his haunches in the snow. First, he lost his brother and sister and now he had lost the only home he ever knew. Jingles was not so sure that this Christmas thing was all that great of an idea.

“Don’t worry about it, Jingles.” Sammy said. “Santa will figure out where your home is and before you know it, you will be back in front of your fireplace with the wicker cat bed and the fluffy red pillow.”

Jingles grew to love living with Taylor Tailorson, who true to his word taught Jingles the joy in playing with a ball of yarn. Soon he knew all the elves that helped Santa produce all the toys that were given out every Christmas on Santa’s yearly trip. Jingles even made friends with the reindeer and learned to avoid Dancer once he got into the broccoli.

Jingles split his time between Taylor’s shop, Santa's office and the great fireplace in the main hall. He would spend many hours gazing into the fire thinking about his brother and sister and about his mother. One night during the spring, Taylor noticed Jingles was being very quiet. He asked Jingles why he was so melancholy. Jingles told him about his brother and sister.

“Why don’t you check Santa’s List?” Taylor said. “They should be in there on either the Naughty or Nice scrolls.”

“Cats are on Santa’s List?” Jingles asked in disbelief.

“Of course they are.” Taylor replied. “You have to go past the children section to the pets and animals section. I would probably recommend checking the Naughty List first. I’m not sure why, but seems that most of the cats are on that scroll.”

Jingles went to Santa’s office the very next morning. Following Taylor’s advice, Jingles scoured the Naughty list. There were all the names of the young boys and girls would had done something to get their names onto the Naughty List. Jingles looked down the list until he came to the section that was marked “CATS”.

Jingles read off several of the names. None seemed familiar to him. He kept reading and reading and reading.

“Baci, Bella, Buddah…Dolce, Dragonheart...Huggy Bear…Jasper, Josie...Magoo, Max, Miles Meezer, Millie…” Jingles recited each of the names he saw and hoped that one would spring out at him. “Pandora, Puff, Pumpkin…Sammy Meezer (with an asterisk)...Zeus,Zippy,Zoe.”

By the time Jingles reached the end of the Cat Section of Naughty List, he had not recognized a single name on the list. He then remembered to check the Nice List. Jingles quickly found the “CATS” section. There was only one sentence in that section; it read “You’ve got to be kidding!” There were no cat’s names on the Nice List. Jingles was heartbroken. His one chance to find his brother and sister was dashed because he did not know what their names were. Jingles sat and stared at the two scrolls on Santa’s desk.

The more Jingles looked at the Naughty and Nice scrolls the more they began to bother him. His tail began to twitch angrily from side to side. Why are all the cats on the Naughty List and not a single one on the Nice List. Jingles thought maybe there was some mistake. He looked at the section marked “DOGS” on the Naughty List. Sure enough, there many names listed. Some even had asterisks next to them like some of the cats. Jingles turned his attention to the “DOGS” section of the Nice List. Jingles expected it to be empty just like the “CATS” section. He could not believe what he saw written on the scroll; there were dog names recorded on the Nice List. Not just one or two dog names but several hundred. Jingles was shocked.

“I don’t think this can be right.” Jingles was indignant. “How can there be Dogs on the Nice List but not even a single cat? Santa must have made a mistake. I will get to the bottom of this and get it corrected before next Christmas.”

To be continued tomorrow...

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Dolce's Story Chair - The Tiny Red Sack (Part 1)

Dolce's Story Chair

Dad: Dolce! Baci! Bella! Magoo!
All: Yes Dad.
Dad: Is everything ready? Dolce do you and Baci have the Hot Catmilk and Catnip cookies ready for your furriends. Don't forget some leafy greens and veggies for your rabbit and rat friends.
Dolce: Got it, but Baci keeps sampling the cookies.
Dad: Baci!
Baci: What? (as he wipes the crumbs of a catnip cookie from his mouth)
Dad: Save those for the guests. Bella is the pillow pile properly fluffed and arranged.
Bella. I spent all morning kneading and making biscuits on each and every pillow to make sure they are at their softest.
Dad: Good. Magoo, you ready for tonight?
Magoo: Don't worry. I'll keep an eye out for any hijinx.
Dad: Magoo, Don't crack your knuckles like that. You'll scare your furriends.
Magoo: Hhmmph!
Dad: Okay everything looks good. Dolce, do you want to let everyone know that your Story Chair is open.
Dad: Dolce, Dolce, Dolce.
Dolce: Dad, Dad, Dad.
Dad: So here is this year's Christmas Story, The Tiny Red Sack...

Next to a large stone fireplace with a wide thick maple mantle and grey slate hearth stood a wicker cat bed with a thick fluffy red pillow. On top of the fluffy red pillow in the wicker cat bed, there were three little kittens sound asleep. Their mother was sleeping nearby on the hearth as she kept a watchful eye on her young kittens. Not too far away from the hearth and the wicker cat bed stood a most beautifully decorated Christmas Tree. It was covered in red and green ribbons and shiny glass globes of blue, purple, yellow and green. The reason the kittens were sleeping was that they just spend the entire morning climbing in and up and around the tree, and hopping over and running around the brightly papered gifts around the tree’s base. Now with the afternoon sun streaming into the room and warmly illuminating the wicker cat bed, the kittens were now dreaming of chasing and playing and tumbling.

A sound of human voices caused their mother to stir on the hearth and glance towards the hallway. Her ears twitched at voices she recognized and a couple that she did not. The fall of footsteps on the floor approaching the room where she and her kittens slept roused her completely.

Soon the female human of the house entered the room followed by two strangers, a Man and a Woman. The voices were friendly and laughing as they talked about the tree and the gifts and the four cats who laid peacefully next to the stone fireplace.

“The kittens are now eight weeks old and are starting to eat solid food.” The female of the house stated to her visitors. “I hate to let them go, but I don’t think my tree can survive all three of them.”

The visitors laughed.

“Now you wanted a female cat.” The female of the house said. “The cream colored kitten is a female who should have lynx points like her mother. The two boys will be chocolate points except for the littlest one who seems to have picked up a complete set of white socks.”

“Oh, they are so cute.” The female visitor cooed as she knelt down towards the wicker cat bed.

“When they are sleeping, they are very cute.” The female of the house laughed. “But when they are awake, it is a different story.”

“They are ready to go now?” the male visitor inquired.

“Yes.” The female of the house responded. “I normally do not let kittens go at Christmas time. The cuteness of kittenhood is gone by spring and sometimes for the children so is the novelty. But we have been talking about a kitten since Amaretti’s pregnancy was noticed at the Shelter so I am willing to let the little girl go now. I will worry about placing the boys after the Christmas season.”

The littlest kitten stirred and opened his eyes to look at the strangers. His brother and sister remained asleep entwined and oblivious to the commotion around them.

“Will their eyes stay blue?” the female visitor asked.

“Yes.” The female of the house responded. “I believe so, but I cannot guarantee that.”

“You are so cute.” The female visitor said as she scratched the only awake kitten gently underneath the chin.

The little kitten began purring and kneading on the red pillow. He loved it when a human gave him scratches underneath his chin. His brother and sister stirred at his movements, and rolled over slightly.

“The other two seem to be quite attached to each other.” The male visitor noticed.

“They definitely are.” The female of the house replied. “The little one seems to go and find his own adventures, but these two always seem to be near each other or at least close by. We find them eating side by side almost all the time.”

“I know we asked about a female kitten.” The female visitor stated. “But I would hate to break up such a tight sibling bond.”

“Would you rather take the little boy then instead?” the female of the house asked.

“No.” the female visitor replied. “What I was thinking was that maybe we would take the other boy kitten and his sister.”

“It will definitely help the kittens adjust if they have a sibling with them.” The female of the house thought out loud. “And it will mean one less kitten that I will have to take to the Adoption Clinic in the new year.”

The female of the house reached down and picked up the sleeping boy and the sleeping girl kitten and held them out to the female visitor.

“Merry Christmas.” The female of the house stated.

The female visitor took the little girl kitten and handed her to the male visitor and then took the little boy from the female of the house. The kittens awoke from their sleep and began purring as they were cradled in the visitors arms. The female of the house wiped a tear from her eye.

“We will take good care of these two little darlings.” The female visitor said as she reached out and touched the female of the houses arm in comfort.

“I know you will. “The female of the house said, “But it is still hard to see them go.”

The little kitten with the white paws watched as the the two visitors walked away with his brother and sister cradled lovingly in their arms. The wicker cat bed felt huge and lonely all of sudden. He climbed out of the bed and ran in the direction that the visitors had carried his brother and sister. The front door was partially ajar, and the little kitten made a dash for the open space.

He was quickly scooped up by the Female of the House, and pointed towards the car sitting in the driveway.

“Say goodbye to your brother and sister.” The female of the house said softly into the kitten’s little ear. “They’ve gone to their new Forever Homes.”

The little kitten did not understand. He wanted to go with his brother and sister. Who was going to chase him through the tree now? Who was going to hide behind the presents so that he could stalk them? Who was going to help him shred the white papers in the bathroom?

The front door of the house closed, and the little kitten was placed back onto the floor. He looked sadly up at the Female of the House and then back at the door. He stood there silently. He did not move even when the Female of the House went back to her business about the house. He did not stir until his mother came to get him a hour later.

“Come, my little boy.” His mother, Amaretti said. “The human has put some food into your bowl for you. It’s the fishy stuff you like so much.”

“Where did they go?” the little kitten asked. “Where are my brother and sister? We were going have races to the top of the tree today, and then we were going to explore the Forbidden Cave.”

“I’m sorry my son.” Amaretti stated sadly. “Your brother and sister have gone to their forever homes. And please do not call it the Forbidden Cave. It is the fireplace, and any exploring you kittens did in there only resulted in three soot covered kittens.”

“Am I alone now?” the little kitten asked mournfully.

“I am still here. my son.” Amaretti replied.

“Will you climb the tree with me?” the little kitten asked. “Will you chase me around the paper boxes?”

“I am not as good at those kind of games as your brother and sister were." Amaretti said.

“Then I am alone.” The little kitten stated sadly, and he walked towards the wicker cat bed with the fluffy red pillow. He did not feel like eating.

Amaretti watched her little son walk slowly back to his bed. She felt the sorrow that radiated over her remaining kitten. She wished she knew what to say, but she had seen this happen several times before. I can’t tell you why the humans pick one kitten over another, but I am sure you will find you own forever home someday, Amaretti thought to herself, I just wish you weren’t so sad on this day. Amaretti looked at the brightly decorated tree. She sniffed the air. It was Christmas Eve. Maybe the special visitor that Amaretti knew was coming could lighten her little son’s spirits and help him forget that his brother and sister were gone.

The little kitten slept away the rest of the day and most of the night. He woke several times but the feeling of the wicker bed being so empty without his brother and sister just made him sadder and sadder. His stomach began to ache with a hollow rumble that even his sadness could not hide. He stood up in the center of the pillow and stretched out his paws as far as he could. He could smell the fishy soft food in his bowl. The smell made his stomach grumble even more.

The little kitten went to the kitchen and hungrily started munching down on the remaining soft food in his bowl. He did not see the opening in front of the fireplace begin to shimmer and flicker with a magical silver light. The little kitten licked his cheeks as he finished the last morsel of fishy soft food. He still wished his brother and sister were there with him. He looked across from his bowl and saw the bowl that his brother and sister once shared. The sorrow that had been briefly chased away by his favorite food came crashing back down on him. He was alone. He slowly walked back to the room where the fireplace and his wicker bed sat.

The little kitten suddenly stopped as he saw a strange human kneeling next to the Christmas Tree. The human was all dressed in a red velvet suit with white fur trim. He had shiny black leather boots and a matching belt with a large square brass buckle strapped across his large girth. He had black leather gloves with the same white fur as his suit. Atop his head was a red velvet cap with the most enticing white fur pom-pom the little kitten had ever seen. The little kitten arched his back and tried to poof his fur up as much as he could. I am ferocious; I am strong; I am a great hunter; the little kitten tried to summon his strength as he hopped sideways towards the strange person. He got halfway towards the strangely dressed person when he noticed a golden tassel in the corner of his eye. Suddenly the person in the bright red costume with the white fur trim next to the Christmas Tree was less important than the golden tassel that was hanging around the neck of a large red velvet sack.

The little kitten jumped up and around the golden tassel, which simply swung from side to side in response to his actions. The more the tassel swung the more excited the little kitten got. Soon he was wrestling with the tassel and rolling near the opening of the large red velvet sack. As the little kitten rolled and batted at the golden tassel, he came dangerously close to the opening of the red sack. The kitten looked into the sack and saw the flash of something silvery and then something golden and then something brilliantly blue. He poked his nose into the opening of the sack and tentatively gave it a sniff. The scents that assaulted his tiny nose nearly overcame the little kitten.

The little kitten’s nose was a whirl with the smells of pine and sugar and cinnamon and crisp paper and gingerbread and freshly baked bread and most importantly, the smell of his brother and sister. The little kitten slowly crept inside the strange sack. He found many brightly wrapped packages, but not the source of the scent that he so desperately wanted to find, his brother and sister. The kitten was about to turn around and walk out of the sack when suddenly up became down and down became up. The opening of the red velvet sack quickly closed and trapped the little kitten inside. The little kitten tried to cry out using its most powerful kitten cry, but it was not loud enough to be heard over the joyful chuckle of the rotund man in the red velvet suit.

The air in front of the fireplace shimmered and flickered once again. Suddenly, the human in the red velvet suit, the large red velvet sack and the tiny little kitten were gone from the house with the stone fireplace and the wicker cat bed with the fluffy red pillow..

To be continued tomorrow...

Happy Blogversary To Us!

It's official. Today is our blogging anniversary!

Two years of fun, laughter, sorrow, and tears.

Just remember to come back for Dolce's Story Chair tonight for the first part of:

"The Tiny Red Sack"

Monday, December 17, 2007

Where has the time gone...

I was reading Miles and Sammy's blog and I noticed that they had a blog anniversary countdown widget. I thought that's kind of cool and it got me thinking... When is my blog anniversary?

Well it turns out it is in two days. Two Days! I couldn't believe it. The cats have been sharing their stories and adventures for two whole years. I almost missed it. I know that Dolce would have never let me hear the end of it if I had let this monumentous occasion go by without notice.

Actually I don't think she would have noticed; she is still busy climbing the non-decorated Christmas Tree. We are seriously contemplating another Christmas with an undecorated tree.

I looked back and realized that about this time I started up Dolce's Story Chair and began telling all of our furriends about Shep. It was a Christmas story, but I think maybe the ending was a little too sad for this time of year. Dolce made me promise to start thinking of happier and funnier stories. With her help, we started the Scooter McTabby stories, which I have woefully neglected.

Last night while my wife was sleeping, Dolce snuck up on the bed and purred in my ear that she wanted another Christmas story. She said that it had to be about a cat and it had to be happy. I told her that I think I might be able to come up with another story. She purred and curled up beside me underneath the covers.

So, to all of Magoo, Bella, Dolce and Baci's furriends, you are invited to teleport over to Dolce's Story Chair starting on the 20th of December for a new Christmas tale...

Thursday, December 06, 2007

The Christmas Tree is up...for now...

Last weekend, my wife and I got our Christmas tree setup for the season. Of course it is minus any ornaments at this time. We do this every year in hopes that the cats will get bored of the brightly lit tree after a week and then we can start putting all of the ornaments and ribbon on it.

Last year, Dolce and Bella took turns going for rides in the tree. (My wife purchased a tree that rotates.) Dolce thought that this was the greatest thing ever. She sat on one of the branches and enjoyed the ride. Well, she has climbed the tree several times this week and has found a comfortable spot on one of the branches. I saw her looking out at me. She had this look that seemed to say... Turn on the Tree, Dad. Turn it on. Make it spin like last year. Turn on the tree, Dad.

We have been closely watching Baci to see what his level of fascination will be with the tree. Right now, he only seems interested in it when Bella or Dolce are in the tree or if Dolce is playing with one of her mouses underneath the treeskirt. Hopefully, he remains this oblivious once the ribbon and ornaments go on. Magoo might be fascinated by the ornaments and ribbon, but he is too old and too husky to do any real investigation or damage.

Baci, on the otherhand, is a little Furricane just waiting to make landfall. Once that happens, all of our stuff will end up strewn about the living room and the tree will be unceremoniously uprooted. I wonder if the Canadian Red Cross would cover the damage from Furricane Baci.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

What do you see?

I know from reading all of Magoo, Smudge, Bella, Dolce and Baci's furriends blogs that many of us have found our beloved companions at different stages of their lives. Some were adopted as wee kittens (Magoo, Smudge, Bella and Dolce), some as older kittens (Baci), and some as adult cats (Grandma's furriend, Chloe). So I ask you...when you look at your furriend what do you see...

When my dear wife and I look at Magoo, we do not see the 13 pound tank of attitude and fluff; we only see the ten week old fluffy kitten who captured our hearts in a pet store eleven and half years ago.No matter how big or how grumpy he gets, he still is our first little furbaby. When we look into his eyes that is the cat we see.

Bella is a quandary wrapped in a riddle. There are times when she is the large fluffy cat we have now and there are times when she is the self-confident little kitten who stood up to Magoo the first time she met him. I think it is her big round eyes, so kittenish, and yet so full of wisdom and grace.

Dolce is still the kitten. She still has that small impish face that we fell in love with. I look at her and I do not see the two year old cat; I only see that tiny little fluffball that came into our house and demanded that we love her completely.

Baci is a hard one to describe. We got him as an older kitten (5 months), but the reason we got him was that his "look" entranced us. It still does to this day. He has what I call the snorglicious factor. Whenever we see him we just want to pick him up and bury our faces in his fluffy fur. He protests feebly and always rewards us with his rumbly little purr.

As for my beloved Smudge, who has now chosen his Grandma as his favourite person; I see him as the beautiful, sleek furred cat he is now versus the tiny short-haired sickly cat we rescue from that horrible pet store. He is the eptimomy of trust; the more he trusts you the more gorgeous he becomes.


What do you see? The Cat or the Kittten?

Friday, November 23, 2007

Which leg is it?

I have a question for my cat-blogging furriends...

Do You Suffer From Sudden Hollow Leg Syndrome?

Dad says he feeds me plenty and that my food bowls always have some munchies. He says that I must have a hollow leg or something, because I always seem to be hungry. Now I have checked all of my legs and not one of them seems to be hollow. I even had Dolce check them out. She bit each one. I can tell you that they did not feel hollow at all. I think she took far too much pleasure in the test.

So I think that there is an new disease out there; Sudden Hollow Leg Syndrome. It strikes without warning causing perfectly happy and content cats and kittens to cry out in despair for a small piece of chicken (sorry, I'm drooling on the keyboard) or a smidgen of roast beef or a sliver of tuna. (Sorry more drool.)

If you suffer from this terrible affliction, please let me know. We can stand together and end our suffering (probably with some chick-hen or turkey or turducken or salmon or tuna or raost beefs.)

Your Furriend,

Baci the Bottomless Pit

Monday, November 19, 2007

Letters to the Cats

It has been far too long since I have posted anything here. The problem with blogging is that there is a fine line between describing every bowel movement of every single cat in the house and stories of major events and happenings from your pets perspective. I got lost trying to find a happy medium. That, and trying to get our stories ready for the new book.

I could try to recap what the furmonster have been up do in minute detail, but instead I will infer what has been happening and let your own imagination paint the picture...

Dear Magoo;

We understand that you are no longer pleased with the arrangements in the household. We feel somewhat bad that you and Baci do not see eye to eye on most issues. I say somewhat, because we feel that you cause at least half of the problems by hissing and growling whenever he is within five feet of you.

Also, peeing all over the fireplace and forcing your Mom and Dad to replace the fireplace facade does not put you into the most innocent status in this affair.



PS. The bed is only so big; kicking me can only move me over so far. Even if it is in the most tender of places.

Dearest Bella;

Although you are the quietest member of the household, you seem to be the one of our biggest challenges. The fence around our yard is a barrier. One that you are not supposed to cross. When you cross it, I have to go looking for you. I am trying to protect you from all the crap in the Crazy Lady's yard. You know it is wrong because you immediately run to the back door when you are caught. There are times I wish you were a teenaged human girl so that I could pull an "Uncle Buck" on you. Maybe then you would listen to me.



Dear Dolce;

No more booty calls to Baci at 3:00am! Nuff said!



Dear Baci;

We all understand that you are growing up. We understand that you think that Dolce is your girlfriend (Scout might challenge you on that point.) Please stop picking fights with Magoo every time you see him. There is enough love in this house for every one. Also, Dolce asked me to tell you that is okay for you to reciprocate and lick her head from time to time. It is very selfish to demand to be groomed all the time and never groom back.



PS: What did you eat! Warn me next time! I had my mouth open and everything!

Friday, October 19, 2007

A little humor

This is the funniest thing I have seen in a while.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Dolce's Purrthday Party

Welcome to Dolce's 2nd Purrthday Party!

Please come on over! There are plenty of tuna and ham and chik-hen appetizers on the buffet table. Niptinis and Russianless White Russians and Catnip Punch (for the younger kitties) on the beverage cart.

We have lots of climbing and chase games to play, and Magoo has overseen the construction of the feather bed for those who want take a break from the festivities.

So welcome one and all to Dolce's Purrthday Party!

Friday, September 28, 2007

Magoo goes to the V-E-T

Dad tried to fool me into thinking we were going out to find party stuff for Dolce's purrthday party tomorrow. If I have a choice in this outing, why do you have the PTU out, I asked.

Dad stammered and mumbled. I was not fooled. You are taking me to that quack, Dr. Nick. I reminded Dad that the last time I went there, Dr. Nick took some of my bloods and did not give them back. I said that Dr. Nick is dishonest. He takes bloods without asking first. Dad said that Dr. Nick asks him. I told Dad that like Mom, I don't hold his opinion in very high regard. Case in point, whose decision was it to bring Baci home. I rest my case.

Dr. Nick! I wants my bloods back. They are very smart, they do not need to be tested.

Magoo the Annoyed

PS. Magoo's Dad: Magoo had to go and see Dr. Nick about his arthritic shoulders. Magoo has lost some weight which was desirable to take some stress of his shoulders, and he had to have a blood test done to make sure his insides are okay. Magoo may grumble a bit, but he was a very good boy for both Dr. Nick and the Vet-Techie-Lady.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Six days to Dolce's Purrthday

My wife informs me that have Dolce's purrthday wrong. It is not Sept 27th, but Sept 29th. What kind of a purrson gets his fur-child's purrthday wrong. I'm going to go with an attractive, witty, intelligent one. Everyone else in our house might challenge me on that one.

This was from when Dolce was just twelve weeks old.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Pirates of A Caring Being

Here be all the Pirates who have called the ship Crapalot home.

Monday, September 17, 2007

It's been too quiet here

We are all sorry that we have not been posting here at Four Furry Cats, but Dad's has being trapped by trapped by Project and Vacation. The latter grabbed Mom for almost ten days too.

They went to the land near the Calico Girls. We tried to tell them that we could teleport without any international roaming charges, but they did not listen. We think they is still scared from the Edsel great smuggling adventure from two years ago.

There is one more camping adventure for Bacia and Dolce but it depends on Project and Mister Snow. He's been known to show up around here about this time.

We hopes to be able to post some more pictures, but Dad says that he is trying to get one of Dolce baby videos ready for her second purrthday on Sept 27th.

Have Faith, Paws Crossed, Purrers on High.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Please lighten my heart (Edited)

The blogosphere lost some friends this week. Too many friends, too much sadness.

So visit Dinah and the Mites and watch this video.

Kittens-Coca Cola Box - Funny home videos are a click away

Have faith dear furriends, none of us is ever truly alone.

*** Bumped for Ayla, Brendan, Ana, Ubee, and Oscar.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Happy Purrthday to Baci!

Happy Purrthday to Baci!

Love and Kisses,

Mom, Dad, Magoo, Bella and Dolce

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Dolce has some news

Baby Dolce and Mom Sleeping

I has to type very quietly or Baci might hear and he'll come running to find out what I'm doing.

I just wanted to let all of our furriends know that Baci turns one year old on Saturday, Sept 1st. I know I should have posted a picture of him, but I think I am still cuter than he is.

It's going to be my second purrthday on Sept 29, 2007. Dad says that I am officially an adult cat now. I said that since I am an adult, can I have a car and a credit card now.

He laughed at me. Can you believe it?

Monday, August 27, 2007

It's a Work of Art, I Tell Ya!

Before I explain the title of this post, I should let you know that Baci and Dolce are with me on Project. There is a reason why they are with me and not Bella. I will explain later why, but be assured there is nothing wrong with any of the four cats in our household.

We have tried many different ways to manage the output from our four cats. We orginally used the self-cleaning litter boxes, but Magoo grew a little too big for even the largest one. We tried the Littermaid products but Magoo was pretty intent on always peeing on the rake mechanism and it would constantly be jammed. Our last and most successful idea to date (not to mention the least expensive) is to use two under bed storage boxes. They are quite long, 18 inches wide and about 6 inches deep. Each one takes one full box (40lb) of cat litter. The cats love it. They can dig to their hearts content; it does not get disgusting as fast as a smaller litter box, and it is easier for me to clean.

Now for the main purpose of this post. We have a small litter box that we take camping with us for Dolce and Baci to use. I currently have that litter box with me, as well as Dolce and Baci. So I am dutifully cleaning the litter box, when Baci comes by and watches me. His eyes track each lump of hardened cat litter and kitty doot. I don't know what is going on in his mind, but I think it goes something like this:

Dad, that's not mine. I peed on the side of the box. Magoo says that that method makes you have to replace the litter faster. It must be Dolce's. Ooh! Ooh! That ones mine. I left that one this morning at 4:30am. You remember, you woke up and complained about the smell. Oh! That ones mine too. Although I like chick-hen, especially when its from the Colonel, it doesn't like me. Are you done yet? All this watching you clean the litter has made me have to pee. Could you please hurry?

I do not know why they find it so interesting to watch us clean their litter, but I had an audience. As I picked the last doot out of the litter box. I swear that Baci was saying "It's a work of art, I tell ya."

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Bella, Queen of the Household

I have mentioned before that Bella is my Thinker. She is also Queen of the Household. She is also one of the hardest of my cats to write about. To say there is nothing special about her would be a lie, so there are things about her I could write. But she is so quiet and independent in her ways, they might seem to be no different than what you see your own beloved cats doing.

Bella shares a treat with Dolce.

Bella on yard patrol.

She does have a few bad traits such as hopping the fence to go and visit the nieghbors. This always earns her a little time under house arrest (no yard patrol).

But other than that she is a very quiet cat. She shows up every morning for a quick chin scritch or a snorgle. Bella sits on my wife's lap and helps her with her mascara before she heads off to work. Bella cries with the rest of the cats when Stinky Goodness is offered.

I often wonder what she is thinking. Does she wish for things unattainable or contemplate simple things like why her mouses are blue and green? Whatever it is, it does not stop her from making happy paws on my stomache while she sits and purs.

She is and always will be the Queen of our Household.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Dear Cats / Dear Dad

Dear Cats,

Although I have a pretty good idea of who the perpetrator is, since I did not see the act take place, I cannot name names as to who is responsible for embarassing me in front of Project.

I know you all like to play with your toys, and I know that the best way to play with them is to put them someplace where it is hard to retrieve them. Like under the couch or under the linen closet door. Or like I discovered this morning as I was putting on my dress shoes. Now Dad has to share an apartment with one of the Project people. So they got a real good laugh as Dad tried to figured out what was jammed in the toe of his dress shoe. They thought it was quite funny when I pulled a fuzzy mouse from my shoe.

So please no more fuzzy mice in Dad's shoes.

Love Dad.

Dear Dad,

Please return my fuzzy mouse as soon as possible. I was not done playing with that one when you so rudely took your shoes away. There were two other shoes you could have taken that did not have my fuzzy mouse in.

Love Dolce

Friday, August 10, 2007

Hippo Birdday to Dad!

Today is Dad's Hippo Birdday as Victor Tabbycat likes to sing. He's almost ancient. Not as bad as Magoo who is all the way ancient. We had to sing the Hippo Birdday song to him over the phone because he working on project again.

I don't know who this Project person is but I do not like them taking our Dad away from us all the time. Maybe Dad can introduce Project to Baci. Then Project might take him away for a little bit. Boy would that be nice.

Mom sent Dad an e-card. It had kittens playing on a trampoline. It was furry furry funny.


PS. Dad is thinking about taking Bella with him on Project since he has a nice apartment. He says he misses us lots when he is gone. Mom thinks it would be a good idea to give Bella some snuggle time with Dad all by herself. What do you think?

Monday, July 30, 2007

The Great Montana Camping Adventure

Dolce: Our camping trip was great, I got to …

Baci: No, I gets to tell the camping story. First, Mom and Dad loaded us into our new carrier. It was blue to match my …

Dolce: I gets to tell the story. I am the oldest, therefore I will be the one to tell the story.

Baci: But I’m the cutest. You even think I’m incorrigible.

Dolce: Baci. That doesn’t mean cute. I lied.

Baci: Oooh! You’re going to get it when Dad finds out.

Since both Dolce and Baci came with us, it wouldn’t be fair to let only Dolce or only Baci tell the story of the Great Montana Camping Trip. I will only set out the itinerary for the trip and then I will let BOTH Dolce and Baci tell you what they did that day. Given that they are both excitable cats, still more kitten than cat, the story might get a little bit long. So here goes the story of the Great Montana Camping Adventure:

Dolce: Once Dad got the Rumbly Truck attached to the House-On-Wheels, Mom said good-bye to Magoo and Bella and carried us out to the Rumbly Truck.
Baci: We got put into a new carrier that Dad had attched to the back seat. He said it was for safety reasons.
Dolce: Baci let me finish my part first.
Baci: Fine.
Dolce: Once we got into the Rumbly Truck, I told Dad that I needed to help with the navigation. Actually I told him that a lot, and quite loudly too. He said that I couldn’t help with navigation until we got out of the city. He said it wasn’t safe with so many Jaskasses on the road.
Baci: What’s a jackass?
Dolce: Kinda like a vishus deer but they are way stoopider. At least vishus deer don’t pretend to know how to drive.
Baci: Oh yeah. Those jackasses were scarey.
Dolce: Dad finally let us out of the carrier and we drove to Uncle Gruffy McGruffypants’ house. He likes me lots. While Mom and Dad and Aunty and Uncle were talking, I curled up on the couch and slept while Uncle kept playing with my dainty little paws.
Baci: I tolded Aunty McGruffypants how happy I was to meet her. I told her that lots as I followed her around the kitchen. I asked if she had any chick-hen. Dad told me not to beg, but did say that I could have some of the chick-hen that Uncle McGruffypants had made. It was so delicious.

Dolce: I forgot to mention that we met my cousin Odie-cat. She didn’t like us very much, but then she is very old, almost 17 years.
Baci: Yeah, she hisses very loudly. I pooped in her litterbox.
Dolce: Mom and Dad put us into the Rumbly Truck and we headed south towards America. We got to roam around the truck, but we had to stay away from Dad’s feets and the pedalls.
Baci: Cats can get squished by the pedalls.
Dolce: So we had to talk to a Border Guard. She said that she needed to see our papers.
Baci: I asked if she wanted the ones I peed on or the pooped on ones.
Dolce: She didn’t think that was very funny. I told her to arrest my brofur for being stoopid.
Baci: If stoopid is a crime, you should get a life sentence. Oops, I think you are violating your parole by being stoopid right now.
Dolce: I’m going to tell Dad. Maybe he let me finish the story by myself.

Baci: No, I gets to help.
Dolce: So we drove to the campground in Kalispell, Montana. It was furry nice. Mom and Dad turned on the AC in the House-on-Wheels and gave us our holiday toys.
Baci: Then I had a really bad poop.

Dolce: Baci had some very sticky poops. Mom and Dad were worried that the food wasn’t good anymore. But I didn’t get any poops just Baci.

Dolce: WE finally got to check out the campsite. It wasn’t huge but it wasn’t too bad. The people around us were pretty nice, even though they seem to like Baci better.

Baci: Good taste. They all just had good taste.
Dolce: I don’t think so. If they knew how much you pooted and how stinky your butt was last night, they would not think you were very cute at all.
Baci: I was having some problems. I think it was because I don’t get enough chick-hen.
Dolce: Mom and Dad put our new carrier outside so that we could get used to the new place.

Baci: It didn’t take long. I wanted to go exploring right away.

Dolce: Mom and Dad went out for some people fun. Mom calls it golf, Dad calls it something else. Especially when he is having a bad game.
Baci: Dolce! You said a four letter word.
Dolce: What four letter word?
Baci: Golf!

Dolce: Mom and Dad came home and let us outside to explore the campsite some more.
Baci: Lots of people came by and freaked out when they saw us on our leashes.
Dolce: Some very nice people came by and said hello to us. One or two mentioned how cute Baci was. I sure hope the rest of the country isn’t as delusional as these people.
Baci: You are just jealous because I’m more incorrigible than you.
Dolce: I told you Baci, that that doesn’t mean cute.
Baci:Yup. More jealousy!

Dolce: Our Dad saw some ominous clouds billowing over the mountains. He tried to scare Mom and us that it was a volcano exploding. Mom believed him but I didn’t. It was just a forest fire that sprang up.

Baci: I didn’t believe him either.
Dolce: Yes you did. You pooped when you heard him say volcano.
Baci: I might have pooped but it was not because Dad said volcano. I was still having some tummy problems.

Dolce: Dad showed me his pictures and I nearly pooped like Baci. There was a picture of a vishus deer on one of the golf courses. It was laying in wait for a nice tender joosy cat to wander by.
Baci: I saw it and I did poop.

Dolce: It was very hot. Almost twice as hot as it is at home. Thankfully we were inside with the AC. Mom made Dad take her to Missoula so that she could go shopping in some of the bigger stores.
Baci: I think she bought half the state back with her.
Dolce: It’s a girl thing. You would’t understand.
Baci: Nope. A couple furry mice, some catnip and a comfy place to sleep is all I need.
Dolce: Boys!
Baci: Did you say something?

Dolce: We had to stay inside the trailer while Dad was packing up outside.
Baci: Once he was done, I got to go outside. I pooped in the firepit.

Dolce: Once we got back to Canada,we got to see Aunty and Uncle again. I was very tired from our vaction so I hid downstairs where it was cool.
Baci: I followed Aunty around. She saved me some chick-hen so I was very happy. She keeps calling me Bocce-ball. I tried to tell her that’s not how I spell my name, but she doesn’t speak cat very well. I think it’s because of Odie-cat’s accent.

Dolce: I talked to Dad almost the entire way home. He says he was getting a headache. If he would just drive the way I wanted, I wouldn’t have to talk so much.
Baci: I slept on top of my carrier. I was very, very cute. That’s what Dad said to Mom.