The Human’s cruelty knows no bounds. Granted, green shows off my emerald eyes to perfection, but still, there are limits! I was almost going to let her live until she added the feathers. Now I am just deciding whether I should wait to kill her until after she feeds me. Murder and mayhem can be so tiring on an empty stomach!
AMARULA: Dearest readers, as you know I am not one to complain. Far be it for me to cast aspersions on the integrity of a fellow feline but, alas, I feel I have no choice. You will remember that last week I produced compelling (and horrifying) images of Frodo and Zulu playing in my secret (or so I thought) toy box (a.k.a the bathtub). Well, the disappearance of my favorite toys continues unabated! Some one (or some feline…) has actually absconded with my prized pompoms! Oh the
Where are they?? You see what’s happening here don’t you!? One of those perfidious pussycats must have stolen them!
ZULU: Who us? Nah…we’re too cute and busy napping to be stealing your stuff Amarula!
AMARULA: Silence Zulu! I know that the perpetrator is most likely Frodo! I have often seen him nosing around one of my other toy boxes:
I have even caught him PLAYING with my toys out in the open!
He is especially careless about respecting my property when he is hopped-up on catnip (which he so often is!)
Frodo is always trying too hard to look harmless! I mean no one can be that cute and innocent-right?
FRODO: I could never take your toys and hide them from you Amarula! I’m too cute and innocent!
AMARULA: Where oh where have my little toys gone?
FRODO: I have no idea…
AMARULA: Don’t worry dear readers! I am on the case! I shall not rest until I find my toys and who is responsible for hiding them on me!
AMARULA: Many of you may not realize just how much I suffer since Frodo has been added to our feline trio. Being pounced on indiscriminately, my favorite box-of-solitude being appropriated and my privacy in the litter box now a forgotten luxury…..
Yes, Frodo’s crimes are legion and now he is stealing my toys! I had noticed the disappearance of my favorite ping pong and fuzzy balls since his arrival so, over the last few weeks, I have been forced to stash them in what I thought was the perfect secret spot known only to me (and now you dear readers)…the bathtub!
I had thought these porcelain walls would hide my beloved baubles, but alas, I was wrong! Over the last couple of days, I have noticed that they are slowly disappearing. So using the advanced online degree in engineering I acquired while the Human was sleeping, I set up a hidden camera to get to the truth of what was happening in MY bathtub. Beware dear readers…the shocking photos you are about to behold are enough to curl your whiskers! Frodo was indeed playing with my toys!
Shocking–no? But it only gets worse…Not only was Frodo frolicking with my toys, he has been using my porcelain palace to do a bevy of bad acts:
Bathing (OK, even I can admit that a bathtub is a pretty good place to self-clean):
Just looking stupefied as usual…
And the most terrible act of all…inviting Zulu to join him for playtime:
I ask you…have I not endured enough??
Ah well! It is February 29th and leap year only happens every four years so I will make a once-every-four-years exception…if you can’t beat em, join em!
AMARULA: Life with Frodo continues to be an incredibly taxing experience. My efforts thus far to frighten him into submission with my superior intelligence, wit and sharp claws seem to have had no effect on the nincompoop, who remains frustratingly cheerful and friendly! Curse that ginger’s gregariousness! But now that imp must be stopped! He has taken to using MY beloved Sour Puss box for his own ends! Though I have clearly said that it is off limits, he continues to sleep, play and just lounge about in it.
AMARULA: To make matters worse, Frodo even invites Zulu to join him in MY box! I know they get together in there to plot against me!
ZULU: (in a whisper) Let me guess…Amarula thinks we’re plotting against her again…
AMARULA: Silence you mocha miscreant! Don’t interrupt! But now Frodo has gone too far! He is using my own box against me! Lately, when I approach my cardboard sanctuary innocently planning to catch an eight-hour nap…
WHAM! He lies in wait and strikes without mercy and scares the bejesus out of me.
How am I supposed to endure when my very own box is used for such nefarious purposes?! Now wait a minute…what’s this…
Frodo seems about to do the same thing to Zulu…
And Zulu does not look happy!
Well maybe I can get used to Frodo borrowing my box sometimes if he is going to put it to such good use by terrorizing Zulu!!
FRODO: Well this is my first winter and I gotta tell you I think it’s terrific! Now I know that Amarula hates Canadian winters but I think that’s just because–between you and me–she can be a bit of a nay-sayer! She tends not to look on the positive side of things. Since the temperature has dropped, mom has started using this indoor fire contraption that I think is just the cat’s pajamas! It’s like having your very own personal sunbeam in the house! Now I am new to this whole indoor, boxed sunbeam thingy, but I have learned a thing or two about how to get the most out of the clever contraption. It’s all about positioning…
- Firstly, before jumping into that comfy looking basket, I’ve found that it’s better to get started slowly…one body part at a time to be sure not to get overheated! First the back:
2. Then the toes:
3. Next the tummy (which gives you an excuse for a good stretch!):
4. Finally, just let it all hang loose…become one with the fire…
5. Now that you’ve got a good “base” warmth going on, it’s time to move to the basket. But don’t let the lure of the comfy cat bed distract you from your primary objective: keeping as much of your body by the fire as possible:
6. Don’t forget to lift up your arms to get your armpits in on the warmth:
7. Now comes my favorite part: invite a friend to join in on the fun!
8. Not only does a friend make a fire more enjoyable, but they also provide additional body warmth:
9. Sometimes if you’re really, really lucky, they’ll even give you a fireside bath!
10. Yeah! I don’t know what Amarula is talking about, I love winter!
FRODO: I know Amarula is going to kill me! She really feels strongly about just who makes her list of “Nemeses” but good golly I just gotta print a retraction
against Amarula’s wishes on Amarula’s “behalf.” A few months ago she must just have been having a bad day when she declared that babies were bad!
Unlike most humans, she even crawls like me! And she chased me around for hours! Even Zulu gets tired of playing with me after awhile–but not Vera!
We had lots of fun playing with my toys!
We had a very pleasant nap and I didn’t even mind when Vera used me as a pillow.
Vera ended her visit by sharing a sunbeam with me
Yep! Amarula might call Vera Nemesis but I call her Friend!
ZULU: Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh! Now isn’t this comfortable Frodo? Nothing like spending a lazy Saturday enjoying some sunbeams.
FRODO: It is wonderful. But…
FRODO: I just think things would be even better if we snuggled more.
ZULU: Now Frodo, remember what I told you about respecting personal space.
FRODO: I think you said you were against it, right?
ZULU: No! That’s not what I said. There is a time for snuggling and there is a time for getting some quality sunbeam sleep.
ZULU: While I appreciate that you moved, this is not what I had in mind!
ZULU: Don’t force me to sharpen my claws and move you myself Frodo!
ZULU: Well, I do have to say that you are a fast learner Frodo! Perfect!
AMARULA: As you can imagine, life has been a real struggle since Frodo came to join us. The nauseatingly friendly and way-too-energetic kitten seems to have made it his life’s mission to be my friend! Despite the fact that the human and Zulu are both more than happy to spend time with him, Frodo insists on, as he says, “spreading the love” in a very misguided attempt to befriend me!
Luckily, I have a series of 26 boxes scattered in prized locations throughout the house where I can find solace and silence. They are my very own frolicking feline-free zones! Of all of them, this one is my favorite for obvious reasons.
Ah! Peace at last! These four cardboard walls are my sanctuary! A place I can go and be alone to reflect on the meaning of life, groom and enjoy a quick 6 hour nap.
Oh no…what’s this?
FRODO: Hey Amarula, guess who! I found you!! I just love it when we play hide and seek! I can’t believe we have the same favorite game. We are so going to be besties just like me and Zulu!
AMARULA: We are never going to be best friends you lummox! Now be gone!
FRODO: It sure looks cozy in there. Can I join you?
AMARULA: No! Leave me in peace.
FRODO: Hmph! Ah come on! I’ll sulk if you don’t let me in.
AMARULA: Go away!
FRODO: I know you don’t really mean it! Your hisses say “no” but your eyes say yes! I’m coming in…
AMARULA: I’m outta here!
FRODO: Hey, where did you go? Are we playing hide and seek again?! Yippee! I’m coming, don’t worry I’ll find you!
Zulu: Frodo, when my dearly departed brother Biltong and I first became part of this household, Amarula was already on the scene. Clearly jealous of our good looks and sparkling personalities, she refused to acknowledge our existence, so my brother and I had to learn some basic life lessons all on our own. But, Frodo, because I like the cut of your jib and take my role as your new big brother seriously (but mostly because I know it will annoy Amarula to no end) I’m going to let you in on a few secrets that will help you flourish as a feline. So come close and listen carefully…
1. Never drink out of the water bowl. Water bowls are only for cats who are satisfied with the pedestrian things in life. For those of us with more sophisticated palates, the toilet is the only way to go. I can’t explain it, but there is something about that porcelain bowl that changes plain old water into sweet manna from heaven. It’s the feline version of fine French champagne. Now, it can be dangerous at first because there is always the risk of falling in, but with practice you will learn. And the risk is so worth the very refreshing, delicious reward!
2. Always use the litter box. It’s OK to occasionally go outside the litter box to show mom she’s done something that has upset you or to make it clear that the litter needs to be changed, but otherwise it’s best to stick to the appropriately assigned box. I mean, after all, we’re not crass like canines who just do their “toilette” all higgledy-piggledy. And, whoa there Frodo! Normally using the litter box is definitely not a two-man job!
3. Know your place at feeding time. As much as I like you, food comes first. Just follow the assigned eater order and all should be fine:
4. I always win. Play fighting. Now pay attention, the rules are simple: I always win:
5. The window is your friend. You and I (with a few exceptions in my case thanks to a harness) are indoor cats. Because mom rescued Amarula as a stray, she is an outdoor cat. Much to mom’s chagrin, that contrary cat refused to give up the outdoors…something about the song of the open streets being in her blood or some such nonsense. Anyway, in general, the closest we get to the open road is looking at it longingly through a window screen.
It is a big, bustling world out there and it may seem scary at first but there is nothing to be afraid of.
Trust me. You will love the view. Come on! Jump up!
See, what did I tell you?
6. And finally, any time is the right time for a cat nap. And any position is the right position.
And sometimes, it can be equally as comfy to sleep solo and enjoy all the extra space!
Or were you just making room for me?
AMARULA: As you know, the Human and Zulu have been very sad since Biltong died (and I must admit to missing him just a little). I was worried the Human would do something crazy like go out and get another cat just when I was finally down to only one live-in-nemesis, Zulu. But lately, the Human has been acting quite excitable and furtive. I fear something terrible is afoot. Recently I’ve begun to feel as though I am being watched at every turn! Even as I try to nap…
I’m just being paranoid, right? Tell me there’s nothing behind me!
No matter where I go, I can’t shake the feeling I’m being followed. Even in my special “Happy Place” box, I feel as though some menacing presence is looming near, pressing down upon me…
But when I turn around and investigate the box, I find nothing!
No where is safe! Even while I’m outside surveying my kingdom, I sense an ominous life-force watching me. Do we perhaps have a bat infestation?…
I thought I caught a glimpse of a red flame of maliciousness running from my litter box, but alas it escaped me…
ZULU: Though I am loath to agree with you Amarula, I too have felt a strange presence nearby. It is getting me all confused and turned around!
ZULU: But I find it a warm, welcoming spirit that I just can’t wait to meet!
AMARULA: Oh Brother! Whoa! Zulu…I feel it here right now!….Come take a look and tell me please that there is nothing behind me….
AMARULA: All I want to know is who’s been sitting in my chair!??
What could it be!??…to be continued….