Do you know what day it is? It’s National Mutt Day! We hope that means more shelter animals are getting adopted and more cake for Mutts like us!
Have a fury fun kind of day!
Benji and Sky
Remember this picture? Not sure if I have shown it to you before. This is how I used to be transported. No expenses were spared, WOL. The day M adopted me from the shelter (November 3, 2015), she used the big box to bring me home. It was the first big box I ever traveled in. That’s when I learned that big boxes can take you to new worlds, to boldly go where you have never gone before.
I was only 6.5 weeks old when M saw me and she hadn’t anticipated that she was allowed to take me home. But the lady at the shelter said she could and of course M was so smitten with me that she had to take me home before someone else did. Because of zero preparation time, yes this is very unlike the normal procedure at headquarters but I think seeing my picture on petfinder.com threw all caution to the wind that morning, M didn’t have a crate in her car. After desperately rummaging around in the trunk of the car, she did manage to find a big cardboard box and a blue beach towel. Before anyone could argue she had me in the car and drove me home sweet home in the big box.
The first box shrunk at some point. Why? I don’t know. Maybe it was washed too many times. Anyhowls, the box was eventually replaced by, how could it be otherwise, another “expensive” big box. I traveled in that one many more times when the car was full with people and my crate just wouldn’t fit.
These days I travel in style on the back seat in a hammock. I was so proud when I was finally allowed to sit in the back seat without the crate. The arrangement is very comfortable and most of the time I sleep meditatively when I am driven to my missions.
Sometimes I can even travel “shotgun” when the backseat is taken by other things that have to be driven around. Those times M drives like a snail on muscle relaxers while she normally tends to drive like a car racer on steroids. Not my words; just repeating hearsay. In her defense, I’ve never seen her drive like a maniac when I am in the car. Either way, we are still trying to find a dependable safety harness for me. Have you found one? We have asked around and researched the topic but the jury is still out on whether there is such a thing as a dependable safety harness for canines.
Wishing you happy and safe travels,
Another flashback. Here is me in the good old cave exploring days. I had just discovered this cave. I was quite proud of my achievement.
For comparison, some more recent photos of me in front of the same cave. I don’t seem to fit in it anymore.
I honestly thought we would be done after one photo, but for some reason or another, it was decided that we needed more. With no treats in near sight, I had to make the best of it*.
* I am happy to note that I was rewarded lavishly in the end.
Happy exploring! Make sure you take enough treats with you because you never know how long it is going to take.
Ms. Zulu’s advice on Zuluism the other day was a hit so I thought I would show more of her wisdom. The following was originally published in 2015. It is an interview between Ms. Zulu and the cats Dougy and Andy. Unfortunately, the result of the interview was removed from its original web location so I thought I would give it a new spot on my blog. The first part of the interview can be found on Doug’s blog, Benji. January 22, 2015: Finally Ms. Zulu can show her part of the story; she could hardly contain her excitement! A little recap: A couple of days ago Ms. Zulu called Dougy and Andy, two cats she has been following on WordPress. She decided to use Skype so they could see each other. I am sure this helped to reduce some types of miscommunication as well. The three critters had an interesting conversation. Lots of Woofs and Meows were flying back and forth. Lots of questions were asked by both parties. I could not follow all the Meows and Woofs, but I believe that I captured most of them. Here is my translation* of the second part of the conversation where Dougy and Andy** interview Ms. Zulu.
* My assistant (human mom) did the best she could at the time with the technology provided to her. The boys and girl will be available for the remainder of the day to clear up any misunderstanding or answer any lingering questions you may still have after you have read the whole interview.
** Doug who lives with Dougy and Andy (I don’t believe it’s the other way around) provided the cat photos. Aren’t they great?! Thanks Doug!
THE INTERVIEWDougy: We’ve heard rumors you are a dog. Do you deny this or is it true?
Ms. Z.: Definitely, and I am very proud to be one!Andy: What the heck does “Woof! Woof! Woof!” mean and why do all dogs say it?
Ms. Z.: I gladly explain. If I say “Woof! Woof! Woof!” several times with an upward pitch, it means that I’m very excited. When I say “Woof, woof” in a downward pitch it means that I’m not so sure what’s going on. But I will never admit to this on record.
Andy: For that matter, what’s this howling at the moon business?
Ms. Z.: I’ve never done this but I know that Ms. Sierra (ed. note: we are planning on posting some of her wisdom on this blog in the near future), my adoptive sister who is no longer with us (RIP), has done this several times. As a Husky, she had a much stronger connection with wolves. I think that’s why she did it.
Dougy: Have you ever bit the hand that feeds you? (Ten points if you have!)
Ms. Z.: NOOO!! I would never think of such a thing!
Dougy: When you helped Captain Herbert “trim sails”, how did you hold the scissors?
Ms. Z.: Good question. I was not given any scissors. Maybe that’s why it was so difficult. Have to ask human Captain Herbert.
Andy: Do you like to sleep on your bed or do you prefer to share HM’s?
Ms. Z.: Oh, I want to but I’m not allowed to do this. I have my own beds. I have six at his time… Two are outside. I use those when the sun shines.
Dougy: What do you think about the noble cat, worshiped by Egyptians as a god?
Ms. Z.: That sounds like dangerous business to me. You may remember that I am a Mystical Sphinx, the Guardian of Angels.Andy: Did you know we once were mistaken for puppies when we were kittens and we
thought that was very funny because we purred and said “Meow”?
Ms. Z.: That is so funny. I would never say “Meow”. At least not until I met you two guys.
Andy: Do you chew your food or eat it all down in one gulp?Ms. Z.: Food is to be taken with great consideration, so I never gobble it down in one gulp. I like variation too.
Dougy: What’s your favorite food? Your favorite treat?
Ms. Z.: My favorite food is sweet potato chips. The ones that are made for dogs, mind you. They are chewy and delicious. I especially love wet food. DO YOU HAVE SOME?!
Dougy: Do you have a favorite game you play or are you always serious?
Ms. Z.: My favorite game is Chase & Catch. I like to be the one who chases. It should really be called herding. That is THE MOST important job there is in the whole universe. I used to play it with Mr. Charlie. Now I play it with HM. I am always the chaser.
Andy: Do you chase cars? Rabbits? Birds? Mail carriers? Why? Or why not?!
Ms. Z.: I don’t chase cars as that is in my opinion very dangerous. I never chase mail carriers, because they often bring goodies for me. Ducky was delivered by the mail carrier. So I have a great bond with mail carriers. Rabbits and birds are a different story. There’s something about them. Whenever I see them and just have to greet them.
Andy: What is this “Ducky” you sleep with? Are you married or just friends?
Ms. Z: Ducky came into my life shortly before Mr. Charlie passed away. We have become very close mostly because I am now the only one in the household who claims Ducky. In the past Charlie had Ducky. He was what you call a “toy hog”. I am not sure if it is legal to marry Ducky.Dougy: What’s your position on catnip? Should it be made legal or is it already?
Ms. Z.: Well, I consider myself pretty liberal. It is my motto that cats should be able to choose what they want to use and when to use it.
Dougy: Do you know you are very pretty…for a dog?!
Ms. Z.: Well, thank you! Black is a very pretty color, don’t you think? Did you know that black dogs and cats have a much harder time at the shelter to find a forever home? Strange, isn’t it?
Andy: Do you like to sniff plants and flowers? If so, which ones?
Ms. Z.: My sister Ms. Sierra was good at sniffing plants and flowers. Me, not so much. I couldn’t tell one from the other.
Andy: If you wanted to tell the cats of the world one good thing about dogs, what would it be?
Ms. Z.: We are people‑pleasers. I love to kiss people too, LICK!
Dougy: Do you like to play tug‑o‑war?
Ms. Z.: No, I don’t like the war part of that game. I don’t like to fight.
Andy: We’ve always had each other, and we play together well, not only because we are brothers from the same litter, but because we like each other. Do you have any best buddy of your species or any other species?
Ms. Z.: I loved my brothers Mr. Charlie and Bo. Unfortunately, they both passed away too and are now on to greener pastures. But Ducky keeps me company, so I am very fortunate. Maybe we should get married.
Andy: Where’s your “happy place”? Any kitties there?
Ms. Z.: My happy place is snuggling up with my friend Ducky and HM.
Dougy: You seem to like water. Are you nuts??!Ms. Z.: Of course I do like water. Not when it’s cold though, it has to be warm. I guess you two wouldn’t understand because you live up north.
Dougy: We’ve heard stories…not about you specifically, but…: Do you smell like a dog when wet?
Ms. Z.: Not sure what you mean. I smell terrific when I’m wet, especially after taking a mud bath.
Andy: Are you ever naughty? If so, how? If not, why not?! We mean, what have you chewed up that wasn’t yours to chew? Did you get away with it?
Ms. Z.: I don’t always come immediately when I am being called. But I would not consider that being naughty as there’s always a good reason why I do that. That could be a rabbit that is lost, a deer that needs to be herded, a squirrel that is past its curfew, you get the drift. I only started a few chewing projects. One was a doorpost. And another one was the baseboards. I never finished them as I lost interest in these projects. I guess it helps to have brothers you can chew on. Oh, almost forgot, I love to remove squeakers from my toys. But that is so that others are not bothered by the squeaks when I play. I am a very considerate being.
Dougy: You were a shelter doggy, and we very much support adoption of shelter critters
because it saves lives and gives wonderful critters a chance to enjoy a good life with loving
people. What do you want to say about adopting shelter pets, knowing that people reading this will take your word very seriously since you’ve experienced this process?
Ms. Z.: Thank you for your support for shelter critters. You may know that it is my goal to be the Ambassador for Animal Shelter Pets. Shelter life can be very stressful for us. So it is important that people who have pets do not consider them as products that can be thrown aside. Before people adopt a pet they should make sure that they can take care of us. Shelter critters may have been abused so we need lots of tender, loving care. On the other hand, we tend to be very forgiving. Seeing a critter turn its life around is very rewarding for us and humans. Please spay or neuter us so that we can all find a good home. If you cannot adopt a shelter pet, there are lots of other ways to help out critters in need. Click here to find out more.It was great woofing with you, and I think I learned a meow or two. Again, please thank the human Doug for providing the nice photos of you two.
Ms. Zulu, Woof‑Meow!
P.S. For a complete list of the interviews between the Cats and Ms. Zulu and Benji, see Doug’s web page.
Ssshhhh….Benji is practicing Zuluism after a morning of intense focus and dedication (okay read playing hard) at doggy day care. We believe he is getting better and better. This type of meditation is bound to be helpful in Benji’s therapy dog practice. And practice makes purrrfect! On that note, Ms. Zulu reports that she is now convinced that there is such a thing as the P-state, short for Purrring-state. Previous research hinted at this and Andy the Cat has now proven that it does exist in feline species. However, there is still doubt that the P-state exists in canine species. A research proposal for a treat-grant has been submitted to ABC (Academy of Brave Canines).
P.S. Be on the look out tomorrow for a rerun of the interview between Ms. Zulu and the two cats Andy and Dougy.
I am sad to announce that Operation Ducky I has failed. I tried to get to the heart* of it, but as of yesterday afternoon, around 2:05 p.m. EST, Ducky I, my ally and companion, succumbed. (* Every dog knows that the squeaker is the heart and essence of every playmate aka SA (Stuffed Animal)). Let’s start at the beginning though.
At some point earlier yesterday morning, Ducky I seemed to have stopped squeaking. All doggies instinctively know that you should always, always attempt CPR. So that is what I tried with all my might. SA CPR is tricky and a bit different from your regular CPR. To get to the heart of our playmates, you have to start at the seams. I even got my big sister involved but whatever we did nothing helped poor Ducky. Instead of getting better, he only seemed to get worse as the day wore on. I did find the heart though. However, I may have been a bit too hesitant as I didn’t know right away what to do with it. In the end, I decided to run away with it, and I believe that was the wrong move. To be fair, this was my first rescue mission. Anyway, when I got back to my quarters, poor Ducky lay lifeless on my bed. All may not be lost though as Ducky’s heart still continues to squeak. So, we are talking amongst ourselves how to use this piece of Ducky I once again in the near future. In the meantime, Ducky II has been trained intensively by Ducky I, Ms. Zulu, and me, and is now 100% ready to take over Ducky I’s duties. We must always remember though how Ducky I bravely has kept me company, all those dark lonely nights, in my forever home. R.I.P. Ducky I, I love you forever and will keep your heart close to me,
This morning I made a poncho all by myself. It was really easy, you just chew a hole in a blanket and then you pull it over your head. I wish I had better material to stay warm and dry in the rain but this will have to do for now.
FINALLY, I am allowed to sit on the backseat without that crate that I really don’t like! I could have done this ages ago if they would have let me.
I went to the beach on New Years day. I love to dig holes. I want to try that at home too.
We went canoeing today. Wow, did I see a lot! It was fun to sniff the water and blow bubbles in it. I also like watching the birds. Canoeing is not hard work at all.
Lots has happened since the interview with Dougy and Andy; it is hard to keep track. I think we can divide what has happened into three basic categories: PLAY, EAT, and SLEEP.
I went sailing a couple of weeks ago. This was the third time on the boat; I think I am getting the hang of it. There were dolphins, waterbirds, and more dolphins. It was tiresome, so I took a big nap. I learned that ducks swim, so once I got home I taught Ducky to swim. It didn’t seem to work well. I think he needs a bigger pool. I finished the day redecorating my bedroom. You know, moving the bed and food bowl to the other side etc. I do that about once or twice a day. Needless to say, I was tired as a dog in the end.
Happy playing, eating, and sleeping,
Last Monday, Andy (A) and Dougy (D), two adorable and at times opinionated but also humorous cats, asked Benji (B) all sorts of questions including tough ones (see The Interview: Part I)*. It was only fair that Benji also got his turn to ask some questions. It took me a couple of days to transcribe the interview (my Catonese is a bit rusty and I am still learning Benjinese), but here it is:
[Andy is ready for the interview]
[Dougy is in charge of the computer]
*P.S.: Andy and Dougy employ Doug, the so-called “human”, to take care of them. This is pretty much a full-time job. In his spare time, Doug writes the blog Weggieboy’s blog. He was the one who set up the interviews. Thanks Doug!
B: I know we live far away from each other, but I am curious to know what you would do when you would meet me on the street.
D: Sniff your butt, of course! Cats do that, too, for the same reason as dogs.
A: Yeah, we like to stick our noses in your business. Hee! Hee!
D: Be nice, Andy!
B: My big sister Ms. Zulu tells me that cats like to scratch dogs on their noses and that it hurts. Would you do that to a doggy like me?
A: We have our claws, but we are mostly pretty mild kitties. We only occasionally scratch, but mostly to mark territory or get our human’s attention
D: Never! And we know you are a kitten so we tolerate a lot more from you than we would a dog.
A: [Brother, they are called “puppies”!]
D: [Oh! Thanks, Andy! I was unaware….]
B: I would love to play with cats, how should I approach them (I like to avoid the nose punctures Ms. Zulu is yapping about)?
D: You don’t want to jump up and down on them, for sure, because you are bigger or as big as us, and it might hurt us. We’ve heard “puppies” (as I understand you are called) sometimes get rambunctious. Kind of like kittens, actually.
A: Aw, I was always the well-mannered one, Dougy. You were the one who always hopped off the examination table at the veterinarian’s so you could snoop around the office….!
D: You wanted to. Admit it!
B: Sounds like you two are quite a handful…
A: No, I am the nice one.
B: Just sayin’… Anyway, although I consider myself a big boy and walk like one, I was only 61/2 weeks old when I went from the shelter to my forever home. How old were you when you were adopted? Were you two crybabies?
A: I was nine weeks old. Dougy came along a week or so later when the lady who had our mother noticed Dougy and I played well together at the veterinarian’s, where we both were recovering from a parasite we picked up eating a grasshopper….! We never cried, though, except when that bulldog puppy made us nervous. Remember that bulldog puppy, Dougy?
D: Yeah, but I was cute when I whimpered! LOL!
A: Well. ornery anyway. Yeah, cute, too. We both were really cute, if I do say so myself!
B: As kitties did you play a lot and how does that compare to now? How old are you two by the way? I can still ask that question right?
A: We used to chase each other. Our favorite toy was a little stuffed mouse. We’d play “keep away”. First, I’d run with it, then Dougy’d take it from me and run with it. We played that way for hours or until we took a nap. We napped a lot, of course. We also liked to chase each other when we didn’t have the mouse. We climbed all over the place, and got yelled out a time or two until we learned that climbing on people hurts them. We may have been little, but we had claws of death already! Hee! Hee! And used them!
D: And how! Of course, now that we are almost five years old (as of next July 1st), we are less active than we were as kittens, but we still like to play with our BirBug toys. (These are wand toys.) We still chase each other for fun, and running through the apartment is one of our favorite activities.
[Dougy on his favorite ottoman playing with the BirBug toy]
B: Wow, already the big five; it will take me ages to get there. Hey, do you have a treat? I always seem to be hungry; can you give me advice on how to solve this problem? A cute face certainly helps, but does not seem to work all the time.
A: Play the cuteness gambit for sure, Benji! No one can ignore that cute face!
D: Yeah, and we throw in purrs and rubbing against their legs to encourage giving us something yummy to eat! I don’t know if dogs do that, too.
[Andy is giving advice]
B: Hmmm, purrs, you have to teach me that. You seem pretty laid-back. Are you just plain lazy or is it a pose to get more treats from your human?
D: It isn’t lazy, it’s conservation of energy. Cats never waste energy. You never know when the next gazelle is coming through, so you don’t want to use all your energy up before you have more food!
A: Dougy’s being silly now, Benji! We don’t have gazelles here in Nebraska! I checked. Just bison, deer, squirrels, birds of various sizes….
Here, Andy’s eyes glazed over as he fantasized about the birds in the fir outside the back window. He and Dougy both love to watch birds!
B: As you know I like food games, do you like them too? Do you have food puzzles? Is there a trick you can teach me to solve them faster? Some food puzzles take way too long to finish and my belly is just protesting. I love belly scratches too. Do you like them?
A: We don’t play food games, though our human does give us kitty treats when we are good boys. (Like after I get my medicine!) I don’t know if we have the patience to solve them. We had a food game once that required too much work to get to the food. I trained the human to knock the game to dislodge the food to where I could get it. Hee! Hee! I don’t think he ever realized I trained him! You need to figure out how to get your human to feel sorry for you and just give you the food, too. That’s your homework assignment for tonight!
B: Good advice Andy, I will try it out tonight!
D: We both like to have our bellies rubbed, but what we like even better is to have that spot between our eyes scratched. It’s hard for us to get, but the human can get right in there!
A: Oh yeah, and we like it when he rubs the side of our mouths.
B: Do you go to the park to play? Do you like to ride in a car? I find them noisy and you can’t look out the window.
A: We are inside cats. I think we would like the grass, but out human grows some for us inside, as well as catnip. He says it’s a matter of safety since we live close to two major roads. We hate flea and tick medicine, so he says we can’t go outside since we won’t cooperate to let him put it on. I think it’s an excuse!
B: Your human is smart; better safe than sorry, and I bet it is better for the birds too :). I take lots of naps in my bed. How many naps do you take each day? Where do you sleep; do you sleep in a tree?
D: We both sleep 16-18 hours a day. I like to sleep on an ottoman next to where our human sits to watch television, and Andy likes to sleep on a side table next to the same place. That way we can keep track of him and each other, too!
B: Wow, 16-18 hours; you hardly have time for play. BTW, talking about naps makes me feel tired. I think I am ready to take one right now. Night, night.
A: And don’t let the bedbugs bite!
A: When did you learn to speak “Dog”?
D: Remember? Ms. Zulu spent a few hours with us, trying to get us to speak in “Dog”. All I could get out was “Vuff” because I found the accent hard to get. While you were napping, I practiced saying that till I got it right!!
A: I’m impressed, brother! You never strike me as being that serious!
B: Thanks for the interview Andy and Dougy; you two are funny critters. Now I really need that nap; maybe I will sleep in my new cave and dream of kitties.
Happy Thanksgiving to all critters big and small
Today is the big day, see Post 954: Benji the pup’s tale told, in his own words…
This is a photo of my big sister, ain’t she a beauty? The photo was taken in December 2014. Ms. Zulu looks real regal, doesn’t she? She was also adopted from a local animal shelter. That was a long time ago; she is already 10!
First time on a boat, I love it!
Ii Ii Ii
I am Benji
The exploring tiger
Cute as a button
I sniff out the good stuff
The world is my oyster
On November 3, we adopted a little guy from the local animal shelter and named him Benji as he is the Benjamin of the family. He is quite a character and dreams of being a famous soccer player one day. He will introduce himself soon.
This is the day we took Benji home from the animal shelter. He was about 6.5 weeks old and had been dropped off at the animal shelter three days prior with his five littermates. His date of birth was estimated to be September 18, 2015. He is a cute little guy. We started the blog Life of Benji in October 2016, but have backdated the posts so you can follow Benji from when he was a tiny pup. Happy Tails!