Dogtor B and his brother Sky, both ex-shelter dogs, moved from Florida to New Zealand in 2020. Benji loves to talk about his endeavors and life in general as an American expat in New Zealand. His motto: "Eat, Snooze, Cuddle, Repeat".
One of my fans asked me what I’ve been up to lately. Well, besides going to therapy events I’ve been practicing my agility jumps a lot since practice makes pur-fect. One of these days we’re hoping to be ready for a formal agility event. I’m now up to 23 inches. I’m supposed to jump 24. That’s only one more inch to go!
Ms. Zulu supervises
Jumps require my full attention
Jumping through holes
Jumping 23 inches
Ms. Zulu would like to practice too but the humans are afraid that she hurts herself. Unfortunately, her response time is not what it was. She seems to be happy to supervise so maybe it’s all for the best. Tonight we plan to join our CCI buddies on an outing. Let’s hope the weatherman is wrong again and the outing won’t be canceled due to rain.
Dear friends and fur-iends, we have more exciting news from headquarters! We are in the process of bringing Little Benji (LB) and Little Ms. Zulu (LZ) home. You can see them enjoying Vigo’s view in the photo Belén took a couple of days ago. Don’t they look alive?! We can’t wait to meet them in person and show them our neck of the woods.
And you know what; you can take one (or more) of the little guys home as well! Belén said she will offer a special price to Life of Benji readers. Of course, you can also ask Belén if she can make you a sculpture of your own furry kid. Belén sells other ceramics too that would make a nice Christmas present for your special one. She can ship items with a tracking code and insurance to most countries. Isn’t that nice or what?! To shop around the clock right in time for Christmas click on this link: Ceramica Belen Soto.
Yesterday, Ms. Zulu and I were reading the postcard that we received from Kosmo and his mom when all of a sudden I heard something. I had heard it before and I knew it was something noteworthy. So I looked up and barked. As usual, I was told to be quiet. Since I thought it was something really, really noteworthy I didn’t immediately. Finally, after some additional barks, my staff saw what I had heard and seen. At about 25-30 meters away, a big black bear looked us straight in the eye. I stood at the ready to protect my family. M said that wasn’t necessary as black bears are usually not dangerous. Just let the bear know you’re there and give the bear space.
M hopes the bear is a she and that we will see some cubs this summer. That would be something else. Luckily, there won’t be a bear hunt this year. The hunt in 2015 was awful in so many ways. We don’t need that as there are many good ways to coexist with bears. For more information on Florida bears look at Stop the Hunt website. We don’t have a photo of the bear we saw yesterday, but we found a photo of a bear in the archives. These were taken by one of my staff during a trip to Alaska way before I was born.
As a real retriever, I got the mail yesterday. Ms. Zulu helped me as she herded me to the mailbox like a true herding dog. We forgot to empty the mailbox on Saturday. When we finally got around it on Sunday, we found this beautiful card from Kosmo and his mom in faraway Finland! If we would have known what was in the mailbox, we would have run with Mach 2+ speed.
We got mail!
Let’s see what they write
I wanna dream about faraway Finland
Kosmo and mom wrote that the photo on the postcard is from their area. Isn’t that something? Can you imagine living in such a beautiful place? Kosmo and his mom are very lucky. If you want to read more about life in Finland, follow the blog Photofinland by Rantasalot. Kosmo’s mom writes it and it’s wagnificent.
P.S. I hope to report tomorrow on what we saw when we admired the postcard. You won’t believe us.
Yahoo, we got mail from Doug, Andy, and Dougy! The postcard shows Mona Lisa with a kitty; isn’t that cute?! We were all very excited to read the card. We have put our heads together to send them a reply via snail mail. Stay tuned for the update.
As promised, here is the new addition to my uniform. Ms. Zulu assisted me while I posed for the first time with the new scarf. So this time it was Dogtors with Borders. Yes, Ms. Zulu is at least 50% Border Collie as far as we can tell. If you would like to know more about my Dogtors without Borders work then go to my resume page. We updated it recently.
As you can see Ms. Zulu and I took our job very seriously and we were very focused throughout the photo session. This may or may not have anything to do with the treats in front of us. You be the judge.
OK, gotta run, I have a farewell party to attend to say goodbye to my best buddy Capone and hello to a new CCI friend in training. Yeah, Capone is leaving us in 1.5 weeks to start professional service dog training in South Florida. We will miss him for sure. I (well maybe one of my dedicated assistants) will try to capture some nice photos so you can see Capone one more time and to introduce the new CCI puppy. I’m sure you will get to see more of the newbie because when Capone is traveling to South Florida we get to babysit the new 9-week old pup for four days. That oughta be fun.
And remember, be dedicated and thou shall be rewarded,
Upon special request, here a picture of my big sis. Since she often has to stay home while I go on my secret missions, she gets to bicycle more with M. M says she still runs like a five-year-old although she will be twelve in August and had an ACL repair more than a year ago.
Here, on the photo below, Ms. Zulu is trying to catch her breath on one of those outings. Like me, she loves to run. “Edible treats are not necessary, the run is my reward”, she says. Can you believe that? I can’t imagine a life without treats.
Happy Monday guys and girls;
Treat yourself to something nice today,
You deserve it!
Yesterday, I was called up for a second super-secret-mission (Mission Possible 2). This time the higher authorities wanted my expertise as a real Dogtor at a special community with gates and everything. Of course, as a real soldier, I did not refuse. My preparations for this mission was two-fold. The day prior we had a thorough scrub session to fight pesky microorganism. This part is getting a lot easier. M now knows that I like some good food with my bath and that the water temperature needs to be right, i.e. not too cold and not too hot. On the day of the mission I did the usual: go for a walk with my prep team, take an extra long nap, meditate, brush my teeth, put on my best suit and tie, and then I was finally good to go.
All suited up
My prep team consisted of Ms. Zulu and M. Ms. Zulu adds lots of practical wisdom to the team. She is especially well versed in Zuluism and she taught me how to take long refreshing naps. M is for tactical advice and general guidance. And of course, she is my chauffeur. Q was missing in action. He seems to be busy with other missions.
Zuluism in practice
Ms. Zulu supervises
Once we were on the premises, the action began. I met B, another real Dogtor and her supervisor. We decided to walk around to sniff out if all was secure. Only after the OK sign from us Dogtors did we go inside the building. Doors automatically slid open with my magic harness and we were welcomed by lots of people who were happy to see us. I had to watch out for rolling wheelchairs that could easily squash my tail and frail toes that I tried to avoid. From time to time, big storage carts would come flying around corners. It looked like they had wings, they were so fast. They were noisy too, I can tell you that.
There was also a big box that we stepped into. It was located away from the main area, in a carpeted hallway. Doors closed once we were inside. Then a low hum, a bit of shaking, and the doors opened again. I made sure to take in the surroundings before I stepped out. I immediately noticed that something was off. I am 100% sure that the layout of the hallway and rooms was exactly the same but here is the kicker, the people were different and there was no carpet anymore on the floor. I must have time traveled! Now I come to think of it, the box kind of looked like the TARDIS, you know the time machine. This one was gray instead of blue though. Maybe this machine worked properly, contrary to the one my esteemed colleague Doctor Who uses.
If I would have known that I would time travel, I would have brought my S-SD. It probably would have helped on the way back to our timeline. You see, I had a bit of a problem getting back in the big box so the executive decision was made to take the staircase. Luckily this one did not end up in heaven so I was able to return sound and safely on solid ground. M said that we will try to find another big box (there are more?!) so that we can practice how to better commandeer the device. Sounds like a plan to me.
A quick update. At the moment I am pretty busy preparing for my second Mission Impossible (MI-2). Since I get a lot of questions about my new line of work, I thought that I would explain, to the extent possible, what I do. Most of it is classified, but I can at least try to describe the general gist. My assistant just finished updating my resume too, so take a peek (click here) for a short overview of what I do.
M (Mom) is the head of SIS (Super Individual Service) where I work. She determines my assignments and supervises my work. Both M and I are at headquarters a lot to prepare for my missions. I am not only trained at headquarters but also off-site. It’s a nice mix of different types of training and locations which prepare me well for my super-secret-missions. While I’m training and on special missions, I wear my special camo-suit. On a mission I also wear my magic blue harness. This harness opens doors to alternative realities that otherwise remain closed to us canines. For very special occasions, I wear a red bow tie. It has been speculated that it enhances the magic power of my blue harness. I am in the process of testing this theory.
Checking out the S-SD
Testing the S-SD
Aiming the S-SD
My tools are either fabricated or modified at headquarters. Q is the tinkerer, he gives technical advice or modifies tools as needed. The Super-Screwdriver (S-SD) that I am showing in the photos above is a tool that I recently learned to use. It is not to be confused with Doctor Who’s Sonic Screwdriver. You have to be really careful with the S-SD. A turn to the left unscrews the world. However, a wrong turn to the right (yeah I know it is counterintuitive that’s what makes it so hard) and you screw up the world even more. And that my friends is definitely not advisable considering the current state of affairs. Hmmm, what else? Ah, Ms. Zulu adds that I am well known for my fast handshakes left and right and hugs that are as sweet as honey. Oh, and I love a good chase. OK, I have to go now. Have a great week, spread some hugs while you are on a roll.
Ahoy! The boat is back in the water, so we are sailing again. It had been at least a half year since the last time I sailed. So understandably, it took a couple of minutes to get my sea legs back. Yummies did help; every sailor knows that you get seasick with an empty stomach! It was fun once I found my sea legs. Of course, they were on the boat in case you were wondering …
Today, I also got a new cape. I haven’t tried yet if it is a magic one, you know the one that opens doors. Ms. Zulu was MIA as she needed her beauty sleep. I will include a photo of her from a while back so she doesn’t feel left out. I was dog tired after all that steering. Luckily I was able to confiscate the only two pillows that were on board. After all the captain always gets first dibs.
The letter N stands for Nononsense*. I try to keep a no-thrills attitude and am enjoying the simple things in life. Treats are Numero Uno on that list. I bet you hadn’t seen that one coming. The N also stands for November. That is the month of happy new beginnings for me and my new family as I was adopted into my furrever home in November 2015.
* Yes, that looks like drool on that sock. And no, I wouldn’t know how said drool got on the sock. I don’t recall getting a treat that time. And if I did, I would plead the fifth.
In December of last year, I was invited to be at Drake and Sol‘s wedding in June this year. Drake and Sol are two beautiful creatures born at Belén Soto’s home. They are now happily residing at Resa’s, just click on the links to see their photos. I am very excited about the upcoming wedding as it will be my first!
For the occasion, mom and I have been shopping for bow ties. We settled on two possibilities: a dotted and a solid blue bow tie. Not sure which one it will be yet. I felt more comfortable wearing the dotted one but it seems to be the general opinion that the blue tie has a nicer color. What do you think?
Resa asked if we could show the results, so here I am modeling in my best suit and the bow ties.* Ms. Zulu didn’t want to be left out, so she modeled too with a beautiful hair piece to adorn her already gorgeous complexion. Maybe she can even accompany me to the wedding. Sort of a chaperone. After all, I am a bachelor and Ms. Zulu is much more experienced than me although I don’t think she ever attended a wedding either.
* I am happy to note that both I and Ms. Zulu were lavishly rewarded for the effort. There were complaints that the light conditions were not the greatest during the photoshoot so we may have to try again. I am not complaining as long as we are rewarded and I trust we will be!
It’s that time of the year again; foggy morning walks! At least we didn’t suffer from brain fog because we still remembered to ask for a treat once we were done posing for the photoshoot. After all, fair’s fair.
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.
The other day, I told you that I got very tired during the Thanksgiving Holiday. There was so much to do and so little time. Since we are close to another big holiday, I asked Ms. Zulu how she dealt with that issue. She gave me some valuable advice and I thought you would like to hear it too. I know she shared it with some of you already, way before I was born. Still, I think it is worth reading again. The approach itself is called Zuluism in my house. Ms. Zulu calls it reaching the Z-state. I will give Ms. Zulu the floor so that she can show you all the different steps:
Thanks, Benji. It’s really easy; follow my lead; You don’t have to get there through A-B-, etc., so don’t sweat it. What is really important though is that you set up a routine. Without this, you get easily lost in the woods, so to speak. My routine looks like this:
1) Start the day with a good stretch, then hug and kiss your loved ones; okay I like to lick, but that is a matter of preference.
2) Go for a short walk to get fresh air and enjoy your surroundings. Have a little bite afterward and make sure you rehydrate (no alcohol please).
3) Go back to bed. This step is VERY important as you will NOT get to the Z-state later on in the day if you skip this step. I call this the N-state (you may call this napping). So basically, you made it already from A to N in three short steps; amazing isn’t it?!
4) After a little napping, go for an extended walk. On this walk, you make sure you exercise your whole body. Get a couple of sprints in as well as twist and turns. Benji, you are good at this.
5) You definitely deserve a BIG break after your exercise (step 4) and a little snack (I said a little! Okay if you insist another little bite is fine too for those of us who really need it). Make sure you rehydrate too.
6) Next, you make your way to the Z-state. Go to a comfortable place for this. This should be a place where you are not interrupted. I like to be close to M. You will get to the Z-state by going through the S-state. During the S-state you will most likely snore. This is perfectly normal. Don’t let others tell you otherwise. The S-state can take up to an hour after which you slowly drift into the Zzzz-state. The Z-state is the most pleasant one as you do not remember any of it. So I can’t tell you more about it. I do know that I feel totally refreshed after I get out of the Z-state.
7) End the Z-state with another break. I like to run with M while she bikes, but you may prefer other activities. Sorry, no photo here as I still go VERY fast.
8) Try to get another snack by making sure you are in the kitchen while others are there as well. It is okay, maybe even better, if they stumble over you. Put on your most adorable face (I believe I have mastered this step) and try to look thin (tuck in that tummy; that is a good exercise too). Rehydrate.
9) Go back to bed. This time you will not get to the Z-state, but drift pleasantly in and out of the Y-state. Why is it called the Y-state you ask? Not sure, maybe because this state will help you get some answers to your questions. Your legs may jerk and you may barf (or talk when you are a human) some. You don’t get to the Z-state this time as you need to be able to wake up for alerts. This can be squirrels who have ventured out too far from their house, the mailman, deer etc. It is my job to alert the humans, they are often SO unaware of these things. Benji, I have been teaching you this step since you were a little pup. After all, two pairs of eyes are better than one.
10) Come out of the Y-state before you drift off too far, go outside, play some, go back inside, and eat your dinner. Rehydrate once more.
11) Go back to your comfortable place and drift off to the Z-state again.
12) Get out one more time before you call it a night. This time you get back up to snuff with the world. Sniff out what has transpired outside while you were inside. Follow EVERY trail. Benji, you were born ready for this.
12) Once back inside, get a little snack and go to bed. Take a friend if you don’t like to be alone. I used to sleep with Ducky. But I gave Ducky to you Benji, so these days I sleep either quietly alone or with another little friend out of our box with stuffed friends. After such an eventful day, I am sure you will be able to sleep well. You and your friends (stuffed or human) certainly deserve it.
I turned one year! Of course, we had to have cake. HM found a great recipe online for peanut butter cupcakes, see the blog The Scrumptious Pumpkin written by Jen. Both Ms. Zulu and I loved it. HM wanted to take a picture while we were eating it, but I was too fast for her and the cupcake was gone before she knew it.
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 birdstoo :). 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.
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!