The Archives: 2

About a week ago, I told you the story about the Pinecone Forest Queendom. In this queendom lived Katja de Kittycat. Her story began long before there even was a queendom in the Pinecone Forest. As promised, today I will tell Katja’s story and it began like this:

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Katja de Kittycat

Katja was born in sunny Florida. Unfortunately, her story began similarly to many cats and dogs, on some dark and lonely streets. She may have been an indoor cat at first but it didn’t take long until she got pregnant with little ones. For some reason or another, she ended up homeless. She looked for a safe place away from predators to give birth. Her instincts told her to pick a spot that was dark and sheltered.

It was not easy to find enough food for herself and the little ones. Katja often felt hungry and it was no surprise that she got sick and infested with fleas. When the kittens were about three weeks old they started to walk. At first, their walk was wobbly and they only took a few steps at a time. But after a couple of days, they got more confident and were ready to explore their new world. Katja tried her best to keep the kittens safe. She carried them in her mouth back to safety one by one if they wandered off too far from their little cave. This was getting harder and harder. Each day the kittens roamed further into the deep unknown. It was during one of these events that a nice elderly lady discovered Katja and her kittens.

The lady wanted to make sure that the felines were safe but she was too fragile to take care of them. So she walked over to her neighbors and asked them what she should do.  The neighbors decided that it was best to provide momma cat and kittens with shelter, food, and care at their headquarters. They put up flyers to make sure that no one was looking for them, informed the animal shelter, and brought the felines to the vet for vaccinations and care. And that was the beginning of Katja’s life with the humans who you got to know as Q and M.    

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Finally enough food for all

It was a fun time at headquarters these early days. The kittens were playful and grew, and grew, and grew. Katja did well too and morphed into a beautiful feline with long fur.  

After several weeks, permanent homes were found for the kittens and then two weeks later even Katja moved out to another home. And headquarters felt silent, too silent. That’s when M stumbled, okay she may have asked and asked around, across a beautiful and sweet 7-month-old rescued pup at the vet… The furry canine had been found as a three-month-old pup sitting on a blanket chained to a tree on the side of the road with a bowl of water.  How could one resist such a pitiful story? So the household grew by one again. The pup was called Amie (meaning dearly loved in French) after Amelia Earhart, the first female aviator to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean. But that’s a story for another time. 

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Amie

Three weeks after Amie was adopted, Katja was returned to headquarters. The two cats in what was supposed to be Katja’s furrever home did not get along with her. Luckily, nothing was standing in the way for Katja to stay forever after at Q and M’s place.  Amie having lived at the vet’s office for several months liked all creatures so that was not an issue. Hence, headquarter’s household grew by one again. Katja moved with headquarters four more times until they all moved where I and Ms. Zulu live now. This is the place where Katja spent the remainder of her years. 

– THE END = TO BE CONTINUED –

Wishing a safe home, food, and clean water for all creatures big and small wherever they may be,

Benji

The Archives: 1

M has been digging into the archives again. This time she took out some old photos of furry ones I’ve never met but who walked in my pawsteps and paved my way. Five other dogs and two cats have lived at headquarters before I arrived, Ms. Zulu told me. Rumors say that even a snake lived under a temp headquarter’s facility at some point. I guess I would do the same if I were a snake and the cats didn’t chase the mice away.

Not every animal lived at headquarters at the same time but at some point, the monarchs did consist of four canines and one feline. Here are some photos of when the empire was at its height. Today’s story is about that empire.

Once upon a time, a long time ago there was a Queendom in the middle of a big green forest, with extremely large pine cones I might add. Ms. Sierra, a.k.a. Sashia, reigned the Queendom with howls, drama, and laughter. She was well-known far and wide for her endearing talents and howling good morning talks. She had two mighty shining knights: Mr. Charlie a.k.a. Coco and Mr. Bo who would do anything for her. One day these humble guys even helped their queen climb a tall fence that surrounded headquarters and had a full day of adventure before they returned hungrily at the end of the day just in time for dinner. 

And then there was Ms. Zulu, my big sis, who you all already know. It’s hard to imagine now but she grew up in that mighty Queendom too. Ms. Zulu was Mr. Charlie and Bo’s real sister. The three siblings came from a family of 12 puppies. Her real mom was supposedly a purebred Border Collie,  who unexpectedly got impregnated by the wrong [Ed. as defined by the breeder] dude. Hence, the puppies were unwanted and thrown in jail the shelter.  Ms. Zulu was the first who found her forever home. When M went back to the shelter several months later to drop off some goods, she found out that Mr. Charlie and Bo were on death row. M quickly transported them to headquarters and decided to foster them. They eventually became foster failures as nobody wanted 8+ months old black pups from the shelter. I know it’s unfair but it’s the truth.  

Last but not least, there was Katja the kitty cat. Not as big as my friend Lion but she knew how to stand her ground. All canines learned one way or another that she would give two warning shots with retracted claws. Katja liked to give these shots from her throne of thrones. The third shot was always a charm and ended up in one little bleeding dot right on the nose. This last shot always sufficed to humble even the mightiest warrior. So Katja showed them that even the tiniest of cats, she only weighed 9 lbs, demand respect and love. And they all did end up loving and respecting her, even the high queen. Katja had been part of several other King- and Queendoms before she ended up in the Pinecone Forest Queendom. Maybe someday Ms. Zulu will tell you her whole story.  

It is no surprise that when one after the other died in the Queendom from so long ago,  Ms. Zulu felt alone and a bit depressed. She loved her peace, naps, and time with her humans but it did not seem to fill the void completely. It was then that higher forces decided that it was time to look for another friend. And guess what, that turned out to be me! I am now happily living and playing ever after with my big sis Ms. Zulu in the Pinecone Forest Queendom.

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-THE END = TO BE CONTINUED-

Happy tails

Benji

Zuluism

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: 

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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.

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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.

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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.

Happy snoring,

Ms. Zulu and Benji

R.I.P. Ducky I

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Rest in Pieces, Ducky I

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,

Benji.  

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Ducky I, we will never forget the good times we had together 

Chew Therapy

Mom has been sad for a couple of days now. Not sure what happened, but it seems to have something to do with an election of some sorts. Since I have been cleared to work as a therapy animal I thought I would make myself useful. So I gave her extra hugs and my favorite toy to chew on. It worked; I made her smile. Hope I can make you smile too, love, Benji.  

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40 : 4

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Trusted sources tell me that my blog “Life of Benji” has now [update: more than] 40 followers. This makes me stand tall! These same sources tell me that it is quite a milestone as we started the blog just a little over 4 weeks ago when I had just turned the big ONE.  So, a big THANK YOU would be in order to all of you. I asked my sources if this means that I get 40 x 4 treats, or maybe 40 – 4, but I was told that I shouldn’t count on it. I said that I would share with Ms. Zulu, but that didn’t change the answer. Oh, well, I’ll have to find another way. Maybe I should have gone as low as 40:4…  Anyway, hope you get lots of treats thrown your way, sending you puppy kisses and wagging tails, 

Yours truly,

Benji.