Archive for the ‘Cat TV’ Category

We introduced our gentle readers to Buddy’s nemesis, Ginger Peach, a few months back, but the orange menace has not made himself known for several weeks. Therefore, please mark down today, 16 May, in the year of our Lord 2013, as the day of Buddy’s waking nightmare, an episode of Cat TV he will not soon forget: Ginger Peach standing on the other side of the storm door. In this case, the storm was all Buddy.

Knock, Knock

Knock, Knock

What cannot be fully captured in a photo is the raw, frantic violence with which Buddy scratched at the glass. What CAN be captured reasonably well is the utter nonchalance of Ginger Peach. Confident in the safety provided by the door, he approached Hurricane Buddy for a closer look:

Cat hatred

“Well, hello there, little fella.”

This cheeky move raised the hair on the back of Buddy’s neck and increased the speed of his glass scratching. Ginger, in the meantime, seemed genuinely interested in making civil contact with the poor little kitty trapped behind bars and glass. Neither contact nor civility were on today’s agenda, however, so he soon became bored and began to turn away. This snub only increased Buddy’s ire.

Ginger Peach

“I think I hear my mom calling.”

As Ginger Peach began to look for a graceful exit, Buddy continued to look for a weakness in the glass, but alas, none was to be found. Despite Buddy’s desperate attempts to make contact in his own way, Ginger Peach wandered off in search of adventures. And perhaps in search of a Welcome mat that does not actually mean “You are welcome to die.”


“Don’t go, GP! I have not killed you yet!”

At the moment of this writing, Buddy is lying across the threshold, breathing hard and straining for another look at GP. We will spare him the humility of posting THAT photo.


Read Full Post »

Though the cats have lived at Stratford Palace for almost nine months, they are still discovering just how many rivals they have in this strange new land that has many boxy houses and very few trees. An early encounter with Tortie Muldoon was chronicled in verse a few months ago, but since that time, the tortoiseshell scoundrel has made herself scarce. She was, however, spotted (pun intended) glaring into the dining room window during one of the Christmas feasts. Fortunately, Buddy and Bear were so occupied trying to avoid being seen by the hoomans that they didn’t notice the uppity minx walking the deck rail like a circus acrobat. The caretaker and Other Momma watched Tortie for a while, but soon she tired of ogling food she couldn’t reach and so moved on.

During the past few months, two other cats have been seen exactly once each in the outlying areas: a black cat looked on from the porch next door as the caretaker brought in groceries one Caturday, and one Sunday night a white cat wandered amid the garbage bins across the street. Not much to write home about, all in all.

That is until recently, when all fury broke loose in the form of an orange-and-white demon referred to in the palace as Ginger Peach, or sometimes GP for short. Like Tortie, GP has no regard for property rights or for royalty and will saunter onto the palace grounds and taunt Buddy whenever the mood strikes him. The most recent encounter with GP was the source of much upheaval in the palace, and it nearly caused Buddy to go completely mad. The caretaker was getting ready to run errands one Caturday during the holidays when she noticed that Buddy was bounding from room to room in an apparent attempt to get a better look at something outside. Curious, she followed him, but she finally gave up on trying to figure out what had Buddy’s heart racing and his feet along with it.

But as the caretaker backed down the driveway, she saw the offender emerging from the bushes in the flower bed, which was well in view of the largest Cat TV in the house. His game of hide-and-seek with Buddy was very much like the shenanigans that Tabby Lee and Mr. Shorty used to perpetrate at the Seafoam Cottage. Given that this desolate land where the palace is located provides no squirrels, few birds, and almost no cats to hate, all of Buddy’s energies were poured into that one encounter with Ginger Peach. And he was not amused.

Whatever transpired while the caretaker was away, GP was gone by the time she returned. As she brought in sacks filled with groceries, Buddy emerged from his throne room to conduct the obligatory inspection of the larder goods. Thank goodness for the small favor that he can be so easily distracted by food. Otherwise, his head may have exploded.

But no doubt his hatred for GP has not been quenched, so be it known that His Majesty Merlin “Buddy” Blacktail is preparing for the Great GP War, and this time he will show his mettle. He is Gandalf the White and Black, and you, Ginger Peach are a Balrog who shall not pass into his fair and happy palace. Mainly because there’s a window between you and him, but nevertheless, YOU SHALL NOT PASS!

So watch yourself, Flame of Udûn. King Buddy knows how to put you out.

Read Full Post »

Periodic Table

Previous posts have alluded to the fact that Buddy is a gifted (albeit little-known) scientist. In recent days while the caretaker has been gallavanting about to visit a new bay-bee in the family, Buddy has set his mind to categorizing the world around him. He has peered with moderate interest at something hooman scientists call a “periodic table” (actually, he fell asleep while staring at one on the computer screen), and he has concluded that hoomans are notorious for making the world much more difficult than it needs to be. So as his contribution to science, he would like to present his extremely simplified periodic table, from a feline view of the world. He fully expects that his breakthrough will qualify him for the Nobel Prize in science.

His list of elements, in no particular order, is provided below for your instruction:


Long name = Food. Fd is normally found in cans or bags, and if it is covered with Gy (see listing below) it is delicious. Unfortunately, the caretaker is not always careful about what she classifies as food. Buddy has learned that if the adjective “health” precedes it, then it should no longer be considered Fd but rather Rf (see listing below).


Long name = Gravy. At first glance, Gy might be considered a subset of Fd, but Buddy insists it is a category unto itself. Not everything that is called food is edible. Gravy is always edible, and usually even slurpable. Buddy’s fondest dream is that the earth’s core is made of gravy.


Long name = Bed. Bd appears in many forms and colors, and therefore its atomic weight varies greatly. Anything that can reasonably be used as a sleeping surface is classified as Bd.


Long name = Jumping ramp. Jumping ramps differ from beds in that they must be strategically placed and sturdy enough to hold several foot-pounds of cat and to support the “pushing off” motion of the back feet that propel the cat into the air gracefully. Ju is a particularly useful element when the cats are playing “The Floor Is Lava.”


Long name = Glass. This element is important to indoor cats because without it there would be no Cat TV. Fortunately, Stratford Palace is rich in Gl.


Long name = Face Scratcher, not to be confused with Scratching post (see below). In those few minutes of the day that cats are not eating or sleeping or watching Cat TV, they are interacting with the world in various ways. The primary way is to rub their faces against any protruding surface. Wall corners, chair arms, hooman hands, and multiple other objects can serve as whisker scratchers. For that reason, the caretaker keeps a cover on her toothbrush, which has previously been classified as belonging to the element Fs.


Long name = Scratching post. The name of this element is tricky because even though the caretaker has purchased several items that other hoomans called a “scratching post,” the cats will have nothing to do with them. Instead, Buddy and Bear use many other surfaces that are not suitable beds or jumping ramps as scratching posts. These include the back and sides of the sofa, the sides of the cloth ottoman (the top of the ottoman is Bd), and the edges of cloth on the dainty chair with the picture of the dancing man and woman. The caretaker disagrees with Buddy’s categorization of the furniture as Sp, but then, she is not a scientist, is she?


Long name = Refuse. Buddy toyed with the idea of calling this element “garbage” or “trash” but he likes the play on words achieved in the sentence that defines the term: Anything that Buddy would refuse is known as “refuse.”

Buddy will keep his gentle readers informed if any other elements are discovered, but for now he is quite sure the world of Stratford Palace has been properly described. And now the caretaker must end the post abruptly because the orange mouse toy has become trapped under a closet door and Buddy is howling inconsolably.

Hope for the best, gentle readers.

Read Full Post »

Rear Window

We have spoken in recent posts about the big-screen Cat TVs that are readily available throughout Stratford Palace, so it seemed only appropriate to give our gentle readers a virtual tour, hosted by Buddy and Bear.

Let us begin our tour with the front window, which is the largest. This morning the caretaker had to run out for a quick errand, and she made the mistake of not telling Buddy goodbye. When she returned, this was the sight that met her:

Where have you been?

Where have you been?

Although they dare not let her know how impressed they really are, the cats secretly admire the caretaker’s courage in leaving the Palace to forage for food. Bear could not imagine roaming that far from the couch, and poor Buddy remembers the sheer terror he experienced during his failed quest for a porch (Buddy’s Greatest Adventure).

Now that we have introduced you to the front window, let us turn, quite literally, to the side window. This may be the only residence in the world that tries to simulate a greenhouse. One can only conjecture that the architect had claustrophobia (which is, of course, the fear of enclosed spaces, not the fear of Claus von Bülow).

Bear does not spend a great deal of time in the side window because her favorite perch is near the front window, so we will show you the classic side-window scene:



Gentle reader, your eyes do not deceive you. Buddy is perched on top of the caretaker’s boring TV so that he can have a better view of Cat TV. This window looks out over the carport, and it provides a partial view of the neighbor’s house and yard. At least once every two weeks the caretaker will get out of her car at the end of the day, glance at the window, and be scared out of her wits at seeing a set of wild golden-green eyes fixed on her, as if to say, “Welcome home, prey.”

But today the most popular Cat TV was the dining room window. On her way to the kitchen, the caretaker noticed Bear staring violently out into the back yard. Although the caretaker never was able to see what had captured Bear’s attention, she could only imagine that a bird or bug had flown by and was now being stalked by Lady Bugbane.

Lady Bugbane

Lady Bugbane

But then the stalker became the stalkee:

Stalking the Stalker 1

Stalking the Stalker 1

No, gentle reader, those are not bright, happy rays of sunshine beaming down on Bear. Those are menacing whiskers, waiting for the right moment to pounce.

Stalking the Stalker 2

Stalking the Stalker 2

As Bear crouches down to hide from her enemy outside, she never suspects that a far greater enemy is right there in the house with her—a classic horror movie clip if ever there was one. In fact, it is reminscent of an Alfred Hitchcock thriller. At this moment, Bear is Grace Kelly, playing the part of Lisa, and Buddy is Raymond Burr, playing the part of the wicked Mr. Thorwald. That would make the caretaker Jimmy Stewart, playing the part of the injured photographer Jeff. And as the caretaker looks out through the rear window at her flower plot and draws this analogy, she only hopes there is not a Mrs. Thorwald buried somewhere in the back yard.

So in many ways this remake of Rear Window is quite disconcerting, but please judge it on its own merits. The cats would do the same for you. Probably.

But we shall not leave our gentle readers in suspense. Bear has decreed that there shall be a happy ending, and so the curtain falls on this irenic scene, which was made possible by the lovely accident of finding a shared foe:

Haply ever after

Haply ever after

Read Full Post »

Buddy’s Great Adventure

Well, it has been a while since the caretaker has had opportunity to record Buddy’s feats. For one thing, time has been at a premium (and still is). For another, there is no internet connection yet at Stratford Palace. In all other ways, it is a most civilized place, so Buddy is bearing it all very well.

We must catch our gentle readers up with the ascension of Buddy to his throne at Stratford.  Although the caretaker tried every trick she knew, there was simply no stuffing Buddy into the pet carrier. And since he could not be left alone in the Cottage forever, His Majesty rode in style in the towel-covered passenger seat of the big rolling box, without any means of confinement. Mercifully, the two abodes are a mere 10-minute drive apart. And mercifully, the sound of the caretaker singing “Buddy’s Song” provided enough comfort to keep the howls at a minimum. Yes, that’s correct. For 10 minutes solid, the big rolling box was filled with the sounds of the caretaker warbling a nonsense song, punctuated occasionally by a mournful “Marrooooo!”

The intense sadness that Bear had expressed throughout her separation from Buddy was soon squelched by her irritation upon seeing him again. He entered the door, flitted past her, and received Bear’s full “night-of-the-living-dead” salute, complete with hissing, crouching, and ears tucked back. So at least that part of existence is back to normal.

But there is much else that has become the “new normal,” and so we shall catalog those events over the next few months. Meanwhile, we leave you on this day with a photo of Buddy on his throne, situated near one of his many new big-screen Cat TVs. He has deigned to share his throne with Bear, provided that her seat remains lower than his. After all, the ability to follow royal protocol is what separates us from the beasts.

The Throne at Stratford Palace

The Throne at Stratford Palace

Read Full Post »

Giving Thanks

Tonight there will be a very brief post cataloguing the blessings for which the cats are thankful. It took a bit of convincing to get the king to admit that there is indeed One above himself, but he figured that since he did not create himself, he must render to his Creator modest thanks for being so wise as to create such a magnificent creature. So for the following things, the four-legged residents of the Seafoam Cottage are as thankful as they can possibly be (don’t push it).

  1. The Screamed-in Porch
  2. Fish of all kinds (and fish gravy)
  3. Chicken (and chicken gravy)
  4. Turkey (and turkey gravy)
  5. Gravy
  6. Soft blankets
  7. Sock Monkey bed
  8. Cat TV
  9. Real TV when cats are featured
  10. Empty boxes large enough to climb in
  11. Catnip mice
  12. Plastic jingle bell balls
  13. The fireplace when it is living up to its name
  14. Each other when it is cold and snuggling provides warmth
  15. The Caretaker, but only when she is being useful (see points 1-14 for reference on this matter)


Happy Thanksgiving to all!



Read Full Post »

With many apologies for a post title that uses up two of the world’s limited hyphen resources, the caretaker presents this report on Cowboy Buddy of the wild, wild west. Given the shorter days, colder weather, and the caretaker’s extended absences, Buddy has had to find ways to pass his time indoors. What’s worse, he has realized through hours of vigil at the windows that even if he were able to spend sufficient time on his beloved porch, he would not have as much entertainment as he would like. Fewer birds and squirrels are willing to brave the cool winds, and Mr. Shorty has been absent for days, probably curled up on a sherpa blanket beside a roaring fire. For several weeks, Buddy has had little to do besides eat and sleep, so he has spent his waking hours alternating between two extremes: fierce tantrums, in which he races through the house and yells “MAARRROOOOOW,” and unbearable doldrums, in which he mopes and imagines how wonderful everyone else’s life must be. For obvious reasons, the latter state is much easier to photograph:

Sad Little Face

Sad Little Face

But at some point in the past few days, Buddy decided that anger and self-pity are equally futile, so he set about finding a suitable activity to fill his dreary days. He soon tired of killing the bathroom rug, and although Cat TV is amusing for a while, it is entirely too tame when compared with the experience of reality TV on the screamed-in porch. His current activity was inspired by a line in Charles Portis’  True Grit, which is on the caretaker’s current reading list. At one point the impudent Mattie Ross proclaims, “I will go further and say that all cats are wicked. Who has not seen Satan in their sly faces?” Buddy was highly incensed by this prejudiced remark, so he set about to prove that at least one cat is not wicked. (He makes no such claims for Bear.) He decided that there was no better way to redeem his honor than to become a cowboy. This career, the gentle reader would agree, is much more difficult to pursue without the ready availability of cows, but such obstacles mean nothing to a persistent soul like Buddy. A wrangler at heart, he has taken up tracking and capturing all manner of small bits and bobs, including paper strips from the shredder and those paper-and-wire bag ties that are provided freely in the produce department of grocery stores. (Please don’t mention that to Buddy. While you’re at it, you should probably not mention that because of his colorings he is considered a cow cat, for that thought alone will start all kinds of unprofitable philosophical musings about self-loathing and the angst of modern existence. Quite frankly, it is already difficult enough for the simple-minded caretaker to live with such a deep-thinking cat.)

As with any of Buddy’s pursuits, cowboying is an all-or-nothing proposition. It is apparently not enough to capture the bag ties and bring them to justice. They must first be chewed, mangled, and otherwise abused once they are captured. In fact, they are often caught, manhandled, batted about the floor, faux forgotten for a moment, and then re-pursued. A single bag tie can provide hours of amusement. But all things must come to an end, even for a cowboy. When a bag tie has been damaged beyond its ability to provide entertainment, it is dropped unceremoniously into the food bowl, the cowboy’s way of providing his own rations when the caretaker has been negligent. Just this morning, the caretaker went to the kitchen to find that a previously full bowl was now graced with three pieces of dry food, several crumbs that fell during an eating frenzy, and two bag ties that had been crushed almost beyond recognition.

So all you little ladies out there have nothing to worry about from those rogue bag ties. Cowboy Buddy is on the job, and all of us in the wild, wild, west appreciate his tireless efforts to protect us. We don’t even care that the west was not nearly so wild before he arrived because it wasn’t nearly so interesting either. We hope we have many more wild years before Cowboy Buddy rides off into the sunset.

Keeping Vigil

Keeping Vigil

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »