Saturday, December 27, 2008

A thank you to Santa

Dear Santa,
Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you!  I LOVE canned cat food and Fancy Feast is my favorite!  Miss R. never buys me canned cat food.  She says it spoils me against regular dried cat food, but nothing could be further from the truth.  I'm always such a sweet and appreciative guy.  Anyway, I love my Fancy Feast soooo much and can't wait for my next meal.


Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas

Send your own ElfYourself eCards

Merry Christmas, Everyone and especially to all the boys and girls in Room 203!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Merry Christmas?

Ooooh...just when I thought it was safe...Miss R. dresses me up in this costume and takes pictures! Well, I'm posting one here as evidence of the cruel and unusual treatment I put up with at this time of year!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

It's SNOWING!!!!!

When those first few flakes first floated past the windows, I couldn't contain my excitement. I galloped (I use that verb because Miss R. says I sound like a horse when I try to run) to the pet door in my bedroom and squished through the pet door out onto my deck. "Hey Bob!" I screamed to my neighbor. "Bob, get out here! It's snowing! It's SNOWING!!!!"

"Indeed it is," Bob commented in that calm voice of his that never sounds excited.

"Aren't you excited?" I screamed.

"Indeed I am," Bob commented again. Hmmm. If you ask me, he didn't sound very excited. "I've been watching the snow fall and trying to remember a favorite winter poem of mine." That's Bob. He never gets excited. He just quotes poetry.

Pudgie Little Snowman

A pudgie little snowman
had a carrot nose
Along came a bunny
and what do you suppose.
That hungry little bunny
looking for some lunch
Ate the little snowman's nose
Nibble, Nibble, CRUNCH!

"Who wrote that?" I asked. Bob is such a well read cat. He knows so many interesting facts.

"One of my favorite writers," Bob replied. "Anonymous." Oooh, him. He must be a good writer. Bob quotes him often! I settled down on the table on the deck and asked Bob to teach me the poem. Watching the snow fall and listening to Bob recite his poem again, I couldn't help but think how much I love this time of year and how much I love the snow!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


James and Deborah Howe are the well-known writers of the ever so popular Bunnicula series. The Bunnicula books are some of my favorites and not just because of the adorable, little bunny. (That's right. I said it. I like bunnies!) In my humble opinion, the writers did an extraordinary job bringing life into the character of Chester, the cat. Indeed, I must keep reminding myself that the writers are merely humans themselves so well did they describe the inner thought life of felines. Anyway, I mention all this, because Chester, as many of you know, is a prolific reader of great literature. In fact, most cats, myself included, do love to read. We're not always napping you know. This all brings me to the point of today's post.

Recently, my human, Miss R. brought home a new book she had borrowed from a writer who studies in her class. "Paws off, Mister," Miss R said to me as she entered the apartment. "I'm saving this book for me to enjoy as a reward after I finish writing all these report cards!" Well, I don't have to tell you, but the quickest way to get a cat to do something is tell him he's not allowed. As soon as Miss R. forbade me to read this new book, I was determined to do that very thing. I waited for Miss R. to go to work, then I made myself hot chocolate and curled up in a sunbeam with a book written by one of Miss R.'s favorite writers, A.T. What can I say? I totally get why Miss R. thinks AT is such a phenomenal writer. It's taking all of my discipline not to tell you all about the book here in this post, but if I did that it would spoil the debut of AT's story which is scheduled for release on Young Authors Day.

Stay tuned, though. I'll be adding to this Virtual Book Shelf over time. In the meantime, I'd love to hear from some of you young readers in Room 203. Who are some of your favorite writers? What are some of your favorite books? Why do you like them? Who knows? Maybe I can use my cute kitty face to persuade Miss R. to hand out eagle bucks to the students who post answers to these questions.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Happy Sinterklaas Day!

My American readers might not realize the significance of today, but December 6 is a much anticipated day of celebration for my Dutch friends. In Holland, Belgium and other parts of Europe children honor Sinterklaas (that's Santa Claus to us Americans) with big parades and parties. To recognize these celebrations, Sinterklaas visits various towns on a white horse. His reindeer stay at the North Pole to rest up for their big night. Because the elves are also busy at the North Pole making toys, Sinterklaas brings different helpers called Zwaarte Piet, or Black Petes with him on December 6. (You can see the Zwaarte Piet sitting next to Sinterklaas in the photo.) The Zwaarte Piet get their name from the soot covering their faces from all coal they carry to give to the naughty children. They also carry candy, chocolates, and special cookies called pepernoten that they hand out to all the well-behaved boys and girls.

Today Miss R. took her nieces to a little Dutch town called Lynden to celebrate Sinterklaas Day. The old saint and his special helpers had come straight from the celebrations in Holland to greet the Dutch children in Lynden. He and his special Zwaarte Piet led a procession to the town's community center where children did special "klompen" or wooden shoe dances for him while the Zwaarte Piet handed out their special treats. Sinterklaas wore his special church robes instead of his fur-lined clothes that he usually wears to deliver gifts on Christmas Eve. Miss R.'s nieces got little toys, candy, and bells. I confess, I haven't always been on my very best behavior this past year so I worried I might get a lump of coal, but one of the Zwaarte Piet gave me a can of my favorite tuna. I also got some yummy pepernoten. Mmmmm.

Miss R. tells me that the boys and girls in room 203 are going to be sharing about their family's holiday traditions. I can't wait to learn about everyone's different traditions. I wonder if those traditions include lumps of coal or cans of tuna.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Mini Me

With only 23 shopping days left for Miss R. to find me the perfect gift, I'm pleased to share that the Christmas tree is up and beautifully decorated. Miss R. has a toy McDonaldland train set that she sets up around the trunk of the tree every year. It comes with all the McDonald's characters from the late 1970's. It's special to Miss R. because she got it for Christmas one year when she was still a very little girl. It's special to me because...hey...McDonalds! My favorite ornament is one Miss R.'s two oldest nieces gave me for Christmas a few years ago. It's a strikingly handsome fellow that vaguely reminds me of someone but I just can't put my paw on who. Oh yeah. Me!

Thursday, November 27, 2008


Can I just say it? Thanksgiving is the BEST holiday EVER! My neighbor Bob, that's him in the photograph posted on Halloween, and I spent the afternoon sunning ourselves out on our decks while our humans busied themselves in the kitchens. While Bob and I waited for our respective feasts to begin, we discussed our favorite dishes. Bob is partial to the potatoes and stuffing, and while I don't mind those tasty tidbits even one bit, I LOVE the turkey. Turkey, turkey, turkey. Imagine! A holiday that celebrates eating. Bob kept reminding me that there's more to this holiday than just food. He insisted it's really about stopping and reflecting on everything for which we're thankful. Hmmm. I'm thankful for.......turkey, turkey, turkey turkey.....

Friday, November 21, 2008

Nov. 21, 2008

Nov. 21st, 2001

Dear Kids,

Your sharing topic this week sounds like a timely one. It's a good thing to stop and remember all the things that make us thankful . Otherwise we run the risk of being ungrateful and taking things for granted.

I'm thankful for having a whole classroom full of second grade penpals, or should I write, cyberpals with whom I can share all my profound thoughts. I am thankful for my nice, soft bed where I take all my naps, but I do wish Miss R. would find her own place to sleep! Speaking of sleep, I am thankful for lovely, warm laundry fresh out of the dryer (if only Miss R. wouldn't be so quick to put it away) because nothing beats a nap on clean clothes hot out of the dryer! I am thankful for catnip and tuna. I am thankful for my many neighbors who share their apartments with humans and who come out on their decks when their humans have left for work so we can, "shoot the breeze," as they say. I am thankful for running shoes fresh off the feet of my human after she's run 7 plus miles on the treadmill! I am thankful for coffee and good books. Right now I'm reading The Last Battle by Mr. CS Lewis which features a large ginger cat who might look like me, but has nothing of my sweet nature. I'm thankful for Thanksgiving when I get to attack, um I mean, eat all those yummy leftovers....mmmm....turkey.

I can't wait to read all about the things for which you are thankful. Will you tell me?


Sunday, November 16, 2008

A Shout Out to Commentators in Room 203

While my last two posts have been published with my feline followers in mind, I must give a shout out to the commentators in Room 203. A commentator is someone who writes or posts comments about newsworthy posts being, naturally, newsworthy events. Several of the kids in Room 203 have posted comments in response to my recent posts. To answer your questions, Miss R. and I did have a difference of opinion that led to my being grounded and put on restriction. In the meantime, thanks for all your comments. Keep them coming.

Care and Feeding of Humans Part 2; Training

As any feline will tell you, training humans can be a time-consuming yet rewarding task. In general, humans respond best to positive reinforcement. Take tonight for example. It was past dinner time but my tummy required an extra helping of tuna. Miss R. was busy making lesson plans for Monday morning. Her lesson plan book was open and she had her laptop turned on as she checked the curriculum web. Purring loudly, I jumped on the table and stretched out completely covering her lesson plan book. She ignored me at first and tried to slide her book out from under my humungous tummy. I moved on to plan B. I hid behind the monitor of her laptop and swiped out her typing fingers with my paws, claws extended. Humans love this. "Oliver, stop playing," Miss R. scolded but I knew that meant I was that much closer to my second helping of tuna. Next, I jumped on Miss R.'s lap and turned and twisted multiple times before I stretched out and snoozed with one eye open. Miss R. pretended to ignore me as she tried to continue her work. I decided to voice my appreciation for Miss R.'s servitude by meowing, she calls it caterwauling, very loudly. "All right, Boy," she said trying to stand up. "Let's see what you want." I leaped to the ground and ran as fast as my chubby legs would carry me to the kitchen where I purred loudly in front of the fridge. Miss R. patted my head then opened the door to remove my tuna. She scooped some into my bowl, patted me on the head again, and returned to her work. I'd like to say that this kind of positive reinforcement works all the time, but alas that is not the case. Next time, we'll take a look at how to set boundaries with your humans.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

The Care and Feeding of Humans, Part 1; Choosing Your Human

Many of my feline readers have been asking lots of questions about how to manage the care of their humans. *Caution* you two-legged readers might not find the following very intersting. In fact, you might just want to shut down your computer and go watch Spongebob -Squarepants instead.

There. Now, that I've taken care of the human kittens let me address my fellow felines in what I hope to be a series of postings on the proper management of your human. The first step, of course, is choosing a compatible human. Don't be fooled. All humans are not alike. Some are actually...dare I say it...vegetarians. These must be avoided at all costs.

Now, back when I was looking to adopt a human and Miss R. first poked her head above the cardboard box that held my four siblings and me, I knew right away that she was the human for me. Her breath smelled slightly of tuna and I knew this was a human that would treat me as cats should be treated. Imagine my shock then when I heard her say to the other humans in the room, "Hmmmm, I really had my heart set on one of the grey and black females so I could name her Belle!" Oh, the horror! I was orange and white, not grey and black! I was a male, not a female. And while I didn't have a name yet there was no way I was going to allow anyone to call me Belle! No matter. I had already decided that Miss R. was the human for me. As she ran her hand over the top of the box, I turned over on my back inviting her to scratch my tummy. Trust me. Humans can't resist this. Just to be safe, I purred extra loudly and did my best to look, "fluffy." (More on looking fluffy later.) When she scooped up all my siblings and me and unceremoniously dumped us in her lap, I promptly curled up and took a nap, purring the whole time. Humans are powerless to resist the draw of a sleeping kitty. My not-so-wise siblings continued their play and tumbled off Miss R.'s lap one at time. I chose instead to continue my nap while Miss R. softly stroked my fur. Hah. It was easier than taking candy from a baby! Before she even knew it, she was telling the other humans in the room, "Well, I came here today to pick out a kitty, but I think a kitty just picked out me." And that, my fellow felines, is how to pick a human.

PS- Before any of my perfectionist feline friends write in to tell me that it's grammatically incorrect to start sentences such as the one above, with a conjunction such as, "and," let me remind you that good writers know the rules so well that, on occassion, they can choose to break one for literary effect. If any of you two-legged readers ignored my earlier advice about watching SpongeBob instead of reading this post, let me caution you that you must prove that you know the rules of grammar very well, before you are allowed to break them!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

President Oliver

It's an exciting day for the kids in Room 203 AND for the entire nation. Today voters all over the America, including but not limited to the kids in Room 203 get to vote for the next President of the United States. I used to think the election process was pretty simple, the one with the most votes wins. However, my recent research at the online public library showed me that the election process is actually a bit more complicated than that. It seems that instead of one huge nationwide election it's more like there are fifty individual statewide elections. Each state is worth a certain number of points called "electoral votes." States with more people are worth more points or electoral votes, states with fewer people are worth less electoral votes. Washington State is worth 11 electoral votes. California has a lot of people living there so it's worth 55. Maine has much smaller population so it's only worth 4 votes. Whoever gets the most votes in each individual state gets all of that state's points. So, whoever gets the most votes in Washington State gets all 11 points. Whoever gets the most votes in California gets all 55 of their points. In the end, they add up all the points (electoral votes) and the candidate who gets 270 or more gets to be President. Wow!

I did some reading on the candidates to see for whom I would vote and neither one had anything to say on really important issues like the price of tuna, the importance of catnip, or regulation of litter boxes. Shocking, isn't it? How do they expect to earn the all important feline vote if they don't care about cat-related issues? I guess I'll have to run for President myself. I don't think I'll be able to run an effective campaign in time for this election, but come's all about President Oliver!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Human Kittens

All right, even a lazy, self-important feline like me thinks these little human kittens (Miss R.'s nieces) look adorable in their Halloween costumes. It just goes to show, costumes belong on the un-furred! (See below)

Happy Halloween

At least, I hope YOU'RE having a happy Halloween. Unfortunately for my upstairs neighbor Bob, this holiday isn't nearly as enjoyable. His human insists on dressing him up every year and the costumes are always humiliating, but this year's costume....well, you can see what I mean. Poor Bob. Fortunately for me, my human NEVER humiliates me with embarrassing costumes of any kind. She shares my firmly held belief that anything already sporting a natural coat of fur need not sport any additional clothing. Phew! Still, I can understand why the human kittens enjoy this holiday so much. My human tells me that her second grade students look forward to dressing up. Apparently, they're rewarded for their efforts with large amounts of candy. Hmmm, that doesn't sound toooo bad. Now, if only we could convince people to hand out cans of tuna than even I might dress up!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Hello World!

And by world....I do mean my fan base which is likely to be the boys and girls in Room 203. I've taken a webpage out of a certain second grader's site, so to speak, and have started my own blog. After all, who wouldn't want to read the musings of a feline such as myself. By way of introduction, I'll tell you, as if you didn't already know, that I'm an "athletically" built cat with a deep intellect and a flexible workout schedule. I like to watch the world from my perch on the deck outside my home and it is from there that I make all my keen observations. It is also where my litterbox is hidden under a wooden bench with a door cut from the side. Yes, indeed, I do quite a bit of thinking out there on the deck and if you check here often you just might benefit from the wisdom that is mine.