Tuesday, July 31, 2007

The Laughing Cat Carnival

Welcome to the first edition of The Laughing Cat. I've searched high and low for the funniest cat stories and pictures from the web and have put together a side-splitting inaugural carnival. I hope you enjoy laughing at the all too funny antics of our favorite four-legged pets - cats!

Bob from Bobbarama never lacks for laughs and he sent us one of my favorites! Here he charts the facial expressions of his cat Griz. Cat owners everywhere can testify to its accuracy!

Miss D presents RSPCA Happy Tails! posted at Prefurr.com, saying, "A happy tail of a rescued kitten!" Happy indeed but funny as well. I saw myself in this story all too clearly!

Hello Kitty Hell presents Hello Kitty Cat posted at Hello Kitty Hell, saying, "This is not what you want to do to a cat." True, it's also not what your cat wants you to do to him. And if that wasn't enough he gives us more.

Sam from Surfer Sam Online presents Purr - fectly Funny Cat Jokes. What's more appropriate than a list of silly cat jokes for The Laughing Cat? Jot a few down to make your friends groan!

Lucynda Riley presents A Cat Story. The orange Bobcat. Posted at The Crazy Cat Woman. I think this cat must be related to mine...

Sharyn presents Cat Rodeo posted at Magick Cat Cauldron. Sharyn clears up several "Why does my cat do that?" questions in this post!

Arvind Devalia of Arvind Devalia's Thoughts and Words shows us how to live dangerously!

Sally presents Living Without Meat: "The Baby Chick Says Meeeoow" posted at Living Without Meat. I posted that pic here once. A commenter though perhaps she was just waiting until they were bigger...

Last but never, ever least Bad Kitty Cat Chaos Festival presents Laughing Bukowski And Jezebel posted at Bad Kitty Cat Journal. Can you think of two carnival festivals better complemented that The Laughing Cat and Bad Kitty Cat Chaos Festival?

The second edition of The Laughing Cat will be presented September 4th so flex your typing fingers and send in your best submissions. After all, no one gets tired of laughing, especially at cats!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Build Your Own Cat Toy -- No Skills Required!

Ever wanted to build a toy for your cat but find you have no tools and no talent? With my New Improved Patented Cat Toy Design you too can build a toy for your cats despite your utter lack of skills and limited resources.

Step One:

Order a large item from the Internet that will be shipped in a cardboard box. Here we've chosen a ceiling fan.

Step Two:

Remove the large item and discard.

Step Three:

Remove cat from box.

Step Four:

Fold the two small flaps in and one large flap down leaving a small square opening near the bottom. Tape the flaps in place.

Step Five:

With scissors cut several small holes, called Smacking Holes, around the sides and on the top of the box. The holes should be slightly larger than a cat's paw.

Step Six:

Add cat treats, toys and/or cat nip to the box to lure your cats in.

Step Seven:

Sit back and giggle as your cats hide in and around the box smacking each other through the small holes you cut.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Cat Claws and Furniture Just Don't Mix

Friday possesses a Master's degree in wreaking havoc, most cats do. Yet its not just the destruction he causes with his paws that makes him noteworthy. It's his unnerving habit of destroying the things you most want to protect and his uncanny ability to reason and problem solve that make living with him akin to living with a master criminal.

Friday's kitten-hood was spent at my parent's home. In those days, my younger sister's room was full of cat tantalizing objects. There was a semi-inflated helium balloon with a long string that dangled to the floor, a large bed with plenty of cat hiding places but best of all was her inflatable chair.

Yes, an inflatable chair. Possibly one of the dumbest inventions ever inflicted on society. The makers of inflatable chairs, being oblivious to tried and true methods of furniture making, offer a product that is a) unattractive in both color and style, b) uncomfortable to sit in and c) ridiculously overpriced. Despite these shortcomings my sister liked it. In fact, she liked it so much she bought an inflatable throw pillow to go with it.

The throw pillow, which matched neither chair nor room, was silver-gray. It had a big cut out circle in the center of it allowing a view to the innermost workings of inflatable throw pillows. To add some character, the manufacturers filled the center with little Styrofoam balls that when exposed to static electricity tended to wiggle as though alive. Friday can hardly be blamed for his abject fascination with the pillow. It's really no surprise that he pounced it, puncturing the cheap, I mean, fragile, plastic with his claws and sending the pillow to an early death and an ignominious trash can burial.

After the pillow casualty my sister began keeping her bedroom door closed. She forgave Friday the pillow, but she wasn't about to lose her chair. I, too, checked her door once she told me I'd be expected to replace the chair should my cat pop it. I thought the chair a waste of money on the best of days, but it was her money. I had no intention of spending my own money on a replacement.

But Friday is no ordinary cat. No mere bedroom door can stand in the way of his evil genius. We never were quite sure if he managed to open the door himself that day or if he had someone on the inside assist him (Dad?). Either way, my sister returned home to find her door open and her chair a sad puddle of green plastic in the corner.

FRIDAY,” her fury was palpable. My blood ran cold as I thought of the money I was going to have to shell out for another plastic chair. “Friday,” she barely got his name his name out as she was overcome with laughter. I paused. This wasn't exactly the response I'd expected. I looked in the door. My sister stood holding the deflated chair laughing too hard to explain what was so funny. She held it under my nose. There on the back were three little plastic plugs over the air valves like you would find on a pool float. All three were unplugged. All three had cat teeth marks. Nowhere on the chair itself was there so much as a tear or puncture. Friday had simply unplugged the valves and let the air out of the chair.

How did he know deflating the chair would be such a great joke? Please, if you know the answer, don't tell me. I'd rather not know. That evil genius sleeps right next to my head too often for me to be comfortable with any answer to that question. To this day he gets very excited whenever my sister visits. He thinks of her as the “cool” aunt or maybe he just remembers that she was the victim of the best joke he's ever played – so far. There's always tomorrow...

Friday, July 20, 2007

7 Strange Things About Me

Uh-ho! I got tagged by Miss T of prefurr.com. This is my first time being tagged as a blogger so I'm both flattered and excited and I want to do this well, but I confess it is difficult to limit it to only seven. I do my best to avoid the "norm" as often as possible. I could cheat and name each of my cats for three of my strange things but, I'm committed to doing this right, so here we go.

Seven Strange Things About Me
1) I lived in a van for a year and a half when I toured the US as an actress with a repertory theater company. While it was a chance to see the States I can't recommend it as a reliable means of income. There's really nothing quite like standing a grocery store with enough money for either shampoo or deodorant and needing both. Mom, thanks for that money you used to send. Any chance I could get some more...

2) I live in Georgia where everyone drinks sweet iced tea. I do too, but I prefer hot tea even in summer. In case you don't live any where near here I'll give you the general description of summer. It starts in April and ends in September. It's nothing for it to be in the upper 90's and the humidity so is high that breathing can be tricky. We're not slow in the south, we're just trying to slog through all the moisture.

3) I am southern but don't have a southern accent. I do really super impressions of it though. I also do a British accent (I've fooled my mother with it) and impression of friends. I'd be a hit at parties but not many people know the friends I do impressions of... I should find different friends.

4) I always take baths. Who needs a shower? I can't lounge in the shower and read a book so splish-splash it is for me.

5) I love to learn new things from friends and family. For example, my husband has taught me how to build my own computer, how to drive a stick, and how to play bass guitar. Some other things I've learned are: how to reupholster furniture, change spark plugs (thanks Dad), and simply and effectively clean a toothbrush but putting it in the dishwasher. I really wish I had a dishwasher.

6) The strangest most uncontrollable crap happens to me. Like the time I was pet sitting and the dog I was walking went after that cat, or the time Kit brought me a toy mouse that wasn't, and then there was the time the bird came down the chimney. I think I inherited this trait from my aunt. She once saw a big mangy dog walking down the street and stopped to pick it up only to realize it was someone's pet lion. She once rescued a bird with a broken wing and took it to the vet. When she got it home it was miraculously cured and flew around her house. She had to trap it in her washing machine. Stories like these make me feel better...

7) I cannot stand it when people are passive-aggressive. Just SAY it already! The world will keep spinning.

So, there you go. Seven strange things about me and barely a reference to my all-consuming passion for felines, but you guys know that one already!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

The Laughing Cat Carnival

Posted by Picasa

Cats are funny! Sure they have a reputation for being classy, graceful creatures but anyone who's ever lived with one knows that's just a front. Cats have some of the best senses of humor around.

How to Hold a Cat Without Losing an Eye is proud to present the first edition of The Laughing Cat Carnival. I'm looking for the funniest cat stories and photos from the web.

To submit an article, email a link to howtoholdacat@yahoo.com or use the submission form at Blog Carnival. Submissions for this edition are due by 11 PM July 30th. Subsequent submissions are due by the last Monday of the month. Let me know if you'd like to host future editions!

What are you waiting for?! Hit me with your humor!

Confession Is Good for the Soul

I have a confession to make. When I began How to Hold a Cat Without Losing an Eye I vowed only to tell true stories. Well, I have only told true stories but I did fib a bit in my post When Disaster Strikes Only the Strong Survive. In that post I described the death of my favorite vase (shaped like a cat) at the hands, err, paws of one of my actual cats, Kit. All that was true, where I fibbed was when I said I was successful in repairing the vase. The horrible truth is that not only were there crack lines and bits of glue on the vase, and not only was there a chunk of ear still missing, but a gigantic portion of the cat’s rear end was never successfully glued back in. See the evidence for yourself.

Why did I do it you might ask? Call it a mother’s love or a profound personality flaw, you pick. I simply could not admit that my adorable eight-pound tabby is a cold-blooded murderess. I mean, she’s simply too cute to be a killer! What jury could ever convict that face?

Besides, I’ve fixed the whole thing. No, not with superglue. I headed downtown to the district known as Artist’s Row. There’s a shop there stuffed full of these little cat vases. I had my pick. I strolled around the shop for 20 minutes trying to decide which vase was the “perfect” replacement. I settled on a color but still had to pick a size. I finally chose this little guy. If you look closely, you can see that he’s sticking his tongue out. I hope that defensive posture will warn Kit off the next time she considers hopping on the mantle.

Is it murder if I like the new one better than the old? Maybe it was a favor. Maybe, just to be safe, I’ll affix this cat to the mantle. I mean it never hurts to be prepared. You wouldn’t ride in a car without a seatbelt would you? Of course, you wouldn’t. No reason to be careless. Still, the cat vases are remarkably affordable for hand made, original pieces. Perhaps I liked the blue one more than the green after all. Maybe I’ll skip on the vase seatbelt. Sometimes change is nice!

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Cats on Vacation

Last week, I spent several days at the beach. It was wonderful. Endless hours of laying in a chair on the beach reading a book, laying in a chair by the pool reading a book and at night, laying in the hot tub reading a book. All my chores and cares were left far behind me and I could relax.

Obviously, I enjoyed my trip but while I was lounging in my comfy beach chair with my book I couldn’t help but think something was missing. I shrugged it off and rolled over to tan my back. Later, after returning to the condo and showering the sand and salt off, I was relaxing with a drink before going to dinner at one of a number of seafood restaurants. While sitting on the couch, enjoying said drink, glancing at the ballgame on TV and watching the cars on the bridge over the marsh, I imagined that I saw a small shadow in the corner of my eye but when I turned to look it was nothing. When I awoke the next morning, I wondered why I slept so well. It must have been those dark curtains over the window.

Then again, perhaps I slept so well because three cats were back at home and not in the small of my back. Could that strange shadow have been my subconscious looking for one of my cats? Was the nagging feeling that something was missing the result of my reading a book unmolested by fluffy paws and head butts? Yes! I was guilty! I missed my cats.

To ease my cat sickness, I tried to imagine what it would be like to take one of them with me. Hemmy would be the obvious candidate, as riding in the car doesn’t upset him too much. It would be so nice to have a cat there to greet me when I came back in from the beach. He’d be napping in the warm sunshine by the large sliding glass doors and would rise and stretch and yawn. I could just picture him there, blinking happily up at me. I smiled to myself as I imagined the scene.

Then my smile faded. What kind of havoc would he wreck on the condo? Sure, it would be nice having him there but that expensive Berber carpet? Ha! That would be scarred the first day. I could almost see little tufts of it gutted and laying next to the new bald spot. Those lovely wooden chairs? Delightful, vacation scratching posts! And the screened-in porch?! The cat roller coaster of the whole trip! He could dangle for hours from those screens. The large, white marsh birds would look especially delicious. Visions of him dangling at eye level chattering at the birds quickly assured me that taking Hemmy on vacation wouldn’t be terribly relaxing.

So, I plan my next trip and resign myself to spending a few more days away from the cats. After all, packing the litter box, food, bowls, and arranging the car for a four hour trip with a cat makes being apart from them a bit easier to swallow. Still, that patch of warm sunshine was designed for a cat…