Hi there and a very warm welcome to all the wonderful new subscribers who made it through the catflap since the last Mewsletter went out. It’s good to have you on board although I must explain that you’ve come just as The Daily Mews website is undergoing a transformation. At the moment, I’m not adding any new content to the existing site because I’m in the process of transferring all the content over to the new-look website. And I’m also trying to get to grips with a new editing package.
But please do stay; I am hoping that the new-look website will be up and running – even if there is still content to transfer over – by or before Christmas. So you’ll have to bear with me for a little while until everything is ensconced in its new ‘home’ and then we’ll be purring!
I do suggest that if you haven’t already had a mooch around the current website that you do so because I’ve decided that some of the sections probably won’t be travelling over to the new site – so once it’s gone, it’s gone!
I spent a few days transferring all the ‘Napping on a Sunbeam’ tributes last week and couldn’t fathom out why I felt so depressed and down; then I realised – I’d been reading each tribute (mine included) to make sure there weren’t any typos I’d missed first time round and to make sure all the links worked. Willi Whizkas’ ‘mum’ Carol, said this to me when I told her that working on Napping on a Sunbeam had made me sad:
“Don't be down reading Napping, think of all the wonderful memories and adventures that have inspired such love which has lead to the sadness. The more we loved 'em the sadder we are!!” and she’s so right.
The caption competition drew a lovely response this time to the picture of Ollie doing what he does best: sleeping. Alice came up trumps with the winning entry and you can see all entries here:
Now see what you can come up with for this month’s caption competition. Billy is in a bag and Timmy is looking on. What might they be saying? What do you think might happen??? Send your entries – no more than 5 please – to the usual address by 10th December 2012; as always the best one will receive a modest prize.
Mike Smith in Idaho sent me this lovely link of a baby squirrel that fell out of a tree and was taken in by a couple who rescue cats. A mother cat accepted the baby squirrel and nurses it along with her own kittens. It thinks it’s a cat and it even purrs!
Newport-Mesa Unified School District told PCRM that it will stop using cats and other animals for dissection. In June, PCRM requested the district end dissection after students photographed themselves with dead cats and posted the pictures on Facebook. This is a great result so well done to everyone who petitioned the Newport-Mesa Unified School District to stop using cats for dissection.
James Colasanti Jr sent me an email asking me to let everyone know to look for his article/story -- SAVING A LIFE IN THE FAST LANE -- in the January issue of Cesar's Way Magazine -- on the newsstand sometime in late December/early January. The story is about a local girl and her "greyhound" assistance dog.
He will also have a Christmas story --THE DOG SANTA LEFT BEHIND -- in the GreensboroNews/Record on Christmas Eve. As you know, Jim has written a lot of fantastic stories about his dog Butchy some of which have been published by Cesar’s Way and some have been printed in various newspapers. I have also been happy to put them on the Daily Mews website because Jim is a wonderful writer.
To everyone who celebrates Thanksgiving, I wish you all a wonderful time, especially in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. So many people lost so much – we here in the UK could only look at the pictures on the news reports in shock and horror.
Times are hard for many people all around the globe but we must always give thanks and be thankful for what we do have – even if it’s not as much as we’d like! And while we’re talking about being thankful, Sam and Ollie have a Furry Cod Father who sent them some dollars in the post yesterday for some treats. Isn’t that just the most precious thing! I know God will bless those people mightily for their most generous gift. Thank you – you know who you are!!!
Dozens of you wrote after the last Mewsletter to say how much you liked ‘A Tiny Tornado Called Charlie’ – thank you – I hope you like this story that I’m putting in the body of this Mewsletter although it is on the website on this link:
Timmy and the plague of frogs:
A few summers ago I had a plague of frogs. Well, there were 8 frogs in total, and whether 8 frogs constitutes a real life plague is debatable but nevertheless, 8 frogs is more than I usually see in 8 years – so to me – it was a plague.
I suspected that Timmy was responsible for the frog plague. He loves all wildlife. If he were a TV presenter, he would be David Attenborough lying in the bushes somewhere whispering quietly as a column of ants march in file about its duties.
He’d be dressed in khaki shorts and hiking boots with a weatherproof hat slightly askew on his head. He’d look earnestly into the camera as he imparted some little known fact about his chosen subject and you, the viewer, would reel with shock at this new amazing information never before divulged.
On this occasion I think Timmy had been renting space in my house to poor refugee frogs that obviously didn’t understand English. What up-and-coming frog wouldn’t aspire to have his own room, with TV, video, remote control, extensive library, including self-help books, and self-advancement manuals? All they had to do was to stay out of sight, not cause too much fuss, keep the noise to a minimum and do a little light housework after dark.
But frogs give off a pungent odour and I came downstairs one beautiful summer’s morning and nearly fainted at the stench of something quite disgusting. I stuck my nose up each tap in the kitchen sink – that wasn’t the smell. I tried sniffing the plughole in the sink – that wasn’t the smell.
Next I investigated the cats’ food bowls. Cat food has to be one of the worst smells on earth apart from my bedroom slippers or my training (deck) shoes, but that wasn’t the smell, either.
I pushed open the swing bin but that wasn’t the source of the smell. However, I put a deodoriser in the lid just to make sure. I was fast running out of things to sniff but the smell was so overpowering in its pungency it made my eyes water.
While I was busy investigating, I hadn’t noticed Timmy looking furtively about the dining room to find the cause of the smell. For a temporary period I had swapped my dining room furniture with my lounge furniture and I had a low level seating arrangement which curved around two walls. It was made up of 4 units and it was moveable and interchangeable.
Acting on a whim – as one does from time to time – I lifted up one of the units and there it was! The smell – complete with frog attached! The frog was quite small and leathery in countenance, which made me wonder if I hadn’t been a bit remiss in my housework duties recently. How long does it take for a frog to become like a leather artefact? I tried to think when I had last vacuumed the room and looked at telltale signs of dust on the mantelpiece. Hmmm. Seems like it had been quite a while and Timmy had capitalised on the fact that housework was not my strong point.
Timmy appeared like the weaselly landlord Mr. Rigsby in ‘Rising Damp’. ‘Leave this to me!’ he ordered before speaking a language not known to humans. Despite Timmy speaking fluent Froglish, the frog didn’t respond. Timmy looked at me. I looked at him. Then we both looked at the frog. ‘I’ll deal with this,’ he said, poking the frog. The frog remained where he was. Timmy walked around it a few times poking him from different angles. There was still no response from the frog.
‘Oh dear,’ Timmy said, worriedly, ‘he’s croaked it!’ Timmy was concerned about immigration officials descending on him and asking awkward questions about illegal immigrants, but he needn’t have worried as I picked up the frog in some kitchen paper and wrapped it up, before putting it into the swing bin. An ungainly exit perhaps, but all that could be provided for at such short notice.
Over a period of a couple of weeks 7 other frogs were discovered under several of the units. Some were also deceased but some were very much alive. One such alive frog was quite large and terrified me when it hopped out from under the table. On hearing my scream Timmy leapt down the stairs in one gigantic bound and skidded to a halt by my side. He stared at the frog that was in clear breech of the tenancy agreement drawn up by Timmy, acceptance of which had been given by the frog’s untidy and unruly signature. Mind you, it’s hard to grip a pen with webbed feet and Timmy should have made some allowances.
‘What are you doing out?’ Timmy hissed at the frog. ‘You KNOW the rules!’ The frog shrugged his shoulders rebelliously. ‘I was fed up crouching under that chair. I wanted to see a bit more of the world.’ He said edging away from Timmy’s hot breath that was getting a bit too close for comfort.
I went to get another piece of kitchen paper and asked Timmy to watch that the frog didn’t go exploring. My house is quite small so that with one giant leap the frog would have seen all of it.
I came back with copious amounts of kitchen paper and tried to wrap it around the frog. It chose that moment to leap again. Timmy and I both jumped back at the same time but we both pretended we meant to do it and glossed over the whole incident without looking at each other. I managed to catch the frog and carefully wrapped it up in kitchen paper. I took it outside to the garden and let it go in my neighbour’s garden. ‘You owe me a month’s rent!' Timmy called after it. ‘Yeah, like you’re getting that now!’ exclaimed the frog waving his front leg in what can only be described as a frog-type ‘V’ sign. Timmy, who saw only good in everyone, was deeply shocked that the frog could make such a gesture and blushed.
The next day another frog came to light. I wasn’t sure if it was still alive and said as much to Timmy. He looked at the frog and then back at me, then prodded the frog. It squeaked. ‘It’s alive,’ Timmy said, looking me straight in the eye. More kitchen paper was employed and it too, went into my neighbour’s garden.
Timmy had lost count of how many frogs he had rented the house to and he spent the rest of the morning on ‘Frogwatch’, which is a bit like ‘Baywatch’, but without the silicone implants. Detective Inspector Timmy Columbo from M.O.G.G.I.E.S. (Ministry Of Great Gruesome Interesting Events Sorted) sat glued to his post, drinking cold coffee from polystyrene cups and eating greasy cheeseburgers which Billy went out for on roller-skates.
In a shabby raincoat and chewing on a fat cigar he interviewed at length everyone in the house to see if they had seen any frogs lurking about, hiding behind or under things. Billy had seen one frog reading ‘The Road Less Travelled’ a few days earlier, but as he hadn’t been seen since, he deduced that the frog had moved on, making the road slightly more travelled.
Eventually, Timmy had to draw a veil over the whole event through a lack of creditable and reliable witnesses. His key witnesses had croaked it and hopped it, both owing a month’s rent and Timmy decided that being a landlord was too big a responsibility and more trouble than it was worth.
There must be other ways to earn a living, he thought to himself as he coughed on his cigar!
Well, I do hope you enjoy Timmy’s short-lived reign as a landlord and detective!
I know this Mewsletter is quite short again, and light on content, but hopefully, it won’t be for much longer. For those of you who usually write for me, please be thinking about what you want to write for the Christmas update on the New All Singing All Dancing Website!
Till the next time,
Love from Pauline – editor
Sam – hearing impaired advisor
Ollie – sleep consultant