Main Course:

Welcome to my blog. This is just my little spot in CyberSpace to share who I am, what I like, what I don't like and all the crazy things that go on in my world. Feel free to visit anytime. My drive-in is open 24/7. xoxo

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Project Nemesis

Yes, yes...I know it's been far too long.  Not my fault of course.  Peeps. They have no understanding of priorities.  I suspect it's only going to get worse too.  Sigh.

So I'm here to tell you about a little project peeps started about...hmmm...9 months ago.  I gave it the working title Project Nemesis and so far that's fit the bill quite nicely.

Let me give you a little background.  Nemesis is this little being that lives inside my peep's belly.  It's a she.  Overall she's quite boring and really doesn't bother me much at all (which is smart of her), but one night a few weeks ago she did kick me in the head.  Obviously she has no manners.  And she's made my poor peep swell up like she's eaten a watermelon! And the waddling that goes on is just down right embarrassing!

When peeps first showed me a picture several months ago, I thought "why are they showing me a picture of Mr. Peanut?"  It made no sense to me, but then again...peeps rarely do!

As the months went on, Mr. Peanut turned into Ms. Peanut.

And then Ms. Peanut turned into the funny little green alien from the Flintstones named Gazoo. "Hellooo dumb dumb."

Now, 9 months later, I have to say that at least she does look a bit more presentable thank goodness.

So, all in all, these last months haven't been so bad.  There was one incident involving some pink tulle that peep got with a baby gift, but I really don't think we need to go into that.  I don't want to hear it.  Yes it was pink tulle.  Yes I was wearing it.  We all have moments we aren't proud of.

Just two days ago, peeps told me that Nemesis (they call her Madolyn) will be joining us on Friday 23 March.  Peep has been suffering from mild gestational hypertension since week 29 so she's going to be induced.  That means the doctors are going to force Nemesis out of her little house and into mine!  What the...?  All I have to say is, she's here on a trial basis.  If she's too noisy, unwilling to share her food (or...gasp...tries to take mine) or doesn't play by the rules, then I'll be sure to tell peeps that she needs to GO!  But I'm hopeful it won't come to that.  Every time I protest Nemesis, peeps tell me one thing that sticks with me.  They say "Herbie, think of it this way...we're going to raise another cat lover so that one day Madolyn can adopt a little cat like you that needs a good home and a lot of love."  How can I argue with that? :)

Until next time...

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Felinus Poopus Constipatus

It's been quite awhile since I updated this blog and for that I am truly sorry.  I'm not one to play the blame game (although whatever it is, in most cases, Tim did it!  I'm sure of it!), but I really must blame my peeps this time.  They've been working on a project of sorts which has left me without much time to play on the computer.  Having said that, they feed me well, give me lots of love, great toys and my own window seat so I think it's best that I not complain too much.

Since my last update, a couple things of note have happened.  The first, involves me, so it's the most important and the one I'm going to talk about now!  The second, involves that project peeps have been working on which I'm going to talk about in my next blog post so...stay tuned.  It's quite a shocker!

You want to put a tube where???
In August, as many of you know, I spent 3 days at having 5  (yes 5!) of those trendy colonics! It all started one Wednesday evening when peeps got home from work. They noticed that my nose was extremely pink, I was a bit frantic and I was panting.  Peeps were pretty scared b/c they thought maybe I was having another panic attack (although they couldn't figure out what had upset me) so they called the vet and she also thought maybe I was having another attack so she told peeps to rush me to the emergency hospital.  So off we go!  Poor peeps.  I know the $$$$ were exploding in their heads.  But, as they told me on the ride over - "Herbie, you're more important than any amount of money," but they did wonder why I couldn't get something simple (and inexpensive) like an upset stomach! :)  So, we arrived at the hospital in a florish of frantic peeps and meowing travel case.  The emergency vet actually met us at the door b/c our vet had called over to alert them that we were coming.  Since everyone thought I was having another panic attack...which I almost died from last time...they were taking it very seriously.  I was whisked back to the emergency area and after the vets had a look at me we found out the awful news.  I was full of the poops!  From one end of my intestine to the other was nothing but poops!  It was obvious
Me with Felinus Poopus Constipatus
that I had a bad case of Felinus Poopus Constipatus...or, for those of you not versed in medical terminology...I was all stopped up! 
So I had to stay at the hospital...I mean spa... for two nights while they tried to get everything moving.  5 colonics later and...erm...I was still full of poops!  At one point the vet thought they might actually have to perform a small surgery to get the poops out, but peeps weren't willing to agree to that until everything else had been tried.  So the next step was some medicine, given through a tube that went in my nose (and was stitched to my cheek!  Pfftt!) and down my throat, that the vet felt had a good chance of working!  And sure enough...12 hours later...the poops came out and I was as good as new! :)  The only thing peeps have to say about the whole ordeal is that they MUCH preferred when my bowel movements were free! :)

A little thinner w/ stitch marks by my nose
The good life!
No one knows why I got so constipated.  It can often be more common in overweight cats.  I was on allergy medicne at that time as well so that might have had something to do with it.  Regardless, peeps don't want me to ever have to go thru that again and they believe, along with my vet, that getting rid of some of my pudge may be the first step.  Even if my weight had nothing to do with this episode,they know that I'll be healthier weighing a bit less.  So, peeps have changed our diet to all moist food (we used to have dry food for breakfast and moist food for dinner) and my weight loss has been amazing.  I'm certainly not thin, but I have lost some weight without even trying.  Even better, I'm alot more active now and even happier. :)

Until next time...

Friday, May 13, 2011

Today's Special: Bring Your Cats To Disney Day?

As many of you already know, my peeps LOVE to travel.  Two years ago they took a Mediterranean cruise to Italy, Greece, Turkey, Egypt and Israel. It was the highlight of their life. doesn't allow for these 3 weeks cruises every year so there are lots of other places my peeps enjoy visiting.  A big favorite of theirs is Disney World. And Disneyland. And a Disney Cruise. And to the movies to see a Disney movie now and again.  Are you seeing a theme here?  Since we live on the east coast, they most often go to Disney World because it's only 2 hours away by plane. It's like a home away from home for them. Not because they want to meet a princess or a big yellow bear named Winnie. They don't even care that much about meeting a BIG mouse named Mickey.  As far as I'm concerned, this makes them certifiably crazy! Have you seen the size of that mouse???

Peeps are telling me how big the real Mickey Mouse is. Wow!
For peeps it's just a place to relax and take a little breather from life. Peeps always say "Herbie, how many places can you go in this world where you see a child AND their parents skipping down a street?" I never know what to say when I'm asked that question.  I'm a house cat. I go upstairs and downstairs. I sleep on the couch and lay in the sun. I will admit that when I look out my front window (which I do quite often), I never see any people skipping down the sidewalk so I'm assuming my answer would have to be"not many places." That's my best guess anyway. a house cat that gets left behind whenever peeps visit this "land of magic" (are you sensing the bitterness?), I felt the need to finally ask them just what it is that they like so much.  Here's what they told me:

Ice Cream Cone with ears!
1. Food! Food! Food! - I'm proud of my peeps for this one. Apparently, there are tons of different restaurants serving every type of food imaginable.  Their favorite place to eat is Epcot. Italian, Chinese, Japanese, name it, it's there!  They're also big fans of things like ice cream, funnel cake, know, the important things in life. ;)

2. Laughter - Peeps love laughing and they do alot of it at Disney World. They feel very carefree there. Not a worry in the world.  Whether it's relaxing by a pool or riding a favorite ride...there's always something fun to do.  And none of it includes work!

3. Relaxation - Peeps find Disney World very relaxing...even though they swear they walk miles and miles every trip. Does this sound relaxing to you?  I'm really wondering if my peeps are right in the head.  But, variety is the spice of life so if peeps want to relax by walking until their legs fall off, I guess that's their choice.  Personally, if I were in Disney World, I would be lounging in the sun when not chasing the big mouse, so we obviously have different priorities, but I try not to hold it against them.

4. Get To Be A Kid Again - In many ways, my peeps are like big kids anyway so it makes sense to me that they'd like a place that makes them feel even more silly and goofy.  Get it?  Goofy? Oh I am on a roll now!!

Main Street at Disney World
The one thing peeps always say is missing from these all of us.  They're still hoping for a special "Bring Your Cats to Disney Day."  They think it would be so great to walk down Main Street with us.  What a sight that would be!  Every time they say this I giggle to myself.  Most of us, being the pampered house cats that we now are, can think of nothing worse.  Obviously peeps would have to drive.  I have panic attacks staying in a luxury boarding facility, so I'm hardly going to handle flying on a plane very well!  So...let's think about this:

1. Two peeps and nine cats in a car for 15+ hours. Even if all of us were happy (not a chance), it would be a little taxing on peeps. Peeps wouldn't be able to stop and go to the bathroom because mark my word...someone (Bellatrix is my best guess) would try to fly out the door every time.  They also wouldn't be able to go to a drive-thru for food. Have you ever tried to eat food in close quarters with nine cats???  So at best peeps would arrive very hungry with their legs permanently crossed.  At worst, they would arrive very hungry with embarrassingly wet pants.

2. Two peeps and nine cats in a hotel room for a few days.  Again...not exactly relaxing.  With the 9 cat carriers, 3 HUGE litter boxes, 9 food/water dishes, the cans of food and the toys, there really wouldn't be any room to move around. I guarantee someone (Petunia) would claim the bathtub as their hiding spot so peeps wouldn't be able to shower.  The rest of us would most likely claim the beds sleep for peeps!

3. Two peeps trying to get nine cats into leashes on the morning of the "Bring Your Cats to Disney Day."  Enough said.

4. And finally, two peeps and nine cats walking (I use this term loosely) down Main Street.  What I envision is two peeps (covered in band aids) walking and nine cats getting belly burn as they're dragged along the asphalt.  The happy, screaming children would be a big hit I'm sure.  Considering Max hates any type of loud noise, I don't think he would survive this.  His eyes would get so big they'd pop right out of his head!

So as you can see, peeps haven't thought this through.  It would be a nightmare!  Although we miss them when they go away, we love our pet sitter and we're happy in our house with all our smells.

Riley is trilled with his present - can't you tell?

When they get back, they always have lots of hugs and kisses for us and sometimes they even bring us presents. Most often it's some special Disney cat treats that we love, but one time they brought us special Mickey ears!  Poor Riley...I mean lucky to wear them first. ;)

My Christmas Mickey t-shirt - Pfftt!
And, they won't let me forget when they brought me back a Mickey t-shirt.  They gave it to me as a Christmas present.  Everyone else got catnip toys and bags of treats while I ended up with this crummy t-shirt! I didn't like it at all and peeps took it off soon after this photo was taken thank goodness.

Knowing peeps as I do, when they get back from their next trip, they'll start talking about that "Bring Your Cats To Disney Day" again.  I know they mean well.  It's just that they miss us and wish they could share all the things they enjoy with us.  So...I'll just meow...fall over...and love them all the more.

Until next time...

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Today's Special: The Cat Food Conundrum

As many of you know, recently Wellness had a voluntary recall for less than adequate amounts of thiamine in some of their canned foods.  This was very upsetting to peeps b/c Wellness is a highly respected food and is one of the foods we ate. We had many cans in our pantry with the "bad dates" on them. Thankfully none of us got sick.  Peeps (and our vet) think it's because we eat a variety of canned foods at each meal, not just one type.  While we were eating Wellness, we were also eating two other brands so they probably provided us the thiamine the Wellness was lacking.  Peeps are more determined than ever now, to never feed us just one brand of food.

With the recall of Wellness, peeps were on the hunt for some new canned food for us.  In the past, peeps have always fed whatever foods the vet recommended...never really knowing why certain brands were considered better than others.  When the Wellness recall happened, peeps went out on their own and researched exactly what makes a certain cat food a chomp above the rest. They thought maybe I'd want to share their findings here with you and I said sure.  If there's one thing I enjoy writing about, it's food!  

First and foremost, the information I'm giving here is information peeps found during their research. They are not veterinarians or cat food experts. As they researched, they felt that they learned a lot and wanted to share some of that knowledge with other cat lovers.  

Secondly, all the information they're sharing is about canned (moist) cat food. Dry cat food is another beast all together. Basically, the overall consensus is that it should be kept to a low percentage of the overall diet.  Most dry foods are very high in carbs and very low in moisture which means they aren't really good for us kitties.  Try to think of what a kitty would eat if it were out in the wild.  Ultimately, something as close as possible to that should show up in the bowl come meal time.  Last time I checked, you won't find a cat chasing down a herd of kibble on the African savanna! ;) Personally, we all love dry food in my house and we do get it sometimes. Just like with canned food, peeps try to make an informed decision and pick a brand that they feel is as healthy as possible. 

And finally, peeps believe that as long as a pet owner gives their pet the very best that they can, then that's all anyone can ask.  Generally, the more you spend, the better quality, healthier food you'll get, but that doesn't mean that you can't make informed decisions with lesser-priced brands.  Here are some basic rules to follow when choosing a canned food:

1. Make sure some form of meat-based protein is listed first in the list of ingredients.  When choosing a meat, look for a muscle meat (chicken, turkey, duck, rabbit, etc) as the first ingredient rather than a by-product, liver, fish, or beef.

2. Keep moisture high...although not so high that there's no room left for the important ingredients.  Most good brands will have ~78% moisture.  

3. Keeps carbs and fat low.  

So...overall you want to keep protein high (make sure it's from animals, not plants), water high and carbs/fats low. Try to stay away from foods having corn (maize), wheat and/or soy if you can.  These grains have absolutely no logical place in your cat's diet and high quantities can even be detrimental to their health.  And let's not forget that the huge pet food recall in 2007 was due to contaminated wheat gluten - something that shouldn't even be in cat food to begin with!

The first thing that peeps learned on their journey was that a "raw diet" was the very best thing.  Some people make their own, but after peeps learned more about this, they didn't think it was for them. Trying to get all the vitamins and minerals just right so that we would all have a nutritionally complete diet scared them.  So next they checked out the commercially available raw diets. Peeps really didn't do a lot of research on these because financially, this just wasn't a feasible choice for us. we move on to the canned cat foods. The "meat" of this blog so to speak. ;)  Peeps found that there were basically three categories of canned food. Ultra-Premium, Premium and Supermarket.  If you look at the labels and follow the basic rules above, you should be able to tell which category a specific brand best fits into. Sometimes it's not black and white though. There are shades of grey...

For example, some of the grain-free brands end up being pretty high in fat.  Is it better to have grains or better to have higher fat?  Based on all the research peeps have done, higher fat would be the choice. Fat is normally a much better source of calories for a cat than carbs.  But, for someone like me (of the rotund variety), peeps want to be careful of too much fat in my diet so...that particular brand might not be the best choice for me all the time.  I need something without carbs/low in carbs but also lower in fat.  It's a cat food conundrum!  It goes without saying that peeps are still researching and trying to come up with just the right combination for all of us.  

Dinner time at my house

Ultra-Premium Foods
These brands can be found at specialty pet stores in your area and online and they provide the highest quality, healthiest, and most nutritious ingredients. They contain nutrient-rich ingredients such as real meat as the primary protein source, whole, fresh fruits and vegetables, and (if not grain-free) fiber-rich whole grains like brown rice. They don't contain artificial preservatives, flavors, or colors. They also don't contain wheat, corn or soy. They are usually fortified with additional vitamins and minerals and will use the best natural sources for fatty acids to support the immune system and help build healthy skin and a beautiful coat. You should expect to pay a little more for these brands than you would for other types of pet food, but remember, with healthier foods you can often feed less since they are more nutrient-dense.

Premium Foods
These brands are often found in high-end grocery stores, pet stores, and veterinarian offices and they contain higher-grade ingredients.  They contain real meat as the primary protein source, but may still include some elements of "supermarket" foods, such as artificial colors, artificial flavors, and chemical preservatives. They will also normally included a higher level of carbohydrates than "ultra-premium" foods with grains.  It's especially important to read the label when buying this category of canned cat food because there is a lot of variation.  These foods are usually more expensive than "supermarket" foods because their ingredients are of a higher quality.

Supermarket Foods
These brands are found in grocery stores and mass-market retailers and are typically made with lower-quality, less-digestible, inexpensive ingredients and, therefore, are a cheaper alternative. While easy on the pocketbook, these foods normally do not provide your cat with the healthiest, most nutrient-dense ingredients.

So there you have it.  I didn't feel comfortable throwing out brand names for each category because as I stated above...this is all just based on some research peeps did for us. If you follow the basic rules as much as possible then you'll find a good cat food that works for you.  I don't think there's any brand out there that is 100% perfect in every way.  If there is, peeps haven't found it yet!  Right now we're eating 3 different brands and peeps will probably be adding a 4th sometime soon.  Most of us will eat just about anything, but Louie and Max can make changing foods very challenging. Louie is just a picky eater, but before Max came to live with us, he ate one of the "supermarket" foods that tasted great, but offered little in nutritional value. Changing this diet was akin to feeding a child fast food for awhile and then trying to convince them that broccoli tastes just as good! ;) Mmm hmmm.  Not easy!! So...trying to find something more healthy that Max actually's always been a challenge and it probably always will be. And when you add in the big sad eyes that Max gives peeps when his food bowl isn't to his's scary stuff!  But so far, so good. He's slowly but surely starting to clean his bowl again with our new foods. :) 

And, just one last note...if you decide to change your cat's food, make sure to do it slowly - mixing in a little of the new food with a lot of the old food at first.  Then, sloooooowly, over time, give more new food and less old food until the old food is gone from the diet completely.  Obviously, in our case, we couldn't do this as slowly as peeps would have liked because of the recall, but we've all survived the injustice!  I don't mean to tattle on my siblings (ok...fine...I love doing it), but Polly's tail had to be...ummm...washed a few times, but that's the worst there was. She's a diva though, so what do you expect? ;)

Until next time...

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Today's Special: Nothing But Trouble

Last night my extra fav peep put on an old shirt and noticed there was a jagged hole in the side.  After looking at it for a moment, the light bulb went off and they remembered where they'd gotten that hole...

The Joy of a Good Window
It was, for all intents and purposes, a normal Friday morning in August. The year was 2009.  Peeps were getting ready to eat breakfast and my sibs and I were all lying around the family room waiting for morsels.  It was hazy and rainy, but a bit cooler than normal. Peeps had even opened a window for us to enjoy a little fresh air (not really possible in August, but I digress) before the oppressive heat and humidity returned.  I, being a bit of a bully, had pushed everyone else out of the way so that I could actually sit in the window.  It was sublime.

As the daily activity went on around me, I was mesmerized by what was going on in the tree directly in front of me.  There was a birdie.  A pretty birdie. Hopping around in the tree. I knew I could reach out and touch it...if it weren't for the window screen.  But then the birdie started flitting around. Flit. Flitflit. Flit. Flitflitflit.  Little wings flapping. Chirping. It was more than any self-respecting cat could stand for! I decided then and there that I wanted to get up close and personal with the birdie.  You know...just to say "Hi. How ya doin'?"...that sort of thing.  Well, the next several seconds are all a blur to me, but here's what I remember:

I lunged for flitting birdie.
I heard a very strange sound - like a loud rip.
I was in the tree with the birdie.
I was sliding down the tree and the birdie had flown away.
I heard a scream.
I hit the ground.

The ground. Not the floor. Not the safe family room carpet. But the wet ground of...OUTSIDE.  I heard footsteps rushing down the front steps and got really scared so I ran. Ran fast. Very fast. Faster than peeps thought I could.  Thankfully I ran around to the back of the house, but I was out of sight before peeps even knew what hit them.  I was gone and peeps had no idea where I was. They were frantic!  As they ran around looking for me in the pouring rain, extra fav peep got in a fight with a fence (and from the look of things, the fence won), got a big scratch on their side and a jagged hole in their shirt.  They didn't even realize it at the time.

Naturally, I knew I was hiding under a bush several houses away, but peeps didn't.  I could hear them yelling for me. "Heeeeerbie. Heeeeerbie where are you?"  I was too scared to go out and find them so I just started meowing. I was soaking wet from the rain and absolutely miserable. I was thinking many things as I lay there.  My home that I loved so much was gone. I was on my own before I lived at the shelter.  Was there somewhere out here that I could get my whipped cream?  What about my canned dinner at 6pm?  Would someone deliver my bedtime snacks?  And where did I line up for hugs and kisses and warm blankets?  And what if...wait...hands.  There were hands coming thru the bush I was hiding under.  Familiar hands.  And a familiar voice was saying "Come here Herbie. It's ok. Come on."  And then I was out from under the bush.  And I was getting hugs and kisses and all sorts of good things.  And peeps were quickly carrying me back to my house. Oh boy! My house!  I didn't move a muscle while they carried me.  And if you know me, you know that I don't like to be picked up so this wasn't normal behavior for me.  I was so glad to be found. And when we got inside, peeps dried me off, all my sibs welcomed me home and I guessed it...a little dish of whipped cream!  All was right with the world.

"The Window" (you can see the rip where I fell thru in the bottom right corner above Max)
And so you see...that's what peep was thinking about last night when they saw the jagged hole in their shirt. They looked at me and said "Herbie, you're nothing but trouble" and they're right...but they love me anyway.

Until next time...

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Today's Special: Honors and Accolades At Such A Young Age

This is a very special post because I'm celebrating my very first award! Honors and accolades at such a young age! And I have the stunning one herself, Cathy Keisha ( to thank for it.  I'm afraid I haven't had time to write up an acceptance speech so I'll just have to speak from the heart.  First and foremost I'd like to thank Cathy Keisha of course. I'd like to thank my peeps for FINALLY listening to me and giving me my own blog about 10 months ago.  It took me ages to convince them that a blog was a good idea.  They are very headstrong and...well...I suppose now isn't the time to complain about them (I'll be back to talk about this later...)  Anyway, where was I?  Oh right, yes, I'd like to thank my siblings for being such easy marks - I mean for being so cute - and giving me so much material for this blog. And I'd like to thank you, my readers, for sticking with me over these past months.  It means a lot to me.

Ok, now, enough of that syrupy stuff.  I want to get to the important stuff.  My award...and my image.  I know the paparazzi will be out in droves when they hear about this so...I've decided to go with the  "relaxed, laid back and ready for fame" look.  What do you think?  

Winner of Stylish Blogger Award
Yes, I think that's just right. It really captures my "cool cat" attitude.

Now let's see, from what I understand, I'm supposed to tell you several things abt myself that you might not know.  Hmmm...  I'm thinking.  I'm thinking.  This isn't as easy as it might seem.  I'm not one to give away all my secrets you see, but here are what I consider my important selling points...
Backwards Tail: When I get really happy, my tail lays on my back and shakes. I did this the first time I met the peeps at the shelter. It's my secret weapon.  It reeled them right in!  From that day forward they've always sworn my tail's on backwards. 

Embarrassing Meow: Looking at me, you see a big (I have a lot of muscles) cat.  However, my meow is very high-pitched.  And when I meow I scrunch my face up and close my eyes.

Don't Play Well With Others:  I like my space. If I'm laying on the couch for example, and a sibling gets on the couch, even if it's all the way at the other end, I'll growl at them.  And if they get too close, I'll swat them.  Peeps nicknamed me "grumpy pants" for just this reason. 

Bossy Lap Cat: I love laying with my peeps.  When I'm ready to get settled (which is usually as soon as they sit down) I stare them down until I get just the spot I want.

Not a Picker-Upper: I hate being picked up. Only my extra fav peep can do it without me screaming bloody murder, but ultimately I like my feet firmly planted on the ground.

Did You Smell That? I Didn't: I have the worst sense of smell of any cat peeps have ever known. Having said that...if something is amiss somewhere in the house, I will lead my peeps right to it every time!

Obsessive Kneader: Peeps always try to keep my nails short because when I'm happy (which is just about anytime I'm around the peeps), I pat down (and purr and drool) like you wouldn't believe. Sometimes with all 4 legs and a tail thrown in for the fun of it!

Overactive Paw: I use my paw for everything. Hitting my siblings, tapping my extra fav peep's face to wake them up, knocking food out of peep's hand, pulling food off peep's plate...the list goes on and on.

Stuffed Mouser Extraordinaire: I have 3 stuffed mice that I love. I carry these mice all over the house...meowing as I go...often bringing them to peeps and then waiting for my praise.  On Christmas morning this year I brought one down to peeps and put it right between them as they were opening gifts.

There you have it.  That's me in a nutshell.  If you ask me, with a list like that, I'm not sure why people aren't beating down the front door to claim me as their own!  It really is a mystery isn't it? Ah well...there's no accounting for good taste when it comes to humans.


Sunday, January 23, 2011

Today's Special: Firebathing

I've always considered myself a cat with his paw on the cusp of the latest popular thing. I'm not saying I necessarily like said thing, just that I'm aware of it. However, having said that, my newest obsession, firebathing (similar to sunbathing yet obviously different), seems to be a well kept secret.  Mark my words, within weeks I think this craze will be sweeping the world!

As most of you know, we moved into a new house over the summer.  This house is great!  We all love it so much.  One thing that peeps were looking for in a new house was this new-fangled mechanism called a  fireplace. They wanted this in the family room.  I didn't really understand why they were so set on it, but now that we have it...I'm not sure how I lived without it. It's a simple little thing really.  Box in the wall, switch above it. Nothing really to write home about until...peeps flip that switch.  These beautiful orange flames jump up and this delightful warmth pours out.  Like all good things though, firebathing has, as I've learned, its own set of rules and regulations. I will try and relay those here, through my own experiences, so that when it takes the world by storm you will all be in the know!

Strategic Planning
As you can see in my picture entitled "Strategic Planning", when the switch is flipped, I am immediately enthralled. I gaze longingly into the fire, calculating my next move. It's obvious that, in this particular case, a certain 3-legged sibling needs to vacate the firebathing area for me to choose the spot I would like. The tricky part peeps. If I forcibly remove 3-legged sibling (my plan of choice), then I will get in trouble. What to do, what to do?  Ultimately, I didn't have to make the decision because 3-legged sibling moved on his own. Kudos to him for doing the right thing!  My plan of action is to get to the fire as quickly as possible. With 3-legged sibling out of the way, one would think my journey to the fire would be easy right?  Well, with 7 other siblings to contend with (many also interested in the art of firebathing), I find that nothing is ever easy.  If, for example, one of them were to have the unfortunate notion of being in my way when I make my move toward the fire, I would have no choice but to run them down. If one (hypothetically speaking of course), were to choose a spot that I wanted, I would be inclined  to slap, hiss, growl or (my favorite), simply lay on silly sibling until they opt for a different spot. The important thing to remember is that my spot is where ever I choose...most often closest to the fire but it depends on my mood at the time.

Lazy Firebather
Now I'd like to direct you to my next photo entitled "Lazy Firebather." As you can see, I have chosen my spot and settled in quite nicely. I have put my front legs up and stretched my back legs out for maximum fire exposure of course. However, in this photo, I really must direct your attention to my sister Polly.  She has really outdone herself don't you think? She has found actual firebathing lounging equipment in which to more fully enhance her firebathing experience.  Assuming firebathing takes off as I think it will, I'm sure that similar lounging equipment will be available soon, in a store near you.

Firebathing With A Friend
In my final photo, "Firebathing With A Friend," I'd like to point out not only a different position (this one optimizing back exposure), but also the fact that I have brought a tiny red and green friend along with me. Sharing your firebathing experience with a friend is an excellent idea. This particular friend smelled of catnip and I was more than happy to share my spot with him. Also, my brother Louie has joined me for this session. As long as I'm able to have the spot of my choice, I have no issues if my siblings wish to take part as well.

I sincerely hope these tips and suggestions will help to improve your future firebathing experiences. If, as you begin your journey, you have questions, please don't hesitate to ask. There's nothing better than knowing that all my friends are enjoying the wonderful art of firebathing as much as I am.

Until next time...