Putting on Make-up With Mommy

Cast of characters:

Sammy - 2 1/2 month old female kitten
Mommy - MUCH older female human

Mommy enters bathroom, sits on stool in front of sink, turns on lighted, magnified make-up mirror and takes out make-up case. Mommy pulls out liquid foundation make-up, takes off top, pours some make-up into palm of hand, puts down make-up bottle on sink rim, and begins to apply make-up to face.

Sammy, who is busy biting Bandit's tail, finally realizes that Mommy is doing something that does not involve her kitten-ness. Sammy leaps up and tears into the bathroom, jumps onto the toilet seat, then leaps to the edge of the sink - knocking over make-up bottle which promptly starts emptying its $40 worth of contents down the drain. Sammy jumps down into sink to investigate this strange liquid.

Mommy frantically starts scooping up make-up with fingers and tries to smush as much as possible back into bottle including as few kitten hairs as possible.

Sammy jumps back to sink rim, then down to toilet seat, then down to bathroom floor, leaving little beige-colored footprints in her wake.

Mommy scoops up Sammy and tries to wipe make-up from paws with tissue. Sammy does not think this is a fun game and wriggles around smearing make-up on Mommy's suit sleeves.

Mommy dabs at suit sleeves with tissue.

Mommy finally gets most of the make-up off of Sammy's paws, the floor, the toilet seat, and the sink.

Mommy gently places Sammy on bathroom floor.

Mommy sits back down to continue applying her make-up. Mommy takes out eye-liner stick to begin applying color to the bottom of her eyes.

Sammy sees the moving end of the eye-liner stick and jumps back up to the sink rim to swat at the twitching target. The tip of the prodded eye-liner stick enters Mommy's left eye. Mommy jumps backwards, tips over stool and falls on her posterior while saying very bad words.

Mommy gets back up, wipes tearing eye with tissue and gently places Sammy on bathroom floor.

Mommy re-adjusts make-up mirror which was skewed by Mommy's flailing arms while in the process of falling on her posterior.

Sammy jumps back up to sink rim to see what Mommy is playing with. Sammy sees herself in the magnified mirror and thinks that a much larger, strange cat is walking towards her. Sammy becomes startled and jumps on Mommy for protection.

Mommy removes Sammy's claws from throat and chest and gently places her on the bathroom floor.

Mommy wipes bleeding throat and chest with tissue.

Mommy removes powder eye-shadow and plucks eye-shadow brush from brush holder. As Mommy picks up eye-shadow brush she notices hundreds of tiny teeth marks along wooden handle, and sighs.

Sammy jumps back up to sink rim to investigate the powder eye-shadow which smells enticing enough to take a lick. Mommy doesn't notice this, dips eye-shadow brush into powder eye-shadow and proceeds to apply shadow, laced with kitten spit, to left eyelid.

Mommy removes clumpy eye-shadow with tissue and gently places Sammy on bathroom floor.

Mommy takes out black mascara and begins to apply to lashes. Sammy jumps back up to sink rim and sniffs the tube of mascara, applying a black ring around her nose. Sammy tries to lick off black ring and makes gagging motions at the taste of the mascara.

Mommy grabs up Sammy and wipes away mascara with tissue.

Mommy firmly places Sammy on bathroom floor.

Mommy takes out powder blush and plucks blush brush from brush holder. As Mommy picks up blush brush she notices hundreds of tiny teeth marks along wooden handle, and sighs.

Sammy jumps back up to sink rim, but this time miscalculates and slips back down. Sammy lands on toilet paper holder and digs in her claws to stop her fall. Toilet paper proceeds to unroll in a quite fascinating manner, so Sammy continues to claw at it until she is surrounded by half a roll of toilet paper.

Mommy disentangles Sammy from toilet paper and firmly places her on bathroom floor, then shoves excess toilet paper into bathroom waste basket.

Sammy jumps back up to toilet paper roll and proceeds to unroll the rest of the toilet paper.

Mommy disentangles Sammy from toilet paper and firmly places her on bathroom floor, then shoves excess toilet paper into bathroom waste basket.

Mommy again picks up blush brush, swipes it in the powder blush, and proceeds to apply blush to cheeks.

Sammy jumps back up to sink rim and swats at shiny blush case sending it careening across the sink before plunging to tiled bathroom floor where the cover breaks away from the base and the mirror on the cover shatters.

Mommy grabs Sammy before she can jump down and cut her tiny paws on pieces of mirror. Mommy puts Sammy outside of bathroom and shuts the door while she cleans up the pieces of broken mirror, in the process a piece of broken mirror enters the sole of Mommy's right foot.

Sammy howls, horribly heartbroken, outside of bathroom door. DH yells from bed, "For gawd's sake let that cat into the bathroom before she wakes the whole block!"

Mommy dabs away blood from foot with tissue and sighs. Mommy allows Sammy back into bathroom once shards of mirror are removed and Sammy gives Mommy a dirty look for the indignity and hurt of being locked out of a room which is occupied by Mommy.

Mommy removes loose face powder from make-up case and plucks powder brush from brush holder. As Mommy picks up powder brush she notices hundreds of tiny teeth marks along wooden handle, and sighs.

Sammy decides to forgive Mommy and jumps back up to sink rim. Sammy sticks her face into loose face powder and takes a big sniff. Sammy sneezes into face powder causing a mini-explosion of powder to fly into the sink, mirror, and bathroom floor, and getting kitten boogers into the remaining powder.

Mommy reaches for a tissue to clean up powder, but the tissue box is empty. Mommy reaches for some toilet paper to clean up powder, but the toilet paper roll is empty. Mommy considers using Sammy as a handi-wipe, but comes to her senses first. Mommy gets new box of tissues from cabinet and new toilet paper roll from under the sink.

Mommy wipes powder from sink, mirror, floor, and Sammy with tissue and sighs.

Mommy takes out lipstick from make-up case and plucks lipstick brush from brush holder. As Mommy picks up lipstick brush she notices hundreds of tiny teeth marks along wooden handle, and sighs.

Sammy sees bright red object in Mommy's hand and decides to take a taste. Sammy takes bite out of end of lipstick and starts making gagging motions at the taste. Mommy grabs Sammy and tries to get lipstick off of spiky little tongue. Sammy objects to this and bites down on Mommy's finger – hard!

Mommy very firmly places Sammy on bathroom floor, wipes bloody finger with tissue, and sighs.

Mommy is finally finished putting on her make-up (she looks a bit like a clown from all the above adventures, but has no more time to fix it before having to leave for work).

Mommy removes make-up stained suit, removes blood stained blouse, removes torn and bloody panty hose. Mommy tries to put on new panty hose, but Sammy sees a sinuous beige snake moving around Mommy's ankles and pounces!

Enough – "Putting on Clothes With Mommy" is a whole ‘nother story!!!

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Putting on Clothes With Mommy

Cast of characters:

Sammy - 2 1/2 month old female kitten
Mommy - MUCH older female human

Mommy walks towards dresser. Sammy, lying in wait, stalking the fleet gazelle, leaps out from under the bed after her prey and attaches herself to Mommy's right ankle.

Mommy stops in mid-step in order to keep from slinging Sammy across the room and hops around on one foot for a few minutes while Sammy nibbles on Mommy's ankle.

Mommy detaches Sammy from her ankle and gently places Sammy on the bedroom floor.

Mommy detours from dresser to bedside table, sits on bed and dabs at bloody ankle with tissue and sighs.

Mommy rises and heads back towards dresser. Sammy, lying in wait, stalking the fleet gazelle, leaps out from under the bed after her prey and tries to attach herself to Mommy's ankle. However, Mommy is onto Sammy now and sidesteps. Sammy misses Mommy's ankle and runs head first into dresser.

Mommy picks up Sammy and kisses the boo-boo on Sammy's head then gently places Sammy on the bedroom floor - all the while chuckling evilly at having out-witted a wayward kitten (oh the depths to which we can sink!).

Mommy opens dresser drawer to remove a fresh pair of undies.

Sammy jumps up into dresser drawer and starts rampaging through all the neatly folded lingerie. Mommy disentangles Sammy from her undies and gently places Sammy on bedroom floor, then patiently re-folds lingerie.

[In deference to my tired fingers and to keep the length of this note reasonable, please just re-read the above paragraph about 5 or 6 times until we get to the next act.]

Mommy finally manages to extract a pair of undies from the dresser drawer and close it before Sammy can rampage again.

Mommy bends over to slip on undies and thus Sammy realizes her prey is tiring and it is time to strike again. Sammy jumps up and attaches herself to Mommy's scalp.

Mommy disentangles Sammy from her hair and gently places Sammy on the bedroom floor.

In a rush to staunch the flow of blood from her scalp (head wounds bleed freely), Mommy starts to walk towards bedside table for a tissue, forgets that undies are still around ankles, trips on undies, and falls headlong to bedroom floor.

Having finally brought down her prey, Sammy leaps on the back of Mommy's neck in order to make her kill.

Mommy removes Sammy from the back of her neck and gently places Sammy on the bedroom floor.

Mommy rises, pulls up undies, and heads for the bedside table. Mommy sits on the bed, dabs at bloody scalp and neck with a tissue, and sighs.

Mommy heads back to the dresser and opens a drawer to get a bra. Sammy, having learned her lesson, is not lying in wait for her prey under the bed, she is lying in wait for her prey under the dresser. As her prey draws closer her tail starts to twitch with excitement. As the perfect moment to strike arrives Sammy leaps out and attaches herself to Mommy's left ankle.

In pain and shock, Mommy lifts up left leg in order to grab Sammy, but said leg is too close to dresser and left knee smashes into underside of open dresser drawer. Saying very bad words, Mommy swiftly leans over to grab Sammy and in her anger miscalculates and smashes her head on top of dresser.

Instead of kissing Mommy's boo-boos Sammy chuckles evilly (OK she gave a high-pitched mewl, but it sounded like evil chuckling) and continues to nibble on Mommy's left ankle.

Mommy finally manages to detach Sammy from her ankle and firmly places Sammy on the bedroom floor.

Mommy heads back to the bedside table, sits on the bed, dabs at bloody ankle with a tissue, and sighs.

Meanwhile, Sammy has jumped up into Mommy's bra drawer and is in the midst of killing 3 of Mommy's best lace bras.

Mommy heads back to the dresser, dons a torn bra (there is a bit of nipple showing, but the others are in worse shape), and sighs.

Mommy, now onto Sammy's drawer antics, opens her pantyhose draw just enough to slip her hand in and quickly extract a pair of pantyhose. In her haste to close the drawer before Sammy can jump in, she slams the drawer shut on the tips of her fingers. Sammy looks up at Mommy and smiles evilly.

Mommy yanks the pantyhose lose from the drawer and heads towards the bedroom chair in order to don them. Sammy, seeing a sinuous beige snake hanging from Mommy's hand decides to steal Mommy's kill for herself. Sammy leaps up and sinks all four sets of claws and her teeth into the snake and swings back and forth hoping her great weight will pull the snake from Mommy's hands.

Mommy, finally understanding the futility of trying to don pantyhose in front of Sammy, puts Sammy in adjacent bathroom and shuts the door.

Sammy starts to howl pitifully at the top of her lungs and DH peeks his head out from under the covers to yell, "For gawd's sake, let that cat out of the bathroom before she wakes the whole block!"

Mommy dons a fresh pair of pantyhose and sighs.

Mommy lets Sammy out of the bathroom and starts to walk back towards the dresser for a slip. Sammy, enraged at being denied her prey, rushes headlong toward the retreating Mommy and launches herself at the back of Mommy's legs.

Pantyhose rip along with a good bit of skin and Mommy shrieks in pain. DH peeks his head out from under the covers to yell, "For gawd's sake…." Mommy picks up a slipper and throws it at DH's head. Sammy sees the colorful bird flying across the bedroom and promptly leaps in pursuit. The slipper lands next to DH's head, but Sammy lands ON DH's head. DH shrieks in pain. Mommy smiles evilly.

DH brings Sammy into the bathroom with him in his search for tincture of iodine and bandages. Mommy sits on bed, dabs at bloody calves, and sighs.

Mommy dons a new pair of pantyhose and her slip while Sammy is preoccupied with trying to grab a band-aid from DH's hand before he can apply it to his forehead.

As Mommy heads for the closet to pick out a suit for the day, DH exits the bathroom and Sammy streaks across the bedroom floor heading for her escaping prey. Mommy puts on a burst of speed and manages to get into the closet and close the door before Sammy can get to her.

However, Mommy hears a small thump and knows that Sammy has run head first into the closet door. Mommy has a soft heart so she opens the door, picks Sammy up, and kisses the boo-boo on Sammy's head. Then Mommy gently places Sammy on the closet floor.

Sammy immediately heads for the pile of shoes on the closet floor, there to conceal herself from her prey. Her little eyes are open as big as they can get and her neck is craning as she peers over the pile of shoes and stalks her prey – tail twitching in anticipation.

Sammy Stalking Her Pray

Sammy stalking her prey from behind Mommy's shoes.

Mommy starts looking through the racks of clothes to find an appropriate suit to wear (the big boss is coming in from Los Angeles today and she must look her very best).

Sammy sees the swaying clothes and thinks what a fun game it would be to swing from them as Mommy pushes them back and forth. It has to be just fate and not the evilness of one tiny kitten that makes Sammy choose Mommy's best suit to jump onto. Mommy sighs as she hears the ripping cloth.

Mommy disentangles Sammy from her (formerly) best suit and firmly places her on the closet floor.

Sammy again heads for the pile of shoes on the closet floor, there to conceal herself from her prey. Her little eyes are open as big as they can get and her neck is craning as she peers over the pile of shoes and stalks her prey – tail twitching in anticipation.

Mommy dons her second best suit as she warily keeps an eye on Sammy. Thankfully, the only thing left for Mommy to do is find a pair of shoes to wear.

Mommy picks up her favorite pair of shoes and notices hundreds of tiny teeth marks in the fine, soft leather and sighs.

Mommy picks up her next favorite pair of shoes and notices hundreds of tiny teeth marks in the fine soft leather and sighs.

Since her prey is so distracted by her browsing, Sammy decides that this is the perfect time to strike. The next time Mommy leans over to pick up a pair of tooth-marked shoes Sammy leaps on the softly rounded rump of the beast (the tastiest part of the prey) and attempts to take a large mouthful of the succulent meat.

Mommy jerks upright and slams her head on the overhead shelf – at the same time she feels Sammy's claws sliding down her posterior and hears cloth ripping. This time Mommy lets out a primal scream of rage and damn the neighbors! DH does not peek out from under the covers, but wisely stays silent and unobtrusive.

Sammy, hearing the death screams of her prey, is greatly encouraged and attaches herself to Mommy's left ankle again in the hope of bringing down her prey. Mommy hobbles across to the bed with Sammy still attached to her ankle. DH scrunches even further under the covers. Mommy lifts her leg onto the bed and says, "GET. THIS. LITTLE. BITCH. OFF. OF. ME. BEFORE. I. DROP. KICK. HER. ACROSS. THE. ROOM!!!!!!!"

DH cautiously peeks out from under the covers and removes Sammy from Mommy's ankle and takes her under the covers with him.

Mommy can't sit on the bed because of her bloody posterior so she stands next to the bed, dabs at her bloody ankle and posterior with a tissue, and sighs.

Mommy sees struggling under the covers and knows that DH can't keep Sammy contained for very much longer, so Mommy scurries back to the closet.

Mommy dons her third best suit, puts on the pair of shoes with the least number of tiny teeth marks (even though they don't match her suit – at this point she is desperate to just get out of the door), and runs across to the bathroom to put on her make-up.

And this is where my first story, "Putting on Make-up With Mommy" begins.

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Exercising With Mommy

Cast of Characters:

Sammy - 5 month old female kitten
Mommy - MUCH older female human

Mommy comes home from work and takes off her make-up (read "Putting on Make-up with Mommy" for an idea of how this goes), and changes into her work-out clothes (read "Putting on Clothes with Mommy" for an idea of how this goes). Mommy proceeds to the sitting room accompanied by Sammy.

Mommy sits down on her exer-cycle and begins pedaling and pushing the handlebars back and forth in a quite fascinating manner. Sammy studies the situation for a few moments trying to fathom what it is Mommy is doing. All four of mommy's legs are furiously moving back and forth, but Mommy is not getting anywhere. Ah-ha! This must be a new game that Mommy has invented for Sammy. Sammy's butt starts to twitch with excitement.

Mommy is watching a sitcom rerun on television to try to distract herself from the boredom of exercise when suddenly she feels a sharp, but familiar, pain on her right ankle. Mommy looks down to find that Sammy has attached herself to Mommy's ankle and is in the process of going round and round in circles as Mommy pedals her exer-cycle. Not wanting to bang Sammy's head against the side of the exer-cycle (well, OK, maybe secretly wanting to), Mommy sticks her leg straight out to the side and tries to gently shake Sammy off of her leg while continuing to pedal with her other leg and both arms (the exer-cycle is on a timer and Mommy does not want to cheat). Sammy, however, is wise to this tactic and clutches Mommy's ankle even tighter, refusing to be shaken loose.

Mommy then leans over to try to pry Sammy loose from her ankle with one hand. However, Mommy overbalances just a bit, Mommy's posterior slips on the seat, and both Mommy and Sammy end up sprawled on the sitting room floor. Mommy detaches Sammy from her ankle, glances at the timer on the exer-cycle, and decides that her sweat socks will soak up the blood on her ankle well enough without her having to take time out to go for a tissue.

Mommy hops back up to the exer-cycle to continue her exercises. Sammy, meanwhile, hops up to the couch that is next to the exer-cycle and walks across the back of the couch until she is standing shoulder-high to Mommy. Mommy eyes Sammy nervously, sees Sammy's butt start to twitch, and prepares herself for whatever Sammy decides to throw at her. Sammy decides to throw her entire body at Mommy. Mommy, now wise to Sammy's tactics, and alerted by the butt twitching, moves her body aside at the last minute and watches Sammy sail through the air in front of her face to land head-first with a smack against the side of the stairs. Mommy feels sorry for Sammy, gets off the exer-cycle to pick Sammy up and kiss her boo-boo. Sammy bites Mommy's nose during the kiss causing Mommy to say bad words. Sammy chuckles to herself in revenge.

Mommy puts Sammy down while gently admonishing her to be more careful, Sammy totally ignores Mommy's warning. Mommy gets back on her exer-cycle, trying to figure out how much time has been wasted by dealing with Sammy, and resets the timer. Sammy, meanwhile, has gotten back on the couch and is in strike position when Mommy once again resumes pedaling. Mommy eyes Sammy nervously, sees Sammy's butt start to twitch, and prepares herself for whatever Sammy decides to throw at her. Sammy decides to throw her entire body at Mommy. Mommy, now wise to Sammy's tactics, and alerted by the butt twitching, moves her body aside at the last minute. However, Sammy, now wise to Mommy's tactics, and alerted by the slight movement of Mommy's upper body, corrects her leap and lands squarely on the side of Mommy's neck.

The shock and pain of a 6 pound kitten attached to the side of her neck causes Mommy to jerk to the side which causes her posterior to slip on the seat, which causes both Mommy and Sammy to end up sprawled on the sitting room floor. Mommy just lies there for a moment saying very bad words. Then Mommy detaches Sammy from the side of her neck, decides that the sweatshirt will soak up the blood on her neck well enough without her having to take time out to go for a tissue.

Mommy gets back on the exer-cycle to resume her pedaling. Sammy, meanwhile, is distracted by the feathers in the hat of Mommy's 4-foot tall Victorian doll. Mommy yells at Sammy to stay away from the doll, but Sammy listens to Mommy about as well as she always does. Doll and Sammy go crashing to the sitting room floor. Mommy sighs, gets off the exer-cycle, and rights the doll. Mommy has no idea how much time was really spent pedaling and not dealing with Sammy, but decides she's had enough of the exer-cycle and proceeds to her treadmill.

Mommy sets the speed on the treadmill and starts off at a brisk walk. Sammy wanders over to the treadmill, sees Mommy walking quickly and is a bit confused. Usually when Mommy is walking so briskly, she is trying to get away from Sammy. Sammy does not like it when Mommy tries to walk away from her. Sammy tries to prevent Mommy from walking away from her by leaping to attach herself to Mommy's left ankle. Mommy tries to continue walking (the treadmill is on a timer and Mommy does not want to cheat), but finds this difficult to do with a 6 pound kitten attached to her ankle.

Mommy, not wanting to bang Sammy around on the treadmill, starts hopping on her right foot (trying to keep time with the speed of the treadmill so she doesn't slip and break her neck) and sticks her left foot out to the side while trying to gently shake Sammy loose. Sammy, however, is wise to this tactic and clutches Mommy's ankle even tighter, refusing to be shaken loose. One of Mommy's hops is mistimed, Mommy's right foot lands wrong on the moving tread, and Mommy is propelled backwards by the treadmill to land sprawling on the sitting room floor with Sammy still attached to her ankle.

Mommy detaches Sammy from her ankle, glances at the timer on the treadmill, and decides that her sweat socks will soak up the blood on her ankle well enough without her having to take time out to go for a tissue.

Mommy gets back on her treadmill, trying to figure out how much time has been wasted by dealing with Sammy, and resets the timer. Sammy wanders over to the treadmill and again sees Mommy walking quickly but, puzzlingly, not going anywhere. Sammy studies this action for a moment and her butt starts twitching. Mommy, watching Sammy from the corner of her eye sees said butt twitching and prepares herself for whatever Sammy is going to throw at her. Sammy decides to throw her entire body at Mommy.

Mommy, for once, has judged Sammy's timing correctly and jumps to the unmoving side of the treadmill to land on her left foot while lifting her right foot out of harm's way. Sammy lands on the treadmill with a small "oof", is very startled to find that the ground is moving under her, so she sprawls flat, spread-eagled, on the moving tread. Mommy glances down in time to see the sprawled kitten propelled backwards to fly off the end of the treadmill to land in a heap on the sitting room floor.

Before Mommy can get off the treadmill to see to Sammy's boo-boo, Sammy leaps up, delighted with this new toy, and jumps back onto the moving tread only to be propelled backwards again and shoot off the end of the treadmill to land in a heap on the sitting room floor. Mommy wisely sees were this is leading, so she picks Sammy up, puts her in the bedroom and closes the bedroom door.

Mommy continues her time on the treadmill accompanied by Sammy's howls of discontent at being locked out of a room which contains her Mommy. DH is not at home, so Mommy does not have to hear him bit*h about Sammy disturbing the neighbors, which is some consolation for putting up with the caterwauling while she exercises.

Mommy finally finishes with the treadmill exercises and pardons Sammy from her imprisonment. Sammy gives Mommy a very dirty look for the indignity she has suffered at Mommy's hand. Mommy lies down on her back, knees bent, and tucks her toes under the coffee table in preparation for doing her sit-ups. Sammy promptly throws herself on top of Mommy's face. Mommy removes Sammy from her face, spitting out kitten tummy hairs and sneezing, tucks her hands behind her head and does her first sit-up. As she is coming down from her first sit-up, Mommy feels a soft little body under her back and can't fully relax. Mommy's tummy muscles are not the strongest in the world, and holding a partial sit-up is not the most pleasant of experiences, so Mommy threatens to squash Sammy if Sammy doesn't immediately move her furry little body.

Sammy jumps back out of the way and Mommy lies back down with a big "oof". Mommy takes a moment to breathe and then starts her second sit-up. Sammy decides to jump on the back of Mommy's head and take a ride. The extra weight on the back of Mommy's head causes Mommy feet to exert more pressure on the bottom of the coffee table and the coffee table tips over to spill its contents on the sitting room floor. At the same time, Mommy's feet have shot into the air, her upper body is over-balanced, and she and Sammy go sprawling backwards to land with a thump on the sitting room floor.

Mommy decides that righting the coffee table, picking up and replacing its contents, and restraining herself from killing Sammy should complete her exercises for the day. Mommy removes her bloody sweats and heads for the hot tub knowing with relief that this is the one place Sammy will not accompany her.

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Playing Games With Mommy and Daddy

Cast of Characters:

Sammy - 5 ½-month-old female kitten
Mommy - MUCH older female human
Daddy - EXTREMELY old male fart, um, human

Mommy and daddy set up the folding table in the garage in the hopes of playing a rousing game of ping pong. Sammy hears the commotion and comes charging in through the cat flap to see what's going on. Daddy takes the plastic ball in one hand, the ping pong paddle in the other and serves the ball over the net to Mommy. Mommy takes a wild swing at the ball and misses. The ball goes ricocheting off the garage wall with Sammy in hot pursuit of the ball and Mommy in hot pursuit of Sammy. Mommy pries the wet ball out of Sammy's jaws, wipes it off on her shorts, and hands it back to Daddy - score: Daddy 1, Mommy 0 - Daddy's serve.

Daddy takes the plastic ball in one hand, the ping pong paddle in the other and serves the ball over the net to Mommy. Mommy swings, hits the ball too hard, and sends the ball flying over Daddy's head to ricochet off the garage wall with Sammy in hot pursuit of the ball and Daddy in hot pursuit of Sammy. Daddy pries the wet ball out of Sammy's jaws, wipes it off on his shorts, and prepares to serve the ball - score: Daddy 2, Mommy 0 - Daddy's serve.

Sammy is now getting the hang of the game. Daddy takes the plastic ball in one hand, the ping pong paddle in the other and serves the ball over the net to Mommy. Sammy jumps up to Mommy's side of the table and bats at the ball with her paw. Amazingly, the ball sails over the net and bounces once on Daddy's side of the table. Daddy is just watching in amazement and lets the ball fly off his end of the table to ricochet off the garage door. Sammy takes off in hot pursuit of the ball and Daddy takes off in hot pursuit of Sammy. Daddy pries the wet ball out of Sammy's jaws, wipes it off on his shorts, and tries to figure out whose serve it is - score: Daddy 2, Sammy 0, Mommy 0 - Sammy's serve.

Sammy knows it's her serve, so she jumps up on the table waiting to be handed the ball. Mommy picks Sammy up and gently places her on the garage floor. Mommy argues that, since Sammy was sitting on her side of the table, it should be Mommy's serve. Daddy knows Mommy's skill level at ping pong, does not feel threatened by giving up the advantage, and hands Mommy the ball. Mommy takes the plastic ball in one hand, the ping pong paddle in the other, drops the plastic ball, and swings at it with the paddle. Mommy completely misses the ball which goes rolling off the side of the table with Sammy in hot pursuit of the ball and Mommy in hot pursuit of Sammy. Mommy pries the wet ball out of Sammy's jaws, wipes it off on her shorts, and hands the ball to Daddy - score: Daddy 2, Sammy 0, Mommy 0 - Daddy's serve.

Daddy takes the plastic ball in one hand, the ping pong paddle in the other and serves the ball over the net to Mommy. Mommy finally manages to hit the ball over the net to make it bounce once on Daddy's side of the table. Daddy, not expecting this amazing development, is in the middle of scratching the back of his head with his paddle and misses the ball. The ball goes sailing off the end of the table with Sammy in hot pursuit of the ball and Daddy in hot pursuit of Sammy. Daddy pries the wet ball out of Sammy's jaws, wipes it off on his shorts, and hands the ball to Mommy - score Daddy 2, Sammy 0, Mommy 0 - Mommy's serve.

Mommy takes the plastic ball in one hand, the ping pong paddle in the other, drops the plastic ball, and swings at it with the paddle. Mommy manages to hit her own hand with the paddle while completely missing the ball which goes rolling off the side of the table with Sammy in hot pursuit of the ball and Mommy in hot pursuit of Sammy. Mommy pries the wet ball out of Sammy's jaws, wipes it off on her shorts, and hands the ball to Daddy - score Daddy 2, Sammy 0, Mommy 0 - Daddy's serve.

Daddy takes the plastic ball in one hand, the ping pong paddle in the other and starts to serve the ball. Sammy, angry at being repeatedly denied her serve, makes a preemptive strike on Daddy's forearm. Daddy, whose serving arm is suddenly heavier by eight pounds, misses the ball but sends Sammy sliding into the net on the end of his swing. Eight pounds of kitten cause the lynch pins holding the net to come loose and the net wraps itself around Sammy. Sammy, startled by being attacked by a green snake, jumps off the table trailing the net behind her. Mommy runs in pursuit of Sammy, disentangles her from the net, gently places Sammy on the garage floor, then sets the net back up on its lynch pins.

Daddy, bemused by the commotion, asks Mommy what the score is and whose serve it is. Mommy tells Daddy that the score is: Daddy 2, Sammy1, Mommy 3 and that it is Mommy's serve. Daddy narrows his eyes and gives Mommy "the look", but doesn't argue the point - score Daddy 2, Sammy 1, Mommy 3 - Mommy's serve.

Mommy takes the plastic ball in one hand, the ping pong paddle in the other, drops the plastic ball, and swings at it with the paddle. Before Mommy can hit either the ball or her own hand, Sammy, angry at the green snake that attacked her, jumps onto the middle of the table seeking revenge. The plastic ball bounces once on the table and then bounces off of Sammy's hiney. Sammy, startled by the sudden touch on her hiney, levitates three feet off the table's surface convinced that she has been bitten by the green snake. The ball bounces once more, Mommy has the presence of mind to hit the ball with the paddle and send it over the net. Daddy, chortling at Sammy's antics, misses the ball which goes rolling off of his side of the table with Sammy in hot pursuit of the ball and Daddy in hot pursuit of Sammy. Daddy pries the wet ball out of Sammy's jaws, wipes it off on his shorts, and tries to figure out whose serve it is - score: Daddy 2, Sammy 3, Mommy 7 - Sammy's serve (according to Mommy, anyway).

Sammy knows it's her serve, so she jumps up on the table waiting to be handed the ball. Mommy picks Sammy up and gently places her on the garage floor. Mommy argues that, since Sammy was sitting on her side of the table, it should be Mommy's serve. Daddy knows Mommy's skill level at ping pong, does not feel threatened by giving up the advantage, and hands Mommy the ball. Mommy takes the plastic ball in one hand, the ping pong paddle in the other, drops the plastic ball, and swings at it with the paddle. Mommy completely misses the ball which goes rolling off the side of the table with Sammy in hot pursuit of the ball and Mommy in hot pursuit of Sammy. Sammy, who is now really angry about being cheated in regards to her serve, thrown across the table, and attacked twice by a green snake, chomps down on the plastic ball crunching it into disservice. There is no other plastic ball available. game, set, and match, the match goes to Sammy.

Mommy and Daddy head upstairs to get the Monopoly game out of the closet.

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Sammy and the Stairs

I have to preface this a bit. I have a really weird house (which is why I found it so charming and decided to buy it despite the amount of work it needs). My front porch goes up to the middle of the two floors and the front door opens to a stair landing. When you enter the front door you can either go downstairs, to the right, to the sitting room, or upstairs, to the left, to the great room. My kitchen is upstairs in the back of the house and has french doors leading to the upper deck. My master bedroom is downstairs in the back of the house and has two sets of french doors leading to the lower deck.

The arrangement of the house means I have to go up and down stairs many, many times a day, and of course my little suppository (as in if I stop short you know where she'll end up), Sammy, is always trying to beat me to wherever it is I'm going.

The stairs themselves are carpeted, but the landing by the front door is tiled (which makes clean-up on a rainy day easier). Well, Sammy gets good traction on the carpeted stairs going upstairs, but when she reaches the landing, and has to do a 180 degree turn in order to continue up the stairs, her feet slide out from under her and she slides along on her side for about 2 feet before scrambling up to continue her break-neck pace to beat me upstairs.

Going downstairs is even worse since her momentum is assisted by gravity. When she gets to the landing she sprawls, All four legs splayed out like a starfish, and slides along on her belly for about 3 feet.

As she gets older, she gets faster (but so far not more sure-footed). Today, in her race to beat me downstairs, she hit the landing, slid along on her belly, and then continued to fly off the landing and through the air into the downstairs sitting room. In panic she grabbed hold of the drapes as she flew past and 8.5 pounds of kitten was too much for the curtain rods to bear. Luckily, Sammy missed hitting the desk and landed in a heap, tangled in the drapes, on the carpeted floor.

Was she properly scared by her close call??? Was she abashed at her inelegant landing???? Was she even ashamed at tearing down my drapes and bending my curtain rods????? *NO SHE WAS NOT* She lay there and looked up at me to say, "Ha ha, I beat you downstairs!!!"

Hugs,

CatNipped

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Cooking With Mommy

Cast of Characters:

Sammy – 6-month-old female kitten
Mommy – MUCH older female human

One day Mommy went temporarily insane and decided to invite her boss and coworkers to the house for dinner the next Saturday. Mommy was counting on Daddy to do the cooking chores, as usual, but Daddy was called in to work at the last minute and it was left to Mommy to screw up, er, cook up dinner.

Sammy has never seen Mommy cook before, so she figures Mommy puttering around in the kitchen must be a fun new game Mommy has made up just for Sammy’s entertainment. Sammy jumps up on the kitchen table in order to carefully observe Mommy and figure out the rules of the new game (the better to break them, of course).

Mommy walks over, picks Sammy up and gently places Sammy on the kitchen floor. Sammy bites Mommy’s ankle in retaliation. Mommy says bad words to Sammy and walks over to get a paper towel to use to absorb the blood. Meanwhile Sammy jumps back up to the kitchen table. Mommy glances over at Sammy, sighs, and thinks, “Oh well, at least she is out of the way there.”

Mommy decides to start dinner by making the skillet cornbread. Mommy takes the corn meal, flour, eggs, milk, butter and baking powder out of the refrigerator and sets them on the counter. Mommy turns around to search the cabinets looking for a mixing bowl (DH would have known exactly where to look). In the space of mere seconds, while Mommy’s back is turned, Sammy jumps down from the kitchen table, dashes across the kitchen floor, jumps up onto the counter, and starts playing field hockey with the eggs. Mommy turns back around in time to see an egg flying off the counter to fall with a splat on the floor. Sammy jumps down from the counter to investigate the broken hockey puck. Mommy reaches Sammy just as Sammy has stuck her face into the shattered egg.

After Mommy cleans the egg off Sammy’s face and the floor, she gets another egg out of the refrigerator. Sammy sees the new hockey puck and jumps up to the counter to resume her game. Mommy catches Sammy in mid leap and, with a firm “No’ gently places Sammy on the kitchen floor. “Sammy is *NOT* allowed to jump up to the kitchen counters!” Mommy reprimands Sammy. Sammy bites Mommy’s other ankle in retaliation. Mommy says bad words to Sammy and walks over to get a paper towel to use to absorb the blood.

Sammy sits on the kitchen floor for a few moments in order to survey the situation and think about the rules of the game. OK, Sammy can not jump up to the kitchen counters. How else can Sammy reach all the interesting game pieces that Mommy has placed up there? Aha, the end-around run!

Mommy, in blissful ignorance, proceeds to mix together the ingredients of the cornbread and then bends over to search the bottom cabinets for the cast iron skillet. Sammy runs into the great room, jumps onto the sofa, jumps from the sofa to the formal dining table, runs the length of the table, jumps from the table to the bar (which backs the kitchen counter) and then *steps down* onto the kitchen counter. Sammy has carefully followed the rules of the game and has *not* jumped up on the kitchen counter, but has still reached her objective. Sammy scores! Mommy straightens up in time to see Sammy sticking her nose into the cornbread mix and yells, “Sammy, NO!” Sammy lifts up her head, cornbread mix dripping from her chin and whiskers, to smile evilly at Mommy.

After Mommy cleans the cornbread mix off Sammy’s face and the counter top, she looks at the cornbread mix and tries to decide whether she should throw this out and start again. Mommy comes to the conclusion that since 95% of the food she eats is laced with kitten spit and it hasn’t hurt her yet, her guests should be quite fine, with no harmful side effects, eating the kitten-tested cornbread (Mommy firmly believes the old saying, “What they don’t know can’t harm them.”)

Mommy butters the cast iron skillet, pours in the cornbread mix and puts the skillet into the oven to start baking. Mommy takes the turkey out of the refrigerator, cleans the turkey in the sink, sets the turkey into the turkey pan, and butters the turkey in preparation of baking it. Mommy leaves the turkey on the counter top and turns around to start preparing the giblet gravy.

Sammy, having figured out the end-around run, decides the impeccable logic of this liberal interpretation of the rules is good for a second go. Mommy hears a muffled mew and turns around to see that the turkey has sprouted a kitten’s body – Sammy has stuck her entire head into the body cavity of the turkey. Mommy doesn’t know whether to laugh or to cry – why oh why did Mommy think she could pull this off!!???

After Mommy extracts Sammy from the turkey and cleans the turkey blood off Sammy’s face and the counter top, she puts the giblet gravy on the stove to simmer. Mommy starts stuffing the turkey with the dressing that DH prepared for her (thank goodness!) last night. Mommy feels daggers enter her back and turns around to see Sammy sitting on the floor glaring at her. Mommy starts to feel nervous – Sammy in a playful mood is bad enough, Sammy in a vengeful mood is sheer horror!

Mommy hurries to finish stuffing the turkey, covers the pan, and puts the pan in the oven to start roasting. Mommy has forgotten about the cornbread baking in the oven but is able to rescue it before it is completely burned. A little trimming of the black from the bottom of the cornbread is necessary, but this is normal operating procedure for Mommy when cooking. After Mommy has trimmed the cornbread she sets it on a plate on the counter to cool. Sammy, in the meantime, has yet again pulled her end-around run but with a variation. Instead of jumping onto the bar, Sammy jumps *over* the bar to land, no doubt by design, right on top of the cooling cornbread. Warm cornbread is quite soft and impressionable. Mommy quickly lifts Sammy off the cornbread and firmly places her on the kitchen floor. Mommy looks sadly at the top of the cornbread with its clearly defined paw prints and wonders if she can convince her guests that this is a fancy mold she has bought to decorate the cornbread. Mommy decides that, with creative cutting, she can still serve the cornbread.

Mommy retires to the great room for a much needed rest as the turkey and giblet gravy cooks.

Next installment, “Entertaining Guests With Mommy”.

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Entertaining Guests With Mommy

Cast of Characters:

Sammy – 6-month-old female kitten
Mommy – MUCH older female human

After Mommy has rested a bit, she goes back into the kitchen to finish cooking and making preparations for her guests. Mommy goes to the laundry closet, takes out the good table cloth, and drapes it over the table. Sammy promptly takes the dangling end of the table cloth in her mouth and runs across the great room dragging it behind her. Mommy reconsiders putting the table cloth on the table and goes back to the laundry closet for the good cloth placemats. Mommy sets the placemats on the table and then goes into the kitchen to start the mashed potatoes.

Sammy jumps onto the sofa then jumps from the sofa to the formal dining table. Sammy lands on a placemat which slides under her butt to shoot off the end of the table depositing Sammy on the floor. Whee! What a fun ride! How nice of Mommy to put these neat cat toys out for Sammy to play with. Sammy runs back to the sofa then jumps from the sofa to the dining table, deliberately aiming for a placemat. Again the placemat shoots off the end of the table depositing Sammy on the floor. Double whee!

While peeling potatoes at the sink, Mommy starts wondering what all the thumping is about and turns around to glance into the great room. Mommy sees all the placemats lying on the floor and gives Sammy “the eye”. Sammy grins back at Mommy in total delight. Mommy sighs, picks up the placemats and puts them back on the table, then goes back to peeling potatoes. Several thumps later the whole process is repeated. Mommy has a senior moment and figures that if she puts the plates on the table Sammy won’t be able to bat them off onto the floor (Mommy has not seen Sammy’s modus operendi). Mommy goes back to peeling potatoes.

Mommy has a prickly feeling on the back of her neck and turns around in time to see Sammy sailing through the air and landing on a plate that is sitting on a placemat that is lying on the table. The placemat, the plate, and Sammy go shooting off the end of the table to land on the floor. Luckily, the great room is carpeted so the plate does not shatter around Sammy. Mommy, a bit shaken at the possibility that Sammy might have been hurt had the plate shattered, runs into the great room to pick Sammy up and kiss her little head. Sammy turns her head and bites Mommy on the cheek. Mommy says bad words to Sammy, puts Sammy down, and goes to get a paper towel to soak up the blood.

Mommy has forgotten about the *other* plates and placemats on the table and turns back around in time to see Sammy sailing through the air to land on a second plate that is sitting on a placemat that is lying on the table. The placemat, the plate, and Sammy go shooting off the end of the table in the exact same trajectory as the first plate. The second plate lands on top of the first plate and both plates shatter. Luckily, in the way that cats instinctively have of self preservation, Sammy has jumped out of the way of the shattering plates and is unharmed. Mommy sighs and goes into the great room to vacuum up the shattered plates. Mommy had only 8 “good” plates in her china set and wonders how badly the table will look set with 6 good china plates and 2 Corelle plates.

Mommy considers calling up all her guests and telling them that the dinner party has been called off due to a wayward kitten. Mommy reconsiders when she realizes how this might sound to a boss and coworkers who already think that Mommy is a bit daft. Mommy sighs then picks up all the plates off the table along with all the placemats. Mommy is a great believer in putting off a problem to a later time.

Mommy finishes peeling the potatoes and puts them on the stove to boil. Sammy, angry that Mommy has picked up all her toys before she was finished playing with them, comes into the kitchen to demand that Mommy play with her. Mommy, miffed at Sammy for having destroyed her good china, ignores Sammy and leans over the oven to check on the turkey. Sammy takes this opportunity to jump on Mommy’s butt. Feeling ten sharp little claws digging into her rear, Mommy jerks forward, bangs her head on top of the stove and clutches at the oven door to try and regain her balance. The oven door is quite hot. Mommy jumps backward, banging her knee on the outside of the over door. Mommy hops about the kitchen on one foot, clutches her throbbing knee with one hand, shakes her other (burned) hand in the air, and says very, very bad words at Sammy. Sammy is delighted with the reaction she has gotten from Mommy and hops about the kitchen alongside of Mommy trying to imitate this strange new dance Mommy is trying to teach her.

Mommy limps over to the sink to run cold water on her hand and make a cold compress for her aching head. Then Mommy goes downstairs to get ready while the food finishes cooking. [See “Putting on Makeup With Mommy” and “Putting on Clothes With Mommy” for an idea of how this goes.] Mommy smells something burning and runs up the stairs. [See “Sammy and the Stairs” for the reason why Mommy trips over Sammy and goes rolling halfway down the stairs.]

Mommy gets upstairs to find that all the water has boiled out of the pot of potatoes and the potatoes are sticking to the bottom getting quite crispy. Mommy should have known that getting dressed takes much longer with Sammy helping! Mommy snatches the pot off of the stove before any more potatoes are burned. Mommy has forgotten to use pot holders. Mommy drops the hot pot on the floor. Fortunately the hot pot misses Sammy’s head even though Sammy is in her usual position of two inches behind Mommy’s butt (Sammy is not known as Mommy’s little suppository for nothing). Unfortunately, the hot pot has not missed Mommy’s foot. Mommy lets out a string of expletives deleted and hops around the kitchen on one foot. Sammy again accompanies Mommy in this pas de deux.

Mommy looks around at the pot of burned potatoes on the floor, the paw-imprinted, semi-scorched cornbread, the tendril of smoke emanating from the oven door, the unset (and possibly, with Sammy, the un-settable) table, and wonders again why she ever thought she could pull this off. Then Mommy remembers that she meant to make her special creamed peas. Mommy looks at the clock, sighs, and takes out a can of peas, throws them in a bowl with a half stick of butter, and shoves them in the microwave. Mommy picks up the pot of burned potatoes from the kitchen floor to see if she can salvage enough to make mashed potatoes. Maybe she can add some cornstarch and extra milk to stretch them further.

Mommy has finally finished the too-starchy potatoes, pours some lumpy (who can remember to stir in all this excitement?) giblet gravy into the gravy boat, creatively carves the paw-imprinted and scorched cornbread, removes the nuked peas from the microwave, piles all the dishes and goblets in the center of the table, puts the placemats on top of the pile of plates, and starts to carve the too-brown turkey when the doorbell rings.

Mommy hurries down the stairs to the front door to greet her guests. Mommy’s hair is a bit frizzed and sticking out at odd angles. Mommy has a lump on her forehead, a bite mark on her cheek, a decided limp, and a burned hand and foot. Mommy’s guests are not at all startled to see Mommy like this; indeed, nobody has ever seen Mommy without the indications of some self-inflicted (or Sammy-inflicted) injury. Mommy leads everyone to the great room to sit down and have a chat before dinner is served. Several guests eye the dishes piled high in the center of the table, but nobody is gauche enough to broach the subject.

Finally, Mommy announces that dinner is served and that everyone should grab a placemat, plate, and goblet and take a seat. Mommy fetches the silverware from the kitchen and hands it out to each person. Sammy sees the shiny cat toys, all the people gathered around to play with her, and jumps up to the table knowing that all this commotion is for her benefit alone. Mommy quickly grabs Sammy off the table, mumbles an apology and puts Sammy into the cats’ bedroom, firmly shutting the door. Mommy returns to her guests followed by the loud, plaintive cries of a bereft kitten.

Mommy’s guests are quite politely ignoring the racket and raise their voices accordingly in order to make dinner conversation. Nobody eats very much of the food served.  Mommy decides not to tell them why the meal is in such a poor state – some people may not want to know they are ingesting food laced with kitten spit. The dinner continues in this strained manner for far too long for Mommy's poor frazzled nerves.

Finally the endless meal is over and Mommy and her guests rise to adjoin to the sofas in the great room. Mommy remembers that she has forgotten to go over the dining room chairs with the sticky cat hair remover when she sees the back of her boss’ pants solidly covered with long white Demi hair (one of Demi’s favorite hiding places in on the chairs under the dining room table). Mommy wonders how to broach the subject of needing to lint brush her boss’ butt and decides to just let it go and hope the couch will pull off enough of the hair to make it less noticeable.

As Mommy’s guests are leaving, to the strains of Sammy’s continued wailing, Mommy tells everyone how nice the evening was, how enjoyable their company was, and how they must all do this again sometime. Everyone is quite politely evasive about just when they will want to repeat this ordeal.

Mommy sighs as she closes the door and goes to the cats’ bedroom to release Sammy from her imprisonment (the longest Sammy has ever had to endure). Sammy flounces past Mommy in a huff, then turns around to bite Mommy’s ankle in retaliation. Mommy doesn’t even bother with getting a paper towel to soak up the blood, she just heads wearily to bed.

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Decorating the Tree With Mommy

Cast of Characters:

Sammy – 7-month-old female kitten

Mommy – MUCH older female human

After much contemplation and mental anguish, Mommy decides that she will not let Sammy's, er, boisterousness prevent her from the joy she gets in putting up a Christmas tree.

At 2:00PM in the afternoon of November 24 th, Mommy locks Sammy in the bedroom so she can open the garage doors to bring in the tree she and Daddy just purchased. Sammy wails loudly the whole time as she suffers the indignity of being confined to only one, albeit large, room. Mommy and Daddy wrestle the (formerly) live pine tree into Mommy's sitting room and set it up in the stand. Daddy, hearing Sammy howling, starts to say, "For gawd's sake...", but then gets a glimpse of the look Mommy gives him and quickly stops speaking. Daddy decides to go upstairs to pop the popcorn for stringing.

Mommy lets Sammy out of the bedroom. Sammy starts to pounce on Mommy's ankle for a quick bite when the scent of pine suddenly distracts her from her prey. Sammy runs over to the tree and springs up onto the lowest branch to investigate this new toy Mommy has brought home for Sammy. However, unbeknownst to Sammy, Mommy has added a new weapon to her arsenal in her continuing war with Sammy's bad behavior - a squirt bottle!!

Mommy snatches up the squirt bottle and sprays a stream of water at Sammy. Sammy, who has a very thick coat of Maine Coon hair does not even feel the water as it beads up and slides off her back. Mommy changes her aim and squirts water on Sammy's cheek, and this *does* get Sammy's attention. Sammy turns around and starts licking and batting at the stream of water coming her way and heads higher up the tree in order to get a better perspective on this fun new game Mommy has invented. Mommy tries one more time to squirt Sammy out of the tree, but it is soon clear that Sammy loves playing with the water and is not at all perturbed by being squirted. Mommy sighs and puts down the squirt bottle.

Mommy goes over to the tree to try to disentangle Sammy from its branches. Pine needles are very pointy! Between the pine needles and Sammy's claws, Mommy's hands are quickly becoming bloody and Mommy starts saying bad words. Daddy, on his way downstairs with a large bowl of popcorn, hears Mommy saying bad words, quickly sizes up the situation, and decides that caution is the better part of valor. Daddy heads back upstairs to pop more popcorn.

Mommy finally manages to get Sammy out of the tree and sits down to try and figure out a strategy for *keeping* Sammy out of the tree. Mommy sees movement out of the corner of her eye and starts laughing. Daddy has tied a string to the can of "Keep Away" and has lowered it down to the first floor from upstairs (where he is safely out of the action). "Keep Away" is the spray that people put on furniture to keep cats from scratching it. Although all Mommy and Daddy's owners use their scratching posts and not the furniture, Mommy has used this in the past to spray on electric cords to keep Sammy from chewing them and it has seemed to work (since Sammy is still alive and the cords are still intact).

Mommy takes a last big whiff of the delicious, heady scent of pine in the house then starts to douse the tree with "Keep Away". Mommy sighs when the smell of pine is finally overpowered by the smell of "Keep Away".

Mommy goes into her office to open the closet where she stores the Christmas decorations. Mommy picks Sammy up off of the boxes and sets her gently down on the office floor. Mommy starts to pick up the first box then sets it back down again so she can pick Sammy off of the box and set her gently down on the office floor. Mommy quickly snatches up the box before Sammy can spring atop it again, but as she is lifting it, it suddenly becomes twelve pounds heavier and Mommy drops the box to the floor where Sammy sits on top of the box and grins up at Mommy wanting Mommy to "do it again!" Mommy cringes as she hears the sound of breaking glass ornaments - ornaments that have been in the family for generations. Mommy sighs. Oh well, it isn't a good idea to use glass ornaments on a tree with a kitten in the house anyway.

Mommy finishes putting the boxes of ornaments on the sitting room floor and goes upstairs to get the popcorn for stringing. Mommy tries to enlist Daddy's help decorating the tree, but Daddy has wisely made himself scarce. Mommy picks up the bowl of popcorn, gets her sewing kit out of the drawer, and heads back downstairs to start making popcorn garlands.

Sammy, having smelled the popcorn, hops up on the sofa next to Mommy so she can help herself to some. Mommy says, "No, Sammy, this is for the tree!" and gently places Sammy on the sitting room floor. Sammy gives the tree a dirty look for being greedy about the popcorn and hops back up on the sofa to try to sneak a pawful from the bowl when Mommy isn't looking. Mommy again reprimands Sammy and gently places Sammy on the sitting room floor.

Mommy sits, happily stringing popcorn for 20 minutes without being bothered by Sammy, before she becomes suspicious of this quietude. Mommy decides to check on Sammy's whereabouts, but first lifts the string of popcorn, which has been trailing down to the sitting room floor, up into her lap to check her progress. Mommy is quite dismayed to see that the string of popcorn is very, very short - not nearly as long as it should be for the amount of time she has spent stringing kernels!

Mommy places the string of popcorn on the sofa with the end trailing down to the sitting room floor and starts to rise from the sofa. Before Mommy can finish rising, she sees a suspiciously large kitten paw emerge from beneath the sofa, hook the string of popcorn, and draw the end of the string underneath the sofa. When the string of popcorn emerges, it is minus one kernel of popcorn. Aha, the sneak thief has been caught red-han, er, red-pawed!

Mommy squats down to peer under the sofa and spies Sammy sitting amongst dozens of half-eaten kernels of popcorn. Sammy protests that she is innocent as she licks bits of popcorn from her whiskers. Mommy doesn't believe her!

Mommy sighs and sits back down to resume stringing popcorn - this time keeping the end of the string on the sofa where she can keep an eye on it. Sammy, replete with popcorn, takes a short nap underneath the sofa.

After all the popcorn has been strung into garlands, Mommy gets up from the sofa, stretches, and begins to unpack the boxes of ornaments. Sammy, awaking from her nap, comes over to help Mommy unpack. Sammy jumps into the first opened box and starts investigating its contents. Mommy, fearing cut paws from broken ornaments, quickly grabs Sammy up and gently places her on the sitting room floor.

Sammy, miffed about being rebuffed, runs over to grab one end of a popcorn garland in her mouth then dashes out of the sitting room dragging the string of popcorn behind her. Mommy, fearing that her hours of work will be destroyed, takes off running after Sammy. Too late! The end of the popcorn garland gets snagged on the doorway as Sammy streaks by, the string breaks and kernels of popcorn are strewn across the bedroom floor. Mommy says very bad words and detours to the hall closet to get the sucky monster. The sucky monster eats all of Sammy's hard-won spoils and tries to chase Sammy under the bed. However, Sammy is not at all afraid of the sucky monster (or anything else, thanks to being spoiled rotten her whole life), and defiantly hisses at the monster until it subsides and goes back into the hall closet.

Mommy goes back into the sitting room and places the remaining three strings of popcorn garland on top of the mantle where Sammy can not get to them (talk about closing the barn door after the horses have departed!). Mommy goes back to unpacking the boxes of ornaments.

When Mommy has finished unpacking the ornaments she stops and looks around at the tree decorations that are covering every surface in the sitting room (Mommy is a bit daft when it comes to ornaments - never able to pass up a sale on them).

Now, Mommy is a bit (OK, more than a bit) obsessive-compulsive. Every ornament is packed in its original box, every light on each string of lights has been placed in its slot on its original cardboard holder, so there should be no hassle with untangling lights or ornaments. HAH! Mommy has not included the Sammy factor in her calculations of her decorating plan.

Mommy takes the lights out of their cardboard holders, plugs them in (the only way to see the total effect of the lights as they are being draped), and starts to put them onto the tree. Mommy catches movement out of the corner of her eye and turns in time to see Sammy chewing on a brightly flashing light. Mommy, horrified at the prospect of Sammy electrocuting herself, quickly unplugs the string of lights and rushes over to remove Sammy's mouth from the glass bulb.

Mommy bellows at Daddy to get his arse downstairs so he can hold Sammy while Mommy puts the lights on the trees. Mommy does not hear an answer from Daddy and goes upstairs only to find that Daddy has fled from the house (cowardly leaving a note on the kitchen table saying that he will be at the store shopping for Mommy's Christmas present - yeah right - and he conveniently forgot his cell phone at home!).

Mommy goes back downstairs and starts putting the strings of lights on the tree without plugging them in first and just hoping that she gets them fairly evenly distributed. Sammy continues to grab at the lights and Mommy strings them faster and faster so that Sammy does not have the chance to bite through the wire.

Mommy finishes stringing the lights on the tree and begins to put the store-bought garland on. Of course Sammy is right there "helping" by grabbing the end of the string of garland and running in circles around the bottom of the tree. Mommy feels resistance in the string of garland, doesn't realize that it is wrapped around the bottom of the tree, and gives a good tug to try to free it up. The tree starts to tilt, the screws in the tree stand dig holes into the soft tree trunk, and the tree, denied its support from the stand, topples over onto the sitting room floor.

Sammy, delighted with this new game, jumps into the middle of the tree as it lays on the floor and immediately becomes entangled in the strands of lights.

Mommy comes very close to crying as she disentangles Sammy from the tree, not-so-gently places Sammy on the sitting room floor, and tries to stand the tree back up in its tree stand. Mommy realizes that the trunk of the tree is too gouged up by the screws in the tree stand to ever stay upright as it is, so Mommy lays the tree back down on the floor and tries to untangle the garland and the strings of lights from the fallen tree. She quickly realizes that this is impossible with the tree laying on its side. Mommy assesses the situation and concludes that the tree will need shims placed around the trunk in order to stay upright, so she heads to the garage and begins sawing pieces of wood for that purpose.

After Mommy installs the shims at the base of the tree and manages to get it to stand upright, she cleans up the spilled water from the tree stand, refills the tree stand, and begins the frustrating job of untangling the strings of lights and garland to get them off of the tree so she can start from the beginning and get this darn tree decorated. It is now 7:00PM, Mommy has been working at this task for 5 hours, and she is getting tired, hungry, and cranky.

Mommy finally gets the lights back on the tree (again doing this while they are unplugged so that Sammy does not electrocute herself by biting into the flashing lights), and gets the store-bought garland strung on the tree. Now it is time to drape the popcorn garland onto the tree, so Mommy fetches it off of the mantle. Mommy is very hungry and contemplates munching a few kernels of popcorn off the garland, but restrains herself for the sake of the beloved Christmas tree. Sammy, however, is *NEVER* restrained and manages to grab one end of the string to start chewing on a kernel of popcorn.

Mommy grabs Sammy up, gets the garland out of Sammy's mouth, and rather roughly places Sammy on the sitting room floor. Sammy, seriously miffed about being denied her snack, jumps up onto the desk next to the tree, and gives it a dirty look because she knows that somehow this nasty tree is to blame for all her rebuffs by the, usually, compliantly solicitous Mommy. Sammy is planning her revenge!

Mommy, blissful in her ignorance, begins to hang the ornaments lovingly on the tree, pausing to smile at the "special" ones that bring back memories of Christmases past. This one was first placed on the tree 31 years ago for her daughter's first Christmas, that one 30 years ago for her son's, others when each of the grandchildren gazed at the tree in wonder for the very first time.

It is now 8:30PM, not even half of the ornaments have been hung, Daddy is still not home from his "shopping", and Sammy has finally decided on the form her revenge will take. Mommy has her back turned to the tree when she suddenly gets that prickly sensation on the back of her neck that tells her that Sammy is up to no good. Mommy turns around in time to see Sammy jump from the desk top and fly through the air to land at the very top of the tree.

Twelve pounds of flying kitten is just too much for the poor tree to "stand" - pun intended (Mommy has to get *some* humor from the situation or she'll go mad - OK madder). Mommy stands there, horrified, as the tree slowly topples over to land on its side on the sitting room floor and she winces as she hears the crunch of breaking ornaments. Mommy slowly sinks down until she is sitting on the floor, puts her head in her hands, and starts to quietly weep. Sammy walks over to Mommy, puts her paws on Mommy's knee, and reaches up to lick a tear from Mommy's face. Mommy's heart melts and Sammy is instantly forgiven.

Mommy sighs, wipes her eyes, takes a deep breath, then rises to pick up the tree and remove all the decorations she had so carefully placed on it. Strings of lights and garland are hopelessly tangled in the broken branches, pieces of popcorn and ornaments are all over the sitting room floor, and the water from the tree stand is soaking the carpet.

It is now 11:00PM, the tree is finally righted, and Mommy is getting weak from hunger when Daddy arrives - purportedly home from his shopping expedition. Daddy looks at the bare tree and says, "I thought you were going to decorate the tree - what have you been doing all this time?" Mommy contemplates the best way to commit murder, knife or gun, but then decides that this would not be a good idea in a capital punishment state (although she thinks a jury may understand the motivation in this case). Daddy sees the look on Mommy's face, mumbles something about urgently needing to take care of something upstairs, and quickly retreats to safety.

Mommy is in the middle of draping the remaining pieces of popcorn garland on the tree when Daddy comes back downstairs with a plate of sandwiches and some potato salad and Daddy is instantly forgiven. Sammy, smelling food, runs toward the plate of sandwiches but stops short in amazement when she hears a growl coming from Mommy's mouth.

After she is finished eating, Mommy resumes the decorating of the &%#&^!% tree. The popcorn garland is missing more than a few kernels, the lights are all bunched up in clumps, the ornaments are haphazardly hung, but it is now 1:00AM and Mommy doesn't really give a flying fig how the tree looks.

Daddy has lit a fire in the fireplace and brought some eggnog for Mommy in an attempt to atone for his foul desertion (he dared come home without a shopping bag and smelling suspiciously of a local bar). Finally, at 3:00AM, the tree is decorated and Mommy awaits her reward for all her hard work as she stands back and instructs Daddy to plug in the lights so that Mommy may view the Christmas tree in all its glowing glory. The lights do not turn on. Daddy nervously unplugs them and plugs them back in several times in succession. Mommy is aghast. Mommy not-so-quietly goes into total meltdown. Daddy retreats upstairs. Even the unshakable Sammy leaves the room. Mommy walks over and begins to throttle the tree. As she shakes the offender vigorously back and forth, the tree lights suddenly spring to life (in self defense) and Mommy stops trying to kill the tree.

Mommy backs off slowly with trepidation of jostling the lights back off again, but the lights remain shining brightly. Mommy sighs, puts her favorite Christmas album into the CD player, throws another log onto the fire, and pours herself a large glass of eggnog. Daddy, hearing the strains of Christmas carols, cautiously reenters the sitting room and then smiles at the decorated tree. "This is the best one yet!" he exclaims, as he does every year, "You've outdone yourself!!" Mommy, looking at the tree with its Sammy-inflicted injuries, knows that he is lying, but at this point she'll take what she can get. Sammy, having forgotten about Mommy's wrath, runs back into the sitting room ready to play some more. Daddy promptly picks up Sammy and takes her upstairs with him so that Mommy can sit on her sofa and admire her Christmas tree. He knows she needs at least a few minutes of joy before Sammy starts her own redecorating of the tree.

Happy Holidays you guys - you've been a great set of listeners (better than a psychiatrist's couch!) and have helped Mommy get through her first seven months with Sammy!

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Taking Down the Tree With Mommy

Cast of Characters:

Sammy – 9-month-old female kitten
Jessie – 5-year-old female cat
Mommy – MUCH older female human

Mommy walks through the sitting room, looks at the Christmas tree (bedraggled, drooping, denuded, and besieged – much worse the wear because of Sammy), and sighs. It is time to take the decorations off and let the poor tree die in peace. Mommy walks over to the settee and sits down for a few last minutes of tree-gazing.

Jessie runs into the room with Sammy hot on her heels. Mommy watches in amazement as Jessie zips past the Christmas tree, making a last-minute 90 degree turn to avoid crashing into the tree. Sammy, 10 pounds heavier and kitten clumsier than Jessie, does not manage the turn and runs head first into the tree. Mommy notices Jessie sitting next to the settee and watching Mommy for a reaction. No, it couldn’t be!

Was Jessie deliberately trying to get Sammy in trouble? When Mommy doesn’t react to Sammy crashing into the tree, Jessie runs back out of the room chased by Sammy. A few minutes later, the performance is repeated. It’s true! Jessie *is* deliberately trying to get Sammy in trouble. Mommy raises an eyebrow and looks at Jessie speculatively. Hmmmmm.

Mommy goes into her office and pulls out the big box that contains all the littler boxes that hold the ornaments and lights and brings it into the sitting room. Mommy unpacks the littler boxes, spreading them over the coffee table, settee and floor. Then mommy starts gently taking the ornaments off the tree and packing them into their respective boxes.

After the first box is filled Mommy glances over in time to see Sammy jump over the rim of the large, now empty, box. Sammy is inside the large box for a fraction of a second when Mommy sees her levitate about three feet over the rim of the box, running in mid air like Wile E. Coyote after the roadrunner tricks him into falling off a cliff, and then scrambling out of the box.

Mommy walks over and peers into the box to see Jessie sitting inside grinning in triumph. Mommy smiles to herself thinking that it’s about time Sammy got back some of her own, then goes back to taking the ornaments off the tree. As Mommy sticks her hand deep into a branch to pluck off an ornament she feels five claws sinking into the soft flesh between thumb and forefinger and yells, “SAMMY! You little %$%$#! How many times have I told you to *STAY OUT OF THE CHRISTMAS TREE*!!!” Sammy smiles to herself thinking that it’s about time Mommy got back some of Sammy’s own.

Sammy is so tickled at having “gotcha”’d Mommy that she decides to have another go at big sister Jessie. Sammy runs over to the big box and jumps inside again. Mommy hears a short sharp “MRRP” and sees Sammy levitate above the box and scramble out again. Sammy spends a few minutes circling the box. Every few rotations she pauses to bite the corner of the box and curse at Jessie. Mommy smiles to herself and thinks about how lucky tiny little 4 pound Jessie is that Sammy still thinks of her as her “big” sister. At the moment Mommy just feels grateful that Jessie is keeping Sammy occupied while Mommy takes down the Christmas tree ornaments.

Mommy has almost completely filled the little boxes with ornaments and is walking back to the tree to get the last few ornaments when she sees a streak of black and grey out of the corner of her eye. Mommy turns her head to see Sammy running flat out into the sitting room. Mommy glances over at all the ornaments, neatly resting in their boxes, which are not yet lidded, all spread out over the coffee table, settee, and floor.

Mommy glances back at Sammy and calculates Sammy’s trajectory as ending on the settee in the middle of Mommy’s beautiful glass ornaments. Time starts to slow down as Mommy begins to run an interception course. Sammy seems to float through the air in the middle of a bounding leap. Mommy’s voice deepens as time slows even more. “Nnnnnnnnnnnnnnooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo,” Mommy cries, running in slow motions across the sitting room floor. In her slow motion haste Mommy has failed to notice her foot landing on a box full of ornaments. As ornaments crunch under and into Mommy’s foot, the box slides across the floor and Mommy begins to fall backwards.

Mommy’s arms are flailing wildly as time all at once speeds up to twice normal. Mommy lands on her backside with a thump as her bloody feet shoot out from under her. Mommy’s head bounces up off the carpet in time for her to see Sammy landing in the middle of the settee and boxes of ornaments flying out from under her. More crunching is heard as the boxes land on top the other boxes on the floor and coffee table.

Mommy feels someone watching her and looks over to see Jessie peering out over the top of the big box and grinning at her. Hmmmmm. Mommy doesn’t know how, but thinks that somehow Jessie has had a hand, er, paw in this fiasco.

Mommy picks her way quickly through the broken glass on the floor in order to grab up Sammy before Sammy cuts her little paws on Mommy’s broken ornaments. Sammy thinks this is a fun new game Mommy has invented for her and leaps away just as Mommy leans over to grab her. Mommy, trying to avoid stepping on more ornaments, overbalances and topples over onto the boxes of unbroken ornaments that remain on the settee. More crunching ensues as Mommy sighs and bleeds a bit more.

Oh well, Mommy thinks, that’s fewer ornaments she has to pack away and she tries to remember how much she enjoys buying new ornaments for the tree every Christmas. Sigh. Mommy begins picking up the broken ornaments as Sammy darts back out of the room, pausing to take a swipe at Jessie’s fun new box on her way out.

Mommy walks over to the large box, scoops Jessie out and gently places her on the sitting room floor. Sammy comes back into the room in time to sing, “Nyah, nyah, nyah, nyah” at Jessie’s comeuppance. Jessie runs out of the room, pausing to take a swipe at Sammy’s head on her way out.

Mommy places her pitifully few boxes of unbroken ornaments into the large box and walks over to the tree to start unstringing the popcorn garland. Mommy is amazed at how little popcorn is left on the string. Someone has been doing quite a bit of snacking while resting in the branches of Mommy’s Christmas tree! It’s no surprise that Sammy has gained more than a pound over the holidays!!

Mommy wraps the store-bought garland back on its cardboard holders and begins unstringing the lights from the tree. Feeling a familiar tug, Mommy looks down to see Sammy wrestling with the dangling string of lights and quickly grabs up the strand before Sammy can cut her mouth on a broken bulb. Mommy feels another tug on the strand of lights, but this time from the direction of the tree. Hey, wait a minute, Sammy is still on the floor. Mommy peers into the tree in time to see a streak of patchy orange, white, brown and gray fur disappearing deeper into the branches. AHA! It seems that Sammy was not the only kitty availing herself of a real live tree rather than a carpet-covered imitation!!

Mommy starts to shake the tree trying to get Jessie to jump down. Mommy has forgotten that the tree is sitting in a tree stand full of sappy water, covered by a cheaply red stained, furry, tree stand cover. Mommy is going to have to live with a red ring in the middle of the sitting room carpet until it is time to put the next Christmas tree over that spot.

Sammy decides to get in on this fun new game and jumps into the tree to join Jessie in taunting Mommy. The tree, overburdened by a very hefty kitten, starts to topple over onto the sitting room floor. Mommy is having flashbacks of her tree trimming trauma, TTT, better known as classic post Sammy shock syndrome, as she watches the tree falling and two cats jumping to safety.

Mommy looks at the tangled strands of Christmas tree lights on the red stained carpet, the toppled tree, the tangled garland that Jessie and Sammy are playing tug-o-war with, and the almost empty box of ornaments. Mommy sighs as she struggles to detach the tree stand from the toppled tree. The shims she sawed off and placed around the trunk of the tree are jammed pretty tightly into the stand. Mommy tugs harder and says bad words. Sammy and Jessie have lost interest in the shredded garland and are sitting on the floor singing, “Nyah, nyah, nyah, nyah,” at Mommy.

Mommy grinds her teeth and tugs even harder on the tree stand. Abruptly, the stand gives way and Mommy goes flying backwards, trips over her treadmill, and falls on her backside while banging the tree stand into her forehead and splashing the remaining sappy water up her nose. Mommy flings the offending tree stand away from her, but in her anger miscalculates the strength of her toss. The metal tree stand goes flying across the sitting room and crashes into the window, breaking two of the bottom panes. The weatherman has predicted a hard freeze tonight. Sigh.

Finally the half dead tree has been dragged out to the curb, the half empty box of decorations has been stored in the closet in Mommy’s office, the half stained carpet has been half dried, the half heated house has been half cleaned, and the half insane Mommy has given a half hearted attempt at some peace and quiet while the two halves of the dynamic duo of Jessie and Sammy are half asleep from their efforts of helping Mommy take down the Christmas tree.

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Learning Yoga With Mommy

Cast of Characters:

Sammy – 9-month-old female kitten
Jessie – 5-year-old female cat
Demi – 6-year-old female cat
Mommy – MUCH older female human

Mommy puts her “Yoga for Beginners” DVD in the player and rolls out her new yoga mat onto the great room floor. Sammy and Jessie immediately run over to the mat to start sniffing and sharpening their claws on. Mommy tries to shoo the kitties off her yoga mat while listening to the introduction to the DVD.

Mommy watches as the instructor demonstrates Tadasana, the “Mountain Pose”. OK, standing up straight seems to be easy enough, so Mommy practices her first yoga pose – this is going to be a snap.

Mommy listens as the instructors tells Mommy to become calm and quiet and focus her attention inwards to the seat of her soul. Mommy’s attention turns inwards until Mommy feels a familiar nibbling around her ankles. It seems Sammy does not want Mommy’s attention directed inwards, but would rather have Mommy’s attention directed outwards towards her own magnificent self.

Mommy shoos Sammy away and hurries to catch up to the instructor who is now demonstrating Vajrasana, a simple sitting pose. Wow, Mommy never dreamed yoga could be so easy to do, in fact Mommy has been standing and sitting her whole life – Mommy has mastered yoga and didn’t even know it!

The instructor goes on to demonstrate Uttbita Trikonasana. OK, now this looks a bit more difficult. Mommy spreads her legs wide apart and leans to the left to put her left hand behind her left ankle without bending either leg. Mommy promptly loses her balance and falls forward on her face. Mommy glances over to see Jessie rolling on the floor and laughing at Mommy. Mommy quickly rises and tries to catch up to the instructor who is now repeating this pose to the right.

Mommy picks herself off the floor for a second time and goes on to the next pose.

Uttibita Parsvakonasana (who the heck thought up these pose names, anyway!!???), is a modified version of the impossible split and stretch. At least this time Mommy is allowed to bend her left leg as she leans over to place her left hand behind her left ankle. Mommy promptly loses her balance and falls backwards onto her posterior. Mommy glances over to see both Jessie and Sammy rolling on the floor and laughing at Mommy. Demi has meandered over to see what all the amusement is about, takes one look at Mommy and joins in the laughter.

The instructor is now demonstrating Uttanasana, a “simple” forward bend. Mommy puts her arms over her head, grasps her elbows, bends at the waist, and attempts to put her head on her shins as she sees the instructor doing. Mommy's head goes nowhere near her shins, but it is low enough for her to see behind her between her legs. Jessie is lying down with her hind legs stretched over her head and her front legs wrapped around her hind legs. “Show-off”, Mommy sneers.

The instructor has gotten too far ahead of Mommy so Mommy takes a moment to rewind the DVD to the place where she last landed on her posterior. Mommy sees the instructor demonstrating Virabbadrasana II, or “Proud Warrior”. Mommy attempts this sideways lunge but looks more like a humble pacifist than a proud warrior.

Mommy continues to (sort of) follow the instructor as she demonstrates Prasarita Padottanasana. Mommy spreads her legs apart and leans forward to place her hands flat on the floor in front of her shoulders. Mommy’s forward momentum is a little too much, however, and Mommy’s arms buckle as she plunges towards the floor face first.

Mommy just lies on the floor with her mouth agape as she watches the instructor continue forward until the instructor’s elbows are resting on the floor next to her feet. OK, maybe this yoga thing isn’t so easy after all! Sammy, seeing Mommy sitting on the floor, runs over to see what Mommy wants to play. Mommy shoos Sammy off the mat again and is rewarded with an ankle bite for her efforts.

Mommy gets back up and tries the next pose, Abdo Mukba Svanasana, or “Downward-facing Dog”. Jessie sees Mommy’s back arched and thinks Mommy is challenging her. Jessie arches her own back and hisses at Mommy. Demi takes one look at Mommy and Jessie posturing for a fight and quickly departs to her hide-out beneath the bed. Sammy, thinking Jessie wants to play, throws herself on top of tiny Jessie. Jessie, ready to fight Mommy, is startled, wriggles out from beneath Sammy’s massive body and gives Sammy a swat to the ear. Sammy, her feelings hurt more than her ear, jumps on top of Mommy’s head in retaliation for Mommy’s laughter at her.

Mommy removes Sammy from her head and turns her attention back to the yoga instructor who is now demonstrating Dandasana. Alright! Finally back to something Mommy can do – sitting down with her legs stretched in front of her. Mommy’s relief is short lived, however, as she watches the instructor lean over into Paschimottanasana (do the number of syllables in the pose name correspond to the difficulty of the pose??!!).

Mommy attempts to place her head on her shins, but gets nowhere near them. Jessie shows Mommy how easy it is to do this, but Mommy is not impressed – the yoga teacher is doing it and she’s not even a cat!

The instructor takes mommy through Baddba Konasana which Mommy finds fairly simple to do, again, Mommy has been sitting for most of her life, and then goes into Viparita Karani, which is just lying down with her feet on a wall – unconventional, but doable.

The final pose the instructor demonstrates is Savasana (good, very few syllables there), and Mommy knows she has come into her own. Lying down is even easier than sitting. However, the instructor is telling Mommy that she must again focus her attention inwards, breath slowly and deeply, and relax all her muscles. Mommy’s muscles are very sore from all the contortions the instructor has made her do, so relaxing them isn’t as easy as it should be. And breathing slowly and deeply would be much easier without a 15 pound kitting laying on your face!

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The Great Cockroach Caper!

Cast of characters:

Sammy - 1 yearold female kitten
Mommy - MUCH older female human

Sammy walks through the house looking for something to do. She strolls through the sitting room, stops to sniff at the stuffed mousies and jingle balls in front of the fireplace – ho-hum! She trots into the bedroom, sniffs at the feathers on the end of her cat teaser and the crinkle balls strewn across the floor – BOR-ing! There’s nothing to do… there is just not a thing to do! Mommy is *SO* mean, she hasn’t bought Sammy a new toy to play with in days and days!

Suddenly Sammy stops in her tracks and cocks an ear forward. What’s that? Jessie is upstairs chittering at something! Jessie must have a toy that Sammy hasn’t seen before. Mommy, the rat, must have bought a toy for Jessie and not Sammy – the traitor!!

Sammy starts running, slowly at first until she gets her considerable bulk moving smoothly. By the time she hits the stairs she is moving at a good clip. She takes the stairs two at a time, skids across the landing to smack into the wall, then recovers to take the next set of stairs two at a time continuing upstairs.

Sammy races across the great room, hits the tiled kitchen floor and slides for six feet until she smacks into the refrigerator. Sammy spins around in time to see Jessie batting at her new toy – and *what* a neat toy it is. It is black and shiny, and it moves on its own! There are two paper-thin flaps on its back that flutter wildly. Sammy runs over to take a turn at batting the toy, but stops abruptly when she hears hissing.

Stupid Jessie won’t share her toy! But then Sammy realizes it wasn’t Jessie who hissed at her, it was the toy!! Wow, a shiny black, self-propelled toy that makes noise – too kewl!!! Sammy watches as Jessie feints in to bat at the new toy, but the new toy scuttles away from Jessie’s paw. How lame is that, big sister can’t even bap a toy, I mean, it’s not like this thing is tiny, it must be a good 5 inches long – how could Jessie miss a thing as big as that??!

Jessie runs in again and manages to get a paw on top of the new toy, but the new toy flutters those flaps on its back and Jessie leaps upwards and back, away from the hissing toy. “Chicken cat, chicken cat, wear your momma’s garden hat!” Sammy sneers. At this affront, Jessie spins around and boxes Sammy’s ear. “OW! No fair!” Big sister Jessie is *always* picking on Sammy and beating her up, and Mommy won’t spank Jessie for it either! Sammy slinks backwards until she is out of range of Jessie’s lethal claws and crouches down to plan her next move.

How is Sammy going to steal Jessie’s toy away right under Jessie’s nose without getting her poor ears ripped to shreds? Sammy watches the action closely as Jessie paces back and forth in front of the toy batting it back and forth. Sammy enviously watches as the toy scuttles around trying to find a crack in a baseboard to sneak away into.

Aha, Sammy has an idea. Sammy sneaks around behind Jessie while Jessie is concentrating on her toy. When Sammy is sure that Jessie’s attention is focused on her toy, she dashes in and bites the tip of Jessie’s tail, then turns around, skids on the tiles a few times before she gets traction, then dashes out of the kitchen towards the great room. Jessie, outraged at the indignity Sammy has inflicted upon her, takes off after Sammy with murder in her eyes. Sammy jumps to the love seat, runs along the seat back then leaps across to the dining room table with Jessie hot on her heels. Sammy slides across the polished table, saves herself from flying off the other side at the last second, then runs across the table until she reaches the bar dividing the great room and the kitchen.

Sammy bounds over the top of the bar to land on the counter top on the other side, slamming into the bowl of fruit sitting in the middle of the counter. The bowl of fruit goes crashing to the kitchen floor as Sammy slides off the edge of the counter and hits the floor a fraction of a second later. Sammy’s legs are pumping even before she hits the floor and as soon as she lands she dashes across the kitchen floor, grabs the new toy in her mouth and continues back towards the great room.

As Sammy is entering the great room, the toy starts to flutter and shake in her mouth, tickling her tongue and surprising her enough to make her stop suddenly. Jessie slams into Sammy’s hind quarters without so much as nudging Sammy’s massive frame forward an inch, but then proceeds to jump on top of Sammy’s head, biting her ears and yowling her displeasure.

Mommy, having heard the crash of the bowl hitting the floor and the sounds of a cat fight, comes dashing up the stairs to see what’s going on. Mommy stops at the top of the stairs as she sees Sammy and Jessie rolling across the great room floor then stares in horror as a *huge* cockroach flies out of Sammy’s mouth to land on Mommy’s foot.

The cockroach, having found itself on a vertical surface away from the fighting cats proceeds to scuttle up Mommy’s leg to safety. Mommy screams, hopping up and down, and tries to brush the cockroach off her leg. The cockroach, loathe to give up its safe haven, scuttles faster up Mommy’s leg heading for the hem of her shorts and the nice dark place it spies beyond that.

Mommy screams louder and jumps backwards just a little too close to the top of the stairs, over-balances, and starts to topple backwards down the stairs. Mommy’s flailing arm catches the stair rail in time to save her from a broken neck, but Mommy’s feet and legs, following the laws of physics, continue to fly over her head and Mommy is forced to let go of the rail and tumble backwards before her arm is pulled from its socket. Mommy has not done tumble sets since the fifth grade (sometime back in the stone ages), and when last she did a tumble set, Mommy did not even *know* most of the words she is screaming now. Mommy does one and a half tumble sets to wind up laying face up with her head pointing to the bottom of the stairs and her feet pointing towards the top of the stairs.

The cockroach, despite taking a wild ride on Mommy’s flailing leg, manages to hold on and continues its run towards safety and Mommy can feel not-so-little legs crawling upwards towards the elastic of her panties. Mommy screams even louder and starts slapping her shorts in an attempt to smush the cockroach before she realizes what a smushed cockroach in her shorts will entail.

Sammy is standing at the top of the stairs looking down at Mommy and wondering why she is making those loud noises and is quite miffed that Mommy has stolen her toy after she has gone to all the trouble (and pain) of stealing the toy from Jessie. Jessie has jumped up to the stair railing and is watching Mommy, eagerly awaiting the emergence of the cockroach from Mommy’s shorts so she can pounce on it and get her toy back again.

Daddy has finally decided to come and investigate all the commotion and appears at the hallway door. “For gawd’s sake, what is all the screaming about?” Mommy, lying upside down in the middle of the stairs is too busy having hysterics to take off her shoe and throw it at Daddy. The cockroach, finally realizing that the sanctuary of Mommy's nether regions is not so safe after all, has emerged from Mommy’s shorts and starts to scuttle down the stairs. Sammy and Jessie both jump down to give chase, using the supine Mommy to give them traction and gain speed in their pursuit. Eight sets of kitty claws digging into her flesh distracts Mommy enough to cause her to stop shuddering in horror long enough to try and turn over and get up (hard to do when you’re lying head downward on stairs.

Daddy finally has the presence of mind to start down the stairs to help Mommy get up, but is a bit wary of getting within range of Mommy’s hands since he seems to have said the wrong thing yet again. Mommy heads towards the bathroom muttering something about killing kitties, smushing cockroaches, and needing a long hot shower and iodine!

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