Bedtime is Party Time for My Cats!

Today I am sharing my column from the Albert Lea Tribune. This blog is in transition and if you are looking for more about Authors and my writing, please visit my website at http://julieseedorf.com to view my blog there. Today I feature Author Jessie Chandler who I interviewed about her book Operation Stop Hate, Operation #1. My website will be where I am sharing my writing adventures. This blog will be about whatever hits my heart. Today it is my cats. I hope you enjoy both blogs. At the bottom of http://julieseedorf.com there is a place to sign up for my newsletter and to be notified when my site has changed.  Enjoy.

Today’s column:

Natasha and Boris

Natasha and Boris

Do you remember the cartoons and movies where the toys came alive at night after their owners shuffled off to bed? Thoughts of the toy cartoons pass through my mind every once in a while when I think about my shysters, Natasha and Boris, who are our cat babies.

Boris entered our lives first. He was a rescue my daughter found for us. He was approximately seven months old and a pretty laid back guy. He loved to snuggle and wasn’t prone to getting into much of anything. As long as he had a warm body and love he was content.

We spend time visiting our children, and I felt bad that Boris had to live by himself while we were gone. I thought he might get lonely, so we adopted Natasha who is part Siamese. She was not the typical noisy Siamese. In fact, she and Boris had the wimpiest meow ever, and they didn’t use it much. But Natasha changed our household.

In a matter of days she showed us she could get our folding doors open. She could jump through the opening between the kitchen and the porch if we locked her out of the porch. She could open cupboard doors. If she wanted to be petted she would flop sideways down on the floor for us to pet her. Boris watched all of this from the sidelines. He was still content to be a laid back and stay-out-of-trouble cat.

We have had them both about three years now. Natasha is a great teacher. Boris now can open doors and climb in closets. He too has become a jumper and can jump on the highest shelf. Doors are not a problem for him either. And after about six months of watching Natasha take a dive on the floor on her side to be petted, he now does the same thing. We never know what the two of them are going to think of next.

In fact, I have an old chair that is toast, so I let them have an entire chair as a scratching post. This chair also has a hole in the bottom, and Natasha loves crawling in the bottom of the chair when she is teasing Boris. Because he is 17 pounds, he usually can’t crawl under the chair. However, one night he managed to get under the chair and into the hole. The problem he had — he couldn’t get out. I might mention if we haven’t seen the two of them for some time we start looking, because we know they are in trouble and got locked in somewhere. Don’t worry, when we go away we barricade all the closet doors, and we also have child locks on the cupboard doors so they can’t get in and get locked up while we are away.

My thoughts of toys in movies waking in the night, and causing havoc, were brought about by my two cats. Boris and Natasha spend most of the day sleeping. Natasha’s favorite place to sleep while I am watching television in the evening is right in front of my computer screen on the Tivo box so she blocks my view. It doesn’t matter how many times we move her, she goes right back, and she isn’t afraid of noise or water spray. She is fearless.

Boris sleeps in my husband’s arms or anywhere he can find a soft spot. He is not fearless and is easily directed.

The minute I and my husband start our journey to bed for the night they wake up. First they meow so I remember to put food in their bowls even if they have food. They can’t stand a hole in their bowl. It is a crime if I let the bowl show. Then they sit at the door to our bedroom waiting for us to leave the room.

The party begins. The chase goes up the stairs, through our upstairs bedrooms and into the living room. You can hear the stampede going on for hours. Occasionally we hear thumps from jumps or mischief. Once in a while Natasha lets out a curdling meow. The first time we heard it we thought she was dying, but it was only her attacking her play mouse.

In the morning I will find drawers opened, socks from one of the drawers strewn around the room. Rugs will be out of place, the food dish will be showing through the food, blankets will be on the floor and once in a while in their foraging they find an old candy wrapper or some of their toys I have not seen in a long time. Did I mention Natasha hides toys and other things?

As a child, I would always dream I had a secret toy room at the end of the hallway in my grandmother’s house, and the toys would come alive at night. Who knew this many years later part of my dream would come true — only it is my cats that come alive at night and make me smile in the morning while surveying their playtime damage. And for some reason my cats missed this tidbit of wisdom.

“Authors like cats because they are such quiet, lovable, wise creatures and cats like authors for the same reasons.” — Robertson Davies

 

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If You See Somone Working, Say Thank You!

14687804116_c553cd4dc4_zIt’s Labor Day. I decided to post a few trivia questions about Labor Day to see if you could answer them or if you want to impress your kids, ask them the questions. I will supply the answers at the end of this column.

Who is considered the father of Labor Day?
When was the first U.S. Labor Day celebrated?

What country is said to have originated the idea to host a Labor Day?

Why do we celebrate Labor Day?

What state was the first state to declare Labor Day a holiday seven years before the president declared it a national holiday?

Don’t feel bad if you don’t know the answers. I am sure somewhere in the past I have heard the answers to all of those questions. I would imagine my history teachers when I was in school covered the subject of Labor Day. I wonder how many kids now know why we celebrate Labor Day. Do you suppose history in school covers this today?

I know we anticipate the holiday. Many years kids start school right after the Labor Day holiday. This year all my grandchildren started school many weeks before the holiday weekend, so this weekend is a break from school.

In Minnesota the state fair is on. The Renaissance Festival has begun and festivities abound celebrating the last fun weekend we have before we get back to the grind of normal life after the summer.
Labor Day started as a day to recognize contributions men and women made to the American workforce. In the 19th century, Americans worked 12- hour days, seven days a week. These workers wanted an eight hour workday.

Today we should also be celebrating the American workers. I doubt that the stress workers feel today is any less than those workers protesting when Labor Day was established. We have many people working for minimum wage, working long hours and intensive jobs for little pay, struggling to put food on the table. Because of technology many people are on call 24/7. They can’t get away from the office, and companies expect them to be there when they call. Eight-hour days are not the norm for many. And part of the workforce work two and three jobs to make ends meet.

Jobs are more diverse, and the factory jobs of the past no longer are as prevalent so more education is needed to secure employment.

We still need to celebrate the American worker because they are the backbone of America from garbage collectors to plumbers to doctors and lawyers to the clerk that hands you your coffee in the coffee shop. These people are all needed to make our society work.

So on this day, look around you and if you see someone working, say thank you. And then pat yourself on the back as you leave for work or as you are thankful you are retired from a lifetime of being one of the workers who makes our country run. This is your day. Thank you for what you have contributed.
Answers:

1. Peter McGuire

2. Sept. 5,1882

3. Canada

4. To celebrate the American Worker

5. Oregon