Paws and Effect

Dahlia Tells AllMy goodness! It’s about time Mama finally managed to carve some time out of her busy, busy schedule to help me satisfy my fans’ longing for the next chapter in my magnum opus! It’s so hard to find good help these days.

Anyway … you know what I just realized? I never told you about my first appearance on Paws and Effect! I blame Mama, of course, because I couldn’t possibly have overlooked such a vitally important thing if I hadn’t been so busy trying to corral my recalcitrant caretaker into living up to her obligations.

It really wasn’t all that long after I arrived at my new home that Siouxsie and Thomas introduced me to the world. (You’ll have to forgive me when you go to this page, because Mama built it before she got a Word Press, and even now, almost five years later, she still hasn’t gotten around to putting all the old pages through that Word Press so they don’t look so stupid with all their red X’s where pictures should be and links that don’t work! See what I mean about the whole good help thing?)

My debut took place before I got spayed and not that long after I met Doctor Sarah for the first time. Naturally, Siouxsie was bratty and mean to me the whole time. If she wasn’t grousing at me and calling me a nasty, poop-smelling kitten, she was trying to get me to play the Take A Nap Game. Just listen to her:

“The first game we’re going to play is the Take A Nap game. Just curl up on the bed … no, not so close! Over there, on the other side! … curl up in a nice, tight ball, take a deep breath, tuck your nose under your tail, and go to sleep.”

Is that mean or what?

Of course, Thomas, my shelter-cat buddy, stood up for me and groomed my tears away when Siouxsie swatted me or called me really, really nasty names.

It wasn’t until a couple of weeks later that I got to help answer a letter, though.

To my chagrin, I didn’t exactly live up to the expectations I’d placed upon myself.

I was so excited about answering a letter, all I could do was say foolish, kittenish things like “I like water. It’s yummy!” and “I have a really long tail. … Look! See my tail?”

Predictably, this put a kink in Siouxsie’s tail and she yelled at me again!

“Would you please shut your kibble hole? We’re here to give advice, not admire your poop-smelling tail! Hissssss!” she screamed.

And of course, I started crying. Until I found an awesome, cool bug and decided it would be really fun to chase it.

After we finished writing that column, Thomas took me aside.

“Dahlia,” he said. “I know you’re a kitten, and it’s totally natural that you want to do kittenish things.”

“Uh-huh,” I said.

“But when we’re writing our column, it’s really important that you be as grown-up as you can. You see, humans are depending on us to help them be the best possible caretakers of their feline friends.”

“I’m sorry I disappointed you, Thomas,” I said. My whiskers drooped and a tear fell from my eye.

“There, there, little one,” he said. “You didn’t disappoint me. You were just being a kitten, and that’s exactly what you are. Now, come over here and have a snuggle.”

My sadness disappeared as Thomas gently groomed all my favorite places–the top of my head, inside my ears, and right in that place that no matter how much a cat contorts herself, she can never quite reach. Before I knew it, I was sliding into a purry sleep.

I smartened up after that.

Dahlia at the office

You've got to keep an eye on these humans. You never know what they'll get up to if you're not constantly prepared with a reproachful (or loving) glance.

Even though I reveled in my kittenhood for the vast majority of my waking hours (and all of my sleeping hours, of course), I decided to be a big girl and do my best to be a wise kitty for all the humans that were relying on my advice.

The next week, I actually did have some wise words for my beloved minions. I was so proud of myself! And the week after that, I really hit my stride. Ever since then, I’ve been getting better at my job. Why, if my vast reservoir of feline knowledge keeps increasing at the rate it has over the last few years, I’ll probably know everything about everything by the time I’m Siouxsie’s age!

See the rest of the story | Next Chapter >

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