My Kitten Roots are Revealed

January 27, 2016

By Roc

Karen must have cat DNA for curiosity. With each passing day, my reputation for having the greatest charm, energy, personality, and wit grows almost as fast as Donald Trump’s (I’m ignoring hisses from Adele and Max right now), so Karen tried to find out more about my background.

But first let me set the record straight on one important matter, in case I ever run for president: I was born in this country. In fact, I was born in the country. The western corner of Virginia to be exact.

Here’s the rest of my timeline as we knew it…

September 1, 2015 – (approx.) I was born.

November 19 – I was brought with 3 sisters (and possibly my mom) from Happy Tails Animal Rescue in Abingdon, Virginia, to the Richmond Animal League in the big city.

November 20 – I got a butt-shave and was neutered on a day that will live in infamy.

November 21 – Karen adopted me.

So, other than those 3 relatively traumatic, life-changing days in November, the rest was a blank, until…

Karen wrote to Happy Tails to ask if anyone remembered my litter. They did!

My mother must have been a pregnant stray last summer, because a “Good Samaritan” took her in until she had her kittens.

Unfortunately, the good lady couldn’t afford to keep my family, so when we were old enough she took us to Happy Tails, where we stayed a few weeks. We are remembered as being affectionate, playful, and happy for attention.

Karen concluded that I owe my great personality to the Good Samaritan, who must have done everything right during my first crucial weeks (such as, never screamed, vacuumed, or slammed doors on my tail).

Of course, I could have simply told Karen all this, if only she spoke cat.

My birth mom was great as well. She taught me everything I needed to become a successful pet, such as always squat to pee in the litterbox, always use the litterbox, and always use your “inside paws” on your human (no claws!). I hope my mom and sisters found forever homes as nice as mine.

And now for a quick update on my progress. Here I was 2 months ago…


And this is me today, filling out the cat bed a bit more fully, thanks to my boundless appetite for Fancy Feast , Sheba, and Friskies. I’ve never met a can of cat food I didn’t like. I’m a whisker shy of 5 months old…


Have a Crazy, Catty Christmas

December 21, 2012

By Max

This year, we’re getting real. Our Christmas tree didn’t come out of a box in the closet. Karen went out and killed this one. She wanted the house to smell like Christmas.

(Adele footnote: It really came from Home Depot. I saw the receipt.)

(Adele footnote: It really came from Home Depot. I saw the receipt.)

What’s even better, it’s just my size!

Its little branches can hold only a few ornaments, so we dug out the best —our own personal ones, of course — and those of the late Fred and Yul. I’m told those guys loved Christmas.

I helped decorate.

We also hung bells. Lots of bells. Those were NOT my idea.

We also hung bells. Lots of bells. Those were NOT my idea.

(Unfortunately, the camera flash doesn’t let you see how beautiful the tree is all lit up, so here’s another shot.)

Colored lights make it look like a giant cat toy.

Colored lights make it look like a giant cat toy.

Unfortunately, this tree has almost no smell at all. I check it every day.

Sniff… sniff… Nope, must not be Christmas yet.

Sniff… sniff… Nope, must not be Christmas yet.

Karen hung our stockings on the chimney with care, but she still hasn’t found a better alternative to all the stupid buttons on mine. So she let me raid her jewelry box and jazz it up with all her cat bling.

Adele is pea-green with envy.

Adele is pea-green with envy.

Once all the presents were in place, Cole conducted an inspection, found our section, and declared it a ColeZone. He’s taken a special interest in one sweet little parcel wrapped in red tissue paper.

Every Christmas tree needs a guard cat to watch the presents. Cole parks himself on that red one like a mother hen.

Every Christmas tree needs a guard cat to watch the presents. Cole parks himself on that red one like a mother hen.

Adele should go to work for the TSA. I think she must already know what Cole’s red present is.

Who needs a body scanner when you have claws?

Who needs a body scanner when you have claws?

Adele also became suspicious of a green present for our cousin Noel and wasted no time making sure Karen wasn’t trying to smuggle desirable flavors of Fancy Feast out of the house.

Hallelujah! Noel’s getting all our yucky Turkey & Giblets!

Hallelujah! Noel’s getting all our yucky Turkey & Giblets!

Me, I’m more interested in the tree. How often does a cat get a piece of the forest in his own living room? The only thing better would be if Karen invited my squirrel from the deck inside.

Good thing Karen used sturdy boxes, or somebody’d be having a smashed Christmas.

Good thing Karen used sturdy boxes, or somebody’d be having a smashed Christmas.

I’m looking forward to the Cats Working traditions of a special breakfast and playing with whatever Santa Kitty brings us, then settling back with treats and fresh ‘nip to watch Video Catnip.

It’s a wonderful life.

Adele, Cole, Karen, and I hope Santa Kitty is good to you and your kitties and you have holidays you’ll fondly remember.

Christmas P.S. – and a Spooky Mystery

January 6, 2012

By Max

I’m embarrassed to report that, in spite of my big talk, I chickened out and mostly missed my first Christmas. It all started Christmas Eve…

Adele had just settled into the litterbox when she heard a commotion in the driveway. She raced into the bedroom, which caused me and Cole to dive under the bed because Adele’s a homicidal maniac.

For the next 3 hours, the house was full of strange people. OK, 5 more people, but it’s just a little house.

None of us recognized 2 of the voices. Turns out they belonged to Karen’s uncle Richard and his wife, who had driven down from Mass. And Richard kept a big dog in his truck, right in front of our house. No way were we getting anywhere near him.

I almost felt sorry for Adele because when she couldn’t hold it any longer she had to get to the boxes. She bragged later that her “Merry Christmas” to the intruders was to leave her biz uncovered. She’s so spiteful.

Finally, everybody left and Karen came to bed. When all was quiet, I crept up onto the bed, but I couldn’t sleep. I swear I heard the “scritch, scritch, scritch” of Santa Kitty’s claws on the skylights. I would have gone to investigate, but Adele’s eyes were glowing malevolently at me from her bed on the dresser, so I stayed put.

Christmas morning, we chowed down on Fancy Feast Elegant Medleys, then I followed Cole back under the bed to sleep it off. Adele was the only one with any Christmas spirit.

Here’s what was in those big boxes wrapped in brown paper.

What are we supposed to do with this pile of junk?

Adele actually preferred the paper.

If I had some tape (and thumbs), I’d wrap her up and send her back.

Karen’s job was to put it all together.

Adele supervised from a safe distance in case Karen started throwing stuff.

Finally, it was done.

But what is it?

Adele was the first to show a slight interest. After all, besides a tub of ‘nip, a lousy blue jingle ball, and new food bowls (which are like giving a cat underwear), it was the only present we’d gotten.

Ball. Tunnel. Lame.

But then Adele figured out that the tower thing had TREATS inside!

Hmmm... there must be an easier way than pushing them through all these holes…

It didn’t take her long to figure something out.

The classic claw snag. Works every time!

Then Adele was diverted by Video Catnip, a Cats Working Christmas tradition. Adele’s seen it a dozen times, but she says she always finds something new in it.

If only Karen had put a couple of THESE guys under our tree!

Later, when Cole and I decided to check out the tunnel thing, Cole found the treats, too.

Why do they taste better when they seem stolen?

Even though Adele wasn’t crazy about our new toy, she got possessive and wouldn’t let me play with it.

Her eyes are saying, “This tunnel ain’t long enough for both of us, kiddo.”

Since the original configuration didn’t seem to be grabbing us, Karen tried making the tunnel even longer.

This thing could stretch into the kitchen and I STILL wouldn’t get any closer to Adele.

Since it was now taking up too much space, Karen tried one more time. When Adele wasn’t looking, I checked out the new, more compact arrangement.

OK, what happens when the ball hits the end of the tunnel?

We still have presents to open because we haven’t touched what Santa Kitty left in our stockings yet. Karen says we can have them this weekend when things are back to normal.

And now for the mystery…

When Cole came to live here in 2009, after the passing of Fred, Karen took some pictures of Cole on Christmas Eve. She snapped 2 in quick succession that were identical, except the second one had this…

Could it be the spirit of Fred checking out his replacement?

None of the other pictures that night, nor any she has taken in the 2 years since, have had what ghost hunters call “an orb” in them.

Fast-forward to Christmas morning 2011. My first Christmas here, after the passing of Yul. Karen took this picture of me (with a different camera than in 2009) watching Adele play with the new tunnel.

The spirit of Yul sneaking up behind me?

We didn’t see my orb until just now when Karen was helping me put this post together. It really freaked us out.

Other things have happened here since Fred and Yul died. Nothing bad, but we’re pretty sure they’re letting us know they’re still nearby. But that’s another story.

In 24 years in this house, the ONLY time Karen has EVER gotten orbs in photos have been these 2 shots, both of the newest cat on his first Christmas here.

It’s something to think about.

Happy New Year!

A Kitten’s First Half-Birthday

October 10, 2011

By Max

I was exactly 6 months old on Karen’s birthday yesterday. I’ve only been about 2 months with Cats Working, but I’ve been learning and doing so much, it feels like a year in kitten time.

For example, I’m still leash training. Here I am on a typical day’s practice…

I do this mainly for the treats

Sometimes I forget and run ahead, and the leash jerks me back. To save face, I play this little game where I pretend Karen’s strangled me.

Help!! It’s… getting… darker… !!!!

I’ve also learned it’s one short hop from the kitchen table to the counter, but one great leap for kittenkind. It’s a great way to see for myself what’s cooking.

I know she hides the Fancy Feast around here somewhere

AND I’ve joined the ranks of all the intrepid Wormald kitties who have dared to attempt “third beam” and lived to tell about it. (Adele did it in her youth, but Cole refuses to even consider it.)

The third beam runs across the far end of the living room, beyond the balcony, so you can’t just walk onto it, like the first 2 beams. The diagonal leap out isn’t too bad if you don’t look down. It’s the coming back. It requires pinpoint precision and timing to sail between the bannisters and not end up a splat on the living room carpet.

Here’s when Karen dropped the camera and went scurrying for a ladder

I’m also establishing a fitness routine with Karen’s stationary bike and stretchy things. It helps me tone my muscles for even BIGGER leaps!

When I can reach the pedals, watch out, Tour de France!

We have this live tree I’ve loved digging in and knocking over from Day One. It was 6 feet tall, but Karen cut it down to my size, hoping it would lose its appeal. No dice. The dirt’s covered with tin foil now, but its “safe place, out of reach,” lasted about a day. Even Karen’s basket of talking Chihuahuas couldn’t stop me.

Guard Chihuahuas – no match for a kitten on a mission

Adele showed me another angle to the tree, but I’m not quite ready for that yet. Adele’s such a talented leaper, she should run away with a circus. I mean it. Cole and I would love it if she ran away with a circus.

Adele’s radioactive vision will restore the tree to 6 feet in no time

Occasionally, I still drop in on Karen’s work. I can obliterate much more of her computer screen than before.

Mouse pointer – still better than no mouse at all

And I notice I fill my office bed a little more…

Nothing like a good catnap while Karen earns the kitty litter money

Adele regifted me her furry white bed because she never liked it for some reason…

Adele's forgotten her shelter days, when a kitten would KILL for a bed like this

It’s so far, so good with my caterpillar. No signs he’s turning into a butterfly yet.

My Cattey is always here for me

My latest favorite toy is a little yellow thing. It’s supposed to be a chew toy — for cats. I know. What were they thinking? But I love it and play with it for HOURS (unless it skitters under Sam the fridge). I think it’s a sign of growing maturity that I can appreciate the subtle pleasures of such a boring little object.

Me and Chewy. He's dumb-looking, isn't he?

Cole and I are still working on our relationship. He still thinks he’s king of the blue kitty perch, but sometimes he’ll role-play scenes from “Titanic” with me…

Cole’s Rose, floating on her door while Jack Dawson loses his grip… “I’ll always, glug, love you, glug, glug…”

Thanks to dozens of cans of Fancy Feast®, Karen thinks I weigh about 6 pounds now. I have introduced a new tradition I call “lunch.” Whenever Karen goes into the kitchen at midday, I’m right there, looking for a little sump’in- sump’in my bowl — and I usually get it. I mean, could YOU resist this face?

Ma'am, may I please have some more?


Carla Hall Goes From “Top Chef” to Cat Food

July 20, 2011

By Adele

Top Chef All-Star Carla Hall has parlayed her experience pleasing finicky Tom and Padma into a gig with Purina Fancy Feast® cat food.

I’m serious.

Carla is the guest judge in the Fancy Feast® TasteMakers contest, where humans and their cats concocted new flavors for Elegant Medleys®. Purina will go to any lengths to avoid just putting more meat in the can.

You know what that means. Unless the contest is rigged, Carla is going to have to EAT that stuff to make her decision. I hope, at least, they give her a fork.

Purina limited entries to a check-off list of acceptable ingredients (including CARROTS. and acini di pepe pasta. Ha!), so the 1,656 submissions quickly start to look alike if you flip through them.

The 5 finalists all have a protein with variations on wild or long-grain rice, spinach, and — get this — tomato FLAKES — steeped in “savory broth” or “classic gravy.”

Purina omitted the most OBVIOUS ingredient that would have made their contest truly special…

Ground MOUSE.

Here’s a video of Carla explaining the contest.

If you click to the second video, Purina’s chef says they watch “restaurant trends” for inspiration.

Translation: They make their cat food appeal mostly to HUMANS so they’ll shell out big bucks for minimal protein padded with spinach or carbs, and drowned in rich-looking sauces — the only thing the cats will like and lick off. The rest goes down the disposal.

Ka-Ching! for Purina.

The TasteMaker winner gets $10,000 and a year’s supply of Fancy Feast®. Purina is donating $1 for each vote to, up to $25K. You can vote once a day until August 8.

For the record, after heated debate (because that’s just how we roll), Cats Working voted for Purrrfect Sushi, inspired by rescue cats Wasabi and Ginger. It’s yellowfin tuna, shrimp, wild rice, and classic gravy. The one thing we all agreed on was that we’d spit out the rice.

Fancy Feast Forgets the Cat

June 10, 2011

By Adele

Remember that recent Fancy Feast® silent mini-movie where two human twits fell in love, and the guy proposed with a white Persian kitten? If you don’t, go back here where you can watch it and get up to speed.

There hasn’t been a follow-up commercial, but Purina is trying pathetically desperately to make the whole sordid situation a viral ‘Net sensation.

The original commercial left the relationship ambiguous. You couldn’t tell if the couple had gotten married or not.

Now we learn that their names are Sean and Lisa, and they’ve been shacking up.

Purina is has made an interactive circus of their upcoming nuptials on Facebook, complete with Colin Cowie, a presumably British “celebrity wedding planner.” God only knows why he stooped to this gig, since no celebrities are involved, nor are ever likely to be.

“Fans” have already selected Lisa’s gown (a one-shoulder “Hollywood” style) and bouquet (peonies). They’re still voting on her earrings — Colin seems to have a thing for brides wearing massive chunks of chandelier. You need a Facebook account to vote.

All the wedding-related videos are here.

The one thing they never mention — or even show — in ANY of the videos is the damned CAT. Unlike its owners, it’s still nameless.

Note to Purina: Remember, you are trying to sell CAT FOOD. We don’t give a rat’s ass about that stupid couple. They already have “DIVORCE” written all over them.

We only want to know what happens to that kitten. If it doesn’t get a name and a prominent role in the wedding, be warned that you will have to answer to cats, and it won’t be pretty.

The Great Cat Food Rip-Off

April 15, 2010

By Yul

Did you know that if your cat eats grocery-store dry food, you might as well be feeding him cookies?

Cats are obligate carnivores, yet our dry food is almost nothing but carbs, fillers, and preservatives. Owners have been brain-washed to believe that if the package says “Nutritionally Complete,” the food is nutritious.


Purina One was our brand until I had a brush with diabetes last year and got switched to prescription Purina Dietetic Management. It’s 51% protein and 15% fat, my two favorite things.

I also stopped getting Friskies shredded canned food with gravy (I only licked the gravy), and now eat only certain ground Fancy Feast varieties (beef, chicken, salmon, turkey & giblets) with negligible carbs.

Within 3 weeks, my blood sugar was well within normal range and has stayed there. My fur is softer, too.

Cole and Adele weren’t left out. They now eat Blue Buffalo Wilderness Duck Recipe, the highest protein Karen could find at PetSmart — 40% with 18% fat — and no wheat, soy, or corn. Their fur is also softer, and Adele’s itchy skin allergies are slowly clearing up.

To figure out how good any dry food is, add the percentage of protein and fat together. What’s left is moisture, carbs, and other garbage. The lower the remainder, the better.

Karen just paid $50 for a 12-lb. bag of my DM, and 11 lbs. of Wilderness runs about $34. We eat less because they’re more filling, but she shouldn’t have to take out a second mortgage to feed us.

Such foods are nothing less than cats need to be healthy, yet the manufacturers market them as something extraordinary and price them like they’re freaking caviar.

It’s unconscionable.

Obama wants people to have affordable healthcare. I demand affordable, healthy food for cats!

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