Friday, November 18, 2005


Ginny with her cat friend Blondie

Copyright 2005 Janice Price

“Wow,” Cotton murmurs, “I can barely believe what I’m reading.”

Crystal is also amazed. “Me either.”

“I can believe it,” Percy says.

“So can I,” echo Cyndi and Cameron.

Buddy wakes from his nap to see all the cats gathered around the computer monitor. He climbs down from Jan’s chair, stretches lazily and asks, “What’s going on? Did I miss something?”

Percy, standing on the computer chair with his front paws resting on the desk near the keyboard, points at the computer screen. “I found an interesting news story on the Internet. Remember Ginny?”

“Who’s Ginny?” Merci asks as she enters the room.

Cotton begins, “The dog –“.

“The dog who –“

“Crystal! Cotton! I found the story. I get to tell it,” Percy huffs.

“Okay, okay,” Crystal grumbles. “I don’t know why I was elected President of the Funny Farm Writing Club. Percy leads all our meetings.”

“This isn’t a meeting,” Percy reminds him. “And if you remember, you elected yourself President.”

“Well, only because you elected yourself Secretary.”

“So? Cameron elected himself Treasurer and he can’t count past his toes.”

“I can too count past my toes!” Cameron automatically protests. Then he admits sheepishly, “Or I could if I had a calculator.”

Buddy, usually the instigator of arguments, tries to break up this one between Crystal, Percy and Cameron. “Stop arguing and one of you tell me what you’re talking about before Jan gets home and breaks up this meeting that we’re not having.”

Percy closes his mouth, looks daggers at Crystal and Cameron as a silent warning not to interrupt again, and begins. “Ginny is a dog. Or was a dog - a schnauzer-Siberian husky mix, to be exact. Jan’s cat Jenny died August 23rd, just two days before Ginny the dog. They were both seventeen years old.”

“Oh, yes,” Merci says quietly, “I remember Jenny. She was an honorary member of our Club.”

Cyndi adds, “I miss her.” The others nod their heads and try to pretend they don’t notice the single tear rolling down Buddy’s face. He is the biggest, strongest, youngest and most stubborn, yet the most emotional, of the group.

Percy clears his throat, not wanting to admit he is also feeling a bit emotional over the loss of Jenny. He resumes. “Philip Gonzales adopted Ginny from the pound when she was about a year old, after someone locked her and her puppies in a closet and abandoned them to die of starvation.”

“Oh, no!” Buddy whoops, at the mention of anyone starving. Eating is his favorite activity. “I hope the barbarian who left her and her puppies to starve was caught and punished!”

“I doubt it,” Cotton says. “But she didn’t die and she had 16 good years with Philip.”

“How do you know?” Crystal asked.

“Jan has two books written about Ginny - The Dog Who Rescues Cats and The Blessing of the Animals. I read them,” Cotton, an avid reader, admits.

Percy picks up where he was interrupted. “Ginny had a knack for finding cats who needed help. Sick, starving, blind, deformed, abandoned, newborns – Ginny found them. Philip took them to a vet and although he kept many of them, he couldn’t keep them all, so he either found a home for each cat or released them back into their feral colonies.”

“But,” Buddy wails, unable to imagine any animal going hungry, “they would starve if he put them outside again.”

“No, they didn’t starve, Buddy,” Percy continues. “Philip and Ginny went around every day and fed all the feral colonies they discovered. His friend Sheilah helped. Ginny is gone but the Ginny Fund still exists to help Philip take care of rescued cats. Ginny even has her own fan club.” (Update 10/2011: The links have been removed as they are no longer related to the Ginny Fund. The Ginny Fund still exists but can only be contacted by postal mail and we don't have their address.)

Crystal can’t contain himself any longer. “But the biiiig news, Buddy, is that on Saturday, November 19th, the Westchester Cat Show will hold a memorial service for Ginny.”

Ginny, the dog,” Cameron adds for emphasis. “Isn’t that neat?”

Buddy grins. “It sure is neat. Maybe next year they’ll give Merci an award. After all, she rescued you, Percy, when you were tiny. Jan thought you were a bird. And, Cameron, you used to follow Merci around like a puppy, until you managed to move in and become part of the Funny Farm.”

“We would probably have a lot more members living here if it wasn’t for you, Buddy.”

“What are you talking about, Cyndi?” Buddy demands.

“I mean, you’re like a cat repellent, Buddy,” Cyndi explains patiently. “You get so excited to see anyone, you leap and bark and scare off the cats that used to follow Merci when she walked Jan.”

“Yes,” Percy adds. “If you were with Merci when she rescued me, I would have been afraid to cry for help. And if I had, no one would have heard me above your excited seal imitation.”

“Seal imitation?”

Merci walks around Percy’s chair and lays a dainty paw on Buddy’s chest. “Yes, Buddy, I’ve been meaning to talk to you about that. I don’t want to hurt your feelings since you are my best friend, but when you get excited, you sound like a hysterical barking seal. It’s embarrassing to be on the same block with you.”

Buddy’s mouth opens and closes several times before he manages to speak. “I think I’ll go to Ginny’s memorial service at the cat show.” He stands and walks away. “And I just might not come back,” he calls over his shoulder.

“Oh, you know Buddy never misses a meal,” Percy assures Merci. “He’ll be back before the clock strikes the dinner hour.”

“Are you sure he should be allowed to go to a cat show?” Cotton asks. “Can you imagine the pandemonium when Buddy starts greeting all those cats who don’t know he’s just a harmless hulk? The cats will be climbing the mourners at the memorial service and Buddy will be bowling over the folks with the cats hanging onto their heads with their claws.”

Merci sighs. “Yes. We love Buddy, and we know he’s just a loveable calamity on four feet.” She shakes her head. “He’ll certainly never be another Ginny, but, then, Ginny was unique.”

Percy, Secretary, Funny Farm Writing Club

Monday, October 31, 2005


Copyright 2005 Janice Price

“Mmm, this is the life,” Buddy breathes, as he rolls onto his side and stretches in the warm sunshine.

“Yes,” Merci agrees. She leaps deftly to her feet to avoid Buddy’s flailing feet. “This is my favorite time of the year.”

Percy nips the paw Buddy has shoved into his side and ignores Buddy’s yelp of protest. “It won’t be long before it will be too cold to stretch out in front of the screen door and sleep in the sun. It’s going to be a long, boring winter.”

“Oh, it won’t be boring,” Buddy says with assurance. “I have decided what I want to do with my life.”

“Eat!” Merci and Percy laugh.

“No, seriously, guys,” Buddy protests, “ever since Mr. Landlord was here the other day, I have been thinking of becoming a plumber.”

“Mr. Landlord? Oh, you mean our landlord.” Percy cocks his head. “No, he can’t be our landlord. Jan pays the rent. He must be her landlord.”

“But Mr. Landlord isn’t a plumber. We heard him tell Jan he’s a contractor.”

Buddy rolls onto his stomach and watches a squirrel sit on a porch step and eat a pecan. “But, Merci, he replaced the kitchen faucet when he was here. He’s a plumber!”

Merci shakes her head. “Just because he knows how to turn on and off the water, that doesn’t make him a plumber. He just got lucky.”

“No! If you remember, I helped him. I showed him where the leak was. I barked for Jan to fetch a rag to clean up the water after he pulled everything out from under the sink. I even reminded him to go buy a new faucet before he took out the old one. It’s a good thing I was there, peering under the sink, watching him. He might have fallen asleep under there if I hadn’t kept knocking things over and nudging him along.”

Percy laughs. “You’re right, Buddy. He couldn’t have done the job without you.”

“Go ahead and laugh now. You won’t laugh when I have money in my – Oh, I forgot, I don’t have pockets. But I’m going to have money to spend.”

“Can I earn some money too?”

Buddy looks indignant. “You’re a girl, Merci. Girls don’t do plumbing. Did you see the size of that wrench Mr. Landlord carried outside to turn off the water at the meter? It probably weighs more than you do!”

“Well, I could do something. Mop up the water spills, hand you the lightweight tools, whatever you need that I can handle.”

Buddy thinks a moment and changes his mind. “Yes, it would be nice to have an employee. You could be my secretary and make my appointments. Cameron, the Funny Farm Writing Club Treasurer, can’t count higher than his toes yet. Maybe you can also do the billing and balance the books. You can add, can’t you?”

Merci nods her head, growing excited at the prospect of having a career.

“Well, if you two are going to work together and have spending money, I want a position too.”

“Okay, Percy, you can be the one who mops up the water spills, hands me the tools and whatever else I need help doing.”

“Just don’t ask me to bring you a wrench like Mr. Landlord carried. I’m smaller than Merci, remember.”

“If we’re going to start a business, we need a name for it.”

“I know, Buddy, we can call it Percy and Buddy’s Plumbing Company.”

“Hey, you forgot my name,” Merci complains.

“But you’re only the secretary.”

“Buddy, if you don’t include my name in the company title, I’ll tell Cameron you need a bookkeeper.”

“Okay, okay. We’ll include your name. The Buddy, Percy, Merci Plumbing Company.”

“That sounds terrible,” Percy says. “We need something with class, like PBM Plumbing Company.”

Buddy rises to his feet and stretches to look as tall and masculine as possible. “This is my idea. It’s my company. My name goes first! And to be fair to you two, we’ll do it in alphabetical order. Buddy, Merci, Percy Plumbing Company.”

“That sounds terrible too, Buddy. The name weighs more than Mr. Landlord’s wrench.”

“What about the BMP Plumbing Service?” Merci asks.

Buddy mulls over the name. “BMP Plumbing Service. Hmmm, I like that. It’s easy to spell also. Does that sound all right to you, Percy?”

“Yes, I like that name. I can print some business cards. This should be fun. When do we start?”

“Just as soon as we get a client,” Buddy beams. “I can’t wait to get started. After all, how hard can it be to plumb? We can learn as we go. This should be fun.”

Percy and Merci exchange a nervous glance. Buddy’s schemes tend to go awry.

“In fact, we can practice here at home,” Buddy announces confidently. “The faucet in the bathtub has to be replaced. Let’s surprise Jan and fix it for her.”

Merci climbs to her feet and slowly follows Buddy into the bathroom. “One way or another, Jan is definitely going to be surprised!”

Secretary to the Funny Farm Writing Club

Saturday, October 22, 2005


Copyright 2005 Janice Price

Percy stands taller than usual on Jan’s chair, with laughing eyes and a purr rumbling from deep in his chest.

“You look so proud you could burst,” Merci says, as she sits down beside the computer chair.

“I am,” Percy responds. “We should all be proud of what we did.”

Buddy drops onto his haunches on the other side of the chair. “Okay. I’ll be proud. But what did we do?”

“Yes, what did we do?” the cats chorus, leaping onto the desk and making themselves comfortable.

“We posted the All C.A.T.S. ( ) Hurricane Katrina animal rescue updates in our journal. Pat read our posts and sent us a personal message. She appreciates the voluntary contribution of our time and talents, even though we couldn’t find Jan’s credit card to make a monetary donation to the rescue effort.”

“Yes, that’s too bad,” Cameron says, with a touch of haughtiness, “but if you guys had been paying your club dues, we could have made a donation from our own funds. I told you the time would come you would regret having an empty treasury.”

Cotton sighs. “Cameron is right. We should have listened to our Treasurer and paid our dues. The problem is, Jan doesn’t give us an allowance. We tried donating dry food morsels to the treasury but Buddy swallowed them whole before Cameron could even count them.”

Buddy’s tongue snakes across his lips at the memory of the unexpected early morning snack. “Yes. I make a motion we do that more often.” He glances around at the other club members and innocently inquires, “Does anyone want to second the motion?”

The response is instantaneous and unanimous. “No!”

Cyndi steers the conversation back to the original subject. “Well, I think it was nice of Pat to send a personal note to the club.”

“Yes,” Crystal agrees.

Percy turns his attention back to the e-mail message on the computer screen. “There is more to the message. She says - Never mind, I’ll just read it to you.”

The money ran out and the Crew wore out. They would have kept on if enough money had come in, but I think "donor fatigue" has set in for a lot of people.

Cameron wants to know, “What’s ‘donor fatigue?’”

Percy is perplexed. “I don’t know. It’s probably some disease they picked up from riding through the flooded streets in a motorboat.”

We are very proud of the Crew. They rescued a total of more than 3,000 animals, and all but 125 of those rescued have been reunited with their owners.

Cyndi sighs. “Wow! Can you imagine all those ecstatic reunions?”

Cameron looks up from counting his toes. “Is 3,000 more than 18?”

Cotton laughs. “And to think, Cameron elected himself our Treasurer. Yes, Cameron, you would have to have - Let’s see. You only have four toes on each back foot, so you would have to have 600 front feet with five toes on each foot to count that high.”

“Since Cameron was not born with 600 front feet, this conversation is moot. Can I finish reading the message now?”

“I’m sorry, Percy. You don’t have to get upset with me. I only asked a question,” Cameron says politely. ”Go ahead and finish reading the message.”

Percy continues: The shelter in Alabama did end up with about 25 extra rescue animals, which we really can't afford, but what can you do when they need you? If you know of anyone who would like to help support these animals, we could sure use the help.

Percy looks around at the group. “Do we know anyone who would like to help these animals?”

“Do you mean, besides us?” Crystal asks. “I would sure like to help them.”

“I would too,” Merci adds. “I wonder if there is something we can do.”

Cameron asks, with a touch of sarcasm, “Isn’t this ironic? Dare I suggest we begin to collect club dues so we can make a contribution?”

“Yes, you can suggest it, but we’re broke, remember?” Merci reminds him.

“But we all eat, don’t we? Why not give up one morsel of dry food each time we eat?”

Cotton feels a stir of excitement. “That’s not a bad idea, Cameron. We cats nibble several times a day. Merci eats twice a day and you, Buddy, well, we’ll only count the two times a day Jan feeds you. We won’t count what you steal or what you swallow that isn’t actually considered edible.”

“Yes,” Cyndi adds, “and we can borrow one of Jan’s plastic containers to store the food until we have enough to ship to All C.A.T.S. in Alabama to help feed the extra animals.”

“That’s an excellent idea,” Buddy gushes. “And I’ll volunteer to guard the food container.”

All heads turn toward Buddy.

“Oh, no, you don’t!” Cameron tells him sternly. “We’re taking up a food collection for the All C.A.T.S. animals, not for you. I’m the Treasurer and I’ll guard the food container – from you!”

Secretary to the Funny Farm Writing Club

Thursday, September 22, 2005


©2005 Janice Price

Buddy stands at the window and watches as Jan’s station wagon rolls down the street. “Sheeeee’s off!” he announces to the Funny Farm residents.

“Let’s get moving before she comes back,” Merci declares, to no one in particular.

Percy leaps onto Jan’s secretarial chair and quickly opens her e-mail program, searching for the latest All CATS update.

“I thought she would never leave!” Cyndi exclaims.

Cotton eyes Cameron with disdain. “We could have posted this last night, except for Mr. Fat Butt.”

“I do not have a fat butt.” Cameron shoots back at her.

“Now, Cotton,” Crystal says, soothingly, “Cameron doesn’t really have a fat butt. He just made a mistake. We all make mistakes.”

“Yes, but he is the only one of us who ever sat on the keyboard to take a bath.”

“You mean, he is the only one of us that ever sat on the keyboard and got caught taking a bath,” Cyndi says.

Buddy begins to laugh, breaking the tension between the cats. Gradually, the rest of the group joins him, as they remember the early a.m. confusion Cameron caused as the club waited for Jan to stop tossing and turning and fall asleep. The quiet was broken by a mysterious doop, doop, doop. When Jan turned on the living room light, Cameron was vigorously bathing himself, while playing a non-melodious tune on the computer hardware as he bounced on the keyboard.

Merci chuckles. “That sure killed our chances at the computer for the night. Jan turned it off, and we didn’t dare touch it until she left the house just now.”

“Can the chatter, guys!” Percy orders. “I’m trying to work here.”

The group moves to where each has a clear view of the monitor. Cyndi, Crystal, Cotton and Cameron leap onto the desk. Merci stands with her front paws on the desk, and Buddy edges closer to Percy, who is standing on the chair seat.

Crystal asks, “What is the “rescue board” mentioned in the update?”

“I don’t know,” Percy admits. “That’s new. No, wait. Jan asked the same question and this is the answer she received.”

Cotton, sitting closest to the monitor, reads the message to the group. “The rescue board is in the courthouse near the French Quarter and is used by several organizations. Our volunteers list every animal we rescue, describing it and giving the street address (or at least the street) on which the animal was found. Also, where the animal was taken. People then go to the site where the pet they believe is theirs is located. Volunteers there ask for proof of identity (address) to match up with the animal. Each animal has a plastic "collar" such as vets use with the address written on it. Of course, lots of times it's obvious because the animal's eyes light up and they try to run to their person.”

“This is yesterday’s update, guys. Let’s get it posted,” Cyndi says, with impatience. There’s another hurricane headed that way. The news will be outdated before anyone gets to read it, if we don’t hurry.”

Percy hits a key and the update is posted.

“Good work, Percy,” Merci beams.

“Yes,” Buddy agrees, “good work, pal,” He pats Percy on the back, pushing him forward onto the keyboard, which begins to sing doop, doop, doop.

All Cats Update for September 21, 2005

Last weekend, we received a donation and wonderful letter from a lady whose dog was one of those our volunteers had been caring for. She had found her dog listed on our rescue board with a notation that it was being cared for in its home. When she arrived at her home, she found our volunteer Charles feeding the dog.

Then, lo and behold, we receive a call from CBS saying they wanted to do a ride-along with us. That happened today and was on CBS and Fox News earlier. Fox has been showing the story about every three hours. The boat has ALL C.A.T.S. written on it and is camouflage colored. Our guys are wearing military-type clothing. During the ride-along, our guys rescued 4 horses and several goats. Plus four dogs--which were shut in the farmhouse. This was shown on the news clip. The newscaster did say, "Most of the rescue people search from the air; you go door to door and find animals the rest do not." Our reasoning is that all farms have animals; therefore, we must check them all to see if these animals may be trapped inside buildings and therefore not visible from the air.

We made sure that the horses and goats were able to get to dry ground/pasture--with shelter. We fed the dogs and left plenty of food and fresh water. Charles will, of course, go back and check on them--as we always do.

During the ride-along, Charles talked about our organization and gave our website address. That address was crawling along the bottom of the screen while the clip was running.

We have received numerous emails thanking us for what we are doing--from people whose animals we have saved. The newscaster was very complimentary of our efforts--and your help. He said "You must have some great people on your supporter list." We told him that was definitely the truth.

A SPECIAL THANK YOU--To the office of the Governor of Texas. Carolyn contacted the governor's assistant today and was promised that there would be tractor trailers available, along with buses, for people to take their animals with them if evacuation of Galveston or any other area in Texas becomes a necessity. People will be allowed to take their animals (in carriers) on the buses during any evacuation. The tractor trailers are available in the same area to take animals that cannot be transported in carriers. All anyone has to do is talk to one of the drivers. They will go to the animals' location and pick them up.

We are very proud of what we have been able to accomplish--and of you for making it possible for us to do.

There is great need to continue our work, so we must ask you for more financial help. We especially need money for gasoline--we use a tremendous amount in the boats and trucks.

We also urgently need building materials--gift cards from places like Home Depot and Lowes would be wonderful!!

To donate--

1. Visit our website ( ) and donate on-line through PayPal with the special link for the Katrina Crew.

2. Send your check or money order made out to All C.A.T.S., Inc. to Carolyn Keeton at 4907 23rd Boulevard, Valley AL 36854.

3. Send money via Western Union to Carolyn Keeton in Valley AL and/or Barry Harbin in Albertville AL. BE SURE TO GET THE CONFIRMATION NUMBER AND SEND IT TO -

4. If there is any other way you wish to donate, we'll be happy to discuss it. Call Carolyn at the above number.

Please – if you possibly can, do find a way to help us help the animals. They are depending on all of us!

Friday, September 16, 2005


All Cats Katrina Pet Rescue Update, Sept. 16, 2005
(c) 2005 Janice Price

Buddy, carrying his stuffed bone with the broken squeaker, wanders past the computer. His ears register the sound of new e-mail notification, and he wanders over to check the computer. He calls, excitedly, “Percy, come quick! It’s here. Jan just received another update on the All Cats Crew in the Hurricane Katrina disaster area.”

Before he finishes, Percy has leaped down from on top of the refrigerator, raced into the living room and leaped onto Jan’s secretarial chair. “It’s about time!” Percy grumbles, as he scans the message. “How can we update people when we don’t receive updates?”

Merci joins them, standing on tiptoe to read the message on the screen. “Calm down, Percy. Remember the All Cats Crew is busy rescuing animals – mainly cats and dogs, either left in homes when people fled the storm, or stranded when the homes were flooded or destroyed. If the animals are not rescued soon, they will die. So the Crew doesn’t have time to chitchat.”

Percy’s deft paws copy and paste the message into a Word document. He runs a spelling and grammar check, adds a title, and ….

“Wow, you’re good at this,” Buddy says, in awe of Percy’s agility on the keyboard. “I used to be able to type that fast, but then I grew up and my paws got so large I can’t hit the correct keys unless I take my time.”

Percy smiles. “That’s why I’m Secretary of the Funny Farm Writing Club.” In no time at all, he has the update posted to the Club’s journal.

“I don’t know about you,” Merci says with a grin, “but it sure feels good to be able to do something to help those poor animals along the Gulf Coast.”

“Yes,” Percy adds. “We aren’t well-known writers, so we don’t have a lot of readers on our site yet, but sharing our journal with All Cats temporarily is the least we can contribute to the relief effort.”

Buddy sighs. “We could contribute a whole lot more if we could just figure out where Jan hides her credit cards!”

Secretary to the FFWC

All Creatures Are Truly Special, Inc.

We have delivered four tractor trailer loads of dog and cat food to New Orleans and Mississippi--wherever needed. FEMA has requested our services in Mobile AL, and we have a tractor trailer load ready to go directly to the shelters there.

We're still feeding more than 70 dogs and over 100 cats and kittens that are in safe places until their owners return. These owners have been contacted and know where their animals are.

The feral animals that are almost impossible to catch are being provided food and water in their own, familiar areas. We will not traumatize them further by trying to move them now that their home territories have been drained.

Since our last update, we have rescued another 3000+ dogs and 1800+ cats. 2088 of the dogs are back with their owners. 846 of the cats have been reunited with their people.

We have rescued 82 people with their pets. We also have 15 persons, 18 cats and 23 dogs living in our shelters in Valley. They will be provided with housing next week by the FEMA people. We also have 26 dogs and 30 cats that have been brought to Valley.
Again, since our last report, we have rescued over 100 head of cattle by getting them to dry land. A feed store donated food for them.

108 people have sent emails to Barry Harbin asking us to check their homes, entering by any means needed, to care for their animals. We have checked each location and reported back to the people who contacted us. We have provided food and water for all the animals we found. Most of the people are returning to their homes and animals next week.

You all have asked what else we need help with:

We always need a lot of money to purchase gasoline to keep all of these vital vehicles going! We are still the only animal rescue people operating boats. No one but us is helping the animals still surrounded by water. If we don't have gasoline, we won't be able to continue.

We have also rescued 36 horses, which will be turned over to the equine rescue groups. We have built temporary holding pens until the groups get to them. Money for building material is always needed.

We still need money to get that tractor trailer in to Mobile because it is sitting there ready to go--just need fuel. It also contains smaller cages for rescuing small dogs and cats.

Thank you all so very, very much for your help. Please try to continue your support as long and as much as you can. As you can tell, we urgently need financial support to continue helping all the animals which still need us.

You may donate in several ways:

1. Via PayPal using the special Katrina Crew link on our website.

2. Via Western Union to either Carolyn Keeton in Valley, AL or Barry Harbin in Albertville, AL. Be sure to send the Western Union confirmation number to Carolyn by calling her at -

3. By check/money order sent to Carolyn Keeton and made out to All C.A.T.S., Inc., and addressed to 4907 23rd Boulevard, Valley AL 36854.

4. To donate food or gas cards or any other items, contact Carolyn or Barry at the phone/email address described in No. 2 above.

Friday, September 09, 2005


The Funny Farm has received another update from All Creatures Are Truly Special,, Inc, a team rescuing animals amid the devastation of Hurricane Katrina.


All Creatures Are Truly Special, Inc.

We now have rescued well over 2,000 animals, all of which are now in safe, clean and dry locations with people who are dedicated to caring for them and 92 have been reunited with their people.

Another 17 owners have been found and are on their way to loving reunions with their animals.

We still urgently need dry cat and dog food and a lot of gasoline and money for other transportation related expenses. The transportation costs (averaging $900 per day) include gasoline and/or diesel fuel for the trucks and boats plus for the generators to provide electricity, which is still mostly unavailable.

Your donation of funds to provide the above food and transportation or the donation of the food itself or pre-paid gas cards is vital to enable us to continue.

We do not want to have to stop any time soon. There are so many more animals who need help!!!

You may donate in several ways:

1. Via PayPal using the special Katrina Crew link on our website.

2. Via Western Union to either Carolyn Keeton in Valley, AL or Barry Harbin in Albertville, AL. Be sure to send the Western Union confirmation number to Carolyn by calling her at -

3. By check/money order sent to Carolyn Keeton and made out to All C.A.T.S., Inc., and addressed to 4907 23rd Boulevard, Valley AL 36854.

4. To donate food or gas cards or any other items, contact Carolyn or Barry at the phone/email address described in # 2 above.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005


The Funny Farm has suspended regular postings to keep everyone updated on All Cats, Inc., an animal rescue team that has been actively rescuing pets in New Orleans since September 1st. We know there are other reputable groups also rescuing animals from the areas devastated by Hurricane Katrina, but this is the one we are familiar with and so we back their efforts 100%, knowing that every penny donated to them will go toward rescue expenses. After the rescue efforts have finally ceased, there will still be the care and feeding of numerous animals, some of which will need veterinary care. Some have already been reunited with their owners.
Percy, Secretary for the FFWC


Hurricane Katrina All Cats Rescue Update for Wednesday, September 07, 2005

All Creatures Are Truly Special, Inc.

We have now rescued 480 dogs and cats and have reunited a total of
50 with their owners. In addition, we have relocated 18 people WITH their animals.

You may have seen a piece on CNN that showed rescue of a very sick man whose collie was running alongside the boat in which he was being transported. The dog tried to get in the boat but was pushed back and finally gave up. We have rescued that collie, who has his tags on with his person's name. He is now with a lady who lives nearby and WHO will care for him until (hopefully) his owner recovers and they can be reunited.

You may also have seen a piece on Fox News about a Mississippi lady who refused to leave her home without her dog. One of our volunteers has taken her both people and dog food and she is now able to stay at her home, which was not extensively damaged. She is also taking care of some of the dogs we have rescued.

Home Depot and Wal-Mart stores in Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi have offered us any salvageable building materials free of charge. This is a BIG help, as we don't have to purchase fencing, cages and other materials for this purpose.

Our major need is still fuel.

1. Visit our website and donate via paypal using the special Katrina Rescue link.

2. Send money via Western Union to Carolyn Keeton at Valley, AL or Barry Harbin at Albertville, AL. Please be sure to let Carolyn and/or Barry know the confirmation number by calling Carolyn at -

3. Send a check or prepaid gas card to Carolyn at the Valley, AL shelter - made out to All Cats, Inc (and with a notation for Katrina Rescue). The address is All Cats, Inc., 4907 23rd Boulevard, Valley, AL 36854.

Thank you!

Monday, September 05, 2005


The Funny Farm Writing Club has unanimously decided to post the latest update on the All Cat Katrina animal rescue efforts. We are saddened by the horrors the storm victims have been enduring - human and animal - and are grateful to know there are people out there who will risk their lives, dig deep into their pockets, offer shelter and do their best to help humans. And we are grateful that there are others who are willing to risk all to rescue the victims' four-legged friends. This is one of the groups who is actively involved in rescuing animals in New Orleans.

FFWC Secretary

Update Sept 5, 2005, Hurricane Katrina Animal Rescue

All Creatures Are Truly Special, Inc.

Some VERY GOOD news to begin with--we have reunited 32 animals with their families and have supplied all of them with food. They are presently in Kenner, LA. Our plan is to post messages about all the rescued animals when we have the means to do so on-line.

Our total of rescued dogs and cats is now over 400. We have also assisted in helping trapped cattle get to safe, dry places where they can graze.

We have had to bring about a dozen dogs to the Valley shelter due to their urgent need for medical attention. If you can help with these costs by paying their bills at the vet directly or by a special donation, it would be greatly appreciated.

A representative of the Forsyth (GA) County Humane Society has visited us in Valley and plans to ask their membership for financial help.







Friday, September 02, 2005


© 2005 Janice Price

Buddy sidles up to the desk and peers at the computer monitor. “What are you doing, Percy?

Standing on the secretarial chair at the computer, Percy responds without breaking stride in his typing. “I’m writing a journal entry for the club about the Hurricane Katrina Relief effort to rescue animals.”

“But aren’t there agencies to deal with helping the survivors?”

“Yes, Buddy, but they deal with rescuing people. There are so many people who need help, the agencies are overwhelmed and help is slow and chaotic for them, at best. Many people are having to abandon their pets to die. They don’t want to; they just aren’t allowed to take them with them to shelters or on buses. It’s breaking their hearts and making a horrific situation even harder for them to deal with. One little boy cried until he vomited when his dog, Snowball, was taken away from him because evacuees were not allowed to take pets on the buses leaving New Orleans..”

“They should let us run the rescue work,” Merci chimes in, standing on her hind legs to see what Percy is typing. “We could straighten that out in no time! After all, we straightened out Jan, didn’t we?”

“Well,” Percy says, fervently, “there are some groups already helping to rescue as many abandoned animals as they can find. Some of them are on rooftops, in trees, or other dangerous places, and they don’t have any food or water either.”

“Jan gets newsletters from some lady named Carolyn who runs a rescue shelter named ….. uh, I can’t remember the name of it.” Buddy looks at Merci and asks, “ Can you?”

“Yes,” Merci says, after thinking for a few seconds. “All Cats. All Creatures Are Truly Special, or something like that. I think they’re in Alabama now. They used to be in Georgia, didn’t they, Percy?”

Percy nods, distracted as he reads over what he has typed. “How does this sound, guys?”

Rescue operations are under way for surviving animals. Carolyn Keeton and a group of volunteers left for New Orleans on Wednesday, August 31st to help the endangered cats and dogs who have been left behind. The Coast Guard has given them permission to enter the city, and the Chief of Police has promised to help as much as possible. A helicopter will be available if needed. If anyone would like to make an online donation for the Hurricane Katrina All CATS Crew, just click on this link for All Cats, Inc.

Buddy and Merci both nod their approval. “It sounds good to me,” Buddy says.

“Do you think you should add that donations are desperately needed to help pay for things like paper products – food dishes, paper towels, toilet paper, etc, since only biodegradable items are allowed to be taken into New Orleans?” Merci asks.

“Good idea, Merci.” Percy’s toes fly over the keyboard. “Drat. Jan really needs to get on the ball and clip my nails. They snag the keys.”

“And,” Buddy chips in, helpfully, “ don’t forget to let people know they can also mail donations to All Cats.”

“Right,” Percy agrees. “If they have any questions, they can e-mail us and we can find the answers.”

“Right!” Buddy smiles. “Merci and I can find anything. We’re good hunters and trackers.”

“Wait, shouldn’t we add something about folks donating to agencies to help the people displaced and stranded by Katrina?”

Buddy shakes his head. “Not really, Merci. Jan already wrote about donating to the American Red Cross or other agencies to help the human victims. She posted that story on Mercy And Percy . But only cats and dogs live on the Funny Farm.”

“And Jan. Don’t forget Jan. She’s not a dog or a cat. She’s a klutz.”

“And it’s off,” Percy announces, hitting the send key.

“You’re a good cat, Percy, “Buddy praises him enthusiastically, as he taps him on the back, the force of his tap knocking Percy off the chair. “I’m glad you’re my friend. If I ever need help, I know I can come to you and you’ll e-mail everyone until you find help for me.”

“Or at least he’ll email everyone until they put a spam block on his e-mails,” Merci laughs.

Secretary of The Funny Farm Writing Club

Tuesday, August 23, 2005



Jenny. Died August 23, 2005. Age 17

Beloved friend and companion to all of Jan’s Funny Farm residents.

We love you and miss you.

The Funny Farm Writing Club

© 2005 Janice Price

Read "Jenny's Love."

(Type "Jenny's Love" into "search this blog" at Mercy and Percy. It is archived under August 23, 2005)

Friday, August 05, 2005


Waking the Dead
Copyright 2005 Janice Price

“Why are you sitting alone,” Percy asks, sitting down on the bedroom rug beside Buddy. “Why aren’t you up to some mischief or bothering Jan to play tug of war with one of her good socks?”

“I’m laying low,” Buddy says quietly.

Percy’s ears perk up at the hint someone else might be in trouble. “What did you do?”

“I didn’t do anything,” Buddy claims, aggrieved Percy thinks the worst of his behavior, even though he usually is plotting something that gets him into trouble.

“He’s sad.”

Buddy and Percy turn toward the bed, where Crystal, Cotton and Cyndi are resting.

“It’s true,” Crystal says, as Cyndi nods her head in agreement. “Cotton is right. Buddy is sad.”

Percy eyes Buddy carefully. The gleam is missing from his eyes and his head is bent as if he is carrying a great weight on his shoulders. “You are sad! Is it because of Jenny?”

Buddy’s head bows even lower and he stares at the rug.

Cyndi answers for him. “It’s too soon after losing two other friends — Miss Mother’s Benji and Mr. Jimmy’s Murphy.”

“What’s too soon?” Merci asks, entering the bedroom and sitting down in front of the large oscillating fan.

“Jenny.” Cotton says, simply.

“Oh, yes, Jenny. She hasn’t always been the friendliest cat, but I’m going to miss her when she’s gone. I’ve actually become fond of her. She gets around quite well for one who is blind.”

Crystal says, “Grayce was my favorite, even though Jenny was top cat around here, until I took that title away from her a couple of years ago. I still miss Grayce. I’m going to miss Jenny too.”

“Jan has been giving Jenny lots of extra attention lately.” Cotton asks, “Have you noticed that?”

“Well, of course she is. She knows it’s highly unlikely Jenny will be with us much longer. Besides, Jenny eats small portions at a time, so she needs special attention,” Cyndi adds.

Crystal says, sadly, “Grayce died suddenly and Jan didn’t have a chance to say good-bye. She knows Jenny’s time is short, so Jenny is getting as much attention as Jan can give her. Jenny was always affectionate but independent. She never liked to be held before, but now she’s eating up the extra attention.”

“I thought I would bawl last night when Jan suggested we say good-bye to Jenny because Jenny was going to go to sleep and she probably wouldn’t wake up.”

“You?” Cyndi asks, in surprise. “I never thought of you as the sentimental type, Cotton. Perhaps it was from lack of sleep since none of us got much rest last night, between Jan sitting up with Jenny and Mr. Clatterpuss waking the entire household after we all finally drifted off to sleep.”

“I resent that Mr.Clatterpuss remark!” The voice comes from underneath the bed.

“Come out from there, Cameron,” Percy demands. “What are you doing under the bed?

“Hiding.” Cameron’s head appears from under the bedspread. “I’ve been trying to keep out of Jan’s way. I figure she has enough on her mind with Jenny being so old and tired.” He tilts his head and changes his tune. “Actually, Jan — all of you — should be thanking me that Jenny is still with us today.”

“What?” the group choruses, in unison.

“Have you lost your mind?” Cotton demands.

“No,” Cameron asserts. “But if you remember correctly, Jan told us in the wee hours of the morning that when Jenny went to sleep, it would likely be for the last time; she probably wouldn’t be waking up again.”

“But Jenny is alive. She did wake up again.” Merci shakes her head, in confusion. “What does that have to do with you?”

Cameron looks around at the group. “It has everything to do with me. I’m not any more prepared to say good-bye to Jenny than any of you, so I couldn’t get to sleep when all the rest of you did. I tossed and turned on the counter, until in desperation, I decided to try a relaxed breathing technique I read about in a book. I took a deep breath, stretched, and suddenly there was a deafening clatter! Scared me out of one of my nine lives.”

“That’s because you pushed the dish draining rack off the counter, and all our stainless steel food bowls and Jan’s silverware went bouncing around the kitchen. The noise was loud enough to wake the dead!” Merci reminds him.

“Exactly!” Cameron exclaims. “The noise woke Jan, all of you guys — and Jenny!” He looks around at the blank faces of his friends. “See, Jenny did wake up. She’s not dead. You should all thank me.”

Percy shakes his head, in disbelief. “And you guys think Buddy and I are daft? Cameron, if Jan had caught you last night, you would probably be minus three inches in height and another one of your nine lives. I think you should go back under the bed until your concussion heals.”

“Now wait a minute, guys,” Buddy stands and moves toward Cameron. “Cameron is right. Jenny is still alive. We should thank him for waking her from the dead.” He drops a huge paw on the back of Cameron’s neck and says, in all seriousness. “Thanks, buddy. I’m sorry I never paid my Funny Farm Writing Club dues when you reminded us they were due.”

“Pkd[g,” Cameron mutters, his chin scraping the rug under the weight of Buddy’s paw.

Secretary of the Funny Farm Writing Club

Sunday, July 24, 2005


Copyright 2005 Janice Price

“What are you typing?” Buddy asks casually, nearly startling Merci into falling off Jan’s typing chair.

Intent on what she is doing, Merci says, “I’m typing a message to God.”

“Well, then, you need to change your salutation from “Dear God” to Dear Mr. God, “ Buddy tells her.

“Why?” Percy leaps onto the desk.

“Can’t I have any privacy around here? This is a personal letter to God.”

Mister God,” Buddy corrects Merci. “Remember, we have to show proper respect to adults and those in authority - just like we call Jan’s mother, Miss Mother. I’ve heard Jan call Mr. God “Father,” so we have to be respectful.”

Cyndi, Crystal and Cotton join the group at the computer. “Who is this Mr. God?” Cyndi wants to know.

“Yes, I’d like to know this myself,” Cameron says, leaping lightly onto the desk. “She sure talks to herself a lot, but sometimes she addresses God. I mean, Mr. God.” Cameron corrects himself quickly, when Buddy glares at him.

“I don’t know,” Cotton says, thoughtfully. “Sometimes Jan wanders around the house talking to him, but I haven’t figured out yet where he hides. I’ve looked for him in the closet, under the bed, in the silverware drawer, just about everywhere, but I’ve never seen him.”

Crystal chimes in. “I thought Jan was bonkers at first but she gets e-mail from other folks who say they talk to God, sorry, Mr. God, too. Maybe if we borrow Jan’s reading glasses, we can see him next time she talks to him.”

“By the way,” Buddy says, bringing the conversation back to where it began, “why are you writing to Mr. God, Merci?”

“Well, I’ve heard Jan say this Mr. God answers prayers. So I figure if he answers prayers, he might answer my request.”

“But you don’t know how to reach him,” Cotton says.

“I thought he might read it if I post it on our journal. Nearly everyone has Internet access nowadays.”

“What do you want him to do for you, Merci?”

“I don’t want him to do anything for me, Cameron,” Merci replies. “I want him to help Jan.”

Cyndi asks, “Help Jan with what?”

“Well,” Merci settles more comfortably on the chair, “you all know Jan found out a week ago that someone has been stealing stories off her MAP site. Nearly half of her Christian writings were stolen by someone and posted to a Christian forum. This person also stole stories from several of Jan’s writing friends.”

“Yes, she’s been walking around talking to herself, I mean talking to Mr. God all week, trying to figure out what to do and how to go about it,” Crystal says. “She was going to close down both her MAP site and our JFF site. It’s been a hard week for her.”

“You’re right, Crystal,” Buddy adds. “She cried the other day. Just like we did when Miss Mother’s Benji and Mr. Jimmy’s Murphy died recently.” He looks around at each member of the group. “We got through those sad times because we have each other. Who does Jan have?”

“She has us!” Merci exclaims. “She always helps us. I thought it was my turn-“ She stops and waves a paw at the other residents of the Funny Farm. “I mean, it’s our turn to help her.”

‘What can we do?” they chorus eagerly, drawing closer together. “If someone stole from Jan, someone could steal from us.”

“Exactly! Jan believes in standing up for what she believes in but she’s getting too old to stand up for long, so she needs some relief standers.” Merci tilts her head and thinks about what she just said. “I think what I meant is- I don’t know how to explain it.”

“I think I can help,” Buddy offers. “Jan has been writing for Mr. God for free, just to help encourage other folks. She works hard, investing a lot of time and effort into making her site a place of refuge. She doesn’t feel safe there any more. Is that what you were trying to say, Merci?”

“Yes, something like that, Buddy. And she has some friends who write for Mr. God for free too - at least at this time it’s without pay. They agree people shouldn’t steal. But there is this concept among many Christian writers that they write for Mr. God, and since everything belongs to him, as long as what is stolen is encouraging someone, it’s okay.”

“Huh?” Cameron is astounded. “That doesn’t make any sense!”

“No, it doesn’t,” Cyndi agrees. “If Jan invites someone inside to sit on a chair and visit, her visitor isn’t supposed to steal the chair or keep coming back for more chairs.”

Cotton nods. “I’ve heard Jan say everything she has belongs to Mr. God, but she wouldn’t put a sign on the lawn: I’m not home, but everything here belongs to Mr. God. Please come in and help yourself to anything you find.

Buddy’s long ears try to stand, as he jerks to attention. “They better not touch my food! Or my toys. I’ll fight for them.”

“Oh, Buddy,” Crystal laughs, “you can give them your stuffed bone with the broken squeaker in it.”

“I will not! I love that bone.”

Merci brings them back on course. “Guys, this is about stealing stories. Your bones are safe, Buddy.” Buddy starts to open his mouth. “And your food is safe too.” Buddy relaxes.

Percy has been unusually quiet. “I think I see the problem. We should shoot the thieves.”

“No!” Merci yelps. “Jan says some people are thieves and nothing will stop them.” She tilts her head, thoughtfully for a minute. “Well, maybe those thieves should be shot.”

“Merci! That’s so unlike you. You’re usually such a peaceable girl.”

“Sorry, Cyndi. I did get carried away. Jan says many thieves just need to be educated in what they are doing wrong and how to go about it the correct way, and if writers don’t want to be involved in helping to educate the thieves, the thieves will multiply faster than rabbits. Writers need to unite and protect one another as best they can. Including us. So I’m writing a letter to Mr. God, asking him to encourage Jan to keep MAP and JFF online, so others can enjoy her work and ours.”

“And be sure to include a link to Jan’s story on how to share articles without stealing,” Percy adds.

Merci resumes typing, with frequent input from the group. When she is finished, the letter reads:

Dear Mr. God,

You already know how sad Jan has been all week because someone stole stories from her and her writing friends. (“Stealing Pieces of My Heart.”) Percy and Merci regret suggesting we shoot the thief, but we do agree with Jan that something should be done to stop this abuse of writers. They – we (we write too, you know) are hardworking and generous in sharing our lives. We deserve as much respect as the mill workers, truck drivers and other hardworking backbone-of-America employees and volunteers. So please help her stand on her old, tired feet a little longer to help encourage others to stand up for themselves too, since Jan thinks writers should respect themselves, their craft and their Mr.-God-given talents. And if it would encourage her to keep the two sites open, we’re all in agreement – we would give Jan (and only Jan) permission to copy our journal.

Respectfully yours,
Merci, Buddy, Crystal, Cotton, Cyndi, Percy and Cameron,
The Funny Farm Writing Club
And Jenny, honorary member of the FFWC

Friday, July 08, 2005


Died July 8, 2005, Age 14

Copyright 2005 Janice Price

“What’s going on, guys?” Buddy asks when he enters the living room and finds the other Funny Farm residents gathered around Percy at the computer. They are all staring at the computer monitor and whispering among themselves. At the sound of Buddy’s voice, Percy taps the keyboard to close the email they have all been reading. “You’ve been reading Jan’s messages again, haven’t you, Percy? Come on, let me see what is so interesting.”

“I don’t know, Buddy,” Cyndi says doubtfully. “You’ll get upset.”

“Yeah,” Cameron says, “you’re highly emotional, Buddy.”

Buddy stares at the group. “I am not highly emotional. What is going on?”

Cotton makes a suggestion. “Perhaps Crystal should climb the porch shelves and knock down the box of dog biscuits so we can feed Buddy first.”

Buddy eyes her suspiciously. “Feed me first? You are always complaining about how much I eat. Now you want to feed me. What’s the catch?”

“Show him the picture,” Merci tells Percy.

Percy taps a few keys and opens an email attachment. “This is Murphy. Mr. Jimmy sent this photograph to Jan this afternoon.”

“So that’s what he looks like.” Buddy moves closer to the monitor and rests his chin on the desk. “He’s smaller than I pictured him but he’s a handsome guy, isn’t he? I’ll have to email him and tell him …”

Crystal interrupts. “You can’t do that, Buddy. Murphy passed away during the night..”

Buddy sits up straight. “What? Why didn’t someone tell me? Jan didn’t even tell me he was sick.” He rushes toward the front door, stands on his hind legs, knocks everything on top of the bookcase to the floor and roots frantically through the mess. “Where are Jan’s car keys? I have to get to Atlanta. I’ll miss Murphy’s funeral if I don’t find those keys ”

“Jan has the car keys, Buddy. She drove the car to the store.”

“But Percy, I have to get to Atlanta and find Mr. Jimmy. He doesn’t have anyone now. He needs me.”

“Buddy,” Merci says gently, “you never followed through with your driver’s license after that one driving lesson. You don’t actually know how to drive a car.”

“And what would you do in Atlanta? You don’t know anyone there. You don’t even know where Mr. Jimmy lives.”

“I’ll look him up in the Atlanta phone book, Cameron. There can’t be too many guys named Mr. Jimmy listed in the white pages.”

“But what if he doesn’t want to see you? He might just want to be left alone tonight.”

Buddy sits down, appalled at Cyndi’s suggestion. “But everyone needs someone to talk to when there’s a death. We can talk about Murphy and how he volunteered to be the first student at my bed making school. Oh, if only Mr. Jimmy allowed Murphy to drive after dark. I could have taught him how to make a prize winning bed.” Buddy shakes his head at the memory.

“I’ve read Mr. Jimmy’s web site, ,” Cotton interjects. “He has a friend named Joe, co-workers, people he goes to church with, teenagers he takes camping and Taco Belling. (I think that’s something like bobsledding.) He isn’t alone, Buddy. His friends will take care of him. He’ll be okay.”

Crystal adds, “Buddy, it was just two weeks ago today your friend Benji died. I think you’re still grieving for him.”

“Yes,” Merci says, “I think you need the company of a friend tonight too.” She walks over to sit next to Buddy amid the assortment of leashes, harnesses and junk he has thrown to the floor in his haste to locate the car keys.

One by one the cats join them. Percy looks Buddy in the eyes and states, “We’re your friends, Buddy. When you hurt, we hurt. So we’re going to sit here with you and you can talk all you want to about your old pal Murphy. That’s what friends are for.”

A tear slips down Buddy’s face. “Thanks, guys. I don’t know what to say.”

The Funny Farm residents lock teary eyes for a moment, then softly they say, as one, “Good-bye, Murphy. And bless you, Mr. Jimmy, for taking such good care of Buddy’s friend.”

Saturday, June 25, 2005


Died June 24, 2005, Age 13

Copyright 2005 Janice Price

"Why are you two looking so sad?" Percy asks, when he finds Merci and Buddy sitting at the computer, Merci on Jan’s chair and Buddy sitting on the floor with his chin on the edge of the desk. Both are staring at a picture on the monitor.

“We’re looking at a picture of Benji,” Buddy responds. “Jan took this last year after he was shaved. He looks so funny without his fuzzy hair.”

Percy laughs. “I remember that. He was so embarrassed when Jan brought him by after she picked him up from the vet’s office. Is she going to have him shaved again this year?”

“No, not this year,” Merci answers. "Benji's gone.”

"Gone where?"

"He died early this morning."

Percy frowns. "Benji wouldn't do that! When Jan brought him over to visit us, he said he couldn't wait for her to take him back to Miss Mother's where he belonged. He didn't mind a short visit, but Miss Mother was his responsibility and he couldn't be away long. Not since his friend Shorty died, anyway."

"But," Buddy says, with great sadness, "the last few times we visited him and Miss Mother, he said he was tired and would be going away soon. I thought he meant he was going on vacation to get some rest. I still can't believe he meant he was leaving us forever."

"Neither can I," Merci adds. "We saw him just a day or two ago and he reminded us he would be leaving soon and asked us to promise to take good care of Miss Mother for him. He said he knew Miss Mother needed him but he was just too tired to hang on any longer. We didn’t have any idea what he meant and we certainly didn’t understand he would not be coming back, but we said we would watch out for Miss Mother so he could rest in peace.”

"It was so sad. Jan wrapped him in something he liked of Miss Mother's, put him in a box, and took him to Mr. Doug's house. Mr. Doug buried Benji in his back yard next to his old friend Shorty who died last year." Buddy sniffs, not wanting to cry and spoil his image. He is seven months old now and too old to cry.

Percy pretends he doesn't notice Buddy's pain. "But he never came over to say good-bye to the rest of the Funny Farm group."

A tear spills down Merci's face. "He said good-bye to all of us on Wednesday. We just didn't mention it because it didn't seem important at the time. He remembered you, all of you. Especially Crystal, since Crystal whacked him one on the nose on his first visit. You know Crystal, he doesn't consider himself a cat toy."

"I'm going to miss stealing his food when we walk through Miss Mother's house. He always left something in his bowl for me to eat."

"Buddy, do you ever think of anything except food?" Merci asks, with a touch of impatience. "This is serious. Benji went away and left Miss Mother all alone."

Buddy tilts his head and says, earnestly, "But Miss Mother is not all alone. She has Jan and Mr. Doug. And us! We will just have to visit more often and sit in her lap to cheer her up."

"If you sit in her lap," Merci says, "you'll squash her! She's just an itty-bitty woman compared to you. Act like a gentleman instead. Sit on the floor, offer her your paw and lick her hand."

"I licked her face today," Buddy says, softly. "It was salty. She'd been crying."

"Guys, you're going to have me bawling in a minute," Percy complains. "I'm going to be a year old next month. I'm too old to cry. We need to think of something else." Percy perks up. "Oh, didn't you mention Jan wrapped Benji in something he liked of Miss Mother's?"

"Yes," Merci says. "She wrapped him in a dress of Miss Mother's."

Percy objects to this. "Well, people have strange customs. Wrapping a male dog in a dress! Buddy, would you want Jan to wrap you in a dress when you die?."

"Well, not really, but this was something of Miss Mother's he really liked. He used to steal it and sleep on it when it was cold. It probably had her scent on it when he used it for a bed."

"Well," Percy continues, "Jan should have given him something of her own as a going away gift."

"Like what?" Merci asks.

"Well, I'm not sure. He was only here two or three times and he wasn't attached to anything of hers. But she could have given him her writing hat. Jan likes the hat, even though we hated it when she made us wear it to write our first few journal entries. It would have been a nice gesture on her part and it would have completed his burial outfit."

"Yes, that would have been nice," Merci says with a sigh. "I hate to think of him lying in the ground without a hat."

"I hate to think of him lying in the ground at all," Buddy adds. "Miss Mother is really going to miss him. And so am I." Despite his efforts to hold them back, two big tears roll down his face and drip onto the floor.

"I’m going to miss him too," says Merci.

"Jan took me down to visit Miss Mother a few times, so I’ll miss Benji too," Percy says. "Maybe Jan will start taking me down to visit Miss Mother again so she doesn't get lonely, but it won’t be the same around there without him."

“I think I’m going to cry,” Merci says softly.

“You can’t,” Buddy asserts. “You’ll have us all bawling.”

“It’s too late,” adds Percy.

“Good-bye, Benji,” the three say through their tears.

Saturday, June 18, 2005


Merci asks, "Don't we look pretty?" "But I smell like a girl!" Buddy protests after his first bath.

Copyright 2005 Janice Price

“Ugh,” Buddy says to Merci, after his first bath, “it sure feels weird to be clean, doesn’t it?”

Merci laughs. “Yes, but it feels good for the moment. If Jan could only learn to bathe us without water, bath time wouldn’t be so bad.”

Buddy agrees. “I sure don’t understand why she had to spray us with water and use that sweet-scented dog shampoo on us. You don’t smell like a dog any more. I guess I don’t either.”

“I like the clean scent of the shampoo. It makes me feel like a pretty girl for a while.”

“Well, you are a girl. Of course you like sweet-scented shampoo. But I’m a guy. I like to smell ripe. Wonder what’s in it to make it smell so feminine?

“Aloe Vera and Jojoba Oil. Jan says jojoba is pronounced ho-ho-ba.”

“Ho-ho? So Jan thinks it’s funny to make me smell like a girl?” Buddy complains.

“Buddy, I have no doubt you won’t smell like a girl for long! In fact, if Jan hadn’t towel-dried you and rushed you inside, you would have rolled in the freshly-mown grass and been an absolute smelly mess. You’d be ripe, rank or whatever word you want to use.”

“You would have rolled in it too, Merci, and you know it. Don’t try to act so clean and dainty around me. I know you. You might be a girl but you’re still a dog. The only reason you ran to the front door instead of the freshly-mown grass when Jan finished --“ Buddy cocked his head and asked, “Why did you run for the front door?”

“The same reason you did. To get away from the hose. I don’t mind Jan giving me a bath. It’s the water I don’t like.”

“It was more like a shower. It would have felt good if the water had been warmer.” Buddy considers this statement for a moment. “But I still don’t like getting a bath. It isn’t manly. Or doggy. Well, whatever.”

Merci eyes Buddy and shakes her head. “Buddy, you didn’t act manly, doggy or even adult. You acted like a baby, crying and running away from the water, racing up the steps and trying to dive through the screen door.”

“It was my first bath. I didn’t know what to expect. You’ve had several baths and yet you fussed just as much as I did. You’re just acting cocky now that it’s over and you smell like a girl again. You were shaking like a leaf out there, begging Jan not to give you a bath.”

“Well, that’s true,” Merci admits reluctantly. “I guess we’re both just a couple of wimps when it comes to getting a bath. But it sure feels nice when Jan’s finished and we can lounge around getting everything in the house wet while we’re still damp.”

“Yeah, did you see the wet footprints we brought in with us? That was neat. And when we sat down, we left big wet blobs behind. We should do this more often, only without the water.”

“Yeah, the wet blobs are fun. The brushing afterward isn’t bad. And the treats are good.”

Buddy licks his lips at the mention of treats. “Jan took pictures of us while we were still damp. I wonder why? Perhaps she wants a picture to send her friends so they can see how handsome we look. I sure hope they can’t smell us in those pictures. I don’t want to get a reputation as a guy who wears perfume.”

Percy pokes his head into the room. “Hey, Jan’s looking for you. I think she wants you to take her for a walk before she leaves.”

“Thanks, Percy,” Merci says, rising to her feet and leaving a wet blob on the floor.

Percy enters the room. He wrinkles his nose and sniffs Buddy’s leg. “Are you wearing perfume? You smell like a girl.”

Buddy leaps to his feet, leaving a large wet blob behind, and starts for the front door. “Not for long. Come on, Merci.”

“What’s the hurry?” Percy asks.

“This is the perfect time to roll in the freshly-mown grass. I’m still damp,” Buddy calls over his shoulder. “Merci doesn’t mind smelling like a girl, but I can’t wait to smell like myself again.”

“Yeah, ripe,” Percy mumbles to himself. He lifts a front paw and sniffs. “Hmmm, I guess I can use a bath too. I better find a quiet corner and take a quick tongue bath before Jan decides to give me a wet one and I end up wearing Buddy’s perfume.”

Note to self (Merci) –Find Buddy a ripe shampoo on the Internet and order a gross.

Have a good day.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005


The Boys, Tinker and Poo

Copyright 2005 Janice Price

Percy finds an interesting web site while reading Jan’s email. “Hey, Buddy,” he calls, “Merci, come here! You won’t believe what I found.”

Buddy races into the room, yelling, “It it’s edible, it’s mine!”

Merci walks carefully into the room behind Buddy, who has nearly knocked her down in his haste to reach Percy.

Percy is so excited he can barely sit still in Jan’s chair at the computer. “Look at this.”

Merci stands with her paws on the desk to see the web page displayed on the monitor screen. Buddy rests his head on the desk and reads the encouraging messages on for The Boys Write by Bill Walker. “The boys write what? And who cares?”

“We care!” Percy exclaims. “Especially you, Buddy. You have been driving us all crazy trying to come up with a scheme to make money so Jan can afford to keep you. This is it!”

Buddy is perplexed.. “What is it? I don’t get it.”

“The boys,” Percy says slowly and deliberately, “are named Tinker and Poo. They’re dogs. You know, dogs, like you and Merci. Dogs that wrote a book that is being published.” Buddy’s face is still blank. “For money,” Percy adds.

“Oh,” Buddy begins to see Percy’s point, “you mean they write, just like the Funny Farm Writing Club members do, only they’re going to make money on their stories. Let’s see, if their stories sell for $100 each, they’ll make - How many stories are in the book, Percy? Never mind, it doesn’t matter. If I could sell just one story at that price, that should feed me at least one day. Jan will have to keep me if I can pay my own way.”

“I don’t think that’s how it works with a book,” Percy says. “I think people pay a one-time fee to read the book. The club has seven official members and one honorary member. If the seven members write one story per week, we could put out a new book each week, but at the rate you eat, you would only have grocery money for three of the seven days. You’d have to moonlight to make meals meet.”

Merci scrolls down the page. “Wait a minute. There’s no price listed for the book. Don’t get your hopes up. What if the stories are only worth a dollar each? That wouldn’t keep you in water for the day.”

Cameron leaps onto the desk and joins the discussion. “I heard the club mentioned. Are we going to write another story for Jan? If so, as the club Treasurer, I must warn you that you’ll have to pay your dues first. You’re all in arrears.”

“Forget the dues. We’re going to help Buddy,” Merci tells him. “That is, if all the members agree.”

Percy calls the other cats into the room. “Crystal. Cotton. Cyndi.”

They all groan when they learn the topic. “You mean we work and Buddy eats?” Crystal gripes.

“Stop complaining,” Percy insists. “Buddy is family.”

“I’ve been reading some of their stories while you guys were talking,” Merci says, thoughtfully. “They aren’t bad. Not as good as ours, of course, but then we learned by Jan’s mistakes, so we had a prolific teacher. This Bill probably didn’t make as many mistakes for Tinker and Poo to learn from After all, Bill didn’t start writing until he was seventy years old. By that time he must have been all out of mistakes. Maybe we can do something to help these guys.”

Percy is triumphant. “I knew the club would want to help! We four-pawed writers have to stick together.”

“So what do we do?” Buddy asks.

“I found the link in the Hearts With Soul Newsletter. It’s from someone named Teri who wants folks to post a message on about the book. And Tinker and Poo have some sample stories posted there.”

“What do we say?” Cotton wants to know.

Cyndi suggests, “I think we should say we’re proud to share a writing heritage with these guys. Who are they again?”

“Tinker and Poo,” Percy reminds the club. “Teri wants us to write about whether we enjoyed the sample stories and whether we would buy the book. I think we should offer to buy seven books, one for each of the club members, to help further the canine/feline writing cause. Jenny’s blind, so it wouldn’t do any good to buy her a copy, but we can read the stories to her.”

“But we don’t have any money,” Buddy protests.

Cameron begins to laugh so hard he rolls off the desk. “I knew it! I knew the day would come when you guys would regret not paying your club dues.”

Crystal sighs. “I hate to admit it but Cameron is right. We should have paid our dues.”

“How are we going to buy seven books without a treasury?” Cyndi wants to know.

“That’s easy,” Buddy interjects. “We’ll just use Jan’s credit card.”

“Jan doesn’t have a credit card,” Merci reminds him sadly.

Percy sags in Jan’s chair momentarily before coming up with a solution. “I know. The Funny Farm Writing Club will apply for its own credit card. And when we get it, we can buy Jan a copy of the book too.”

“All in favor?” Cotton asks.

Crystal nudges her hard. “I’m the President of the club. I’ll take the vote, thank you.” He looks around at the club members. “All in favor?”

“Aye,” the club responds in unison.

“Motion carried,” Crystal says happily. “So where do we get a credit card application?”

Percy whips a stack of papers out from under the keyboard. “I’m glad you asked. I just happen to have one handy.”

Note to self, Percy: Email Bill our thanks for sending the photo Cherlyn used to design the book cover for The Boys Write. Her site has music and so many graphics that I typed the entire meeting minutes while waiting for her home page (link is no longer good) to load. Now, that’s cooperation!

Secretary of the Funny Farm Writing Club

Wednesday, June 01, 2005


Percy watches Buddy take his pain medication

Copyright 2005 Janice Price

“Buddy, what are you doing behind the couch? Why aren’t you running around the house annoying everyone?”

Buddy lifts his head slightly, enough to see Percy peering at him under the couch. “I don’t feel well. I’m in pain.”

“What’s wrong?” Crystal asks, as he joins Percy crawling under the couch to reach Buddy. “Do you have a virus?”

“No, I’ve been farmed.”

Cameron joins them. “Farmed? You mean you’re tired from planting a vegetable garden?” Cameron is incredulous that anyone would want to plant vegetables. Now, a canned chicken garden with dried kibble might be appropriate.

“No,” Buddy declares weakly. “My kidneys have been farmed.”

Crystal is puzzled. “Farmed?

“Oh, he means harvested,” Percy says, remembering the detective show they all watched last night. “Remember, the guy was knocked out and woke up in a bathtub filled with blood and ice. His kidneys had been harvested and sold.” He looks nervously at the others. “He died when the ice melted.”

“I knew it,” Buddy moans. “I’m a goner!”

“That was a television program,” Crystal says. “Let’s be calm and rational about this. You are not going to die. You hear me, Buddy? You are not going to die. You’ll probably outlive us all, anyway.”

“Yes, that’s for sure,” Cameron says “That’s because we’ll all starve to death while Buddy steals our food.”

“Why don’t you start from the beginning,” Crystal suggests. “What happened to make you think your kidneys have been farmed - I mean, harvested.”

“Well, Jan took me back to the nice guys who fed me biscuits while one of them poked holes in me when he thought I wasn’t looking. Still, I was excited to see them again. Jan forgot to feed me before we left the house and I thought they would give me some more biscuits. Instead, one took me outside and locked me in a cage. I tried to warn Jan to run before they put her in a cage too, but I guess she couldn’t hear me baying for her. They must have knocked her out first or she would have rescued me.”

The three cats nod their heads as they listen attentively. This story is sounding more and more familiar, all but the part where Buddy is locked in an outdoor cage.

“Before long, they knocked me out. When I woke up, my kidneys were missing. I guess Jan paid a ransom or something because eventually they brought me back to see her and we escaped. I was never so glad to see Jan in all of my life.”

“Buddy,” Crystal says, “your story is similar to ours. Cameron, Percy and I have each had a similar experience. But what makes you think your kidneys are missing?”

Buddy lifts one leg and lets it drop limply. “See, they’re missing. My kidneys are gone.”

Crystal, the oldest cat, laughs. “Buddy, you need to read an anatomy book. That isn’t where your kidneys are located.” He looks around. “You’ve had a minor operation. Percy. You’ll be sore for a few days, but you’ll survive.”

“Well, if they didn’t farm my kidneys, what did they steal?”

Cotton is listening from her resting spot on the back of the couch. This is too good an opportunity to miss adding her two cents worth to the male conversation. “Oh, Buddy, they didn’t take anything important,” she teases. “Only your brain. But you didn’t need it. It was just a spare.”

“Ignore her,” Percy tells Buddy, cocking his head to listen intently to the rustling noises coming from the kitchen. “I think I know where to locate some pain medication to cheer you up and get you back on your feet again.” He dashes off to the kitchen.

“Here you go, Buddy,” Percy calls, his speech garbled as if he has a mouthful of something. The rustling noises draw nearer, then an eighteen pound cat food bag appears at the end of the couch. Percy lets go of the corner he has been holding in his mouth. “I thought I heard Jan filling the cat food container. And sure enough, she emptied the bag.”

Buddy leaps to his feet and dives head-first into the bag. “Mmmmmm, thxxx,” is his muffled thanks.

Cameron looks sadly at Buddy’s backside sticking out of the bag he is licking clean. “It’s a shame Buddy’s been farmed.”

“Why?” Crystal asks.

“Well, remember when Buddy got stuck in the twenty-pound dog food bag because he had a swelled head over his fan mail?”

Crystal thinks hard, then remembers the occasion. “Right, and you said the next time he gets stuck in a bag, we should all get together and jump on him to teach him a lesson.”

“Yeah,” Cameron sighs. “But I just can’t do that today, not to a guy who’s just lost his brains.”

Secretary to the Funny Farm Writing Club

Saturday, May 21, 2005


Percy, Buddy on Bar Stool, and Jenny

Copyright 2005 Janice Price

Percy types away, oblivious to everything around him, until the keyboard locks. He glances at the screen but all he can see is Cameron’s back. He reaches over and swats Cameron between the shoulder blades.

“Get out of the way. You’re sitting on the keyboard.”

“I’m sorry,” Cameron apologizes, “but I moved closer to the monitor so I could read the screen better.”

“Well, look at what you did,” Percy complains. “What’s a ]]]=ppppp[[[[[[[[[? And where did my last paragraph go? You stepped on the delete key, didn’t you? There’s an entire paragraph missing.”

“I said I’m sorry, Percy. You don’t have to make a big deal out of it.”

Cotton leaps onto the desk and glances at the screen. “What’s a Floppy-Eared Honda?”

“You must need glasses. That reads, ‘Floppy-Eared Hound Cat.’”

“No,” Cyndi says, joining them. “It does read -”

Percy squints at the screen. “Yes, it does.” His nimble claws quickly make the correction.

“So what is a Floppy-Eared Honda?” Crystal demands, landing lightly on the far edge of the desk.

“Do you guys know what a Scottish Fold is?”

“No,” Crystal and Cameron chorus.

“Isn’t that some kind of foreign currency?” Cyndi asks.

“It’s a breed of cat with folded ears,” Cotton says. Crystal, Cyndi and Cameron laugh at her. “Well, it is. You guys don’t have to look at me like I’m making it up. There’s a cat book on the bottom shelf of the bookcase. Look it up for yourselves.”

“You’re right,” Percy assures Cotton. “Their ears fold forward and downward. I was looking through Jan’s cat book and found some pictures of them. They gave me an idea.”

Crystal closes his eyes and sighs, “Oh, no. Percy has another idea.”

“What is it?” Cyndi asks.

“I’m writing a press release for a new breed of cat I’ve discovered.”

“The Floppy-Eared Hound Cat?” Percy responds to Crystal’s question with a nod.

Merci wanders into the room and joins the conversation. “What is a Floppy-Eared Hound Cat?”

“It’s a Buddy!” Percy exclaims.

“But Buddy’s a dog,” Cotton reminds him.

“Yes, Buddy was born a dog,” Percy agrees, “but he was only three or four weeks old when he moved in here with all of us, and he learned to be a cat by imitating what we do.”

“That’s ridiculous!” Merci sputters. “Buddy’s a dog, just like me.”

“No, he isn’t. Buddy is just an oversized cat. Remember, one of the first lessons he learned was how to climb onto the back of the swivel rocker to curl up and sleep? We cats all do that.”

“Yeah,” Crystal admits reluctantly, “but we sleep on the back of the chair while it’s upright. Buddy’s weight tips the chair over onto its back on the floor.”

“So? He still climbs onto the back of the chair to sleep. We don’t need to stress that the chair is on its back on the floor at the time. Besides, remember how he climbed onto the washing machine a couple of months ago when Jan was moving cabinets in the kitchen? She did a double take when she turned around and there was a Floppy-Eared Hound Cat sitting among us.”

“She sure did. I forgot about that.” Crystal laughs. “Jan didn’t realize Buddy would figure out how to climb the chair ladder she made for Jenny.”

“But Buddy can figure out how to do anything to reach food,” Percy says. “Look at how he figured out how to squeeze past the bar stool between the counter and dryer, stand on the round scratching post, turn around, and climb onto the stool to help himself to huge bowls of extra food. And he got away with it!”

“Yes, until Jan caught him sitting on the bar stool with his feet on the counter, licking the last of the dry food that was supposed to feed six cats,” Cyndi adds.

“But,” Percy continues, “when she moved the bowl onto the washer and put things on the counter to stop Buddy, he just repeated the same route, climbed over the obstacles and ate another huge bowl of food. That was his second, or maybe it was his third bowl, in just one day. He’s a master sneak. He has to be a cat!”

“Oh, I see where you’re going with this,” Cameron says. “He’s one of us because he can find a way onto the counters no matter what Jan does to block him. Yes, he would have to be at least part cat to spend so much time where he isn’t supposed to be in the first place.”

Cotton gloats. “But Jan did finally find a way to keep Buddy out of our dry food. It took some doing, though. I thought I would fall off the washer from laughing when Buddy tried to crawl under the wooden chair and almost got stuck.”

“Actually, he was stuck.” Cyndi grins at the memory. “He would probably still be there, but Jan scared him loose when she walked in the kitchen.”

Percy looks around the group. “Now she has a three step fold-up stool blocking Buddy’s path. I wonder how long it will take Buddy to figure out how to move it out of the way so he can pig out again?”

Cotton changes the subject slightly. “Why are you interested in discovering a new breed of cat, anyway? You must have an angle or you wouldn’t have spent the day at the computer.”

“Because,” Percy tells them, “if I can get Buddy listed as a new breed of cat with the CFA, I can enter him in shows. Buddy won’t have any competition, he’ll win all the best of his breed at the shows, and I’ll be rich.”

“You mean we’ll both be rich, don’t you, Percy?”

Percy turns in surprise. “Oh, Buddy. I thought you were napping. Yes, of course, I mean we’ll both be rich.”

Buddy sits down beside Percy’s secretary’s chair. “What do we have to do?”

“I’ll tell you all about it in a minute, Buddy. But first, I need you to purr for me?”

“Purr? What’s that?”

“That’s the sound we cats make when we are contented.”

“Oh, of course I can purr, then. I do it all the time.”

Percy is delighted. “Good. Then purr for me so I can add it to your list of cat qualities.”

Buddy demonstrates his purr. “Ow-oooooooo. Ow-ooooooo.”

Merci stands and walks away. “That sounds like a dog to me. I rest my case.”

Secretary to the Funny Farm Writing Club

Saturday, May 14, 2005


Buddy behaving in the midst of thieves

Copyright 2005 Janice Price

“What’s going on?” Cotton asks, with a puzzled frown. “Why did Jan call us together and then leave the room?”

Cyndi shrugs. “I don’t know. I hope we aren’t in any trouble.”

“I guess we’ll find out when Jan stops gabbing on the telephone,” Crystal says. “What a time for the phone to ring. Let’s get this over with.”

“Yes,” Percy agrees. “It’s too hot to sit in the kitchen much longer. I want to get back to my nap by the back door. At least there’s a bit of a breeze there.“

“Anyone have any news?” Cameron asks, bored with the wait.

Merci speaks up. “Do you remember when those three dogs attacked me when I was walking Jan? I’m still nervous when I see a new dog, but I guess I was lucky and it could have been worse. This morning Buddy and I saw Apollo, the retired racing Greyhound next door. On Mother’s Day he was attacked by two dogs that crawled under the fence while he was visiting Miss Tammy’s family in the next county. They tore into his sides. He has a large flap of skin missing on one side.”

“Yeah,” Buddy chimes in, “it’s a big, ugly wound. It looks painful. I would have doctored it for him, just like I did Percy’s paw (see “Mr. Mummy” posted April 6, 2005) when Jan closed a door on it, but I was too upset to think to offer my services. Miss Tammy wasn’t sure Apollo would even let us near him after that experience, but he wasn’t afraid of us. We’re old friends”

“Buddy, it’s a wonder Miss Tammy even allows us to be in the same city with Apollo, after the way you carry on whenever you see him. Honestly,” Merci shakes her head slowly, “you act like an otter trying to swim upstream in a harness and wail like a fox gnawing off a foot caught in a steel trap. Have you ever considered just wagging your tail, whining and pulling on the leash, like I do, or like most dogs would do?”

“No, Apollo is my friend. I have to make sure he and Miss Tammy know I’m on my way to see him.”

“Buddy does everything in excess,” Cameron says. “Buddy’s a pork chop.”

Cotton, sitting next to Cameron on the washing machine, elbows the kitten in the side and corrects him. “You mean, Buddy is a ham.”

“Ham, pork chop, pig - what’s the difference?”

The conversation is interrupted as Jan returns to the kitchen and takes a quick head count to be sure none of them wandered off while she was on the telephone. She stops beside the dryer where Jenny, the elderly cat, is resting.

“I am very proud of all of you,” she begins, “but something unusual happened yesterday and I want you all to learn something from it. As you know, Jenny is nearly 17 years of age and she has been going through a rough time. She’s back in her bed on the dryer after a day of sleeping on the bedroom floor because she couldn’t climb her makeshift ladder. We’re all glad to see her feeling better today, aren’t we?”

“Mrrrow, arf, whine,” the group sings as a chorus.

Jan strokes Jenny’s head. “Buddy, I want you to come here.” Buddy rolls his eyes, wondering what he has done wrong this time. But he slowly obeys. “Turn around to face the group. Sit.”

Buddy looks frightened, as if he’s about to be corrected and wants to escape before the punishment is handed down. He runs through a mental list of things he can remember doing wrong and wonders which one she might have discovered. He shifts nervously from one front paw to the other.

“Buddy is the youngest and whenever something is happening, he’s usually in the middle of it, if not the instigator. He is so food aggressive he steals anything he can find. He has stolen my food, Merci’s meals, and even eats things not intended for consumption.”

Heads turn and nod in agreement. Yep, this describes Buddy the Pork Chop, as Cameron called him.

Jan drops a bombshell. “That’s why I am so proud of him that I have called you all together to watch him receive his award.”

“No!” Cotton declares. “This has to be a mistake.”

Buddy sits up straight and tall, grinning proudly.

Jan continues, “I had to fight you cats off yesterday morning while feeding Jenny. You all tried to steal her food. You did stop after I swatted each of you a few times, but Buddy was on his best behavior. Buddy, the food thief, never tried to steal her food, not one time. I thought, at first, someone switched dogs on me, but at age five months Buddy is finally starting to grow up and to look past his own appetite. Buddy, I guess you realized Jenny was sick and need the special attention she was receiving. Thank you.”

She reaches into her pocket and pulls out a large dog biscuit. “Peanut butter, Buddy, your favorite. This is the Good Behavior Award. It’s for you.”

Buddy is thrilled that this award is his favorite kind - edible. It disappears in two bites.

“But what about me?” Merci whines. “I didn’t try to steal Jenny’s food either.”

“Merci, come here,” Jan calls.

Her tail wagging, Merci trots forward and sits at Jan’s feet. “The reason Buddy gets a special award, Merci, is because what he did is so out of character for him. You, on the other hand, have a sweet and gentle nature. I don’t have to worry about you stealing food from a sick cat. You would be more likely to share your own meal, if Buddy didn’t eat it first. So, I have a smaller dog biscuit for you, one more your size.”

Merci trots off to eat her biscuit in her den. Buddy follows, hoping to steal it from her.

The cats wait expectantly. Surely Jan has something for them too.

“I hope you cats will start treating Jenny with more respect.. That’s all, you’re excused.”

“What, no treats?” Percy demands, as Jan walks out of the room, then returns.

“Oh, I forgot to fill your bowl, didn’t I?” Dry food rattles into the empty bowl.

Jenny perks up. Jan drops a handful of cat food onto Jenny’s bed and disappears.

‘Well, I guess this is as good a time as any to start being more respectful,” Percy says, as he climbs onto the dryer and begins to help Jenny eat her food. Cameron, Crystal and Cyndi join him. Jenny sits calmly outside the group, listening to the crunch of her meal being devoured.

Cotton eats alone at the big bowl on the dryer and enjoys the peace of not having to share.

Secretary to the Funny Farm Writing Club

Saturday, May 07, 2005


Percy watches Buddy eat crumbs

Copyright 2005 Janice Price

“Buddy, what are you doing?” Percy asks, amazed to find Buddy in the living room, chest-deep in his empty bag of dry puppy food.

“Mmmmmmshg.” Percy mumbles from inside the bag.

Percy shakes his head. “I can’t understand a word you’re saying. Come out of there so I can talk to you.”

Slowly and reluctantly Buddy backs up. And backs up. And backs up. The bag moves forward as he moves in reverse. He’s stuck in the empty twenty-pound bag. “Mmmmmp!” His cry for help is muffled and garbled.

Percy walks over, hooks the claws from his left paw in the bag, and pulls. Buddy backs up and drags Percy with him. “Help!” Percy cries.

Merci runs into the room. “What’s the problem?”

“Buddy’s stuck. Help me pull the bag off his head.”

Percy gets a firm grip with the claws from both front paws and Merci grabs a corner of the bottom of the bag with her teeth. “Okay, Buddy, back up,” Percy tells him.

Buddy backs up, dragging Percy and Merci with him.

“It’s no use,” Percy says. “You’re stuck.”

“Mmmpphg. Mmmmpphg.” Buddy is starting to panic.

Suddenly Buddy races forward, still wearing the bag, knocking Percy and Merci to the floor. “Mmmmsh,” he yells as he runs into a door, seating the bag more firmly on his head.

Cameron is standing and looking pleased with himself.

“What happened?”

“I poked him in the fanny with my claws,” Cameron explains.

Percy is incredulous. “Why would you do that?”

“Because I couldn’t resist the opportunity. He was such a big target. Besides, he nearly stepped on me. I could have been crushed to death.”

“Mmmmshp.” Buddy is walking backwards again, still stuck in the bag.

“I have an idea,” Percy says. “Stop moving around, Buddy.” He points to the end of the bag and directs Merci to stand there. He and Cameron join her, standing one on either side. “Now when I count to three, we all leap onto the bag and our combined weight should allow Buddy to escape out the other end.”

“One, two,” Percy begins to count as the three prepare to leap forward, ‘three!”

“Mmm-mmmmspshsh!” Buddy screams when the dog and two kittens land on his head. Backpedaling furiously, he drags the bag and the three animals with him.

“What is going on in here!” Jan thunders as she opens the front door to find three of her pets riding around the room on top of what should be an empty puppy food bag, but with Buddy’s backside sticking out of the open end “Stop, Buddy. Stand still. The rest of you, move along.”

Percy, Merci and Cameron move away. Jan grabs the end of the bag and says, “Okay, Buddy, now back up.”

Buddy backs up once more. This time the bag comes off his head and he is finally free. Jan shakes her head at the four of them and carries the empty bag into the kitchen with her.

Percy is the first to find his voice. “What were you doing inside that bag, Buddy?”

“Eating the crumbs. I was fine until you interrupted me. What did you want, anyway?”

“Oh, right, I wanted to ask what kind of tales you have been telling folks about us.”

“What do you mean? You know what I tell everyone. We all read the Funny Farm journal.”

“Are you sure you haven’t been making up stories and spreading them around behind our backs?”

Buddy shakes his head in bewilderment. “No, you read my stories. Is there a problem?”

“Well, not exactly. But you get all the fan mail. I don’t understand why.”

Buddy perks up. “I have more fan mail? Where?”

Percy jumps onto the desk and passes a card to Buddy. “Here. This card came today by snail mail. It’s for you.”

Buddy takes the card with eager paws and reads it.

“What’s it say?” Cameron wants to know. “Read it out loud.”

Buddy, it seems you get picked on. They have to remember you’re just a baby and they are all elderly. They’re jealous of all your energy.

“Elderly! Who’s elderly?” Cameron demands. “I’m the youngest cat and I’m not even a year old yet. Neither is Percy.”

Buddy is perplexed. “The writer must be talking about Jan and Jenny, the elderly cat. Jenny’s eighteen and Jan is, well, ancient. This is neat! Someone understands, really understands. I’m the baby and you guys shouldn’t pick on me all the time like you do.”

“Oh, please,” Percy complains. “No wonder your head got stuck in a twenty-pound bag. You not only have a large head, you have a swelled head. And it didn’t come from crashing into a door.”

Cameron makes a decision. “The next time Buddy gets his head stuck in a bag, I’m not going to claw him in the fanny.”

“Thank you, Cameron,” Buddy says, beaming at him.

“No, I think the next time this happens we cats should all join in and leap on his backside together.”

“Yes.” Merci nods in approval. “And I’ll hold the door steady.”

Secretary to the Funny Farm Writing Club