Sunday, August 13, 2006


Folks, Please take note! As Crystal warns Percy, if you want to view Goldie's Page (Daniel's page, not this story) using the link in the title of this story or the link included in the story, you must use a Web Archive file compatible browser such as Microsoft Internet Explorer. You can not view it with Mozilla Firefox or other non-supporting browsers.

© 2006 Janice Price

Cameron leaps gracefully onto the computer desk and asks casually, “Whatcha doin?”

Percy, deeply engrossed in staring at the monitor, answers, “Reading Jan’s email.”

“You are soooooo going to get in big trouble when Jan catches you,” Buddy laughs, as he sits down beside the secretarial chair Percy is standing on to reach the keyboard.

“She’ll have to catch me first, won’t she?”

“Isn’t there a federal law about opening mail that doesn’t belong to you?” Cotton asks.

“That’s only for postal mail. This is email. Who’s going to arrest me for opening mail on my own computer?” Percy says, with hauteur.

Cyndi sputters. “You’re computer? You’re computer? You’re…”

Crystal deliberately steps on Cyndi’s paw. “Ouch!”

“I’m sorry about that, Cyndi, but it was the only way I could think of to unstick your repeat button.”

“Cyndi has a repeat button?” Cameron walks slowly around Cyndi. “How come I don’t have one?”

“Cyndi doesn’t have a repeat button,” Merci says, as she joins the group, sitting on the other side of Percy’s chair. “Crystal is just joking.”

Samaritan enters the living room, sees the group gathered around the computer, and joins them, seating himself next to Merci. “What’s going on, guys?”

“We’re having a meeting,” Crystal tells him.

“If we’re having a meeting,” Cameron interjects, “I need to collect your dues. You are all in arrears.”

“We are not having a meeting,” Percy grumbles. “And will you all be quiet! I’m trying to read.”

“What’s this about dues?” Samaritan asks.

Cotton waves a paw in the air. “Oh, don’t pay any attention to Cameron. Every time we run into one another at the water bowl, Cameron thinks we should pay dues.”

“But I’m the club Treasurer,” Cameron protests. “I’m supposed to collect dues, but you guys never pay them.”

Samaritan’s curiosity is piqued. “What kind of club is it?”

“The Funny Farm Writing Club,” Crystal answers him. “We started it to help Jan learn to write, but we’ve gotten lax in our writings.”

“Yeah,” Crystal, the club president says, “we really need to start having regular meetings and writing more stories. I always enjoyed reading our stories. I thought they were pretty good, even if Jan thinks they sound as if they are written by a bunch of animals.”

“Well, we are a bunch of animals,” Cyndi reminds him. “But we do a pretty good job for self-taught writers.” She smiles at Cotton. “And Cotton is better than the spell check Jan uses. She can spell better than Jan. She’s a drain.”

Cotton’s eyes widen. “I’m a what?”

“I’m sorry. You’re a brain. I meant to say you’re a brain, Cotton.”

“Quiet!” Percy commands. “I just found something interesting. Someone sent Jan a link to something called Goldie’s Page. I wonder what a Goldie is.”

“Check it out, “Cotton encourages him.

“Well, this is a waste of time, “Percy crabs. “It’s all garbled.”

“Wait,” Crystal says insistently, “what web browser are you using?


“Web browser? What web browser are you using?” He points to the text on the screen: This document is a Single File Web Page, also known as a Web Archive file. If you are seeing this message, your browser or editor doesn’t support Web Archive files. Please download a browser that supports Web Archive, such as Microsoft Internet Explorer.

Percy scowls. Then he brightens. “Wait, I think we have Internet Explorer. Yes, here it is. And voila, here we are at Goldie’s Page.”

“It’s Goldie,” Samaritan exclaims with excitement.

“Who’s Goldie?” the cats ask in unison.

Buddy smiles. “I recognize Goldie.” He glances over at Merci. “We’ve seen her when Jan stops at Miss Teresa’s. She lives next door.”

“Oh, right. She’s the dog with eight puppies.” Total recognition sets in. “Oh, yes. She’s Charlotte’s mama.”

“Who’s Charlotte?” the cats demand to know.

Buddy says, a bit smugly, “You cats really need to get out more. You don’t know anyone, do you?” His tone softens. “Charlotte is Mr. Doug’s latest puppy. We’ll have to tell you about her and Fraggle one day, but right now, I’d like to know why Goldie has her own web page. Is she a writer too?”

“No,” Percy admits. “I think she’s a model. Goldie and her puppies all have their own picture pages. There’s also a story here about “Goldie’s Eight Fabulous Puppies” and how they were rescued.”

“Wow! That is such a neat story!” Buddy chuckles. “And I thought Jan was generous when she took you in, Samaritan. I think she would have kept going if there had been eight of you.”

Merci reaches one paw up to pat Samaritan on one leg, since he’s too tall for her to pat him on his head. “I’m sure glad there weren’t eight of you, Samaritan. We would have missed meeting you.”

“Yeah,” Buddy echoes her sentiment, “I like having a new brother to wrestle and play tug of war with. Not that I don’t enjoy playing with you, Merci,” he quickly corrects himself. “I didn’t mean to offend you. We still have fun playing together. It’s just that Samaritan is a guy and he is closer to my size.”

“No offense taken, Buddy.”

Cotton begins to cry. “What’s wrong, Cotton?” Cyndi asks solicitously.

“Can you believe it? Someone actually took in a mama dog and all her puppies. What if Jan hadn’t taken in me? Or you, Crystal? Or any of us? There are so many abandoned animals in the world. Only a few of them are rescued and given a home. We are some of the fortunate ones.”

Buddy sniffs quietly. “Yes, we are. And so are Goldie and her puppies.”

Percy, Secretary to the Funny Farm Writing Club

Sunday, June 25, 2006


© 2006 Janice Price

“How could anyone?” Cotton demands of no one in particular..

“Jan would never!” Cameron exclaims.

Crystal shakes his head and sighs, “I wish we could help.”

“I don’t believe this,” Merci moans. 

Cyndi shakes her head, silent and sad, at the reminder of how quickly many pets go from cute and cuddly to unwanted and burdensome, dumped onto others to put them down when they are not adopted into a new home.

A tear slides off Buddy’s nose, as he finishes reading, “Rescue Group Voice Mail” on the No Animal Left Behind blog.

“I asked you all to read this,” Percy explains, “because I think we should post a link to it and it should be a group decision.”

“Yes,’ the Funny Farm residents declare, as one. 

“Okay, I’ll post the link,” Percy says, “but unfortunately I doubt it will help. I hope Jan never decides we are excess baggage and abandons us.”

“She wouldn’t do that,” Buddy cries. “She loves us. We’re family!”

“Yes, Buddy, but so were these animals once. What if Jan decides one day we’re too old or too much trouble?”

Cotton looks Cameron in the eye and says firmly, “Jan will never abandon us because we are too old or too much trouble. Remember Jenny? Well, Jan will take good care of us when get old or sick.”

“Yes, Cameron,” Crystal states with finality, “Jan won’t abandon us. She’s getting older too. We might end up taking care of her.”

“I never thought of that, Crystal. Pets don’t dump people companions off at a shelter, do they?”

Merci scratches her chin as she ponders the question. “No, Cyndi, pets never abandon their people companions. Other people take them to nursing homes and then take the pets to a shelter.”

“Oh,” Buddy says, relieved. “We don’t have anything to worry about then. Mr. Doug will take us home with him after he drops his sister off at the nursing home.”

(s) Percy,
Secretary to the Funny Farm Writing Club

Sunday, June 11, 2006


Jan is still running in circles trying to play catch-up (we Funny Farm residents call that “chasing our tails”), so my – I mean, our computer access has been severely limited for quite a while. She is out for a few hours this afternoon, and I – uh, we have been catching up on the Internet news. I – sorry, I keep forgetting - we found a few interesting stories to share.

My favorite is the first one. Hooray for the feisty feline!

Since Merci rescued me, she thinks the dog adopts kittens story is the greatest. Watching those kittens getting knock-them-down tongue baths brings back memories of my youth (I’ll be 2 next month.)

Buddy is excited about the last story. As a boisterous young adult, he would prefer to not be mistaken for a mean and aggressive dog. (He’s really a pussycat at heart.)

(Sorry, only one story left online.  Other links are no longer good.)
World’s oldest cat dies.

Hope you enjoy the stories.

Thursday, April 27, 2006


© 2006 Janice Price

“What are we doing here in the middle of the afternoon?” Crystal is miffed at being summoned to an emergency meeting during his nap hour. “Our regular meeting time is four in the morning. It’s two in the afternoon and we’re in the living room instead of the bathtub. I’m the President and I didn’t schedule this meeting. What’s going on?”

Cotton leaps nimbly onto the coffee table. “This is not an official meeting of the Funny Farm Writing Club. I called this impromptu meeting to discuss some behavior problems among the residents. I don’t know whether you remember this or not but Jan rescued each of us, except Cameron. Cameron, you moved in on your own, but technically Jan did rescue you. You were lonely and didn’t want to be an outdoor kitten. She finally gave up and allowed you to stay, but only after she asked permission to keep you.”

“Yes,” Cameron admits. He reaches out a paw and pats Merci on the shoulder. “I was really glad to be inside the house with you and all the other residents when we had that ice storm last month. I could have been beamed by a falling branch if I didn’t freeze to death first.”

“Jan didn’t rescue me, Merci did,” Percy exclaims. “Jan thought I was a bird in the bush. If it hadn’t been for Merci I would have died last summer.”

Cotton speaks slowly. “But what if Jan refused to allow Merci to keep you? Did you ever think of that? Merci was rescued from the county animal shelter. She does not pay the rent or make the rules here. Jan does and Jan has given up a lot of things she needs or wants in order to keep us. She could have taken you to the animal shelter. There are more animals at the shelter than there are homes for them, so you would most likely not have been adopted and you would have died there.”

“I never thought of it that way.”

“And you, Cyndi,” Cotton nods at Cyndi. “You were rescued after a week of living under Mr. Doug’s car because his dog thought you were her next meal. You could have starved or frozen to death, but Mr. Doug and Jan rescued you, and Jan took you in.”

Cyndi smiles. “Yes, that was only a year ago. I really like it here even if it is too cold in the winter and too hot in the summer. I eat well and get lots of attention.”

“Well, Jan didn’t want to take me in because she couldn’t afford another mouth to feed, but she did it anyway,” Cotton says. “I was so sick I thought I would die before I found her and cried for her to help me. She didn’t have any money to take me to the vet but she nursed me back to health and saved my life.”

Buddy chimes in. “It was cold and I was hungry, but Mr. Doug is the one who rescued me when I was abandoned a week before Christmas.”

“And then he called his sister and Jan brought you home because you were only three or four weeks old. You couldn’t chew solid food yet and you needed to be fed several times a day.”

“I still need to be fed several times a day.”

“No, Buddy, you want to be fed several times a day. There’s a difference. And eating the floor mats or our toys doesn’t count as being fed.”

Crystal speaks up, “ Jan didn’t rescue me either. I only stayed because she needed me.”

“That’s not true, Crystal. You and your brother wandered the street after being dumped in the neighborhood. You followed anyone and everyone, trying to get help. Then you lost your brother and sobbed under Jan’s window until she took pity on you and took you inside.”

Crystal is embarrassed. “I was not sobbing. Guys don’t sob.”

“Is the meeting over yet?” Buddy asks. “I want to go look for something to eat.”

“No, the meeting is not over!” Cotton says firmly. “There has been too much unruly and mischievous behavior lately and if we want to keep our home here at the Funny Farm, we need to shape up and start behaving.”

“What are you talking about?” Percy wants to know.

“Have you already forgotten this morning?” Cotton asks. “Jan caught you throwing dry cat food to Buddy after you climbed onto the bathroom door, leaped over onto the bags of food, and ripped a large hole in the side of the unopened cat food bag she bought yesterday. She covered the bags over with a sheet and then found you and Cameron under the sheet trying to rip a hole in the bag of Buddy’s puppy chow. You aren’t starving; you always have food available.”

“Oh, that.” Percy shrugs it off. “That was a long time ago and it was already forgotten."

Cameron says, “It wasn’t my idea. Percy showed me how to scale the bathroom door and wiggle under the sheet to reach the bags.”

“And you, Merci,” Cotton continues. “Yesterday you ran off when Jan took you and Buddy to play in Miss Mother’s fenced yard. She thought you were lost and she would never find you.

“It wasn’t my fault. She was opening the tail gate on her car and when she reached up, the collar slid right over my head. I thought she wanted me to run away.”

“You know better than that! She dragged Buddy around the neighborhood, calling your name and hoping none of those big, barking dogs got loose.”

“I was hoping the same thing,” Merci says. “Once I got around the corner and could go anywhere I wanted to go, I realized the world is really a scary place. So I went back and she was driving away.”

“It’s a good thing you came back when you did. If you hadn’t, she would have been driving around the area to search for you. You scared her and when you returned, she picked you up and paced beside the car hugging you for a long time while I was left alone in the car.” Buddy is jealous. “For once, I was the one that was good and you got hugged instead of me.”

“The point is,” Cotton continues, “that we need to stop making problems for Jan. We don’t want to end up at the animal shelter. Merci can attest that it’s not a fun place to be. So, please, we must calm down and start acting like adults.”

“That’s fine for you,” Percy says. “But some of us aren’t adults yet. We only have one hood.”

Cotton blinks rapidly, confused. “Hood? You have a hood?”

“Yes, it’s like childhood, only we’re not children. I guess it would be puppyhood or kittenhood. Whatever, we only get one.”

“We’ll try to do better,” Cameron says.

Buddy agrees. “Yes, I’ll keep a better eye on Merci so she doesn’t get into any more trouble.”

Merci glares at Buddy. “At least I haven’t tried to kill Jan.”

“That was an accident,” Buddy says. “You all agreed it was an accident.”

Cyndi tilts her head. “I hear Jan’s car pulling into the yard.”

“This meeting is over,” Cotton says, “but think about what we discussed.”

Cameron calls to the departing backs, “Don’t forget, you’re all behind in paying your club dues.”

“That’s enough about dues!” Crystal orders, stepping on Cameron’s paw as he passes.

Mr. Buddy, Journalist, reporting the facts.

Note: I found these notes in Buddy’s writing journal. He probably wandered off to eat, took a nap and forgot about posting them. It’s a wonder he didn’t eat his notes too.

Sunday, February 19, 2006


Rusty Joins the Club
Copyright 2006 Janice Price
Standing tall and proud on the typing chair, Percy hits the final key with a flourish. “There, I’m finished. Our journal is up to date. I made a few changes and added some color. I hope you all like the new look.”
The other feline members of the Club are sitting on Jan’s desk. Cameron leans closer to the computer screen. “I thought you were going to change the picture. It looks the same to me.”
“Yeah, it does to me too,” Cyndi agrees.
Buddy is sitting on one side of Percy’s chair and Merci is sitting on the other side. “No, it isn’t exactly the same photo collage,” he says. “Look closer. See the middle picture at the bottom? That’s new.”
Cotton squints at the collage on the screen, and complains loudly, “Why is Crystal on there twice?”
Cyndi and Cameron are also miffed.
“Yeah, what makes him so special?”
“This is unfair. Just because he’s the oldest doesn’t mean he should get preferential treatment.”
“Well, I am the President of the Funny Farm Writing Club. Not that it matters. Percy makes decisions and calls meetings without consulting me.”
“That’s enough, all of you! That’s not Crystal,” Merci arbitrates. “If you’ll look closely at the picture, that cat is bigger and fluffier than Crystal. That’s a picture of Rusty.”
All of the cats except Percy speak as one. “Rusty?”
“There’s nobody here named Rusty!”
“Quiet!” Buddy’s booming voice gets their attention. “Merci and I asked Percy to add Rusty to the group. We didn’t think you cats would get so upset over it.”
“But we don’t know Rusty,” Cotton says thoughtfully and logically. “The journal is only for Funny Farm Writing Club members. Rusty doesn’t live on the Funny Farm and so he can’t be a Club member.”
Merci stands and places her front paws on the front of the desk. “Well, not technically. But -”
“No buts,” Cameron states firmly. “No residency, no membership.”
Crystal walks across the desk, raises his right paw and, in lieu of a gavel, whacks Percy on the head. “Traitor,” he says in a low voice to Percy. He addresses the group in a normal tone. “I hereby call this meeting to order. All in favor of voting Rusty out of the Club he has never been a member of, say aye.”
Cyndi has second thoughts. “Wait a minute. Let’s calm down before we start swinging at one another.” She looks at Buddy. “I’m sure there is a perfectly illogical explanation, and you’re as illogical as they come, so why don’t you explain what this is all about, Buddy.”
“Uh, thank you, I think.” Buddy clears his throat and begins his simple explanation. “Rusty was Miss Mother’s Thanksgiving Dinner.”
“You want a dead cat to join our Club?”
“Jan’s mother ate a cat?”
Percy sticks a paw in his left ear. “Cyndi you shrieked right into my ear. I’ll go deaf if you do that again.”
“But Jan’s mother ate a cat. Which one of us is next?”
Buddy leaps to his feet. “Wait, wait, nobody ate a cat.”
Merci tries to speak in her normal quiet tone but is forced to raise her voice in order to be heard. “Will all of you just shut up!” she yells. “What Buddy should have said is that Jan adopted Rusty from the animal shelter for Miss Mother – in place of Thanksgiving dinner. Jan thought Miss Mother would rather have a companion cat than a big dinner, so she spent the money for their Thanksgiving dinner on Rusty.”
“Yes,” Buddy agrees quickly. “That’s exactly what I meant. Isn’t that what I said?”
“I’m sorry. Let me start from the beginning. Merci and I rode in the car when Jan picked up Sam.”
Cotton groans. “Who is Sam and where did he come from?”
“Please, stop confusing me,” Buddy pleads. “Let me finish. Sam is Rusty. Sam was his name when Jan adopted him, but Miss Mother gave him a new name – Sam. No,” he corrects himself, "Rusty. She named him Rusty.”
“But he still doesn’t live here and so he can’t be a member of the Club,” Cameron says firmly.
Percy speaks up. “Yes, he can. He can be an honorary member of the Club.”
Cameron continues to object. “No, he can’t. We only made Jenny an honorary member because she lived here and was too old to participate in our activities and meetings. If Rusty wants to join our Club, he has to pack his bags and move in here with the rest of the members.”
Merci shakes her head in disbelief. “Cameron, I can’t believe this.” She looks at each cat and says, “Rusty might not live here but Jan adopted him and Miss Mother loves him. That makes him part of the extended Funny Farm and he should be included in the group photo album.”
“Merci is right,” Cyndi pronounces. “If you think about it, we are not just members of the same Club. We are also members of the same family, because - Well, Merci, you were adopted from the shelter. The rest of us were abandoned and Jan rescued us.” Cameron opens his mouth and Cyndi concedes, “Yes, I know, except for you, Cameron. You moved in on your own.”
“I feel a little ridiculous,” Crystal admits. “Merci made a good point. I want to change my vote and vote Rusty into the Club as an honorary member.”
Cotton raises a paw. “I second it.”
“I triple it,” Cameron adds sheepishly. “What? What did I say wrong?”
“I feel good about this,” Cyndi says. “I think Jenny would be pleased with us for making Miss Mother’s companion cat our second honorary member.”
“Jenny has been gone for nearly six months,” Crystal asks carefully. “Do you think we should take her name and photo off the journal?”
Buddy objects with vehemence. “No way! She will always be an honorary member of our Club.”
“Yes, Jenny is gone and Rusty is joining the Club, but he isn’t replacing her. She was a wise old cat.” Merci sighs. “I still miss her.”
“I think I hear Jan’s car,” Buddy fibs, as he turns and walks quickly away, before the Club can see the single tear sliding down his nose.
Secretary, the Funny Farm Writing Club