Tags: animal tales, Books, Cats, dogs, editors, family, Humor, life, publishing, Reading, Writing
Read Thomas’ description of life as a lady author’s cat.
The Five Best Things about Being the Cat of an Author
Hello, everyone! My name is Thomas, and my human, Kate, is an author. I’m sure Sandy has shared lots of stories about what it’s like to be the canine companion of one of these odd humans. However, I thought you all might like to know a bit more about the feline side. So, without any ado (I’ve got to catch my afternoon cat nap!), here are my favorite things about having an author for my human:
- I get to help!
Sometimes, Kate sits down with her laptop to write and the words get stuck in her brain. Just when she thinks about giving up for the night, it’s Tommy to the rescue! I’m the perfect size to crawl up in her lap and lay on top of her arms. With me being so sweet (and pinning her hands to the keyboard), she can’t help but keep working.
- Procrastination = Tommy Time
Whenever Kate is trying to avoid working on her author business, I reap the benefits. She’ll bustle around the apartment, cleaning my litterbox, gathering my misplaced toys, and giving me fresh food and water. It’s like having my own personal maid. Now I’ve just got to train her to sprinkle a few kitty treats on top of the regular food …
- She’s easy to cuddle.
Much of Kate’s author “research” involves reading other books (especially those in her genres – science fiction and fantasy). Most of the time, she reads in the bed (that is, in my bed), propped up against the pillows. While she takes up more room than I’d like, it’s the perfect time to get my cuddle fix and a few good ear scratchings.
- It’s all about me.
Kate says that her career goal is to be a full-time author, so that she can stay home with me all day long. If that isn’t devotion from a human, I don’t know what is! I know she’ll get there and that’s not just my feline loyalty talking. She is really good – all you have to do is read some of her work.
- I’m on the fast track to fame!
Part of Kate’s author work includes social media and sending an email newsletter. Often, she likes to take pictures of me to share with her growing readership. (Probably because I’m way more photogenic than she is … and who doesn’t love cats?!) I’m a frequent star on her Instagram, Facebook, and I even get to make a few appearances on the blog. Give it a couple years, and I’ll have my own YouTube series. Just you wait!
If you’d like to learn more about Kate (and me!), you can visit her author website at www.KateMColby.com. And don’t forget to follow her on social media to see all my adorable photos!
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Tags: animal tales, Books, dogs, family, film clips, Florida, Humor, life, manatees, nature, publishing, Reading, wildlife, Writing
Meet some of my big wet friends, Mathew and Matilda Manatee. They just stopped by to say HI! Some facts about my friends … they live in the warm tropical waters around Florida and in the Caribbean. Mat and Matilda eat vegetation varying from sea grass to mangrove leaves. An adult can reach eight feet in length and weigh 500 pounds or more. They’re mammals, but can slow their heart rates to less than a beat a minute allowing them to stay submerged for long periods of time. They come into our sheltered canal each spring to make more manatees. You know – the birds and the bees thing.
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Tags: animal tales, Books, Christmas, dogs, family, funny stories, Humor, life, publishing, Reading, Writing
The Geezer and I have a present for you and your friends. It’s a package of laughs in the form of a blog post named “Claus and the Consultant.” Learn what happens when Santa seeks help from an efficiency expert. Visit my human’s blog to read it —- http://www.dlhavlin.wordpress.com —- and enjoy. (There’s a link on this page) Spread the joy to friends and associates.
Tags: animal tales, Books, dogs, Florida, Humor, life, nature, publishing, Reading, Writing
You’ve met two of my three new buddies, Gofo the tortoise and Tina the rabbit, in previous posts. They’re gentle, laid-back folks that match the area we live in.
Then, there is the Tree Frog Band. I count them as one friend … they function that way. They are natives. However, they’d fit in better on one of the “B” streets, Bourbon or Beale. I can see them strolling Rodeo Drive or 42nd Street.
The Tree Frog Band is a quartet. There’s Gooey Feet who plays guitar, clarinet, and sings tenor, The Mad Hopper pounds the keyboard, blows the trumpet, and sings “Dew-up,” Green Jeans strums base and sucks the sax, and Croaker is the lead singer … and … well … croaks. They were the first folks I met after we moved in. What a group! They can do endless sets, never taking a break. They’re a gregarious group, always ready to hop on the stage and do their thing. Unfortunately, that thing is one song … A Rainy Night in Florida.
I’ll never forget meeting them for the first time. I was walking down the stairs intent on finding the right patch of grass when a voice crooned, “She has natural rhythm.” It was Croaker.
“Yeh, man, a maxed-out, cool bitch,” Green Jeans offered.
“Look at that tail swing. Dig that for a drum beat.” Gooey Feet was right in there,
The Mad Hopper added “Dew-up.”
Croaker asked, “Have you considered the stage, Golden lady. New York? Maybe Vegas? Picture you in a bikini with feathers in your fur.”
I said, “I ha—
“Hows about Hollywood and the flicks? You’d wow them in Caan.” Green jeans said.
I said, “Well—”
“She’s a natural for Nashville,” Gooey Feet opined. “Let me hear you yodel.”
The Mad Hopper added “Dew-up.”
“What a beauty,” Croaker said – “What a body,” Green Jeans said – “What a voice,” Gooey Feet said – “Dew-up” The Mad Hopper emphasized. In unison they declared, “She’ll make billions!” “Dew-up,” The Mad Hopper finalized.
About that time the rain started. “OUR QUE!!” Croaker screamed. “One, two, three … It’s a rainy night in Florida” – and so it continued. I was forgotten in an instant.
It’s the same routine every time I go downstairs after or during a rain. The lines and lies are identical. I know it’s all just frog poop … they’re spreading their bologna … except for the Mad Hopper … he’s a square up guy … but I enjoy it. A girl just can’t get enough flattery.
Tags: animal tales, Books, dogs, Entertainment, family, Florida, funny stories, Humor, life, Rabbit, Reading, Writing
In my last blog I mentioned how living out of my home while its being re-mediated has allowed me to meet new friends like “Gofo” the horny old Gopher tortoise. I thought I’d introduce you to two more new acquaintances. You’ll meet “Shudder” this time.
Shudder is Tina the tiny rabbit. I’ve nick-named her Shudder because when she first met me she shook and shuddered when I got close. Tina lives in a huge asparagus fern in the front yard where we’re staying. The first time I saw her, she was hiding from the Geezer who’d walked around the house one way while I went around the other. Shudder was less than half the size of other rabbits I’d seen. She had to be very young, not much more than a baby. I walked up behind her and got within two feet before she realized I was there.
I said, “Hi, I’m Sandy. I’m a Golden Retriever. I want to be your friend.”
Shudder earned her nick-name right then. She vibrated like a banjo string, her ears stuck out at odd angles, her eyes were wide and her nose and tail twitched. She said in a terrified voice, “You’re not a Golden Whatever, you’re a dog! I know about your kind. Go away or I’ll hurt you!” Tina covered her eyes with one tiny paw and pitifully swung the other in my direction.”
“A Golden Retriever is a dog. It’s just the type dog I am. I’m not a rabbit dog … I’m a duck dog. You don’t have anything to worry about. Let’s play.” Each time she’d head for the fern I’d get between her and her home. I call the game block the other animal unless I play it with humans. Then I call the game block the dumb butts. Finally, Shudder tired of the game. She froze, put her paws up in a prayerful manner, and implored, “Make it quick, please!”
“Make what quick?” I asked.
“Aren’t you going to eat me?” She asked.
“No. I don’t eat my friends! Where did you get such an idea?” I laid down in the grass and rolled to let her know I wasn’t going to harm her.
“My momma told me dogs eat rabbits, cats too. She told me not to trust anyone.”
I reflected on that for a couple minutes, before saying. “Generally speaking, she’s correct. But, hey, I’m Sandy, the most unaggressive, but protective dog in the universe. If I’m around, I’ll keep you safe. But if I’m not, you better hide if you see some other animal. Besides dogs and cats, snakes, racoons, eagles, owls, hawks, all would make you lunch. You’d better hide if I’m not here. By the way, where is your mom?”
Tina began to cry, “She left one morning and never came back.” I consoled Tina and promised to look out for her. I hope she grows fast enough to be safe on her own. Anyway, we play every morning when I go out for my constitutional. I sure do love little kids.
Tags: animal tales, Books, dogs, family, Florida, funny stories, Humor, life, nature, Reading, Writing
In my last post I told you about the Chinese drywall problem that has caused the Geezer, Mrs. G and me to temporarily leave our house. Of course, Oreo came too. Oreo is my feline friend. Or as he might be called if he were of native American heritage … “He who has smelly pot.” He and it stay on the screened porch.
Being jerked out of the only home you’ve ever known is an unsettling experience. The only place I can remember living is at the Geezer’s place on the canal. My humans made me queen of the realm when I was eight weeks old and I don’t remember much prior, other than snuggling up to my mom. There, everything is where it should be, smells right, and I know the best places to hide, sleep, and aggravate the Geezer and Mrs. G. The place I’m in now has things like sliding glass doors which always seem to be closed when they should be open. Ouch!
I’ve made friends with most everybody around our home. The humans call me the “neighborhood greeter.” I miss all my friends in the Canine Chowder and Ham Bone Marching Society, Matilda the manatee, the night heron families that nest across the canal in the mangroves, Pete, Pedro, Pauline, and Petulla the pelicans, and a bunch more. Hell, I even miss Hiss and Sneaky B the black snakes. I’m sure they’ll all be there when I return, but…..
There is one good thing about being in a different place. It gives you the opportunity to make new buds. Take one fellow I met last week. The home we’re living in has a canal in the back yard just like ours. The Geezer and I were sitting near the seawall, boat-lift, and dock. The Geezer had dozed off and I was sleepy myself when I heard this old baritone voice saying, “Gofo it, gofo it, gofo it, gofo it.” It was coming from a large Gopher turtle that was waddling down the seawall. He looked and was old. I said, “Hi.” The old turtle nodded and kept repeating, “Gofo it.” He trudged down the seawall, out on the dock to the tip end, looked around some, and retreated. It was obvious he was trying to get across the canal.
I was curious, so I had to ask. “Say old timer, you trying to get to the other side of the canal”
He answered, “Un-huh. Gofo it. Gofo it. Gofo it.”
“You’re gonna have to go all the way to the end and walk around.”
He nodded continuing to walk and talk.
“What’s with the … Gofo it? You stuttering or trying to remember something?”
“Remember. Gofo it.” He resumed his ritual.
“What are you trying to remember?” I asked.
He said, “Youngster, when you get older you have to stay focus to remember. About 35 years ago, them damn humans built this canal. My girl friend lives on the other side. That makes for a long walk to visit. So, to keep focused, I keep tellin’ myself … Gofo it!”
Tags: animal tales, Books, dogs, funny stories, Humor, life, publishing, Reading, Writing
Ahhhhh, our Southwest Florida mornings are back. It was 68 degrees with a zephyr rattling through the palm fronds as we made our morning Bokeelia Beach walk. The Geezer waved to a man walking on the other side of the road and we crossed the street to talk. Of course, the first thing they did was shake hands.
What gives with this ritual? Two humans approach, square off in front of each other in a challenge position, then extend their right hands, grasp the invader’s palms, and grind up and down like they’re operating an antique water pump. Are they trying to see if water comes out of their fellow humans’ mouth or ears?
The males seem obligated to perform this action. Many females do engage in this ceremony, but are less obsessed. My guess it’s just another example of the females superior intelligence. That’s a universal trait we gals of all zoological types share. Of course, I don’t discuss this with the Geezer. Naturally, he has a different take.
Curiosity about this fetish had me burning. I wanted to ask the old boy why this slavish devotion to a convention that makes no sense to me. However, I’m too much of a lady to rudely interrupt a conversation. I decided to wait to pose my question. The other gentleman yakked on incessantly. Eventually, I rolled my eyes and paced back and forth trying to get the Geezer moving. He was too busy talking about some stupid political thing. In desperation, I tugged at my leash to break up the gab-fest. The old boy broke off the babbling immediately. Who says you can’t teach old men new tricks!
After we’d gotten out of human hearing range, another deficiency of the species, I asked, “Geezer, why do humans shake hands when they meet each other?”
“It’s a universal greeting. It’s like saying, ‘nice to see you,’ without using the words.” The Geezer dismissed the subject by pointing out what was obvious. “Isn’t it great weather? It sure beats the hot mornings we’ve had the last few days.”
I hate it when the Geezer does that! It pissed me and my sarcastic side popped up. I growled, “Oh, nicer weather? Gee, I’d have never noticed. I guess my paw pads have lost their sensitivity and my skin doesn’t recognize temperature differences.” Before the old boy could retort, I added, “That stuff about shaking hands because you’re glad to see someone is Toro Caca. You shake hands with that Irving guy from down the street and you despise the sniveling little bastard. I know you’re not glad to see him.”
The Geezer’s anger flashed for a split second before he saw the wisdom in my comment. After the time it took to get his ancient brain in operate mode, he said, “Well, Sandy, that wasn’t a complete answer. It’s a custom that’s origin is from long ago. It’s more a “I’ll do you no harm,” than “glad to see you.” If I remember right,” I thought he probably didn’t, “Shaking hands goes back to when men carried weapons and you weren’t sure of a person’s intent when they approached. By showing an empty hand and accepting the other man’s empty palm you mutually agreed not to try cutting off the other fellow’s head.”
“I guess you’re going to tell me that’s why you always shake right hands?” I couldn’t help smirking.
“Very good, Sandy. That’s exactly right!”
The smirk continued. Either Geezer was blowing smoke up my food vent or I had another bit of proof the human race was playing the game short a few cards. “Come on, Geezer. What about lefties?”
“Since most people were trained to do everything with their right hand, I guess it didn’t occur to them.” The Geezer surprises me at times. “Anyway, Sandy, it’s just the best way to get acquainted.” Best way, I thought? I hate to admit MY human can be so simplistic.
I wanted to point out all the obvious superior points that the butt sniff has over the hand shake when greeting, but I’ve learned in my young life that discussing such issues with intellectually inferior species wastes my time. However, let me explain the differences to you.
What do you learn from a handshake? Well, you see the other person has a right hand, he can move it, and not much else. Oh, you find out the person you’re meeting is willing to smear his germs all over you. That way you can’t say he’s never given you anything. Geezer says you can tell how assertive an individual is by his shake. I won’t dispute that, though I have my doubts, and for sure, that’s a one time thing.
Now, let’s consider the butt sniff. To paraphrase old Shakey, “How do I see thee better, let me count the ways.” Right from the first, a butt sniff says, ‘I’m willing to follow behind you,’ not ‘I’m right in your face and space to challenge you.’ What’s the friendlier greeting? Walking around your new acquaintance gives you a better chance to check them out. A 360 degree view so to speak. From a ladies point of view, it lets you size up your competition and, more importantly, the male contingent. If humans adopted butt sniffing, just think how many women wouldn’t waste time on men with, shall we say, deficient virtue! I’m assuming the clothes will go, that’s the natural thing that follows. Mind you, that’s just the visual.
The sniff! Talk about information! Let’s take sexual promiscuity. It jumps out and beats your nose like a baseball bat. Not that that’s my first interest. Lets’ get right to the social aspects. A whiff gives you a great clue to a dog’s socio-economic status. I can tell an Iams, Nutro, or Science Diet canine from a Kennel-ration mutt after sampling two parts per million. Coupled with their grooming, you can see who the social climbers are, the snobs, the down-on-their luck types, etc. I could expound on the superiority of the butt sniff for hours, but I’d sound preachy and I detest that.
I do see hope for the human race. Orientals bow to greet each other. Their’s is a much longer established culture, and I see this as proof of Darwin’s theory. I’m sure the bow is the first vestige of the human species evolution to the butt sniff as a universal greeting. It’s comforting that they’ll soon be thinking like I do, which means they’ll finally be getting it right.
PS – Geezer tells me over 20,000 of you have visited my humble jottings over the last few years. He thinks that’s great. So do I. Thank you for your visits and the hundred plus plus universally kind comments. It sure makes a dog want to do more.
Tags: animal tales, Books, Camping, Cooking, dogs, fishing, Humor, publishing, Reading, Writing
I’ve been waiting, virtually panting, until I could get some help putting the video below on my blog. My tail’s been figuratively wagging off my butt wanting to share this with you all. Sometimes I find four paws just aren’t enough when it comes to the convoluted logic human technology prescribes. The Geezer is limited help on such things. His rusted brain, which tries to stay current, needs assistance now and again. “Gator,” his son, a big time engineer with Ford, came to the rescue. The Geezer and his buddies are a bunch of outdoor types who go on a once a year fishing, hunting, and camping trek. They call themselves the Graphite Avengers. (For those non-fisherfolk, the “graphite” references a type of fishing rod.) It’s discriminatory – no dogs allowed. I really don’t mind—there are alligators around most places they go. Alligators like canines, but not in a good way. I don’t relish the idea of being a gator’s main course. When the Geezer returned from his trip this year, he showed me the pictures so I could enjoy, vicariously. Among them was this brief video showing off one of the group’s gator calling skills. Take a look:
The “gator caller” is the son of my human’s best friend. I’ll call him “Bo” since the Geezer tells me it’s bad form to give a person’s real name on the ‘net. The picture below is of “Coach,” the Geezer’s buddy, and “Bo,” in their native habitat and in one of their favorite means of locomotion.
The Graphite Avengers include the “Coach,” his son, the Geezer, his son, his grandson, and “Buddha” the Geezer’s son’s best friend. The pictures below show them and what they do, and in the case of Geezer and Coach, what they’ve done for the last fifty years.
All those years provide my old boy with a treasure trove of material for his writing. That goes along with his visits around the world (to eighty plus countries) and his experiences, including being a football coach, a business executive, and a fishing guide to name just a few. The picture below could be a scene from his latest novel, “A Place No One Should Go,” but in reality, it’s from the camping trip.
If you’d like to learn more about the Geezer, visit www.dlhavlin-author.com
Tags: Agents, animal tales, Books, Cooking, dogs, food, Fox & Friends, funny stories, Humor, life, publishing, Reading, Writing
My human is fat. There I said it. You know all those human interest pieces you see on TV about obesity, well the Geezer is the poster…I sure can’t say child…senior for that affliction. It isn’t like he doesn’t try to get slimmer. We walk a mile every day, he lifts weights four times a week, he makes a bona-fide attempt to avoid fattening foods, that’s until someone comes to visit. Then “damn the calories, full gluttony ahead.”
A case in point. His beautiful daughter, her wonderful husband, and his two grand boys visited last week. That meant an interruption. Seven straight days where there was no time for walks, weights, or much of anything that constitutes a normal day in Geezerville. Add to that the fact that some of the daughters friends visited; there was a whole lot of eatin’ goin’ on.
The Geezer is a good cook. The problem is he normally prepares things like Steak Diane, or Eggs Bokeelia, or Baked Alaska. By the time he gets done with the trimmings, the Titanic would have sunk under the weight of the calories he cooks, without tussling with the iceberg.
Problem is, once the company leaves the overeating and break from the routine continues. That’s compounded by the fact his publisher is releasing one of books, he’s working on two more, and generally, he’s trying to head in more directions at once than a cat dropped into a kennel holding nine pit bulls. All this action is done while sitting on his ample ass behind the keyboard.
I give him a hard time. It’s for his own good, bbuuutttt I do enjoy it so. As he pounded the keys I asked, “Are we going to take our 9 AM walk?” It was 4:30 PM.
“Oh shit, Sandy. I forgot.” He looked embarrassed.
“That’s all right, I understand. It’s just I don’t want to look like you.”
“Come on Sandy, give the old Geezer a break.”
“Yeh, I don’t want kids chasing me down the street with a harpoon yelling, “There she blows!”
“Ahhh, It’s not that bad.”
“With all the food you’ve put away the last ten days, your brain must be in your butt. And, with all that blubber pressing down on it, I can see why it doesn’t function well.”
“Have a little compassion, girl.” He looked like a toddler that just soiled his fresh diaper. “I’ll get back on schedule tomorrow. I promise.”
“Oh yeah? What are you having for supper tonight?” I figured it would be something with enough calories to power up five sumo wrestlers.
“Hmmmmm. I’ll quit bugging you if you make some for me.” I’m a meat and potatoes type girl, but……….
“Deal.” He went back to making arrangements for his book signing tour. I went to the kitchen and waited.
The recipe for DL’s Vega-que is:
4 tablespoons of butter
1 zucchini 9-10″ – cut into 1/4″ disks
2 yellow squash medium to large – cut into 1/4″ disks
1 cup of cauliflower florets – be sure they’re small
1/2 cup of red spanish onion
1/2 cup of green bell pepper
1/2 cup of red bell pepper
2 medium gold potatoes – peeled and diced into 1/2″ cubes
10 medium white mushrooms – cut in half or quarters
1 can diced tomatoes
1 1/2 cups of catsup
2 tablespoons of whole pickling spice
1 tablespoon of garlic powder
1. Place a quarter cup of virgin olive oil in a large pan and heat to medium temperature.
2. Place butter in crock pot and melt with LOW temperature.
3. Place zucchini, yellow squash, cauliflower, onion, bell peppers, and potatoes into the pan and stir.
4. Place the mushrooms in the crock pot.
5. Cook veggies over medium heat 1-2 minutes then add to crock pot. (should NOT be soft)
6. Place can of diced tomatoes and catsup in crock pot.
7. Add whole pickling spice and garlic to crock pot.
8. Stir until thoroughly mixed.
9. Simmer (LOW heat) for 3/4 to 1 hour – stir lightly every 10 minutes.
Serves eight – freezes well.
Tags: Agents, animal tales, Books, Cooking, dogs, food, Fox & Friends, funny stories, Humor, life, O'Reilly, publishing, Reading, Writing
“You humans never cease to amaze me.” The Geezer and I sat on the dock while he performed one of the obligatory functions I insist upon, brushing me. “Your language defies logic.”
“Oh? How’s that?” He cleaned the brush sending another puff of my fluffy undercoat onto the canal water. Its surface was blossoming like the hibiscus bushes in the front yard.
“Hmmmm, I was listening to the TV this morning. They were talking about the polls saying this and the polls saying that. Now, I know you have a room full of fishing poles. Okay, okay, I know the difference. But, why not have a different sounding word for every different meaning. In Doganese, Woof is Woof, Arf is Arf, Grrrr is Grrrr. There’s no guessing.”
“That’s a good point, Sandy. As you know, all humans don’t speak the same language. English is the one you’re most familiar with and it’s also one of the worst for having words that sound the same, but have multiple meanings.”
I hate it when he gets into one of his condescending, ‘I’ll explain this to you as nicely as I can, you poor unfortunate,’ modes. It’s his Bill O’Reilly impersonation. But, he means well, so I tacitly become his straight-man. “And, why is that?” I asked.
“English, as we know it, has been influenced by the Celts, Romans, Anglo-Saxons, and the Norman French. Each was in control of the British Isles. Each brought their own terms to describe a thing or a process. Those identifiers were simply absorbed into the language. That’s why we have so many ways to say the same thing. Some sounded identical to words already in use.” He smiled one of his patronizing, ‘I’m glad I could clear that up for you,’ lip curls. Puke, puke, puke.
“That doesn’t make it any more logical, or easier, for creatures and humans that aren’t steeped in your hodge-podge vernacular.” I felt like adding, ‘Take that!’ but the old boy is free with the treats. No sense in creating self-inflicted pain.
“Give me an example, Sandy. I’ll try to explain.” He appeared to be a little contrite.
“Okay, explain to me how a person unfamiliar with the lame logic your language employs wouldn’t be confused by the use of poll – which I understand to mean, a study to determine a group of people’s thoughts on a subject used to help influence others – and pole, which is basically a shaft.”
“Why, Sandy, that’s brilliant!” The Geezer smiled. In this type of situation, that’s not a good thing. Something smelled like a five-day-old dead fish.
“I know I shouldn’t ask, but why is that?” I could see the guillotine being wheeled into place.
“You’ve connected the two meanings perfectly, Sandy. So you’re saying that polls are designed to shaft a bunch of people by making them believe a certain way.”
How do you answer something like that? The whole theory has a huge hole in it. Oh, good grief! He’s got me doing it!