Wednesday, 16 April 2014

a request for assistance

Nissy raced into the kitchen.  The toaster transporter was dinging incessantly and he knew there must be an urgent message awaiting him. Skidding to a halt and hopping up onto the counter, he peered into the toaster.

"Yeah, would you mind answering that toaster?" Seville asked.  "The dinging is annoying.  It's disturbing my nap."

Nissy glanced over his shoulder to see his marmalade brother curled up on a kitchen chair.  Obviously, Seville had not considered to get up himself to see what message was coming through. Nissy watched as his brother let out a giant yawn, closed his eyes once more and fell back asleep.

Scattered around the toaster were several hard-boiled eggs, each painted with the letters S, O and S.  Another ding coughed up a couple more.  Clearly, someone was in trouble and needing his help.

A loud explosion in the back yard startled Seville, awakening him from his nap so violently that it caused him to jump straight up into the air and hit his head on the ceiling.  "For crying out loud!" he cried.

Nissy looked out the kitchen window.  The sky had darkened and the air had become hazy.  A pinprick of light appeared out of nowhere and from it, time waves began to emanate.  This anomaly was going to require immediate investigation.

Venturing outside, Nissy cautiously approached the disturbance in the space-time continuum. "What the mouses is that?" he asked Seville who had followed him outside and was now sitting beside him.  "MOUSES!  I've never seen anything like it.  Have you?"

The two cats watched as hundreds of butterflies began to fly out of the vortex.  Never before had a vortex created a butterfly effect.  Whoever had opened it was certainly not using egg beater-whisk time travelling-teleportation technology.  Some other kind of technology was at work here.

Mesmerised, the cats sat there, watching the butterflies flit this way and that.  Seville swatted a couple with a paw but they escaped, unscathed.  Moments later, there was a loud thud and out of the vortex rolled a giant painted egg.  The egg righted itself and out popped two arms.  As it came to life, a face appeared.

"MOUSES!" cried the cats in unison.

"Hello there.  Egg Sackly is the name," and the giant egg reached toward Nissy to shake his paw.  "You must be Nerissa the Cat.  Very pleased to meet you."  Turning to Seville he said, "and I assume you are the brother, Seville?"

The cats stared at Mr. Sackly in disbelief.

"You're probably wondering about my unexpected visit.  We've been sending messages to you all morning but your toaster transporter appears to be malfunctioning."

"Those eggs were from you?" Nissy asked.

"Ah, so you did get my messages.  Never thought to reply?" and the egg sighed loudly.

"Sorry 'bout that," explained Nissy.  "Only got the messages a few minutes ago and I didn't know from whom they were coming.  Please tell me what's going on and how I can help."

"We're facing a major catastrophe over at Easter Bunny Headquarters.  If the matter isn't resolved within the next few days, Easter morning egg deliveries will be in jeopardy.  In fact, they already are. This matter needs to be attended to urgently and the top bun felt you were the only cats for the job."

"You mean that the Easter Bunny himself has requested our assistance?" Seville asked, incredulously.

"He most certainly has although," and the egg cleared his throat, "he really requested the assistance of Nerissa the Cat but is aware that the marmalade side kick is part of the bargain."

"SIDE KICK!  Of all the nerve," sputtered Seville.  "I'll show you a kick," and he raised a hind leg. Thinking this might be going a little far, Seville lowered his leg before peering under Egg Sackly. "Ummm...  by the way, how come you don't have any legs?" he asked the egg.

"I'm an egg.  Eggs don't have legs," he answered.  Turning back to Nerissa the egg instructed, "You'll need to follow me back through the vortex.  Prepare to duck and roll."

Nissy peered into the vortex, narrowing his eyes.  "Yeah, I don't think we're gonna do the ol' ducking and rolling bit.  We have our own mode of transport.  SIVVERS," and he turned to his brother, "PREPARE THE TELEPORTATION DEVICE."

Moments later, the two cats and Mr. Egg Sackly were hurtling through space and time, heading towards Easter Bunny Headquarters.

"Can't this flying frying pan contraption go any faster," cried the egg?  "Time is of the essence.  Easter is at stake!"

"Faster?  You want to go faster?" asked Seville.  "I have the whisks whisking full blast.  We're travelling forward in space but backwards in time.  We'll arrive before you even left.  Gosh," he turned to Nerissa and hissed, "Eggs sure are impatient."

"And I think this one is a little soft in the centre," Nissy muttered under his breath.  "He seems to have forgotten just who is doin' whom the favours around here.  On the other paw, he might be feelin' a little nervous about bein' in...  well...  you know...  'Bout bein' in a fryin' pan, if you know what I mean.  I'm hopin' we'll get some better Intel once we can speak to an actual bunny."

Landing gently in a grassy field, the cats and egg climbed out of the frying pan teleportation device. Nissy had to admit that Egg Sackly was looking mightily relieved to be on solid ground, once more.

Nerissa looked around.  There were painted eggs scattered everywhere.  Scattered around like wild flowers growing amidst the grass.  Multitudes of butterflies danced in the air and Seville took another swipe at one.  It flew off, only to replaced by several others.   Off in the distance, loomed an ancient castle.  Nissy wondered if that castle was the Easter Bunny's Headquarters.

A small white rabbit approached them, hopping through the painted eggs.  "Nerissa?  Nerissa the Cat?  Thank goodness you are here!" the bunny exclaimed.

"Ummm...  are you the Easter Bunny?" Nissy asked.

"Goodness no!  But I do work here at Bunny Headquarters.  We have a real problem on our paws," stated the rabbit.  "Our only key to the chocolate vault has been either lost or stolen and without it, we can't access the goodies needed for Easter morning deliveries.  Millions of children around the world are eagerly awaiting Easter morning and without that key, we'll let them all down."

"But there are eggs all over the place," interrupted Seville, batting at one between his two front paws. "They're everywhere.  Just look at them all."

"That's just a drop in the bucket," explained the rabbit.  "We need far more than that.  We anticipate requiring approximately four billion, nine hundred and sixty-three million, two hundred and fourteen thousand, eight hundred and eleven chocolate eggs for Easter morning.  Also, seven million, eight hundred and sixty-two thousand, five hundred and forty..."

"Did you say, billion?" sputtered Seville.

"Did you say, approximately?" asked Nerissa.

"The point is," continued the rabbit, "we need access to that vault.  Nerissa, your reputation precedes you.  Only you and your brother are capable of returning that key to us.  Are you willing to accept this assignment?

Smiling broadly, Nerissa was just about to answer with a resounding yes when he was distracted by the sound of eggs cracking as Seville managed to smash two of them together.

"What?" asked Seville looking up, innocently.  "And by the way, have you ever thought of filling these things with nip?"


Be sure to return on Sunday April 20th for part two of the cats' Easter adventure.

Sunday, 13 April 2014

a change of plans

What's that, Peepers?  What?  WHAT?

What do you mean, we have to change our plans?

But I don't want to.

Awww...   FINE.  MOUSES!

As many of you know, I was waitin' and waitin' and waitin' with great anticipation for the moment I hit one hundred thousand visits to my blog.  I was so excited and the peep said we could do somethin' special for the event. I had such plans...

First of all, I was gonna introduce a new award 'cause nothin' says celebrating like bling.  Well, bling and nip.  And speakin' of nip, I was gonna do a giveaway and yes, nip toys were to be involved.

Then came the flood.

For those of you who haven't heard, between all the snow meltin' and the torrential rain last Tuesday, the basement of my house is now a swimmin' pool.  That's right.  I have an indoor swimmin' pool in my house but, I assure you, there is to be no swimmin' in that pool.  This is not a pool party kind of situation, if you know what I mean.

But that's not the worst part.  The worst part is that on Wednesday mornin', the water came up high enough to knock out the furnace.  No furnace means no heat and no heat means no hot water. MOUSES!

Nothin' can be done about the furnace until the water table drops another eight inches or so.  At that point, the peeps will find out if the furnace can be repaired or if it needs to be replaced but none of that can be done until all that nasty ol' water recedes.  It's a waitin' game for now and as you all know, games that do not involve nip or wand toys are no fun at all.

We're all okay and that's the important thing, I think.  We still have power, too.  Thank goodness for that.  But I've got my paws full with a couple of super cranky peeps and I don't know WHAT I'm gonna do with them.  The first peep keeps sayin' somethin' about her feeling like she's living in the nineteenth century which really, isn't so bad.   I mean, I've travelled there myself, usin' egg beater-whisk time travelling-teleportation technology and seriously, there are worse places to travel to.

Anywho...  Back to the change of plans.

Peep #1 says that I can still introduce my new award but the giveaway has to be put on hold.  Put on hold until we have a working furnace, heat, hot water and the mess in the basement has been all cleaned up.  I don't exactly know how long it's gonna take but I've got my paws crossed that it won't be too long although knowin' my peeps...   MOUSES!  And I sure could do with all my pals out there crossing their paws for us, too.  I think that at times like this, the more crossed paws, the better.

In the meantime, let's talk bling.

My new award is called the Yoo-hoo! YOO-HOO! Award which, as you know, is one of my favourite sayings.  It's a saying just made for celebratin' and that's exactly what we're gonna do today.

The rules for acceptin' the Yoo-hoo! YOO-HOO! Award are pretty simple.
- Firstly, post the award on your blog and thank the blogger who gave it to you.
- Secondly, visit at least three of the blogs that are receiving the award along with you and leave a
  comment.
- Thirdly, tell us all three things you have to celebrate.  You know, three things for which you are
  thankful.
- Lastly, pass along the award to seven other bloggers and let them know you have done so.

Pretty easy, huh?

Oh, I need to list three things I have to celebrate.  Let's see...  Hmmm...

Well first of all, I'm celebrating having reached one hundred thousand visits to my blog.  Secondly, I'd like to celebrate the fact that unlike the peeps, this lack of hot water business has not affected MY bathin' schedule.  And thirdly, I'd like to celebrate that on Tuesday I'll be turnin' eleven.  That's right, Tuesday is my birthday although, truth be told, I'm thinkin' it's not gonna be much of one what with the indoor not-a-pool-party swimmin' pool in my basement thing goin' on.  MOUSES!

So without further ado, the first ever winners of the Yoo-hoo! YOO-HOO! Award are....

WAIT!!!  I have to mention that as this is the introduction, I shall be nominatin' twenty-one blogs, rather than seven 'cause I really wanna make sure the award gets off to a really good start.

And the nominees are....
- Savvy at Savannahs Paw Tracks
- the staff at Dash Kitten
- Herman at It's a Wonderpurr Life
- Sparkle at Sparkle the Designer Cat
- Crepes at Cat in the Fridge
- the Kitties Blue at The CAT on my HEAD
- Sammy at onespoiledcat
- the gang at Owned by a Husky
- Spitty at Spitty Speaks
- Speedy at Speedy the Cheeky House Bunny
- Hisiableue at Bleue comme Aby
- Nylablue at Nylablue & Sherriellen's Purrfect Pad
- Austin at CATachresis
- Brian at Brian's Home
- Derby & Ducky at Derby and Ducky
- Hailey & Zaphod at The Hailey and Zaphod Chronicles
- Marty at MusingsbyMartyManx
- Whipple & Pepper at Whipple & Pepper
- Archie, Oscar & Henry at My Three Moggies
- Maxwell, Faraday & Allie at a tonk's tail
- Mario at Mario's Meowsings

CONGRATULATIONS EVERYBODY!  You're all winners, for sure.

What's that, Peepers?  You have to go out this afternoon? Where are you goin', lookin' like that?

Oh, you're headin' over to a motel to take a shower.  Well thank goodness for that.  I was gonna say somethin' before but didn't wanna hurt your feelings or anything but since you've managed to figure it out all own your own...  Well, I'll see you when you return, all nice and clean.  In the meantime, I'm gonna take a nap.

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

it's inherited!

Breakin' news out of my family room...

Okay, maybe not out of the family room, really.  Only kinda out of the family room but that is where I heard it first.

Breakin' news from the University of Colorado Boulder...

Okay, I don't actually know if it's breakin' news and even if it is, I didn't break the story first but...  well...  I'm tryin' to paint a picture with my words, here.  MOUSES!

Anywho...  I was walkin' past the family room last night after enjoyin' a mid-evenin' snack, when I happened to overhear the news broadcaster on CBC talkin' about the news that could be breakin'. My ears perked up immediately 'cause I just knew I needed to report upon this.  After listenin' to what needed listenin', I trotted into my office and told Ol' Peepers I would require the computer.  I had a blog post to write.

Apparently, some peeps over at the University of Colorado Boulder have written a paper on procrastination.  These peeps:  Daniel Gustavson, Akira Miyake, John Hewitt and Naomi Friedman, have found some sort of connection between the tendency to procrastinate and impulsive behaviour. Not only do they believe that perpetual procrastinators are impulsive but they also believe that that procrastination is genetic.  It's in our genes.  IT'S INHERITED.  MOUSES!

Interestin'...

My Peep #1 is definitely a perpetual procrastinator.  She's a PPP...  a Perpetually Procrastinatin' Peep.  This likely explains why I'm writin' today's blog post, today.  MOUSES!

That's right.  Like I said earlier, I told the peep that I needed the computer last night to write this post but Ol' Peepers was busy doin' somethin' silly and said, "Why don't you do it tomorrow?" MOUSES!

So here I am, writin' my blog post the mornin' it's due, due to Ol' Peepers' condition of bein' a PPP.   Again I say...   MOUSES!

Luckily for me, I did not inherit the peep's PPP.  First of all, I'm a cat.  Cats don't get PPP and, I believe you'll find that, there's no such thing as PPC.  Nope.  Never heard of that one, at all.

If there's a nip mouse that needs to be played with, I'm right on it.  If there's a snack that needs to be snacked upon, I'm there.  If there's a nap that needs takin', I'm nappin' in an instant.  No sirree...  no procrasitnatin' for me.  I'm a cat of action, I am.  Immediate action, for sure.

Now about this impulsiveness.   The peeps from the University of Colorado Boulder believe the two traits are linked.  Peeps who tend to procrastinate, tend to also be impulsive and make rash decisions.

This makes a lot of sense to me.  If you put everythin' off until the last minute, you kinda have to be impulsive if for no other reason than the fact that you've run out of time to really think things through. On the other paw, some might call this, decisiveness.  What exactly is the difference between an impulsive and rash decision and a decisive one?  Probably the end result.  MOUSES!

Peep #1 says she works well under pressure.  I think she thinks that makin' those impulsive and rash decisions works out for her.  Well, she has certainly had enough practise!

My question is, which came first?  Was it the chicken or was it the egg?  Or, in this case, the tendency to procrastinate or the workin' well under pressure bit?  I mean, if you put everythin' off for forever, you're gonna have to make some split-second decisions 'cause let's face it, you'll only have seconds to make 'em.

But what if you're a cat like me and you know you're capable of makin' those split-second decisions in the first place?  Then, it would seem perfectly reasonable to do the other stuff you wanna do, first, and put off makin' those other decisions until the last minute.  In the cat world, we call that time management.  

We must also take into account environmental factors.  For instance, as a cat livin' with a peep who has PPP, said peep's tendency to procrastinate may very well cause me to make impulsive and rash decisions.  It was all Peep #1's fault that I didn't get today's blog post written last night.  It was all because of Peep #1's PPP disorder that I am being forced to feverishly write my post this mornin', barely makin' my deadline.  Peep #1 may have inherited the gene to procrastinate but I, Nerissa the Cat, have somehow managed to inherit the peep!

This whole inherited procrastination subject is very confusin'.  I think the best thing for me to do will be to have a little snack before takin' a nap.  I'll figure out the procrastination stuff, tomorrow. MOUSES!

Sunday, 6 April 2014

testin' the waters

You ever wonder why some peeps do the things they do?  Personally, I wonder about peeps all the time.  I really do.  Yet no matter how much I wonder, sometimes I still can't figure 'em out.

For example, what would you do if you came across a big ol' puddle in the middle of the road?  Would you jump right in and splash about like a toddler in new wellingtons or would you walk around it?  I know what I would do.  I would walk around it 'cause you know... I don't like gettin' my paws wet. Scratch that.  First of all, I would have a sip or two of that puddle water as puddle water is oh-so-delicious and then I would walk around it.

But what if you couldn't walk around it?  What if that big ol' puddle was in front of you, blockin' your path.  You couldn't go to the right of it nor could you go to the left and yet, you had to cross that puddle and get to the other side.  If you were a bird or a superpeep, you could fly over it.  If you were a kangaroo, I suppose you could jump over it.  But if you're a mere mortal of a peep or a cat, you're gonna have to walk right on through it.

So do you jump right in, never givin' a second thought as to how deep the puddle might be or if there are treacherous currents that might carry you away?  Or do you gently ease in one paw and then another, testing the waters as you go?  Bein' a sensible cat, I would choose the latter.  Only makes sense, if you ask me.

But I have come to the conclusion that there are peeps out there who are simply not sensible.  Not sensible at all.  There are peeps out there who, instead of goin' easy and testin' the puddle water before them, would rather jump right in without givin' any thought as to into what they're jumpin'. MOUSES!

As you all know, there are a lot of us cats in the blogosphere who do charitable work.  We help raise either awareness or funds or even both for causes near and dear to our hearts.  Day after day after day we plod on, doin' the deeds our hearts tell us we must do.  Comes with the territory, you see. Comes with the territory of havin' a heart in good workin' order.  Those healthy hearts make us keep on helpin' those in need.

Of course, no one cat can do it all by himself.  Try as we might, we always need help.  Even with nine lives, a cat is still mortal.  It doesn't matter how popular one is on the blogosphere or how many pals one has, assistance is always required.  ALWAYS.  The more cats and peeps who help out, the easier the workload becomes for everyone involved, you see.  Only makes sense.  Right?  Right.

Most of the time, when cats and peeps encounter a cause they wish to help, they do the sensible thing and ease in gently, testin' those waters before them.  They take the time to see who is doin' what and how best they might fit in.  Most of the time, cats and peeps enter the cause seamlessly, fittin' right in and lendin' a helpin' paw where needed.  It's a beautiful sight to see. A beautiful thing to watch when happenin'.  Simply beautiful.

Unfortunately, every now and then a peep will forget to exercise the sense and reason that we cats all instinctively know we must show.  Instead of easin' in, these peeps take a runnin' leap and jump right into the middle of that big ol' puddle before them.  They land with a big ol' thud, splashin' puddle water over themselves along with everyone else around them.  And quite often, there is mud and the bottom of that puddle and some of that mud gets splashed and flung about, too.

The landings of these peeps aren't usually the best and they slip and slide on the wet, slippery mud. They stumble about until eventually, they fall.  Yup, they fall flat on their tails or at least where their tails would be if they were cats, if you know what I mean.

Of course, if these peeps had tails, their balance would be considerably better and they'd be less likely to fall but they'd also be less likely to fall had they eased their way in like a sensible cat would have done.  But I digress.  MOUSES!

Back to the jumpin'.  This reckless jumpin' into the middle of puddles is an awful sight and causes nothin' but trouble and a big ol' mess, if you ask me.  I have been witness to such events and still cringe when I see 'em happenin'.  Sometimes, I even shed a tear or two.  Or three.  Or more.  I am especially likely to shed tears if I happen to be standin' too close to the puddle and some of that puddle water and mud gets splashed upon my very own fur.  Believe you me, no one likes a paw full of mud flung at 'em.  No one at all.  Not even me.

It is unreasonable to believe that we always know best.  It is unreasonable to believe that we always know better.  It is unreasonable to believe that we're always the smartest cat in the room.  It is simply unreasonable.

Now I am the very first cat to admit that when somethin' isn't workin', that somethin' should be changed.  To continue doin' the same ol' thing over and over and over again without any good results is a foolish act, for sure.  Some might even call it, crazy.

But on the other paw, when good results are bein' produced, there's no reason to stick your paws in there, trying to re-invent the wheel.  What do you wanna do?  Turn it into a triangle?  MOUSES!

When things are showin' progress, you want to help where help is needed.  You do not want to stick your paws in and mess everybody about.  When you stick your paws in, stirrin' up a storm and then walk away, all you do is cause trouble and hurt.

Sometimes things are done in a particular way because experience has shown the peeps doin' those things that the things they're doin', work.  These peeps didn't just wake up one mornin' and arbitrarily decide that that is how things would be.  Not at all.  Rather, over time they discovered what did and did not work.  Over time they found their groove.  They found their way.

It is unreasonable to believe that one can jump right into the middle of a puddle without knowin' all there is to know about said puddle and yet still know more than the cats and peeps who have been wading through that puddle for, in some cases, years.  It is unreasonable to believe that within a week or two, one will understand so much more than those who have had the experience of time spent in the puddle.

The damage that can be caused by such unreasonable and reckless acts is immense.  The cats and peeps who have been wadin' through that puddle for the longest are sometimes barely hangin' on.  They're doin' what they're doin' because their hearts tell them they must even though they face disappointment and heartbreak, daily.  Havin' someone jump into their midst, splashin' puddle water and slingin' mud at them might be more than their hearts can take.  All that puddle water and mud might just be the final straw.  The tipping point where they decide to leave the puddle, forever.

And what will happen then?  Who will help those in need when those who have been helpin' the longest, leave?  Will the peeps who jumped into the puddle without thinking take over from them?  Not likely.  In every case of such behaviour that I have witnessed, the peeps who stirred up the puddle, left almost as quickly as they came.  Sometimes even faster and NEVER givin' a second thought to the mess they left behind.