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Old 03-02-2016, 02:59 AM   #151
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“Oh, yes. We don’t have much of a drug problem in town, but in other areas in the county, meth is a problem. Her house was used by renters as a meth lab before the renters got arrested and the house was foreclosed on when the owner skipped town.”

“Wow! I didn’t know that. Those things are dangerous and they really stink, don’t they?”

“Oh, yes, horribly. Carrie said she nearly threw up the first time she walked in to look at it with her. But it’s a lovely little place now. She gutted it and started over,” Sandy told him.

“Seems to be the theme of the town,” Paul mused.


He laughed. “Carrie and Suzanna started over. I started over here. Looks like she did too.”

“Well, then, I suppose I did too. You might have a point,” she agreed.

“It’s a good place for it.”

Sandy looked around at the little coffeeshop/bookstore. “This town has…character. I like it.”

“I agree, it does. I was going to go browse the bookshelves,” said Paul, indicating their now-empty cups. “Would you like to join me?”

"I'd love to," she smiled, getting up.

"Sooooo...you got a lady friend?" asked Zeus, in the car on the way home. "I saw you come out of the coffeeshop and parade up and down the street with her all day."

"I did not parade with anybody. You mind your own business," said Paul.

"Ooooo, did I hit a nerve? Tsk. What did you get at the grocery store for me?"

"All kinds of good stuff. Even some Brie. It would behoove you to be nice to me."

"Yeah, yeah. You're really going to take me to Carrie's every day?"

"During the week and Saturdays, yeah, maybe Sundays too, if she doesn't mind."

"She said she didn't. I do enjoy them, Paul. Those cats are just what I thought others like me would be. Your descriptions of them last night were right on target. Pook and Saav are clowns, Bart's a blast, Meows is brilliant, and Belle is absolutely delightful. They liked your computer; it's faster than theirs."

"Well, it was really expensive. Besides, it's yours now," said Paul.

Zeus laughed. "Imagine a cat owning a computer."

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Old 03-02-2016, 09:36 PM   #152
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"Well, you do," Paul smiled.

"Carrie and Suzanna were right about laptops for cats. Mine's a whole lot easier to use...as they said, it is paw-friendly. By the way, Carrie’s got wireless.”

“I didn’t know that,” said Paul.

"So who's the woman?" Zeus asked.

"What woman?"

"The one you were with today."

"Oh, just a new friend I met. Her name's Sandy. Don't get any ideas."

"Who, me? You were pretty cozy with her, you know. What am I supposed to think?" Zeus said, purposefully baiting Paul just for fun.

"Cozy? I never touched her! I shook her hand twice. I hardly call that cozy," protested Paul.

Zeus snickered. "So, when's she coming over to meet me?"

"What?! I just met her today! I didn't even think about that," retorted Paul.

"You humans make things so complicated. Why don't you just do what cats do and simply --"

"I don't want to hear about it!" snapped Paul. "I know what cats do. That's not in the picture here."

"You don't know what you're missing," sighed Zeus.

"How would you know? You're a fixed, inside cat."

"I'm still a cat. I know."

Paul sighed. "Whatever. What do you want for dinner tonight?"

"You mean people food?"

"Well, I'm not eating cat food, and apparently cat food isn't good enough for you any more, so yes, people food."

"What did you get at the store?" asked Zeus.

"Steaks, shrimp, hamburger, salmon, all kinds of good stuff."

"Salmon? Broiled in butter with lemon pepper?"

"One day of hanging out next door to a seafood restaurant and all of a sudden you're an expert. Yes, I can do that if you want," Paul said.

"That sounds tasty. Belle likes vegetables, did you know that? It drives Bart nuts."

"I had heard that, yes."

"What happened to Saav? Belle is bigger than her and not even full-grown yet," asked Zeus. “Pook’s the same age as Saav but almost half again as big.”

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Old 03-02-2016, 11:48 PM   #153
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Cat, I look forward to my daily dose! Loving this book!
She who dies with the most toys, wins.
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Old 03-03-2016, 12:01 AM   #154
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"She was a runt and barely made it to six weeks old, then she got hurt and, I think, got pneumonia at the same time. They seem to think that rough start stunted her growth a bit."

"I wondered if it was something like that. She's a little scruffy, too. But she and Pook are a pair!"

“They are,” Paul smiled.

“They’re sisters?”

“No, but they were born within a day or so of each other and grew up together.”

“Hmmm. They are both fun. All of them, especially Meows, are very intelligent,” said Zeus.

"Yeah, they are. Sounds like you do enjoy them. What did you do all day?"

"We were helping Belle learn about World War I, we ate a lot, we all curled up for a nap on that big window seat, and when we woke up, just before you got there, we played checkers. That's a little awkward without opposing thumbs, but Belle wanted to learn the real thing," Zeus explained.

"Sounds like an interesting day," said Paul.

"It was." Zeus yawned. "But boy, Belle will wear you out with her nonstop questions."

"She loves learning."

“I think I like that little Saav. She writes really well. Have you read any of her short stories?”

“Not yet. But she said she’d email me a few of them,” said Paul.

“You’ll like them. Pook does amazing things on that graphics program she has. Makes some neat pictures.”

“They’re pretty talented, from what I’ve seen. More talented than I am,” Paul smiled.

"What books did you find for us?" asked Zeus, pawing at the bag of books sharing his seat.

"Oh, a couple good ones about cats with unusual talents in Celtic and Eastern European lore, and 'The Rise And Fall of the Third Reich,' an oldie but a goodie. It was on sale. I found some books of Socrates’ and Niezche’s works for you. I found a good book on the history of this state, and it mentions this area quite a bit.”

"That sounds good. Did you find out if they allow cats in the bookstore?"

"Yes. They do. You can also go to the library, the B&B of course, and most of the shops and all the restaurants that have outdoor dining," Paul said.
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Old 03-03-2016, 12:03 AM   #155
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Originally Posted by Dawgluver View Post
Cat, I look forward to my daily dose! Loving this book!
Thank you so much! There is much still to come!

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Old 03-03-2016, 02:02 AM   #156
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"Sounds like you did your homework while you were out panting after your lady friend," said Zeus.

"I was NOT panting after her!" Paul snapped at him.

"Yeah, right. Sure you weren't. You human males aren't really that much different from we cat males in that --"

"Don't start with that 'do the cat thing' again!" yelled Paul.

"Drives you nuts, doesn't it?" Zeus grinned.

"I still liked you better before you talked!"

"No you didn't. You missed the driveway."

Paul swore and turned the Nissan Altima around in a neighbor's driveway, and went back up his own. He parked in the garage, and gathered the bags and computer and went inside.

"Where do you want this thing?" asked Paul, indicating the laptop.

"On my desk is fine," said Zeus.

"I'll be working in the kitchen on dinner. Want to help?"

"You're kidding, right? What am I going to do? Peel and slice carrots?"

"Keep me company."

"Oh. Okay. Just set up the computer here on the table, then. What else are we having?" asked Zeus.

Paul put the laptop on the table, plugged it in, and lifted the lid. Zeus pawed it on.

"I thought steamed veggies and a salad."

"Yeccch." Zeus made a face. "I'll just stick with the salmon. Oooo! How about some of that smoked Gouda you have here?" He was pawing through the deli bag.

"Gimme that. I don't need claw marks in everything. Here, I'll cut up some pieces for you."

"Make em small. Cat-sized bites. Makes it a lot easier," muttered Zeus. "Hey, is that caviar?"

"Yes. And it's incredibly expensive, so don't expect a steady diet of it," Paul told him.

"What else? Is that sardines? Oh...smoked oysters are good! Tuna...crabmeat...hey, you did pretty good, for a rookie."

"A rookie?!"

"Well, yes. Ooooo! Is that herring? Yes! Very good. What else did you get?"

"Oh...that reminds me..." Paul put the little plate of cheese, caviar, and a sardine in front of the cat and headed toward the garage. "Be right back."

Zeus nodded and nosedived into the caviar. Paul returned a moment later with a box.
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Old 03-03-2016, 02:07 AM   #157
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Zeus looked up and belched. "What's that?"

"For you," said Paul, opening the box and pulling out a small pillow and matching blue paisley comforter, about the right size for a baby or very small child. "You said you wanted your own pillow and blanket last night."

Zeus stared at the soft pillow and blanket, then left his unfinished plate to nuzzle Paul's hand and purr for him.

"Thanks! I had forgotten about that," said Zeus. "But you didn't."

"Nope. Now you'll be comfy, buddy."

Zeus returned to his plate. "It sure has been a great day," he said around a mouthful of cheese.

Paul cut a few slices of the Gouda for himself, and put some rye crackers and the cheese on a plate, and sat down with his cat. "Yeah, it's been a very different day as well."

They had their snacks in silence for a few moments, then Zeus finished his plate and curled up on the comforter still lying on the table. Paul watched him.

"I want to help you with your book," said Zeus suddenly.

Paul looked surprised. "You do? What would you like to do?"

"I can help with the research, and I can proofread," he suggested.

"That sounds like it'll work. I'll get what I have done out for you and let you read it," said Paul. "Then you can make changes or continue."

"I've already read it," smiled Zeus. "It's good. It just needs a couple holes filled."

"Okay, then, see what you can do with it. I kinda hit a wall on it or something."

"Writer's block. It happens to everyone."

"It's no fun," sighed Paul.

"Have you let Carrie and Suzanna read it yet?" asked Zeus.

"Suzanna has. She liked it."

Zeus nodded. "Her B&B is in it...only back then it was a boarding house. You could actually continue with subsequent books through the Roaring 20s, the Depression years, World War II, et cetera."

Paul raised an eyebrow. "That's an idea. I hadn't thought of a series."

Zeus shrugged, and washed a paw. "See how well the first one does, and go from there."

"Sounds like a plan. I really want to get the thing done."

An hour later, Zeus had copies of the disc that held the book, and was intently reading on the kitchen table. He had pulled his blanket and pillow around to the front of the computer and was absently kneading it as he read.
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Old 03-03-2016, 02:21 AM   #158
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Paul was broiling salmon steaks and steaming vegetables, watching Zeus from time to time. The cat was buried in the Stony River of 1907.

"One neat thing to research would be when the first car actually appeared in the town," mused Zeus.

"Ah, that might be interesting."

"I think this is really going to be a local hit. I'm guessing that you see that, too."

Paul nodded.

Zeus looked up. "Mind if I share this with Meows? He's brilliant -- I'm betting he'll have some great ideas."

"If you want to," replied Paul. "He is a sharp one."

Zeus started pawing at the keyboard. "Ehh, I have to email him and ask him if he'll mind helping out with this."

"You have an email address?" Paul asked incredulously.

Zeus looked at him. "Of course."

"What is it?"

The cat laughed. "TheCatsMeow at whatever our service is."

"Oh!" Paul smiled. "I like that."

"Yeah, I thought it was a little more original than yours."

"That it is."

“While I’m at it, I bet Saav can help you too. Can I ask her to read it, too?”

“Sure. Let them all read it. I can use all the help I can get,” said Paul.

"Remind me to download messenger when I get done. I have to add Pook and Saav, Meows, and Bart and Belle so we can chat at night."

"But you'll be together all day," Paul frowned. "Won't you all get sick of each other?"

"I know, but I've been recruited to help teach Belle, too, and we take turns so we don't get so burned out. We help each other by looking up sites and information," explained Zeus. “Also, all of them have their own schoolwork to do, and need time for that too. I have more free time than they do.”


“Yes. College classes online. Pook’s in computer graphics and web design, Saav’s doing the creative writing thing and journalism, Bart’s getting through high school courses through the adult GED program, and Meows is doing the business accounting thing because he likes math and Suzanna hates it. Little Belle is in a primary home-schooling course.”

"Oh." Paul checked the salmon steaks. "That’s fascinating! Online courses is a great idea for you guys. You can’t exactly march into a classroom somewhere and enroll.”

"I think it’s a wonderful thing to do on a computer: learn. They also are in an Internet cat group. The members in that group think they are humans posing as cats. That's pretty funny."

"They joined a cat group? On the Internet?" Paul shook his head.

"Yeppers. I'm going to see if they'll let me in too. I think it'd be fun to go in and mess with the humans like they are," said Zeus.

"You would," sighed Paul. "Don't be too hard on those poor people, okay?"

Zeus looked at him. "Who, me?"

"Yeah, you!"

"Hmpf. I'm not hard on anyone. Why would I start now?"

"You're rough on me!"

Zeus laughed. "Yeah, but you deserve it. That's different."


"And you're gullible. Is that smoke coming out of the oven there?" Zeus asked, looking alarmed.

Paul whirled around and yanked open the oven door, but there was no smoke. The salmon steaks were broiling nicely. "What smoke? Where?"

Zeus snickered. "Told you were gullible."

"I REALLY liked you a lot better before you could talk!" Paul fumed at him, slamming the oven door closed.

"When's dinner gonna be ready?" asked Zeus.

"In about ten minutes. Why?"

"I gotta go to the box. Be right back."

"Try the toilet just once, willya?" Paul asked.

"No." Zeus jumped off the table and headed for the cat door to the garage. "Cats don't do toilets."

After dinner, Paul and Zeus sat back at the table, stuffed.

"That wasn't bad," said Paul.

Zeus belched. "Nope, not bad at all. So. What are we doing tonight?"

"I'm watching TV," said Paul. "You can do whatever you want."

"Not another cop show!"

"Yes, I like cop shows," Paul said firmly.

"But I hate them!"

"Like I said, there's four --"

"I KNOW there's four TVs in this house and I can pick one! Did you ever think that I like your company and would rather be with you than off by myself, holed up somewhere all alone?" Zeus told him.

Paul stared at him. "I didn't know that."

"Well, now you do. Can't we meet in the middle?"

Paul shrugged. "I'm listening."

"Three nights a week, you can watch your cop shows if you'll plug my computer up in there with you so I have something to look at besides that crap on the TV. Two nights a week, I choose what we do together. We split the weekends. Fair enough?"

"Okay, that's fair. I think I'd rather have you around me than holed up off by yourself too," agreed Paul.

"See, that's not so hard, is it?"

"Not really. But who goes first?"

"Coin toss," suggested Zeus.

"I call heads," said Paul, digging a quarter out of his pocket. He tossed it, caught it, and slapped it on the table. He took his hand away. Tails.

"I win," Zeus grinned.

"Oh boy. You're not going to make me chase mice with you or anything like that, are you?"

"You're too slow for that. You'd just hurt yourself or get in the way," retorted Zeus.

"Thanks a lot!"

"You asked for it. Actually," said Zeus, nosing the bag of new books on the table, "I was hoping to check out one of these tonight."

"Okay. That sounds good."

"And I want to listen to some of your classical music collection in the background. Especially the Wagner."

"I didn't know you liked music," said Paul.

"Of course I do. Why wouldn't I?"

Paul shook his head. "It's just...a cat with definite tastes is hard to get used to."

"Well, it's part of getting to know each other. I already know what you like to do, because I've been observing that for months. You just don't know me as a sentient feline."

"I didn't know there WERE sentient felines til the other day!"

Zeus sighed. "Ah, yes. That human arrogance again. I suppose you also think that you are the only intelligent beings in the universe, too."

"I don't know if we are or not. I never thought about it," Paul replied.
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Old 03-03-2016, 02:29 AM   #159
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"See? You probably don't bother to look at the big picture. There's others out there, bet on it. They might look like cell phone towers or something, but they're out there."

"How do you know?"

"And who didn't believe cats could talk? Think about it."

Paul sighed. "I guess so. If cats can talk, anything's possible."

"Now you're thinking. Are you going to tell your kids and grandkids about me?"

"No. They'd put me in a home, because you'd dummy up just to make me look nuts," said Paul.

"No, I wouldn't do that to you, because that could easily happen. But I have to admit, that's a pretty good stunt to pull on someone! I like it," Zeus replied with a smile.

"Gee, thanks. I guess that's a real compliment, coming from you. But no, and you'll really have to dummy up when they visit. No computer, no nothing, no signs of sentience."

Zeus sighed. "I was afraid of that. Hey, wait -- why not let me stay with Carrie or Suzanna or Joyce when they visit? You could make up something like I'm a therapy cat being loaned out to handicapped people or something."

Paul looked at him. "Okay, I'll ask them. It's really not fair to you, in your own home, to have to do that. I don't think they'll mind. That's a good idea. Also, it eliminates the possibility of a mistake."

"A mistake? Like what?"

"Like if you forget and speak, or I forget and ask you a question."

"Oh." Zeus looked uncomfortable. "It's a shame to keep secrets from your kids, though. You're close to them."

"Believe me, I've actually kept a lot of things from my kids, especially things I didn't think they'd understand. Human parents do that. People -- and some cats -- have secrets."

Zeus nodded and nosed the bag of books again. "Well, I want to get into some cat lore or Socrates tonight."

Paul got up. "Let's go."

They settled in the big living room with Wagner on the CD player's Surround Sound, which turned the room into a concert hall. Paul turned it down to background level, and Zeus dragged his new blanket and pillow in and up on the couch, where he settled down. Paul chose the recliner next to it, and they settled down for an evening of reading and music, as the snow began to fall.
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Old 03-03-2016, 09:24 AM   #160
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Got my daily dose of talking cats...I am never going to ask my cats if they can talk.

“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” - Albert Einstein
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