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Sammy's Shelf
December 2011:
From my point of view two cats are one too many!

When I came across One Moon, Two Cats (Atheneum, ISBN: 9781442412026) by Laura Godwin and Yoko Tanaka, I thought, 'Oh boy, this should be interesting!'

For children between the ages of 2 and 6, this picture book is all about two cats who slip out at night, roam about and have fun chasing mice and other dumb rodents. One of the cats lives in the city and the other resides on a farm. But even though they live miles apart, they seem to do the same things. They yawn, stretch, leap up on things and watch life unfold around them.

Well, duh! That's what we do! We comb our whiskers, twitch our tails and sniff things! And yes, after a night full of carousing and rodent pursuit we'll sack out for a good rest. I mean, there's been a lot of energy expended in these strenuous activities so we need to recharge the old battery. And, yes, no matter whether a sophisticated city feline or frumpy country bumpkin cat, we all enjoy the same things!

Granted this is an innocuous tale that points out how alike city and country creatures of my ilk are, but there's one small problem with this presentation. By juxtaposing the two cats on the same page or on adjacent pages, one might get the idea that they like each other or that they even do these things together! NO WAY JOSE! If you believe that then, once again, you've got the wrong end of the stick!

I'm here to tell you that unlike our larger relative, the lion, we do not hang together in packs, pods or prides! Nope. Cats are singular creatures and we don't normally enjoy one another's company. That doesn't mean if you force us to live together in the same house we won't learn to co-exist, but, if you play close attention, you'll discover we love to heckle and hassle one another. In fact, occasionally fangs are bared, the claws come out and fur literally flies!

Take, for example, what happened here at my house the other morning. Upstairs we have a cat door so I can get out on the outside deck and enjoy the weather and snooze in the warm, morning sun. I'm an obedient critter, stay on the deck and don't wander away. (Of course there's also a barrier in place to help me remember to be good!)

Well, anyhow, there is another cat in our neighborhood who likes to come across our roof, climb up over the Berlin Wall, and pop right through my special door! Trust me, I did not invite this interloper to the party, nor did I volunteer my special kitty food. No matter, the little minx has decided that what is mine is hers. The hussy! She knows where the goodies are and digs right in.

The other morning she had the unmitigated gall to come downstairs to where I share my person's bed. When this unwelcome guest pranced into the room, I thought, 'Enough is enough!' I pounced off the foot of the bed and we had at it.

Needless to say, the sound effects awakened my person who jumped out of bed swearing and wondered what the loud caterwauling was all about. Some very un-kitty-like words were uttered (we call them daddy words) and while I ran into the living room and hid behind the couch, the intruder dashed up the stairs, out onto the deck and across the roof. My goodness, it sounded like Santa Claus had crash landed his sleigh!

So much for feline brotherly love and sharing. What nonsense! I'm an only cat and that's the way I like it.
Sammy shares living quarters with Bob Walch. Not only does Bob provide the basic essentials for this loquacious feline but he occasionally offers editorial assistance. Find more of the Maine Coon's musings at
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