Bitu's Catster.com Diary

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An Unexpected "Helping Paw"

December 17th 2007 7:46 pm
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We've put out a call for more movies for the KittyWhiskas For Catsters Video Vault. Who would have thought that we'd get a shot in the arm from a relative newcomer? It looks like the balcony's going to stay open for awhile. Special thanks to Suzie McSqueeze, one of our new Canadian members. She's lent a "helping paw" just when we needed it the most.

 

Bitu's First Screenshot

December 19th 2007 11:39 pm
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We've had two Macs over eight years and never took a screenshot until late tonight. The higher-ups are changing the buttons for some unknown reason, even though they insist that they'll be more "modern". Other than the lack of personality compared with the original buttons, that new brown strip has covered up a Search box. They said, "Why don't you take a screenshot?" But without a digital camera I thought a screenshot was impossible. But somebody said, "Just push the Command key, Shift and the number 3 all at once." Guess what? I heard a camera click without having a digital camera. I'm tempted to make a new folder and start taking screenshots all over the place. In the meantime, Bitu made an announcement about our first screenshot in the Mac Kitties Club. If Bitu didn't think she was such a klutz, she'd be doing the "happy kitty dance" right about now. I wonder if we can add to our digital picture collection now?

 

Computer Minnie's First Foray Onto Another Page - By Bitu McClintock

December 21st 2007 11:00 pm
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Some months after Minnie died, my younger human joined an online game page called Slingdot.com. They awarded dots like points for various games. Some months later, they started having computer pets called Slingpets which people could create (either a conventional pet or something with various animal parts) which could keep their people company as they played games and won dots. My younger human got a gray cat with green eyes who was named after the real-live Minnie who died of fleas in 2005. But we knew there was a difference because the real-live Minnie had a mix of orange, black and white fur like me. When accessories for the Slingpets became available, Computer Minnie got a pink collar with a silver license. Then she got a few electronic gadgets like a cell phone and a laptop computer (a Mac, of course). Then she got a background showing an amusement park. My people like to think that they'll get to play in Computer Minnie's park someday up in Heaven. When the company stopped taking paying memberships, Computer Minnie lost access to a lot of games and her playing time was cut by commercial interruptions. My younger human was very unhappy. Then THQ took over the page, renamed it the Valusoft Arcade and made all the games accessible again for free. That made Computer Minnie very happy, though they've taken some of her favorite games off the list. But when I joined Catster.com, my younger human started spending more time here and less time with Computer Minnie. My older human was fussing so much about it that he got into a fight with my younger human and made her cry. He enjoyed saying hello to Computer Minnie and scratching a box for her whenever she's lost a game because she couldn't come out and do it personally like the real-live Minnie could and I do. But since my younger human finds time to go see Computer Minnie once in a while now, he feels better. Until recently, my younger human could only talk about Computer Minnie because she had no way to show what she looked like. Then when she learned to take screenshots on the computer, she was able to get Computer Minnie's picture and put it on the computer. She's even sent Computer Minnie's picture to a few friends. One of my Catster Friends has been nice enough to put Computer Minnie on his page just below his own picture. It's still not the same as what the real-live Minnie looked like in life, but at least now people know that Computer Minnie exists, even though the real-live Minnie is still without the picture which would allow her to have her own page. But someday Computer Minnie will be real-live in Heaven and invite all her friends to her park. But my adopted sister Minnie with the orange, black and white fur will have to wait in line with everybody else. But if she gets to have her favorite snacks while she waits, waiting in line at Computer Minnie's park might not be so bothersome to her. I wonder if Computer Minnie's park will have stuff in it that I might like.

 

Serenity's Early Christmas Present

December 23rd 2007 12:46 pm
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It looks like another of Smokey's babies has been adopted. Serenity has gotten a new home for Christmas. Now that she's been adopted, I hope that Serenity remembers that she still qualifies for our group as an adopted cat. If all Smokey's babies get adopted by Mother's Day 2008, she'll be awfully lonesome, even if she doesn't say so in so many words.

 

What a Christmas Present!

December 24th 2007 11:38 pm
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I thought the cat toys I've been waiting to play with would be the best Christmas present I'd get, but I got an even bigger surprise. I got invited back to the Alley! A dog named Maxi must have taken pity on me and invited me back when I thought they hated me. Well, I've learned my lesson. I'm not going to anymore videos from there, just so I won't get myself into anymore trouble. I'm going to try my best not to let Maxi and my other canine friends down. I don't care if I joined on the Dogster side this time. If I ever get a KittyWhiskas For Catsters Canine Auxiliary started, Maxi is getting one of the first official invitations. Thank you, Maxi, and Merry Christmas!

 

The Official 400

December 25th 2007 10:49 pm
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We got another unexpected Christmas surprise today. KittyWhiskas For Catsters has gone to four hundred members, give or take a few. Since a couple members share a page between them, the official figures are off a bit, so it seems that we have more than four hundred. Just the same, we're glad for everybody we can get. Not bad for almost three months! Merry Christmas!

 

A Busy End To 2007

January 1st 2008 12:22 am
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I had a busier New Year's Eve than I expected. I've had welcome letters to write to both the regular KittyWhiskas For Catsters group and the KittyWhiskas For Catsters Memorial Wall. Then I've been making membership cards, though I hope that I can get one out to everybody. In Francis and Matthew's case, however, I'll have to send two copies so they can each have one. I like them well enough to have them in the group, but sharing a page between them throws the official figures off a bit because the system recognizes them as one cat instead of two separate cats sharing a page. But I hope I can persuade them to have membership cards too, so they won't feel left out. I hope everybody in our group will want one, even though it might take a little while to catch up to existing members first before doing it for newcomers.

 

Memoirs of a Weekend Trip To Mexico - By Bitu McClintock

April 20th 2008 11:20 pm
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I took a weekend trip to Mexico the fastest and cheapest way you can go nowadays, aboard the C And D Cruise Lines. The pride of the fleet is the S.S. Dutchess, named after Dutchess whom everybody affectionately calls Grandma Dutchess. Though she was invited to come along on the trip, she felt she only had the strength to participate in the christening which seemed to be postponed from the trip to Hawaii which the C And D Cruise Line took some time back. So just before leaving for the trip to Mexico, Dutchess appeared on the dock flanked by Benny, Thumper and Spy in a pink dress which was a complement to her reddish fur. Benny leaned over and whispered, "Are you sure you're up to this, darling?" "Of course," Dutchess reassured him. Taking a champagne bottle reserved for the occasion, she lifted it and announced in a strong voice, "I christen thee the 'S.S. Dutchess'!" As Dutchess swung the champagne bottle and it broke, sending champagne and bubbles all over the place, a cheer went up from the passengers and other spectators. Benny took the moment to whisper to Thumper and Spy, "I'll be back for the ribbon-cutting as soon as I see Dutchess off." As Dutchess passed the broken champagne bottle to Spy, he complimented, "Nice job, Dutchess! Couldn't have done it better myself!" "Thank you, dear," Dutchess replied. If her fur weren't rather dark already, I suppose you would have seen a bit of a blush on her face. As Dutchess was seen into her ride to take her home, a chorus of "Bye, Grandma! We love you!" followed, along with enthusiastic waves from many of the dogs and a few cats. After Dutchess left, the passengers and crew went to the main entrance of the ship where a long ribbon was draped across. Benny, Spy and Thumper each held a pair of scissors for the ribbon-cutting ceremony. As each one put their scissors into position, Spy announced, "I declare the S.S. Dutchess officially open!" As the ribbon was cut in three places, there was a great deal of enthusiastic clapping of paws. Then as everybody was seen to their cabins, Spy turned to Thumper and Benny and said, "Well, gentlemen, let's get this cruise underway!" When I found my way to my cabin, I found the bed covered in a pine green blanket with matching furniture. As I took a look out of the porthole next to the bed, I felt a rumble as the S.S. Dutchess started to move. Once we were on the open water, I heard a voice announce over the loudspeaker, "Attention, passengers! Welcome aboard the S.S. Dutchess! We will be on a three-day cruise to Mexico and have various shipboard activities as well as a few land excursions. Enjoy your trip and thank you for choosing C And D Cruise Lines!" Then a little while later, my ears pricked up as I heard what sounded like a xylophone in the hallway, then a voice said, "The dinner buffet will be open on the Lido Deck in twenty minutes!" As I made my way to the Lido Deck, I spotted Pumpkin in line. "Bitu! You made it!" she exclaimed in surprise. "I wasn't sure I would," I replied. Then as the smell of roast beef wafted into the dining room on the Lido Deck, I suddenly noticed how hungry I was. "I can't wait to have some roast beef!" I exclaimed in anticipation. After everybody settled in to their dinner, Spy announced, "We'll be having a pinata party tonight. We hope to see you there!" At the pinata party which was held in the ballroom after dinner there were two fish shaped like the fish in the movie "Finding Nemo". Though I personally didn't care for fish, I thought I might like to take a whack at one of the two pinatas, though I didn't get a chance. There were a couple puppies along who got a turn, plus a few others. I wondered if my claws might have given me an unfair advantage, since I was known to scratch paper up once in a while. In any case, I went back to my cabin and waited for my turn to tend my turnip patch in the All Fur Fun Virtual Garden, since the watering was done overnight. When we landed the next day, I took a quick breakfast on the Lido Deck before going to see the local town. I was wishing that my younger human could come along, knowing how much she would have enjoyed talking Spanish to the people and going to the local bookstore to get as many Spanish books as she could afford to bring back. Then I remembered that I needed to bring back something for my older human, too, so I planned to get a number of scenic post cards showing all the places we'd been since I couldn't take any pictures. But before I could go too far, I heard Thumper call to me, "Hey, Bitu! Why don't I get a picture of you sitting on the burro over there?" He pointed with a paw toward where burros were for rent to the tourists. Before I could say anything, I was hoisted onto the burro's back, then Thumper called, "Look this way!" I saw him snap a picture with his digital camera, then he said, "I'll get the picture to you when I can transfer them from the camera to a computer." Then he went off to see the sights. Then I got an idea. I jumped down off the burro and went to the nearest fruit stand, buying as many apples and carrots as I could carry. I went back to the burro and tempted him with an apple to get him to move so I could find my way to a local bookstore. One of the other dogs saw me and started to laugh. "Oh, Bitu!" she exclaimed when she could catch her breath. I turned and glared at her. "What are you laughing at? Haven't you ever seen anybody use apples and carrots to get a donkey to move before?" My journey down the street was followed by a chorus of derisive laughter by my fellow passengers. Undeterred except for a stinging feeling, I continued luring the burro with first an apple and then a carrot as I made my way to where I wanted to go. First I stopped by a stand selling post cards and picked a few which might look interesting to my older human. I knew that if he needed to know what was on the front, my younger human could read the fine print to him on the back and be able to translate it. Then I looked for a bookstore to find some books for my younger human. Knowing that she had a few Spanish-language cookbooks in her collection, I tried to find something that would allow her to make some local recipes with ingredients we could find in our own stores. Then after finding a couple other interesting books, I went to get some local food for lunch. When I looked at the prices, I had to remind myself that it looked higher in pesos than in dollars. After having some of the local specialties, I headed back to the ship with the burro in tow. As I came back to the stand where I'd seen the burro in the first place, I petted him and said, "It's too bad I can't take you home. You'd sure be handy to help my people carry packages." I gave the rest of the carrots and apples to his owner. As I turned to leave, I saw the burro hoping to get another apple or carrot to snack on. I had to hurry back so I wouldn't be too sad at the parting, though I knew I was. But when I got back to my cabin on the ship, I had a couple surprises waiting. One was a copy of the picture Thumper took before I went shopping, and the other was a card from Monster Marvin Muffin Face. It read: "Dear Bitu, How are you? I hope you have fun on your trip to Mexico! Your friend, Monster Marvin Muffin Face." I put the picture and the card among the post cards I'd boughten and took a few minutes to pull weeds in my turnip patch in the All Fur Fun Virtual Garden. Then I had to take a nap. When I woke up again, I started to go out of my cabin and heard somebody saying good night to Spy. I knew then that I'd overslept and missed the Mexican dinner-dance they were planning for the second night's activities. I was disgusted with myself for missing the dinner-dance, though I was quite tired from trying to find that local bookstore. Then after I did some late-night watering of my turnip patch in the All Fur Fun Virtual Garden, I heard Spy's voice come over the loudspeaker. "Attention, passengers! We will be having a day at the beach before heading home. Don't forget to pick up your complimentary sunscreen on the way out. Keep in mind that we will leave for home at four o'clock this afternoon, so be back by three. Breakfast will be served until noon in the buffet room on the Lido Deck." Then I heard some disturbing news as Spy added, "Due to a family emergency, Thumper had to leave early. When we hear more news, we will inform you of any updates. Please keep Thumper and his family in your thoughts and prayers." I had a hard time getting back to sleep as I wondered what might have happened. It was almost noon by the time I got up again. When I was able to catch Spy before he went off to the beach, I asked what happened. "Thumper's people had a medical emergency, Bitu," he explained. "That's why Thumper had to go home early." I got a late breakfast and went back to my cabin, being too tired to do much more than pull weeds in my turnip patch in the All Fur Fun Virtual Garden. By the time I woke up again, I found that I was practically the last one to leave, having overslept again. But I hoped that I might be able to go on another trip to Mexico someday. Maybe next time my people could come along.

 

Notes On a Trip To Alaska - By Bitu McClintock

May 30th 2008 11:33 am
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For some time I'd wanted to go on a trip with Your Key To Happiness Cruise Lines. I was all set to go on their maiden voyage when I was told, "Thank you for your interest, but Your Key To Happiness Cruise Lines caters exclusively to dogs." Needless to say, I was very disappointed. I'd heard about the trips my people had taken over the years and I wanted so much to go on vacation like they did. Then when I heard about a trip to Alaska, I just had to go. So I took my chances again and requested a reservation. To my surprise, I got a reservation for the cruise to Alaska. I could hardly wait, though I wished I could take my people along because they'd gone to Alaska years ago when my younger human was still in school. When I got to my cabin on the flagship for Your Key To Happiness Cruise Lines, it was everything I could have hoped for - a nice porthole view, a comfortable bed, and a laptop computer so I could keep up with my turnip patch in the All Fur Fun Virtual Garden. It turns out that I wasn't the only cat on the trip. Pumpkin and Amboy made reservations, too. When Pumpkin came to visit me, she marveled, "Just look at your nice cabin!" Then she added, "They've thought of everything! They've even sent you a nice plate of fish with lemon and a glass of milk!" I don't know why everybody thinks cats go nutty over fish, especially since my tastes tend toward meaty fare like chicken, roast beef and bacon. So I offered, "Would you like some of my fish? I think I'll just have the milk." Pumpkin hesitated at first, but found she couldn't resist. When she came up for air after the first frenzy of nibbling on the fish, Pumpkin asked, "Which land trips have you signed up for?" I hadn't really thought about it, though I eventually replied, "I might like to go on that trip to the gold mine." Given that I had ambitions to be a rich cat, I felt that bringing home even one gold nugget might be a good start. To my suprise, however, I found myself signed up for the whale-watching expedition. Before I had a chance to protest, Pumpkin pleaded, "But you're my best friend! Please come with us!" Not wanting to embarrass myself in front of all my canine friends, I reluctantly agreed. When we got to the designated spot, we bundled up in fur coats because our own fur wouldn't be thick enough to withstand the cold, besides which I had no fat to insulate my body since I tended to run off everything I ate about two or three in the morning. We were given pretend harpoons so we could play at hunting the whales we were looking at, even though we were really just supposed to watch them and we were at a safe distance anyway. I stabbed the air over and over as a way to release my frustrations, since I had no cardboard box to scratch like I would at home. Then Pumpkin and Amboy put their pretend harpoons down and decided to swim on the whales' backs. "Are you nuts?" I cried. "They could throw you off!" But Pumpkin and Amboy were soon on the backs of a couple of the whales and having a great time. "Isn't this fun?" Pumpkin said gleefully to Amboy as they rode around as much as they dared before getting back into the boat. I turned the other way and stabbed the air again with my pretend harpoon to try and release my frustrations. Even though I'm no great fan of water, I was grateful for the warm water of the ship's pool at the pool party that night. While most of the dogs and a few of the cats were in the pool, one of our resident photographers - a white dog named Sparky - called out, "Hey, guys! Look this way!" and we had a group shot of our pool party preserved for posterity. Fortunately, I was able to go along on the gold mining trip. But instead of an underground mine like I thought we were going to, we went to a river to pan for gold instead. Odysseus, one of my canine friends, was all decked out in miner's clothes reminiscent of the Alaskan Gold Rush. With a pan in his paws he said, "Watch and learn, Bitu. The master will show you how it's done!" As I watched beside the stream, Odysseus ventured into the water and tried to sort between the rocks and some real gold. After what seemed like forever, Odysseus shouted triumphantly, "I got it! I finally got it!" When he came back onto the shore, he proudly showed his prize of real gold. "Look at this! That's going to make some Mother's Day present, I'd say!" I sighed with envy, knowing that I wasn't going to be so lucky. However, I got to make up for it on the snowmobiling trip. "Are we going to have lessons for these things?" Odysseus asked hesitantly. After I had a chance to accustom myself to moving on the snowmobile, I suddenly felt a need for speed. I made a sharp left turn and barely managed to stay upright. "Look at that!" Pumpkin exclaimed breathlessly as she saw me turn. "Bitu's turning on only one side of the snowmobile!" Then at a more leisurely pace, Pumpkin glided as close as she dared to a polar bear. Fortunately, he ignored her and went on about his business. Despite my triumph with the snowmobiling trip, I soon found myself talked into a salmon fishing trip. "Don't worry, Bitu," Ellie tried to reassure me. "You can catch them and the rest of us can eat them, okay?" Feeling somewhat mollified by Ellie's offer, I grabbed a pole and waited to wrestle with the salmon like everybody else. When I finally caught one, Ellie grabbed her camera and said, "Now you just hold the scale to weigh the fish while I take your picture,okay?" But Pumpkin wasn't quite so lucky. "Whoa!" she cried as she tried to hold the salmon in her paws that she'd caught. "Somebody take a picture quick, before he gets away!" After dinner that night, we were treated to a couple of slide shows by Pumpkin and Odysseus showing highlights of our trip. When I heard waves of laughter around the room when everybody saw the expression on my face as I held up the salmon I'd caught, I resolved to give the nearest box I could get to a good scratching when I got home. Despite not being able to take home a real piece of gold like Odysseus and having to be around fish a little more than I would have liked, I'd say I had a good time on my trip to Alaska. But next time I'll hang around the polar bears!

 

Have the Lines Been Opened?

June 14th 2008 11:46 pm
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Bitu got her first official Dogster Friend today. A dog named Obie whose birthday was today sent a Pup Pals Request which apparently went through. If it's true that dogs and cats can be official friends now like they can on Pikapet, then this will be a revolution such as Dogster and Catster has never seen. Bitu can hardly wait to have as many official dog friends as cat friends.

 
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