Friday, December 14, 2018

Day 151: How to Put Together a Cat Tree

My Project: 365 Creative Writing Prompts

Day 151: How to Put Together a Cat Tree

The cat tree has finally arrived. It was supposed to be here last Wednesday, but due to the Canadian Postal strike, the delivery got delayed.

When the box arrived it immediately had the attention of cats, Halley’s in particular. She parked herself on top of the box and no doubt wondered what was inside. When Dieter came home the message was clear … how soon can you put this thing together?

As soon as Dieter started the works, Charlotte and Holly kept a safe distance, but Halley and Greyson assumed the role of foreman and supervisor. This is how it went down …












Initially, all of them were afraid of the new cat tree and preferred the box over the actual item.

So, one after another we introduced Charlotte, Holly, Halley, and Greyson to the tree and halleluiah, it was a success. 



Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Day 150: What’s That’s Smell?

My Project: 365 Creative Writing Prompts

Day 150: What’s That’s Smell?

Christmas is coming and ever since I discovered shopping online, I’ve been all over the Net looking for suitable gifts. Of course, I had to start early as some gifts come from China and it can take as long as four weeks for packages to arrive. And arriving they do, one after another.

Next up I went in search for wrapping paper, not online but in an actual store. Since not any paper will do, I looked at several designs and finally settled on this one …

This morning I thought it was time to start wrapping the gifts, cleared the dining room table, got the scissors and the sticky tape and set to work. It didn’t take long before I smelled something foul, let me rephrase that … something that stank up to high heaven.

Since it was the smell of poop I thought that one of the cats had an accident on the floor. I checked the carpet under the table, I checked the surrounding floor and when I couldn’t find anything, I checked the bottom of my slippers. I could see anything.

I continued wrapping and the closer I got to the paper, checking that the corners were neatly folded, the stronger the stinky smell became. So, I bend and sniffed the wrapping paper … OMG I nearly passed out, the paper smelled like the worst kind of poop.

Even the cats made a hasty retreat. Thus far Halley and Greyson had positioned themselves on the dining room table, ready to ‘help’ me with the wrapping, but the smell of the paper was even too much for them.

Of course, I'm not just Christmas shopping for Dieter, the cats are getting a gift too. In the past when we bought them toys they showed little or no interest in them but claimed the box the toys came in. So this year we opted for something practical rather than toys. We got them this:

The box is set to arrive tomorrow. I wonder, will they show an interest or ignore the cat tree?

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Day 149: Another Facebook Scam

My Project: 365 Creative Writing Prompts

Day 149: Another Facebook Scam

Most of us pride ourselves on cleverness. When a scam is going around, we either know about it, or we think we’re smart enough not to fall for it. However, scammers came in all kinds of different forms and when one of those forms is a trusted friend, the scam is not so easy to recognize.

On Sunday morning I received a text from Steve (not his real name) starting with a simple “Hey”
Wiping sleep from my eyes I texted a “Hi” back.

“How are you?”
“Good. How are you?”
“Very good and very excited.”
“I came into some money. $100,000.”
“You’re joking. Did you win that with the lotto?”
“No, through a grant program that is aimed at the unemployed, elderly, disabled, students, etc.”
“And you qualified?”
“Sure did. UPS delivered the money yesterday.”
“UPS delivered the money?”
“Yes. The online agent asked me if I wanted a cheque or cash and I said cash.”
“And UPS delivered that?”
“Yes. $100,000. I paid off my bills and took the rest to the bank.”
“That’s great. Congratulations.”

I found it a little strange that UPS delivers money but okay, if Steve said so, I wasn’t going to doubt him.

“You can get the same grant,” he went on. “I saw your name on the list. If you contact the online agent, you can get the grant too.”

It didn’t occur to me that this could be a scam. After all, this was Steve I was ‘talking’ to and why would he lie to me? The amount of money was also believable. Talk of millions of dollars would have raised a red flag, but $100,000 seemed reasonable.

“Contact the agent now,” Steve concluded. “His number is XXX-XXX-XXXX. Tell him that a friend saw your name on the list.”
“Okay, I will. Thanks.”

Moments later I fired off a text to the number provided and within minutes I received a text back.

“Your name is indeed on our list of grant receivers. Since we place high value on security, I will need your personal information so there can be no duplication of the grant.”
“Okay, I understand.”
“Are you ready to fill in the form now?”

I was mentally doing a dance of joy. $100,000 … could this be for real? Common sense told me this was too good to be true, but this message came from Steve and I trusted him.

Moments later I received a set of questions from the online agent:

Full name:
Date of Birth:
Copy of Driver License or other photo I.D.:

Hm, now I did see a red flag. I’m notoriously hesitant of sharing my personal information, especially where it comes to government issued documentation. Before doing that, I wanted to verify with Steve that this grant program was for real and he had indeed received $100,000.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t get hold of Steve, so I tried his girlfriend next. Doreen (not her real name) told me Steve has stepped outside for a moment, but he would be back shortly. When I got to talk to Steve, he sounded a little flat, not at all like a man who had just received a sizeable amount of money.

“Hi Steve, congratulations on the money.”
“What money?”
“The hundred thousand dollars.”
“What hundred thousand dollars?”
“You didn’t receive hundred thousand dollars from the grant program?”
He immediately knew what I was referring to.
“It’s a scam. My Facebook account was hacked and several of my friends were contacted by the scammer.”
“Oh I see.”
"You didn't fall for it, did you?"
"I did, sort of, but I didn't give him any vital information."
"Do you really think that if I won $100,000 I would tell everyone about it?"

That made sense. Mentally I saw $100,000 go out the window.

The scammer didn’t give up easily though. Throughout the day he send me messages such as

“When can you send me photo I.D.?”
“We have been waiting for you, we have a lot of people attending to.”
And then his last one … “Should we terminate your grant?”

This, I suppose, was to spur me into action. I took action of a different kind, I notified the authorities, if for nothing else than to have a case number in the event of identity theft. I kept Steve’s name out of the conversation. Not that my call was necessary. Mr. Scammer was known to them and an investigation was underway. Mr. Scammer’s days were numbered. They knew who and where he was and his scam would soon be terminated.

Friday, November 2, 2018

Day 148: Inspector Greyson

My Project: 365 Creative Writing Prompts

Day 148: Inspector Greyson

Can you guess what Greyson is looking at? No, it’s not a bird and it’s not a mouse, what has him so fascinated are … construction workers. Unfortunately for Greyson, he won’t see the completion of the parking project as it’s getting way too cold for him to be outside.

Just two weeks ago, we had a day when it was 28 degrees (82.4 degrees), followed by 24 degrees (75.2 degrees) and then suddenly we dropped to 11 degrees (51.8 degrees). It’s been that way ever since.

Charlotte, Holly, Halley, and Greyson are as keen as ever to go out on the balcony, but their reaction varies.

Charlotte and Holly hop outside but almost immediately change their mind, clearly wondering … what the hell happened?

Halley and Greyson love to be out in the fresh air but I fear that the air might be a little too fresh and they might get a cold. Now that the door stays closed, they are far from impressed.

So, the construction workers will have to muddle through without inspector Greyson. The last picture I posted was this one.

Since then, the men have made good progress. See for yourself …

 Meanwhile, at home, Greyson went to the vet last week for his third inoculation and rabies shot. When I pitched the news to him, he didn’t seem to trust me all that much.

The visit went off without a hitch though, he was perfectly behaved, got a treat when we got home, after which he took a long nap. The journey to the vet and back and getting pricked clearly left him exhausted.

As for Halley and Holly … these two geniuses took a liking to Greyson’s carrier. Just to be clear, we have two carriers, a small one and a large one. The large one is spacious enough for a Poodle, yet under normal circumstances, it takes Dieter and me to get a cat into the carrier. Whoever needs to go into that carrier fights us all the way. Yet now, both Halley and Holly went willingly into the carrier and not the big one but the small one. I can imagine the conversation went a bit as follows:

"The carrier is mine, all mine."

"Mom, come here and tell Holly to get out."

"Can you stop taking pictures and tell Holly to move?"

"It's a snug fit, but it will do."

Of course, it was only a matter of time before Holly deftly kicked Halley out of her hiding place and claimed it back as her own. When I found out she was severely reprimanded and was given a timeout. 

Monday, October 22, 2018

Day 147: Happy Birthday Halley - From Kitten to Cat

My Project: 365 Creative Writing Prompts

Day 147: Happy Birthday Halley - 1 Year Old

We adopted Halley from Jackie (a Toronto Cat Rescue foster mother) when she was a three-month-old kitten. 

From day one, Halley made herself right at home. She explored the house, made friends with the resident cats, and tried different places to sleep.

She was a rather curious kitten, exploring places such as cabinets, drawers and even the inside of the fridge.


When Easter came around, Halley took a close look at the ornaments and told them in no uncertain terms to move over. 


Since she took a liking to one chicken, in particular, we let her have it and it was love at first sight.

Right from the start, she had a particular liking for colorful springs, which she batted all around the house. Unfortunately, in the process, quite a few of those springs went missing. When we cleaned under the sofa, we found no less than 15 of those springs, along with rubber balls, stuffed mice and even a Christmas ornament. Other toys of preference are a rotating ball and a life-size fish, both toys she claims as her own and is not keen on sharing.

Halley is very much Dieter’s cat. She’s made it her business to wake him up in the morning, but unfortunately, her inner clock is a little off. While Dieter has his alarm set for 6:00 a.m., Halley often wakes him with kisses and headbutts sometimes as early as 4:30 a.m. Neither does she know the difference between a work day and weekends. As you can imagine, a wake-up call at 5:30 a.m. on a Saturday morning is not appreciated.

When Dieter is on the computer or working on his tablet, she likes to keep him company. At times she merely sits on his lap or shoulder, other times she likes to get a really close look.

The same with watching TV. For Halley it’s not enough to watch from a distance, she prefers a front row seat.

When Dieter is busy with diamond painting, Halley is there, keeping an eye that he does things right.

When it’s time to relax and unwind, there’s nothing like cuddling with daddy in his arm.


When summer came around, this opened up a whole new world of possibilities. Halley is a keen birdwatcher, and an inspector of construction works of the parking lot. She also took an interest in fish.

After sundown, Halley could be found in the swing, or in the company of Greyson.

When winter comes around, Halley is almost sure to fancy a walk in the snow and I'll be sure to have my camera ready.

Happy birthday Halley, what will your second year bring?