Weekend Reading, Continued: Phase 2 (Part 2)

Mrs. Foxe smelled like flowers, lots of them. She had huge liquid eyes and a high forehead, very smooth although the part of her neck showing above the ruffled collar of her silk blouse looked wrinkled.

“What lovely children!” she said. She glanced around the kitchen, lit only by three big candles burning on the table – red, white and blue – took a deep breath of the air, full of the smell of burning incense, raised her hands slightly and went still. “Yes,” she said, holding the pose for a moment or two, “this will do. You’ve done well, Julie.”

“Oh,” said Mom. “Thanks.”

“So if we’ll just get the donation out of the way, we can start.”

Mom went into the bedroom. Mrs. Foxe looked at Neddy, then at me. “I understand you’ll be accompanying us on our journey,” she said.

“Where to?” said Neddy.

Mrs. Foxe just smiled. Mom came back with her purse, took out her checkbook.

“Cash works so much better,” said Mrs. Foxe.

Mom handed her some bills. I didn’t see how much but there were at least two twenties. Mrs. Foxe stuffed the money down the front of her blouse with a smooth quick movement, like one of those close-up magicians. Her hands were soft and plump, with crimson nails.

“The longest journey begins with a single step,” she said.

None of us knew what to make of that.

“So let us take that step,” said Mrs. Foxe. “Time and tide et cetera. Places everybody.”

We all moved toward our regular chairs.

“Whoa!” said Mrs. Foxe.

We froze. The candlelight gleamed in her eyes. “Where does he sit?”

Mom rocked back a little. “Where he used to – ?“

“His chair, dear,” said Mrs. Foxe.

Mom pointed to Dad’s chair.

“That chair stays empty,” said Mrs. Foxe. “I will sit here, the children there and there, and Julie like so. And in front of his place, we require something personal.”

“Something personal?” Mom said.

“Something he used when he walked on this side,” said Mrs. Foxe. “It needn’t be important – in fact, a little everyday object is often best, especially if a deport is in the offing.”

“A deport?” said Mom.

“I’ll explain later,” said Mrs. Foxe, glancing at her watch.

Mom hadn’t got around to packing up Dad’s things. although she’d started once or twice. She left the room, returned with a baseball trophy, a framed letter from the secretary of defense, Dad’s laptop, and a safety razor.

“Ah, perfect,” said Mrs. Foxe, selecting the razor and setting it on the table in front of the empty chair. “Now we may sit.”

Mom put the trophy, letter and laptop on the sideboard and we sat, Mrs. Foxe removing her embroidered coat and hanging it on the back of her chair. She gazed at the white candle. It made a low sizzling noise.

“The travelers will hold hands,” she said.

That had to mean us. I held hands with Mrs. Foxe and with Mom, just able to reach her across Dad’s empty place; and Neddy did the same. Mrs. Foxe’s hand was warm, Mom’s icy cold. Mrs. Foxe’s eyes closed. For some reason, so did mine. It got very quiet.

“Breathe,” said Mrs. Foxe. She took in a deep breath, slowly let it out. “Breathe as one.” We took in deep breaths, let them out slow, breathing as one. “Now,” said Mrs. Foxe, “let each of us picture in our minds the strongest, clearest image of … of … “

“Richard,” said Mom.

“Right,”  said Mrs. Foxe. “The strongest, clearest image of Richard-slash-Dad that we can.”

I tried to see Dad in my mind and drew a complete blank. Mom, Neddy, my teachers and friends – I could picture them all without effort, but not Dad. I opened my eyes. Everyone else’s eyes were closed. Mrs. Foxe spoke, her voice now soft but very deep. “We haven’t lost you, Richard. We know where you are.”

I could feel the pulse strengthen in Mom’s hand. And her skin seemed to be growing warmer.

“Are we all now projecting a strong mental image?”  said Mrs. Foxe. “A mental image powerful enough to reach the beloved?”

“Yes,” said Mom, eyes closed tight, voice trance-like.

“Kind of,” said Neddy.

I gazed at that razor and suddenly a vision of Dad shaving swam into my mind, a clear vision of him tilting up his chin to get at the stubble underneath. Was it powerful? I don’t know, but I felt chills. “Yes,” I said, and closed my eyes.

“Richard,” said Mrs. Foxe. “Four faithful travelers are trying with all their power to reach you. If you can hear us, or see us, or sense us, please give a sign.”

In my mind, the image of Dad shaving under his chin began to fade, replaced by nothing. One of the candles sizzled again. Could that be a sign? I took a peek. The flame of the white candle wavered; the others were still, burning straight up.

“Look,” I said.

Everyone opened their eyes. Mrs. Foxe saw what was happening. She turned to me and smiled a little smile. “Hush, child – haste is the enemy,” she said. Now her hand felt positively hot.

“But is it a sign?” I said. “The candle flickering like that?”

Mrs. Foxe didn’t answer. We watched the flame. All at once it stopped wavering, stood straight like the others.

Mrs. Foxe sucked in her breath. “I can feel your presence, Richard,” she said. “Very near.” She leaned forward slightly. “Give us a sign, we beg you.”

I felt prickles on the back of my neck. Mom’s eyes were huge and dark, her face tilted up, like a figure in an old religious painting. Neddy’s eyes, on the other hand, were narrow, almost as though –

The razor wobbled.

Beyond a shadow of a doubt. No way to miss that movement – the razor lay all by itself on the table, gleaming in a circle of candlelight. It had wobbled. But even though there was no doubt, I began to doubt almost right away. At that precise moment, the moment of reawakening doubt, the razor wobbled again, and then, as though to crush any doubt for all time, it shifted, sliding a good two inches across the table and then rotating in a full circle.

“Oh my God,” Mom said. “Richard.” A tear spilled out of each dark eye, slid slowly down her cheeks, leaving golden tracks.

“Welcome to the circle, Richard,” said Mrs. Foxe. She paused, almost as if to allow time for Dad to say something polite in return. Then she said, “Have you anything to tell us?”

Silence. The razor lay on the table, motionless now.  The flame of the white candle burned straight, unwavering.

“Do you have a message for your family?” Mrs. Foxe said. “Are you happy? Are there any wishes you’d like to –“

Suddenly Mrs. Foxe’s right shoulder sagged, as though someone behind her had leaned on it, someone with a heavy hand. Mrs. Foxe glanced behind her, looked a bit pained. “Oh, dear,” she said. “I’m afraid you don’t know your own strength.”

Mom rose, slowly, as though pulled by some force, her eyes on the shadows behind Mrs. Foxe. “Oh, Rich,” she said, tears flowing freely now, “I miss you so much.”

“Julie?” said Mrs. Foxe, straightening up and maybe a bit alarmed, “really much better form to remain seated. We can’t always predict – “

But Mom didn’t hear. She was moving around the table, toward whatever stood behind Mrs. Foxe. “Did it hurt, Rich?” she said. “I hope it didn’t hurt. You’re not hurting now, are you?” Mom reached the space behind Mrs. Foxe, raised her arms, encircled them around what appeared to be nothing, hugged my invisible dad. “I love you, Rich,” Mom said. Her voice sounded calm, as calm as I’d ever heard it, serene. “I loved you from the moment I laid eyes on you and I always will.” She wasn’t crying anymore, just stood there, gently rubbing a back no one could see.

But I was crying. “Can you feel him, Mom?” I said.

Mom nodded to me, the way you’d nod over someone’s shoulder. I rose. Was that Neddy getting up, too? I wanted to touch Dad, so much. But Mrs. Foxe grabbed my arm – she turned out to be very strong – and sat me back down. Then she got up, took Mom’s arm more gently and said, “Best not to pressure visitors from the spirit world too much, at least not at first.  Wouldn’t want to scare them off, would we?”

“Oh, no,” said Mom. She let Mrs. Foxe lead her back to her seat.

We sat around the table. The air tingled now. I felt Dad’s presence, no question.

“Thank you, Richard,” said Mrs. Foxe. “We thank you for appearing among us. I sense you are fading now, and hope you will see fit to come again.”

“He’s not fading,” Mom said. “I don’t sense him fading.”

“Perhaps not,” said Mrs. Foxe. “But we don’t want to demand too much the very first – “

The flame of the white candle wavered and then rose straight again.

“Richard?” said Mrs. Foxe. “Richard?”

The room was silent. The silence went on and on. Mom watched the white candle, burning in an ordinary way now, like the other two. I stopped sensing Dad’s presence.

Mrs. Foxe pushed back her chair. “Well,” she said. “For a first attempt, quite successful, n’est-ce pas?”

“Maybe it’s not over,” Mom said. “Let’s give him a chance to – “

“It’s over,” said Mrs. Foxe. She pointed to the table.  The razor was gone.

Mom gasped. So did I. Neddy? Maybe not.

“A deport, my dear,” said Mrs. Foxe. “An object borne away into the spirit world.” She got up, flicked a switch, turning on the overhead light.

Mom rose too, blinking in light that now seemed much too harsh. “When can we do it again?”

“Soon, if you like,” said Mrs. Foxe, donning her embroidered coat. “You’ve got my cell?”

To be continued.


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78 Responses to “Weekend Reading, Continued: Phase 2 (Part 2)”

  1. Mollypop
    5:18 am on March 6th, 2010

    Grrr. Grrr. Grrrrrrrr.

  2. AbbietheKitty
    5:19 am on March 6th, 2010

    Wow Oh Wow,

    I wonder how she did it? Maybe a fishline around the razor? She was the one who placed it on the table. I sure hope Neddy was watching carefully.


  3. AbbietheKitty
    5:21 am on March 6th, 2010

    What do you think Mollypop?

    What is happening?

  4. dawson
    5:28 am on March 6th, 2010

    What the…????

    I get kidnapped by crazed Canadian Hockey fans (just for one little "yippee" when the U.S tied the game up) left on the Alaska Hiway in the middle of Nowhere, rescued by Indians…wow! Good food! But… this is a story for some other time…

    Because Chet the Dog Blog has changed into….what is this? Guess I'll have to read (and read and read..)to find out.

    But I miss you Chet (and Cosmos too).

    It's Trapper's Rendezvous and the first item on the agenda today is the Dog Pull. Whichever dog pulls the most weight gets that weight in dog food. Yippee! Oops, I mean..


  5. AbbietheKitty
    5:35 am on March 6th, 2010

    Hey! Welcome back Zippy! We are on day two of a short story (Phase Two) by "that other guy" Peter Abrahams. So read yesterdays post for part one. Part three is tomorrow.

    Glad you are back. Rio was quite sad you had disappeared.

    Have fun at the Rendezvous.

    Abbie the Kitty and Alice Johnson

  6. Mollypop
    5:44 am on March 6th, 2010

    A-Kat – That woman is a scam artist. Yesterday Rio said she was going to try to take all their money. Hoo boy! She needs to be stopped, maybe by a big fierce dog or maybe even Alice Johnson.

    It should be Neddy to see through this fakery because children are harder to fool. A good magic person told my Mom about that.

  7. Rio - The Evil Pug
    5:50 am on March 6th, 2010

    Gasp!…. what an ugly, manipulative old scam artist!…MaggietheKat!… I don’t think it was a fish line… everyone would have seen that…Grunt!… Neddy is going to surprise us I think… gruff!… he is the smart one…just like his dad…Wow!… what a good short story so far!… Thanks so much Mr. Abrahams!…Snort!

  8. Rio - The Evil Pug
    5:56 am on March 6th, 2010

    Molly!… are you still mad at me?…mmmmm?…Seems we are getting the same impressions while reading this story… grunt!

  9. Mollypop
    6:05 am on March 6th, 2010

    Well good morning Rio – Aren't you up early after your big beer blast?

    I could never stay mad at you. You're just an adorable huggy puggy bear.

  10. Melanie
    6:06 am on March 6th, 2010

    Oh, I'm angry. And when I'm angry, the whole pack is angry. We are angry at Foxe!

    And now we have to wait until tomorrow. I hope she gets her just rewards.

    Mollypop, loved the picture, you are a big fierce puffy tailed dog! I tried to find a picture I have of Mac, the studly dog, when he blew his coat and had a puffy tail like yours. But it is somewhere I can't find it.

    It did give him one of his nick names, Mac-a-poodle. He's also Mac-a-do, Macster and Duffus. His real name is River Bear Robert's Mister McKey.

  11. Rio - The Evil Pug
    6:09 am on March 6th, 2010

    Wow!… I’m glad my name’s just Rio…. whew!

  12. Rio - The Evil Pug
    6:18 am on March 6th, 2010

    Molly!…. Foxe is definitely using some magic tricks to pull this off…Snort!…Has anyone ever seen the movie “The Prestige”?…gulp!… Molly’s remark reminded me of this movie because at the beginning there is a trick being performed…grunt!… a disappearing canary, I believe… wheeze!… but a child in the audience saw right through it!… And as it turns out this trick was the whole premise of the movie…Stunning!

  13. Gus & BooBear
    7:05 am on March 6th, 2010

    Wow, great story so far!! We agree with all of you…definitely a scam at work. Hopefully, the kids with save their Mom, both emotionally and financially. We would scratch that Foxe woman's eyes out if she tried that with our family.

    We just love all the pictures everyone's been posting. But shouldn't Cosmo check in occasionally? That boy is working way to hard! Maggie, we loved your "treat, please?" love. Saw the resmeblance to your dad, Whiskey! Mollypop, Poufy DOES mean fierce…we know because when we're being fierce, we get poufy all over!

    Rio, the boxer who lives next door loves beer, too!

  14. Siberian Husky
    7:23 am on March 6th, 2010

    I can't wait to read the third installment, and I still have no idea where this story is going to take us, but maybe we are going to be surprised. What wouldn't surprise me, though, is after reading this story, we all start ordering books for young adults written by that other guy.

    Is there going to be dog mushing at the Trapper's Rendezvous Dawson? Sounds like fun. While I am on the subject of the North, I can't believe that B. Stover willingly left the paradise she lives in and went to Flordia on vacation. It's hot in Flordia and there is water, water, water everwhere. Just one husky's opinion on vacationing in Florida. Mom just walked by and told me to "knock it off".

  15. Siberian Husky
    7:25 am on March 6th, 2010

    That's everywhere up there. See what mom caused me to do-a typo

  16. Barb & Maggie
    7:28 am on March 6th, 2010

    Mom says it's a good think she doesn't have a lot to do today. She finished Part 2 of the short story, and now has started reading The Tutor. I can tell she's going to curl up on the couch with that book and ignore me. Thanks Gus and Boobear, everyone says I do look like my daddy. And I was wondering about Cosmo, too. Where are you?

  17. Siberian Husky
    7:33 am on March 6th, 2010

    me too–wondering about Cosmo. The last time he was here, he said he was going to be very busy so that is probably what is going on.

  18. Jasper the Poodle
    8:18 am on March 6th, 2010

    Magic? Phhhtttt. I believe.

  19. Rio - The Evil Pug
    11:09 am on March 6th, 2010

    Jasper!… are you the Jasper with the green Kat eyes!?…snort!…

  20. Mollypop
    11:23 am on March 6th, 2010

    Jasper – I'm a poodle too! Welcome!

  21. Moogie the Cat
    11:55 am on March 6th, 2010

    Being an intelligent cat, (don't understand why you humans think we're paranoid!…) I feel that this story (Phase 2) is leading to the revelation of a governmental plot… The dad in the story is still alive somewhere and it's all just a military coverup. Of course this Mrs Foxe is a scammer! Can't you tell that just by the name? Sly devil woman…

  22. Moogie the Cat
    12:00 pm on March 6th, 2010
  23. Rio - The Evil Pug
    12:15 pm on March 6th, 2010

    Moogie The Kat?…. hmmmm!…. why do all Kats look like AbbietheKat or “A Samoyed” to me lately?… snort!… Although, Moogie is clearly not as Fat as AbbietheKat…grunt!… that 16 pounder!

  24. Melanie
    12:21 pm on March 6th, 2010

    Moogie, what a beautiful kat you are! The kats that visit this site are such good lookers!

    The dogs and I have found the musher we are cheering for in the Iditarod! He's Oswald "Newton" Marshall and he's from JAMAICA!!

  25. Rio - The Evil Pug
    12:22 pm on March 6th, 2010

    Oblivion!…I am just getting ready to start on chapter 15 of this book!… snort!….Not quite half way yet…. Gruff!… I would have been further along but I had to stop and re-read the first eight chapters because something subtle was in there nagging at me…groan!….I’ve done nothing all day but read…snort!… haven’t done that in a long time….wheeze!… I wonder how Stover is making out with ‘The Tutor’?

  26. Moogie the Cat
    12:32 pm on March 6th, 2010

    I've been on a vet-induced diet plan (Evil woman- has those pointy things that she jabs me with about every time I go to see her!), and I went from 12lbs to 9.5. Now I'm getting a little grey around the whiskers, and since this picture (2.5 yrs ago), I'm having trouble with my kidneys. Doc says there's no such thing as kidney transplants for us cats (What does she know?), so I just keep losing weight- down to 6+lbs now. Good fighting weight, is what I say…

    Never seen a pug before, though. Think that may be the kind of animal my neighbor had. Name was Shadow, and she paraded him in front of my window seat at my house every day attached to a stringy-thing (I think these humans call it a "leash"). Glad I've never had to wear one of those! Mom and Dad tried a collar on me once- had a little bell on it- and I pulled it off faster than you can say "Scat!". I am not owned by ANYONE! Mom and Dad are just lucky I let them live here with me and my sister, Beezer!…

  27. Moogie the Cat
    12:54 pm on March 6th, 2010

    Thanks, Melanie for the compliment! I hear that a lot… My sister is pretty too (that's her in this picture), but nobody sees her much but me, Mom, and Dad. She's kind of a loner (more than we cats usually are!) and she doesn't trust a whole lot of people since Mom and Dad's niece came to spend the night a few years ago and almost caught the cat food room (they call it a "kitchen", I think) on fire while she was baking muffins.

    [img ]http://chetthedog.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/1267916036-Rob's blackberry 7-09 303.jpg[/img]

  28. Moogie the Cat
    12:56 pm on March 6th, 2010

    Ok, I think she's trying to keep from being seen again. Here's another try:

    [img ]http://chetthedog.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/1267916196-box zephyr.jpg[/img]

  29. Rio - The Evil Pug
    1:13 pm on March 6th, 2010

    Hmmmphf!… I’m starting to think there are more Kats than the Nation within a Nation guys on this blog lately… snort!… how can this be??…grunt!…And they always come in pairs!…wheeze!… I thought Kats were loners?… sneeze!

    Names!… Like the names, “Beezer” and “Moogie”… they sound like bad-ass Kats to me!… grunt!… Howdie Do Beezer and Moogie.

  30. Mollypop
    1:25 pm on March 6th, 2010

    Moog and Beez – You are such beautiful kats. Wowie.

    Jasper – Another poodle here too. This is too much for me. I think I'll have to take my evening nap early, like now. Too much.

  31. Moogie the Cat
    1:27 pm on March 6th, 2010

    We are bad-ass cats. Well, at least my sister's SMELLS bad. I'm always sniffing it, anyway, just to make sure she's who she says she is…

  32. Rio - The Evil Pug
    1:46 pm on March 6th, 2010

    Whooo!… snort!… I like you Moogie!… grunt!… Are you a fan of Chet?… sniff!… you do know that Chet does not like Kats!…snicker!… but that doesn’t seem to stop your kind from hanging out around here…grump!

  33. dawson
    2:56 pm on March 6th, 2010


    Moogie and Beezer are really good looking cats – is there any other kind.

    A heinz-57 dog won the dog pull over a huge 113 pound American Bulldog. Pulled 530 pounds! Lots of wonderful dogs were there.

    Siberian Husky: most years' there is a sled dog race but for some reason not this year. We have a few generations of the Streeper family in town that race their dogs all over. Buddy Streeper just won the 8 day International Pedigree Stage Stop Sled Dog Race – the largest sled dog race in the lower 48.

    Mollypop: you'd have loved the squirrel skinning demonstration. I really want to try it but always chicken out at the last minute.

    Hmmm. Interesting story. Neddy, who is so like his father, will save the day. My question: why did Mrs. Foxe's hands get really hot just before the razor started wobbling? Related?

  34. Gus & BooBear
    3:11 pm on March 6th, 2010

    Moogie & Beezer!! Welcome to our little family!! We cats are seriously outnumbered by the dog nation, but they generally include us in all things Chet!! Abbie the Cat and Alice Johnson are sisters, but very different in tempermant. Moogie, one of our sisters is going through the kidney thing you are, she's lost weight but is doing well in spite of that.

  35. B. Stover
    3:11 pm on March 6th, 2010

    Both Moogie and Beezer are beautiful. I saw a dog at the airport that looked just like a red fox…but he was so soft and friendly. The woman with him told me his breed but I had never heard of it and don't remember it.

    SH…There is water, water, everywhere in Florida, but it isn't hot. It only reached 60 today. We were taking a guided tasting tour of six restaurants this afternoon. Excellent food but I'm sooooo full.

    Rio: I'll get back to The Tutor tomorrow. I'm curious about the subtle part in Oblivion…but remember that I haven't read it yet.

    I'm thinking that Foxe used a magnet.

  36. AbbietheKitty
    3:20 pm on March 6th, 2010

    Hey Moogie the cat,

    Great photo. We sure look alike. I like stairs too! What is your sister's name? I am the scaredy cat in our family. Alice Johnson is the adventurer. She keeps trying to get Rio to go on adventures with her but he is just a lazy stay at home. All talk and no action! She tried to get him to go to Canada with her to visit Zippy but so far he just keeps pretending to be busy elsewhere.

    AbbietheKitty (tortie) and Alice Johnson (blonde).

    [img ]http://chetthedog.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/1267924521-small stairs abbie.jpg[/img]

    [img ]http://chetthedog.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/1267924563-DSC03419.JPG[/img]

  37. AbbietheKitty
    3:22 pm on March 6th, 2010

    OOOO a magnet! You are a genius B. Stover. I have to go back and see if she was wearing something that would conceal a magnet in her shoes or ankles?

    Abbie the Kitty

  38. Jasper the Poodle
    3:24 pm on March 6th, 2010
  39. Rio - The Evil Pug
    3:24 pm on March 6th, 2010

    Groping!… for some clarity… snort!… a Heinz-57 dog won the Dog Pull over a HUGE 113 lb American Bulldog????…. gasp!… Is there such a thing??…wheeze!… Bulldogs are not that Big… and I’ve known a few in my time….snort!… and to have us believe a dog being able to pull 530 lbs… awww!… Come on now!… sniff… Were steroids involved?

    Squirrel Skinning!… are you out of your frackin’ mind??…(we have ‘Caprica’ on right now)….

    Zippy!… you are full of it today!…snort!… and I have missed you just a bit…. Snuff!

  40. Mollypop
    3:25 pm on March 6th, 2010

    Dawson – I don't know about squirrel skinning. I'll admit it here, please don't tell anyone, but I've never caught one. So I haven't thought about what would happen if I actually had one in my mouth. I'd probably take it in the house to Mom, like everything else.

    My job is important and it is to keep our yard free of fuzzbutts. I work hard at this and I am very successful.

  41. Jasper the Poodle
    3:26 pm on March 6th, 2010

    Trying this pic.

  42. Jasper the Poodle
    3:28 pm on March 6th, 2010

    Okay, how about this?

  43. Jasper the Poodle
    3:29 pm on March 6th, 2010
  44. Moogie the Cat
    3:30 pm on March 6th, 2010

    Thanks for the support out there from the nation within the nation as well as the other cool cats out there. Yes, Beezer and I both enjoyed reading the 2 Chet & Bernie mysteries so far. I think I might be able to write something similar from a cat's point of view (IS there any other point of view?!) myself. We are looking forward to reading the next Chet & Bernie book with Mom and Dad. (We usually prefer the newspaper since it's big enough for us to sit on while it's being read.) Beezer is quite lazy, though, and doesn't have much time to read since she spends roughly 20 hrs a day either sleeping or eating, so I'll probably have to read it and tell her the (Heath)Cliff Note version.

  45. Rio - The Evil Pug
    3:31 pm on March 6th, 2010

    Stover!… glad you are having a good time eating everything in sight!.. snort!… I’m so SORRY!…. mmmm!… anytime after this I will put a SPOILER ALERT up if I am going to mention any little thing about Oblivion!… my bad!… yikes!

  46. Jasper the Poodle
    3:33 pm on March 6th, 2010

    Mollypop, everytime I see one of those 4-legged critters that eat acorns and chatter at me from the top of a tree I call them fuzzbutts now instead of their old name…which I now can't remember. Fuzz! So then I decided to have a nap.

  47. Moogie the Cat
    3:37 pm on March 6th, 2010

    Jasper, Beezer and I had a brother (Budreaux) who was friends with a poodle named Riley. Budreaux even told us about how Riley shared his food with him when he was a down-and-out stray in the neighborhood. We kind-of respect the members of the nation within the nation because of that. We still like Chet, too, because we think that if push came to shove, he'd share a cruller or a bear claw with us every once in a while, too.

  48. Rio - The Evil Pug
    3:37 pm on March 6th, 2010

    Jasper!.. we have all seen that scary photo…yeeee!…and actually have bad dreams about it… snort!… do you have any other more flattering photos of yourself??…wheeze!

  49. Rio - The Evil Pug
    3:47 pm on March 6th, 2010

    Dreamin!… so Moogie, you are gonna rip off the “Chet and Bernie” story line by writing something from a Kat’s point of view???…. rotten-idea!… I tell you right now, nobody will read it….snuff!… That’s just bad Kat Voodoo!… snort!

  50. Jasper the Poodle
    3:52 pm on March 6th, 2010

    How about this?

  51. Jasper the Poodle
    3:53 pm on March 6th, 2010
  52. Jasper the Poodle
    3:54 pm on March 6th, 2010
  53. Rio - The Evil Pug
    3:54 pm on March 6th, 2010

    Gawd!… you look like a Corpse!… gasp!… its like a Doggy Murder scene!… growl!… more nightmares on the way… snuff!

  54. B. Stover
    3:55 pm on March 6th, 2010

    Rio: You didn't give anything away. I really am curious to find out about the "subtle" thing that had you rereading when I get to that novel.

    Sorry but…..I like squirrels. We have gray squirrels in Florida (red ones in Michigan and much larger). They chase each other all around the commons and from oak tree to oak tree. And it's fun watching them eat things that they hold in their paws. I like chipmunks too.

  55. Jasper the Poodle
    3:56 pm on March 6th, 2010

    This was my relasing-after-a-spa-day look.

  56. Moogie the Cat
    3:57 pm on March 6th, 2010

    Well, Rio, it's just a thought right now. We heard there were other books out there like it. Mom could help. Besides, Mom's already written a book about an alligator that we think is pretty good, even though she had to explain to us what an alligator was. We've only seen a salamander, no reptiles, thank goodness! (Dad's scared of those, so we think we would be too.)

  57. Jasper the Poodle
    3:58 pm on March 6th, 2010
  58. Moogie the Cat
    4:01 pm on March 6th, 2010

    B Stover, when my sister and I lived in NC, we had WHITE squirrels! Wanted to get out there to eat those guys so badly!… They were bigger than the grey and brown ones, and they came right up to the sliding glass door to taunt us. (The nerve!) Mom got mad because they ate all the bulbs she planted in the garden, too.

  59. B. Stover
    4:06 pm on March 6th, 2010


  60. B. Stover
    4:07 pm on March 6th, 2010

    Sorry Jasper, but what a funny picture! And I've never seen a white squirrel.

  61. Moogie the Cat
    4:08 pm on March 6th, 2010

    This was our brother, Budreaux. He was not my sister's fave, but I liked him ok… for an interloper! I kinda miss him nw that he's gone, though. He kept us on our toes until he died too young this past December (about a week after this picture) of the "big C"…

    [img ]http://chetthedog.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/1267927637-IMG00591.jpg[/img]

  62. Moogie the Cat
    4:12 pm on March 6th, 2010

    B Stover, Mom says they even have their own website, but she can't remember what it is. They originated in Brevard, NC and their spawn have traveled outside that city to other local cities. The website says they're not albinos, either. I remember that they had a black or grey stripe down the middle of their backs. Mom says that's how she always could tell they were squirrels and not cats. (Boy, does she have bad eyesight! But all humans do…)

  63. dawson
    4:14 pm on March 6th, 2010


    I am not kidding about this bulldog. I've seen a few Bulldogs in my time too…actually have a good friend that owns the Bulldog Saloon and guess what kind of 4 leggeds he loves? But those Bulldogs had little short legs, this huge Bulldog had long legs and came up to my hips. I saw him being weighed and asked his owner about him…he said American Bulldog. Very intimidating. He would've won paws down but he wore himself out barking and lunging at the other dogs. Finally just ran out of steam. The weight was pulled on a sled over snow so once you got it going, it's not that hard. Well, easy for me to say. Back in the day they had two legged flour packing contests and the record flour packer (these were women) packed over 300 pounds!!

  64. Jasper the Poodle
    4:22 pm on March 6th, 2010
  65. Rio - The Evil Pug
    4:22 pm on March 6th, 2010

    Oh!..Stover!… this book is so good!… I can’t believe I have something like this in my paws right now… snort!…It’s been flawless and the very best thing I have read in a long while…a very long while… grunt!… I have inklings about ‘things’…wheeze!… but I know I am nowhere near imaging what the real final outcome will be! …So Great!…So Imaginative!… Hope you will enjoy more of The Tutor soon! ….wheeze!

  66. dawson
    4:26 pm on March 6th, 2010

    I like squirrels and chipmunks and all animals really,

    But this is real Trapper's territory and there are still traplines all over the place. And hunters.

  67. Rio - The Evil Pug
    4:29 pm on March 6th, 2010

    Moogie!…I am so very sorry about Budreaux…. I imagin you miss him very much!… sniff!… I know about that Big “C” and it’s the worst thing ever… groan!… but maybe all Kats go to Heaven too!… woof!

  68. Moogie the Cat
    4:32 pm on March 6th, 2010

    Rio, What do you mean "go to heaven"? Where there are cats, it's already heaven…

  69. Rio - The Evil Pug
    4:44 pm on March 6th, 2010

    Ha!… okay Moogie, anything you say!… snort!

  70. Moogie the Cat
    4:48 pm on March 6th, 2010

    This is Mom's favorite picture of Budreaux (also taken a week before he went to Heaven). Looks like he was already looking toward the next step on his journey…

    [img ]http://chetthedog.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/1267930088-IMG00588.jpg[/img]

  71. Rio - The Evil Pug
    5:14 pm on March 6th, 2010

    Moogie!… for someone just showing up for the very first time on this Blog….snort!.. you are sure are willin’ to be spillin’ your family guts all over the place…Growl!… makes me a little nervous and very suspicious too!… grrrrrr!

    Molly!.,.., what are your thoughts here!? … [ I sure hope you aren’t still sleepin’ poodle girl…get the Hell up! ]…What’s going on Moogie!???… snarl!…. Wookie is circling around the back of you and there is no way out… Snort!… Pity that Kitty Kat!

  72. Siberian Husky
    5:33 pm on March 6th, 2010

    For the Poodles: A team of Poodles have run and finished the Iditarod four times, and they finished in the middle of the pack all four times. This is a true story even if the Alaskan Huskies won't admit it or ever talk about it. I say, Way to go Poodles!

  73. Rio - The Evil Pug
    5:53 pm on March 6th, 2010

    Siber-H!… are you kidding me???… snort!…a Team of Poodles in the Iditarod?… wow!…gruff!… is there a team of Poodles in there this year??…wheeze!…is there anyway I can watch this race?… snort!… is it on TV? What channel??… grunt!…

    Wow!… there are so many of the Nation within a Nation that can do amazing things!… snort!…just like Wookie right now… Snuff!

  74. Siberian Husky
    5:55 pm on March 6th, 2010

    Melanie: Newton Marshall seems to be a really good guy. I hope he and his dogs have a successful run to Nome. I read about him last year on the Yukon Quest’s website, and there was some video of him. For a rookie, he did great in the Yukon Quest.

    My biggest wish these next two weeks is for All the Iditarod dogs to get safely to Nome and have fun on their journey. I’ll be thinking of you! Go Dogs Go!

  75. Moogie the Cat
    6:07 pm on March 6th, 2010

    Beezer and I are headed to bed with Mom and Dad now. Good night all! Talk to you tomorrow!

  76. Rio - The Evil Pug
    6:12 pm on March 6th, 2010

    Nice!… Woogie, you sleep tight tonight…snort!… Wookie, you can check into the local Motel 6….snort!… and be Ready for Anything Tomorrow!….damn those Kats!…snort!

  77. Rio - The Evil Pug
    6:23 pm on March 6th, 2010

    strange!…I meant Moogie, not Woogie…snort!… And I did mean Wookie!…so that’s okay… snort!

  78. Jasper the Poodle
    8:16 pm on March 6th, 2010

    SiberH: I love you. Jasper

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