Flaky the Snow Cat!!

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Happy Holidays!!

I had a great year, and I’d like to give you something.

The best story I pawed out in 2015: Flaky the Snow Cat!!

You prolly heard me meowing on about it for a while, well that’s because I started last Catmas and then finished in January, because it took me about eleventy mugs of catnip tea to finish, but by that point, I was super caffeinated and it wasn’t Catmas anymore, so I’ve waited all year to share it with you!

I got the idea when I first saw Frosty the Snowman and wondered if you could make snow cats, which it turns out you can (as long as you bring warm Mittens).

Then I thought of Nugget, a lonely black cat who runs away from home to ask Santa for a friend. Along the way, he makes a snow cat, and the snow cat comes to life, and they go all the way to the North Pole, but a bunch of terrible things keep happening to them and then at the end, Nugget dies.

Just kidding! But let me know if the ending makes you cry. I get a kitty treat every time someone tells me that!

Hope you like it!!

1 Cover3 Part 11234567891011121314151617181920212223242526274 Part 21234567891011121314151617181920212223242526272829303132

5 Part 312345678910111213141516171819202122232425262728293031326 Part 41234567891011121314151617181920212223242526272829303132Well, did you like it??

I had so many great tuna cookies making this one. Don’t worry if I’m fat though, I burned them all off and then some chasing my cousin Simon down the stairs and tackling him, which I do every night at 8:00pm.

But the café by my house says they might no longer accept kitty litter as currency… 😦 Do you think you could help meowt?

I’d like to keep making more and better stories for you to read here, where you can just donate whatever you want using the PayPal button below, but if you no has munny, you can still read it and enjoy it anyway. Does that sound good?

Beyond the obvious pounds of catnip I need to stay alert during marathon writing sessions, my main costs are printing, conferences, and art supplies. I’m also saving up for a drawing tablet so I can produce higher-quality purrtoons faster and more frequently.

Any amount of scratch is appreciated!!

For printed work, you can also Shop Hazel at the Hazel Store on Etsy.

Thank mew so much!

A warm holiday headbutt,

Hazel

Christmas Hazel

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Special Christmas Intermew with Lynda Barry!!

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Meowy Christmas and Happy Holidays, Everypawdy!!

Wherever you are in the world, and for whichever celebrations you enjoy with your loved ones, I hope your holiday season was one for the books! I am a Christmas kitty, and in my first Christmas special as Writer Kitty, I am over the peppermint-flavored moon to present to you my intermew with prolific cartoonist, author, professor, and honorary awesome cat Lynda Barry!! She’s also the Hooman who taught me purrtooning!

I just finished pawing the furst issue of my holiday comic, “Flaky the Snow Cat!” Lynda just published her 21st book (wow!!) “Syllabus: Notes from an Accidental Professor,” where she talks about her experience as Assistant Professor of Interdisciplinary Creativity at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. You can follow her blog,“The Near-Sighted Monkey,” and buy her book on Amazon.

I read and napped with “Syllabus,” and I absolutely, thoroughly loved it. Her ideas on creativity are peerless, backed up by a legitimate, academic science that deeply activates the creative in all of us. I conducted this intermew with her book in mind, finding places to expand the conversation. I also asked more fun, holiday questions towards the end, like which kind of cookies she would like if she could spend a day as Santa Paws. She also has some great stories later on in the intermew about her own kitties and how they came into her life.

I can’t tell you how excited I am for the opportunity to chat with one of my role models, a creative icon, and an exciting furriend who can hook me up with some fresh catnip from her farm.

Enjoy!!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lynda_Barry

Hazel: Meowy Christmas and Happy Holidays, Professor!! Thanks so much for being here! Furst, I read your book, I loved it. When my Pops was reading it to me, I couldn’t stop smacking him the face with my tail.

Lynda: I wish I could use that as a quote on the back of my book!

*LOLZ!*

Hazel: Next book you have, let me know and I’ll tail-smack again for you! Furst question, you have a new book!

Lynda: Yes!

Hazel: You are also a rockstar professor at a world-class university and a highly sought-after innovator in the fields of teaching, creativity, and excellence. How does it feel to be you?

*LOLZ!*

Lynda: Well, if I read all that, I wouldn’t match it up with the person I live with in my body every day. But I’ve had a lot of really cool opportunities. All that is a side effect of being really interested in images and how they move. It’s like if I dangle a string in front of your face, how you have to swipe at it. Yeah, you have to! So I’m curious about that kind of thing.

Hazel: How do you feel about this book?

Lynda: I feel happy about it. The stuff I love the most is that I get to look at my students’ work. I tried to cram as much of my students’ work as I could into it, so I have a lot of really good memories of the classes that I wrote the book about, about trying to figure out how in the world to teach this thing, and then I fell in love with my students. That, I didn’t expect. That’s a hazard of the job, but I really really love them so at least when I open “Syllabus,” I can still see their pictures.

Hazel: What made you decide to teach?

Lynda: Well, teachers are always important to me. I was one of those kids that loved school. I didn’t have such a happy home, but school was fantastic in comparison. And then I had such a good experience in college. I met my teacher, Marilyn Frasca, who got me thinking about the nature of images, and that one question she asked me when I was 19—what is an image?—and now I’m about to turn 59, and I’m still hunting it down. I was able to do workshops with people, but I realized that I wasn’t going to understand how this stuff works in the long term unless I had students I could work with for a while. So I applied to be Artist-in-Residence here a while ago for one semester, and that was it, I was hooked. Luckily, just through weird little channels, I was able to get a job here even though I only have a BA from a hippy college from 1978. So for the university to take me on, that was kind of a big deal. I didn’t think they would. You know, because I don’t have the credentials.

Hazel: How has your experience been in terms of working in academia as a professional in a specific field now going into the teaching profession?

Lynda: It’s been great because I get to have the tools I need, and by tools I mean my students and the time. So to me, in a funny way, it’s just like writing a book, or it’s just like doing a series of paintings. It’s the same kind of thing where you have to show up every day, and think about it every day. This is the way I think of teaching: teaching isn’t leading people necessarily, it’s keeping an eye on them, figuring out where it is they want to go, and then moving the rocks and sticks that are in their way.

Hazel: I like that!

Lynda: Everybody does have a path that they are kinda on, and with cartooning in particular, that person’s style shows up pretty quick if they can stand it. So my job is to get my students to stand what’s coming out of their hands long enough so that they’ll let it live, and then I get to see it.

Hazel: You talk about being present, what does that mean?

Lynda: Being present is seeing what’s there. That’s what Marilyn used to say over and over again, when we’d look at a painting, she’d say “I don’t care if you like it or don’t like it, what’s there? What do you see?” I showed my class a way to keep a diary: write 7 things you did throughout the day, 7 things that you see, something you overheard, and then make a picture. There’s something about that that starts to train you to be present.

You know what present is? Presence is when you’re falling in love with someone and they’re not around you, but you’re walking down the street in this state of love, and everything starts to look like it’s talking to you. The name of the street will be Charter, and you’ll think “I have a Charter to be in love with this person.”

*LOLZ!*

Everything starts to somehow seem like its alive, and when that’s not happening for me, that’s when I start to feel like I’m losing everything. I try to get my students to just pay attention to the world around them. One of the best ways to do that is to write down what people are saying, and realize how hilarious they are, and sad too.

Hazel: How do you think, if people were to do that more, that would change the way things work? If more people walked around with a state of being in love with the present?

Lynda: Yeah, I don’t think you can make yourself be in love with the present. The way you draw that out is by participating in something that brings the back of the mind forward. That would be drawing, reading, good films, like when you go to a matinee and leave when it’s still light out. It’s like you’ve been through this world where all this stuff happened, and the world has this presence. Maybe that’s it. Maybe it’s not your presence, but the world seems present. That might be it.

I would like people to see drawing and creative writing as important as their kidneys in terms of dealing with all the slings and arrows of everyday life. I just think it does something, something people can’t imagine until they do it because they have this idea of what drawing is based on when they quit. And that’s not what drawing is. People tend to quit when they move towards trying to do representational work and they can’t do it, and maybe there are 2 or 3 peers that can do it, and so you actually see someone able to run and you feel like you should never walk again. It’s usually around adolescence, a little bit before when people stop. I’m more interested in walking people back into drawing in writing, not as a career, but as a way of thinking and being in the world. There’s something to it that’s really being disregarded. If you look at what’s happening in public schools, or education, it’s the arts that are getting cut out. There was this thing on the radio yesterday where somebody was saying to someone in charge of education, “if you had 3 wishes for the public school system, what would they be?” And I was like “music, drawing and writing, and everything else is secondary.” Those would be my 3 wishes. I think science benefits tremendously from this other part of the mind.

Hazel: And if these arts are our organs, it’s almost like you need to be healthy before you do anything else.

Lynda: Right!

Photo: In a box on an unplugged treadmill because Merry Christmas!! #catsbeingcats

Hazel: Writing and drawing can be done independently, but there is also space for collaboration in your classroom. What do you think is the social function of creativity?

Lynda: Well, it makes us like each other. That helps a lot. It’s also a way of communicating with each other rapidly, and full-bodied. When somebody is funny and makes you laugh that’s actually a full-body experience. It also is a way to talk about things, if we were to talk directly about things like the circulatory system, we could only get so far, but if we were making drawings of it, or even allowed to gesture to explain how the circulatory system works, that’s a whole other thing. So I think there’s something about images and the way people use images and metaphors, which is so fast. I always think it is like when you’re trying to explain things logically, it’s like a pigeon walking on two feet. But the pigeon can fly! You use a metaphor and the pigeon flies.

People long for it, they want to do it. In the same breath they say “I know I never can.” What’s that? I have even posed the question this way: I’m a genie and I could give you the power to do whatever creative ability you wished. You could sing or draw or write great stories, but you can never make a living from it or profit from it in any way. Would you still take it? And almost everyone says yeah, because they think they’d find a way to make a living off it!

*LOLZ!*

Yeah, I’ll agree to this part, then try to stop me. But I think people understand that it gives life the feeling that it’s worth living, which is step one in the survival of a species that is able to kill itself or others.

Hazel: Ooh, that’s interesting. You said that creativity can be a way for people to feel good about themselves. Why are people afraid then that it will make them feel bad?

Lynda: You know, one of the things that’s interesting is that people get very disturbed when showing their work. Let’s say we’re in my class, and I’ll give someone a photo and a word. They’ll write a story that turns kinda dark, and they’re very upset by it. People are disturbed to find out things about themselves, like they can imagine a murder scene so perfectly when they think of themselves as such a sweet hippy chick. That was me when I wrote “Cruddy.” I think it’s partly getting to know parts of yourself you didn’t know were there, and also, other people being able to know what you think about. I’m always surprised when people are worried they have written something dark or sad. Do you have any idea, Hazel, why people would be worried about that?

Hazel: I think it’s one of those things where you ask yourself, “would someone think differently of me if I wrote this?” Then you have to ask yourself, “would I think differently of someone if they wrote this?” And the answer is no, then why can’t you apply that to yourself?

Lynda: Yeah!

Hazel: In your experience, when people do show these dark stories, is there a fear to be accounted for or are they accepted?

Lynda: They’re accepted, and I think what you said is so smart. I like to think when my students are going around the room, they are not saying “eww,” but we do that with our own work.

Hazel: If we do it first, we don’t have to have someone else do it for us, but we don’t have to worry about it, because that’s not going to happen.

Lynda: I think it’s also hard for people to believe that there’s a part of them they don’t know or have control over.

Hazel: There’s so much, there’s so much. You might as well have it out because you’re not supposed to know all of it. Interesting stuff. So on pg. 170, you have a quote I am in love with from Iain McGilchrist, “Creativity depends on the union of things that are also maintained separately—the precise function of the corpus callosum.” You also talk about on page 62 how unexpected juxtapositions can lead to stories. Why do you think creativity works this way?

Lynda: If we’re going to get to the structure of the brain, what’s interesting is that only one hemisphere of the brain has speech. The part that has speech comes to dominate everything. That’s just the way we work. What I love about McGlilchrist’s work so much is that he is a guy that was trained as a poet, and he taught English at Oxford. He’s really smart, and he decided he needed to understand this image stuff too so he trained to become a doctor and he became a doctor. And then he became obsessed with the brain, particularly the right hemisphere and the nature of the right hemisphere, even though he’ll say the brain is actually two brains, two functioning brains with completely different dispositions towards the world, different experiences of space, there are huge hemispheric differences. The creative part, that thing that he says about the union of things that are kept separate, there is this moment when the part of you that can’t talk is able to move the part of you that can. It’s hard to explain, but I’ve come to really rely on the fact that I’m at least two different people. Not people, because a person is a body with a limited membrane, but understanding that the hemispheric differences are pretty critical, and we move between them all day long.

It’s this: I remember first hearing about the unconscious, I remember thinking “Pfft, if I had one I’d know about it.”

*LOLZ*

You know about it, but you don’t! That’s what I love about my class, watching this other part of my students come forward and move the pencil around. I want to show people that there is this other part of you that is an option at all times.

Hazel: That’s especially interesting that speech is only on one side of the brain, which makes it hard to articulate what is going on, which might be why the unconscious is still there. One of those things where you think, am I beating my own heart? Who is? It’s in there.

Lynda: That’s exactly it, that part there, the top of the mind—someone compared it to a person on top of an elephant thinking they are really tall not knowing they are riding an elephant at all. It’s interesting, and reliable too. I want my students to know how reliable it is too, and they can lean on it their whole lives.

http://photos.uc.wisc.edu/photos/18038/original/Barry_Lynda_portrait13_8643.jpg?1394727740

Hazel: What have been some of your favorite memories and discoveries as Professor Long-Title?

*LOLZ*

Lynda: My theory was that drawing is innate and it’s in everybody. That was my theory, and I feel like I’ve seen it proven over and over and over again. I am working with people who are willing to draw, although not necessarily comfortable doing it. From teaching here, now when I go teach workshops in other places, I don’t pay attention to whether people are comfortable or not comfortable drawing. I just make them draw. So one of the rewarding things is to see this theory I have about drawing and writing and what it can give people. The other thing is being the witness when people do amazing work. Maybe it’s what gardeners feel when the flowers start to bloom. You know you didn’t do it, but you were there watering it and pulling the weeds away. That’s what I love to see. I love to see people just bloom. It’s wild.

Hazel: So if drawing is in everypawdy, let’s say drawing as in using your hand or paw to make a line, how do you think that’s different or similar to other activities you do with your hand or paw?

Lynda: With planting for example, there’s not as much argument in your head as to what goes into it. Let’s say you’re planting a tomato plant, there’s some argument, but when a person is drawing, there can be enough argument that they’ll stop. So it leaves a track, and it’s just the drawing. When you’re planting a tomato, the soil is there, you know you’ll need a hole, and when it’s done, we can say “that’s what the dirt looks like, that’s what the tomato looks like…” When you do a drawing, you think you did it, and you did do it in a way, but there’s that argument of whether or not it is good. That can be different until you start to think of it as, “the paper looks a certain way, the pen looks a certain way, my hand did this on this day,” and then leave it alone. It’s hard though. I’ve started to think that people’s horror about their own drawing is like the horror of any bodily fluids suddenly appearing in a conversation with somebody else. The only bodily fluid that’s acceptable is one tear falling out of the corner of the eye listening to Bach. When people are scared of drawing, it is that kind of mortification, its embarrassment.

Hazel: It’s like your external organs leaking fluid, things that even as a kitty, I’m embarrassed to mention.

Lynda: Right, you have to bury it.

Hazel: Right, it’s not like my family loves me any less though. Cool, on that note we conclude the book part of the intermew. I am excited for your next book and the previous 20 that I have yet to read.

*LOLZ*

Hazel: So let’s talk about holidays! So what does this time of year mean for you?

Lynda: This time of year? I came from a troubled background so holidays were always fraught with depression. For the past 5 or so years I haven’t gotten depressed over the holidays, and it happens to tie in pretty closely with teaching, so maybe that could be part of it. So the holidays for me are when I’m finally home, and I get to spend time with my kitties, I have three of them, and my dogs, I only have 2 left now, and my husband, who is kind of a cross between a dog and a kitty. And I get to be home, and I get to sleep in, and I get to stay in my pajamas for days on end. I don’t leave the house, and I make pictures, and I cook stuff. It’s very nice, but it’s very solitary. My husband and I, our birthdays are very close to each other, and we have this thing called the Feast Days, that start on the 20th of December and goes until January 4th, where we don’t socialize with anyone. We pretend we’re on a trip even though were don’t go anywhere.

*LOLZ*

Hazel: Like a staycation?

Lynda: Right!

Hazel: Especially between these two semesters. Is that something you’re looking forward to?

Lynda: Yes! I live on a farm, so I’m able to, and my husband knows that even though I’m a social person sometimes, I’m mainly a hermit, so he knows that one of my Christmas wishes is to not see another person besides him. So when a person comes up the driveway and I hide, he doesn’t say “come out and meet them.” He covers for me. I get to hide like a little feral cat.

Hazel: Would you say you’re a cross between a dog and a cat?

Lynda: I’d say I’m a cross. I wasn’t able to have cats until I was older. My first cat was 10 years ago, so now I’ve really gotten to know them. I’ve always loved cats, but I’ve always been with people who were allergic or don’t like them. That’s the part I don’t get, why do people think it’s okay to not like cats?

Hazel: Right, that’s like saying I don’t like Belgians.

*LOLZ*

Hazel: Right! Like that sounds weird.

Lynda: All of them are so different. Yes, you are! I think cats are astonishing. So I have three very distinct cats.

Hazel: What are they like?

Lynda: I have a black cat with golden eyes. Little. She’s a groundbreaking cat because my husband always believed he was allergic to cats and never liked them. The first cat I had, I brought home to my studio. It was very cold, about this time of year. I found him on the street in Footville, he was a stray. I went up to my house and said I found a monkey. And he goes “what?” I said “yeah, I found a monkey, and I’m keeping the monkey.” Because I thought if I don’t call it a cat, he’ll regard it in a different way.

Hazel: Interesting.

Lynda: He was very upset, he said he was allergic, and if he was, he grew out of it. And so I kept the monkey in my studio, named the monkey Ivan Brunetti, and Ivan just passed recently. So Kevin got to know that monkey, and there was another monkey running around our grove. Kevin fell in love with that monkey, so now that monkey is the house cat. And that’s his cat. They’re so in love. Then I have a big ass cat named Butterscotch Wanda. She’s giant.

Hazel: Mol!

Lynda: She was a feral cat, huge, sheds like crazy, very friendly. She loves to hug. Then I have a little one named Carlita who was very terrified and feral. We caught her when it was very cold at the farm. Then she hid for 2 years. She was my ghost cat. And now we can finally pet her but it’s been 8 years. It took that long.

Hazel: Wow, and now she’s coming around.

Lynda: Yeah, she’ll sit on my lap.

Hazel: Cool.

Lynda: And my best friend, this guy named Scrounge, runs a no-kill cat shelter in Chicago. So I have access to hundreds of cats and cat stories.

Hazel: Kitties are wonderful, and I’m very lucky to be one.

*LOLZ*

Hazel: So this is a question I have: let’s say you get to be Santa Paws. What would you leave under the tree, and what cookies and beverage would you like to see on the table for you?

Lynda: I would leave art supplies under the tree, I just would, even though it might make people cry when they open them. And for cookies and beverage, I would like bratwurst cookies and beer.

Hazel: That’s a very Lynda Barry response.

*LOLZ*

Hazel: This has been fun, I really appurrciate you being my Christmas special intermew! It’s been pawmazing.

Lynda: When spring comes again, we grow tons of catnip. So I’ll bring some fresh catnip for you.

Hazel: Ooh, leave it under the tree and I’ll get you some fresh meat cookies.

*LOLZ*

Hazel: Thanks!

Lynda: My pleasure, meow!

Hazel: Meow!

Thanks for reading, readers!

Holiday Purrs,

Hazel Fluffypants: Writer Kitty

Christmas Eve Intermew with Signorina Fellini!

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Meowy Christmas Eve, Furriends!!

I hope the holiday season is just what you need, whatever days you might be celebrating in your home! In the Fluffypants residence, we are excited for Santa Paws to come to town!

Today I am very excited to bring to you my special intermew with my good furriend Signorina Fellini from the pawesome Facebook page, “Cats in Boxes,” which is especially relevant during this box-intensive time of year. Remember that each package you order comes with a free bed for your feline furriend!

Enjoy!

Hazel Fluffypants: Hi Signorina Fellini! I’m so pawcited to have you here again!! Which holiday(s) are you celebrating in your part of the world?

Signorina Fellini: This Meowy Christmas, I feel very fortunate to have family. But for many of you, I know, this Christmas will mean separation from loved ones. Whether your humans have packed suitcases, or purrhaps you are reflecting on the memory of a kitty who has crossed the OTRB, I encourage you all, as you gather together under the Christmas tree, to look at the younger ones – they are the future of box posing. And just as we were helped to understand and to appreciate the values of a fine box, it is now our responsibility to help them to do the same.

HF: Meowy Christmas Eve then! This is my first holiday season, I can’t wait for all the boxes! What are you excited for most about this holiday season?

SF: Earlier this year I sponsored a kitty to safety, from the top of the kill list at a pound in Sydney to refuge and rightful adoration in a lovely up-market suburban home. His name is James Trumper, and he is coming to visit for New Year. All at my house are very excited to meet him and to hear of all his adventures, and I, of course, am especially keen to check out his box posing ability.

HF: Aww I’m sure James appurrciates your help! What a great gift. What is your favorite seasonal nomz this time of year?

SF: I believe I am an unusual kitty as I really don’t care much for human food.

HF: It can be kitty nomz!

SF: I love dried bickies for breakfast and lovely warm casserole for dinner. My favourites are savoury chicken or turkey entrée and seafood platter. Sometimes the human puts fresh tuna in there so I will probably suggest that for Christmas dinner. I do love tuna. My housemates Gizmo and Miss Lucy always annoy the human at meal times. They eat everything. We are a connoisseur.

HF: How was your 2014?

SF: Being a purrfessional box poser, back in May I decided to start my own FB page, Cats in Boxes. I am so proud to now have over 18,000 followers tuning in daily for my instructional tips and reviews on poses. I do pride myself on responding to every kitty who messages. I have discovered many new talents and encouraged fledgling careers.

HF: Like me! 

SF: Like you!

HF: What other kinds of furriends have you made?

SF: There are all 11 meowvelous friends at A purrfect life, dear Dave of Dave Coaches, and star fleet leader Orion and the crew at Yang and the Gang to name a few. I also began the philanthropic wing of Cats in Boxes with the lovely human Margaret at Catmint Cottage Rescue, who saves kitties from high kill shelters and looks after them until they find new homes.

HF: What are some of your New Years Resolutions?

SF: As a former stray I know how difficult it can be out there. I plan to continue to support no kill shelters and help as many kitties into new homes as I can through my segment ‘Have box, can pose, need home’. The human is channeling my piggy bank savings into sponsoring the rescue of death row kitties in conjunction with Catmint Cottage Rescue and Sydney Cat Adoptions. I believe that Christmas should remind us that the qualities of the feline spirit are more important than material gain. We should use the New Year to direct all our 9 lives to serving others. Genuine happiness and satisfaction lie more in giving than receiving, more in serving than in being served.

We can all learn some lessons from the past. We might begin to see things in a new perspective. And certainly, we begin to ask ourselves where it is that we can find lasting happiness. Over my four years, those who have seemed to me to be the most happy, contented and fulfilled have always been the kitties who have lived the most outgoing and unselfish lives; the kind of felines who are generous with their talents or their time. There are those who use their prosperity or good fortune for the benefit of others whether they number among the great philanthropists like Rinpoche, or are kitties who, with whatever they have, simply desire to help those less fortunate than themselves, like Street Cat Bob. They tend to have some sense that life itself is full of blessings, and is a precious gift for which we should be thankful. When life seems hard, the courageous do not lie down and accept defeat; instead, they are all the more determined to struggle for a better future. In this spirit I embrace the coming year of Cats in Boxes.

HF: Beautiful! What would you like to get most of all this holiday season, from Santa Paws?

SF: We would like for Gizmo and Miss Lucy to stop stealing the best spots on the human’s bed and claim they were here first.

HF: Mol!! What would you like to give most of all this holiday season, to Santa Paws and/or other?

SF: We all know that Christmas is a time for celebration and family reunions; but it is also a time to reflect on what confronts those less fortunate than ourselves, at home and throughout the world. I would like all the stray and lonely kitties to find their own forever homes, just as I have, and to never be hungry, thirsty or without a human to give them pats and boxes, lots of boxes. I have several friends who have lost their way this year. Dear Finn of Help Find Finn the Cat in Dingle, Ireland, and Hugo, whose details are on Pet Search. For their loved ones, the worry will never cease until they are safely home. And then there is that other house dweller, the dog. A lack of compassion for these canines can be very destructive. We should remember instead how much we have in common (4 paws and a tail) and resolve to give expression to the best of our feline qualities, not only at Christmas but also throughout the year. In the Christmas spirit let us greet our fellow felines and canines and join together in this festival of tolerance and companionship.

HF: What a kind and thoughtful kitty you are, my furriend. Now I have to ask: if Signorina Fellini was a cookie, what flavor would you be?

SF: I believe I would be an Anzac cookie. I am an Aussie country girl through and through, tough but sweet.

HF: Tough, but sweet. The kitty cookie. Love it! Thanks so much, Signorina!! 

And thank YOU reader for reading!

Meows of Holiday Cheer,

Hazel