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Litter Clump Art 101
My Never Ending Short Story
Hi my name is Dave and I am a recovering member of Cat-Holics-Anonymous (CHA). As part of my rehab it helps to tell about the obsession I have of being Max Da Cat. When my eighth life passed before my eyes I knew time was running out and I sought help at (CHA). It is my hope that my coming out will help other Cat-Holics face up to their addiction and join (CHA). Look forward to reading Max's short stories here when I am suffering from a relapse. My other therapeutic outlet is designing Litter Clump Art and posting it with my stories. Hopefully Max's tales will amuse you and take your mind off the hustle and bustle of your busy life. If you are a cat lover like me I am sure you can relate to the complexities of Max's personality. My story starts out quite innocently as do most addictions.
Max our Royal Scottish Tabby (barn cat) has a lot of personality. Someday I actually expect to hear words come from his mouth, but as of late I have been doing the talking for him. Our grand-children have always loved Max and all of them have had close encounters with his litter box. Those kids have actually identified shapes they see in his litter clumps much like shapes they see in the clouds. Right now we have only seen the images of a few presidents and celebrities in the clumps. If word of Max’s talent gets out I hope the exposure won’t draw crowds around our Rosie Roller on trash day. Fame always brings out those weir-does who would love to pick through the clumps of treasure in our trash. Imagine the news frenzy if someone claims to have seen Christ or Mary in one of those clumps.
Max has always had an appetite for small objects or items he has torn up. Crayons, game pieces, candy and pacifiers don't stand a chance if left unattended. His eating habits influence the shapes in his litter clumps. This gave me the idea to think outside the litter box. What if I can exaggerate these shapes with a little editing and make them believable through the bizarre mind of a cat. This is how the idea for Max's Litter Clump Art came about.
Soon I became obsessed with designing Litter Clump Art and posting it on my design web site. This project went down the toilet in a hurry. Later I started speaking as Max Da Cat on Face Book and Twitter. All of my friends and family rejected me on the Internet and I became very depressed. Luckily I found comfort on the web with other Cat-Holics that take on the personality of their cats. It is easy to identify these individuals because they use a picture of their cat as their avatar photo. You would be surprised how many of them are out there forming groups and blogs. After being taken in to their pride I was in total denial of my addiction. I soon became withdrawn from the real world and fantasized that I was Max a very cool cat.
As part of my therapy it helps to jot down my experiences as Max Da Cat. Now it is time to get in touch with my feline side and tell my complex story. Oh My!!! I'm shrinking…I'm shrinking...what a world...what a world…show me the tuna...get me some water at room temperature, shaken not stirred. The couch is all mine and my head will get lost in that pillow…I guess I'm not in Indiana anymore…Purrr…Purrr…ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ...........
Max's Pick of the Litter Clump Art
Close Encounters of the 3rd Kind
One day while chumming with my want-a-be cat friends on the internet; I noticed an ad at the side of the page. This ad was offering a free cure for my addiction in 12 easy steps. After clicking on the link I was glad to see that there were many others seeking help at Cat-Holics-Anonymous (CHA). Luckily there was an active CHA chapter located near me. I made my mind up to take the hardest step and go to their next meeting.
The next week I found time to go and check out what CHA was all about. Entering the meeting hall I couldn't help but notice their motto "If the cats got your tongue the devil has your soul". I took a seat in the back row and settled in thinking I would just be a quiet observer. After a short time the hall lights brightened and then to my surprise all of the seats revolved 180 degrees. Now I found myself alone in the front row as the officers came in and sat down in the empty seats next to me. The leader of the chapter stood up and walked to the podium and said "no man can ever hope to achieve the perfection of a cat". He then asked if there was anyone here tonight that would like to give testimony of their struggle with their feline side. Cought up in the moment I stood up and said I was ready to seek their help.
The guards of the pride were called upon to come forward and secure me in my seat. All of the gathered members then put hoods over their faces with cute cat ears and whiskers on them. About that time my seat started to elevate and turn around facing the members. Everyone in the hall started to chant "are you ready to be cleansed " over and over again. I was just sure the exorcism was about to begin. The leader of the pride pulled a cat of 9 tails out from under the podium and said that it represented the 9 lives that only a cat can live. Then he said; "son I know you have been lost for a long time and we are all ears to hear you spill your guts". Members cupped their hands around their cute kitty ears which I thought was a nice gesture. I told him I would gladly tell my story if he would just put the whip away.
My fellow addicts; my name is Dave and I am a Cat-Holic and need help in finding my way back to a normal life. My family and friends have rejected me after being obsessed that I am Max our family cat. My voice started to quiver and the members said "we are here for you keep speaking". I am very week and have no control over my addiction and have found false security with feline adicts on the internet. The grand leader then said "say no more you have taken the first step towards recovery and now are worthy to share in CHA's secret 12 step recovery program. All members took their hoodies off and stood at attention as he read the 12 steps to recovery.
Admit that you are powerless over your feline addiction and have the realization that the earth does not revolve around you.
Anonymously give a testimony of your addiction at the CHA web site and share your experiences as a cat when you are suffering a relapse.
Feel free to ask for help from your assigned recovering CHA sponsor who will always get back-at-CHA when you call for support.
Take time to do a virtual cat scan of your conscience and make a catalog of all the people you offended during your addiction.
Make your amends only to the cat lovers that served you well during your reign and just keep on doing unto all of the others.
Close all twitter and face book accounts under your alias cat name and quit talking cool cat lingo to your friends and family.
Block all e-mail from the pride you used to cat around with or tell them that they need to get a grip on their life by joining CHA.
During rehabilitation stay away from sand boxes, fish markets, pet stores or any place that brings back tempting thoughts.
When you have a relapse always remember that you are human and will never achieve the purr…fection you felt as a cat.
Keep reminding yourself that you no longer have 9 cat lives and need to make the most of the time left in your meaningless existence.
Once you have landed on your feet you will become a CHA support sponsor and share your wisdom with other cat-holics.
Volunteer to help 40 hours at any animal shelter and come to the realization that every cat adopted out will achieve a lifestyle you will always long for.
After the reading the grand leader welcomed me in as a new member and said I would go by my feline name of Max. He introduced himself to me by his tabby name of Zeldwin. He handed me my own cat face hoodie and said to bring $75 to the next meeting. I told Zeldwin that I thought the program was free and he replied that his wife just barely broke even on making the hoods. He was quite proud of his wife's creative work and said she was designing new faces for next years hoodies at a cost of $95 for anyone that wants to remain a member. Zeldwin assigned a member named Charlie to be my sponsor and main support until I was cured. Charlie came over and shook my hand and said " Hi my name is cha cha Charlie and I am proud to be your cha cha CHA partner. I didn't know if he was stuttering or asking me to dance. He apologized for his stuttering and said it was much worse when he thought he was a Siamese cat named cha cha Charlie cha cha Chan. I told him not to worry and thanked him for being my sponsor. After the meeting mixed drinks and beer were available to all members except those who were going to the AA meeting that was being set up in the hall. The motto on the wall was changed over to "If the bottle controls your life the devil has your soul. Thank God I only have one addiction to deal with.
Max can relate to this since he is the coolest cat in the neighborhood.
Alpha the Cat-A-Corner Cat
Had a relapse at Wal-Mart last night. I could not resist going over to the pet toy section. The smell of cat nip made me loose control. I started opening some of the packages. People left the aisle when I started licking the toys and rolling around cuddled up to them. While under the influence I then opened a cat litter bag and was thinking about relieving myself in it. Before I got any further the store manager stopped me and escorted me to the front office. In the office I had him call 1-800-CHA-HELP and they told him to go easy on me since I was in rehab. He then took my picture and posted it on the wall with other Wal-Mart People. The photo next to mine was a guy in silver high heel boots, leopard skin tank top and see through black mini-skirt. I then was told to pay for the merchandise and never come back in the store. Thank God for CHA!!! When I got home I jotted down this story to ease my anxiety.
Alpha the cat has lived catercorner to my house for a long time and we are the best of friends. The neighborhood band of cats look up to him as their prestigious alpha leader and are all ears when he is giving advice. I felt honored last month when he allowed me to call him Alf for short. Everyday he and I have a meeting of the minds at the Cat-A-Corner in my yard. Alf coined the phrase Cat-A-Corner because he loves to make up new words that begin with cat. Sometimes he gives me ideas for my Litter Clump Art when I am suffering from creative constipation. Alf deserves full credit for coming up with the word Monopopoop.
About a year ago Alf started communicating with his people through magnetic letters on their refrigerator. If I had been tortured like he was I am sure that I would start spilling my guts to my people. During his torture he lost his front claws but was proud that he had not given out any important information. Alf figured that he better wise up and start some form of communications with his people to avoid loss of any more body parts. The master warned me about the cage of doom that took him away to the house of pain. He also said it might be a good idea not to climb the curtains at my house any more. Since his ordeal he can't climb up on the tall fence, so I give him a daily cat scan of what I see happening in the neighborhood.
Alf told me the other day that his people run a micro beer brewery and were trying to name a new line of dark ale. To their surprise Alf arranged the word Cat-A-Tonic on the refrigerator. Cat-A-Tonic Ale has broken all sales records and Alf is quite proud of himself. He also helped them with their sales slogan "Our new ale will get you from sober to catatonic faster than any other dark ale on the market". Talking about ale has made me thirsty so its time to go in for a drink. I think I will pass on napping on the couch today and climb on top of the refrigerator where I can keep a cat’s eye view out for the cage of doom.
Mikey the Dog Next Door
Just popping the lid on a milk jug drove me over the edge today. Those rings under the lid are the best things in the world to play with. I quickly put the prize in my mouth and over the tip of my nose. Out to the family room I raced and started batting it around like a pro soccer player. Scored a goal under the TV stand in record time and the feral cats in the crowd went wild. Woke up the next morning to find the full gallon of milk still on the counter and spoiled. I knew it was time to write another story without even calling (CHA). I guess this is progress.
Early each morning I love to torment the dogs that live around my back yard by walking on the top of the fence. From six feet up I feel like they are puppets and I am pulling their strings. Oh what a sense of power and grandeur this gives me! When lovely Lolita the cat is watching; I pretend that I am a macho model and the fence is my catwalk. I always make a second round later in the day after my cat nap just to get all of the dogs in the neighborhood barking again. Thank God I am not a dog. They have no dignity or self-control like us cats.
Last week a dog named Mikey moved in next door. I have no idea what happened to the poor guys face. He must have smashed head on into a tree and it stayed that way. Oh well, at least he has a great looking tail going for him. Mikey is learning to yap on cue as I make my rounds on the fence. Yesterday as I was passing by I about fell of the fence. I could not believe my eyes; Mikey was devouring a land mine he dumped there about 4 days ago. Just think how bad the taste must be, not to mention the toxic bad breath and after taste. I am sure he would clear the room with just one burp. I know it is good to make the most out of your food supply but this is going above and beyond. Again I am glad I am not a dog.
Mikey always licks on the glass of his patio door when he needs in. I am sure those people** over there don't know where that tongue has been. Tomorrow I will push my Monopopoop Clump Art under the fence to see if Mikey will eat it. It should be interesting seeing what it looks like recycled. If he does eat it; I know Mikey will eat anything I throw his way.
Eureka an idea!! I could start a new line of Clump Art: rocky road, turtle clumps, and heavenly hash. Mikey may come in handy as a product tester for my Clump Art. I may have to suck up to the little guy so I can enter his yard to check out the results of experiments before he eats them. He will be easy to real in by telling him he is part of my research and development team. Right now the couch is calling for me after all of this creative thinking. When my mind starts racing like this it just helps to lie down and let my thoughts digest.
Here is a video of the Little Glass Licker........
Buzz the Wayward Cat
Having a bad day today. I ate two orange crayons which are Max's favorite flavor. After calling my support group I threw all the grand-children's crayons away to eliminate the temptation. Support also told me to jot down a memory I had as Max Da Cat to take my mind off of the crayons.
I didn't hang out with Buzz da cat much because he is unusual to say the least. His people have been a very bad influence on him. Buzz has had all the hair on his chest removed so his colorful tattoo can be seen. I have no idea what the meaning of GOT BUZZ is with a skull and a rainbow over it. One of his ears is pierced and has a beer can pull tab hanging from it. His other ear is gimpy and has pieces missing as a result of his 0 for 23 fighting record. To top the look off his tail is pierced with two large spikes and one screw with a nut on it. Go figure! The only thing good about going into Buzz's yard is that it leads to Lovely Lolita the cat next door. She is a story waiting to be told.
One day last month I was feeling down so I thought I'd visit Buzz and see how my life could be a lot worse. In our conversation I asked Buzz why there were lights on all the time in the barn in his back yard. He told me it was top secret! His people were growing cat nip in the barn so all of us cats don't get into it. They cut the plants late at night and hide them from us in the garage. Buzz said they use the code word (WEED) thinking I won't catch on to what they are really growing in there. He was honored that they named the cat nip "Da Mind Buzz". I don't think Buzz knows it but he is being used as a walking billboard for their product.
I noticed Buzz always sits up on the barns roof next to the air vent most of the time. Sometimes after too much huffing I see him wandering aimlessly trying to get down. One day I actually saw him walk off the edge of the roof flapping his paws thinking he could fly like a bird. Only if his tail wasn't packing so much extra weight I actually think he could have made it to the tree in Lolita's yard. When he hit the ground he looked around to make sure no one saw him out of his cool cat mode. I've had that same problem when my people give me one of those cute pink mice filled with cat nip. That is the only time I am not in complete control of my master of the universe attitude. I have done some strange things while under the influence. One time I came too in a dark place half full of awful smelling water. Luckily when I pushed up on the top lid I was able to escape. However some of my most creative Litter Clump Art has come from a cat nip high. I need to try inhaling from the barn vent sometime to see what wondrous art awaits.
Just writing this short story has made me feel a lot better. I shouldn't have talked about that great toilet escape though. The urge to go drink some fresh water from our toilet is overwhelming! What is next; a padlock and alarm on the seat? Support told me to get one of those hanging bowl fresheners that smell like moth balls. It seems to gag me every time I get close to it. Thank God I'm not in this rehab alone.
Max's Pick of the Litter Clump Art
Milo the Alien Experiment Gone Bad
During step #5 of CHA rehab I need to face up to a demon from my life as Max da Cat. Last night I went to the dog track knowing it was a hurdle I needed to get over. As the greyhounds came streaking by I found myself hiding under my seat in a fetal position. My CHA sponsor pried me from under the seat and drove me home. He said I needed to get back at CHA to see if they would allow me a do over on this step. All I could think about was an event that took away one of my 9 lives. This morning I will take time to jot down this story to help curb my anxiety and let go of this déjà vu moment.
All was quiet along my Western Fence Line; until last week. New people were moving in next door and were starting major construction in their back yard. Satisfying my cat curiosity I joined Buzz on top of the Buzz Barn for a cat’s eye view of what was going on. The sweet cat nip aroma coming from the vent made the construction a far out experience for several days.
(Day #1) Workers started to bulldoze the perimeter of the yard leaving a large circle untouched in the center. Buzz and I were certain they were putting in a pool or a large sand box as a center point. I was hoping for a sand box with powdery white sand which would be ideal formy clump art experiments. That afternoon we were puzzled when concrete was poured in the excavated area. My sand box dream was beginning to fade but didn’t care when I was feeling so mellow.
(Day #2) All of the fencing was reinforced with steel rods and work was started stringing razor wire around the top of the fence. I was sure they were putting it up to keep us cats out of the yard. Later a 3 foot tall piece of Plexiglas was added to the top of the fence. Finally it dawned on Buzz that they were building a compound to keep something in not to keep us out. Both of us were having such a far out time up on the roof. I was very happy the plastic was put up so I didn’t have to worry about Buzz falling into the razor wire.
(Day #3) Things got complicated when work was started on a platform in the center of the yard. The steel support posts for it were buried in 4 feet of reinforced concrete. Later that day some sort of a machine was put on the platform that had two long poles extending out close to the fence. One pole had a large red ball at its end and the other had a heavy leather harness attached to it. Buzz got the far out idea that this was going to be some sort of an amusement ride where someone would be strapped in for target practice on the moving red ball. I was sure he was right when underground wire was run between the platform and electric meter. My mind was racing as I went home for the night and was looking forward to the entertainment the target ride would provide.
(Yesterday) Oh what a day it was! In the morning I was out in my yard putting some clump art out to harden. All of a sudden the fence started shaking violently and a deafening bark rang out. It took me a few minutes to get up the courage to look through a peep hole in the fence. Shocked beyond belief I feel to the ground and my current life flashed before my eyes. Later when I was a born again cat I took another look through the fence. On the other side was a beast with the head of a horse and the ears of an elephant. Snails must be living in its drooping cheeks because slime was dripping profusely from them. All of a sudden it shook its head with those large ears flapping and slime going everywhere. I ducked down thinking a few slugs might come flying at me through the fence. Now I knew the plastic extension on the fence top must be a slime guard.
That afternoon I went over to the Buzz Barn to tease the beast and see what I was up against. Buzz was setting on the roof totally engrossed or maybe he was high on cat nip. This creature was so tall that it could look me straight in the eye from behind the plastic. As it walked away I saw that it had the largest set of rear view eyes I had ever seen on an animal. I warned Buzz that if those eyes ever opened not to look straight at them or he would go nuts and then turn to stones or was it jewels.
Later when it was getting dark two people captured the beast and buckled him in the leather harness. One person held on for dear life and said “whoa Milo whoa boy” while the other person flipped a switch at the electric meter. The fun started when the red ball started to flash on and off. Milo broke loose trying to catch the ball that stayed in front of him on the other pole. Suddenly the ball glowed brighter and all the lights in the house came on. Witnessing this alternate energy experiment was a sobering event. I told Buzz it was a good thing they put down concrete or Milo would have created a deep rut in a matter of hours. Tomorrow I’ll have Alf shed more light on our experience and do some research on this Milo beast.
After some investigation the next morning Alf the All Wise One told me that Milo was a Wal-marteraner. His research showed that this beast is the product of an alien experiment between horses and Wal-Mart people. Alf and I held a moment of silence to honor the horses that gave their lives in this in-breading that went terribly wrong. The Master also told me not to worry about the rear view eyes because they were only used for night rear view vision. Just to be on the safe side; he said it wouldn’t hurt to look away from the green glow the eyes emit in the dark. Buzz may not heed this warning since he is always seeing strange lights while under the influence. I thanked Alf for his enlightenment and headed home exhausted from the loss of a life the day before. It is time to hit the couch, bury my head upside down in my cushy pillow and forget the beast that lurks next door.
Catitude is a trait acquired over only during 9 lives.
Scruffy the Dog All Cats Love
Charlie my Cat-Holics-Anonimous sponsor said that he had sought help from a therapist during his CHA rehab. This sounded like great advice since I am having so many setbacks in my rehab. He recommended his therapist Dr. Wong who helped him through CHA rehab and is helping him with his stuttering. Dr. Wong worked me in the next day and told me that most CHA members had success with hypnotherapy. The good Doctor told me to get comfortable on the couch and I jokingly told him that was no problem for a cat. Soon he started waving a toy mouse on a string in front of my face and said your eyes are getting drowsy. Then he told me to recall my earliest thoughts as a superior cat being. Just as I was starting to paw at the mouse my mind flashed back to a traumatic experience as a kitten.
Four lives and seven years ago a Ford Focus brought me to this new neighborhood and dumped me out. What have I done to suffer so much rejection in my short life? Surly someone will take me in if I just suck it up and put on my cutest kitten face. No one would set out any food for me no matter how annoying I was. After several days I was about ready to give up and throw myself at the mercy of the feral cats hanging around. I was getting so hungry that I passed out under some bushes.
When I came too I couldn't believe it! I was being gently and lovingly carried in the mouth of what I was certain was a mommy cat taking me in. I was dropped off near a large bowl of water and some star shaped pieces of food. The fresh water tasted so good and the food was a little hard for my kitten teeth but it tasted marvelous. With a full belly I soon fell asleep dreaming about my new mommy. Upon waking up I could feel the warmth and soft fur of my mommy. Cherishing the moment it was so good to just snuggle up and think about how my life was going to finally change for the better.
After cuddle time was over Mommy started licking me and getting me all groomed up. I could feel her warm breath on my ears as she cleaned my head. Mom's breath smelled but it was a smell that I was sure I could learn to love. Things just didn't seem right when I looked up to see her face for the first time. Her ears were weighted down with tangles and there was fur where her eyes should have been. When I am older I will groom her ears and give her a complete makeover.
That night a pesky raccoon tried to eat out of my mommies bowl. She defended the bowls and pulled me close to protect me from the intruder. To my surprise she started barking and growling to scare the chattering raccoon away. Now it looked like I would have to manage voice lessons along with a make over some day. Life was starting to get complicated but all I could think about was how great it felt to be loved.
The next morning a person came out to put fresh water and food in the bowls. I hid behind some bushes when I heard the door open. This person patted my mommies head and said "how you doing Scruffy old boy I hope you like the new dog food I got you". Then the person saw me and said "Look what my dog drug home another stray cat". He picked me up and gave me my first tummy rub and head noogie. This person rubbed the sweet spot behind my ears and my mellow motor started to vibrate for the first time. Even though I found out my mommy was a dog named Scruffy; I couldn't wait to be returned to his loving care.
In the afternoon I got my first ride on the wild side. Picking me up in his mouth; Scruff started running around the yard as I was hanging on by the skin of my neck. Telling him when to turn left or right; I kept an eye out for any trees that might jump out at us. As I looked up the breeze was blowing the fur away from his loving brown eyes. We were both having the time of our lives. Several neighborhood cats gathered on top of our fence cheering Scruffy on. I bet he took all of them in at one time and gave them the same loving care I was getting.
Several weeks later the person put Scruffy in a small cage and took him in the house.Saddened I was sure I would never see my Scruff again. That was by far the longest day ever in my short life time. Later I fell asleep even without the warmth of Scruffy next to me. Much to my surprise when I woke up I could feel him close to me and told him how much I had missed him. Something seemed wrong though; he just didn't feel or smell the same. As I looked up in shock all I could say was " you're not my Scruffy who are you". He said it was a real shock to him also the first time he was taken out for a grooming and haircut. Scruff said he wished they wouldn't paint his claws red and put that silly bandanna around his neck. I told him I thought he looked cool and was just happy he was my Scruffy. How relived I felt that I didn't have to worry about that make over I was planning for him.
As I grew larger Scruff just couldn't pick me up any more and life just wasn't nearly as much fun for both of us. One day we heard some people having fun in the yard behind us. Scruffy told me that it was time now for me to find a home of my own and said he had been checked those people out close. Before I knew it he pushed me through a hole he had dug under the fence and told me to put my cutest kitten face on. Those people didn't know what hit them and were in love with me right away. Scooping me up; a handsome man said "I haven't seen you around before you cute little tabby cat". It didn't take long for me to have them hooked and reeled in. Once they started referring to me as Max I knew it was all over for them. Scruffy was howling with joy at the top of his lungs and I felt comfort knowing he would always be just a fence away.