Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Our Favorite Reads For August: "Never Knowing" and "Iron House"

Gerard's Favorite for August is Never Knowing by Chevy Stevens
Chevy Stevens has done it again.  Just when I thought she couldn't do better than Still Missing along comes Never Knowing.  I loved her first book but think this one is actually way better!  There is lots of action and once I started it, I did not want to put it down.  I thought the ending was incredible!  I give this book a triple WOW factor--it's that good!  For sure this will be my book of the month and possibly my best book of this year!

Karen liked it too:
Never Knowing by Chevy Stevens kept me turning pages and not wanting to put this down.  It is a suspenseful story about an adopted woman, Sara, who tells her psychiatrist about finding her biological parents.  Sara is a single mom who refinishes furniture, has a 6-yr.-old daughter and lives with her fiancee, Evan.  Neither Sara’s mother nor father are at all what she had hoped for or expected.  Her mother, a college professor, was not happy she tracked her down at all and then Sara found out her biological father is a serial killer still on the loose!  Her world gets crazy when he calls her and says he’d like to get to know her.  He never knew he had a daughter!  This book is gripping, emotional and puzzling.  I finished it in just two days and think it would be a great read for a book club.  I highly recommend it! 

Karen's Favorite: Iron House by John Hart

Iron House by John Hart is a well-written novel that is a combination of suspense, mystery, drama and love. It is about two brothers who lived at an orphanage called “Iron House” until one was adopted by a senator and his wife (Julian), and the other took off on his own to protect his brother (Michael). Michael grew up tough and got into organized crime, but when he fell in love with Elena and wanted to leave to go straight. Giving up killing though wasn’t easy, especially when they didn’t want to let him go.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Our Free New Chairs Arrived!

Spunky Doodle is on the floor next to the left one.

We are excited about our first furniture that we bought since we've been married. Today is our 14th wedding anniversary and they arrived Saturday. Spunky Doodle approves of them too. She let me hold her on my lap sitting in the new chair. They rock and swivel. These are the chairs we bought with Gerard's $1,000 gift card that he got from work.

We had a bit of excitement though when they were delivered.  We were their first delivery at 9 a.m. so I came home right after eating breakfast at Hometown Buffet and Gerard walked over to the library.  The truck was there a bit ahead of me.  I tried taking Abby to the basement, but she turned around and ran out!  I didn't realize the movers had propped open both doors--the outside front door AND our inside one to the living room..  She took off across the street and I followed but then she came right to the delivery guy and he brought her back and I put her leash on right away.  Then I thought about the cats!  I hurried to close the door of the computer room where Manny was lying and then followed Spunky Doodle (who had come into the dining room by then) upstairs with Abby to close Spunky in the den.  By the time I got back down, both chairs were in place and all I had to do was sign the form.  Whew! 

From now on, anytime workers come over, I am going to put Abby on a leash.  She doesn't like to be banished in rooms alone so I guess this is the next best thing.  I was very upset with her.  Fortunately we live on a side street with very little traffic and no cars came but we really must work more on that stay command!  I told her I wouldn't tell her daddy.  Hope he doesn't read this, but if he does, oh well.

Related Post:  "My Stressful Day Cost $580" and "40-Year Anniversary Surprise"

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Monday, August 29, 2011

Abby and Gerard Do The Agility Course!

Since we got Abby, I've been hoping for the opportunity to try her out on an agility course and this month we got the chance at a picnic for Sr. Dogs.  The dog trainer assisted as we went along, Gerard with Abby and me with the camera.  I missed the first two obstacles, stepping over a bar which she did with no problem at all and going through the long tunnel.  Once the trainer got her head inside the tunnel, she ran through quickly to Gerard at the other end.  I was very proud of her!

I took her through again a bit later and using treats, she did everything without assistance.  I skipped the tunnel though because I didn't want to chance her being off leash in the open park with all the other dogs near by.  She even walked across the little bridge obstacle when I held the treat in front of her to coax her along.  I'm sure she would catch on fast if we pursued this activity.

Some of the other dogs I was watching didn't want anything to do with the obstacles.  I think she did great for her first time!  Gerard cracked me up at the end when he crawled through the last obstacle.  You have to watch the video.  He's the one in the dark blue shirt with no fur.

Doesn't this look like fun?  Woof!  Woof! Find more pet posts at Pets Forever or link up yours: Pet Pride

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Sunday, August 28, 2011

Your Blogroll Could Cause Problems

Detective Harley (Used by Permission)

Last Friday, I and many others were shocked when we tried to visit Daisy the Curly Cat and got the message it was an attack site! This just made no sense at all and was outrageous. I quickly fired off an email to let her know. Detective Harley got on the case quickly. It turned out the cause was that one of the blogs on her blogroll had been hacked and because she was linked to it, Google decided her site was an attack site. I admit I don't understand exactly how this works or how a blog can get "hacked" but when Daisy removed that one (Shoot Me from her blogroll, she contacted Google through their Webmaster tools to review her blog and remove the attack warning. It did get removed the same day, thank goodness.  

Do any of you ever use our blog roll? If not, I may just remove ours too and rely on the Google reader, although often I get the ridiculous message that says "I'm not following anyone."  I hesitate doing this because I follow many more than what I have on my blogroll--these are my favorites that I like to visit regularly. Do I really need these hassles? Maybe I should just stop blogging altogether! What are your thoughts on this?  Naturally, Daisy was shocked and extremely upset by this. You really should go see her reaction by clicking the above link in this post. 

Related Posts:  7 Things I Like About Blog Rolls

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Friday, August 26, 2011

7 Things We Learned This Week 34 of 2011 (books, movie, KIVA, game, blogging, dogs, Thome)


We finally reached 200 followers on this blog this week (yippee) but then lost one (oh no)!  I wonder how many of them actually read it though.  I picked up one after that though so I am happy to be at 200 followers again!


I am so excited that I found out this week the the second KIVA loan I made is being paid back already! I loaned to a man in Peru who needed a new roof on his house.

Authors Card Game

I learned over at The Goat that The Authors card game has different variations and has been in constant production for over 60 years. I still have mine from my childhood.

"The Help" movie

We went to see the movie "The Help" last Sunday and the theater was packed! By the time we got there, there were only seats left together in the first three rows. It was entertaining and followed the book very closely. The acting was superb! The only thing we didn't like was sitting 20 minutes through all the other movie previews. If you haven't read the book or seen the movie, we highly recommend both (it does have some bad language which I was able to ignore and still enjoy the movie)!

Kidnapping Dogs!

According to USA TODAY, there are thieves who actually kidnap dogs (most often Yorkies and Pomeranians)to get money! NEVER leave your dog alone outside or in a car.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

What Kind Of Jungle Animal Are You?

We took the quiz, what about you?

Gerard is an Elephant

You always think before you talk. You consider your words carefully.

You are very observant and are always collecting data. You have a sharp and extensive memory.

You seek meaning and purpose in every part of your life. An empty life terrifies you.

You are reserved about expressing your true self. You are shy around strangers.

Karen is a Zebra

People gravitate toward you. You are usually the happiest person in the room.

You are a unifying force. You bring people together from many different walks of life.

You are a joy to be around, and people love you for being exactly who you are.

You are totally comfortable with where you are in life. You accept yourself and your life circumstances.

Why not take the quiz and copy your results into a comment?  Let's see how many different animals we can get!

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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Story Time by Manny and Spunky

Sometimes when our humans go to the library, they bring back some picture books. These are very short and Karen will read them to us. Where The Wild Things Are, City Dog, Country Frog and The Cow Loves Cookies were some we liked. Karen made this video of her reading “The Cow Loves Cookies” to us. Manny was wandering all over while she read but I sat up on top of the wardrobe listening to most of the story from up high. You can see Manny’s pretty eyes real good in the video when he jumps up by the camera. We’d love to hear what you think of the story.

We recommend all of these!
Karen posted this video at Grab A Book From Our Stack blog because she didn’t think a written review would do this book justice.

Do you ever read to your pets?  It's fun reading childrens books sometimes.  They are short and often will make you laugh.

You can read short stories like this online at We Give Books and choose a project to receive free books for every book you read on that site!  So far Karen has read for the Jump Start Project and for Chicago City Schools.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Never Fear, We Aren't Starving!

We were glad we got such nice comments on Gerard's humorous Friday video post and were touched by the concern some showed by their comments.  If you haven't read the comments, you should.  As suggested by Rebecca, this is our follow-up post after we did our food shopping on Saturday to let you all know we really aren't starving.

pizza, salad, milk, V8 Fusion, peperoni cheese bread, cheese, strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, yogurt, whole wheat bread, silk chocolate milk

We added more ice cream:  Turkey Hill's chocolate marshmallow, chocolate peanut butter and party cake.

Trail mix, V8 juice, 12 packs of gum (this should last us for 2 weeks), more cereal, more Fiber bars
We also have some bakery sitting on our counter too:  raspberry oat bars.  So, if you plan to visit us, it's best to come early in the week.  (We had peanut butter and jelly too on Friday, but Gerard forgot to show you that.)  If you missed seeing Gerard's video and want a laugh, it's just the post before this one. 

How often do you grocery shop?  Do you pretty much get the same things every time? 

Related Posts:  6 Grocery Shopping Tips For Speed and Efficiency
How To Keep Grocery Bags From Tipping
Living With No Stove--A Good Decision!

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Friday, August 19, 2011

How We Know It's Friday

Gerard told me he wanted to do a video for our blog so I followed him to the kitchen and this is the video he did. We usually only buy food that we need for the week but I guess he thinks we should get more. He doesn't mention in the video that the big bag of dog food is almost empty. We have to get some more tomorrow. Hope you got a chuckle from this and don't run out of food at your house!

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4 Things We Learned This Week 33 of 2011 (Cleveland, sports, words)

Avengers Movie

This week I can look out my bosses' office windows and see the filming of scenes for "The Avengers." Monday we heard explosions and this is the video from showing what we saw from our office. It was strange seeing NYPD police cars in front of our building too! I heard they filmed it here in Cleveland because the city was willing to block off streets for them and New York wasn't.

What interesting thing can you see from your window?

Go Browns!  Go Patriots!  Go Bucks!


It was fun watching the first pre-season game last Saturday and seeing how well the offensive line did. Our QB, Colt McCoy went 9-10 on passing during the first half when he was in and they scored two TDs. I know it's only pre-season and the Packers were not probably doing the best they could, but still, it's nice to beat the champions and winning always feels better than losing, even in pre-season.  Colt McCoy wrote a book that we have ordered from the library. 

600 Home Runs!

So glad Jim Thome (former Cleveland Indian) hit 600 home runs--he's a player who has class and always plays hard for the love of the game! He's one of my favorite players so just had to post about this!


My new term I learned this week is SWAG. Did you know it stands for "Stuff We All Get" which refers to free things? I didn't either until I read "It's Really Over" at Controlling My Chaos.

Stop by Half-Past Kissin' Time for more Friday Fragments or to link up some of yours!

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Thursday, August 18, 2011

That Was Awkward (Writers Workshop)

I went to the shortest graduation party ever last Sunday.  I left at 3:30 and got home by 4:00!  The party was only about three minutes away from our house which was for two sisters but I only knew one of them.  It had just finished pouring rain and so when I got there, everyone was inside, all 9 adults and a couple little kids.  I brought a card but they weren’t expecting any so didn’t have any designated spot.  Someone brought over a cardboard box and said I could put it in there, but I was afraid it would be tossed out by mistake.  After all, I had included a check in the card so really wanted some assurance the graduate would get it.  I couldn’t give it to her myself because she was out of town and missed her own party!

I only knew one person there, the younger sister so chatted with her some.  I did enjoy meeting their two dwarf cats who came over for me to pet them, the highlight of the party.  They were normal size except had very short legs.  I never saw cats like that before and liked petting them up.  Their fur was very soft and fluffy.  The mother kept telling me not to feel like I had to stay so I left after about 20 minutes before the burgers were even grilled.  I stood the whole time because it wasn’t a big place and I figured I wasn’t going to stay very long.

I’m not sure who felt more awkward though, me or the hostess.  It was just strange.

This is in response to Mama Kat's Workshop prompt to write about an awkward moment.

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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Yay For Jim Thome On Hitting 600 Home Runs!

My Thome Indians Shirt--still wear it!

I hated to see Jim Thome leave the Cleveland Indians, but understood why he did it. He certainly had the right to go to the team that would pay him more. He is a powerhouse! I am so happy that he got 600 home runs and did it without steroids! He is such a nice guy from Illinois, a farm boy. A clean cut, All-American sports hero and a great role model.

When he was on the Indians, he was one of my favorites. He got his 599th and 600th in the same game! Only four others in 100 years of baseball have done this who did not use steroids: Hank Aaron, Babe Ruth, Willie Mays and Ken Griffey Jr.

You can read more about this classy ballplayer at

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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Fun Show: "Take The Money And Run!" on ABC

I love watching the new show, "Take The Money And Run" on ABC Tuesday nights. I am taping this series! The premise of the show is to give two people a brief case full of $100,000 in which they have one hour to hide it. Then they are "arrested" and interrogated by real interrogators (Mary Stone and Paul Bishop) and two cops try to find it within 48 hours. If they find it, the cops get the money but if they can't find it, then the two people who hid it keep the money. The cops are given the cell phone record, use GPS tracking and any receipts for items bought.

The first week was two brothers who buried the brief case in a city park and made lots of phone calls to different people so the cops would waste time tracking the people they called. It would have worked, except the one brother caved in and told the interrogator where they hid the money because he couldn't stand being alone in the cell any longer and wanted out. What a goof!

The second episode was a married couple who simply called the wife's sister and had her call another guy (I think their brother) to let them hide the money in his house. He was okay with it and they parked six blocks away and ran to the house to hide the cash way up on top of some cabinet. Then they drove a lot and stopped at a gas station for something to drink. This couple did not crack and the cops had no idea where the money was. The interrogators were frustrated because they knew the couple was lying to them but didn't know what the truth was and had no clues for the cops.

I love this show! It's fun to guess who will win and see how both sides think.

Click this link: Take The Money And Run to see the full episodes. Tonight's episode will be two sisters in Miami hiding the money. You should watch!

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Sunday, August 14, 2011

Thursday Was "Be Mean To Spunky Day?" by Spunky Doodle (AWWW Mondays)

See patch of fur missing on my right leg?
Last Thursday Karen acted very strange so I KNEW something was up, just didn't realize how bad it would be! I've been having a rough few weeks and Thursday was THE WORST! For three weeks, Karen has been trying to clean out my right ear since the vet said there was some bacteria in it and it looked like I might have a slight ear infection.

At supper time, first she stuck a cotton ball in my right ear with Epi-Otic Advanced solution on it and spun it all round. I let her do this though because I was hungry and knew I would get my food afterwards. But then, before my second helping a few minutes later, she stuck in a pointy thing and squirted Dermalone Ointment which always startled me. On Thursday, I got the bad news that she has to keep doing this but wait longer between the cleaning and the squirting. My ear wasn't cleared up at all! All that for nothing because she didn't wait long enough between cleaning and squirting!

But wait, that's not all. I had to get my teeth cleaned.  I knew something was up when I didn't get any breakfast.  I always get breakfast at 4:50 a.m. but not Thursday.  Is it any wonder I didn't want to go into that carrier? Do you blame me? I was so hungry!  She shoved me in and off we went early in the morning.  You can see it all on this video called "The Cat Carrier Challenge" (I actually evaded longer than this, but Karen edited some out for you).

Friday, August 12, 2011

5 Things We Learned This Week 32 of 2011 (cats, money, movie, Twitter)

How To Get Manny (my cat) into the Carrier

I set the carrier in my den a week before his vet appointment and each morning threw in some of his breakfast food. He would walk in and nothing bad happened. I didn't even close the door. When it was time to go to the vet, I threw in some food and he walked right in. Success! Good job, Manny! A full post about our vet trip will be coming next week . . . I hope.  Here's the link to my video showing both cats getting into the carrier:  The Cat Carrier Challenge of 8-11-11.

We Pay That Much For The Paper?

We get the PLAIN DEALER newspaper every day but Gerard saw the bill and was surprised at how much it costs. Now we cut it back to weekends only.

The HelpThe Help

The movie, "The Help" is now showing at a theater nearby. That is one movie we both want to go see.  Are you planning to go?  Did you read the book?  Read our review of the book:  The Help by Kathryn Stockett.


I finally got a $5.00 coupon for something we actually use: Science Diet cat food. Only problem is, I waited too long to use it and noticed it expired last Sunday. Duh!

Twitter Pics

I tried loading a picture on Twitter by clicking the little camera ikon in the bottom left corner of the tweet box on the home page to attach a picture and it worked!  The Older Geek wrote an entire post on "How To Tweet A Photo" today.

Find more Friday Fragments and link up yours at Half-Past Kissin' Time.

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Wednesday, August 10, 2011

A Cool Bridge At The Park

I like pictures of bridges so thought I would take some of the suspended bridge at the Fernhill picnic area on the Big Creek Parkway where we often go.
This is the view as we approach the bridge.

It actually hangs on wires and bounces as we walk on it.  The water was pretty high because we just had a big storm a couple nights ago.  I took this after we crossed it.  I think this is my best picture of the bridge.

Here is Gerard and Abby on the bridge.

A man we didn't know offered to take our picture together!  I am not that fat.  I had my cell phone, the camera case, my keys and some dog treats in my pockets which made them bulge out.
Which picture do you like best?  Do you like bridges too?  Do you have any cool ones nearby you?

(This post was inspired by the Goat's post about a green bridge.)

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Tuesday, August 9, 2011

3 Strange Sights That Made My Jaw Drop and Eyes Pop

Saturday Grocery Shopping

One Saturday while shopping at Giant Eagle, we saw a young, skinny woman grocery shopping in her white sports bra with sweat pants! Yes, I stared at her. She must have thought she looked good and wanted to show off her bones or she wouldn’t go out in just a bra. I couldn’t believe she came to the store dressed like that. I expect to see women in sports bras if they are working out at a gym on a hot day, but not to shop. What do you think?

At Work

One of my co-workers was showing me the different nail polish her daughter put on for her. The littlest finger looked really ugly, like it was all chipped and she said “that’s the Crackle nail polish that is the latest trend.” I quit wearing nail polish because it always chipped and I would be embarrassed. Now they actually make nail polish to look chipped; can you believe it? What do you think of that?

Waiting at the bus stop during rush hour

Didn't get a picture of the guy, but that is the corner where he was.
This is the strangest sight yet! On a main street in downtown Cleveland, while waiting at my bus stop to go home from work one day, I saw a man across the street change his shirt and then his pants! He did not have any underwear on and I could see his butt crack plain as day! What is wrong with people??? I would think even a homeless person would have the decency to at least go into a public restroom to change clothes or at the very least, pick an alley somewhere. Have you ever seen anyone do this on a main street?

What strange things have you seen? I’d love to hear about them.

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Sunday, August 7, 2011

Doing The Rollie Pollie by Abby (AWW Mondays)

I like to take a break along my walks and roll around in the grass in the shade to cool off. Gerard thought you would like to see me doing this so told Karen to get it on video. This time was at Snow Road Park but I usually do it on my evening walks. I'll even do it in the snow!

I found out that sometimes I can get my leash off this way. Karen was very surprised the first time she saw it happen when we were at the park. She quickly grabbed onto my collar and put it back on.  Shortly after this, Karen took me to my vet to get a micro chip inserted so if I ever got separated from them, their chances of getting me back are much greater.   It doesn't hurt, all doggies should get one.  Cats can get them too!

I have a number now and it's in the computer with my address and phone number.  I have another special tag to wear now that came in the mail with my number and a phone number on it that people could call to find out who I belong to.

Spunky Doodle and Manny do the rollie pollie sometimes too, but always in the house and they don't have any collar or leash to worry about.  I do it the best though if I do say so myself.

Did you like my video?  Do you have a micro chip?

For more pet posts, visit Bozo's Pet Pride hop and maybe link up one of yours.  Also be sure to hop through AWW Mondays at Comedy Plus or add one of yours.

Friday, August 5, 2011

5 Things We Learned This Week 31 of 2011 (nails, bears, shoes, charity, comments)


Last Friday I learned that you should soak your nails in water for 10-15 minutes before applying nail polish. Then you should apply 3 coats! We had a ladies spa night at church but I didn't do my nails. I just don't have the patience for it and don't need yet another thing to keep up with. Do you do your nails?

Grizzly Bears

The two new Grizzly Bear cubs at the Cleveland zoo are named Cody and Cooper. We visited them last Saturday for the first time and posted a video. They were fun to watch!

New Balance

According to the Cleveland PLAIN DEALER on Tuesday, the only major tennis shoe made in the U.S. is New Balance. Both Gerard and I like this shoe best so this was good news for us.

Easy Way To Help Someone

I was surprised that only two people expressed an interest in trying out KIVA for free by using my invitation link. KIVA is paying the $25 for people to lend to any of their listed borrowers just to introduce new people to KIVA. I know of two other KIVA members who got not takers on this fantastic limited offer. I don't understand it.


Our comments were down last month at 175. I thought I had decent posts but maybe people are just spending less time visiting blogs. That's what I told myself but then I found that another blogger got the most comments she ever got last month. Now I'm not sure what to think.

Visit Half-Past Kissin' Time for more Friday Fragments and link up some of yours.

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Thursday, August 4, 2011

I Survived Without Pizza!

Last weekend was the first in a very long time that I did not have pizza. We ALWAYS get pizza on Sunday so I can take it to work for lunch on Monday and Tuesday and can’t remember the last weekend when we didn’t get it. I absolutely love pizza because it tastes good, is easy to eat and easy to take for lunch.

Last Saturday, we attended a graduation party and were given two full plates of food to go. Gerard’s loves to cook and is a fantastic party giver. Gerard almost fell over when I suggested we just eat that food instead of getting pizza this week, but readily agreed.

So, can you guess what I had for lunch Monday and Tuesday? I had a roast beef sandwich and it was very good! I knew I could survive without pizza but look forward to having it again this week.

What food do you love so much that you have it the same day every week?

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Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Try Out KIVA for Free!

This is the first person I loaned to through KIVA

That's right, KIVA is offering free trials this week! This is the site where you can loan people $25 increments to help them out. There are many from which to choose from all over the world. The cool thing is that when/if you get paid back, you can re-loan that same $25 again! It really feels good to know you are helping people and at the same time, in my future retirement years I'll still be able to give to help others through this just by re-loaning. Or, if I'm in dire straights, I'll have money coming back to me when I really need it.

Go now and try it out using my link here and I will get a KIVA t-shirt if 5 of you become lenders by August 13: let me know in the comments if you try this out.)

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Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Cat Playtime Again--This Time With The Milk Cap Ring

Sometimes the cheapest toys are the ones the cats like best. This is a video of my cats, Spunky Doodle and Manny, taking turns playing with the blue milk cap ring. I was surprised that Manny played with it because he usually isn't interested in playing with the toy mice or string for very long. He will climb into a box now and then but doesn't stay very long. This little ring kept them amused for 15 minutes! Sorry this is over 5 minutes long but they were both very active.

Spunky ran through the tunnel twice, they both knocked it off the table, Manny hit it under the TV and tried getting it out, they pushed it pounced on it. I was disappointed that neither of them fluffed up their tail. I really wanted to get that! A few days before when Spunky played with it, she fluffed her tail up.

How do you get your cats to exercise?

For more funny stories visit Cats on Tuesdays.

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