Category: Mr. Monte

SFH Journal: 2019-10-21 through 27 – Vet the Vet

Hi! Mr. Monte here.

Cats know, perhaps even better than humans, the meaning of the adage: “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”

Now you may recall how pleased I was with my introduction to a new veterinary clinic about a month ago. (See Blondie Comes Through – Guilt Assuaged.) At the time, that visit to the new vet left me in a state of relative catly euphoria. But! Cats, especially cats like me who possess notable intellect and shrewd understanding of the real world, must be aware that humans are basically dishonest. They often speak with soothing words, but their real intent is not benign. Blondie and Fuzz Face are no exceptions.

I had mulled over this thought through the intervening weeks. It was inevitable that another visit to the vet would happen. Thursday was the day of reckoning. My two big cats quietly pulled out my carrier and gently urged me to enter, all the while speaking those soothing words. – – My catly senses suddenly alarmed a shrill – Uh-oh!

Within 20 minutes we were once again in the quiet room in the clinic. Once again, classical music was heard in the background. An array of tasty treats were strewn about my paws. I knew, I just knew, they were laying a trap. Then, the Vet came in and spoke softly to my two big cats. I heard the human words “rabies vaccine” and “inspect his ears”.  Uh-oh! Uh-oh! Uh-oh! Uh-oh!

I shan’t bore you with the details. It was not as I expected. The Vet and the Tech quietly, gently, calmly, and professionally did what they had to do. Surely, it was not pleasant, but it was not painful or traumatizing either. It was merely doing what had to be done. In addition to administering the vaccine and probing both ears with cotton swabs, they also administered more tasty treats. In fact, by the time the visit was done, I had almost overdosed on those tender morsels.

Okay, for once Blondie and Fuzz Face spoke the truth when they told me that I have nothing to fear. Perhaps they really are concerned with my better interests. So, for now, I have only two things to say:

  1. I have now vetted the Vet and she is the best Vet yet!
  2. Blondie and Fuzz Face better go out and buy a case of the same treats the Vet gave me or else there are no more amazing tricks by me.

Yes, dear readers, I really did end this post with a seasonal pun – instead of “trick or treat” it is “treats for tricks”!

SFH by the Numbers – Facts & Statistics

SFH Plantings: See SFH 2019 Plantings

SFH Harvest: See SFH 2019 Harvest

SFH Preserving: See SFH 2019 – Preserving – Food for Tomorrow

SFH WX Station Report – Monthly: See SFH Weather Summaries & Statistics

SFH WX Station Report – Weekly:  SFH WX 2019-10-21 through 09-27

 

Blondie Comes Through – Guilt Assuaged

Hi, Mr. Monte here!

Note 1: This post is only to be read by my 23, 417 feline followers. Do Not! I repeat, Do Not! allow your humans to view the TOPCAT SECRET content herein.

Note 2: This post should not be read without first referring to my post Indignity – Mr. Monte’s Day with the Vet

Yesterday, September 26, stands alongside my birthday two days earlier as a truly great day! Blondie came through! – – No more Dr. Dog-man!!! – – Happy days are here again!

It all began mid-morning. Ol’ Fuzz Face went through his hilarious routine of trying to round me up and get me inside my cat carrier. First, he tries to distract me. Then, he goes into his stealth mode, sneaking up on me. Foolish, foolish human! Once I tire of his manifest idiocy, I just walk over to the carrier – all the time he’s thinking he’s outwitted me.

I must say that I experienced some anxiety when we got into the car instead of the RV. There are only two places they take me for rides – the dump (I’ve never figured that one out) or to Dr. Dog-man’s veterinary practice. – But, to my ever so minor dismay, we passed both places by. – Blondie & Fuzz Face had managed to capture my attention – where were we going???

The ride took about 25 minutes. Blondie rode in the back to attend to my needs. Then we arrived at what looked like a common residential home. The waiting room was definitely that of a veterinary clinic, but it was unusual. The air was filled with the smell of humans and cat, but no other animals whatsoever. I did my best to relax in this entirely new environment.

Suddenly, there were two human females with a juvenile feline in their hands. – My interest was immediately piqued. There was a question concerning the gender of this fuzzy black juvenile. One human gently lifted the tale of the juvenile feline. Her head leaned to the left, then to the right, then back again. She, not so confidently, announced that this was a “girl”.

Of course, by this time my body had gone rigid and my gaze was locked onto the juvenile feline – Friend or Foe? – Playmate or threat? – But, beyond those simple instinctual questions, I had to ask – how can you not be sure if it’s a girl. All they had to do was ask me. – – Humans, I just can’t figure them out. They get paid even if they don’t know the most basic things – like girl or boy?

Then I was taken to a room – a room about the size of a bedroom – a room not unlike a human child’s room. Fuzz Face put my carrier down and opened the door. As he was doing that, a human female walked in and did the strangest thing – she sat on the floor. Despite her sitting position, I knew that she was a veterinary technician. In my usual response to all in the veterinary profession, I hissed and bared my teeth. That’ll show her who’s in charge.

Rather than lurch back in mortal terror, she merely sat in place and smiled at me. Huh? I had to investigate. So, I left the security of my carrier and circled the room two or three times. She continued to smile and talk with my humans. “What’s up here?”

In a short while, another human female entered the room, and she too sat on the floor, right on my level. She also smiled at me and addressed me in a very pleasant low tone. After a while, she attempted to have me play with some cat toys – I was too smart for that ploy. But it wasn’t a ploy. She was willing to play.

Oh, and before I forget, both of the human females offered me yummy cat treats. I knew that had to be a ploy. But, no, that wasn’t a ploy either. The just left them on the floor. I could have any or all that I wanted, no strings attached. Again I said, “What’s up here?”

After a long while (no one seemed to be in a rush), I got the idea that I should check out the second human. To my surprise, I discovered that she was a veterinarian, but not like Dr. Dog-man – she had cat skills, very well developed cat skills. So, as I sidled up alongside her, she stroked me gently and sincerely. “Could this really be?”

In the background, I could even hear classical music just like Fuzz Face plays when he’s at work or writing a post. – It was like being home.

She let me smell a metal disc thing connected to a tube. I sniffed and felt no threat. Slowly she put the disc near my heart and listened – she smiled at what she heard. After that she looked at me as if asking “May I?” Then she looked at my teeth, just a simple look.

Then I was urged to get onto the thing I dread most – the weight scale. The numbers went round and round, up and down and finally stopped at 19.  She smiled approvingly. There were no words of reproof.

I ate some more snacks while the humans talked about my favorite subject – me.

All too quickly the visit had come to an end. I had been to my first visit at a veterinary practice that understands cats – important cats like me.

I don’t remember the ride home. I was in cat heaven, and in my memory I have been there all day. And, had you come to Serendipity Farmhouse today this what you might have seen.

Now, to my 23, 417 feline followers, here is the lesson to be learned about human behavior. Humans have something we cats don’t have and would consider a weakness if we did – GUILT.

(Be advised, dogs, because of their long, subservient relationship with humans, also have guilt.)

When we left Dr. Dog-man and his chamber of catly horrors, Blondie saw that I was in the midst of a near nervous breakdown. She saw me tremble with pain from the injections, poking, and prodding. She visibly winced when Dog-man body shamed me due to my weight.

To some extent, Blondie made her decision to seek a new veterinary practice, out of love. But, be assured, she was even more strongly motivated by severe GUILT. She had put me in this position; it was her duty to make it better by finding a “cat friendly practice” where I could be fear-free.

No matter whether it was GUILT or LOVE or both, she finally did the right thing. She went the extra mile. Sleep well tonight, Dearest Blondie, with guilt assuaged and me snuggling close to you.

 

 

 

My Birthday – 2019!

Hi, Mr. Monte here!

As you well know, modesty is perhaps the most well developed of my many virtues. I would never call myself a prideful cat. Today, however, I must admit my attitude and actions could be described as less than humble. Yet, how could it be otherwise? Today was my fifth birthday and today was allllll about meeeee-ow.

Ol’ Fuzz Face and Blondie, for every good and just reason, doted on me today. Each of them greeted me early with sincere birthday wishes – this was a day when my bowl was never empty. Blondie couldn’t have been nicer. Fuzz Face, on the other hand, could always be nicer. Nevertheless, he tried hard to be hospitable.

0924191435b (2)For example, grooming today went on for almost twenty minutes. He did his best to remove a troublesome knot in my fur – a knot that would not have been there if he had groomed me properly before. I guess the nicest thing he did was get me a new box to lounge in while sitting on the porch. (Of course, it was at no cost to him – he stole it from Aldi’s and just threw it on the floor in front of me.) Nevertheless, it is a pretty nice box and I suppose I can forgive him for his cheapness.

Blondie sometimes gets some strange ideas about what type of toys might amuse me. This year, I think she outdid herself in the strangeness department. After Barney, there can’t be a more detestable creature than Gumby. First off, he is green. Next, he’s not so smart. And thirdly, he isn’t all that tasty. I confirmed that today when Blondie gave me Gumby as a present. As you will see below, Gumby is no more. He had a distinct aroma of Play-Doh and the texture of used chewing gum. – – – Maybe, Blondie will get it right next year.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Well, all’s well that ends well, and at least Blondie and Fuzz Face got the annual ice cream ritual right.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Although Blondie had given me a descent size portion of the best ice cream she could find, and I thought that would be enough, I noticed that her portion far exceeded mine in volume and quality. Of course, I had to correct that error in judgement on her part immediately.

0924191726a (2)

Blondie’s wounds should mend fairly soon. Fuzz Face, as usual, hid in a corner until I finished correcting his dear, sweet spouse.

 

Annual High Tea at SFH

Hi, Mr. Monte here!

TP_CountdownToday, Old Fuzz Face and I stand united! It doesn’t happen often, but when it does, its due to a matter of the utmost gravity. – – Both he and I have been watching the countdown register in the left hand margin of this website. For Blondie, the countdown signals the approach of the most important social event of the year here at Serendipity Farmhouse – the SFH Annual High Tea.

DSC_0293For Fuzz Face and me, however, this countdown proclaims the imminent arrival of the most undesirable prospects of intense servile labor and a series of supreme indignities.

In her endeavor to have the “best” tea party ever, I will be unceremoniously removed from my favorite resting place on the dining room table. I will be chided severely for each and every one of the elegant tufts of hair that falls from my wondrous coat of fur and lands on counters, floors, carpets, and chairs. Ultimately, on the disastrous Day Zero, Fuzz Face and I will be banished to El Camino Del Monte, our Class C RV, to spend the day “out of sight and out of mind”. When Son #1 arrives and completes his menial tasks of chauffeuring his wife and daughters and carrying a multitude of items into the house, he too will be forced into exile in the RV.

I don’t quite understand Fuzz Face’s response to this event. Normally, he is one to whine and complain. During these terrible female events, though, he takes on a different attitude. No matter what Blondie tells him to do, no matter how degrading it might be, he always answers with a wimpy “Yes, Dear – Anything you say, Dear.” For some reason, Blondie shows great irritation whenever he says this. – – I’m surprised at his defiance and audacity in the face of certain reproof and reprisal from Blondie. – – All I can say concerning his uncharacteristic bravery is, “You’re a better man than I am, Gunga Din.”

Series_of_photographs_showing_the_Westchester_County_Thrift_Shop_and_the_many_activities_conducted_-_(3856223710)By the way if you’re wondering about that featured image. Old Fuzz Face and I secretly hid a camera in the dining room during last year’s SFH High Tea. Both Fuzz Face and I agree that it would be unwise to place the names under the various attendees. – – That would be certain extinction for both of us.

So, we’ll keep counting the days, but not to when the High Tea will take place, rather to the day when it is over and we can safely come out of hiding.

 

 

SFH Journal: 2019-08-04 through 11

Hi, Mr. Monte here! – – Old Fuzz Face is once again trying to convince all at Serendipity Farm House that he has been overworked, is bone-weary, and is generally incapable of performing any task, no matter how minor. – – He even pleads to be spared from bringing in a single, 40 pound bag of cat litter. – – So, I guess I will have to write this post while the old man feigns fatigue and a host of other maladies.

04 August, Sunday (Cat Cousins continued): If you remember my wonderful, enchanting, and ever so truly true post about the two cat cousins Gizmo and Cosmo (refresh you memory here), we were all concerned about how this relationship would develop. Well, as may observe in the picture below, there appears to be a growing affection between the two. You have to understand feline body language, however, to read between the lines and see that this, at best, can only be considered a temporary truce – tolerance is not affection – and it easily wears thin. I’ll keep you updated on how this tense situation finally resolves itself.

0804191710c (2)

05 August, Monday: First full day without Blondie. As you know, Blondie went to see her big sister for a few days. Fuzz Face reacted to the absence in the manner I had anticipated and expected. The lazy lout took almost no heed when I beckoned for his assistance. He had his face stuck in an expressionless trance, staring at that computer screen and calling his actions work. I responded to his lack of attention by splattering, flipping, and tossing cat litter in all directions. I only achieved true satisfaction, when I spread some between his sheets.

06 August, Tuesday: Second full day without Blondie. Once again, Fuzz Face told me that he had to work at his desk. He got away with that for about an hour – then, I bit his leg and said quite clearly, “It’s time to brush Moi!” – – He got the message

07 August, Wednesday: Third full day without Blondie. Fuzz Face said it was another work day and foolishly sat at his desk, thinking I would let him accomplish anything that wasn’t related to me. So, in the most subtle and discreet fashion, I jumped on his lap, climbed on his shoulders, and threatened to bit his ear lobe. I indicated, that when finished, he would have enough piercings to be able to wear more earrings than Blondie and both of his daughters put together. Once again, he got the message. – – I allowed him to brush me for almost half an hour.

Later in the day, I had to save his bacon. He had over seven pounds of tomatoes that he foolishly promised Blondie that he would turn into canned pasta sauce. – – Consider the prospect of that prize dolt attempting to can six jars of pasta sauce – without assistance. Needless, to say, in order to protect the soon to be world famous SFH Test Kitchen from total destruction and ruin I had to direct him in his every move. The idiot almost lost a finger in the blender while pureeing the tomatoes – you really don’t want to know the details.

08 August, Thursday: Blondie’s coming home! It is rumored among humans that, by virtue of her hair color, Blondie has some extra challenges. I don’t hold to that line of thought, but I will say that Blondie is perfectly paired with Fuzz Face. Nevertheless, it is better to have her here, taking care of me, than it is to have her elsewhere, leaving me alone with Fuzz Face. So, when he said to me that today she’s coming home, I immediately got into a better mood. Fuzz Face, on the other hand, went into deep depression. – – He had to clean the house that he had so thoroughly messed up. Not only did he have to clean it, he had to clean it to Blondie’s standards. – the old man was in a compete panic. Sensing that he needed my help, I made sure that the floor throughout the house had layers of cat litter sufficiently deep to trip a circus elephant. – – – Oh, what amazing bliss when Blondie walked in the door – – – She immediately spotted the cat litter and took Old Fuzz Face to task.

09 August, Friday: Perhaps the most important event of the year took place on this day. Blondie and Fuzz Face decided it was time to harvest the grapes from the massive SFH vineyards. You can see the full harvest in the featured picture. It’s most unfortunate that critters and varmints consumed three of the grapes leaving us with only 81% of the original crop. Although a final decision hasn’t been made, yours truly has offered to stomp the grapes. Nowhere else in the world could you get fine wine made from grapes masterfully processed by the four large paws of a handsome 20-pound Maine Coon cat. The wonderful vintage of 2019 should, of course, be called SFH Cat’s Paw Wine. (We were going to copyright the name, but found a winery in South Carolina already has it. Perhaps we’ll just call it Monte-ster Mash)

10 August, Saturday: Life was getting better with Blondie back at home. It was getting better until Friday night when Fuzz Face decided he was going to take me out to the RV with him. I was not enthused. – – But, then I thought about it. If I go out with Fuzz Face, he and I could play. He would be a captive audience – captive in more ways than one. So, we played all night long. I purred and rubbed up beside him and showed my teeth, and we played some more. – – – We came back in at 4:30AM and I slept all day. — Blondie added to my enjoyment of the experience by working Fuzz Face nearly to exhaustion.

11 August, Sunday: This was a day of rest. I did, however, take some pleasure in chasing Blondie up the stairs. She threatened to throw her pink flip flop at me, but I’m so cute she couldn’t follow through.

So, the weather continues hot and dry. Here are the stats.

SFH by the Numbers – Facts & Statistics

SFH Plantings: See SFH 2019 Plantings

SFH Harvest: See SFH 2019 Harvest

SFH Preserving: See SFH 2019 – Preserving – Food for Tomorrow

SFH WX Station Report – Monthly: See SFH Weather Summaries & Statistics

SFH WX Station Report – Weekly: See SFH WX 2019-08-05 through 11

SFH Journal: 2019-07-08 through 14 – Cat Cousins

0619191925c (3)

Hi! Mr. Monte here. Ol’ Fuzz Face was complaining (as usual) about the heat and other discomforts of Summer in Virginia. The last time I saw him, he was huddled up next to an air conditioner, sucking on an overly expensive bottle of Perrier mineral water. So, if he can’t handle the heat, then I guess I will have to write this post. – – Maybe that’s just as well, because the topic today is Cat Cousins, something he knows little or nothing about.

Highlight: Blondie and Fuzz Faces’s Daughter #2 has just blessed the extended family with a new Cat Cousin. “Cosmo” is just a little tyke, all black and grey, and full of that usual, juvenile feline cuteness. (By the way, mine never went away.)

Daughter #2 already had “Gizmo”, a decent enough fellow, who is one year my senior. I won’t dispute his seniority in this space, but I will staunchly assert my claim to full authority over all Cat Cousins in the family. They may be cute, but I rule.

In any event, we cats are somewhat territorial and consider ourselves masters of our established domains. Although the picture suggests that Gizmo is adapting to Cosmo’s presence, there will surely be some tensions in the household for a while to come. At this point, all I can say to Gizmo and Cosmo is: “Lots of luck, fellas, and don’t ever try setting a foot onto my territory here at Serendipity Farmhouse!”

By the way, my other Cat Cousins include “Blossom” & “Cinder”, now residing happily with Daughter #1. Fuzz Face tells me they are sweet and adorable. Meanwhile, Son #1 and family are proudly owned by my Cat Cousin “Erso”. Rumor has it that she is quite nice as well.

Oh, I guess right about now Ol’ Fuzz Face would say check out the links below. The garden is producing in great abundance and my two big cats seem to be pleased.

SFH by the Numbers – Facts & Statistics

SFH Plantings: See SFH 2019 Plantings

SFH Harvest: See SFH 2019 Harvest

SFH WX Station Report: See SFH Weather Summaries & Statistics

 

 

Daring Dairy – The Next Generation

Mr. Monte here!

What a very pleasant, relaxing, and refreshing week this has been. Instead of having to sit up in that stuffy, dark office with Old Fuzz Face, I have had the great good fortune to have adorable, intelligent, and enchanting Granddaughter #3 here at Serendipity Farmhouse to visit me. Oh, to be sure, she spent some time with Fuzz Face and Blondie because she is a devoted granddaughter, but she really came to see me.

Because she is rather new at writing posts, she kindly asked me to assist her in telling you about how she has become the very first of her generation in this family to study and begin to master the difficult and demanding arts of “Daring Dairy”.  In this case, she wants to tell you how she took the challenge to make authentic homemade butter. (If you care to see what that entails, refer to the post Julia, Butter & Serendipity Farmhouse.)

So, with no further expository prattle, let me relate the story to you as she dictates the highs and lows of her butter making experience to me.

Hi! I’m new at this, but Mr. Monte is helping, so I don’t think much can go wrong. It all started when we were shopping in Wegmans. Granny told Granddad to get some heavy whipping cream. Granny then turned to me and said Granddad is going to show you how to make butter. – – I think I said something like, “That sounds like fun … it would be neat to try.”

By the time we got to Serendipity Farmhouse, we had to make supper and eat. So, it was too late to make butter. We’d have to wait until tomorrow.

The next day, in the early afternoon, Granny and Granddad said that it was time to make butter. Granddad joked with me and made it sound like butter making was really hard and I was going to have to do everything. Then, I found out he wasn’t joking. He gave me all the utensils and showed me how to use them. I guess he was showing me:

Step 1 – Prepare Utensils & Ingredients

Preparing the utensils wasn’t really that hard. Actually, it was rather easy. So, I wondered why was Granddad telling me it was going to be so hard.

Well, all I had to do was to wait and then the hard part came to me. It was:

Step 2 – Churning the Cream

It was then that Granddad said the next thing to do is “churn the cream”. He said it wouldn’t take too long. One time, he had made butter in four minutes. What Granddad didn’t tell me was, one time it took him almost half an hour of churning. So, I began to churn. And I continued to churn. Then, I churned some more. Granddad stood beside me and just smiled.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Then, still with a smile on his face, Granddad started taking pictures of me churning and churning and churning. My wrist began to hurt. My fingers became a little numb. And my legs began to ache from standing in one position for so long. – – Granddad took some more pictures.

It seemed like 40 minutes of churning, and churning, and churning. But, Granddad pointed to the clock on the stove and said, “No, no it hasn’t been 40 minutes.” Then I looked at the clock and saw it was only about eight minutes. – – Granddad just smiled. Granny was nearby and she just smiled. Mr. Monte had been watching and he was rolling on the floor. – – I think he was laughing.

Step 3: – Rinsing the butter

The rest was easy. Granddad helped me scoop the butter out of the churn and then we put it into the butter dish. – – I had made butter! – – As Granddad would say, “The pictures show that this story is all true!”

0602191440c_HDR (2)

Now, when you use 10 ounces of heavy whipping cream to make butter, you get 4 ounces of butter and 6 ounces of something very special – – fresh, sweet, tasty butter milk. As our reward for the hard work making the butter, Granny divided the butter milk in two cups and Granddad and I drank it all down. – – If you every have the chance to drink fresh butter milk, do it. You won’t be disappointed.

0602191442_HDR (2)

Hi, again! Mr. Monte here. Tomorrow, Granddaughter #3 has to go back home. I guess there won’t be much to do around here when she goes. It’s going to be a little lonely. I think I”m going to miss her. After all, Maine Coon cats have big feelings.

 

 

 

So Beautiful – She has left us too soon!

Hi! Mr. Monte here.

0316191617 (2)
Mr. Monte and his mean, grumpy face

What a very sad day this is. She was my YouTube idol. Though a few years my senior, I knew that if I ever we were to meet in person, she would fall for me instantly. She was a true beauty and a role model. Whenever old Fuzz Face would make a wrong move, I would give him me well-practiced Grumpy Cat look. He would back off and begin to tremble.

590px-Grumpy_Cat_by_Gage_Skidmore

Yet, that is the way it is in the feline world. Grumpy Cat (Tardar Saucue) was only given a very short time among us. Yet, as we all know,  she lived life to the fullest, never failing to let others know exactly what she thought of them. And, dear readers, that is the way I shall live my life.

Grumpy – I will miss you!

Thank you to Gage Skidmore and his picture of my sorely missed Tardar Sauce on Wiki Commons.

SFH Journal: 2019-02-17 through 22

Highlight: Hi! Mr. Monte here. We had some winter weather this week. Old Fuzz Face and Blondie were totally involved in their “Biscuit Boondoggle” and entirely missed what was going on outside.

I took the opportunity to go up to my room (yes, I have my own room) and surveyed my realm from the northeast window.  This is what I saw. Continue reading “SFH Journal: 2019-02-17 through 22”