Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Great Wide Open

First of all, let me apologize to you, devoted reader, for making you go over a week without news about my interesting life! Hopefully everyone had a happy happy Christmas. I did not get my hamster-in-a-ball or toenails. I've heard that this Mr. Santa Claus can be a bit unreliable at times. I'll have a talk with him when he visits next year. I have been spoiled and cuddled a lot in the last few days, so I guess I can let the lack of a personal assistant slide, too.

I am now the Thorntown Public Library Night Security Watchcat. This is a very favorite job for me, because it means that my door is left open every night. I am free to roam the building, inspect the facilities, and test the wonderful variety of seats (most cushioned!) that the Library has to offer. I have also discovered that my job has many, many more windows than I first suspected!

Originally, the plan included a daytime shift. There's only one problem with that. During the day, there are people all over this place! It's a bit overwhelming! I was doing good, moving from office to office when the library customers got a little too close for comfort, but my coworkers worry about my safety, especially when I try to go Downstairs.

Downstairs is fascinating and scary, all at the same time. The little folks are down there, as well as the Youth Department Staff. Everyone is friendly, but it's a little too much for me to handle. There are four doors Downstairs that lead to the Outside, and if I accidentally run out of one of them, I might not be able to get back in. Still, I am constantly tempted to visit Downstairs, and so my office door is shut a lot during the day.

My job as Night Security Watchcat keeps me very busy in the evenings. I have discovered that I now need to spend much of my day resting up for the following evening. My Assistant Bosses don't understand the difficulties of my evening duties, and have accused me of being a lazy snoozer.

Here I am refreshing myself with a nap, and kindly warming a coworker's seat at the same time.

Next week I will tell you about my Staff Display in the Adult Department. It is all about me. Isn't it always?

'Til next time!


Sunday, December 21, 2008

My letter to Santa

Dear Santa,

I have been very Good this year. I work very hard at my job and I make my coworkers happy. I always use my box, and I rarely chew on the office plants. I am nice to the Thorntown Public Library customers. I have never hissed at them, even if one unexpectedly wakes me from a nap.

I help my coworkers use their mouses and keyboards, and I keep their chairs at a comfortable temperature when they are away from their desks. I recycle paper, if it is conveniently positioned near the recycle box.

I keep myself clean and well-rested so that I am a valuable PR Cat. I pay attention during staff meetings, and keep myself involved in important discussions. I talk to my coworkers constantly, since communication is the key to a friendly and effective workplace.

Here are my Christmas wishes:

1. A selection of cords for my chewing pleasure
2. More Purina Whisker Lickin's Dreamy Duos Shrimp & Tuna Flavor Treats
3. A personal assistant (must give good massages/belly-rubs)
4. Fingernails
5. A hamster (can be in hamster-ball)

I understand that some of these things may be hard to deliver. A personal assistant, for instance, would be difficult to stuff in a sack. A hamster, though, should not be too hard to deliver, especially if enclosed in a hamster-ball. They also make dwarf hamsters, if a standard-sized hamster is too large.

I also realize that I was in Big Trouble not too long ago; however, I would like to point out that the Trouble could have been avoided if I had already received Christmas Wish #1. If my wishes are met, I can almost promise to be the Best Cat on your Nice list next year!

Thanks in advance,


PS--I will try to leave milk and cookies for you (and carrots for the reindeer) on Christmas Eve. . . although we are not supposed to leave food out in the Library. Maybe try the fridge when you stop by.

Friday, December 19, 2008

This has been a very unusual day and I have enjoyed it. Assistant Boss Karen apologized to me for the staff’s being too busy to give me the attention my position as Boss deserves. Seems as though many of the staff are out with winter colds, pneumonia, fog and icy roads, vacations, and Christmas preparations.

I sat at the door and howled after hearing the explanation.

For a while today the Assistant Boss was the only one here besides me, and the phone rang three times before she could get her coat off. Fortunately, Bonnie arrived to help, then Von and Helen and Fern. Fern has retired, but Karen drafted her as a sub today, and I really appreciated it. She praised me to some Friday afternoon quilters who have very nice hands. Karen also invited students in to play with me and that was entertaining even if they are not skilled with the red dot business.

Finally, Karen opened the door. I am perfectly happy moving among the four comfortable chairs in my office and I don’t feel a need to go exploring as long as I can see out the open door. I may sit in the doorway and observe, but I only ventured six feet beyond the doorway. If anyone approached, I ducked back into the sanctuary of my office. My readers need to understand that my door is glass, so I can see outside, but it is the PRINCIPLE of the thing—I felt better today to know the door was open. I was a VERY good cat.

I want to mention a book that is a very interesting read. My friend Tim Nash gave it to the “Library Ladies” for Christmas and it is being passed around my staff before being added to the library collection. I hasten to assure you that although Stephen Baker, the author, knows cats reasonably well, he does not have all the answers. First of all, the TITLE is a real insult: How to Live with a Neurotic Cat. He has also written about living with a neurotic dog, but I suppose it is too much to hope that he might write a book from my point of view and call it “How to Live with a Neurotic Human.”

He does have a wonderful chart that shows there is strong evidence that cats are superior to people. For example, humans have only 5 to 20 million olfactory cells and rarely use them for the purposes of survival, while cats have 67 million olfactory cells and can sniff out a tuna fish sandwich several rooms away. A human’s body structure has 204 bones while a cat’s has 244 bones. The human has a life expectancy of one, while a cat has nine lives.

Baker does have one very wise statement: “Cat’s greatest gift to the owner is that he lends you his presence. That should be more than enough.” He also notes that beds designed for pets are all right for dogs or human infants but that cats require REAL beds. Most beds sleep up to six cats, or ten cats without the owner. (I would also like to add the use of the term "owner" is a bit suspicious, since cats actually own the humans. You may substitute "person" in this case.)

He is correct when he writes that, “In trying to look good, a dog ends up making a fool of himself. He does what is expected of him and becomes a yes-dog in the process. There are NO yes-cats.” “Dogs may be bigger than cats, but not between the ears. If your home is not big enough for both your dog and cat, you have two choices. Get rid of the dog. Or move to a bigger home.” Regarding diet, Baker says that, “Cats need those calories. They may not move around as much as you do, but they expend a lot of energy using their minds.”

The book will be on the adult shelves in 636.8 BAK once the library ladies are willing to share it. I’ll be happy to help you find the book for you simply must see the drawings. It is a very quick read and the 9th and last chapter is the shortest. The chapter title is “Can a Neurotic Cat Be Cured?” The chapter says, “No.”


P.S. Karen finally brought some paperwork into my office this afternoon so that I could sit on it and supervise. I gave her some of my best purrs so that she knew I appreciated it and she assured me my input was very useful. Of course it was. I am CAT.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Big Trouble

Today I got in Big Trouble. I didn't think that the Boss (that's me) could get in Big Trouble, but it seems that I was wrong about that. I was going to ask the Assistant Boss if I would be demoted, but I was afraid of what she would say.

Sometimes I get lonely when my coworkers go home for the night, and I have to find things to do to keep myself occupied. Sometimes I nibble on a plant, or I knock Craig over, or I dump Christine's inbox into the recycling bin. . . but what I like to do the most is chew on cords.
Cords are fun to chew. They feel nice in my teeth, and they wiggle and squirm so I can hunt them. But apparently chewing on the cords is a Very Bad Thing To Do.

When I chew on cords, it causes a flurry of activity around the office. Today was very exciting: Pat took the cord off of her computer and threw it away, Linda rearranged all of her furniture, and Christine crawled around on the floor with lots of black tubes. Assistant Boss Karen was frustrated with me, but I'm very charming, and she couldn't stay mad at me for long.

Because I am in Big Trouble I am not getting any treats and no one will get my dot out for me to hunt. Most of the tasty cords have been hidden from view--at least from human view--or wrapped up in black tubes. My officemates said that I was getting a supply of cords for Christmas, which they would hide in the closet.

Why would they get me a present and then hide it from me?

Besides, I have not presented anyone with my Christmas list yet. I'm still trying to decide whether I want a mouse (small, but has a tail) or a hamster (stubby tail, but bigger).

Here is a picture of me shelving. This is something library employees do.

Until next time!


Wednesday, December 10, 2008

I met Santa Claus!

We had a party at the library on Monday night, and I met Santa and Mrs. Claus! Santa picked me up and hugged me, and one of the Assistant Assistant Bosses took a picture of us together.

I am going to be on a Christmas card. I'll be a celebrity after that. This Christmas. . . Thorntown. Next Christmas. . . BOONE COUNTY!!!!

The party began at 6:30. This is when I usually begin my evening romp through the office, but I decided that I would relax and watch the endless flow of little kids and big kids coming upstairs to make crafts and take pictures with Santa and Mrs. Claus.

The kids did crafts at two big tables right outside my office:

They also worked in the young adult room right next door, so I had a great view of everything. They had a great view of me, too. I have fingerprints all over my office door, I had so many admirers!

I heard that they even had a reindeer downstairs. Arctic Aaron brought one, and people got to pet it and take pictures with it! I didn't believe them until I saw some pictures.
I wish someone had told me that a reindeer was coming. I bet they didn't want me scaring her too badly. I am a tiger-kitty with very muscular paws and pointy teeth, and my presence might have made the reindeer nervous. I bet that's it. . .

After everyone met the reindeer, they came upstairs again to take more pictures with the Clauses. Even the Assistant Boss (Karen) got in on the fun! I don't know what she told Santa she wanted for Christmas. . . I hope it's a red dot, because I've almost caught it a few times.

It was a long, busy night, but it was also lots of fun. I am still recuperating from all the excitement. I have napped for almost two days straight, and I've hardly had the energy to tip things over in the evenings.


Saturday, December 6, 2008

A trip to the vet.

I am here to tell you that Jane can say all the nice things about me she likes, and I do appreciate it, but my last trip to the Thorntown Veterinary Clinic was a real downer. It is all the Assistant Boss's fault. (You must understand that in the line and staff chart on the library's Christmas card, I am listed as the Boss, Karen is the Assistant Boss, and all the rest of the (my) staff are the Assistant Assistant Bosses.)

Anyway, she decided that since I was an unknown to her when she rescued me in October, I should have a worm pill when I went in for my booster shots on December 2. That is not my idea of a Jolly Good Christmas Deal.

I did my best to spit on Dr. Jon's shoes. I foamed at the mouth. I wiggled out of their towels. And I spit the first pill out two times before Dr. Jon won the match. Then, to add insult to injury, he "had" to give me another half tablet! I was not a happy camper, and I am not sure I believed Karen when she gave me that old saw: "This hurts me more than it hurts you!" Has she ever tasted those pills the third time?

At last it was over, and she returned me to the sanctuary of my office in the library, where everyone rightfully made a fuss over me. It took six bits of Purina Whisker Lickin's Dreamy Duos Shrimp & Tuna Flavor Treats (hint, hint--Christmas is coming!) before I forgave the Assistant Boss.

For the record, I am almost sure that I never had worms in the first place!

We did get one thing straight: The library staff will never, ever give me pills.

I am happy to report that I weigh 10 pounds, 7 ounces, have clean ears, and am a fine specimen of cathood.


Friday, December 5, 2008

Big big news!

Because of my outstanding work performance, I have been promoted! I am now Boss at Thorntown Public Library! Of course, I will continue to be the PR Cat, because my expertise in that position is very valuable to the library and to our community.

Unfortunately, I am a busy busy Boss Library Cat, and there is a very tasty fake Christmas tree that one of my coworkers provided for my enjoyment. I have to show my appreciation by gnawing a few berries off of it. I also have to knock over Linda's picture of her husband Craig, because she seems to think that he is more important than I am.

You will hear more from me tomorrow. I have to tell you the story of my last (ever?) visit to the vet; it was very traumatic.

Good night, sleep tight!

Tober, Boss
Thorntown Public Library
124 North Market Street
Thorntown, Indiana

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Intruder alert!

A strange red dot has sneaked into my room. I can't kill it. I've stalked it stealthily, and pounced on it, but when I open my paws, nothing is there.

My coworkers keep saying "Good job, Tober, you got it!" Are they nuts? It keeps coming back! It's the same dot; it smells the same, it looks the same, and it's just as quiet and sneaky every time. I'm a little creeped out, and yet utterly fascinated, with this strange red dot.

See? In the picture at the right, here, I HAD the dot. There is NO WAY I could have lost the dot by clumsiness. I don't have toenails, but I have very strong and muscular paws, and I had that dot firmly in my grip.

I will catch that dot one of these days. I will corner it, and pick it up in my teeth, and carry it proudly to one of my nice officemates to present as a gift. Maybe I can get it before Christmas!

There is dot-hunting to be done.

Happy Thanksgiving!


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Why you should love cats

I've heard through the grapevine that there are people that prefer dogs over cats. I can't understand it. We cats are lovable, beautiful, friendly, silky soft, and we show affection with a gentle purr. . . rather than noisy, annoying barking and destructive tail-wagging. We exhibit self-control and polite manners, and we're usually quiet until provoked into an argument (or until we get hungry).

As I look around my quiet new home, I'm wondering, are there any library dogs out there? Probably not. A dog couldn't be trusted to guard his workplace with dedication and alertness. A library dog would be sleeping right now, I betcha. A library dog would exuberantly greet the smallest customers (they're so cute, and they wave at me!) by jumping up and knocking them down. A library dog would potty in the floor and look sheepish in the morning!

Not me. No, a highly-trained, responsible library cat (like me) would never do such things!

Okay, enough about dogs. Some people like them, I suppose, and I hear that the baby ones are cute (until they grow into huge, drooling, snarling monsters).

Still, I will end by saying this: Cats--particularly library cats--will someday rule the world! And that world will be flooded with unbelievable cuteness!

See! How cute is that? We'll even make peace with birds.

Okay, I'm going to take a nap now.

Sweet dreams,


Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Teens are fun to watch!

First of all, I must say that I am a very lucky and happy cat to be living in a climate-controlled building. My coworkers have been coming in and peeling off big coats in the mornings, so it must be cold out.

Today was a very busy day! I spent the morning napping, bathing, and gathering my thoughts, since I must maintain my attractive appearance and friendly attitude for my PR position. The office was very quiet today, except for one bothersome coworker who kept coughing all the time (I think she has a hairball). The others were very nice and stopped to pet me whenever they passed by. As they should.

But this afternoon was crazy! All of the teens showed up at 4:30 for this thing they do. They call it Teen Scribblers, and they get together and write about different stuff on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays each month. I was a little freaked out at first; I was napping in one of my favorite chairs when I looked up and saw ten people peering back at me through the window. It turns out that I was the topic of the writing project for this week! Can you believe it?

They were supposed to write about what they think I do at night when all of the human employees have gone home. I've heard some of the ideas they had. . . they seem to think that I do very bad things, like knock things off desks and eat paper! Well, they may be right, and they may be wrong. I'll never tell.

I have to admit, this Teen Scribblers thing looked like a lot of fun. It's open to teens 13 and older, and the writing topics change every week. Sometimes they can even freewrite about whatever they want. The next meeting is Tuesday, November 25, so some more teens should come and write, because it is very interesting for me to watch through the window!


Friday, November 7, 2008

My work uniform

Today one of my colleagues presented me with my new work uniform. It's a purple collar (she called it a necklace, ha ha) with a fish on it, and the number 636.8. She said it was the Dewey number for a cat. I tried to tell her that the work uniform was completely unnecessary; I know I'm a cat, and most of the customers should be able to figure out that I'm a cat. . . so what's the point? I'm perfectly handsome just as I am!

So she put the collar on anyway. Let me tell you, I let her have it! I scrunched my head back as far as it would go, laid my ears back, and glared at her. She couldn't get that silly thing off me quick enough. She's been apologizing ever since.

We'll just see if any other coworkers try to put a collar on me. I WILL NOT HAVE IT!

Other than that bit of humiliation, my first week of work has been great! Many customers have come in to meet me, my coworkers have responded to my every whim, and the seating here is fabulous. They even put the teens in a special room, and I can sit on Linda White's desk to watch them. It's like an aquarium, only filled with people (and books). Kinda neat!

Have a happy weekend!


Tuesday, November 4, 2008

My very first blog!

Hello! My name is Tober, and I am Thorntown Public Library's newest employee! I am a 2-year-old orange tiger-kitty, and I'm just getting to know my new home. I was rescued by my boss, Karen Niemeyer, who thought that I would be a perfect fit for library work. I live in a staff office in the adult department, where I am learning my new job as PR Director.

This is only my second day at work. I was a bit intimidated on my first day; I spent most of it hiding under a colleague's desk, wondering if I could handle the job. However, I made good use of my evening off, inspecting the facilities, the sleeping arrangements, and the cafeteria, and I've decided that this will be a wonderful place to work!

This morning they took me to the doctor. We could've skipped that (I tried to tell them, but no one wanted to listen), but the people at the Thorntown Veterinary Clinic were very nice. They complimented my looks (nice AND smart!), petted me, and told me I was a good kitty. I came home to my adoring colleagues, and have spent much of the day trying out new chairs and watching our customers come and go.

That's all I have to say for now. I have to get busy working on my job description!