N is for -- NO!
"No!" I shouted at Mattie and Little Debbie, "You cannot have a pet! We have no room in this tiny house for any more animals, You saw on the video that Joanne's cat Maxine frolics with a chipmunk OUTDOORS. You two don't go outside. No chipmunks will be allowed indoors. Enough said. I don't want to hear any more about it!"
FYI, readers, here's the video that started all the fuss:
I watched the two very unhappy cats amble over to the recliner, jump up on it, curl around each other, and pretend to nap. I could hear enough of their chat to get the drift of the conversation.
Mattie: Did you see that privileged cat, Maxine??? Joanne allows her to have a PET!
Little Debbie: Yeah, and Maxine even carries it around like its her kitten.
Mattie: And did you watch the two of them romp around the yard? If we had pets like that, you'd sure lose a few pounds with all the romping you'd do!
Little Debbie: Hey! You said the magic words: "pets like that"! Let's think this through. What kind of pet was that?
Mattie: A chipmunk.
Little Debbie: And where was Maxine's pet living?
Mattie: Outside. So?
Little Debbie: What lives right outside our front door and under the porch? What animal does staff feed sunflower seeds and dried fruit and assorted kinds of nuts to?
Mattie: A chipmunk. Or two. Or even more.
Little Debbie (frowning at Mattie): AND??? Make a connection, girl!
Mattie (light dawning): Oooooooooh, we have chipmunks in our yard, too, just like Maxine does!
Little Debbie: Bingo! Staff won't let us have hamsters. And they spayed us so we can't have kittens. Chipmunks are available and FREE! No purchase necessary!
Mattie: Instead of the chipmunks coming indoors, you and I can go outside and play with them just like Maxine does with her chipmunk!
Little Debbie: Now you're talkin'!
Mattie: But wait. The front porch is close to the public sidewalk and the street. There's not much grass for romping. We'd be better off in the back where there's lots of room.
Little Debbie: Interesting idea, but that won't work for me.
Mattie: Now what?
Little Debbie: I haven't been outside for at least fourteen years. The last time, I was lost and cold and hungry and scared and it was starting to snow and I couldn't carry on much longer, but then staff saw me on the front porch and fed me. I came back each evening for a week. By then, it was snowing every day, so staff just scooped me up, took me to a nice kitty doc-doc who said I was about six months old, and then brought me back into their nice, warm house where I've been ever since.
Mattie (playing an imaginary violin): So?
Little Debbie: If I go outside, I might get lost again!
Mattie: Naw, you won't get lost again. I'll keep an eye on you.
Little Debbie: But what if I'm romping with my pet chipmunk and it scampers into another yard and I follow it and my chipmunk disappears and I can't find my way home again? Then I'll be LOST!
Mattie: Worry wart! Okay, how about this? Staff builds a roofed glass playroom for us. It'll be grassy with cat condos and carpeted ramps and lots of cat toys and will be heated in the winter. It'll have a southern exposure so staff could install solar panels for heating and a small a/c unit for cooling, as necessary. Like this:
Little Debbie: How will we get into it -- and out of it?
Mattie: There can be an enclosed hallway from Daniel's room to the playroom. Staff can make a cat door with a flap on it to keep chipmunks out of the house.
Little Debbie: Hmmmm, from what Joanne said in the video, a flap wouldn't discourage cunning little chipmunks. And another problem.
Mattie: Is that all you do -- bring up problems? Sheesh. I'm surprised staff has kept you around all these years.
Little Debbie: The chipmunks are under the front porch. The playroom will be in back. How will the chipmunks know where to go to find us? And how will they get in and out of our play area?
Mattie: Silly girl! There'll be a chipmunk door into the playroom. Then staff will have to come up with a way to keep chipmunks out of the house. Not our problem. Oh, and there are even more chipmunks in the backyard. I heard staff wondering where they're all coming from. And bunnies, too.
Little Debbie (squealing in delight): BUNNIES????
Mattie: Yeah, and 'possums and 'coons and a fox and a hungry coyote or two.
Little Debbie: Uh oh. I think I sense a rescue effort ahead. The back yard is really wide and deep. Staff should build a BIG play area for us with enough room inside for rabbit warrens and chipmunk burrows. Then the little critters would be safe from marauding coyotes.
Mattie: Good grief! There won't be any room to play! We'll break a leg when we accidentally step into a hole.
Little Debbie: But we have an opportunity to put staff's money to good use and to make life better and safer for others! What's wrong with that?
Mattie: Sounds like you "Feel the Bern"....
Little Debbie: Huh?
Mattie: Bernie Sanders. Never mind.