Cauli Le Chat

Cauli Le Chat
Cauli Le Chat, MPL Roving Reporter

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Bunny Blogger

Have you met Morgan, the Library Bunny at Morgan County Public Library (MCPL)?  Followers of The Bunny Blog can keep up with Morgan's adventures and learn what's happening at the "other" libraries in Morgan County, Indiana.  Morgan also has amassed a following on Facebook, as described below (courtesy of MCPL's Home Page):

Morgan, the Library Bunny now has her own page on Facebook. Be her friend and she'll keep you up to date on her hectic life as the official library bunny as well as all the fun events going on in the children's department. Click here to be her friend, or visit Facebook and search for Morgan Librarybunny

Now that Morgan and MCPL are members of the Evergreen Indiana (E.I.) statewide integrated library system, Morgan County Evergreen cardholders may check out materials from other E.I. consortium libraries, such as  Mooresville Public Library (MPL) (MY library!), as well as Plainfield-Guilford Township Public Library, Greenwood Public Library, Thorntown Public Library (where Tober the Library Cat lives), and many others.  For a current list of E.I. libraries, visit the Indiana State Library E.I. web site.

Morgan brings a fresh perspective to the MCPL web world.  Librarians, of course, know tons of stuff and help people patrons by providing an impressive range of services, but it takes a critter's viewpoint to really liven things up.  We look forward to reading more of Morgan's insights and observations and wish her success as fame and fortune (well, fame, anyway) will invariably reward her blogs and Facebook musings.

Bunnies are peculiar critters.  They run really fast, which makes them tough to catch if you're a kitty or a slobberdog.  But they are cute, sweet, and cuddly, according to the humans who keep rabbits as pets.  Much has been made of the predator-prey relationship between felines and leporids, but, truth be told, we all get along famously.  With human caregivers, who needs to hunt, anyway?

Bunny Books Galore

There are as many books about bunnies as there are bunnies out there!  My favorites are:

  • Watership Down, by Richard Adams;
  • The Bunny Book, by Patsy Scarry & Richard Scarry; and
  • The Velveteen Rabbit, by Margery Williams
Our library has created book trailers (below) describing these wonderful works:

Watership Down, recommended for readers ages 10 and older.

The Bunny Book, recommended for preschool readers.

The Velveteen Rabbit, recommended for preschool and early elementary school readers (grades K to 2).

If you like bunnies and have kiddy people in your household, you should enjoy reading these books.

Cauli Le Chat
MPL Roving Reporter
Bunny News Beat

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Snakes Alive!

Our Youth Services Department offers lots of interesting programs and activities.  One is the Boys' Adventure Club, which is open to boy-type students in grades K-6.  There are lots of exciting adventures, as our program trailer below reveals:

(I know the program trailer is a bit dated, but, hey, it shows what fun they're having!)

Coming January 31, 2011, from 4-5 p.m., BAC will be featuring snakes!  (I call them slitherdarts.)  Some people are afraid of snakes, like the Lady With the Red Hair, but as for me, I usually equate snakes with in-between meal snacks.  But now that I don't have to catch my din-dins (human caregivers can be useful), I prefer to think of snakes as curious little fast fellas that are really fun to chase in the tall summer grass.  But snakes are truly useful critters.  They catch nasty bugs and keep rats and mice from overrunning granaries and other food stores.  Hey, they're a lot like cats!  Guess we're brothers and sisters, then, all working together as big-time predators.  Quite a special club, I'd venture.

Don't forget, all you boy-people in grades kindergarten to six:  Boys' Adventure Club, January 31, 2011, from 4-5 p.m.  Registration is required, so visit our web site and click the "calendar" link (to register online) or call (317) 831-7323 and ask for the Youth Services Desk.  Snakes are cool.  Don't miss this adventure, and more exciting ones to come throughout the year!

Adventurously Yours,

Cauli Le Chat
MPL Roving Reporter
Reptilian News Beat

P.S.  If you like adventure and prehistoric creatures, try The Lost World, by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, creator of Sherlock Holmes.  It is an adventure tale par excellence, as our book trailer below reveals.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Ack! Ack! Ack!

The Lady with the Red Hair took yours truly to the V-E-T (some of us can spell, too, you know) yesterday.  Turns out that my tummy troubles were hairball-related.  The nice doctor said there was a bit of fur that was obstructing my digestive system, which was preventing me from holding down any food.  I lost nearly a pound (!!!) in a couple weeks since my last visit (when Kindly Couple first "found" me, abandoned and frankly starving, at Mooresville Public Library).  That may be good news for some humans, but for us tiny felines, it's bad news city dump, I can tell you.

I could have told them what the problem was.  Anime/Manga Gal, our librarian who is head of technical services, recently cataloged a replacement copy of The Complete Encyclopedia of Cats, by Michael Pollard (Bath : Parragon, 1999) (ISBN 9781405443883).  (The old copy went to bindery heaven.)  On page 90, the author quite clearly explains that hairballs cause vomiting, and, well, there was that unpleasantness for the last few days after meals.  But the clincher was The Complete Book of the Cat (edited by Amanda O'Neill) (Secaucus, N.J. : Chartwell Books, 1989) (ISBN 1555214916).  On page 156, it states:
  • "When moulting, cats will shed many more hairs than usual, which can lead to the formation of fur balls, especially in longhairs.  As the cat licks itself, it will ingest large quantities of loose hair, which can accumulate as a mass in the digestive tract causing a blockage.  The fur ball may be vomited successfully, depending on its location, but those which pass lower down the intestines and away from the stomach may cause constipation.  A laxative, such as sardines in oil, medicinal or liquid paraffin [...] given directly on the food (about a 5 ml spoonful twice daily for two days) should ensure any accumulation of fur is passed without difficulty."  (Emphasis added.)
Although the writer makes the unforgivable faux pas of calling a cat it, and referring to shedding as moulting (excuse me, but birds moult, and felines and slobberdogs shed), this otherwise seems to agree quite well with what the V-E-T told the Lady with the Red Hair.  Since I had been exclusively an exterior kitty before Kindly Couple gave me comfortable lodgings, my fur coat was plush and beautiful, if I say so myself.  So there were loose hairs aplenty to come off during daily grooming, and since cats use their tongues as washcloths (deal with it, people, it's what we do), that's a lotta hair going down the ol' gullet.

For you bottom liners, here's the scoop:  two weeks of some tube of goop plastered on my din-dins, and the hairballs slide along nicely, thank you very much.  No more "acking" after dinner.  That's a relief, I don't mind saying.

Thanks to my library's fine feline collection (in Dewey 636.8) for diagnosing the problem.  Thanks, too, to Scowl-Face, my gopher boy, for reading it to me.  Say, about that laxative, the tube of goop is okay, but I like the sound of canned "sardines in oil" much, much better.  Aisle 12 at the local grocery.  Drop my name; you'll get a discount.

Feeling Much Better Now, Thanks For Asking,

Cauli Le Chat
MPL Roving Reporter
Feline Hygiene & Health News Beat

Monday, December 27, 2010

Survey Says!

Truly Nice Gentleman, a colleague who works at Mooresville Public Library, is asking people-patrons to complete and return the 2011 Computers & Lab Survey, which is available at the MPL Circulation Desk.  After completing the survey, you should stuff it in the box that's sitting on some of the young adult bookshelves, next to the heads (yes, the actual heads) of William Shakespeare and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, who apparently wrote some plays or poetry or some such human interest stuff.

Here is what the front of the survey looks like:

Why fill this thingy out?  Well, duh!  It will help your library select new computers and techno-gizmos.  What's not to like?  Better gadgets, better service.  Pretty simple.  I hope they install some feline-friendly computers.  I really like the mouse thingy, but it doesn't run fast or very far.  It has a really long tail, however, and its belly shines red like Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (well, Rudolph's nose shines red, not his belly, but you catch my drift).

If you have any questions, just chat with Truly Nice Gentleman (TNG for short) at the MPL Circulation Desk, who looks like this:

TNG even starred in a few of our library videos, but that was before my time.  Take a peek!

So what's my blog title mean?  Remember that TV show, Family Feud?  All those humans trying to guess what the audience survey said so they can win prizes.  The master of ceremonies during the 1970s version of the program was Richard Dawson, an actor best known for his role as Corporal Peter Newkirk on the TV sitcom Hogan's Heroes (1965-1971).  I'm getting all this from books in our library, by the way.  (Okay, well, my personal assistant, Scowl-Face, is looking it up.  I'm too busy to handle minor details!)  He used to turn to the big board behind him and shout, "Survey says!" just before the human contestants began jumping up and down like prairie dogs popping out of their holes.  Here is what Dawson looked like:

Nice suit (eye-roll).

So fill out the 2011 Computers & Lab Survey already and stuff the box by the poetry heads.  You'll be glad you did.

Paw-ticularly yours,

Cauli Le Chat
MPL Roving Reporter
Game Show News Beat

P.S.  How do cats get to be contestants on Family Feud?  I've now got eight brothers and sisters, as well as three slobberdogs, plus some human caregivers.  We can jump up and down real good!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Good Will Toward Slobberdogs

'Tis the season for loving kindness and good will toward slobberdogs. After being stuffed all day with holiday din-dins (I'm having my 23rd helping of turkey, plus my namesake dish, broiled cauliflower with garlic), I am fully in a charitable, giving mood.  There is a roaring fire (real, not fake, like at the library), before which Kindly Couple's kitty household (nine strong) are sprawled asleep as I write.  Then there are the three slobberdogs who also live here.  In our gift exchange, we kitties gave the slobberdogs their favorite gifts (hint:  "bacon! bacon! bacon!"), while they gave us the usual bags of fake furry mice (much fun when given the heave-ho by the Lady with the Red Hair, who, like the Man with the Yellow Hat who looked after Curious George, looks after all of us).  There was wine (which was cruelly denied us four-legged friends) and veggies (mostly for Scowl-Face and The Thin Man), and trainloads of turkey and homemade gravy (about which Writer Girl raved).  Unhappily, The Music Man and Techno-Wizard Chick were trapped in the blizzard out west, but they will be visiting soon and will undoubtedly bring me more turkey, thank you very much, put it there on my plate, please, right now if not sooner.

Contrary to popular myth, felines and slobberdogs can be great friends and work together to train humans to be good caregivers.  In keeping with this spirit, my book review for today is devoted to a grand preschool children's book about slobberdogs:  Go, Dog.  Go!, by P. D. Eastman.  Our library has a book trailer that glimpses the playful romping these slobberdogs enjoy:

Everyone in the book engages in good-natured fun, and it is a stimulating and hilarious read for little humans (or grown-ups reading aloud to very tiny people).  Go, Dog. Go! has been a favorite for generations of humans, and your local public library, like mine, is bound to have a copy or two.  If your library (like mine) is Evergreen (i.e., part of the Evergreen Indiana [E.I.] library consortium), then you will find many copies available.  To place a hold in E.I. for the book, click here and then log-into your E.I. account.  Place a hold, and the book will be delivered to your home library for you to pickup.  But you won't get any turkey, though; sorry about that. Somebody intercepted the turkey shipments (burp!).  Must have been a slobberdog.

Happy holidays,

Cauli Le Chat
MPL Roving Reporter
Turkey and Stuffing News Beat

Thursday, December 23, 2010

New Blog Design

Thanks to my MPL colleague, Scowl-Face, for redesigning my blog.  There are now more hyperlinks to the library's various social networking sites and online patron services. I hope you will find the new design easier to navigate and more aesthetically pleasing.

Happy Holidays, everyone!

Cauli Le Chat
MPL Roving Reporter
Holiday Cheer News Beat

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

What Is This -- Some Kind of Cruel Joke?

A roving reporter has to pound the news beat in all kinds of nasty weather.  Like today.  The wind is fiercely blustering, and there's snow on the ground all around the library (and as far as a cat's eye can see, which, let me tell you, is pretty far).  It chilled me to the bone, and then some.  So, after submitting my latest blog to my editor, Scowl-Face (he works at the library; you'll know him when you see him), I decided to stretch out before a nice, warm fire next to the main entrance.

Now, any idiot can see that there's a fire blazing away.  There's a fake slobberdog by the Christmas tree, plus Santa Dude, although the holiday preparations seem to have worn him to a raveling, as Beatrix Potter wrote in The Tailor of Gloucester.  But that fire--it's as real as the fur on my tail.

Now, here's the funny thing.  I circled around three times and curled up in a ball directly in front of the fire, but there was not one joule of heat!  (I know I'm incorrectly using the term Joule--calorie would be more scientifically accurate--but one of my neighborhood pals is named Juliet, or Jule for short.  Well, actually, we call her "Stumpy" because her tail was shortened in an industrial accident.)  This "fire" was just cold air blowing some fake flames around.  What's the deal with that?

Boss Lady must not know that this fireplace is some kind of bogus affair.  When a hardworking kitty comes in from the frost, s/he wants a warm fire for curling up purposes.  I trust that this deplorable situation will be remedied when I next visit the library for an afternoon nap.

Still chilled to the bone,
Cauli Le Chat
MPL Roving Reporter
Ice Breaker News Beat

P.S.  Thanks to Scowl-Face for the photos.  BTW, I've got two words for you:  tri ... pod.  They call them still pictures for a reason.  If you're going to shake the camera like you're making popcorn, mine should have lots of butter.

P.P.S.  Maybe my library colleagues should read The Quest for Fire: a Novel of Prehistoric Times, by J. H. Rosny.  Here's our book trailer showcasing this intriguing story:

MPL Homework Helpers Solve the World's Problems (More or Less)

Kitties learn what we need to know on the run.  Our education is a living, breathing experience.  Human children, however, are not as gifted as felines, and so they must attend school.  As if that weren't enough, they have to do lots and lots of homework!  (Cats have an aversion to work of any kind.  We prefer play.  And sleep.  Plenty of sleep.  When we're not eating.)  Homework sounds like a drag to me, but if that's what people need to do to learn stuff, well, then, better get at it already.

Sometimes, humans have trouble with homework.  Even cats can find it daunting to discern the water faucet principle (we prefer to drink moving water.  You people ought to try drinking stale water from a bowl that has been sitting out since last October.), so we understand that tutoring is occasionally needed.  At Mooresville Public Library, Homework Help Sessions are available every Thursday from 3:30 to 5:00 p.m. (Grades 4-12; maximum of ten students per week).  Knowledgeable tutors are available to answer students' questions on various subjects.  The library has a program trailer (below) that explains it all.

Your cure for the homework blues is waiting at the library.  Drop by to get a slice of homework help.  It's tasty and filling but won't add to your waistline.  Not better than canned tuna in oil, but it's a start.

Cauli Le Chat
MPL Roving Reporter
Program News Beat

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

French for Cats & Advanced French for Exceptional Cats, by Henry Beard

People seem surprised that cats understand different human languages.  Learning these languages is simple, if you remember the feline rule-of-paw:  Learn only those words that get you what you want.  The rest is just so much noise.

My manual for all things French (since I am le chat français) is the superb French for Cats: All the French Your Cat Will Ever Need, by Henry Beard and John Boswell (ill.) (New York: Villard Books, 1991), available at Mooresville Public Library (in the Evergreen Indiana catalog). An updated, expanded edition was published in 2005 by Random House under the title The Complete French for Cats, which included the 1991 title as well as Advanced French for Exceptional Cats, by Henry Beard and Gary Zamchick (ill.). To read a copy of the 1991 edition on Google Books, click here.

Cats and human language students share something in common: trying to understand what seems incomprehensible. Anyone who has used a foreign language phrase book while travelling in another country (something humans do, but cats have more self respect) will appreciate the author's clever melding of French phrases from the feline perspective.  Beard is witty and satirical, and his parody works well. Boswell's illustrations match the tone of the writing without being too cute.

Watch the MPL book trailer below to learn more about this enjoyable read:

If you like this book, you will probably enjoy another Beard title, Poetry for Cats: the Definitive Anthology of Distinguished Feline Verse (New York: Villard Books, 1994).

Poetry for Cats brilliantly lampoons the typical human high school or college poetry anthology textbook, rewriting classic poems from a cat's perspective.  Feline poetry, of course, puts human efforts to shame, but people have trouble interpreting it, especially since it is written in the feline tongue, which is rather rough going for the uninitiated.

Cauli Le Chat
MPL Roving Reporter
French News Beat

Monday, December 20, 2010

Tober, Our Working Class Hero

November 2015 Update:  Tober passed away in early November, 2015.  We are so terribly saddened by his loss.  See this blog posting for details.

Tober, Boss Cat at Thorntown (Indiana) Public Library, is an inspiration to all us working class felines everywhere.  Follow Tober's adventures at

Tober has many great ideas to share about how libraries can be fun for you to explore. His feline observations are insightful, clever, and humorous. But that's no surprise.   Kitties have been running the show since at least the Egyptians.
Thanks to Thorntown Public Library for the use of Tober's picture.  What a handsome fella!

Tober is featured in one of our book trailers (click to play the video above).  Watch for him at around the 1:13 mark.

Purr-fectly Yours,
Cauli Le Chat
MPL Roving Reporter

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Calling the Shots, by Cauli Le Chat, MPL Roving Reporter

In late November, 2010, when I first stumbled upon Mooresville Public Library, in Mooresville, Indiana--cold, hungry, and friendless (moi, not the library)--I doubted whether I would ever again see three squares a day, warm blankets, perpetually-filled snack bowls, and the obligatory fake fur mouse that rattles.  But I had unknowingly selected an ideal location from which to scavenge.  There were numerous windbreaks with plentiful shrubbery, which kept the Wicked Wind of the West from chilling moi to the bone.  More importantly, however, there were kind humans willing to feed and shelter moi, free-of-charge--as is not only customary, but obligatory, for members of the feline fraternity--and, to boot, a regular gig working as a roving reporter for the library.

This is how my temporary digs looked on July 12, 2008, when the library dedicated an outdoor children's garden (the "kinder garden"--cute, eh?).  When I took up occupancy in late November, 2010, I was living next to the wall behind the rocks, where the Wicked Wind of the West could not reach, and the nasty Rain and Snow Beasties could not torment moi.  There was quite a bit of snow on the ground, too, but Boss Lady said to use this photograph.

Things were looking mighty bleak, I don't mind telling you.  Four-legged food was in terribly short supply, due to the below-freezing temperatures and arctic landscape.  Dumpster diving is for chumps, but a hungry feline is a motivated feline, so I packed away my pride and searched some trash for edibles.  The smell was off-putting, to say the least, but there were a few goodies left over from happy meals.

Still, pickings were slim, and I was walking the one-way road to hungrytown (not to be confused with the great band by the same name) when a library couple (humans can be useful) "found" moi--a typically human interpretation, since I knew where I was all along, so I was hardly lost--and, more to the point, fed moi some tasty portions.  This continued for about a week, until the couple spirited moi away to an abode in a Hrududu (to borrow the word for car from the Lapine Language--you should read the children's novel Watership Down, by Richard Adams, to learn more about this)--and a new, happier existence.  I would show you a photograph of my new digs, but Kindly Couple can't use a digital camera to save your life.

Kindly Couple told moi that Boss Lady would let moi "volunteer" to be the library's roving reporter if (1) I didn't live at the library, and (2) I steered clear of the dumpster.  For moi, this is a real job, with benefits (three daily squares, warm sleeping quarters, fake furry mice everywhere), so you shall be reading more of my insightful and witty feline perceptions in future blogs.  Lots of libraries have resident cats, but MPL has a star reporter, pounding the four-legged beat to bring you the latest headlines.

I call the blog Cat's Eye View, but it's subtitled Calling the Shots, since I decide what and when to write (I am a feline, after all).  My name is Cauli Le Chat, so it's a triple entendre.  (You need to know French pronunciation to get the first part of the joke.  Plus, I "chat" in a blog, see?)  Clever, eh?  Yeah, I'm French (hence all the mois) and a former boxer, as you can see from my bum ear.  That happened when I took a cheap shot from a neighborhood Tom who was trying to muscle-in on my din-dins.  So I got a cauliflower ear, and, hence, the moniker Kit Cauliflower.  If you think the ear looks bad, you should see the Tom.  I let him have "what for," you can rest assured.

I hope you follow my blog.  I will have lots of interesting observations.  I always do.

Cauli Le Chat
MPL Roving Reporter
Four-Legged News Beat