Stare Down – Conversations with Stella and Moon the Cat

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. I can’t talk now.

Me:        Then why did you introduce yourself?

Stella:    I can’t talk because I am in a stare down with Moon the Cat. It is intense. It is touch and go. But in the end, I am sure that my huge bulldog eyes will win.

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Me:        What do you say to that, Moon?

Moon the Cat:   Meow.

Stella:    Typical.

Me:        This is quite a contest. What are the rules?

Stella:    Ask her.

Moon the Cat:   Meooowww.

Stella:    Must I explain everything? Oh, all right. We stare each other in the eyes. No looking away.

Me:        Is blinking allowed?

Stella:    Of course. What do you think we are? Crazy?

Me:        I haven’t figured that out yet.

Stella:    Whoever looks away, moves away, or falls asleep first, loses!

Me:        Falling asleep is an option?

Stella:    The game can grow boring after a while.

Me:        What if someone interferes?

Stella:    Then we stare at them. Since they can’t stare in two directions at once, they lose.

Me:        This is just for you two, I take it.

Stella:    She is my nemesis and I am hers.

Me:        Okey dokey then. Well, see y’all later.

Stella:    Only if the stare down is still going and you want to play. Remember the rules. You lose.

 

 

Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

 

 

 

 

 

Blame It on the Cat – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Shhhhh! Everybody, no barking or fussing. We have something to cover up. Silent, nose-to-nose communication only.

Me:        Wait! What’s going on?

Stella:    Who says anything is going on?

Me:        Your silent, nose-to-nose communication. Did you think that I wouldn’t notice?

Stella:    Yes. The ways of bulldogs are mysterious. Aren’t they?

Me:        Can you identify the source of the bad gas smell in the den?

Stella:    Bad gas smell? Sounds like a human problem. No issue here among the bulldogs. Right, pack? Pack? Hey, a little backup needed here!

Miss Sweetie:    Silent, nose-to-nose communication only, Aunt Stella. Remember? Cover up.

Stella:    Thank you, Sweetie. Why don’t you go sit over there where you can’t hear?

Me:        So, whose stomach is upset?

Stella:    The cat. Yeah, that’s it. The cat. Have you seen? She uses the bathroom in a box INSIDE THE HOUSE! I thought that was against the rules, except for humans who also use the bathroom INSIDE THE HOUSE! Unfair. Unfair. Unfair…

Me:        I don’t believe that Moon is responsible for the bad gas smell.

Stella:    Of course, she would say that!

Me:        I think maybe you have a little stomach upset.

Stella:    Lady Human, for shame! It’s the cat. It’s just like something she would do.

Me:        How about some pumpkin in your food?

Stella:    Well…I don’t know.

Me:        You like pumpkin, right?

Stella:    Well…maybe a little would be okay.

Me:        There. I don’t think we will be experiencing any more bad gas smell problems in a while.

Stella:    Now if only you would do something about the cat.

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Urgent Alert! There is a Cat in the House! – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. This is an urgent alert! Ring the alarm bells! All eyes open! There is a cat in the house!

Me:        Of course, there is a cat in the house. Our cat, Moon, is in the house.

Stella:    No, this is a different cat! Everybody, be on the lookout!

Me:        Stella, I guarantee that there is no strange cat in the house. I took Moon to the vet. She’s a little tired, that’s all.

Stella:    Nope, Moon never leaves the house.

Me:        She does when she goes to the vet.

Stella:    And Moon prisses around all over, flaunting her cattiness in our faces. This strange cat seems sweet and quiet. Not like a scratcher at all.

Me:        She got a vaccination. She doesn’t like her cat carrier or riding in the car. She complained to me the whole way there and the whole way back.

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Stella:    That shows how dumb cats are. Who in their right mind doesn’t like riding in a car? That doesn’t sound like our Moon. She is too smart to disdain a car ride.

Me:        Let her have a good nap and she will be back to her usual self.

Stella:    There she is! Charge! Ouch! Hey, it is Moon!

Me:        I guess she didn’t need that nap after all.

 

 

 

 

Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

The “I Don’t Need” List – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. I have a list of things I need…

Me:        Before you get going on that, I have a different list. Things I don’t need.

Stella:    Typical.

Me:        Hear me out. Number one: I don’t need the incessant barking for no reason. I came home today, and everybody was barking and barking and there was no need for it.

Stella:    We will be the judge of that.

Me:        Well, I’m the judge of this. When you all are barking for no reason that I can tell, it sounds very much like you are yelling at me.

Stella:    We would never yell at you. Not all at once. How could anyone understand what was being said?

Me:        Try as I may, I don’t understand when you are barking one at a time. Item Number Two: I don’t need you to chase the cat or egg on anyone else to chase the cat. Doodlebug NEVER chased Moon the Cat before the other day and now he charges her every time he comes in from outdoors. I think you are encouraging him.

Stella:    I am simply urging him to seek his own bulldog path. Cat chasing is perfectly normal for a young bulldog.

Me:        Not in my house.

Stella:    Your house? Since when?

 

 

Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Champion Cat Catcher – Conversations with Stella and Doodlebug

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Hello! I am so proud of my boy, Doodlebug, that even though he is not my son, I am adopting him as my son and the heir to my cat-chasing, cat-tackling legacy.

Doodlebug:   So now I have 2 moms?

Stella:    Yes. No. Yes. Maybe.

Doodlebug:   Since you are the Queen and I am now your son, does that mean that I am the King?

Stella:    No.

Doodlebug:        The Prince?

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Stella:    No.

Doodlebug:   Pooh!

Stella:    Because of your great feat yesterday, you are our champion cat chaser, cat tackler, cat…

Doodlebug:   Hugger!

Stella:    No, Doodle! Hush! Ugly talk!

Me:   Stella! Doodlebug is a free-style cat chaser. Not everybody chases cats in the same way. In fact, before yesterday, I had never seen Doodle put any effort into chasing the cat at all.

Stella:   Yeah, and then all of a sudden, he was a natural. I am so proud. He charged around and saw the cat sleeping in your chair. Sleeping in YOUR chair! Where is your self-respect, Lady Human? Allowing a cat to sleep in your personal space? Really?

Me:        And, all of a sudden, Doodlebug was on top of the cat, completely covering her with his big old Doodlebug body. And she didn’t scratch him or bite him or hiss at him.

Stella:    A tactical error on her part.

Me:        He eased back, and she scooted away.

Doodlebug:  Cats are soft.

Stella:    Doodlebug!

Doodlebug:   Cats are cuddly and huggable.

Stella:    Doodle, stop!

Doodlebug:   Cats are our friends.

Stella:    Noooo! Heresy! You are a bulldog!

Me:        Well, Moon the Cat is none the worse for wear.

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Stella:    Awww! The cat is not afraid of bulldogs! The world has changed! All is lost! Oh, well. There’s always tomorrow.

 

 

Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

 

 

 

 

The Arrest of Doodlebug – Conversations with Stella and Doodlebug

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. I hereby order the arrest of Doodlebug. Offense: Rampaging without a license. Disorderly conduct (even for a bulldog). General disobedience.

Me:        I am trying to catch him now. Can you help?

Stella:    I am not that fast, Lady Human. Sorry. He does not obey anyone. That is why you have my permission, my edict in fact, to arrest him. Take him into custody. Now. Please.

Me:        Doodle, come here!

Doodlebug:        Haha! Catch me if you can. What’s that over there?

Me:        Something that is not yours. Come here, boy!

Doodlebug:        Haha! Nope. What’s that over there?

Me:        My phone! No!

Doodlebug:        Okay. Wait. What’s this over here?

Snoopey:   Hey! My blanket! Leave it alone!

Doodlebug:   Oh, okay! Hey, what’s that?

Stella:    You know. It’s the Cat. Go, Doodlebug, go!

Me:   Stop!

Stella:    Awwww.

Me:        Doodle, stop! There! I got you. Leash arrest.

Doodlebug:   Awwww.

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Me:   Let’s go outside and run around. Get all the excess energy out.

Doodlebug:   Are you going outside, too?

Me:        Sure. I’ll go outside with you.

Doodlebug:   Will you run around?

Me:        No, not so much. Excess energy is not my particular issue.

Doodlebug:   When we come back in, will I still be under arrest?

Me:        Will you behave?

Doodlebug:        No.

Me:   Oh, all right, no. You won’t be under arrest. Never mind.

Stella:   She gives up too easily, Doodlebug. I am the Queen. Do what I say.

Doodlebug:   Mmmm. Nope.

 

 

 

 

Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

 

 

 

 

The Bulldog F-Word – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogge. There are some words that people should not use, especially not in our delicate ears or the ears of human puppies. Humans have all kinds of ugly words that they use to insult other humans, insult dogs, insult cats…never mind. Insulting cats is an art form.

Me:        Are you saying that there is a bulldog F-word?

Stella:    Of course. You’ve heard it. We have discussed it before.

Me:        And what, pray tell, is that word?

Stella:    You know.

Me:        No, I don’t.

Stella:    Yes, you do. I told you before. I just didn’t admit that it was like the human F-word.

Me:        I don’t remember…

Stella:    Pffft!

Me:        Stella! Really?

Stella:    Pffft!

Me:        Why are you using your F-word at me?

Stella:    You asked for it.

Me:        Well, yes, but I didn’t think you actually had one.

Stella:    Would I lie to you?

Me:        I don’t think so.

Stella:    So, pffft!

Me:        Oh, Stella.

Stella:    What’s wrong?

Me:        Let me quote my grandmother when she heard a dirty word. “Hush! Ugly talk!”

Stella:    Your grandmother must not have been much fun to be around. Pffft!

Me:        Stella! Why are you cussing at me?

Stella:    I don’t know. Maybe because you don’t do what I want you to do.

Me:        Is that a good reason to cuss at someone?

Stella:    It’s a reason. Maybe not a good reason. Pffft.

 

 

 

Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

 

 

 

Hiding Space – Conversations with Stella and Moon the Cat

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. SHHHHH!!!! Don’t say anything! Maybe she won’t find me. Hiding is hard when you are shaped like a four-legged, 50-pound tank. I’ll squeeze back here. Nope. That won’t work. My back half is sticking out. If I can avoid her long enough, maybe she’ll forget about me, and then the danger will pass. I can squeeze behind the couch. Hey! Cat! Move it! Bulldog coming through! Make way! What do you mean ‘meow’? Hiss!!! How about that? Does that get your attention?

Me:        Stella! Hey, Stella! Come here, girl. Just for a minute.

Stella:    Just for a minute. Huh. A likely story. I can smell it. She forgets I have a dog’s nose. A poor thing, but my own, and it serves me at times like these. If I can just…scrunch down…a little bit more…I can wait out the threat back here.

Moon the Cat:   Meooww.

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Stella:    SHHHHH!!!! Whisper!!! Don’t you understand anything? She’s got that bottle of sour-scented water in her hand.

Me:        Stellaaaa!

Moon the Cat:   Meooowww.

Stella:    SHHHHH!!!!

Moon the Cat:   Why don’t you want her to take care of your ears?

Stella:    What? You speak my language? Why haven’t you done this before?

Moon the Cat:   Bulldoggese is a difficult tongue for a cat. Very rough. It beats up my mouth. Why don’t you learn my language instead?

Stella:    A preposterous notion. The very idea!

Me:        Oh, Stella, there you are. Come here. Just for a minute.

Stella:    No. No! No!!! Now see what you’ve done, Cat!

Moon the Cat:   I helped you find the Lady Human. You are welcome.

Me:        It won’t take a second and you know it makes your ears feel better, Stella. There. That’s one ear. Now for the other.

Stella:    Eeeggghhh. Eeeggghhh! Eeeggghhh!!

Me:        You see. All done. Until next time.

Stella:    Until next time. Destroyer of hope.

Me:        What’s better? To suffer the itch and pain of ear infections or to take arms against them and, by opposing, end them.

Stella:   You made that up. Strange words from someone who does not put drops of sour water into her own ears.

Me:        Thank you, Moon, for alerting me to Stella’s whereabouts.

Moon the Cat:   Glad to have been of help. Not really. Meow.

 

 

Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why Do Cats Get An Indoor Toilet? – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Bulldogs, dogs of any type really, are forced to go outside to potty, while humans and… ugh…cats get to go to the bathroom indoors. Even our parakeet, Pearl, is allowed to potty inside. This is horribly unfair, especially on bad weather days. Dogs are expected to endure heat, cold, rain, snow (whatever that is), ice (whatever that is), hurricanes, tornadoes, thunderstorms…

Me:        Okay, we get the picture. By the way, we have never had a hurricane here. By the time they get here, they’re some rain and a strong breeze and little else. And, if we do have a tornado or two or sixteen in one day like we had a few years ago, we don’t send anyone outside.

Stella:    If cats are allowed to use the toilet inside on all occasions, why aren’t we?

Me:        Think about that for a minute. Cats have an instinct to use a box or a hole and to cover up what they do. Bulldogs, on the other hand…

Stella:    Hey, I wipe my feet every time I potty.

Me:        I know. If I gave you each a litter box, would you all really use it?

Stella:    Hmmm. I would have to say…Nope, definitely not. Nope. Not bulldoggy enough. Too confining. You will never take our FREEDOM!

Me:        So, you will continue to potty outside? For the freedom?

Stella:    Of course, when you put it that way. Cats don’t know what they are missing. But then again, cats always have a warm potty.

 

 

 

Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

The Giant Insect Air Force – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. We are being invaded by a huge number of giant flying insects called cicadas.

Me:        We call them ‘locusts’, but I realize some people call a grasshopper-like insect that so there may be some confusion…

Stella:    What, Lady Human, does that have to do with what is going on?

Me:        Just clarifying.

Stella:    Please don’t. You only make things more confusing. And this is confusing. A day ago, everything was nice and calm and the cicadas were here. Now they are flying around like mad, lots and lots of them, and… OW! One flew into my head!

Me:        Don’t worry. He’s okay. It didn’t faze him one bit.

Stella:    He’s okay? What about me! It fazed me!

Me:        There do seem to be a lot of them flying, more than I’ve ever seen at one time.

Stella:    They are kind of cool. Green and gold and shiny. The trees are filled with them, all singing. Is that windup toy noise their fight song?

Me:        No, it’s more like their mating call so the females can lay eggs and 17 years from now the babies can hatch out.

Stella:    Watch out! Low flying giant insect! What if I catch one?

Me:        You won’t like it. I was wearing flip flops one summer evening many years ago…

Stella:    Boring! Get to the point.

Me:        A cicada flew down and got caught between my toes and my flip flop and I couldn’t get that shoe off fast enough. It was buzzing and shaking and bumbling…

Stella:    That’s great!

Me:        No, not great! And another time a cat caught one in her mouth and liked to have gone nuts before she realized she just needed to open her mouth and let it go. That cicada scared that cat silly.

Stella:    A cicada in a cat’s mouth, huh? Lady Human…

Me:        Nope.

Stella:    But I have an idea.

Me:        Nope.

Stella:    But you haven’t heard it yet.

Me:        Don’t have to. I already know what it is.

Stella:    But it would be funny.

Me:        Not for the cat, it wouldn’t be.

Stella:    Hmmmpphh. Pooh! What good is a cicada invasion if we can’t have some fun with a cat?

Me:        If you think it’s so funny, why don’t you go ahead and pick up a cicada with your mouth and see how that works?

Stella:    No, not the same. My bulldog mouth is so large, he’d probably get lost in there and never find his way out again.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Big Game Hunting – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges.

Me:        Why are you whispering?

Stella:    SHHHHH! Sorry, that was loud. Shhhhh! Quiet!

Me:        Why are we whispering then?

Stella:    I am big game hunting. Hunters must be silent and stealthy.

Me:        Don’t tell me. Let me guess. Squirrels?

Stella:    Phhhffft. I said BIG game hunting. Squirrels? Big game? Please.

Me:        Are you hunting rats?

Stella:    What part of ‘big’ don’t you understand, Lady Human?

Me:        I’ve seen some good-sized rodents in my time.

Stella:    Bulldog sized?

Me:        Honestly, no. So, are you hunting a raccoon?

Stella:    Nope.

Me:        A possum?

Stella:    Nope.

Me:        Please say that you are not hunting a skunk.

Stella:    Lady Human, really. Do we ever have raccoons, possums, or skunks in the house?

Me:        No. Praise the LORD!

Stella:    What is the only other non-bulldog animal in the house that I could be hunting?

Me:        My parakeet, Pearl? No, surely not sweet little Pearl.

Stella:    What? A bird? No! Yuck! I said BIG GAME! I am hunting Moon the Cat. Shhhhh!

Me:        Oh, you are hunting the cat. I see…

Stella:    Shhhhh! I know where she is hiding.

Me:        Where?

Stella:    There, under the couch.

Me:        Nope.

Stella:    What do you mean? She is right there. I can smell her.

Me:        Yeah, she moved on from that spot about 30 minutes ago.

Stella:    Then what is that shadow? Aaaaggghh! Is it a giant insect that smells like a cat?

Me:        I think you are looking at a couch leg.

Stella:    It’s not the cat?

Me:        No, sorry.

Stella:    How am I ever going to be a big game hunter if I can’t track a simple cat?

Me:        For one thing, Moon is not what I would call ‘big game’.

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Stella:    She is the biggest animal here.

Me:        She weighs about 25 pounds. You weigh 50 pounds. Do the math.

Stella:    I am a bulldog. I don’t like math.

 

 

Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bulldog Rampage – Conversations with Stella and the Pack

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges, and here we are again at the Bulldog Rampage. I will be calling the action except for when I am chasing the cat. Coming out of the chute in order are…

Me:        Whoah! Bulldog Rampage? Not again!

Stella:    Of course, again. All right, everybody get ready. Lady Human interrupted. In order, here they come! Sweetie, Wiggles, Doodlebug, Snoopey…Snoopey…Snoopey!

Snoopey:   What?

Stella:    Rampage time!

Snoopey:   Nope.

Stella:    Why not?

Snoopey:   I’m tired.

Tiger:   You can leave me out, too. I refuse to rampage with Snoopey.

Stella:    Didn’t you hear? Snoopey is sitting out.

Tiger:   Well, in that case, I’m really sitting out. She’s not better than me.

Stella:    Fine! Here they come! Sweetie, Wiggles, Doodlebug! And me! Where is that cat?

Miss Sweetie:   Up on Tall Man’s chair! Now up on the couch! Run! Run! Uh-oh!

Stella:    Sweetie is off to a fast start with two pieces of furniture under her belt and a great sideways floor slide. Scrambling back up on her feet, she’s made it to the trash in the kitchen!

Me:        Noooo!

Stella:    Meanwhile, Doodlebug got off to a slow start, but he is making up for it by head slinging drool all across the room as he runs. Not missing a beat! Great distribution! Now where’s that cat?

Me:        She heard you coming. Rampaging is hard to hide.

Stella:    Wiggles is bringing up the rear, but she is well into her comma dancing. Real style! She shows that a bulldog does not have to jump on furniture, dig in the trash, or sling drool to rampage.

Wiggles:   Trash? There’s trash? Let me at it!

Me:        Whoah again! My legs are standing here!

Miss Sweetie:   Beep! Beep! I haven’t jumped on your chair yet! Woo-hoo!

Doodlebug:   Awww. I’m all out of drool. Let me lick my way through.

Me:        Noooo! Wet everywhere!

Stella:    Not a problem, Lady Human. It will dry. Now, where’s that cat?

 

 

Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Humans are Idiots – Conversations with Stella

Stella:    What was that?

Me:        No “I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges” announcement…

Stella:    No! Lady Human, this is serious. What was that noise?

Me:        Some people are shooting off fireworks. And guns. Tomorrow is the Fourth of July. It’s a big celebration day. Remember. We talked about this before.

Stella:    The noises were never so loud before. This sounds like those lightning storms that crack the sky.

Me:        The explosions do sound closer this year. We must have some new neighbors.

Stella;    This is not neighborly! This is rude! And dangerous.

Me:        Yes. A neighbor not too far away found a spent bullet on their front porch this morning.

Stella:    Noooo! What if their dog had been sitting there?

Me:        Or their child?

Stella:    Why do humans do such things?

Me:        We’ve talked about this before, too, remember? Humans are idiots. Not all of us. And not all the time. But quite a few of us a lot of the time. A few years before you came, we had a roofing contractor out and he found two bullet holes in our roof. Bullets that had fallen from the sky, probably from miles away.

Stella:    Lady Human, you are not making me feel any better.

Me:        Bottom line, those bullets hit our roof and we did not know a thing about it. God covered us that night. I pray that He does every night.

Stella:    So we can go outside?

Me:        The Great Creator does not invite us to be foolish. We will stay in tonight.

Stella:    Look at Snoopey. She is the bravest among us and she is so scared right now.

Me:        I will take care of Snoopey. She is coming back to my room and we will watch a movie and maybe sing a quiet song.

Stella:    Hey, no fair. You are going to have a Fourth of July party without us?

Me:        No, we are going to have a nice, quiet evening where nothing extraordinary happens. No fear. No harm. Happy Fourth of July, Stella.

Stella:    Thank the Great Creator for me that we have a roof to cover us.

Me:        Amen.

Stella:    Why doesn’t the cat get scared?

Me:         Cat.

Stella:     Oh yeah. No fair.

He shall cover thee with His feathers, and under His wings shalt thou trust: His truth shall be thy shield and buckler.  Psalm 91:4 KJV

 

Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

 

 

Stop Clucking in Our Ears! You Sound Like a Chicken! – Conversations with Stella

I, Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges, guard my ears from nonsense noises and that is hard living with a pack of bulldogs. But today it was not a bulldog assaulting my ears. It was far worse than that.

It was a cat. Moon the Cat, to be precise. She was making clucking noises in Lady Human’s ear and I heard it. Clucking noises! Who does that? She is a cat! Where was the meowing that we are so often subjected to? A cat should act like a cat. Clucking is for chickens and I know that the cat has not been hanging around with them.

Me:        It was really no big deal.

Stella:    How do you define “big deal”? Since when is a cat clucking like a chicken not a big deal? Is this yet another cat/chicken conspiracy? Are cats and chickens uniting against bulldogs? Are they now speaking a common language? Is this a prelude to war? NOOOOO!!

Me:        Wait. A war between bulldogs on one side and cats and chickens on the other?

Stella:    What else can it be? A cat was clucking, Lady Human! A cat! Clucking!

Me:        I don’t think it is a real problem. I did tell Moon to stop doing it in my ear.

Stella:    There is a plot afoot. Ignore it if you will, but one day, all of us may be clucking in cat-ese like a bunch of chickens.

Me:        Flock.

Stella:    I beg your pardon?

Me:        Granted.

Stella:    Hmmmph! Cats!

Me:        Hmmmph! Bulldogs!

Stella:    What?

Me:        Nothing.

 

 

Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

 

 

Bulldog Dining in Style – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Yay me!

Me:        Yay you! I have a question.

Stella:    We bulldogs are fascinating creatures. There is always a question to ask about us.

Me:        Snoopey and Tiger would rather eat food off the floor than food out of their bowls. Why?

Stella:    Why not?

 

Me:        Why not? Because food on the floor can have dirt or dog hair in it. Food on the floor can be stale, something dropped and missed a day or two ago. Food on the floor can have been stepped on by humans or dogs or, worse, by a cat.

Stella:    Ewww! I hadn’t thought of that! Cat feet!

Me:        Is that all? Cat feet? What about dirt and hair and staleness and…

Stella:    I think you have forgotten the main point, Lady Human.

Me:        Eating off the floor is the main point.

Stella:    Nope. Being a dog, and more specifically, being a bulldog is the main point.

Me:        But even a bulldog should prefer fresh food in a bowl to old nasty food on the floor. AND if they can’t find food on the floor, they deliberately spill their food out of their bowls and proceed to eat the floor food. Why? I just want to understand.

Stella:    I don’t understand the question.

Me:        You never see humans spill their food on purpose and eat it off the floor.

Stella:    So, what’s the problem?

Me:        You don’t do it.

Stella:    No, I don’t, but I am the Queen. It wouldn’t do to have the bulldogs see me eating off the floor.

Me:        So why do Tiger and Snoopey do it?

Stella:    Personal preference. Don’t you humans believe in freedom?

Me:        But why just those two?

Stella:    Maybe eating off the floor feels more like the hunt to them. They don’t really have to find food, but it is more of a challenge than kibble in a bowl, more like the old, old game of survival.

Me:        And you don’t like that game.

Stella:    Lady Human, I am far too civilized to go back to the old ways. Just keep putting my food in a shiny silver bowl, thank you. The only time I hunt is when I don’t have to.

 

 

Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

 

 

Beware the Cat’s Paws! – Conversations with Stella

To all puppies in the world: I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Hello!

Today I am here to warn you in case your mothers and your negligent humans have failed to do so.

Me:        Negligent humans?

Stella:    You know what I am talking about. Humans and their little secrets. Secrets like cat’s paws!

Me:        What? What secret? Cats have paws. Surprise! Surprise!

Stella:    And what do those paws have, Lady Human? Tell the puppies of the world what those paws hide! CLAWS! Real, live CLAWS!

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Me:        Well, yeah. I guess that’s true, but…

Stella:    But nothing! Understand this, puppies! That soft padded little paw that is quietly walking your way looks like a furry cotton ball, all sweetness, but BOING! Out pop the claws. You never see them until it is too late.

Me:        Now, Stella, when has it ever been too late for you…oh, I forgot.

Stella:    You forgot, but I? Never!

Me:        You met those exposed claws because you were chasing Moon the Cat. You could have left well enough alone.

Stella:    NEVER FORGET!

Me:        The Bible tells us that there are things to remember and things to forget. I think it is time that you forget when Moon defended herself with her nails. And she could have done a whole lot worse to you than a few pinpricks on the muzzle. She showed you mercy.

Stella:    Still my warning goes out to the world of puppies! Beware the paws with hidden claws!

Me:        What about your paws – your big, heavy, slapping paws?

Stella:    My nails aren’t hidden. They are out in the open for all to see. Besides, my paw taps are love pats. You love me, don’t you?

Me:        Yes.

Stella:    Love me, love my paws.

Me:        And the cat?

Stella:    NEVER FORGET!

 

 

Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

 

 

 

Do the Bulldog Conga – Conversations with Stella

Hello! I am Stella, still Illustrious Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges, feeling a little left out the past few days as Lady Human and Tall Man have been partying with humans and have not even had the decency to bring home leftovers or include us in their human shenanigans.

Me:        I am sorry. No bulldogs were invited.

Stella:    For shame, Lady Human! A whole world of bulldogs and none were allowed. Without bulldogs, I’ll bet it was boring.

Me:        No. It was pretty fun. One of the guests pulled me into a conga line and I actually danced. Well, it was more like a slow run, but I still did it. That’s so unlike me.

Stella:    What is a ‘conga line’?

Me:        Everybody gets in a line and you put your hands on the shoulders of the person in front of you and you start moving to the music. Our line snaked around the room in between tables, and we danced until the music stopped.

Stella:    More like slow running.

Me:        Yeah, but we laughed a lot.

Stella:    Bulldogs can conga line. We put our feet on each other’s shoulders all the time. And we can slow run. We might fall off, but we can climb back on.

Me:        And someone will snarl. And someone will snap or growl. And then a fight might break out.

Stella:    Exactly, just like the humans. We would feel right at home.

Me:        It was probably better that there were no bulldogs allowed. It might have gotten overcrowded.

Stella:    We still should have been invited. That would’ve been polite.

Me:        But then we would have had to invite collies and corgis.

Stella:    I like collies and corgis.

Me:        And Labradors and poodles.

Stella:    I like Labradors and poodles.

Me:        And then we would have had to invite cats.

Stella:    NO! ABSOLUTELY NOT! NO CATS ALLOWED! If cats come to a party, I won’t attend!

Me:        What’s so bad about cats at a party?

Stella:    Cats do NOT know how to conga!

 

 

Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Special Me – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Illustrious Queen of the Olde English Bulldogs – not the Olde French Bulldogs (even though I love their little bodies and cute smooshy faces), not the Olde Russian Bulldogs (I think that they do not exist, so how could I be their queen?), or even the Olde American Bulldogs (as there are no “old” style American anythings. Americans are all “new style”, so there!)

Hello, humans and dogs. And cats, if any are reading this (which I doubt).

Allow me to introduce my subject of the day. ME! Me, me, me, wonderful me! Me all the time, all day and all night! Me, me, me, special bulldog me!

Why am I so special? Permit me to explain.

Me:        I know you will whether you are permitted to or not.

Stella:    Never mind Lady Human, dear readers. She is envious of my specialness.

Me:        As if that’s a real thing.

Stella:    I am special because, unlike the humans (and some dogs), I do not pay attention to the human news. What do I do instead? NAP! Try it out. It is wonderful. If I don’t feel like napping through the human news, I snack. That is why I always save a little bit of my food for later, unlike the other bulldogs who seem to think that woofing it all down in a few minutes is the way to go. If I don’t like what I am hearing on the human news, I can drown it out with crunching. I recommend it, humans. Crunching good food drowns out a lot of other noise.

Do you know why else I am special?

Me:        I await with bated breath.

Stella:    Bated breath? Is that like bulldog breath after Doodlebug has eaten something that he shouldn’t have? Because if it is that, ewww! Not interested!

Me:        No, it means I can’t wait to hear what else you have to say about your specialness.

Stella:    Well, in that case, let me tell you. I am special because Lady Human lets me come into her room and she helps me get up on her bed and she doesn’t mind if I start flipping around and get really excited and grin a lot and even drool (a little – I am not a big time drooler) and I breathe heavily and lick her and step on her. She doesn’t mind if I think her room stinks of weird smells and I want to leave suddenly. She does not take it personally. And so, there it is. I am special.

Me:        Yes, you are.

Stella:    You think so, too!

Me:        Yes, and some day, if you are ready for a good cry, I will tell you all the reasons why, I believe, God Most High brought you to me. Special me.

Stella:    I would like to hear that, Lady Human. But meanwhile, it’s not special you. It’s Special Me.

 

Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

 

 

 

 

What is Friday and Why Do The Humans Go Crazy Over It? – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Hello, humans and everyone else! It is Friday. So what? The humans seem to put a great deal of stock in this day every week. Why? Is this just another silly human tradition? Today looked like any other day to me, except that Lady Human made a special trip out to get cat food.

Me:        You weren’t upset when I make a special trip to pick up your food.

Stella:    Of course not. That is necessary. But cat food? Why can’t the cat eat our food, not that I am giving any of our food away, but really? A special food for cats? Why couldn’t you have picked hers up at the same time you picked ours up?

Me:        Are you truly so concerned with efficiency? Making one trip instead of two?

Stella:    No. I don’t care, except I don’t like it when you go off on errands and we have to stay at home.

Me:        Every time I come home, all I hear when I open the door is bulldog snoring. It’s not as though you are sitting there waiting for me.

Stella:    It is called ‘using time wisely’. Why stare at a wall when you can get a good nap in?

Me:        To answer your question, I have to go to a different place entirely to pick up the cat’s food. She has a sensitive stomach and can’t eat just any old thing.

Stella:    Of course she can! We have sensitive stomachs and you don’t see us holding back. We eat any old thing we find outside. Found food is the best kind. But…

Me:        But?

Stella:    Friday.

Me:        Friday?

Stella:    The humans make such a big deal about Friday. What is Friday?

Me:        Friday is the last workday of the week for many humans. Then the two-day weekend starts.

Stella:    So? Every day is the same. Giving a day a name doesn’t make it special. Just like you giving the cat a name doesn’t change her into a dog.

Me:        Friday has a special feel to it for people who don’t work on Saturday and Sunday. Lot of humans go out to eat or go to a movie or visit friends, stuff like that. Others just chill out. Evening is the beginning of Sabbath when some gather with family and friends to worship and to consider the things of God.

Stella:    And you go to buy special cat food. That is sad, Lady Human, really sad. You could at least buy bulldog treats or something useful like that instead.

 

 

Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Watch Where You’re Walking; It’s a Jungle Out There – Conversations with Stella

Stella:    Lady Human, why are you lying on the ground? It is dirty. And why is red stuff dripping from your nose? And why are you carrying that silly little light in your hand?

Me:        I was out here with a flashlight, looking for Doodlebug in the dark. I called and called and he didn’t come. Then I tripped over a fallen branch and hit my nose on the ground. How’s that for a story?

Stella:    That’s a stupid story. It has no point.

Me:        I think the point is to watch where you’re walking, especially in the dark. And carry a big flashlight.

Stella:    I hear Doodlebug. He’s chewing on something behind the chicken run.

Me:        Uhhh. You know what he said when I fell. “Hmph. Hmph.” Literally. That’s all he said.

Stella:    That’s what I would have said.

Me:        He hasn’t even come over to check on me.

Stella:    Well, you are a human. You have great big human power. But get up! You look like Wiggles does when she’s been rolling around in the dirt. Long, round, and lazy. Like a hot dog. By the way, do you have a hot dog on you?

Me:        Why would I have a hot dog on me when I was out here looking for Doodlebug in the dark?

Stella:    I don’t know. A barbecue could’ve broken out. Do I need to drag you back into the house, bulldog style?

Me:        No, I’ll be all right once I stop my bloody nose. I don’t think you could pull me in by yourself anyway.

Stella:    How insulting! You have no idea what I can do in an emergency.

Me:        You can do one thing for me. You can pull Doodlebug inside for me.

Stella:    Sure thing, Lady Human. I just need a little incentive. You wouldn’t happen to have a hot dog on you, would you?

 

 

Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.