Check out my Fiverr book editing services at: https://www.fiverr.com/share/VYL6Zd
I now have my own internet radio show on Artist First Radio Network! You can listen to me live on www.artistfirst.com the 4th Monday of every month from 6-7pm Central! I’ll be talking about my two passions, pets and writing!! I’ll also be interviewing anyone who is a writer or is working with animals or children.
Check out my radio show page at www.artistfirst.com/foland for more information about upcoming shows and to listen to past shows!
This Monday, January 27th, I’ll be talking about my writing process. I never realized how much my journaling and short story writing, which I’ve done all my life, influenced me as a writer and helped me create my writing process.
To be considered for a guest spot on my show contact me!
After more than 10 years of working in pet resorts, doing dog training, pet sitting and caring for my own household full of pets, I have lots of experience with pets of all kinds. I’m happy to share my knowledge with you!
Post a question about pets in the comments for me to answer!
Chip grabbed the tool box off his bed and headed out the door. “Bye, see you tonight,” he called to his three siblings.
Chip walked a few blocks to the office of Plumbers R Us. Today was his first day on the job. Graduating from CAT-U seemed like a lifetime ago, since Chip’s focus the past week was preparing for this job.
Chip found Mr. Hewey waiting for him at the front desk.
“Good morning, Mr. Hewey,” Chip greeted the plump black and white cat.
Mr. Hewey climbed off the chair and lumbered around the desk, “Hi, Chip. Are you ready for your first assignment?”
“Good, here are your jobs for the day. Normally, I try to schedule you 5 jobs each day, but since this is your first day, I started you off easy with only 3. I will be following you to each home and assisting you if needed. Any questions?”
“Good, let’s go.”
Chip followed Mr. Hewey down the street as Mr. Hewey explained, “The first client has a stopped-up kitchen sink. The garbage disposal has quit working as well.”
Chip nodded and rang the doorbell.
“Hello, I am Chip with Plumbers R Us. How are you?”
“Good, come on in,” a tan tabby replied as she stepped aside so Chip and Mr. Hewey could enter.
The tan tabby led them to the kitchen explaining, “My kitchen sink is stopped up and the disposal stopped working.”
Chip opened the cupboards and checked under the sink and then in the sink. “Give me a few minutes and I should be able to find the problem.”
The tan tabby nodded in pleasure and left the room.
Chip worked quickly as Mr. Hewey observed. Soon Chip exclaimed, “I found the problem.”
The tabby came back into the room, and Chip showed her the large glob of cat food that was stuck in the disposal and sink drain.
“I am going to dislodge this here,” Chip said, as he positioned the plunger over the sinks opening. He pumped it several times, before the glob came loose and Chip pulled back triumphantly.
He scooped the old food up and into the trashcan. He then ran the sink and turned on the disposal. The water ran easily and the disposal churned.
“You are wonderful. I can’t believe you fixed it so fast.”
Chip beamed at the praise.
After the tabby had paid Chip for his service, she lead him and Mr. Hewey to the door.
“Good job, Chip,” Mr. Hewey praised as they walked to the next job.
“Thank you, Mr. Hewey,”
At the next house, Chip knocked on the door, and a large black cat answered gruffly, “Yes, what do you want?”
“I am Chip with Plumbers R Us, sir. I am here to fix your toilet.”
“Oh, right. Come in.”
Chip followed the large cat through the house to the bathroom.
“The toilet is running a lot longer than normal every time it is flushed,” the black cat explained.
“Let me take a look at it,” Chip said.
The black cat nodded, but proceeded to hover as Chip looked for the problem.
“I found the problem,” Chip exclaimed, after watching the toilet flush several times. “I need to replace the flapper, so the water will stay in the tank.”
The black cat came closer to Chip and peered into the tank.
With a grunt, he backed away again, and Chip set to work
The client hovering made Chip slightly nervous, but he concentrated on his work.
Soon he had the toilet fixed and the toilet flushed and stopped much quicker.
“There you go, sir. It is all fixed.”
“Thank you. You are very efficient.”
It was only when Chip and Mr. Hewey were on their way to their next job, that Chip admitted, “The client hovering like that really made me nervous. I was waiting for him to argue with me about how to fix it.”
“You handled him well, and he was obviously impressed by you.”
The last job Chip had that day was at the house of a young calico mother. She greeted Chip and Mr. Hewey and ushered them inside.
As she led them to the bathroom she explained, “The shower has been slow to drain for a while but last night it stopped draining completely.”
As Chip listened and followed a trio of rambunctious kittens raced by them.
“I will take a look at it for you,” Chip replied smiling at the kittens as they circled him again.
“Leave Chip alone, please kittens. He is here to fix the shower.”
The kittens scurried into the other room.
“Sorry about that, they are so curious,” she explained to Chip and Mr. Hewey.
Chip inspected the water filled tub. He reached his paw onto the drain but the direct opening was clear.
“Must be a clog in the line. I will run the snake down it and see of that will fix it,” Chip explained.
The calico nodded and went to check on her kittens.
Chip got the snake from his toolbox and set to work.
He loved working the snake down the drain. He smiled feeling much more relaxed at this job. The tub slowly started to drain and after the snake went a few inches further, it drained normally.
Chip retracted the snake and monitored the shower drain. When the standing water was gone, he turned on the tub faucet and watched the water drain. When he was satisfied that the clog was cleared, he called, “ All fixed.”
The calico appeared in the doorway shadowed by her three kittens.
Chip smiled at her and said, “ I think have cleared the clog. Is this how it normally drains?”
Everyone watched as Chip turned on the tub’s faucet. The water poured out of the spout and flowed easily down the drain.
“That is wonderful. Yes.”
Chip shut the water off. After being paid, he and Mr. Hewey left the calico’s home.
“Good job today, Chip. I am very impressed with you. Are you ready for 5 jobs tomorrow?”
“Great. I’ll see you in the morning.”
Chip waved bye to Mr. Hewey and hurried home. He could not wait to tell his sibling about his first day.
Lots of common household items and plants are toxic to cats. Here is a list of top 10 toxins: poisonous poisons
- Spot-on flea and tick medications for dogs
- Household cleaners such a Windex and Bleach
- Antidepressant and stimulate medications
- Essential Oils- meant to be inhaled not ingested!
- Anti-inflammatory medications
- Mouse and rat poisons
- Aspirin and decongestant medications
- Onions and garlic
- Adult multi-vitamins- will overdose a cat.
- Halloween candy is toxic for cats and dogs. Make sure to keep candy out of your pet’s reach.
- Keep your pets, especially black cats, in the house on Halloween night. This is the worst night of the year for cats and dogs being injured or killed by humans.
- When answering the door, keep your pets confined away from door so they can’t get out. Give your cats and dogs a safe place to hide away from the front door and costumed kids so they don’t get spooked.
- Keep glowsticks and candles out of your pet’s reach. These commonly go inside pumpkins and can injure cats and dogs. Keep lit jack-o-lanterns away from your pets.
- Keep fall decorations such as carved pumpkins, fall corn cobs, and haybales away from your pets.
- Keep electronic decorations off the floor and anywhere that your cats and dogs can get to. Some pets are attracted to the new object and chewing on these can cause choking, battery burns, or electrical shock hazards.
- Dressing your pet up in a costume is fun, but make sure you take the costume off immediately after showing your friends or taking the photo. Costumes can shift and create leg, tail and face injury to pets by restricting their movements. Also, if your cat or dog decides to chew the costume off, it can cause stomach blockages.
- Make sure your cats and dogs wear a collar with a current ID tag while you are having friends over or answering the door for trick or treaters. ID tags are the only way others can help return your pets to you if they get out.
Petey walked to his first day of work reflecting on how fast the time had gone. Before graduating from CAT-U he was offered a job with Structures Done Right. Now only 5 days after graduating, Petey was on his way to shadow one of the foremen of the company.
He found the office for Structures Done Right easily, and was greeted by a blue-eyed Persian at the front desk, “Hi, can I help you?” she asked flirtatiously.
“I am Petey. This is my first day here. I am supposed to meet Mr. Levy here. Is he in?”
“Yes, he will be right up.”
The Persian picked up the phone and hit a few buttons, spoke to Mr. Levy and then hung up the phone.
Petey looked at the photos of buildings under construction that hung on the wall.
Mr. Levy appeared a few minutes later. He was a sleek built Siamese with piercing green eyes. “Good morning, Petey. Are you ready to get to work?”
“Yes, sir, Mr. Levy.”
“Great, well, let’s go.”
Petey followed Mr. Levy out the door and down the block.
Mr. Levy explained as they walked, “Today we will be helping with the construction on the Furville Tower downtown. Have you seen it?”
“I saw it when they were just starting to put up the frame work, but that was a while ago.”
“They have the exterior frame up and are working on the support structures on the inside of the building now. Soon they will be putting up the walls.”
Mr. Levy led Petey through the fenced off area, and handed him a yellow hard hat.
After introducing Petey to the crew, Mr. Levy said, “Ok, the first thing we have to do is finish getting the corner supports on. Take these nails and the support joints are over there.” Mr. Levy pointed to a stack of thick corner brackets.
The crew grabbed the nails and headed off.
Petey said, “Um.. Mr. Levy, I don’t think those nails are long enough to go through the bracket and the wood.”
“What? Nonsense. I have been using the same materials for every building. I have been doing this for 8 years. “
Petey nodded and quickly looked back to the crew that was working. He realized that he shouldn’t have corrected his boss. I am just so excited; I couldn’t help it. I know they need the three-inch nails not the two-inch nails.
As Petey stood in silence certain that Mr. Levy hated him already, the crew members attempted to attach the corner bracket to the structure.
They each hammered four nails into the bracket, but when they let go, the brackets fell to the ground.
Petey smiled to himself seeing that the nail had barely penetrated the wood.
Mr. Levy glanced around, before calling the crew over. “What’s going on?”
“The nails aren’t long enough,” a buff brown cat responded.
Mr. Levy snatched the nails from the out stretched paw, and muttered, “Who mixed the two-inch nails with the three-inch nails?”
The crew members shrugged and shifted uncomfortably.
Petey saw that the bucket of nails had the number 2 on one side and number 3 on the other, which caused the confusion. But after earlier, Petey kept his mouth shut.
Mr. Levy dug through the bucket and said, “We are going to have to sort these out. Here everyone take a handful.”
Petey and the crew grabbed the nails and quickly separated the two- and three-inch nails.
Once the crew was back to work, Petey grabbed some extra buckets, and a marker. He marked out the second number on each of the buckets, so that it was clear what length nail went in each. He then carefully sorted the nails into their new buckets.
Mr. Levy watched Petey work without objection. “Thank you, Petey. Nice initiative.”
Petey beamed at the praise.
After lunch, Mr. Levy was explaining how the crew was going to start putting up the stucco walls.
Petey listened intently as he watched the crew prepare to hoist a large sheet of stucco up against the frame.
Petey waited for Mr. Levy to pause, before he said, “Mr. Levy, they need more support on that stucco sheet, or it will break before they get it flush to the wall.”
Mr. Levy, followed Petey’s gaze and was about to respond, when the sheet snapped in half and fell back to the ground. The crew members scrambled to avoid being hit, and all escaped unharmed.
“Good eye, Petey. Why don’t you go help them?”
Petey nodded with a smile and walked over to the crew. He explained, “You need an extra support in the middle of the sheet, otherwise it creates too much pressure. The pressure is what caused the first sheet to break.”
The rest of the afternoon passed quickly, as Petey assisted the crew with placing the stucco sheets along the frame. The crew members all respected Petey and by the end of the day were asking for his help over Mr. Levy’s.
Petey couldn’t believe, it was already quitting time.
“Bye, Mr. Levy, thank you,” Petey called as he walked out of the fenced yard.
“See you in the morning, Petey. You did excellent today. You will be surveying your own construction site in no time.”
Petey smiled and walked home. He could not wait to tell his siblings about his adventures. I like this job a lot. I can’t wait to go back tomorrow.
I’m excited to announce that my next book, Megan’s Journal is now on Amazon!!
Here is a preview of Megan’s Journal:
Many readers have asked,
“How did Megan know how to care for her kittens at the various stages of
Megan’s Journal documents her munchkin’s grown from helpless one-day-old
kittens to very active six-month-olds. It includes antidotes of their many
playful antics along with Megan’s internet research on kitten development. It
also follows Megan’s personal growth as she proves to her parents that she can
handle the responsibility of a pet. Megan learns that there is much more to
having a pet than just petting and playing with them. Megan doesn’t mind the
endless cycle of feeding schedules, vet visits, homework, household chores, and
pet sitting jobs because she loves her kittens with all her heart!
Megan’s Journal includes over 30 color photos of the author’s real life
kittens that inspired her Megan’s World book series.
Two-year-old, Gizmo had graduated from CAT-U last Saturday. Now only one week later, he was headed to his first rodeo with All City Rodeo.
Gizmo saw the arena ahead and ran to greet his new boss.
“Good Morning, Mr. Buck.”
“Hello there, Gizmo. Are you ready for your first rodeo?” Mr. Buck responded.
“Yes, sir,” Gizmo said puffing out his grey chest in excitement.
Mr. Buck led Gizmo and the others through the crowded arena to the riders area.
After talking with the cat at the registration table, Mr. Buck returned with the riding times for each of them.
Gizmo’s eyes lit up as he saw he was scheduled to ride in two different events. The Buck-off event, where he had to hold onto the bucking bull for as long as possible. The Barrel Race where he would ride a horse through the barrel maze as fast as he could.
“The Buck-off is coming up soon, we need to get you a number, Gizmo,” Mr. Buck said breaking into Gizmo’s thoughts.
Gizmo followed Mr. Buck through the crowd to the edge of the arena. A pudgy black cat was holding vests and passed them out as each rider approached. Gizmo was given the number 5 vest, which meant he would ride 5th in each event.
“That’s good, I can watch the first few rides,” Gizmo told Mr. Buck excitedly.
“Yes, it is never good to be the first one in the event.”
Gizmo stood at the railing at watched as the Buck-off started.
The first cat didn’t last 2 seconds out of the gate.
The second cat lasted 5 seconds.
The third and fourth cat each only lasted 4 seconds.
“Wow, this looks hard,” Gizmo muttered under his breath. He climbed onto the bull, who right now stood calmly in the slot. Gizmo dug in claws into the saddle cloth as far as they would go. He took a deep breath preparing himself for what was to come.
“Ready?” a voice asked him.
Gizmo nodded and clenched the saddle cloth tighter.
The gate flew open and the bull now bucked and twisted down the arena. Gizmo held on, not feeling at all off balance by the bucks. The bull then turned to go back up the arena. He did a series of mini bucks followed by a big buck that caught Gizmo by surprise. The buck caused Gizmo to slide down the right side of the bull. Gizmo quickly righted himself on the saddle and was digging all four feet back into the saddle pad, when the bull did another big buck sending Gizmo hurdling over the bull’s head and onto the sand below. Gizmo managed to land on his feet and get up the railing before the bull trampled him.
“The longest ride so far, Gizmo rode for 10 seconds,” the announcer’s voice boomed over the loudspeakers.
“Yeah, good going Gizmo!”
Gizmo looked in the direction of the cheers, and saw his three siblings in the stands. He waved to them and continued on his way back to Mr. Buck.
“Good ride, Gizmo,” Mr. Buck praised, “I think you have won this event. There are only two more riders. The rider after you barely made it out of the gate.”
Gizmo nodded, trying to hide his excitement. He turned to face the arena, so Mr. Buck wouldn’t see the huge smile that Gizmo couldn’t keep off his face.
Gizmo stood at the railing watching the last two riders in a daze. He couldn’t believe his ears, when the announcer called, “Gizmo has won the Buck-off event today. Come to the staging area and claim your ribbon, Gizmo.”
Mr. Buck patted Gizmo on the shoulder, “Good going, son.”
“Thanks,” Gizmo beamed and hurried off to collect his ribbon.
Gizmo showed off his blue ribbon to Mr. Buck, before handing it to his siblings to hold. Gizmo went back to his spot along the railing and started mentally preparing for the barrel race.
It wasn’t long before the first cat and horse team wove through the barrels. They took several turns too tight and knocked over three barrels by the end of the run.
The next two riders also knocked over the third barrel, but otherwise had a good ride.
The fourth rider made it through without knocking any barrels over, and his time was fast at 1 minute 7 seconds.
Gizmo mounted his horse and clutched the saddle pad. When the gate opened the horse lunged forward in a gallop. Gizmo swayed momentarily in the saddle, before steadying himself and concentrating on the barrels.
Gizmo leaned and nudged his horse around barrel after barrel. After making it passed the third barrel without knocking it over, Gizmo let a breath out.
“Almost there,” he muttered to his horse.
A few barrels later, Gizmo and his horse made it through all the barrels in a clean run.
“Gizmo has a clean run with the time of 1 minute 9 seconds,” the announcer’s voice says.
“Drat,” Gizmo says as he makes his way back to Mr. Buck.
“Good ride, Gizmo,” Mr. Buck praises.
“I was too slow,” Gizmo complains.
“You can’t expect to win every event. You did great for your first show with us.”
Gizmo’s face brightened. “Does that mean I can ride again next weekend?”
“Yes, I already have you signed up for three events.”
Gizmo felt better, knowing he hadn’t blown his dream job after only one day.
Gizmo collected his red second place ribbon a while later.
As the arena was emptying out, and the crew was starting to clean up, Gizmo found Mr. Buck. “Thanks for letting me ride today. I learned a lot and will be ready to go again next weekend.”
“Great, see you for practice on Monday.”
“Bye,” Gizmo called as he hurried out the arena door to find his siblings.
“Good job, Gizmo,” they all cheered at once.
All the way home, Gizmo told his three siblings about his day.