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(...more emailed images I just couldn't resist...)

Because it's August and because it's also Clever's 10th anniversary, we've decided we want to go back to a tradition that we started in Clever's early years. We ALWAYS published a pet issue in August. But we published 12 issues a year back in the day, so there were lots of issues in between the pets. Now that we only publish four times a year, we figure running pet stories every fourth issue would get a little tiresome, don't you think? So we abandoned the Dog Days idea. What happens is we've been collecting animal stories and saving them for just the right moment. Well, that moment is here...

A gift from the largest to the smallest.

A note from the editor: The kitten in this photo is commonly labeled a "tuxedo cat" because of its white paws, white bib and facial markings. We have had two tuxedo cats in our house at various times. They seem to have a distinctive personality, and are quite smart (even though letting a German Shepherd lick you isn't really a bright idea).

Many of you will remember our beloved TC who used to spend her days in my office purring and sleeping while I worked at the computer. Her playful days were long gone, and now, unfortunately, she is too. Then came our little Mini, another tuxedo cat just as adorable as the one in this picture, and just as small. She is probably the smartest of all the cats that have shared their lives with us.

Her first and most important job is to be good company for Tooey our tortoise shell cat. We rescued Tooey from an uncertain fate at the pound. She's about nine years old now but came to us as a kitten, playful, adorable and friendly. But eventually we decided she needed a playmate. We went back to the pound and adopted Mini, who made herself at home immediately. Tooey has adjusted to Mini's antics even though she would never think of doing what Mini does. Mini has jobs: making sure the toilet flushes properly, jumping up when the doorbell rings, being first at the food bowl, catching insects, especially flies, chewing up cardboard boxes, and keeping track of where Tooey is sleeping, for example. And speaking of sleeping, Mini always sleeps on Dale's pillow at night. They share it. Mini usually has her paws wrapped around his head and she licks his forehead when she feels like it during the night.

Both cats make sure we know when it's time to get up in the mornings -- early. They also remind us when it's bedtime. If we stay up longer than usual, they get nervous. They do not like roller bags, they know that means we're leaving them. They usually hide when we start packing. Cats, as a rule, do not like change, sort of like conservatives. If it ain't broke, don't fix it or change it. However, I do know that both of our cats would vote for Obama if they were registered.

Here's our Mini (which is short for Jasmine, the name the SPCA gave her). This basket sits on our kitchen table and every morning she gets in it when we read the newspaper. When she gets bored with the news, she bats at the paper. Enough of that reading. Time to play.

You've seen this photo before. Cats like cool places in hot weather.

These dogs like each other, sort of. I think they are neighbors,
possibly they have a secret they don't want the rest of the neighbors to know.
Or maybe they are trying to figure out why cats are cuter than dogs.

The best of all worlds is to have two cats in the house that like each other.
"They" say that cats are really loners who don't need a companion.
I don't believe that for one minute.

The end.
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