Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Hollywood Calling

Belle wants to let everyone know that she is going to be a movie star. Her first (as yet untitled) movie is currently in production. Andrea is the writer, director, and producer, as well as one of the voice actors. I am going to lend my voice to the production as well. Andrea has assured me that I will be paid "handsomely", but every time I ask her to translate "handsomely" into a dollar amount, she has to go check the laundry.

The plot of the movie centers around Belle being accused of murder (gasp!), obviously a crime that she did not commit. Or did she? It is going to be a suspense thriller type of movie, very dramatic. Belle wanted to star in a romance comedy for her first picture, but we convinced her that a thriller is the way to go.

Belle has made a number of demands now that she is a star. First, she refuses to do any nude scenes, which I think is a reasonable demand. Second, she gets her own trailer for shooting days. And third, she refuses to do any of her own stunts. This means we are going to need to procure a stunt kitty. Hopefully we can find one that doesn't belong to the union -- the stunt cat union is no fun to negotiate with, I can tell you first hand!

You can be rest assured that once Belle's first movie is complete, it will be posted on this very web site, the humble blog that gave Belle her start. Belle also insists that the movie will be available on YouTube and iTunes, for those of you prone to using those technologies.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Don't Fall Off, Belle!

This is a picture of Belle lying on top of the Empire State Building. No, I'm just kidding. It is actually a picture of Belle lying on top of her cat pedestal. As you can see from the photo, the cat pedestal is not quite big enough for Belle -- she can't lie down on it without some part of her body hanging off of the edge, in this case her head.

Despite the size issue, Belle sure does love her cat pedestal. In fact, she thinks that all kitties should have their very own cat pedestal. She feels so strongly about this matter, in fact, that she has started her very own charitable organization called 'Cat Pedestals for the Kitties of America', or the CPKA. She is now accepting donations. Please send your cash, checks and money orders to:
Cat Pedestals for the Kitties of America
c/o Belle Poley-Briggs
121 Kitty Way
Troy, NY 12180

Like all good charities, the CPKA will confer titles to its donors depending on the level of their donation. The titles that Belle has decided upon are as follows:
$25 donation: 'Kitty Acquaintance'
$50 donation: 'Kitty Friend'
$100 donation: 'Kitty Supporter'
$250 donation: 'Kitty Patron'
$500 donation: 'Kitty Benefactor'
$1000 donation: 'Kitty Champion'

I don't know about you folks, but I can't wait to get my 'Kitty Champion' certificate! Belle tells me it will be well worth the thousand bucks.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

What do you think? 1 of 100

This is Belle's redo picture for her book jacket. I think she looks authoritative, austere, and slightly condescending. Belle says she was going more for benevolent and approachable, with a dash of rakishness.
Jeff's just happy she doesn't have that booger on her nose anymore.
I think we're all so tired of the professional photographer lights cluttering up the apartment and the grueling 10 hour shoots, that we'll probably go with this pic.

But this is the part where I ask the studio audience their opinion in a new segment called: What do you think?
Do you have any opinion on Belle's expression, choice of angle, or ratio of grey to white fur? (she always says she tries for 50/50 in photos. 'Separate but equal.')

If you do have a comment, please submit it care of: 
Double Dare
PO Box 593819
Hollywood, CA

Stay tuned for the next installment of What do you think? Where we will be discussing Belle's new book title. Hey, anything is better than 9 Lives, The Tail of Kitty. What was she thinking?

Thursday, June 14, 2007

The Best $2,000 We Ever Spent

Belle was not a cheap kitty. Despite the fact that she's not one of those "inbreds" (that's what Belle calls purebred kitties) , she was still rather expensive.

First there was the adoption fee. Then there was the spaying operation. And that was supposed to be it. The adoption and spaying fees should have been the only expenses involved.

But just a mere two weeks after Belle came to live with us, she became very sick. So sick that she was in and out of the vet's office all week. She had to be put on an I.V. and stay there for three days straight! And despite what Belle may try to tell you, the vet ain't cheap. Poor little Belle was none too happy about staying over at the vet. She didn't like their food (no shrimp!) and the entertainment was sorely lacking (no bird watching!). Yes sir, she was a miserable little kitty that week, but on the bright side, she did not die.

So what we thought would be a $200 kitty turned out to be a $2,000 kitty. The reason was that Belle had come down with an illness called Panleukopenia (also known as feline distemper) at the animal shelter. It is a nasty illness, Belle can (and will!) tell you that firsthand. Lots of kitties don't survive it, including Belle's brother Sebastian. Belle says she'll tell you all about Sebastian come Veteran's Day (that was his favorite holiday). Sebastian had planned on being a Veteran some day, but he died before he got the chance.

Sunday, June 10, 2007


This is Belle with her iPod. You might notice that she looks a bit feisty in this picture. She is very protective of her iPod.

Just before the picture was taken, Andrea tried to borrow the iPod from Belle, but Belle wouldn't let her. The last time Andrea borrowed it, she forgot to polish it before giving it back and Belle complained endlessly about the scuff marks that Andrea had failed to remove. If Andrea had returned the iPod with a scratch, I don't even want to think about how mad Belle would have been.

Belle is especially proud of her custom made iPod case, also shown in this photo. It was a Vernal Equinox present from her Aunt Carla (yes, Belle celebrates the Vernal and Autumnal Equinoxes as well as the Summer and Winter Solstices -- any excuse to get more presents). The iPod case is very warm and protective, and even has a hole in the top so the headphones can be worn when the iPod is inside it's case. What a thoughtful aunt Belle has.

Belle's iPod is filled mostly with that old-timey spiritual music that she is so fond of. Her favorite artists are Jim Nabors and Elvis Presley. She also has some albums by a Christian band whose name I can't remember -- they have a song about how cats didn't evolve from monkeys. I guess its intended to be an anti-evolution song (Belle doesn't believe in evolution, but that's a topic for another post). But what I can't figure out is, who said cats evolved from monkeys in the first place?

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Cleaning Is For Kitty

This is a picture of Belle licking one of our window shades. Being as I wasn't the one who took the picture, I can't say for certain why Belle was licking the window shade. I believe she may have been trying to repair the shade. According to Belle, cat saliva is one of the world's strongest adhesives, just below super-glue. And it's cheaper than super-glue too, if you've got access to a willing cat.

Luckily for us, Belle is more than willing to lend a hand (or tongue as it may be) around the house. In fact, she does more than her fair share of housework, a fact that she is only too eager to point out.

To put it bluntly, Belle thinks that Andrea and I are slobs (especially Andrea). If Belle had it her way, we would do laundry twice a week, sweep the floors every day, mop once a week, dust every other day, and clean the refrigerator once a month. Thank goodness Belle doesn't have it her way -- cleaning is hard! Belle would do it herself if she only had opposable thumbs.

Even though Belle is at a disadvantage when it comes to cleaning, she still manages to do her fair share. For instance, if Andrea or I leave some crumbs of food on a plate, Belle is right there to lick the plate clean. And if we spill a bit of tuna fish on the kitchen floor, she will clean it up as quickly as she can. And if Andrea leaves her dirty socks on the apartment floor, Belle will pick them up in her little mouth and deposit them in the nearest trash can. As Belle likes to say, "If you can't put your socks away, then you'll go barefoot."

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Belle's Drinking Buddies

This is Belle with some of her friends. I think their names are Krista and Hal. I don't know them very well. Belle has a lot of friends over to the apartment -- it's tough keeping track of all their names.

This picture was taken a couple months back, when Belle threw a party for St. Patrick's Day. She had about 15 friends over, some humans and some kitties. A lot of drinking took place. Belle doesn't like being intoxicated as a rule, but she makes a special exception for St. Patrick's Day because of her Irish heritage. And boy, did she and her friends get smashed this year. This photo was taken seconds before Krista passed out, which was followed by Belle clumsily tumbling off the couch, and then Hal running to the bathroom to throw up. It was not a pleasant evening, I can assure you of that. I haven't seen either Krista or Hal back since.

Usually Belle's parties are much more tame. She mostly has dinner parties, not drinking parties. For her last dinner party she served a pot pie for an entree. The pot pie was filled with Friskies Liver & Chicken Dinner canned cat food. Her human guests liked the dinner until they realized it was filled with cat food, but her cat guests refused to eat the pie crust and would only eat the Friskies filling. It's tough keeping everyone happy. I keep telling her she should make one entree for the cats and another for the humans, but she thinks that would be rude.

After dinner, Belle and her friends usually play a game. They like to play card games, dice games, and board games (especially Parcheesi). Andrea and I can't figure out why they like Parcheesi so much -- it's got to be just about the most boring game ever.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Career Kitty

This is Belle with her favorite paper clip. It's a green paper clip, green being one of Belle's favorite three colors.

Belle's favorite three colors are currently: green, royal teal, and burgundy. She is unable to put the three colors in order, as she simply cannot decide which of them is her favorite. Every now and again Belle will change what her favorite three colors are. Last month her favorite colors were: green, royal teal, and maroon. Then about two weeks ago she decided that she really preferred burgundy to maroon, so she kicked maroon out of her top three. It's tough keeping track of her color preferences. Andrea has just about given up.

So you may be wondering, why does Belle love paper clips so? Well, as you know, Belle is a big fan of office-type work. She loves filing and organizing and answering phones (especially answering phones!). Sometimes she answers the phone even when it doesn't ring. She prides herself on her customer service skills and her team-player attitude. She also keeps a very up-to-date resume on hand, as well as business cards, because as she says "you never know when opportunity will strike". She updates her resume every afternoon, and prints out new business cards bi-weekly. She is very much a career kitty. And don't get her started on 401ks, she will talk your ear off (or meow it off as the case may be).

If there's one thing that gets Belle's goat, it's how her career is limited by species-ism. As Belle puts it, "The lack of Feline MBA programs precludes my consideration for management positions. If only I had an MBA, then I wouldn't have to spend all day napping." Poor kitty...all she wants is an MBA, but the system won't allow it.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Let the Go-Carting Begin!

This is Belle from the waist down.

Despite her rather sizable belly, Belle has been known to zip around the apartment at very fast speeds. In fact, at times she can be nearly impossible to photograph -- her rapid movement causes the photos to come out blurry. This phenomenon may be related to the quality of the camera, or the quality of the photographer (Andrea), or the speediness of the cat, or a combination of all three.

So now Belle wants to give a recap of her Memorial Day parade.

"The parade was glorious, and my go-cart driving was of course the highlight. I put on quite a show for the kiddies (and the kitties). It included figure eights, wheelies, jumps, near-crashes, and a race to the finish with my arch-rival and nemesis go-cart racer (the mayor of Troy, Harry Tutunjian) which I won by a whisker. And I don't mean that figuratively - my whiskers were the first part of me to cross the finish line. The photo at the finish confirmed that my whiskers won the race for me -- if not for them, I would have been runner-up. Thank goodness I didn't listen to Andrea when she suggested I have laser whisker removal surgery.

After the race, I was lavished with gifts and trophies. I am somewhat tired of all the trophies, this being my 35th go-cart racing victory in the last two years. But I accept them because I am a gracious and benevolent kitty. And also because they don't give out the food until after the trophy ceremony, so anything to get it over with, if you get my drift. Now I have to start training for the Flag Day Parade (only ten days away!)."

So there you have it, straight from the cat's mouth. Belle's go-cart training schedule is quite rigorous. I wish she would take some more time off to relax, but that's not her style once go-cart season begins (Memorial Day kicks off the season). I guess I'd better get used to it quick, because she won't give it a rest until Labor Day. She's gotta get those trophies.