Monday, January 16, 2012

"Flat" Cauli, Water Baby, Cupcake Connoisseur

by "Flat" Cauli I
MPL Special Flat Feline Correspondent

A common myth about cats is that we are afraid of water.  Au contraire.  We kitties (including the "flat" kind like moi) are excellent swimmers and will take to the water if we have good reason.  What we felines don't like is being cold, wet, and uncomfortable.  A brisk toweling to dry our fur does the trick nicely.

My adventures with the Library's Homeschool Group continue.  After returning from Disney World and Epcot, I visited with the Lounsbery family.  (Just a reminder:  To respect the families' privacy, we're not using first names here.  But you know who you are!  My homeschool pals, I mean.  Well, I guess my readers know who they are, too, for that matter.)

My senior Lounsbery correspondent took moi to swimming lessons.  She's hoping to make the swim team, and I wanted to help out.  I'm good at timing laps, especially if I have a stopwatch.  I also float really well (being a "Flat" Cauli)--laminated cardboard has its advantages--so I was prepared to jump right in if duty called.

Click Photos to Enlarge (or "Bigify")

I learned that swimmers typically wear snug-fitting swimsuits to help reduce friction from the water on the skin of their bodies.  This helps them move through the water faster.  Of course, my "swimsuit" is made of all-natural fur.  My senior Lounsbery correspondent and I were all set to start practicing our swimming strokes.  For moi, that means mostly floating, but I swim a fast four-pawed freestyle.

WHOA!  Do I have to dive off the high board?

I was intrigued by the diving boards, but I was a little alarmed when we took this photo, because I thought I was going to have to dive into the pool from this really high diving board.  I was told it's not actually so high above the water, but when you're standing at the end, and you're petite like moi, it sure looks like a long, long way down.

I can do a "cannonball dive" (well, jump, really)

I was surprised at how physically demanding swimming lessons can be.  Swimmers begin slowly, learning many different swim strokes (and water safety, of course), but soon their bodies become muscular, and they swim faster and stronger.  Swimming is terrific exercise, but being a competitive swimmer requires hard work, dedication, and a desire to do your best.  I spoke with many people who someday want to join the swim team, and they all said that the hard work is totally worth it.

I paddled around the pool for awhile, but I was nowhere near as fast as my senior Lounsbery correspondent, who swam quite like an old pro.  Someday, I'd like to come to swim meets to see her swimming for her team.  I can tell already that she will be an excellent swimmer.

Swimming made me quite hungry, so my Junior Lounsbery correspondent and I celebrated her birthday (can you guess how old she is?) by baking some cupcakes.  Anybody who has read the wonderful book If You Give a Cat a Cupcake, by Laura Numeroff (Felicia Bond, illustrator), knows that cats love cupcakes--especially "Flat" kitties like moi.  So this was pretty fantastic.

We decorated the cupcakes with candy, and I helped blow out the birthday candles. Then we got to eat the cupcakes!  Well, not all of them at once--that might give you a belly-ache--so I just had one.  It was soooooo tasty and delicious!  I was mighty impressed that, at just six years old, my Junior Lounsbery correspondent could make and decorate cupcakes.

It was interesting to learn how to cook them.  There are lots of ingredients that you have to mix together in just the right amounts, and there's rather a lot of stirring involved at different times, but the final product was well worth the wait.

I had a truly wonderful time visiting with the Lounsbery family, and I'd like to thank them again for taking me to swimming lessons and baking birthday cupcakes.  It was great fun, and I hope I can visit again sometime soon so we can do some more fun things, some of which might include food.  Well, I'm sort of hungry as I'm typing this.

If you'd like to read If You Give a Cat a Cupcake, we have a copy at my Library. Cauli Le Chat wrote about it on her grown-up blog; in fact, her blog background picture shows her sitting next to the book.  Visit our online Evergreen Indiana catalog to place a hold on the book, or visit the Library to check it out in person.

Your "Flat" Roving Reporter On The Go,

"Flat" Cauli I

Reporting For
Cauli Le Chat

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