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Patches' Diary
by "Socks the Catt"

I woke up this morning in a sunbeam. Circe let me have a room thatfaces the morning sunrise and the park, and I have this nice and warm fleecy bed thing to sleep on. I opened my eyes to see it was going to be a beautiful day. I left a window open to smell everything. Since Circe changed me, I get to have not only the blue skys in my eyes, but I get a nose-full of Mr. Airwick's garden from here. I can smell the deep richness of the forest on the other end of the complex where most woodland critters usually end up. Depending on the wind, I can sometimes smell thebog, or the elephants, but I don't mind it. Especially when I get mornings like this.

I stretched, full warm sunbeam stretch. Always feels nice with a warm morning belly. I crawled off of the bed I sleep on, and wandered into the hallway. Circe ran into me there. "Hello Patches!" I always like to see her smile, it's the best way to start a day. I smiled and said hi to her. "I need you to do a few things today in the park, and they need to be done before sunset." she said. I toldher I'd do it all, and she gave me the list.

Sometimes I hate getting dressed to go into the park, I may be a feline narcissus but I think Circe did a fantastic job with me and it's a shame notto show the whole effect. But I never know who's down in there, and anaked cat may not be good to ease some minds. And not everyone in thepark is staying, I've noticed, so keeping the illusion of me being a wandering mascot is good. So I wear my 'jumper'. That and it's easier to hold screwdrivers, wires, and the couple of other things I need. Circe has a fun sense of humor too, there's a name-patch on it like gas station guys have that has "Patches" embroidered on it just under the park logo. On bright days, I keep the goggles handy too. Bright lights aren't good for my eyes. Anyway, I wasn't too hungry, but had a quick glassof milk before getting dressed and heading out to the park.

The first thing Circe asked me to do is change out some lights on the donkey-dope pavilion. I hate going over there, the smell gets to me after a while. I don't really get any kind of contact high or anything, I mean I'm a catnip fiend lately and the smoke doesn't do it for me. It's more the noise. All that braying gets to me, and that hyena that hangs out there, between them it's more than a little much to these feline ears. At least they play good music on the speakers. I'm still a closet Hendrix fan, and today was Doors day.

Second thing was to hook the Hotel Drake into the main computer system. I knew this would be the thing that would take most of the day, so I wanted to get it over with as soon as I could, or save it for last. I went for the first option. As I was walking through the cobblestone walkway, I kinda realized I could feel each stone under my paws. I'm still getting used to walking on my toes and paw-pads, as well as no shoes. It's weird, kinda, but I'm really learning to love it. I mean I can feel sand, rocks, even the cracks in the pavement of some areas as I walk, it's a really nice feeling. My feet are really sensitive too, andthat doesn't hurt.

Anyhow, as I was walking over to the Hotel, I ran into a man who had antlers forming from his forehead. His face had already started to push out, and his nose had turned coal black. He also had that "caught in the headlights" look already in his unnaturally large eyes. So, anyhow, he grabbed me by the lapels of my jumper and screamed "WHAT IS HAPPENING TO ME?" He looked terrified.

"It's ok. It's ok." I kept on saying to him, trying to pet him a little. I've noticed if you do that to the woodland transformation guests they relax enough to let you talk to them. When he finally calmed down a little I pointed him in the direction of the woods. I would havetaken him there personally, but I needed to get to the Hotel. When I got there the mallard behind the counter tried to explain what was going on,but I don't speak "quack". I need to talk to Circe or her sisters about the head manager there, he's kind of an odd bird. It didn't take long to figure out the computer, but the main problem was getting the wiring right. It took a few hours, like I thought it would, but it's hooked up. Thankfully, I don't need to hook up the whole place to the mainframe. Most of the guests don't get the chance to surf the web, but they all seem to love the pool.

The next thing was to Saurina's bog to do a check on a few things. I love to say hello to her, not enough guests do that, but I know better than to offer a paw to wave. When I got there Saurina was basking on a rock. I started to look over the bridge when I heard "Watch your step cat." I stopped, looked down, and saw a weak spot on the bridge that angled downward, and the safety rail was bent upward. I was about to askabout it when I heard Saurina say "Leave it. I get more victims that way." I looked through this hole, and it was obvious that a lot of menfell from the bridge to the bog from there, never to make their way back up. Well, at least it's a soft landing.

It was getting late when I went for a fast bite to eat in the park. I usually hit up "Chapperal's", the fast food place next to the bears. They have a lot of the stuff I love, tuna, cod, shrimp, and the occasional chicken. They serve me chicken when I ask for the weird things like mouse or zebra. They tell me I'll never notice the difference, becauseit all tastes like chicken, and their fried chicken is better than mouse orzebra anyhow. I beg to differ, but they've never had real mouse-on-the-paw either.

I sat down next to a group of guys who kept on asking me about where the"cat house" was. I told them it was closed, but I did know where the good bitches hung out. We ate together, and it was obvious that they were bachelors on a night out, and had obviously had a few too many before they started drinking here too. I finished up my fish sandwich and offered to take them to the bitches.

They were all for it, so I took them over to the canine run. "Oh, and I REALLY recommend that you check out the 'pet shop' for your friend there." I said, pointing to the guy I guessed was the bachelor. "I hear the ladies inside love a man in a collar." I shook my head to let the bell chime a little from my own collar.

They didn't think I was serious until M'Lady Circe wandered up from behind me, and said aloud "That's a nice collar there pussycat!" as she walked out the exit and into the "Kennel Club Discothèque" Interesting how fast they all purchased a collar and followed her, fumbling to put them on. I shook my head, and shrugged to the cashier. I picked up a can of kitty vittles and ate 'em like popcorn while I walked back home. They're just too good to be legal, I think.

The last thing I needed to do… M'Lady asked me to go check the basement for mice beforesunset. I don't mind, it's the chance to finally get out of the jumper and go do what I love to do. I don't know how I know how to mouse, Ijust do. Well, I caught about four mice, and had to reprimand three of them. The fourth was a real mouse, probably came in on a ship or something. But the other three, I told them not to bother M'Lady anymore and I wouldn't hurt them. They thanked me and scurried off to go bother someone else. I need to suggest to construct some kind of farmpavilion so the mice will have a barn or silo to huddle into and get out ofour basement!

Kind of a long day in the park, but it's days like this that I love it here. At sunset there was a glow outside the merry-go-round, and a group of men and women were riding the merry-go-round that we had fixed the other day. It feels good to have a view of the park from the side window, to see them all enjoying their stay. M'Lady said something about a catch and release, but I didn't really hear what she was saying from here. But we're probably going to have a group of happy equines by tomorrow morning. The ride is still running, and you can see the glow from here.

Tonight I'm taking the night off, just relaxing in my room here. Ican hear Circe talking to her sisters in the computer room about three dogsthat need new homes, and they're all getting a good laugh from it. I can just picture her there, drinking wine with her sisters and laughing it up. I like hearing her voice, it's pure honey. A bit later I'll open the windows again and head to bed if the carousel isn't too loud. Tomorrow I think that I'm going to sleep in, unless those mice come back.