Dear Champagne…

Welcome to a new series in the FrogDiva blog. The following is a series of letters that began as an email exchange after my cat Champagne went to visit some very good friends. For the sake of privacy, their true identities have been withheld. Champagne, as a polite Asian cat (she was born in Thailand), addresses her elders as Auntie and Uncle. You, dear reader, are most welcome to write to her even on behalf of your own cat – (or maybe even dog?), but please include the photo as well. She has always been computer literate and will be a ruthless editor when she deems it necessary, sitting on the keyboard, or as someone just recently discovered, will walk all over the papers if she is not in  agreement, and I can’t tell you how many times she has erased paragraphs of my own writing!

December 1, 2016

Dear Auntie Charlotte and Uncle Max, 

cham3thank you for a wonderful afternoon! I really like your house with so many places to explore and get lost in! Your bathroom water was yummy, though your sink takes some time to get used to. Maybe I can try the kitchen tap next time? In any case, thank you for letting me bring my mom along as well. We went to the bank and then she left me in the car with Many Nestor while she dashed into the supermarket. Hrmpf, I would have wanted to tag along there too! 
Looking forward to visiting you again soon! 
December 2

Dear Champagne,

It is always a joy having you visit us here with your mom.
You are most welcome to try the kitchen tap next time.  We were concerned that you were balancing on a narrow counter.
Sorry to hear that your Mom left you in the car whilst she was in the supermarket as you would have been fascinated or, more so, the customers would have been impressed and intrigued by you.
We have asked permission from your Mom that sometime, when our boys are here, we can pick you up and introduce you to them.  Our plan is to bring you from your place whilst the boys are asleep and we sure that this surprise will put a smile on their faces.
Please kindly ask your Mom to email us the telephone numbers of your Angeles so that we can contact them.
We are also thinking of meeting up with your Mom again this coming Wednesday.  Do you fancy going to Ternate beach again? 
Take care both of you.
Auntie Charlotte and Uncle Max
December 2 (later that day)
Dear Auntie Charlotte and Uncle Max, 
Even if I ruin my hairdo , I would love to visit the beach again! Mommy says she will get back to you about Wednesday, but that it should be possible, she will put it on the calendar already. 
Yippee! Another visit to your house sounds great! May I bring one of my extra kitty litters so that I don’t have to use your lovely rugs? Mommy says I can spend the night as well if you will have me. Some human named Paolo supposedly likes cats like me, so I will bunk in with him. 
Mommy sends her love. She is leaving me this afternoon with a babysitter because she is going to photograph a pig in Calamba! I am indignant that she is not taking me along, but the house she going to has five dogs, all unruly and uncouth, and one of the Titas she is traveling with is highly allergic to me, so I’m banned from the car. It’s her or me… I don’t mind dogs, and I can’t do anything about people who are allergic to cats, but they mind me and nobody will get any sleep! 
Champagne (aka ChamCham, or Kikiam, or MengMeng)
December 3

Dear Champagne,

We would prefer to call you Champagne as the name denotes a ‘posh’ princess cat which you seem to be.
However, you will just have to excuse our two housekeepers as they seem to have decided that when you are with us you are Mengmeng.
Sorry for the delay in responding as your Auntie Charlotte was busy yesterday with a Christmas party. Yes, Champagne if we can all go to the beach it will be great!.  However if you don’t want to get wet again then we will ask your Uncle Max to take you for a walk on your leash along the seashore. We will see if your Mom can fit it in her schedule  as she will be travelling soon.
We are sure that our sons Kai and Eric will both be very happy to meet you. That you for your photo, obviously taken before your trip to the beauty parlour.
Take care and love to you both.
Auntie Charlotte and Uncle Max
December 4
Dear Auntie Charlotte and Uncle Max, 
Mommy thinks we should write write each other on a blog instead! 
Anyway, she came back late from Calamba last night and smelled really odd.. a mixture of smoke and dog, none of which I appreciated much. But at least things are back to normal. My babysitters were surprised when I sat in the kitchen at 7:00am yesterday expecting them to cook breakfast like Mommy always does. I don’t understand why you humans change schedules. 
Anyway, Mommy has a bit of schedule complication and says we can’t go to the beach on Wednesday because she has return to Calamba on Tuesday and back on Wednesday afternoon for more photography. Could we just come over to visit you in Alabang on Thursday instead for merienda? Don’t worry, we have transportation. Mommy says that I may go with you to the beach anyway if you take Kuya Kai and Kuya Eric. am just not supposed to forget my leash and towel. she also said I am allowed to spend the night over at your house, as long as I don’t hide in a closet and leave a political statement there…  
Mommy is busy typing in her laptop. I tried sitting on her keyboard but it didn’t work, she just freaked out. 
Have a lovely Sunday! 
love, Champagne 
December 5

Dear Champagne,

Auntie Charlotte is dictating and Uncle Max is typing so it is team work.

Sorry that your Mommy came home with a bad smell she picked up in Calamba.  I remember you told us that the family she was visiting in Calamba has 5 dogs! Hope her photo shoot ov roasting pig went well.
Thursday is ok for you and your Mom to visit but can we make it lunch instead of merienda as Auntie Charlotte is attending the church on Thursday around 5pm ?
Yes, we look forward to you visiting us here when the boys come and you are most welcome to sleep over. Don’t forget to ask your Mom for the phone number of one of her Angels so that we can make the arrangements.
Look forward to seeing you both on Thursday.  Will ginisang mongo and fried smoked fish be ok with your Mom?
Take care, both of you.
Love, Auntie Charlotte and Uncle Max 
December 5 (later that day) 
Dear Auntie Charlotte and Uncle Max, 
I’m dictating and Mommy is typing for me. The dictation app on her iPhone doesn’t accept Thai Cat meow yet. Mommy had a date for Thursday lunch already. How about Thursday morning for breakfast? 
Am off on a short adventure through town. 
Mommy will send the phone numbers of my caregivers this evening. 
December 5 (much later in the day!) 

Dear Champagne,

Yes, breakfast is fine for us.  Let us know what time you will both be arriving here.
Love, Auntie Charlotte and Uncle Max, 
December 5 (sometime at night) 
Dear Auntie Charlotte and Uncle Max, 
I wake up at 5:00 but Mommy gave me a dirty look when I suggested that! Would 8:30 -9:00 be too early?
Meowingly yours 
December 9 (after another visit to Auntie Charlotte and Uncle Max’s house) 
Dear Auntie Charlotte and Uncle Max, 
thank you again for the great breakfast you prepared for my stressed out Mommy yesterday. She seemed to eat her way through the city and was exhausted by the end of the day. I had it easy because I got dropped off at home while she ran around like a headless chicken. But then she packed her suitcase lat at night and that depressed me. I slept in my calamansi pot downstairs. It was too depressing to watch. Today she woke up and seemed to be constantly running and there were people going in and out of the house. it was like a train station! 
She left instructions with my caregiver what to send along if I go on a day trip with you or spend the night. 
Hugs and I look forward to seeing you again. I love your house! 
Meowingly yours, 
December 25
Last night, Champagne spent Christmas Eve in Manila with Auntie Charlotte, Uncle Max, Kuya Kai (who arrived from London) and Kuya Eric (who had an adventurous flight from Auckland). Stay tuned!

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