Dear Holly: I Have Sort of Convinced You That a Rat Puppet is Actually Your Class Pet Dwarf Gerbil from Your School

2 years.

Dear Holly,

For the past couple of months now in your preschool class, you and your friends have enjoyed the presence of Gus Gus, a dwarf gerbil.

Each morning when I take you into the classroom, our immediate routine is to for me to lift you up to the cage so you can ask, “Gus Gus?”

That translates as, “Are you awake yet, Gus Gus?”

The answer is usually, “Well, now I am!” as we watch the wood chips move around and see two beady eyes looking back at us.

One morning we even walked in to see a clear blue plastic roll right across the floor as we opened the door, as Gus Gus raced to the other side of the room as part of his early morning exercise.

Gus Gus finds his way into daily conversations, too. I use him as an interesting subject to help you formulate sentences.

For example, anytime you see a pick-up truck now, you point, and proudly shout, “Truck? Truck! Truck!”

So from there, I started saying, “Gus Gus drives a truck?”

You obviously liked the concept, then decided to repeat that ridiculous thought.

Now anytime you see a pick-up truck, you know what to say to me:

“Truck! Truck! Gus Gus drive truck.”

It finally occurred to me as we were playing with your toys in the living room, to bring life to the rat puppet which I originally got right before you were born, as I was planning on it being a character in your brother’s superhero series on YouTube.

You were amazed to learn was Gus Gus secretly living in our house the whole time, but also that he could talk, and even say your name.

And even when you realized that you yourself could stick your hand into Gus Gus and control his mouth, you still were every bit excited to announce, “It’s Gus Gus!”

Love,

Daddy

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Dear Jack: Your Possible New Part-Time Pet Named Whiskers (or Oliver?)

5 years.

Dear Jack,

Dear Jack: Your Possible New Part-Time Pet Named Whiskers (or Oliver?)

Last weekend while we were in Alabama visiting my side of the family for Thanksgiving weekend, Mommy and I went on our usual 2 mile morning walk that we always do when we go there.

As we were half way through our route, a little black kitty started following us; desperately meowing as if to say, “Won’t somebody take care of me? I’m so hungry. I don’t have anyone.”

I kneeled down and petted the cat, then we continued on our walk. It followed us briefly, but then couldn’t keep up.

Fifteen minutes later, as Mommy and I rounded back down that road, the little black kitty was waiting for us.

We didn’t slow down, as we assumed there was a good chance it actually lived on that road. But this time, the cat kept its speed; even though we were ignoring it the whole way back.

Once we arrived back at Nonna and Papa’s house, we soon realized the difficulty of even trying to feed the kitten; as your grandparents don’t have any meat; much less, cat food, in their house.

So Mommy suggested we beat an egg, and serve it in a bowl to the kitten. It worked.

It was obvious the cat was in great need of nutrition. Throughout the day, I cut some slices of cheese I found in the refrigerator and feed it to the kitty.

To everyone’s surprise, we woke up and the little black kitten was still there; asleep on the back porch where we had fed it the eggs and cheese.

After all, he apparently had nowhere else to be or to go.

For the record, we did attempt to feed the kitten some of our food, which is vegan and vegetarian, but the cat was uninterested; after all, felines are carnivores, not omnivores.

So Nonna had me run in to the local grocery store and buy some official cat food.

His name, according to you, is Whiskers.

However, Nana likes the name Oliver; and she, along with Papa, will be the ones actually taking care of him.

And yes, it is a him; as seen in my new web series, Uncle Nick’s Enchanted Forest. Last night as we were watching the 3rd webisode, you announced, “Hey Daddy, look… I can see his nugget pouch!”

(Previously you had asked me how I knew he was a boy cat, so I explained that his “nugget pouch” under his tail was how I could tell.)

“Kitty,” as he is known on my show, apparently will be a by-default regular supporting cast member (like Gunther on Friends).

In addition to being part of the main plotline of the “Freddie the Fox” webisode, he also is undeniably present in the opening montage of my new show.

I never intended for him to be part of the show, but he just kept showing up during filming, so I wrote him into the script.

You and your cousin Calla definitely enjoyed having him around this past weekend. If he sticks around Nonna and Papa’s place, he just might end up being your part-time pet each time we visit there.

Love,

Daddy

Dear Jack: Snakey Goes To Church/Proposal To Get A Pet Vulture

4 years, 4 months.

Dear Jack: Snakey Goes To Church/Proposal To Get A Pet Vulture

Dear Jack,

I would like to believe that at our church, everyone is welcome. That definitely was the case last Sunday when you brought Snakey to church.

You kept him in a blue bag you had received from having your 4th birthday party at Bricks 4 Kidz. Mommy carried you… and you carried Snakey.

I caught several people cracking smiles as they saw you in the hall with Snakey. It’s just not what most people were expecting at 8:00 AM on Sunday morning.

Dear Jack: Snakey Goes To Church/Proposal To Get A Pet Vulture

Everyone was pleasantly surprised to see your new reptile friend, as snakes typically don’t make an appearance at our church.

What made it great was how proud you were to introduce Snakey to everyone as we made our way through our shopping mall-sized church.

Dear Jack: Snakey Goes To Church/Proposal To Get A Pet Vulture

Of course, Snakey had to stay up on the shelf during the School School lesson, during which you made a craft about a camel passing through the eye of a needle.

As much as you love Snakey, you told Mommy in the car ride home from church that you wouldn’t want a real snake for a pet.

However, you offered up a reasonable alternative…

Dear Jack: Snakey Goes To Church/Proposal To Get A Pet Vulture

“Mommy, I could get a pet vulture. But we would have to let him out of the house during the day so he could fly around to find his own food.”

Ultimately, the only concern with keeping a vulture for a pet is apparently feeding it. But you also stated you wouldn’t want to keep your pet vulture in your room.

This might be a bit problematic if we are to consider getting you a pet vulture.

I think Snakey is a better pet though. You already explained to us that Snakey is a vegetarian snake. That makes him a lot easier to feed and a lot less trouble than a vulture you have to let out every day.

Love,

Daddy