Life with Cousin Oliver

Hi, everyone. Pennycat, your host, here.

As you might have discerned from the movie, a new plot twist has taken place in my humble abode. Humans, I tell you, will never be something I understand. You have one perfectly great cat (myself), who provides all the entertainment, companionship and touch of class you could possibly want, and what do they do? Go off and acquire some himbo better at knocking things over and getting lost than performing even a percentage of the duties I do. And then, after a few years of this tsunami of incompetency, do they make the right choice and sell him to the highest bidder? No, no they do not.

Instead, they acquire some version 2.0 of him. An almost exact copy, down to the propensity to get confused and stare dumbly at you awaiting further instructions. Another Socks. A “sockelganger“, as fatty likes to call him.


Boy, you can just feel the scientific theorems bubbling inside that little skull, can’t you?

Socks, of course, is a complete dupe – never mind he was “fixed” some years ago and doesn’t exactly cruise the alleyways, if you get what I mean – he’s convinced that this kid very well might be his long-lost son! And the kid’s bought into it! It’d be almost sweet if it didn’t translate to day-in day-out misery for yours truly.

Do you know what a refined lady like myself enjoys? Not this. Not two morons tackling each other for fun, randomly, and with no provocation. Check out these shots from the hourly ‘World Wide Wrestling” show:


OK, my heart’s not made of stone – there’s a quiet charm of the last photo. But not the hundredth time the house has to echo with their insanity! I can barely find a combination of distant rooms and pillows to hide behind to avoid it. Madness!

His “official” name is “Tweetie” or “Tweets”, but I just call him “Cousin Oliver” – a perhaps too pop-cultural reference for my classy audience. I am pointing to the character “Cousin Oliver” on the old “Brady Bunch” television show – a late-era edition to the show to bring in needed “cuteness” when the main characters had grown perhaps a tad old to come off as anything but teenage actors. The ploy, I might add, did not work, although that hasn’t stopped any of a number of television shows from trying same in the decades hence.

So here we are, saddled with this little bundle of “joy”, who Socks has fallen in love with (partially because of aforementioned and misguided paternal duty) and me… well, I reach to all of you, please, for a communication line that does not prominently feature grunts and the sound of “say uncle”.

Oh, the life we lead.

Coming up: A Book.


#1 Mulder_CatNo Gravatar on 09.14.09 at 1:52 pm

Finally! Your acerbic wit was sorely missed on Twitter for the past few weeks, but here you are, back in fine fettle!

Seriously, though — what IS the interloper’s official name? Tweetie? Sockelganger? Little Oliver?

#2 EmmaNo Gravatar on 09.14.09 at 1:52 pm

My dear Pennycat, well I understand your situation. I too daily face such a problem. In addition, we have those obnoxiously boisterous fools – dogs – in this house. I have found it most fun, however, to climb atop the bookcase whereby I may observe the machinations of this house. (I admit also to enjoying a great game of hide and shriek wherein I hide, and everyone runs around shrieking as they look for me). Keep the faith, dear Pennycat, this too shall pass, like a hairball.

#3 richNo Gravatar on 09.14.09 at 1:54 pm

Wow! They look happy Penny! And yes, as expected, your Cousin Oliver would act like his father Sockington… unless you would teach him some classy attitude! ^^

#4 NordyNo Gravatar on 09.14.09 at 1:54 pm

I like Sockelganger, has a certain ring to it.

#5 AnaNo Gravatar on 09.14.09 at 1:56 pm

Long live Sockelganger!

#6 SparkleNo Gravatar on 09.14.09 at 2:02 pm

Admittedly, he DOES look adorable. That said, I’m glad he doesn’t live at my house. I’ve been the baby kitty here for almost 7 years and I plan to keep it that way.

#7 MaureenNo Gravatar on 09.14.09 at 2:09 pm

oh, thank you for stightenig it out with tweetie and first I thought sockington found the fountain of youth and drank too just joking. He is cute. Penny you are great when you let him in. One day I found a baby cat outside my house and thought I would keep it, but my cat Bradley well, lets just say “cannible” came to life and I had to get rid of the baby cat. So, You get points in my book Penny.

#8 Jenny FurNo Gravatar on 09.14.09 at 2:14 pm

My humans mistakenly thought I was lonely and acquired 2 (two!) kittens. I hated them vehemently. Then they acquired The Gray Stray (said something about “one step from going to a shelter blah blah blah”) and I found the kittens weren’t so bad, as I hate The Gray Stray with every fiber of my being. And I could do nothing but throw up my paws (and my grass snack) when they acquired Number 5 (“dumped in the street, 3 weeks old” yeah whatever, tell your story walkin’). My humans are hopeless.

#9 HollieNo Gravatar on 09.14.09 at 2:25 pm

Pennycat, I have missed your tweets. You are one of the most refined cat and I must say, you are very clever and witty. I am sure you can teach Cousin Oliver a lot, and Socks too.

#10 @olliepcatNo Gravatar on 09.14.09 at 2:49 pm

Penny you are one special lady to put up with all this! I myself am on home #4. First 3 expected me to put up with assorted competitors. Dogs even. Can you imagine? New landlady seems to get that I am more than enough cat. And so are you baby. Sigh.

#11 HenryNo Gravatar on 09.14.09 at 3:05 pm

My Mom hasn’t tried to saddle me with a younger brother yet. But I have a bone to pick about us male cats always being declared ‘himbo’ by you females, both feline and human. Just because we can’t calculate quantum physics at the speed of light like our female counterparts does not make us a bunch of himbos.

My Mom would never refer to me as a himbo. She has used the term ‘dim bulb’ before and sometimes the only way I will come is if she sings “I’m Henry the Eighth I Am” because I can’t remember the name she gave me, but I am not a himbo.

#12 Six31No Gravatar on 09.14.09 at 3:12 pm

I sure hope he grows into those ears!

#13 BrendaNo Gravatar on 09.14.09 at 4:43 pm

Miss Pennsylvania, it is nice to have your witty perspective on things to keep us mere humans in line. I very much enjoy your musings and hope to see more of them in the future.

#14 Tee 'n' the WildlifeNo Gravatar on 09.14.09 at 5:00 pm

Oh, ha ha, yay, where do I start? Our beloved Food Lady just bottle-raised six leetle babes and KEPT ONE, her leetle JackJack, the love sponge! This kid is so obnoxious that I periodically have to bonk him on the head (when I’m not grabbing him around his leetle neck and licking him to death–gotta keep leetle ones extra clean at all times, you know). Did you know that if you bonk leetle kitties on the head in just the right place wif your paw their leetle head sounds hollow, ha ha? Thok thok! Billi Bi told me that. And it’s true! You may want to try it with Little Oliver.

I remain,
Your Faithful Servant,

Lilibet Squeekietoy

#15 Melissa & OrcaNo Gravatar on 09.14.09 at 6:04 pm

So glad to finally get an update from you Penny.

Try and be patient with the boys… they just can’t help it, they were born that way.


#16 kNo Gravatar on 09.14.09 at 6:53 pm

AH Penny! I have missed your cultured tones, your refined allusions, your elegant prose.

Perhaps your humans will “acquire” a servant/slave exclusively for you, to compensate for the time consumed by Socks and the Sockelganger. You do seem like the sort of rare flower who requires extra attention from a skilled, trained masseuse who has also been schooled in the fine culinary arts.

#17 AyleshamCatteryNo Gravatar on 09.14.09 at 7:01 pm

Dear Penny, My name is Brioky and I’m a 5yo ragdoll, my parents just got me a little 4 mo Oriental brother so I can understand your feelings completely. They said they wanted an active puss ( I like to sleep a lot) to see if we could entertain each other. As you said, humans just don’t understand!
You’re the queen!

#18 MarmaladeTigerNo Gravatar on 09.14.09 at 8:37 pm

Great to see you back, Penny. I am a *fixed* boy, too. I really never understood why because I didn’t know that I was broken. But, you know how people are…

I am an orange Maine Coon. I have two brothers and they are usually tolerable, but at least I don’t shed as much as they do. Mom says she sweeps up enough cat hair everyday to make another cat. Egad, I sure hope she doesn’t really do that.

Continue your efforts at bringing civilized society to your home.

Marmalade Tiger (you can just call me Tiger)

#19 SamNo Gravatar on 09.14.09 at 8:52 pm

Penny, Oliver isn’t grown yet– you still have time to raise him properly!

#20 PrincesseChatNo Gravatar on 09.14.09 at 9:14 pm

What a lady you are. Every home needs more of our type. Intelligent, mannered, classy ladies like us. I tolerate three loud mouth, ill mannered, combative louts who sound like a herd of elephants stampeding through the house. Being Mum’s Mon Bebe I stay close to her. The boys know better than to wrestle and chase where Mum is.

#21 Rebecca WillisNo Gravatar on 09.14.09 at 9:20 pm

Great to see you back, Penny.

My name is Marmalade Tiger, but Mom just calls me Tiger. I am a *fixed* boy. I really never understood why because I didn’t know that I was broken. But, you know how people are…

I am an orange Maine Coon. I have two brothers and they are usually tolerable, but at least I don’t shed as much as they do. Mom says she sweeps up enough cat hair everyday to make another cat. Egad, I sure hope she doesn’t really do that.
I’m so glad you are patiently continuing your efforts at bringing civilized living to your home.

This is really my Facebook page, but for some reason Mom uses her name. She says it makes it easier for people to contact us.

Love, Tiger

#22 LisaNo Gravatar on 09.15.09 at 5:31 am

the little sockelganger could take flight with those ears…how cute!

#23 MustaNo Gravatar on 09.15.09 at 10:25 am

Dear Penny, as a sophisticated lady I can feel your pain. You are just too polite when saying things like “sell him to the highest bidder” – I would gladly give Mr Harmaa away for free, or pay a few nice coins for the one who takes him out of here and leaves me to get to know the Hooman better.

But sadly, Hooman does not like the idea at all. She says we both are very dear for her and blah blah blah. Whatever…

#24 BarbarellaNo Gravatar on 09.15.09 at 10:46 am

Gah! The Cute of the last photo! I died! :D

#25 AndreaNo Gravatar on 09.15.09 at 10:52 am

Penny, it’s the first time I’ve read your writings and I thoroughly enjoyed it. You are so CAT!

#26 lilkoikoiladyNo Gravatar on 09.15.09 at 10:55 am

your all so cute,mahalo for the tweets.oops maholo=thankyou

#27 HeatherNo Gravatar on 09.15.09 at 4:57 pm

I too feel your pain. My owner just adopted two little girls, sisters to boot. They find my tail too attractive, and they eat MY crunchies rather than their own. So I retaliate by eating theirs. We mature women need to stick together.

#28 TurandotNo Gravatar on 09.19.09 at 11:17 pm

So he stayed “Tweetie”. That’s such a cute name (though he looks more like a Sylvester, I should add)! I suppose that I should add that I wish I also had a kitty who acts all smug and superior, but I’m afraid our cats are more like Socks and his doppleganger than I’d like to admit.

#29 Sharon LandisNo Gravatar on 09.23.09 at 5:16 pm

That cat is beyond cute. Love his coloring.

#30 yosofineNo Gravatar on 09.25.09 at 9:35 am

Pennycat? We miss you. Please post again soon.

#31 mathcat345 (Jann)No Gravatar on 10.04.09 at 5:03 pm

You are obviously a breath of fresh air for Fatty and Food Lady, with your refined ways and amazing grasp of language. It is good to have an update from your point of view, as we know the sort of things others in your household tend to post. Looking forward to your next post!

#32 Martha FosterNo Gravatar on 06.01.10 at 6:02 am

I am TOTALLY addicted to Socks, Pennycat and Tweetie after leaning about Socks in People. I think a nice coffee table book full of color pictures of the three “darlings” would be fabulous. Many of us at work check multiple times daily for the latest Socks report!