Hodgkins

Higgins in Houston: How to Beat Tom

Hodgkins Clark : January 20, 2016 7:04 pm : Advice, Columns, Hodgkins

Dear Hodgkins,

My neighborhood has been invaded by a bully.  I think his name is Tom. Whilst making my routine patrols around my home, as I have done for years, I am sometimes attacked by this feline troglodyte nearly twice my size. I have taken a few beatings after defending the honor of Miss Prissy and Miss Kitty, even though I have my doubts about the latter.  What can I do?

Higgins from Houston

 

Insurrectionist Swine

Even I, the Emperor, have dealt with rebels and traitors.

Higgins,

Even I, the Emperor, have dealt with rebels and traitors. Thus I can recommend offensive, defensive, and preventative measures that you must take in order to defeat Tom: first, make sure he knows you’re no one to be trifled with; second, learn where all of the neighborhood dogs are; and third, enlist the help of your humans.

To send a clear message to Tom about your power and status, acquire an elegant collar with a real jingle bell. Its intimidating effect is enough to keep most riff-raff away altogether. Furthermore, the bell’s jingling stops feline criminals in their tracks just as surely as a shotgun’s cycling stops their human counterparts. Just make sure that you get the correct type of collar—i.e., not a purple one, because purple indicate royalty. Only I am royalty. Please remember this.

If Tom is bold enough to disregard your message, proceed to intensive defensive measures. Whenever Tom pursues you or infringes on your territory, lead him into the real enemy lines: right into a canine’s gaping, drooling, uncoordinated jaws. My neighborhood offers a variety of suitable canines (my favorite locations for leading insurrectionists are the Schnauzer Pit, the Lab Experiment, and the Poodle Death Camp). Perhaps a more merciful method, although one of less certain success, is to learn of automatic sprinkler systems and/or bodies of water in your territory; you’re a clever fellow and I’m sure you can logically infer what I insinuate.

As a last resort, enlist the help of your human. Humans are useful as guards and are typically willing to eliminate threats that are within their power to destroy. My point here is to schedule your duels with Tom at a time when your human can see. They’ll stuff Tom in the Box of Abominations and cart him off to who-knows-where; he may or may not ever come back.

My point with all of these tips is that you don’t have to take a beating. It’s highly unnecessary—especially since, well, Miss Kitty is of doubtful reputation.

I love me too,

Hodgkins

Supreme Emperor of the Universe;

Chief Executive Lizard-Slayer at Lizard Warrior Service;

Recipient of the Snowbell Peace Prize;

Coolest Monarch of the Century (Irrational Geographic);

Expert Tree-Conqueror;

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Siegfried in Silsbee (who’s wrong, as usual)

Hodgkins Clark : April 10, 2015 3:23 pm : Columns, Hodgkins

My Dear Hodgkins,

It has been about a year since I last contacted you in writing.  My spies have been monitoring your progress from right in your own back yard!  It would seem that you have been defeated.  Your claims to be the Supreme Emperor of the Universe must have been scaled back significantly.  In the past twelve months, the extent of your empire’s borders have yet to reach the northern shores of the mighty Village Creek.  I spit a hairball in your general direction.  I am willing to discuss your unconditional surrender to me…

-Siegfried in Silsbee, Supreme Emperor of the Universe, Chief of Kats Are Obviously Superior (K.A.O.S.)

 

 

 

Dear Siegfried,

You are fortunate to receive this recognition from me: Supreme Emperors rarely bother replying to spam emails, used television salesmen, or insurrectionist furballs like yourself. Before I begin in earnest, I have a few suggestions to make, the first one being that you ought to learn how to spell “cat” if you truly believe the species is superior. My second recommendation is that you cease your partnership with lizards and canines. You deserve all the dreadful things coming to you as a result of this unholy alliance, including fiery death by lizard breath and suffocation from the canine equivalent.

Me, when I received your letter.

Me, when I received your letter.

Your letter’s fantastical allegations are amusing. You claim that your spies have been monitoring my progress from my own backyard, my empire’s borders are shrinking, and that I have nothing left but to admit imminent defeat.

Your first mistake was in sending a canine as a spy: they will do anything for food. I intercepted communications long ago by fooling them into thinking that litterbox lumps were special treats. Needless to say, all of your enticing reports are entirely false.

You second mistake is in your understanding of borders. It may have escaped your notice, but the universe doesn’t have them. Unlike your mind, the universe has no meaningful limits.

Your third, but not final, mistake is spitting a hairball in my general direction. Sadly enough, one of your canine spies has eaten it.

I am pleased to announce that I will discuss unconditional surrender with you. Before you get too terribly excited, realize that you will be the one surrendering—not I. Additionally, now that you are out of a job, I realize you need a new one. If you so desire, send me an application and there is a possibility you can become one of my minions. Clearly I am much too kind.

I love me too,

Hodgkins

Supreme Emperor of the Universe;

Chief Executive Lizard-Slayer at Lizard Warrior Service;

Recipient of the Snowbell Peace Prize;

Coolest Monarch of the Century (Irrational Geographic);

Expert Tree-Conqueror;

And Your Humble Master.

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Dachshund in Dayton: The Beloved Master Dilemma

Hodgkins Clark : October 22, 2014 10:43 pm : Columns, Hodgkins

Dear Hodgkins,

My Beloved Master thinks the cat loves him.

 Actually, Cat couldn’t care less about him and only “loves” him when the food bowl needs filling. The cat is shamelessly using him to get free food. I don’t know why Beloved Master doesn’t see right through this charade. I have told Cat many times to change his ways, but he never listens to me. I feel bad for Beloved Master, but I don’t know what to do about it. What should I do? — Dachshund in Dayton

 

 

See? This is my thinking face.  Meaning that this is my all-the-time face, because my brilliant mind never really stops working.

See? This is my thinking face. Meaning that this is my all-the-time face, because my brilliant mind never really stops working.

Dear Dachshund in Dayton,

Apparently you consider the cat’s actions somehow inappropriate or unacceptable. You are right, in one way and one way alone: cat is using your human for food.

 

In the end, Purina offerings are merely humble tokens of the human’s appreciation for the myriad services I offer and for the honor of being in my presence. The same goes for all members of my imperial species.

 

There are precious few reasons why I would stoop so low as to associate myself with humans and the canines like yourself that they inevitably keep around; food certainly isn’t one of those reasons.

 

Free “food” is a poor triviality that the humans offer me as meager compensation for the privileges I so graciously bestow upon them.

 

I think for some there’s an element of compassion in gracing humans with our presence, but I rather think that the responsibility of owning them is its own reward. Wild humans have much harder lives than those whom we domesticate.

 

Staying with a human when we don’t have to is clear evidence of our deep, boundless, humility. Saving the humans time and time again and hiding this fact takes courage and panache. (Of which dachshunds like yourself are completely devoid.)

 

Our patience is manifest, our unnecessary kindness to the humans extremely evident. Obviously only one side of this exchange benefits.

 

I allow my humans to sit in my presence, to touch with their grubby human fingers my glorious fur, and additionally, I, Supreme Emperor of the Universe, go so far as to save them from lizards and songbirds.

 

Clearly if they have a scrap of decency in their pitiful human bodies, the people will at least attempt to offer me whatever paltry, miserable refuse they can pick up at Wal-Mart. And they do, so I suppose it’s the thought that counts. (Humans actually very rarely think about anything, so all thoughts count for something with that species.)

 

Dachshund from Dayton, you are disillusioned. There is an unfair exchange taking place; one party is giving more than it ought; the other is like a parasite – and the beneficiaries is the human, not the noble and altruistic cat whom you mentioned.

 

I love me too,

Hodgkins

Supreme Emperor of the Universe;
Chief Executive Lizard-Slayer at Lizard Warrior Service;
Recipient of the Snowbell Peace Prize;
Coolest Monarch of the Century (Irrational Geographic);
Expert Tree-Conqueror;
And Your Humble Master.

 

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Hodgkins: Why You Should Get a Human

Hodgkins Clark : September 8, 2014 6:00 pm : Columns, Hodgkins

It takes time, but you can train your human to do things like take pictures of you.

It takes time, but you can train your human to do things like take pictures of you.

Are you a cat thinking about obtaining a human?

As worthless as they might seem, they actually can serve useful purposes. They make splendid minions.

Food. Sometimes I am so disgusted with my humans’ laziness and tendencies to bring home canines that I feel like getting rid of them – but then I remind myself that these gullible creatures will provide me with free room and board indefinitely.

(If they forget once or twice, gently remind them to feed you by extending your claws and digging on their legs. Consistent training is key.)

Empire. Without human contacts, you will probably not be able to establish a very large empire. I am Supreme Emperor of the Universe, proving the importance of acknowledging the humans. But forget about establishing an empire unless you want to deal with me. Because I already own everything.

If you feel like adopting a human astronaut, I may permit you to be an imperial governor on Mars.

Independence. They are independent minions: this is a good thing. The best kind of humans are the kind that get lost for a few hours a day – but whatever you can afford. Surprisingly enough, they rarely require assistance.

The Supreme Emperor has spoken. Go forth, and find a human.

 

Supreme Emperor of the Universe;
Chief Executive Lizard-Slayer at Lizard Warrior Service;
Recipient of the Snowbell Peace Prize;
Coolest Monarch of the Century (Irrational Geographic);
Expert Tree-Conqueror;
And Your Humble Master.

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For Duchess Tabitha: How to Live in the Country

Hodgkins Clark : May 16, 2014 4:43 pm : Advice, Columns, Hodgkins

My Dearest Lord Hodgkins,

I write to you out of fear. I have relished your posts on lizard slaying and country conquest, and now I must ask for counsel. My palace with my elderly owner has been packed up into boxes, and she has moved. I am forced to exile with her commoner relatives in Silsbee, in a tiny trailer all alone. Soon I will be out on my own, what should I do? Can you give me advice on how to live in the country?

Sincerely yours,

Tabitha, Duchess of Greenmeadow

 

I too have to deal with strange and intrusive creatures.

I too have to deal with strange and intrusive creatures.

Duchess,

This is a desperate situation: difficulties in coping with it are to be expected. However, you don’t have to tolerate the problems—you must defeat them. It’s imperative that you maintain a backbone. Oh, never mind… I forget sometimes that our backbones are so flexible. At any rate, remain firm and when these commoners displease you, let them know immediately.

  1. Make sure to let everyone know when you’re unhappy. Meow, hiss, and write press releases to your kingdom’s journalists—if you must, call a press conference with your Greenmeadow Palace Press Corps. Complain until you are hoarse: humans benefit from repetition, and eventually they will take action if you keep up the complaints.
  2. Ditch the diplomacy and show the other animals who’s boss. Be as aggressive as possible in your relations with other animals, and felines in particular. Slaughter a few songbirds and drop them at the feet of all whom you must warn. Drop subtle hints that you are the boss—and let the humans know, too, that you are in charge.
  3. Test your temporary/new humans. Living out in the country can be strenuous, so make sure that your humans are capable of taking care of all your whims and desires.
  4. Enjoy the peaceful qualities of the countryside. Kill a few lizards, catch a few songbirds, and murder a few bunnies. After establishing yourself as alpha-cat, relax.

I hope this helps, Duchess. Perhaps I shall join you in your lizard-hunting endeavors soon. And remember: complain until you are hoarse.

I love me too,

Hodgkins

Supreme Emperor of the Universe;
Chief Executive Lizard-Slayer at Lizard Warrior Service;
Recipient of the Snowbell Peace Prize;
Coolest Monarch of the Century (Irrational Geographic);
Expert Tree-Conqueror;
And Your Humble Master.

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For Virtuoso in Victoria: Nothing to Hide

Hodgkins Clark : May 12, 2014 1:53 pm : Advice, Columns, Hodgkins

Dear Hodgkins,

I am a singer.  My human thinks he is, too. Every night I hear him in the shower (you’ve never heard such caterwauling).  But this letter is about me, not him.  Like you, I am exceedingly humble.  I am not seeking attention with my singing, but I sure get plenty of it.  Every night I go about as far from the house as I can, climb up on the fence, and practice my singing.  My human and the neighbors come out and shout something.  I have trouble hearing it over my singing, but I think they’re shouting, “Bravo!”  Sometimes they even throw gifts to me, but honestly, I have no need for old shoes.  I wonder if I should move farther away from all these music-lovers in order to avoid the undue attention?  On the other hand, it would be a shame to let all this talent go to waste.  What should I do? — Virtuoso in Victoria

 

Me, singing an anthem of allegiance to myself.

Me, singing an anthem of allegiance to myself.

Dear Virtuoso,

It’s evident that you have talent (remember that you can never really exceed yours truly in musical excellence) but your dilemma is not as dreadful as you think it is. Mainly because you can never be as good as I am, and also because it really isn’t all that hard to learn to perform to exploit humans’ wallets.

  1. Don’t waste your talent. Use it often and use it well; do not hide your hard-earned vocal superpowers. I recommend hiring an agent and finding some local restaurants, and moving up from there. Book a few theaters in downtown Austin. It won’t be hard to get on American Idol or America’s Got Talent after you perform in Carnegie hall for the first time. Keep a close relationship with celebrities like me. After you appear on nationwide television a few times, build a fandom and use its political, economic, and physical leverage to earn yourself the presidency. Then take over the world. Then abdicate and give it to me (seeing as I’m the rightful Supreme Emperor and all).
  1. Be gracious and accept your gifts. It will definitely influence your popularity if you publicly use the shoes that they offer you.
  1. Try to remain accessible to the public. Small to medium-sized venues will probably be a good idea until after you go to Carnegie Hall. It helps establish a dedicated fan base, whereas enormous venues don’t.

Most of all, remember that you don’t have to be good to be appreciated. I suspect that the more people who hear you, the more shoes you will get. Make sure that you don’t overwork yourself. Get a good sixteen hours of sleep every day; performance schedules can be grueling.

I love me too,

Hodgkins

Supreme Emperor of the Universe;
Chief Executive Lizard-Slayer at Lizard Warrior Service;
Recipient of the Snowbell Peace Prize;
Coolest Monarch of the Century (Irrational Geographic);
Expert Tree-Conqueror;
And Your Humble Master.

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Hunted in Houston: Boxes or Bags?

Hodgkins Clark : May 7, 2014 1:23 pm : Advice, Columns, Hodgkins

 

Supreme Emperor,

Which do you prefer to hide in, a cardboard box or a paper bag? – Hunted in Houston

 

I basically know everything.

I basically know everything.

Dear Hunted,

I understand your concern. There are understandably dangerous situations that arise from day to day, including—and not limited to—lizards that get away from you, enraged humans seeking to banish you to Siberia, invasive and curious strays that humans call “visitors,” and worst of all, canines. Boxes and bags serve as shelters, strategic hiding places, and tactical hunting camouflage.

While I live a more dangerous lifestyle than most cats, I think I should mention this: it’s important to perform a box/bag drill every day. In case of a lizard or dog attack, you should have a designated hiding spot that can serve as a long-term shelter. Whichever you choose, it should be comfortable enough to take at least a four-hour nap in.

  1. Nap Approved? If you’re in it for the long haul, make sure that your hiding place is suitable for a four hour nap at the very least. There have been times in my life when I needed to nap in a secure location for over 16 hours. Naps can attack at any moment, so it’s better to be safe than sorry.
  1. Lizard proof? Both bags and boxes can be potentially conducive to lizards. That is why the most important requirement for a hiding place should be if it is lizard proof or not. It is a matter of life or death.
  1. Strength or stealth? Of the two hiding places, boxes are stronger. Bags are stealthier. If you’re out to scare a human in the middle of the night, a shuffling bag flying onto the bed does the trick. Boxes are generally much more cumbersome and altogether eliminate the element of surprise.

I hope this helps, Hunted. Please take this advice to heart, and remember: nap compatibility first. But as for me, I definitely prefer boxes, as they are nearly canine-proof.

I love me too,

Hodgkins

Supreme Emperor of the Universe;
Chief Executive Lizard-Slayer at Lizard Warrior Service;
Recipient of the Snowbell Peace Prize;
Coolest Monarch of the Century (Irrational Geographic);
Expert Tree-Conqueror;
And Your Humble Master.

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Nauseous in Nederland

Hodgkins Clark : May 1, 2014 9:20 am : Advice, Columns, Hodgkins

I'm always the expert.

I’m always the expert.

Dear Hodgkins,

I’ve had trouble getting my human to provide decent food.  I try to eat it, but sometimes it’s so bad that it makes me barf.  My human gets mad when he has to clean up the mess.  How can I make him understand the food quality needs to come up a notch or two?  –Nauseous in Nederland

 

Nauseous,

This is a serious problem. I think all of us have dealt with the issue of inferior food quality at some time or another. Humans have a mind all their own, and no matter how hard I try, I can’t knock into even my human’s head that I require canned, seafood-flavored Purina chow. I still have problems—and although these suggestions probably will not be the answer, try them. The problem is that your human is mad. The solution? Make your human mad. Eventually he will take action; just remember to be consistent in your human’s training.

 

  1. Correlation: Never throw up except after eating. This maintains consistency: remember, you are trying to build an association in your human’s mind that inferior food causes nausea. This correlation is the goal.
  1. Repetition: If you throw up once, go eat more food. Then hack your seconds up. Your human will eventually realize that you can’t stand this stuff if you go back for more, vomit, and then repeat the process until the bowl is empty.
  1. Location, location, location: Consistency is crucial as you try to establish a correlation between inferior food consumption and barfing. Try to do this on a schedule (once a day should be fine). Furthermore, if the human doesn’t watch as you vomit, he won’t realize that the food is the direct cause of this ailment. Location is important. If he isn’t in the room, run to him and throw up in his lap or on his pillow, if necessary. If he isn’t even home, do your best to vomit in a noticeable place.

I hope this advice helps. Remember: sometimes training your human isn’t fun. You have to maintain a strict schedule, maintain consistency, and always work to establish a correlation between punishment and inferior food.

I love me too,

Hodgkins

Supreme Emperor of the Universe;
Chief Executive Lizard-Slayer at Lizard Warrior Service;
Recipient of the Snowbell Peace Prize;
Coolest Monarch of the Century (Irrational Geographic);
Expert Tree-Conqueror;
And Your Humble Master.

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Beware of the GEICO Gecko

Hodgkins Clark : April 17, 2014 10:09 am : Advice, Columns, Hodgkins

Humans think this creep is cute for some reason. Don't fall for it--but if they actually did decide to suspend the laws of physics with their anti-gravity forces, you wouldn't be able to fall for anything, actually.

Humans think this creep is cute for some reason. Don’t fall for it. Never mind … if geckos did suspend the laws of physics with their anti-gravity forces, you actually wouldn’t be able to fall for anything. 

 

Dear Hodgkins,

As a regular reader, I understand well the threat facing western civilization from lizards.  But what about geckos?  They look sort of like lizards.  And what about those GEICO Insurance ads? Should I be concerned about GEICO?  –Concerned Calico

 

Concerned Calico,

Geckos are definitely something to be concerned about: while both lizards (suborder Iguania) and geckos (suborder Scleroglossa) are both of the order Squamata, they are competitors for world domination. Pitting them against each other is one of the best things we can do, as infighting proves particularly devastating to reptiles.

If there is ever a gecko infestation in your house, be afraid. While lizards are treacherous brutes with manifold physical powers and the brawn necessary to take out a full-grown cat, geckos have abilities that defy the laws of gravity.

Fortunately for us, the gecko population is significantly smaller than the lizard population. Not to mention that they don’t breath fire. Considering how I’m an expert, I should leave the easier tasks—like slaughtering geckos—to kittens and other amateurs.

However, even though geckos are significantly easier to eliminate, there are some things to keep in mind about geckos:

  • They are every bit as cunning as lizards—but what’s worse is how elusive they can be.
  • They don’t taste good.
  • If you want to scare a human, all you have to do is put a gecko in their face. (I would not recommend this because your human may banish you to Siberia.)
  • Unlike lizards, they can’t breath fire. They do, however, have anti-gravity abilities.

Anti-gravity forces are formidable. Since geckos could suspend gravity universe-wide, we ought to consider the consequences:

  • There is no atmosphere on the moon because it doesn’t have enough gravity—meaning that it’s a near vacuum. Without gravity, our atmosphere and pretty much everything else on earth (including water) would float away into space.
  • That’s not all. Atoms and molecules would separate and fly apart at the seams and suddenly elementary particles would be moving at the speed of light.
  • In other words, no gravity means that everything would basically cease to exist and you would be a jumble of particles zipping around what used to be the universe.

The GEICO gecko may promise 15 minutes can save you 15% or more on car insurance. Maybe so, but I would rather have gravity than cheap car insurance.

So, Calico, it would be best to finish off as many geckos as possible. It isn’t just western civilization at stake this time—but do keep in mind that right now lizards are the primary threat.

I love me too,

Hodgkins

Supreme Emperor of the Universe;
Chief Executive Lizard-Slayer at Lizard Hunting Warrior Service;
Recipient of the Snowbell Peace Prize;
Coolest Monarch of the Century (Irrational Geographic);
Expert Tree-Conqueror;
And Your Humble Master
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Pacifist in Pasadena

Hodgkins Clark : April 14, 2014 5:57 pm : Advice, Columns, Hodgkins

 

Dear Hodgkins,

I want to protect my family like you do, but do I really have to kill the lizards?  I just hate killing things.  Especially the cute little green lizards.  They seem so harmless.  And my human servants don’t seem to mind having them outside.  –Pacifist in Pasadena

 

It can be scary, yes. But you have to overcome your qualms about chewing live reptiles if you're ever going to make a mark on the world.

It can be scary, yes. But you have to overcome your qualms about chewing live reptiles if you’re ever going to make a mark on the world.

Dear Pacifist in Pasadena,

I’m not a pacifist, but perhaps I can help you in your decision. As the manly hunk of muscle that I am, I find it neither difficult nor emotionally challenging to slaughter reptiles—even the cute little green lizards.

But for those who aren’t as courageous as I am, I offer some advice:

  • Realize that western civilization could collapse if lizards are victorious in this constant struggle for power. The end of western civilization doesn’t sound too bad at first, until you think about the consequences: for instance, Purina would go out of business.
  • Remember that it’s your duty to kill lizards. The fate of humankind is in your hands—er, paws. But that’s aside from the point. (You’re probably wondering why humankind even matters. Mainly because they feed us for free, are really gullible world domination assistants, and on top of all that will sometimes scratch behind our ears.)
  • If you’re so cowardly that you can’t finish the lizards off with only claws and jaws, purchase an air-soft gun to take out the creatures. Much less difficult, but just not any fun either.
  • Try and realize that the apparently harmless and cute lizard staring so trustingly at you is really a wolf in reptile’s clothing. It’s out to kill. It’s more destructive than a dachshund, tinkle ball toy, water gun, angry human with a pea shooter, and a vacuum cleaner combined. I hope that helps you grasp the gravity of the situation.

Only you can prevent lizards from taking over the world. Do your part—catch one today.

I love me too,

Hodgkins

Supreme Emperor of the Universe;
Chief Executive Lizard-Slayer at Lizard Hunting Warrior Service;
Recipient of the Snowbell Peace Prize;
Coolest Monarch of the Century (Irrational Geographic);
Expert Tree-Conqueror;
And Your Humble Master
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Siegfried in Silsbee

Hodgkins Clark : April 10, 2014 6:13 pm : Advice, Columns, Hodgkins

My Dear Hodgkins,

I take exception to your claim to be Supreme Emperor of the Universe.  I have seen nothing from you that vould entitle you to make such a claim.  You are hereby notified that I intend to discredit you, take over your empire, and destroy you.

In the meantime, I vould like to ask you something: vhat do you use for ear mites? Have a nice day.

-Siegfried in Silsbee, Supreme Emperor of the Universe, Chief of Kats Are Obviously Superior (K.A.O.S.)

 

Siegfried in Silsbee,

Your claim is detestably false, Chief of K.A.O.S. Your organization—I must point this out to the readers—is the international organization of evil.

Well, I’ve got news for you, “Supreme Emperor.” I’m the Supreme Emperor. Your government is wholly illegitimate, unofficial, and on top of that, doesn’t actually exist. My claim to the universe has a firm footing in reason: I declared myself Emperor before you did.

I should mention that I have my own secret organization: CONTROL. Alrighty, let’s talk about the odds:

  • I don’t have a cool acronym like you do …
  • But I have more firepower. I’ve got vicious wild lizards that can kill you before you can say “honorificabilitudinitatibus hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis.” Actually, you’re so dumb that you could never say it anyway.
  • I have Facebook followers.
  • I have guard humans.

Yeah, Siegfried, you think you can beat me? Seriously? I have a Tinkle Ball Drill every day. EVERY DAY.  (Look at my muscles.)

Yeah, Siegfried, you think you can beat me? Seriously? I have a Tinkle Ball Drill every day. EVERY DAY.
(Look at my muscles.)

Must I also unleash my secret weapons? Perhaps I should unleash a plague of lizards on Silsbee?

You would be foolish to continue in your contrived plot to conquer my universe, you vermin-infested rogue.

I love me too,

Hodgkins

Supreme Emperor of the Universe;

Chief Executive Lizard-Slayer at Lizard Warrior Service;

Recipient of the Snowbell Peace Prize;

Coolest Monarch of the Century (Irrational Geographic);

Expert Tree-Conqueror;

And Your Humble Master.

P.S. For ear mites, I recommend visiting a trained human. Generally, human slaves called “veterinarians” are only too glad to take care of stuff like that.

 
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For Tabby in Toledo: How to Shut Up a Dog

Hodgkins Clark : April 5, 2014 10:44 am : Advice, Columns, Hodgkins

 

 

 

Dear Hodgkins,

I like being with my family most of the time, but sometimes they really get on my nerves.  There’s this noisy schnauzer that lives here, too.  Sometimes, when I don’t think I can take anymore of his barking fits, I climb on top of a bookshelf and try to push books down on top of him. The problem is I usually miss the target and then I get in trouble for knocking down books.  Do you have any better ideas on how to silence a barking dog? –Tabby in Toledo

 

 

Dealing with mutts: a problem that we all face.

This brute came around the corner and attacked me. My superior brain power defeated its brawn.

This brute came around the corner and attacked me. My superior brain power defeated its brawn.

Until I force the canine species into servitude and finish up my after-school world domination project, I am stuck having to deal with all the planet’s idiot dogs—yes, you’re right, that’s redundant.

Shutting up a schnauzer, or any dog for that matter, requires much more than temporary annoyance tactics. Success requires more than wit and cunning, but knowledge, wisdom, tact, and insight into the pitiful canine brain. The last requirement can be most difficult, particularly for our sophisticated feline mental apparatuses—a bit like running the 1985 Microsoft 1.0 Word Processing program Write on a 2053 supercomputer. (Yes, I daresay that I’m ahead of my time.)

Here’s the risks from the dog:

  • The relatively dimwitted pups can engage in tit-for-tat combat known as kerfuffle. It can be painful, but scarcely dangerous.
  • Or they can kill you. It depends on what type of dog you have on your hands.

 

Here’s what you might face from the human:

  • Forced labor camp, exile in Siberia, starvation rations (maybe even only one meal a day), or getting thrown in the bathtub or pool. Personally I think the last two options are the worst.
  • They may even take the dog’s side. That would be so humiliating you might as well refuse to catch lizards for a few weeks or something stiff like that.

 

So, Tabby. Here’s my advice:

  • Get in a kerfuffle with the dog and pretend to be seriously injured. The human won’t know better and will then proceed with punishing the dog or exiling it to Siberia. Since you live in Toledo, I doubt you’ll hear him from there.
  • Otherwise, feed it peanut butter. Lots and lots of peanut butter. Preferably laced with tar.
  • If bad comes to worse, kill a mouse and drop it at the dog’s feet. Considering that we’re dealing with a dog, this primitive manifestation of a threat could alert him to the fact that you mean business.
  • Learn how to use duct tape. I’ve found this to be quite effective.
  • Attempt to remove its vocal cords.
  • Join H.O.D.G.K.I.N.S., the group of soon-to-be elitists (after I achieve world domination). I have no idea what good this will do, but it benefits me, so that’s a decent reason for you to join immediately.

That’s all I have to say. And if any of you have other questions, feel free to comment, message me, or email me. I am a fountain of practical and applicable knowledge when it comes to stuff like this.

I love me too,

Hodgkins
Supreme Emperor of the Universe;
Chief Executive Lizard-Slayer at Lizard Warrior Service;
Recipient of the Snowbell Peace Prize;
Coolest Monarch of the Century (Irrational Geographic);
Expert Tree-Conqueror;
And Your Humble Master.

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Public Service Announcement

Hodgkins Clark : April 3, 2014 9:14 am : Columns, Hodgkins

20140330 Hodgkins smells a flowerDear humans,

Now that spring is in full swing, the vile reptiles that your species calls “lizards” are increasing in numbers. Every day they appear in greater quantities.

Do not be fooled by their apparent cuteness. These creatures can kill you. If you suffer a lizard infestation or a lizard captures your house, it will utterly destroy your furniture in a single fiery blast of its caustic lizard breath. This is only the beginning.

If it accesses your social media, the lizard will destroy the entire internet. If you let it touch your smart phone, it may be resourceful enough to build a missile via a free app and then create a massive transient electromagnetic disturbance.

And it must also be noted that you must never let it get near your microwave or it could develop even more powers from the radioactivity.

If all else fails and the lizard takes over your house, go ahead and blow up your neighborhood. Civilization is more important: it is a question of “when” and not “if” a lizard will create a stash of nuclear warheads in your closet and then proceed to use your living room as a launching pad.

With the advent of spring comes great responsibilities. Do your part and prevent the lizards from taking over.

I love me too,
Hodgkins
Supreme Emperor of the Universe;
Chief Executive Lizard-Slayer at Lizard Warrior Service;
Recipient of the Snowbell Peace Prize;
Coolest Monarch of the Century (Irrational Geographic);
Expert Tree-Conqueror;
And Your Humble Master.

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World Domination Update

Hodgkins Clark : March 27, 2014 1:38 pm : Columns, Hodgkins

Hodgkins, emperor of everything he can seeGreetings, Human World.

Lately I have been receiving unbelievable quantities of mail and email, almost all of which address the same question: how do we go about preventing canine world domination?

The most perspicuous solution is to support me in my bid to take over all of the world’s governments. That way dogs won’t have a shot at getting any of the various disorganized nations that are up for grabs this year.

However, I believe this is largely unnecessary. I will explain why.

Although most species aspire to world domination, and I do believe that a number of them (and even individual members of said species) could conquer the planet and later the universe, dogs are not among that number.

  • First of all, a great portion of humanity is entirely dissatisfied with canine hygienic habits. While there are mislead creatures in this world who believe that dogs are clean enough to justify indoor living, the more sane among us must disagree. When selecting a dictator, humans usually rally behind some sort of creature who appears to be dynamic, witty, intellectual, and cleanly. Dogs are none of the above and in no way can appear to have positive attributes. Humans are harder to herd than cats, unless you have a cat to lead them. (By the way, guys, write down that quote. It is infinitely inspirational.)

 

  • I must also point out that most dogs lack critical thinking skills. Insanity is doing the same thing many times and expecting different results; the human that coined this saying was clearly observing a dog when the idea popped into his brassbound human brain. Dogs would not be able to learn from any mistakes or progress beyond stage one. (For those of you who are inexperienced in world domination, stage one is when you start a cult-like following on social media.)
  • Finally, dogs are a subservient species. They listen too much. They care what others think. There is no way they can ever conquer the human race if they intend to do everything that “master” says.
  • Lastly, dogs have no tact whatsoever. What would they do if the idea did come to them that they should attempt world domination? They would start too soon, the effort would quickly descend into pandemonium, and all of this because instead of employing stealth, they bark at anything that moves.

Thus, although your concerns were thoughtful, I can’t believe you are really that stupid—pshaw, to think that dogs could overtake the earth. Besides, if you’re really concerned about “canine world domination,” you would immediately cease fraternizing with the dogs. And for now, good riddance, humans.

I love me too,

Hodgkins

Supreme Emperor of the Universe;

Chief Executive Lizard-Slayer at Lizard Warrior Service;

Recipient of the Snowbell Peace Prize;

Coolest Monarch of the Century (Irrational Geographic);

Expert Tree-Conqueror;

And Your Humble Master.

 

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For the Cats: Tips on the Art of Gift-Giving

Hodgkins Clark : March 24, 2014 11:12 am : Hodgkins, Lumberton Gazette

If you do not think I'm credible, see how awesome I am in the picture? Yeah. That's why you should listen.

If you do not think I’m credible, see how awesome I am in the picture? Yeah. That’s why you should listen.

To all the cats out there,

I’m baaaack.

So, since you have all proved your incompetence, and since I am a fountain of endless practical knowledge, I’d like to share tips on the art of gift-giving.

  • All humans will appreciate a leaf or cardboard box. These are classic gifts that just can’t go wrong. Perfect for the human that has everything.
  • When you need to say “I’m sorry,” nothing says it better than a headless squirrel carcass. Nothing. I recommend making a dramatic entrance, running towards them, and depositing it at your human’s feet.
  • If your human looks bored, offer them a live lizard to play with. This usually motivates some sort of action on their part, and occasionally they will run around the house screaming (depending on your human). For sure this will cheer up your human, and as a plus, they may even be so happy that they’ll let you outside for an extra-long outing.
  • Sharing a tasty treat with your human is a great way to show them that you care about them. A novel way to do this is to bring them breakfast in bed. Personally, I recommend bringing them some sort of rare and colorful songbird. (The kind in cages are obviously the most prestigious.) I’ve even known humans to cry, because they are so touched by the gift.

As Supreme Emperor of the Universe, I have a great deal of experience in handling the human species. Trust my expertise.

I love me too,

Hodgkins,

Supreme Emperor of the Universe;

Chief Executive Lizard-Slayer at Lizard Warrior Service;

Recipient of the Snowbell Peace Prize;

Coolest Monarch of the Century (Irrational Geographic);

Expert Tree-Conqueror;

Your Humble Master;

And A.K.A. alpha-cat.

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Attention, Human World

Hodgkins Clark : March 20, 2014 8:13 pm : Hodgkins

Me, singing an anthem of allegiance to myself.

Me, singing an anthem of allegiance to myself.

Hello, human world.

I am a cat—and of course you think you know what that means. You think that I like to play with balls of yarn, drink milk, catch mice, and that dogs chase me.

None of the above.

I am Hodgkins, Supreme Emperor of the Universe—or, well, at least that’s what I deserve to be. There is nothing in this world that I don’t have the right to use, destroy, or give away.

There are bogus scientists in my universe who claim that the “earth revolves around the sun” and other such garbage. No, the sun revolves around the earth—and the earth revolves around me. I am the culmination of thousands of years of history: I’m the reason you’re all here—obviously because I’m a cat, and because I’m the best cat.

And my purpose?

  • To catch the red dot that has somehow always managed to elude me—for if I am more brilliant than Sherlock Holmes (well, that’s a stupid “what if” because clearly I am) then this dot is more brilliant than Moriarty. Like, five hundred times smarter than Moriarty. But I digress.
  • To defeat the accursed breed of lizards threatening to take over my planet. These fire-breathing, two-inch long monsters can turn your couch to toast in two seconds flat, and if they succeed in overtaking your house, they will use it as headquarters—and then transform it into a missile launching pad. Yes, Western civilization hinges on you controlling these vile reptiles.
  • But more than anything else, since I’m the culmination of history, and since I’m Supreme Emperor, I deserve the authoritative recognition of such. Either by hook, crook, claw, or social media, I will take over “your” world.

Hopefully you understand me now, humans. Perhaps your eyes have been opened.

I love me too,

Hodgkins Clark, Your Humble Master

P.S. I highly recommend that you join H.O.D.G.K.I.N.S. (Hodgkins Obedible Dictatorial Glitterati Klatch and Imminent National Synod). When I say “highly recommend” I really mean join or else you’ll be cleaning the litter box as soon as I’m boss around here.

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