Montana State Prison

Hi, I am Gulliver’s sister. He asked me to tell you about how to write a postcard because he can’t send a postcard this week. The stamp goes on the upper right, with the address below. The correspondence goes on the left. If there is no line in the center you can draw one so the post office knows where to look for the address. Gulliver would be happy for some mail.
We had gone to the old Montana State prison, which is now a museum. Gulliver was fooling around and locked himself in a cell! “BAD CAT!” yelled the tour guide. “Now you will have to live on bread and water for a week until the museum director comes back from vacation . She is the only one with keys to the cells.” Gulliver hid under the bed and cried. Neither of us is purring right now. Meows. Sasha

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Around The World And Through Time

My mom belongs to Postcrossing and loves the postcards she receives. A great way to travel without leaving home! Purrs, Gulliver

Curious Cat

I belong to a community called “Postcrossing“. We are a worldwide bunch who call ourselves “postcrossers” and still believe in the antediluvian art of writing letters by hand and posting them in the real world through a good old-fashioned mail box. The beauty of exchanging postcards is the stamp of the country of origin on the card itself (unlike letters where the envelope is stamped). At one glance you know where the postcard has arrived from and how far and wide it has travelled to reach you. In addition, the picture side can be filled with all sorts of images. Most postcrossers prefer “touristy” images that provide a glimpse of the place the card has been sent from. But there are many others with peculiar quirks and hobbies who prefer their mailboxes filled with subjects of interest printed on the postcards. I have sent out cards…

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License Plates

When my mom was a kitten, they played the License Plate game when traveling. One point earned for each new state license plate seen, with bonus points if the plate was from another country. France became the first country to issue “number plates” in 1893. At the turn of the century New York required license plates on cars, but the car owners could have any material, style, and color of plate and could use their own identifying letters. License plates have been made of leather, wood, ceramic, plastic and copper. Sometimes the information was painted directly on the car. Now plates are made of metal with series of number and letters. States often add a slogan or a symbol to represent the state. There are also “personalized” plates which can be words, names or special combinations of letters and numbers that people like or to show support of an idea.. Shanghai, China is one of four Chinese cities that limit cars on the road by auctioning off a small number of license plates each year. This makes the license plate more expensive than some of the low priced cars!
Purrs, Gulliver

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Aqab, Jordan

Did you notice the city of Aqab is spelled with no u after the q? The name means ‘Obstacle’ in Arabic, due to the high mountains surrounding the city and the bumpy roads leading to it. It is Jordan’s only outlet to the Red Sea, so it is an important city for trading. Lots of tourists come here also, enjoying the national dish of Mansaf, which is rice with chunks of stewed lamb and jameed, a type of yogurt sauce. In Jordan, it is usually polite to decline the offer of a meal three times before accepting. I am lucky the people from Jordan are very hospitable, or I would get hungry waiting for my turn to eat!
Purrs, Gulliver

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Time, Time, Time

“Does anyone really know what time it is? Does anyone really care?” I hummed an old song while mom changed the clocks recently. Humans like to divide things into years, days and hours, even time zones around the world. It is a mystery to cats how it can be 9:00 am in Vermont, when it is 10 pm in Tokyo, Japan And another mystery is Daylight Saving Time. People turn their clocks forward in the spring, and back in the fall. Actually, only about ¼ of the world’s population observe this ritual to make days longer in the summer time. Those who live close to the equator do not have much change in the amount of sun they see, but if you remember reading about Alaska, they can have almost 24 hours of sun in the summer, and the reverse in the winter. Oddly, Arizona and Hawaii -the 48th and 50th states don‘t observe daylight saving time at all, though the Navajo Nation within the state of Arizona does. It causes a lot of confusion around the world trying to remember what time it is in a different place. For me, it is always a good time for a nap! Purrs, Gulliver

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Italy

I love visiting Italy. Pasta, pizza, pianos and violins were all created by Italians, and the first operas (stories set to music) were written in Italy. The name Italy comes from the word italia, meaning “calf land,” perhaps because the bull was a symbol of the Southern Italian tribes. l, Italy is shaped like a high heel boot kicking a rock or piece of dirt. Nearly 80% of Italy is either mountainous or hilly. There are many famous explores who were Italian, including Christopher Columbus, Marco Polo, John Cabot, and Amerigo Vespucci. Maybe someday I will discover a new land and have it named Gully! Purrs, Gulliver

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Transcontinental Railroad

“I’ve been working on the railroad.” I sang as my granddad played his harmonica. He taught me the song after telling me about how his grandfather worked on the transcontinental railroad. This connected the United States by going from Oakland, California through Sacramento, then up through Utah, and across the Great Plains to Omaha, Nebraska. There it linked with rails which already existed. The workers built tunnels through mountains and bridges over rivers and canyons to get the tracks laid. It was hard, dangerous work and it took six years to complete the lines. In 1876, an express train traveled coast to coast, from New York to San Francisco in just 83 hours and 39 minutes. Just 10 years before, the same trip would have taken months by covered wagon or even weeks by ship, going all the way around South America and up the Pacific Coast. My granddad was very proud of his grandfather.
Purrs, Gulliver

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April Fool

April Fool! In 1996, Taco Bell announced that it had bought the Liberty Bell and changed its name to the Taco Liberty Bell. Many people were very angry because they didn’t realize it was just an April Fool’s joke. The trick had people talking though. After they got over being angry, they went to Taco Bell and had a burrito, taco or enchilada. Sales went up by more than half a million dollars that week. The Liberty Bell itself literally cracked up in February 1846, when it was rung for George Washington’s birthday. To prevent more damage, it is no longer rung with a clapper, but now it is tapped when marking special occasions. Purrs, Gulliver.

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