Stinky is busily grooming himself when he is taken by surprise by the whoosh from the teleportation tunnel. He stops mid lick and runs to the foyer where he finds Periwinkle sprawled on the floor. He quickly helps her up and apologizes for not being their to catch her when she came tumbling out.
“That’s okay Stinky. I’m not hurt, but I was worried I was here on the wrong day when I didn’t see you.”
“I just got distracted fixing my furs so I’d look nice for you.”
“You look fabulous, and to be honest I am a little early. I was anxious to see you.”
Stinky gives Periwinkle some whisker kisses and tells her he’s happy she arrived early.
“So what’s on the agenda today, Stinky?” Periwinkle asks.
He tells her they are going to jump back into the teleportation tunnel for a quick trip to their adventure destination. Without offering any additional information, Stinky takes Periwinkle’s paw and leads her back into the tunnel. Moments later they arrive in a huge garden.
“Where are we, Stinky?”
“We are at Monticello in Charlottesville, Virginia. It was the home of Thomas Jefferson, the third President of the United States. Today is his 278th birthday. It also is National Thomas Jefferson Day.”
“Wow, that’s pretty cool. Do you think it will be crowded because it’s his birthday?” asks Periwinkle.
“I don’t think so. They are still limiting visitors because of the pandemic, and I had to buy tickets in advance,” Stinky tells her.
“Well good, I wouldn’t want us to get trampled under foot.”
The tabbies look around the garden a bit and then head to the house. On the way, Stinky tells Periwinkle that Monticello was built on 5,000 acres in 1772 in the Neoclassical, Palladian style and that Thomas Jefferson was the architect. He also tells her that Monticello is Italian and means little mount.
“Jefferson cultivated tobacco and mixed crops but later shifted to wheat in response to changing markets,” Stinky explains.
Periwinkle asks Stinky, “Do you think Jefferson ever grew catnip and that we might find some in the garden now?”
“From my research I found that Jefferson had four mockingbirds, two grizzly bear cubs, two dogs and a horse, so he probably never grew catnip,” Stinky tells her.
“Phooey,” Periwinkle replies.
Stinky chuckles at Periwinkle, takes her paw and leads her to the house. They stop at a historical marker to read it.
Then they admire the house from among the tulips growing on the grounds.
“Stinky, I am so happy you brought me here in the spring. The grounds are really beautiful,” says Periwinkle.
Stinky smiles at Periwinkle, takes her paw again and leads her into the house.
Touring the House
“This is the Great Hall,” Stinky tells Periwinkle. “The Great Clock in here is driven by two sets of cannonball-like weights, hanging on both sides of the front doors. On Sundays the clock is wound, and the weights are raised to the ceiling. Throughout the week, the top ball on the right-hand set of weights reveals the day and approximate hour as it falls past markers on the wall, with Sunday at the top and Saturday at the bottom. If our readers want to know more about the clock they can check it out here.”
After looking around the great hall, Stinky says, “Let’s visit the library, Periwinkle.”
Stinky tells Periwinkle that Jefferson’s library contains more than 6,500 volumes and that he was not only a lawyer but also a scientist of agriculture, paleontology and astronomy.
“Wow, he was a smarty pants,” says Periwinkle, causing Stinky to giggle yet again.
“Let’s sit in this big red chair. It looks so comfortable, and my paws are a bit tired from all the walking,” Periwinkle says to Stinky.
As the tabbies rest, they talk about how fortunate they are to be cats. They know human visitors would never be able to sit on the furniture as they have been doing.
After the library, the tabbies continue to explore other areas of the house, including Jefferson’s bedroom and the dining room.
In the dining room, they discover the dumbwaiters installed next to the fireplace and used to carry food from the kitchen to the dining room. Periwinkle whispers to Stinky, “Do you think we could take a ride in one of them?” He tells her, “no,” and leads her away.
“Hey, Stinky, this photo gives our readers a great view of one of the dumbwaiters,” says Periwinkle.
“Yes it does,” says Stinky. He then tells Periwinkle that hanging out in the dining room has made him hungry, and Stinky asks Periwinkle if she is ready to head back to his house.
“Of course, Stinky,” Periwinkle tells him. Taking Stinky’s paw, she begins to lead him back to the garden and their teleportation tunnel.
Back at Stinky’s house, Periwinkle and Stinky visit with the other Kitties Blue and tell them about their adventure. They also let them know about a livestream from 1 to 1:30 ET for a Q&A with Thomas Jefferson, interpreted by Bill Barker. Mr. Jefferson will discuss his vision for education in America and answer questions from viewers. Click here to find out more or view.
After their usual snack of Fancy Feast and Temptations, the tabbies spend some time snuggling, whisker kissing and whispering. Finally it is time for Periwinkle to head home. She enters her tunnel and with a final wave is whisked away.
Stinky sadly returns to the catio for a nap in the sun, so he can dream about his wonderful girlfriend and another great adventure.
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