“Smoke” is a member of Santa’s Claws, a society of soldiers and secret agents devoted to protecting feline interests throughout the world. They operate independently of any nation and are rumored to be affiliated with the king of Christmas himself, though they deny any association with human institutions. Their location is so well hidden that even though everyone knows it is at the North Pole, it has never been discovered.

“Is this thing on? Timber asked me to do this, but he didn’t ask if I could type. In the Arctic, we don’t spend much time without our mittens. But we do have the latest in voice recognition technology. Usually Santa Claus—back up! No, I mean delete that. Grr! Santa’s clause. No, not Santa’s legal contract. Stop! S-A-N-T-A-C-L-A-W-S, like the sharp things on the end of my paws that could dismantle this puny piece of electronic equipment. [PAUSE]

“As I was saying, though Santa’s C-L-A-W-S has the latest in feline espionage tech, using it to dictate a blog entry was quite…creative. Timber has good ideas. He wants me to tell you what I’ve learned during my life of Adventure, but here’s the truth: I’ve spent most of it trying to stay away from Adventure. I was the bodyguard for the most important feline espionage agent in the world. She’s already written about her Adventures in a book (The Manual of Espionage According to The Great Nim).

After spending half my life trying to keep up with her, my idea of Adventure is a good nap.Smoke

Timber’s young, so he may not agree with me yet. He still works for the CIA, and they’re still willing to pay him.

But someday he might find himself on the receiving end of budget cuts. He might find that governments aren’t willing to pay for secret agencies. When things are going well, who needs spies? When things are going poorly, it’s easy to blame the ones who live in shadows.

He, too, might find himself at the North Pole, someday.

If he does, we’ll be happy to have him.

Not because he’s strong or has a flair for Adventure, though these things are true.

But we’re always looking for new ideas.

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