Friday, July 29, 2005

Paparazzi Snapshots



Top 5 Reasons I Love THE F-WORD
(and I use it throughout, so consider yourself warned...)


They say life is about the simple things...I agree! One of the simple joys I have in my life is the word FUCK. I love saying it! I love hearing it! I even love doing it! There is just no other word that can compare to the grand daddy of all things F.

Here are my top 5 reasons for loving the word FUCK:

  1. It's FORCEFUL
    There is something magical about a word that starts off so softly, only to slap you with a hard K at the end! As on of my favorite comedians, Dane Cook, says, "It's really perfect. It's just FUCK! 'Cause it's got the FFFFF and the UHHHH and the CK!" It's critical that you really embrace the entire word to give it the appropriate amount of force. Correctly said, it's almost three separate syllables! What's hilarious to me is watching the "FRIGGIN' Locomotive" charge down the track with little consequence. I hear everyone throwing that word around like it's an "AND" or a "THE." No one blinks an eye when a 10-year old child says, "Fish sticks for dinner again?! I can't stand friggin' fish sticks!" But seriously...we all know he means, "I can't stand fucking fish sticks!" Somehow his use of FRIGGIN' is okay. Why? It has the same beginning and ending sounds as FUCKING...clearly, we are more comfortable with the gentle caresses of the letter G, than the bitch-slaps of the CK combo. Am I wrong here?

  2. It's FLEXIBLE
    Is it an adjective? Yes! Is it a verb? Uh-huh! Is it a complete sentence unto itself? You betcha! It is a multi-functional gem! FUCK can be used in almost any situation:
    • Your mom is out of cat treats: "What the FUCK?! Do you want me to become skeletal? Do you want me to be anorexic?!"

    • Your favorite cat toy is lost, broken or destroyed: "Fuuuuuck. That suuuuuucks! My favorite cat toy is lost, broken or destroyed!"

    • You knock the treat canister over and treats fall all over the floor for you to feast on: "This is the FUCKIN' BOMB! Brach, get in here quick before mom notices!"

    • A huge dog walks by the window, notices you sitting there minding your own business, lunges toward you and hits his face against the pane: "Mess with the bull, you get the horns, FUCKER!!" (For effect, this is said while making wild paw movements.)

    • A huge dog walks by the OPEN window, notices you sitting there minding your own business, lunges toward you, pops through the screen and sinks his teeth into your neck: "Fuuuuuuuuuck...!"

    • You carry your full bladder to the litterbox, only to find it's not been scooped in, like, 4 days. You flick clumps out on the carpet and mutter: "Fucking A! Do I have to do everything around here?"

  3. It's FUN.
    Here's a little-known fact: Spayed cats hit their sexual peak at age 5. HELLO! I'm there! Using the word, while doing the word...ecstasy.

  4. It's FAMOUS
    According to my calculations (these are not estimates--I have done the math), there are 74,920,099,201 words in the English language that begin with the letter F (margin of error: .548). The fact that it's widely accepted that FUCK is "THE F-Word," is incredible! My grandmother even knows that FUCK is "THE F-Word!" (Of course, I didn't think she knew what blow jobs were until I realized she knew what they were, she just didn't know them by that name. To her it's "whistlin' on the flimflam flute.")

  5. It's FOUL
    In the four-legged animal kingdom, the word FUCK is highly revered! On the human social scale, saying FUCK is more offensive than bare-assing someone's skin (you know, rubbing your sphincter across someone's leg), shitting in your mom's shoes, and coughing up a hairball on someone's forehead when they are sound asleep. Go figure! The fact is this: FUCK is just a simple, four-lettered word that has been given extreme power by our society. It's not a religious issue--it's not called out in any holy book I know. It's not a moral issue--I can use "socially acceptable" words to describe things far more heinous than FUCK. Considering all of this, you need to give the word FUCK some serious respect for having the power to make children scream, old ladies faint, and Republicans vomit without any credentials.
My advice to you: Use the word FUCK every chance you get. It's cleansing! It's exhilarating! It adds 2 years to your life (14 if you're a dog or cat)! Do you need more reasons? FUCK, NO!

Monday, July 25, 2005

Online dating is a bitch!

I recently decided to explore online dating to see what all the hype was about. "But why would a celebrity like you need to look online for a date," you ask? The prettiest girl always sits at home on a Saturday night...everyone thinks she is booked, so no one calls. Except with me, people are also very intimidated because of my amazing intellect and charm.

So I posted my profile.

Name: Kukka-Maria
Breed(ing): Exiled Empress
Age: 5
Hair: Short, black/white/gray tiger-striped
Eyes: Green
Interests: Napping, rubbing my face against things, trying to procure tasty people-food, napping, talking, treats, and talking about treats.
Turn-ons: Licks behind my ears and between my eyes, gentle biting on the back of my neck, eyes that glow in the dark


Here are some of the (choke) gems I was matched with:


Name: Mr. Tinkles
Breed: Pure-bred American Short-Hair
Age: 3
Hair: White as the freshly-fallen snow
Eyes: Amber
Interests: I'm a show-cat, so I spend most of my free time practicing my prancing, poses and playful grins.
Turn-ons: Wearing beautiful costumes, winning beauty contests, sitting for photo-shoots, being brushed and powdered, and girl cats...yes, definitely girl cats are what I am wanting to have all the sex with!
My take on him: I should have stopped right away when I saw the ultra-gay photo and name, but I thought I'd give him a chance. As I continued to read about him, though, it became more and more apparent that Tink may not be into chicks. A straight, male cat would have never mentioned snow in describing his hair and eyes, unless he said his eyes looked like puddles of piss a snow-bank. Pretty boys are a no-no for this Empress! Quick Tip for Tink: If you have to tell the girls you're straight...you're not.


Name: Champ
Breed: College Mascot Alumni Mix
Age: 37
Hair: Synthetic, black and white
Eyes: Shiny and plastic
Interests: Dancing to "Who Let the Dogs Out?", Starting "The Wave" at sporting events, break-dancing, sewing jazzy outfits.
Turn-Ons: Cheerleaders and twins.
My take on him: I might be off, but I don't think this cat is really a cat! He totally gives me the creeps! There is nothing worse than a stupid frat boy that can't leave the college "glory days" behind. Quick Tip for Chump...I mean, Champ: If you want to get a girl to come to your bedroom--in your parents' basement, don't wear your embroidered heart on your chest.



Name: GaryLovesBeer
Breed: N/A
Age: 8
Hair: White.
Eyes: Bloodshot
Interests: Beer, resting my hand on my crotch, watching TV, roaming the streets with my boys, looking for food in garbage cans, and beer.
Turn-ons: I love hot looking bitches who are easy. I want to find a chick who will take care of me, but not expect me to do much for her. She won't pitch a fit if I want to hang with my boys and will let me be in charge of the remote control.
My take on him: Yeah...I don't think so. The last thing I need is some old drunk who would screw a hamster if it would hold still enough. My gut says Gary is one of those cats who, because he's been neutered and de-clawed, walks around trying to be a tough guy. He starts fights and pisses all over things to show how incredibly masculine he can be. Quick Tip for Gare-Bear: Queue up your porn, 'cause you're going to be solo for awhile. Stop trolling for skanks and stick with what you're good at--buying beer for under-aged kittens to earn extra money. Also, call your hair what it is: DIRTY!


Name: LEAVEMETHEHELLALONE!!
Breed: Who cares anymore?!
Age: 5
Hair: Well, it WAS brown and gray
Eyes: Green
Interests: Admiring my brilliant owner who, by the way, is HI-LARIOUS! Thinking to shave a cat bald and then take pictures of it is an exceptionally creative way to ridicule your pet!
Turn-ons: The sweet taste of revenge.
My take on him: While I am drawn to his sarcasm (I need to add that to my turn-ons...), this poor cat needs therapy--not a girlfriend! Can you say "anger issues?" Quick Tip for LMTHA: I've got the name of a great therapist (and some clever ideas on how to fuck with your owner and blame it on the dog).


Name: Zeus
Breed: Cat
Age: 7
Hair: Pink
Eyes: Brown
Interests: Chasing cats...NO, I meant cars! Chasing cars, playing fetch, eating children...I misspoke! I meant eating treats!
Turn-ons: Things that are plump, meaty and can't run fast, cats (hanging out with them, not eating them at all--why would I want to eat them?!), walks on the beach, and cats dipped in beef sauce.
My take on him: Ok...I'm not sure, but think this might be a dog! I have to admit, though, I'm attracted to "bad boys," so I just might give him a closer look. Don't judge me! You've seen my options! Quick Tip for the Greek god: Call me!


Friday, July 22, 2005

"Dear Kukka...", Volume II (Lightning Round)


More questions have arisen, so let's just knock them out! Considering I need to nap soon, I've going to attempt to answer them in rapid-fire format (meaning 25 words or less). Buckle up!

Q: What is your favorite TV show?
A: Um...I pretty much watch what The Agent watches, as I don't really know how to use the remote control. My favs of her favs are (in alphabetical order): Amazing Race, Arrested Development, Big Brother, Friends, and Saturday Night Live.


Q: What is your favorite color?
A: Pink leopard-print.


Q: If you could be any other animal, what would it be?
A: A tropical fish...because you can swim all the time, which would allow me to show off how HOT I look in a bikini!


Q: Who is your BFF?
A: My Best Friend Forever is Jennifer Aniston. She's been through a lot in recent months and it's only because of our long-lasting friendship and my sound advice that she's been able to see the light at the end of the tunnel.


Q: What is your favorite memory?
A: My favorite mammary would have to be my biological mother's most voluptous teat (third one down on the left). It provided essential nourishment during my first days as a kitten. What's that you say? Memory, not MAMMARY? Well, it's too late now...I don't think anyone will notice.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

"Dear Kukka...", Volume I


Hello, everyone! I've received thousands, upon thousands of emails asking me millions, upon millions of questions, so I thought, "Let's make Thursday Q&A Day!" Today, I've decided to pick the most frequently asked questions and offer up the info you crave. Let's hit it!

Q: Kukka, you have an amazingly lustrous coat, lousy with body and bounce...what sort of products do you use?
A: I hesitate to endorse any particular brand (especially since no one is offering me money to do so), so I will give you a general run-down of my hair-care-regime. I shampoo once a week with a lovely lemon-sage shampoo and conditioner. For daily cleansing, I use my tongue. Occasionally, I'll use a flat-iron to smooth out my coat and a bit of pomade. A little schpritz of light-hold hairspray, and I'm ready for my day!


Q: Regretfully, I missed your most recent auction on ebay for one of your hairballs. Kukka, when will you be offering up another hairball for auction?
A: While I would love to take credit, I am not responsible for my hairballs that appear on ebay. Sadly, I am under constant attack by rabid fans, who steal my coughed-up hairballs and sell them for profit. Hear my heart-felt plea: AVOID THESE AUCTIONS or the terrorists win!


Q: I've recently learned your birthday is coming up next month! Are you registered anywhere?
A: Great question! I am registered for the following:


Q: You say you're an "Exiled Empress." Where is your homeland?
A: I can't talk about it. It's not yet an emotional scar--it's still a scab. Tito...hand me a tissue.


Q: I have a question in two-parts: First, do you prefer clumping or non-clumping litter and second, with "going potty" being such a current trend, do you have any plans to become toilet-trained?
A: Let me address the second part first. No, I have no immediate plans to learn how to use a toilet. First off, my ass is bony, making it virtually impossible (at best, uncomfortable) to sit on a toilet seat--padded or otherwise. In order to get my leg muscles conditioned enough to adequately balance above the "blue water gulch," I would need to work out at least 2 hours a day, 5 days a week! ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! With "napping" mentioned twice in my list of favored activities, I think it's safe to say I'm not willing to make the commitment. As for your first inquiry? Clumping, thankyouverymuch.

That's it for now, adoring public! If you have more questions, post them! Nothing is off-limits (except my alleged romantic relationship with Karl Rove).

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Snorkel Brach

There's been a request for more Brach pictures...I'm not sure why.

This is Brach on the beautiful beaches of Brazil. We spent the afternoon snorkeling and got horrible sunburns!

I got a Brazilian Wax, which for a cat is especially painful because it's a full-body wax! I had ALL my hair removed, because with a Brazilian Wax, you have a completely bald...wait for it...there you go! I've got pictures of that, but we have to be really close friends for me to share.

For now, enjoy Brach's diving pic!

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Spoiler: Brach is the Half-Blood Prince!

This is my brother, Brach. He's a huuuuuuuge Harry Potter fan. This photo was taken last week, after returning from purchasing the newest HP book--5 days early in Canada. We were really sweating it at customs, but the fact that we are trained thespians helped us make it across the border with the book.

Note: While the hair is really Brach's, he normally wears contacts.

Cats need deodorant, too!

In the Merchant of Venice, Shakespeare's Shylock said, "If you prick us, do we not bleed?..." I say, "If you keep us in a hot and humid home, do we not sweat our balls off?"

I can hear the gasps already! I hope it's because you are shocked someone would keep cats (of royal descent, I might add) in a hot and humid home and not because I said "balls." If it's the former, I say, "BRAVO! You have a conscience!" If it's the latter? Get over yourself! I never promised a G-Rated blog.

So, I am sweating my balls off this summer! Blame it on the Hurricanes Dennis and Emily, call it "Global Warming," or even "El NiƱo, Part Neuf." I just call it SUMMER. It's part of my cycle of bitching. When it's too hot, I complain. When it's too cold, I complain.

What I just don't get, though, is why someone hasn't invented a deodorant for cats. WE HAVE FOUR ARMPITS, FOR THE LOVE OF PETE! Do you not think we get a little gamey, ripe, pungent and putrid? Have you ever just smelled something especially rank, only to be mortified upon realizing IT'S YOU? I have...and it's far more embarrassing than finding you forgot to have your litter box scooped and feline heads-of-state are arriving for a visit in mere moments!

Here's my plea: Will someone hook a sister up with some underarm delight? While I have the intellect and vision to invent a feline deodorant, I don't have the time (with all the napping, eating, rubbing my face against things, begging for treats, evading the press, setting up booby-traps in the shrubbery for the paparazzi, and napping).

While you're at it--and I'm asking on behalf of a friend--you might want to look at feline "feminine" deodorant, as well. It's not for me! My friend was just asking...

Friday, July 15, 2005

Yes, I have a belly...NEXT!

Who the hell sets the standards of beauty? Is it some sort of committee who sits around a stairmaster on yoga mats that have just been scrubbed clean on their washboard stomachs? Who are these people and how did they crawl into my head and make me feel inadequate?

I haven't had a litter of kittens...so I can't use that excuse. I did have a hysterectomy when I was, like 8 weeks old, so that could contribute to my...NO! I REFUSE TO BLAME MY CIRCUMSTANCES! I HAVE A SAGGY BELLY AND I'M GOING TO WEAR IT LIKE A BADGE OF HONOR!

I will say, though, that it does get in my way when The Agent calls my name and I'm running to the kitchen to get "treats." It flops to and fro and is generally unattractive to watch from behind (and the sides and front, for that matter).

See? There I go--subscribing to the cultural definition of what is attractive and what is not! What if I were to pick up a copy of this month's Cat Fancy and the cover read "Belly Fat All the Rage!"? Would I accept myself then? Would I be "good enough" (those are air-quotes, by the way) then?

Probably not. It's so ingrained in my head, that this self-loathing has become part of my fabric. I can pull one string out, but it's woven so tightly it will not unravel. I've had a solid 5.88 years (what is that in cat-years...are we the same as dogs?) of watching those svelte super-models, bouncing and pouncing at the sound of the can opener--not an ounce of fat on them.

Who are these bitches? Why do they make me second-guess my worth? When did belly-pooch have the power to erode intellect, charm, wit, talent, AND TRUE BEAUTY?

And it's not like I have clothes to fit into, for crying out loud!

Grateful for pixilation...

Stalkerazzi Strike Again!


Damn! Do celebrities not deserve peaceful sleep? What's next!? Candids of me in my bikini?

Lights...Camera...Kukka!

 I am going to be honest here. I really don't have time to be fooling with a blog...hell, I don't even think I know how to use a computer! But, my fans are asking to know my inner-most thoughts and feelings, so I feel I must oblige.

For those of you who don't know me (and I don't know how that's possible, unless you don't own a television or read the tabloids), I'm Kukka-Maria. No last name...just Kukka-Maria. Sort of like Cher, Madonna or Tiffani-Amber (without the Theissen).

I'm a cat. At first glance, I appear to be your basic, run of the mill, garden-variety feline. But with closer examination, you find I'm extraordinary! I'm exceptionally talented, beautiful, intelligent, and witty--or at least that's what my friends tell me. And how many cats do you know what are bombarded with paparazzi on a daily basis? I rest my case.

I live in a modest home with an Agent and a cat brother. My brother, Brach, and I are adopted, although The Agent has yet to officially communicate that this is the case. I think she believes we will take it hard and think she doesn't love us as much as if we had sprung from her own loins...BUT COME ON! We're freakin' cats here! It doesn't take a genius to figure it out!


Look, I really have to nap--I've been awake for nearly an hour now! It's tough enough trying to figure out what to say, but I'm having to hunt and peck on this keyboard and it's doing a job on my manicure.

I'm outtie.

My Shit Litter List

In no particular order (although Star Jones-Reynolds does deserve to be at the top of the list).

If there is a post that corresponds to the appearance of a name on the list, click the name to read it.


Thursday 13 Archive

EDITION #1
Thirteen Things that Prove I am a Beautiful Feline (and not at all conceited)


EDITION #2
Thirteen Celebrity Cats--Where are They Now?


EDITION #3
Thirteen Reasons I Can't Do Thursday Thirteen This Week


EDITION #4
Thirteen Reasons I'm Glad I'm not a Dog


EDITION #5
The Only Thirteen Words/Phrases my Agent Thinks I Know (clearly, she doesn't read my blog)


EDITION #6
Thirteen Ways to Tell if Your Royal Feline/Celebrity Blogging Cat is Sick


EDITION #7
Thirteen Interesting Ways People (and some sick mother-effers) Have Found my Site via Google.


EDITION #8
Thirteen Court-Mandated Public Service Announcements Kukka has done that may
(or may not) have been of value.


EDITION #9
Thirteen topics about which Empress Kukka-Maria lectured at the Super-Sexy Feline Conference in Minneapolis last week.


EDITION #10
Thirteen Campaign Promises.


EDITION #11
Thirteen Settlement Points Outlined in the Britney/Kevin Divorce Papers


EDITION #12
Thirteen Twenty-Six Reasons I Will NOT Be Attending
The TomKat Wedding in Italy


EDITION #13
Thirteen Active Strategies I am Employing to Solidify my Position as the Most Annoying Cat in the Entire World


EDITION #14
Thirteen Ways to Tell if Your Cat Hates Winter


EDITION #15
Thirteen Commands my Agent Spouts that I Understand, but Pretend Not To.


EDITION #16
Thirteen Interesting Ways People (and some sick mother-effers) Have Found my Site via Google.


EDITION #17
Thirteen Things I Accomplished Over the Last Week, Instead of Giving a Crap About my Sick Agent.


EDITION #18
Thirteen Things I Happened to Witness on the Golden Globes' Red Carpet from Behind the Tinted Windows of my Limo.


EDITION #19
Top Thirteen True False Articles Written About Empress Kukka-Maria in the Tabloid Newspapers in 2006


EDITION #20
Thirteen "Must-Haves" that make a Sufficient Human Father for an Empress

Tomcat Stable

The super-sexy tomcats who have professed their love for me (in chronological order):


William of Mass Destruction

When he's not chowing down on weather-stripping, or dining on toilet parts, William spends his days dreaming of me (and doing other stuff, I suppose...). William invented and introduced me to the word "squillions," which is why I affectionately refer to him as "Squilliam." He is sleek and super-sexy and should win an award for his bad-boyishness (ref: weather-stripping and toilet parts). He was the first tomcat to profess his undying love and boundless devotion to me and he's never shown a lick of jealousy that I've added other toms to the stable. He's a true gentleman!


Moose

Don't let the photo fool you. Cute on the outside. Mischievous on the inside. Aside from that super-sexy, foofy tail (he describes it as "GINORMOUS"), his rambunctious attitude and devotion for me are what seal the deal. When he was a kitten, he was prone to bite and, even though his selfish humans trained it out of him, I have to admire his bad-boy instincts! And, when it comes to devotion to me? How can you resist a tomcat who serenades you with your own song!? Oh, yes...this baby got back!


Zeus

While Zeus describes himself as "...your typical American Classic Tabby," I have to forcefully disagree! First, I don't allow "typical" toms in my stable. Super-sexy? You're in. Intelligent? I'll take you on! Zeus is both of these and more. He says he is a "handful" for his Human Pet and that is one of the things that makes him so enticing. I'm a sucker for a bad-boy and, based on his endless pursuit of me (the consummate bad girl), it's clear he has the right stuff! As for a glorious display of his undying love for me? Zeus penned a song in my honor!

Zeus' Catster Page


Miles Meezer

Miles has lofty goals in life. Aside from his constant pursuit of ham, he spends most of his time working toward his goal of standing on the ceiling of the bedroom. While very young, Miles is a voracious boyfriend and, if I ever asked, would probably give up all his ham for me. After all, when you claim to not have song-writing abilities and then pull off a magnificent tribute to me...that has to be love! While I don't advise calling him this (it's a sore spot for him), his Mom calls him...wait for it..."POOSIE." I think it's adorable, but he feels it threatens his masculinity. If you tell him I told you this, I'll deny it! By the way, I know he's going to be mad at me for choosing this photo (head in a cone), but aren't his eyes just delicious in this shot?

Miles' Catster Page


George

George is known around his house as a "Daddy's Boy" and waits on the bathroom vanity every morning while his Dad showers. From what I understand, he cries until he's picked up and carried into the kitchen where he helps get breakfast (perhaps drenching the cereal with his tears?). Then, he demands his Dad sit down and hold him for 5-10 minutes before leaving for work. I struggled with him being sort of a pansy, but then I read about his rare, but powerful bad boy hijinks and took him on as a suitor. 2 years my senior, the fact he is an "older tom" is a turn-on. Perhaps he can bestow some of that super-sexy wisdom on The Empress? To get his attention, I'd be willing to play stupid and let him be my guide...

George's Catster Page


Max

In addition to being George's younger brother, Max does not like to be held or picked up. He barely passed "Lap Kitty" class but shows his affection in other ways--like throwing himself against the bedroom door at 4:30 AM until his Mom lets him in. Oh, I love those rebellious types! He claims not to have an exciting life, but come on! When you pursue The Empress, life is never boring! He's young, so I can't wait to show him the romantic ropes. As long as his eyes don't stray from my exquisite beauty and allure, this relationship is going to go well!

Max's Catster Page

People Banned from Cat-Sitting

Britney Spears

Katie Couric

Lindsay Lohan

"Dear Kukka..." Archive

"Dear Kukka...", Volume I

"Dear Kukka...", Volume II (Lightning Round)

"Dear Kukka...", Volume III

"Dear Kukka...", Volume IV

"Dear Kukka...", Volume V (Holiday Edition)

"Dear Kukka...", Volume VI

"Dear Kukka...", Volume VII (Oscar Edition)

"Dear Kukka...", Volume VIII

"Dear Kukka...", Volume IX

"Dear Kukka...", Volume X

"Dear Kukka...", Volume XI

"Dear Kukka...", Volume XII

"Dear Kukka...", Volume XIII

"Dear Kukka...", Volume XIV

"Dear Kukka...", Volume XV

"Dear Kukka...", Volume XVI

"Dear Kukka...", Volume XVII

"Dear Kukka...", Volume XVIII

"Dear Kukka...", Volume XIX

POINT/COUNTER-POINT Archive

POINT/COUNTER-POINT: Sleeping Under the Covers

POINT/COUNTER-POINT: It's for the Birds

POINT/COUNTER-POINT: "Technically," They're Still Oscars

POINT/COUNTER-POINT: Beannachtam na Feile Padraig!

POINT/COUNTER-POINT: Laser Pointer Mayhem

POINT/COUNTER-POINT: Going Outside

POINT/COUNTER-POINT: Sibling Affection

POINT/COUNTER-POINT: Chipmunk Acquisition

POINT/COUNTER-POINT: Tails--Fashion or Function?

POINT/COUNTER-POINT: "Kiss" Off

POINT/COUNTER-POINT: "You Lick Mine; I'll Lick Yours

Open Letter to my Agent Archive

Open Letter to my Agent, Vol 1

Open Letter to my Agent, Vol 2

Open Letter to my Agent, Vol 3

Open Letter to my Agent, Vol 4

Open Letter to my Agent, Vol 5

Open Letter to my Agent, Vol 6

Open Post-It Note to my Agent

Open Letter to my Agent, Vol 7

Open Letter to my Agent, Vol 8

Open Letter to my Agent, Vol 9