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Cat Etiquette


The past couple of days have been a special time of bonding between our two cats and me with my wife and daughter gone. Some of their antics made me think of the following list of cat etiquette rules. Cat lovers will be amused as they think of their own little darlings, and cat haters will probably say at least once, "Yep, that's another reason I don't like cats!"

Rules of Etiquette for Young, Inexperienced Cats Who Have a Household to Run...

1. DOORS:
A. Do not allow closed doors in any room. To get one open, stand on hind legs and hammer with forepaws. Once the door is opened for you, it is not necessary to use it. Remember, as a cat, you have the option of changing your mind.

B. Once you have ordered that a door to the outside be opened, stand half-in and half-out and think about several things. (This is particularly important during very cold weather or mosquito season).

C. Avoid swinging doors, unless you can get humans to catch your tail in it by accident.

D. Should you run into a closed sliding glass door, never let on that it was unintentional - go about your business as if "I meant to do that."

Addendum: If you are an indoor-only cat, use your Cloak of Invisibility until the people forget you're in the room, then make an insane dash for the outside world the instant the door is opened. Then when your people come after you, do that "dancing just a millimeter out of reach" thing until they're not sure they even want you back.

2. THROWING UP:
A. If you have to throw up, get onto a chair or the couch quickly. If you cannot manage this in time, get to an Oriental rug. Lacking an Oriental rug, shag carpet is good.

B. When it becomes time to dislodge a fur ball, choose the dining room at dinner time. Carpet or upholstery is always preferable to hard surfaces.

3. GUESTS:
A. After dinner, when walking on the dinner table among the dishes, be prepared to look surprised and hurt when scolded. The idea to convey is "But you let me do it when there isn't company!"

B. Determine quickly which guest hates cats. Sit on that lap during the evening because the guest wouldn't dare push you off and will even call you "nice kitty." If you can arrange to have cat food on your breath, so much the better.

C. For sitting in laps or rubbing against trouser legs, select colors which contrast with your own. Example: for white-furred cats, a good black wool is best.

D. Always accompany guests to the bathroom. It is not necessary to do anything. Just sit and stare.

E. For guests who say, "I love kitties," be ready with aloof disdain. Later you can apply your claws to stockings or give a quick nip to the ankles.

4. PLAYING:
A. If you allow a dog to share your domain, you are in luck. Should you tatter the drapes or destroy anything for which you fear retribution, wait until your owner is near by, slap the dog and run for it. Dogs are stupid and will accept the blame for anything. If this ruse should fail, simply run and hide. No one really expects to catch a cat.

B. Chase, frolic, and run from Invincible Entities. The why doesn't matter - it is just expected.

C. If you ever catch a mouse, take it under the king-sized bed. Go to the center, out of reach of anyone. Wait until the people are asleep, and proceed to eat your catch, enjoying every morsel as loudly as you can.

D. Any small item is a potential toy. If a human tries to confiscate it, this means that it is a Good Toy. Run with it under the bed. Look suitably outraged when the human grabs you and takes it away. Always watch where it is put so you can steal it later.

E. Hiding is great fun. Every now and then, hide in a place where the humans cannot find you. Do not come under any circumstances out for three to four hours. (This is a great time for some extra napping.) This will cause the humans to panic (which they love to do) thinking that you have run away or are lost. Once you do come out, the humans will cover you with love and kisses and will probably give you a treat.

F. Always sharpen claws on furniture. Ignore those "scratching posts" they get for you, they're not good for your nails. Curtains and the arms of their easy chairs are also great places to scratch and sharpen your claws. You need to leave your mark on the world. If your humans are ignoring you, this is a great way to get their attention.

5. PERSONAL DIGNITY:
A. It is important to maintain one's dignity at all times. If you should have an accident during play, such as falling off a chair, immediately wash a part of your body as if to say "I MEANT to do that!"

B. Always look innocent when you've made a mess. Your humans won't believe you did it.

C. If you are overweight, arrange yourself in attractive poses, except, of course, when cleaning yourself.

6. FOOD AND EATING:
A. Never eat food from your own bowl if you can steal some from the table. Never drink from your own water bowl if their glass is full enough to drink from.

B. If you become bored with your diet, immediately after food is placed into dish, try to cover it with the newspaper under your bowl - sometimes this can even result in your fresh bowl of water being tipped over.

C. Table scraps are delicacies with which humans are unwilling to part readily. It is beneath your dignity to beg for these as do the lower forms of life (dogs), but try jumping onto the lap of the softest human and purr loudly, lie down in the doorway between the kitchen and the dining room, or give the Direct Stare. Other techniques that work are twining around people's legs as they sit and eat while meowing plaintively or resting your paws on the human's leg and mewing to remind them you are starving to death.

7. LITTER BOX:
When using the litter box, be sure to kick as much litter as possible out of the box. Humans love the feel of kitty litter between their toes. Also, refuse to use the litter box unless it's absolutely clean. If it's dirty, you can protest by making a little pile right next to the litterbox. That'll teach 'em to attend better to their duties!

8. WALKING:
A. As often as possible, dart quickly and as close as possible in front of the human, especially on stairs, when they have something in their arms, in the dark, and when they first get up in the morning. This will help their coordination skills.

B. When your owner returns home laden with packages, fall down in front of them - this works best on steps, all the better if the individual is proceeding downward. There is always the chance you may get stepped on, but this usually guarantees a fall and you can milk their guilt that follows. It is usually worth it.

9. HAMPERING ROUTINE ACTIVITIES:
A. If one of them is sewing, or working with paper and pens, and the other is idle, sit with the busy one. This is called "helping", otherwise known as "hampering".

B. When supervising cooking, sit just behind the left heel of the cook. This way you cannot be seen and, therefore, stand a better chance of being stepped on, picked up and comforted.

C. For readers, get in close under the chin, unless, of course, you can lie across the book, magazine, or newspaper itself. When a humans are holding the newspaper in front of themselves, be sure to jump on the back of the paper. They love to be startled and jump.

D. For someone knitting, curl quietly into lap and pretend to doze. Then reach out and slap a knitting needle sharply. This causes what is called a "dropped stitch." The knitter will try to distract you with a ball of yarn, which is ridiculous. What you want to go for, and with a vengeance is the moving strand of yarn. What self-respecting cat would settle for a ball of yarn when s/he can pounce on a moving strand?! Remember, the aim is to hamper work. Embroidery and needlepoint projects make great hammocks, in spite of what the humans may tell you.

E. For people paying bills (monthly activity) or working on income taxes or Christmas cards (annual activities), keep in mind the aim: to hamper. First, sit on the paper being worked on. When dislodged, watch sadly from the side of the table. When activity proceeds nicely, roll around on the papers, scattering them to the best of your ability. After being removed for the second time, push pens, pencils, and erasers off of table one at a time.

F. For people doing homework, sit on the paper being worked on. After being removed for the second time, push anything movable off the table - pens, pencils, stamps - one at a time.

G. When people are using computers, be alert! Do not let typing occur without your attention. By sitting on the lap of the person at the keyboard, you can place elbows on the top, making it convenient to play with the keys. If there is paper on the desk or table, biting any piece of paper is in order, or better yet, sit on whatever the person is trying to look at while typing. Always walk on the keyboard.

10. BEDTIME AND SLEEP:
A. Always sleep on the humans at night so they cannot move around. Get enough sleep in the daytime so that you are fresh for playing catch-mouse or king-of-the-hill on the bed between 2 and 4 a.m.

B. In the morning, when you want breakfast, lick the sleeping human on the face, or on an exposed foot (it is best to do this to the female, as the male tends to become violent).

FINAL NOTE: Start this training early, and you will have a smooth-running household. Humans need only to know a few basic rules which they can be taught readily if one starts in time!

divider

Becka and Nora arrived back home safe and sound at about 6 last evening. They said the traffic wasn't all that bad, having been fearful that it would be otherwise on Memorial Day. They had a very nice time up there visiting with Jim, Meg, and Drew. Here are a few pictures from this last visit....

Grandma and Drew, who is now sporting some newborn-sized clothes...

picture of Grandma and Drew

Drew looking at his mom at bath time...

picture of bath time

Drew practicing his smiling while sleeping...

picture of sleeping smile

Megan did not end up having to have surgery last week, for which we are thankful. She and Drew are both doing very well. Our heartfelt thanks to those who ask about them and pray for them.

quotation…

"Isn't it amazing that God uses words to change us?" - Dr. Drew Conley

=^..^= =^..^=
Rob

A dog will come when you call, but a cat will take a message and never get back to you.

Quotations about Grandparents


Becka and Nora left this morning a little after 4:00 and arrived safely in Michigan in time for dinner this evening. On the way they stopped in Findlay, Ohio, to have lunch and a short visit with Becka's aunts. I called a little while ago and got to hear our grandson cry on the phone - I attribute it to his sadness that I didn't accompany them, but it could be that Becka pinched him too. We may fire up the webcams later this evening if things settle down up there. My next blog post should have a fresh picture or two.

Since Becka is getting to enjoy grandmothering in person again and since we're between Mother's Day and Father's Day, I thought I'd share a list of quotations about grandparents that I received the other day. When I noticed that five of the quotations are attributed to Gene Perret, I did a search to see who he is. He's been a comedy writer for over thirty years for such comedians as Phyllis Diller, Bob Hope, Carol Burnett, Bill Cosby, and many others. Some of the others quoted are unknown to me, and I didn't take the time to track down info about them.

Quotations about grandparents...

Grandmas are moms with lots of frosting. - Author Unknown

What a bargain grandchildren are! I give them my loose change, and they give me a million dollars' worth of pleasure. - Gene Perret

Grandmothers are just "antique" little girls. - Author Unknown

Perfect love sometimes does not come until the first grandchild. - Welsh Proverb

A grandmother is a babysitter who watches the kids instead of the television. - Author Unknown

Never have children, only grandchildren. - Gore Vidal

Becoming a grandmother is wonderful. One moment you're just a mother. The next you are all-wise and prehistoric. - Pam Brown

Grandchildren don't stay young forever, which is good because grandfathers have only so many horsey rides in them. - Gene Perret

When grandparents enter the door, discipline flies out the window. - Ogden Nash

Grandma always made you feel she had been waiting to see just you all day and now the day was complete. - Marcy DeMaree

Grandmas never run out of hugs or cookies. - Author unknown

Grandmas hold our tiny hands for just a little while, but our hearts forever. - Author Unknown

If I had known how wonderful it would be to have grandchildren, I'd have had them first. - Lois Wyse

My grandkids believe I'm the oldest thing in the world. And after two or three hours with them, I believe it, too. - Gene Perret

If becoming a grandmother was only a matter of choice, I should advise every one of you straight away to become one. There is no fun for old people like it! - Hannah Whithall Smith

It's such a grand thing to be a mother of a mother - that's why the world calls her grandmother. - Author Unknown

Grandchildren are God's way of compensating us for growing old. - Mary H. Waldrip

You do not really understand something unless you can explain it to your grandmother. - Proverb

An hour with your grandchildren can make you feel young again. Anything longer than that, and you start to age quickly. - Gene Perret

The best baby-sitters, of course, are the baby's grandparents. You feel completely comfortable entrusting your baby to them for long periods, which is why most grandparents flee to Florida. - Dave Barry

I wish I had the energy that my grandchildren have - if only for self-defense. - Gene Perret

Grandmother-grandchild relationships are simple. Grandmas are short on criticism and long on love. - Author Unknown

Nobody can do for little children what grandparents do. Grandparents sort of sprinkle stardust over the lives of little children. - Alex Haley

Grandmother - a wonderful mother with lots of practice. - Author Unknown

A grandparent is old on the outside but young on the inside. - Author Unknown

One of the most powerful handclasps is that of a new grandbaby around the finger of a grandfather. - Joy Hargrove

It's amazing how grandparents seem so young once you become one. - Author Unknown

If your baby is "beautiful and perfect, never cries or fusses, sleeps on schedule and burps on demand, an angel all the time," you're the grandma. - Teresa Bloomingdale

Grandparents are similar to a piece of string - handy to have around and easily wrapped around the fingers of their grandchildren. - Author Unknown

What is it about grandparents that is so lovely? I'd like to say that grandparents are God's gifts to children. And if they can but see, hear and feel what these people have to give, they can mature at a fast rate. - Bill Cosby

Grandchildren don't make a man feel old; it's the knowledge that he's married to a grandmother. - G. Norman Collie

quotation...

"We used to play spin the bottle when I was a kid. A girl would spin the bottle and if it pointed to you when it stopped, the girl could either kiss you or give you a dime. By the time I was 14, I owned my own home." - Gene Perret

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Rob

If illegal aliens really wanted to take American jobs, wouldn't they be moving to Asia instead?

The High Price of Gasoline


After spending this past week back at home, my wife is heading back up to Michigan this Thursday. 8-D Our daughter Nora wanted to go see Megan, Jim, and Drew since she has a long weekend and invited Becka to ride up with her. Becka graciously accepted. I envy her the visit, but I don't envy her the highway time so soon, having done almost the same thing myself in March! Ugh!

Part of the downside of Becka and Nora's trip later this week, besides 22+ hours in a car, is the price of gasoline. With that in mind, I share the following....

If you think the price of gas (petrol) is too high, check out these prices per gallon. (Prices came from the internet, so they may or may not be accurate.)


Product Unit Cost Price per Gallon
Lipton Ice Tea $1.19/16 oz $9.52 per gallon
Ocean Spray $1.25/16 oz $10.00 per gallon
Gatorade $1.59 /20 oz $10.17 per gallon
Diet Snapple $1.29/16 oz $10.32 per gallon
Evian water $1.49 /9 oz $21.19 per gallon
Witeout $1.39 /7 oz $25.42 per gallon
Brake Fluid $3.15/12 oz $33.60 per gallon
Scope $0.99/1.5 oz $84.48 per gallon
Vick's Nyquil $8.35/6 oz $178.13 per gallon
Pepto Bismol $3.85/4 oz $123.20 per gallon
Visine Advanced Eye Drops $92.64/1 oz $741.12 per gallon
Revlon Nail Enamel $54.61/1 oz $983.04 per gallon
Chanel No. 5 Parfum $352.00/1 oz $45,056.00 per gallon

I know that the analogies are not exactly the same since we get a lot more "mileage" out of some of the products above, but it does highlight how overpriced some things may actually be. The following picture might bring a wry smile.

picture of gas gauge

Here's a little family news - Megan has to have outpatient surgery tomorrow (Tuesday) to repair something that didn't heal correctly from the C-section. Nora loves teaching pre-school and would be a worthy candidate for the "Best Aunt of the Year" award, if there were such a thing. Mark and Katie have about two weeks of school left and will wed in 40 days, but who's counting?

quotation...

"Godly disciple-makers will encounter opposition and persecution." - Dr. Drew Conley

=^..^= =^..^=
Rob

Despite the cost of living, have you noticed how it remains so popular?

It’s Insulting!


I was going through some email that had accumulated in my inbox and ran across a joke that just cracked me up. I decided to make it today's blog post.

As a woman was walking down the street to work, she saw a parrot on a perch in front of a pet store. The parrot said to her, "Hey lady, you are really ugly."

Well, the woman was really ticked at that! She stormed past the store to her work. On the way home that afternoon, she saw the same parrot and it said to her again, "Hey lady, you are really ugly."

She was now incredibly angry. And the next day the parrot yet again said to her, "Hey lady, you are really ugly."

The woman was so furious that she stomped into the store and said that she wanted to sue the store and kill the bird. The store manager apologized profusely and promised he would make sure the parrot didn't say that to her again.

When the woman walked past the store that day after work, the parrot called out to her, "Hey lady."

She paused and said,"Yes?"

The bird said, "You know."

Fox has a program called "Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader?" The questions some people miss are amazing! Yesterday a friend forwarded a link to an online quiz with some questions to test yourself. Three people in our house took the quiz yesterday, our scores ranged from 94% to 73%. To try it yourself and possibly have your intelligence insulted, click here.

For those who like to know what we've been up to.... We are back in Greenville again after a very enjoyable week with Jim, Megan, and Drew. It was a nice combination of activity and relaxation, and it was especially nice to be able to watch and hold our grandson Drew daily. He had a good check up on Friday and he was only a little the worse for the various vaccinations. Becka got to see all our children and our grandchild on Mother's Day, and I even got to see my mom for a couple of minutes when we dropped by to see her on our way through Ohio.

Our drive back was almost blissful compared to our drive up the previous weekend. I was reminded, though, of several likes and dislikes of car travel - I love the nice stretches of road that lie between road construction sites, I hate little cement walls right beside my car door with a semi right beside the passenger door, I love left lanes where semis are not allowed to roll, and I have a hard time loving lawless drivers.

We are really enjoying our new laptop computer and fast internet. We finally opted for DSL since Mainstreet Wimax wouldn't work from our house. Thanks to all who wrote with suggestions and advice when we were making our decision about a new ISP.

quotation...

"A modest little person, with much to be modest about." - Winston Churchill (who gave some classic insults)

=^..^= =^..^=
Rob

the sig line is from another master of insults... "I've had a perfectly wonderful evening. But this wasn't it." - Groucho Marx

The Cost of Love


We are thoroughly enjoying our week with Jim, Megan, and Drew. The last time we saw him in person, he was still hooked up to all kinds of things in the NICU. Now he's a strong, constantly wiggling, newborn-size baby boy. He goes to the doctor's office today for a well-baby check up and to get four shots. We hope to hear that he's grown a lot since his last check up. Below is a picture of Drew with Megan holding up to him the smallest of his preemie clothes - something he fit into just a couple of weeks ago. He's already into newborn diapers and the largest of his preemie outfits are beginning to be too small.

picture of our growing boy

Now that he's big enough to use the baby bathtub, he is actually enjoying his bathtime....

picture of bath time

We went to Ohio a few days ago to see my mom. She really enjoyed meeting her newest great-grandchild. Below is a four generation picture from that visit. As of right now, I was the only one in the picture whose eyes aren't blue.

picture of four generations

Yesterday Megan took us to a store we'd never been to before - IKEA - and within five minutes Becka commented, "Well, I've found my new favorite store." As I said, this has been a great week for us!

It's been fun to watch our oldest child parenting this week. We are quickly reminded of how much time and work goes into caring for a newborn. It brought to mind this final Mother's Day post for this year. All you moms out there enjoy your special day this Sunday. All you kids out there, spoil your mom!

The Cost of Love

A little boy came up to his mother in the kitchen one evening while she was fixing dinner and handed her a piece of paper. After his mom dried her hands on her apron, she read what he had written.

For cutting the grass: $5.00
For cleaning up my room this week: $1.00
For going to the store for you: $.50
Baby-sitting my kid brother while you went shopping: $.25
Taking out the garbage: $1.00
For getting a good report card: $5.00
For cleaning up and raking the yard: $2.00

Total owed: $14.75

As the mother looked at her son, he could see that she was thinking. She picked up the pen and turned over the paper he'd written on. She wrote:

For the nine months I carried you while you were growing inside me: No Charge.
For all the nights that I've sat up with you, doctored you, and prayed for you: No Charge.
For all the trying times, and all the tears that you've caused through the years: No Charge.
For all the time that I've pondered what I knew was ahead in life for you: No Charge.
For the toys, food, clothes, and even wiping your nose: No Charge, Son.

When you add it up, the cost of my love is: No Charge.

When the boy finished reading what his mother had written, there were big tears in his eyes, and he looked straight up at his mother and said, "Mom, I sure do love you."

And then he took the pen and on his side of the "bill" wrote in great big letters, "PAID IN FULL ".

=^..^= =^..^=
Rob

Children will soon forget your presents; they will always remember your presence.