Archive for the ‘Animals’ Category

emma7-04-016.jpgThe young shelter kitties reached their sheathed claws to my hand. They knew to be on their best behavior. One had the most charming way of cocking his head to look at you. The older ones just wanted to be talked to. Such a sad, sad place.

Jerry and I only went to donate cat food ours had refused to eat, but of course we had to visit. There was  Emma’s old cage, number 22. We are so glad she is in a loving home. We  wish the same fate for these cats staring with pleading or resigned faces.

Coming home I said I understood how an old lady could end up with 100 cats. Jerry said, “or an old man.” You see why I married that guy?

Note: That is No. 22, Emma at the top, our beautiful little Persian mix.

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lambjesus.jpg“We’re going to see Mary Had a Little Lamb,” three-year old Hannah squealed again.

“No, Hannah,” I corrected her more times than I care to remember, “We’re going to see Mary and Baby Jesus.” Her look humored me. I reminded her of the manger scene at Ahmaw’s house and the first Christmas story. That look again. During the long wait in line Hannah let everyone know she was going to see Mary Had a Little Lamb.

“There are no lambs here, Hannah, just Mary and Baby Jesus.” My granddaughter was going to be very disappointed if she expected to see a lamb.

A Walk Through Bethlehem took my daughter-in-law, granddaughters and me through dusty paths, past markets manned by Biblical figures greeting “Shalom.”  The smell of oil from lanterns, frankincense and myrrh and and sounds of the market transported us to an ancient time and place. In the crisp night air it was easy to forget we were on church grounds. Along the way characters discussed the pilgrimage to register for the census upon edict of Emperor Augustus. Hannah quietly took it all in. Abruptly it seemed, we reached a stall with hay, three opulently dressed wise men, and Joseph, Mary and Baby Jesus. A cow lay on the ground with a jackass nearby with the feel of a real manger.

“Mary had a little lamb!” Hannah shouted. I shifted my gaze from the real live baby. There beside Mary, a little lamb bleated as Hannah’s patted its puffy wool.

I know when I am beaten.

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Like belly button lint, I have no idea how these thoughts collected, but this is cleaning day.

The sound of a word doesn’t always reflect its meaning.  Mildew was always said softly, lovingly by an old friend. She liked the way it rolled off her tongue and thought the unfortunate connotation a shame. I think of her when I hear light, sweet crude. But fun words are my favorites.  Is there a more entertaining word to say than  onomatopoeia? And then there’s tarmac and rejigger, which is probably not a word, but says a lot. Isn’t that what words are supposed to do?

Did you ever run into an old acquaintance in the grocery aisle and you greet each other like long lost friends.?Then you don’t know what to do when you meet again and again on subsequent aisles?

I heard a good term the other day, linguistic barrios, describing areas where a language other than the host country is spoken.

Do you know some people who have standards so high only they can meet them?

We have a new navigator with choices for (a) most toll road use (b) shortest route (c) fastest route. No where can I choose (d) all right turns.

I’m waiting for someone to invent a motorized treadmill. It would putz around allowing you to enjoy the neighborhood sites while you worked out. Don’t laugh. My husband is working on a helium bra.

What is with those high-rise desks school boards, councilmen, etc. sit behind? Do they think they look like Abe Lincoln up there? We know the intent is to intimidate; we just don’t like it. I’m giving judges a pass. They represent the law while those other jokers popping out of a Jack in the Box represent you and me. Come on down!

I’d like all the personal-habit nannies out there to lay off. If I saved all the money I spend on lattes each year and invested it at 5% at the end of the year I’d have — zero. And while we’re at it, the number of calories I’d save by skipping the chocolate each day is –what do we have here?—zero again.

Gerontocracy is another favorite word, meaning, of course, government based on rule by elders. I understand France is fast becoming just that. They do seem to be thinking more rationally lately.

This from Neal Boortz: How do you have a fire museum? Doesn’t the fire go out? Maybe it’s an “old flames” exhibit.

Two South American brothers are the last  people on earth who speak a dying language, and they don’t like each other and don’t speak. I am guessing we won’t have to “press 3” for that language.

Would someone tell our Persian Emma she is supposed to let us sleep? It’s professional courtesy.

“The windows throbbed,” the young man said, describing the tornado. I don’t know about you, but I like that. Colorful descriptions by witnesses are rare, but worth listening for.

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I’m cruising along feeling smug because the writers’ strike will have little effect on anything I watch. Well, who knew Meerkat Manor would be cancelled? Listen I need my fix, so I’m volunteering to personally write one script. Here goes.

Zaphod: Bark, bark, bark.

Rocket Dog: Bark, bark

Hanibal (glancing with his one good eye): BARK, BARK, BARK

Fun Loving Pups: Yip, yip, yip.

There, now how hard is that? Put the darn show back on!

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luther5-06-0011.jpg“Scientists are seeing evidence of higher mental abilities in a wider range of animals than previously imagined” says an article in Parade Magazine. They aren’t willing to concede certain intelligence until proven, however.  I was really getting into this article when a cardinal started banging at the living room window. Was she one of those who flitted from limb to limb staring at us through the kitchen window earlier? Could the bird feeder be empty already? I went to the bedroom to change shoes to go outside. Thump, thump. Now she’s at the bedroom window.  “Just a minute,” I shout.

Okay, birdfeeder is full and birdbath is freshened. Now where is that Parade Magazine?  Here we go.  “Do elephants care?” it asks. Scientists determined they just might show empathy. They surmised this by learning that they recognize themselves in a mirror. Uh, oh, what do I hear in the bathroom? I throw the article down again and see what’s amiss. Good, nothing, except Luther, our Pixie Bob cat, is standing on my sink hoping for a drip of water. He stares at me in the mirror, his eyes pleading for his treat.  Okay, okay.

Now back to the article. When faced with their mirror image “monkeys, cats and rats react as though they are encountering another member of their species.”  I think back to Luther and Emma’s first experience with a mirror. They got their hackles up at first, then swayed, moved and finally touched noses with Mirror Cat, who hasn’t been an issue since. This self-recognition, according to scientists, indicates an animal is capable of empathy. Empathy? A cat? I wonder.  Luther hides under the bed at the sound of thunder or motors of all but one. When Jerry’s breathing machine starts up, Luther leaves the comfort of his nap and lies beside his feet until the procedure is over in about fifteen minutes. Ah well, he’s a cat. Can’t be empathy.

Here in the sidebar we see this: “One study found cat’s power of recall to be superior to that of monkeys and orangutans.” They got that right. You think that unsheathed swat was from out of the blue? Think back. What did you do hours before that your cat didn’t like—or days? Then there is this from Parade. “There are few lab studies of cats, because it’s hard to get a cat to perform on cue for a reward. Another sign of intelligence, perhaps?”  I’ll take it one step further than that. While they have decided dogs learn from humans, I, little me, have determined that humans learn from cats. Uh oh, gotta go. Luther is standing at the front door by his leash and requesting we go for a walk. Cats may not be trainable, but they certainly are good trainers.

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