Published in the Rains County Leader on March 20, 2018:
Anyone who has pets, especially curious cats, knows that these animals have a thing about closed doors. They have a strong desire to be on the side of the door where they’re not. It’s the pet version of “The Grass Is Always Greener” – that thing that causes cows and horses to stretch their necks between strands of barbed wire to try and reach one scrawny dandelion while standing in a patch of lush green clover. It was also probably the inspiration behind the invention of the pet door that so many of us have installed in our homes. (more…)
Published in the Rains County Leader on December 12, 2017:
Change is one of those things that few people are neutral about – they either thrive on the new and different or they cling to the old and familiar. I’m more of a clinger. I tend to buy the same brands when I shop, I avoid trendy fashions in favor of the classics, and I almost never rearrange my furniture. This week, however, I’ve had to adjust.
I mentioned last week that David’s sister has ordered a new sofa and is passing on the sofa and love seat that were originally in their mother’s house to us. Since we have no extra space in either the house or the storage shed, our existing sofa, chair, and recliner have to go. I took pictures of those pieces shortly after we returned from our Thanksgiving visit, but for some reason – probably my resistance to change – I didn’t follow through and post them on the Rains County On-Line Garage Sale. Last Friday, I finally got busy, and within four hours of my posting, the recliner was gone. Less than twenty-four hours later, the sofa and chair were sold, and by the time this column is published, they will be gone, too. (more…)
Published in the Rains County Leader on November 28, 2017:
David and I spent the Thanksgiving holiday in Louisiana with his family. Kitty is much more socialized than she used to be, but we trust her more in familiar surroundings than in the homes of strangers. Consequently, she spent four days and nights at home alone.
She didn’t seem to mind too much, but she’s always curious when we pull out the luggage. She climbed into David’s suitcase, and when he ran her out, she lay down on the open lid of mine. Once all the cases were packed and zipped, she lost interest and went to take a nap. (more…)
Published in the Rains County Leader on November 7, 2017:
I understand the concept of Daylight Savings Time, but it seems odd to me that twice a year a large portion of the world’s population completely changes its daily schedule. After the spring change, the standard work day ends in time to enjoy more daylight hours before bedtime; and the fall change means that less of our morning commute to work or school is made in the dark. Still, considering the disruptions caused by the changes, I have to wonder if it’s worth it.
Some people seem unaffected by the change, but I once did some research on the subject and uncovered scientific evidence that many people are. I found a Swedish study that said the incidence of heart attacks increases by 5% after the Spring Forward event, probably due to stress; and a Canadian study said that fatal auto accidents increase by as much as 17% on the Monday after Daylight Savings Time begins, probably because of sleepy, inattentive drivers. (more…)
Published in the Rains County Leader on October 31, 2017:
Sunday was National Cat Day. I had no idea there was such a day until one of my Facebook friends posted a picture of her cat in celebration of the holiday. I went to Google to find out what this special day was all about, and I found a website with, among other things, an article giving 20 ways to celebrate. I was disappointed when I realized that at least 10 of the ways involved buying products from the company that sponsors the website and probably the day itself. I decided I’d celebrate in my own way – by writing about the feline I know best – Kitty.
Kitty has gone through a few changes lately. During a recent stop at one of the dollar stores in town, I found a toy I thought she would like. It’s a small stuffed fish attached to a pole by an elastic cord. It’s similar to a toy she had when she was new to the Brendle household. She liked to chase it when one of us bounced it around, but her favorite thing to do was to drag it around the house with the pole trailing behind her. She eventually chewed through the string, but the fish was still her constant companion. At some point, she stuffed it under or inside something where I can’t find it and neither can she, because it hasn’t been seen for months. (more…)
Published in the Rains County Leader on September 19, 2017:
A few weeks ago, I shared a list of ways to know if your cat really loves you. After comparing the list with Kitty’s behavior, I decided that she really does love us – sometimes David more than me, but I’m mostly okay with that. Taking my cue from the list, I’ve been responding in a more feline manner, and she has become a little more affectionate toward me.
For instance, when I walk by her and she grabs for my hand, instead of jerking away from her, I now stop and hold my hand still. She will hold it gently between her paws and sniff to see what interesting things I have been up to. Then, she’ll either lick my finger or hold it between her teeth. Sometimes, she’ll let me scratch under her chin a bit, but I don’t press my luck. If I linger too long, she gets frisky and begins to bite. She seems to appreciate the interaction, and she has started following me around almost as much as she does David. (more…)
Published in the Rains County Leader on August 22, 2017:
Many of Kitty’s fans have been asking about her recently, so I decided early in the week to make her the focus of this week’s column. Before I sat down at the keyboard, I consulted the Internet about the meaning of a couple of her idiosyncrasies I intended to write about. What I found was an article written in 2014 by Modi Ramoson titled “9 Signs Your Cat Actually Loves You.” It provided some very interesting insights into Kitty’s behavior.
1. Your cat brings you their “presents” – When your cat brings you their kill it is actually meant as a present…a love token.
Thankfully, Kitty is an indoor cat, so her presents consist of various toys. Her favorite at the moment is a yellow stuffed elephant. It frequently ends up at David’s feet when he’s sitting on the couch or on my side of the bed when it’s time to make it up. (more…)