Friday, January 26, 2007

Pictures and Whatnot

Last weekend I spent some much-needed down-time up in northwest VT with the family and I stayed the weekend with my sister and grandmother, I also got to visit with my aunt, soon-to-be-cousin-by-marriage (?)(sorry, her name escapes me right now), and one of the newest additions to the family, stbcbm's adorable new baby boy, Isaiah. I had a good time while up there and I've gained a lot of insight. For reasons I won't explain right now, my sister & grandmother have been a huge blessing to me and have helped me to understand the rest of my family a little better. I actually owe many positive life changes to these two fine ladies. It is because of their wisdom and example that I am not so much of an angry person as I used to be. Also my dear sister keeps recommending good reading to me which has helped me see a lot of things differently. Speaking of which, I finally picked up the book: The Color Purple, by Alice Walker. It is much better than the movie and I can't believe that I've procrastinated for so long in reading it! I am already about 2/3 of the way through and quite impressed. Further proof that just because a book is frequently banned does not mean that it is literature without high merit.

...and a few pictures from my weekend:

Hats hanging in the entrance lobby in The Lincoln Inn in Essex Junction, VT, where my sister, grandmother, and I went for breakfast (a piece of local color that I would recommend by the way, not as good as it used to be, but still worth having a meal at).

Grandmother and Sister

Grandmother and I

In random other news, I'm still having issues with my roommate's cat, Mr. Spud (previously mentioned in this posting). He is very cute and I have no desire to eject him from the household, but he is still a discipline issue. Please consider that I am very permissive about where I allow cats to roam in my household, but food-surfaces such as kitchen counters and tables are strictly off-limits. He still gets up on the counters and tables regardless of all the discipline he's had. I've tried yelling, I've tried throwing light, noisy objects, I've tried scruffing and light smacking with a rolled newspaper (whenever caught in the act). All of this to no effect. It also does not help that he literally has developmental issues and it generally takes him seven times longer to pick up behavioral cues. So for lack of any other method working, I tried something new. I've noticed that my other cats do the usual cat-thingy and hiss while showing their teeth when his roughhousing with them gets out of hand, and he understands that perfectly well. So now whenever I catch him in the act of doing something which he shouldn't do, I take a threatening posture and bare my teeth, hissing very loudly and it actually WORKS. It looks ridiculous and I hope none of my neighbors ever see me doing this... but I am glad to finally have a working method for training him.


Steve S said...

We had two cats before we had our dogs, one of the cats I had for 22 years!

I was trying to think back about how I kept them off the counters and I can't recall it ever being a problem, I guess I just lucked out and they didn't care to get on the counters. The fact that our counters are so small and always covered with stuff probably made a difference.

I don't know how it will work on counters, but I heard to get cats off windowsills, you put down sticky tape upside down. They can't stand standing on it and will freak out. I imagine it might be hard to do a whole counter top that way, but it would only take one or two jumps up on the counter before he's cured of it.

Also, Toney recommends trying crinkled up foil. It doesn't sound as effective to me, but I'll pass that info along as well.

Anonymous said...

Go to the dollar store, buy 2-3 spritzer/mister bottles and filll them with water. Be sure to get the kind with the nozzles that adjust so you can set it to stream. Keep them within reach and spritz the cat every time you see him on places you don't want. Water doesn't hurt the cat ir anything it hits (be careful not to spray them around the toaster tho!)
Eventually the cat will be conditioned to not get on the counters when you're around. When you're not- well, I've owned cats all my life and they pretty much to what they want when you're not around, so you may as well be reisgned to the possibility that as far as counters go, Mister Kitty is going to do what he wants to. Try the spritzer bottles, though, and be patient. It may take time for the cat to rewire his brain to understand that jumping up on counters = getting wet, but the chances are good that he will learn.

Good luck!

rodrigo said...

man those hanging hats look surreal, like an artist's work.

nonsequitur said...

Rodrigo, ya know, I never really thought about it that way, but they do... suspended in an inaccessible location... fairly evenly spaced out, and in a totally non-utilitarian format. It messes with your head a little and seems to make some sort of statement, only I'm not sure what said statement would be :-) I'm thinking that it is not merely a showcase of historical headwear, but on a subtler level, it is possibly some sort of commentary on the transient nature of fashion??.