Friday, November 16, 2018

No Cone of Shame for Cats

One of my favorite movies, Up, has a scene involving the "Cone of Shame".  When the main dog character, Dug, does something wrong, the other dogs make him wear it, and he feels terrible.  Dug is such a people pleaser, a good boy, that he can't bear to disappoint anyone.  The Cone is actually the plastic cone that the vet puts on dogs to keep them from fussing with their stitches after surgery.  It's necessary for good healing, although the dogs don't like it.  It smells funny, and it makes moving around difficult.  It also provides many amusing moments for dog owners, and occasionally a viral video for the internet. 

Cats are not people pleasers.  This is part of the reason why we adore them.  When a cat does something wrong, they don't cower and act chastised.  It's not their nature.  Cats do not exhibit the behavior we consider to be shame.  They feel that they've groveled enough just allowing us to exist, and we had better not forget it.  

Cats sometimes come home from the vet wearing a cone.  Our cat Bella, who was just spayed this week, came home wearing a cone.  The vet tech told us that she needed to wear the cone for 7 days.   We were to keep Bella quiet and still, while she was recovering from surgery, the vet said.  No jumping.  No running. No late night cheeseburgers. 

We intended to follow the doctor's orders. We brought our precious cargo into the house, and opened the crate door.  Maisy, our lab mix, was curious about the new smells coming from the crate, and leaned in to investigate.  Bella stumbled out, still groggy from the anesthesia. The sight of a huge black dog, even one she knew, had her running,  The cone gave Bella a lean to starboard, and her feet were carrying her in the opposite direction from where she wanted to go.  Bella was still groggy, and did not even seem to be aware of the cone around her neck. So we let her sit on her perch, once she got up there, and Bella fell asleep with the cone supporting her head.  Once she woke up, she realized that there was something around her neck that was just, NOT.

Not supposed to be there.  Not supposed to exist.   Not allowed.  No way.  Nope.

The battle was on.  Bella growled, an unearthly sound for such a tiny cat.   Maisy and the other two cats found places to watch the show.  Then there was some running about, lots of jumping and leaping, and So. Much. Noise.  She was too fast to catch, even for Zane, who will be the only one in the family to survive the zombie apocalypse.  Bella was as determined as a year old cat who just got spayed can be.  All we could do was follow her around the house in procession as she ran amok. Before our eyes, the string that was keeping the cone around her neck was gone, and nobody had any idea where, or when, it had disappeared. While we were processing that information,  Bella rounded a corner and the cone was...gone.  Problem solved.  She skidded to a stop, glared at us, and began grooming her paws.  We all waited for another hubbub to occur.

She was quiet and still the rest of the night. 





Sunday, October 14, 2018

Forget the Honey, Bring the Laughter

At my old job, I was considered the technology guru in my department, because I was the only one who knew how to turn the laptops on.  I wish that I was kidding.  I had administrator privileges for my laptop, and everyone else's, because there was always someone 'breaking' something.  I was the 'fixer' for my department.  I would say that it was unbelievable what people would do to their computers in the span of their workday, but we've all read about the dude using his CD drive for a coffee mug holder.   I ended up doing a lot of hand holding.  One of my coworkers hit the 'esc' key so often that it popped right off, and I had to explain to her that that particular trick was not going to get anyone out of any meeting, ever, and we had a good cry.  I found myself sending out snippy emails to my coworkers about  "LAPTOPS ARE NOT ETCH-A-SKETCHES!"  Since I did not really want to be a technology department person, it got old, fast. 

The technology department where I work now is a vast network of randomly seen people who work tirelessly from their underground lair to make sure that our networks are up and running 24/7.  Hundreds of people that I never see are taking care of my computer needs, and it is wonderful.  Everything computer related has run like a dream for me, for the most part.  And when it doesn't, I simply...open a work order.  My work orders are written to make these techs smile.   I want to stand out. I mean, all they probably hear all day is complaining!  Nobody likes to deal with that.

So I go for the funny. For example: 

Java keeps saying that it needs to update, but it does not update. It is a sad tale.  Not "Han Solo dies" sad, but more "Jar Jar Binks exists" sad.  Is there something I can do for this? 

Or this one:  
My internet connection in my office keeps fading in and out.  I have tried restarting, using a cord, and begging.  Nothing has worked.  Most of the work I do is in an online format, and I have lost a report today.  It took me three tries to send this request! Needless to say, I am very frustrated, and have eaten all of the chocolate I keep in my office for emergencies. I am about to sacrifice a live chicken. Please help!
I could complain loudly.  I could call the technology department every name in the book and demand that they rush over and take care of me.  But as they say, you catch more flies with funny than whining.   I love those men and women who take care of my technology and keep the Skynet plans out of circulation. After I hit send, I step out of my office for some coffee or to find a teacher.  Someone comes and fixes everything, like those mysterious elves who like to make shoes.   

I wish I could find those guys.  

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Chocolate is Educational

I usually have two pieces of Dove chocolate each day after my lunch, to balance out whatever healthy item I just ate.  I like the taste of milk chocolate, and Dove is particularly creamy and smooth.  I also like to read the little message inside each wrapper.  Sometimes the advice is humorous, such as when my chocolate tells me to take a walk on the wild side(my wild side is in bed by 9pm).  Occasionally the message seems tailor made for me, such as every time I open the wrapper and see the words "Take a nap." (They frown upon naps at work, but I have a couch, and it's very comfy and tempting!) It's like a little note in my lunch from the Cosmos instead of my mom, except my mom wouldn't ever send me chocolate in my lunch because she was watching my weight.

But the message today, well, it was downright interesting. Be more loquacious.  I always give mental bonus points when I read or hear a word that is not typically used in every day conversation.  Blame all of my English teachers over the years who gave extra credit for using vocabulary words correctly in a sentence. I love the word loquacious.  It is a sassy word, filling your mouth and rolling off the tongue.  It sounds smart, and just a little bit irreverent at the same time. 

A secret joke that nobody else gets, a message just for you.  Or a good joke between best friends sitting at a table in a cafe, causing one friend to roll their eyes while the other leans closer, giggling. 

But then Dove went just a little further.  They encourage the reader to learn a new word, to add it to their vocabulary.   Because loquacious is not an ordinary word.  It is an extraordinary word, full of possibilities.  I like that.  What I might possibly be loquacious about today?

Chocolate, probably.