Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Cooperative Learning

I have always been a dog person.  I love dogs, even the little yappy ones.  Dogs are goofy and funny and you can take them on a walk or for a drive in the car.  Dogs go places.

Dogs also require a little attention.  They have to go outside to the bathroom.  They are pack animals, so they need interaction.  And unless you have the little yappy ones, they need a lot of room.

When I started at Nichols JH 13 years ago, I knew that I'd be living in an apartment.  I also knew that I'd be working really long hours as both a teacher and a coach -- sometimes never seeing the sun except for offseason workouts.  So I took home the tiny calico kitten that had resided in our camp office all summer.

I actually have 3 cats now.  They rule my house, and it's a good thing that I have such a kind heart and guilty conscience.  Otherwise, I would have thrown them all out this week.  Ransom spilled a Diet Coke on my computer and then, 5 minutes later, turned over the refill.  Maggie tried, on several attempts, to eat some hair dye.  And Pootie wakes me up every summer morning at 6:00 AM to feed them.  She does not like her strict diet, and her internal clock is very efficiently attuned to 6:00 and 6:00.  Who needs an alarm when you could just have a 19 pound cat stand on your chest?  Also, 95% of the time, they still all hate each other.  On the regular, I hear squalls of terror only to find someone cornered by another.  I'd remove the bully, but they all just sort of take turns being it.

But since I've been home all summer, I've noticed that cooperation seems to be increasing among them -- at least between Poots and Ransom.  Three times this week, I've woken up to a clatter.  It seems that they've figured out how to break into the old popcorn tin that keeps their food.  They use their noses to push on the lid until it's loosened and then Ransom knocks it off with her paw.  I've tried moving the can, placing heavy objects on top, etc. to little avail.  This morning, there was no clatter, but I did sit up in bed just in time to see two waving tails sticking out of the top of the can and the lid on top of the cat bed.  Cooperative learning at its finest. Unsurprisingly, Maggie the Cat is the only one who hasn't caught on yet.  I mean... hair dye, people.

So if your dog's driving you crazy with all the walking and need for frisbee catching, let me know.  I'm willing to make a trade.

1 comment:

  1. D,
    I feel your pain, Eric, our feline friend wakes me too early by first gently batting me - in the face - then gets more aggressive. She only drinks from the running facet and generally won't come in unless I'm the one holding the door.