Out with the Old

What changes do you plan to make in 2014?

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I have to be careful when it comes to the “Out with the Old” adage as I could be included in the “Old” category and I have no intention of going out yet!

But I’ve been giving 2014 quite  a lot of thought. 2013 turned out to be a year of changes and in some ways I haven’t fully adapted to all of them so I think 2014 will be a year in which to get my routines established again. That would include everything from work to finances to personal challenges.

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Have you noticed …I haven’t said the dreaded “R” word yet? That’s because it is my humble opinion that calling challenges set on New Years  “RESOLUTIONS” is asking for failure. A resolution is a pledge of sort..I resolve to do this and this. So what happens when you screw it up, like we all seem to do. Most of the time that’s it. Done! Made a resolution and broke it , end of story.

But what if I/we think of them as goals or challenges. A goal is something that you work toward until it’s achieved. You expect there might be a few set backs but that’s where the challenge comes in.

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Sports examples come to mind. The New England Patriots start the season with the ultimate goal to win the Superbowl but each week the goal is to just win that game. Sometimes they fall short but the next week they are right out there again trying to “kick butt” for that Superbowl spot…one game at a time.

They didn’t “resolve” to win the Superbowl and then give up as soon as they lost a game. That’s why whatever I/we want to accomplish in 2014 should be a goal and a challenge not a resolution. And if I don’t meet that goal, well I’ll be a better person for trying.

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An example….weight loss (ugh). Lets say I resolve to lose 50 lbs in 2014. The first time I “pig out” at the local Pizza Joint I’ll just give up. I blew it. Look at that, resolution broken. But if I say I have a goal to lose 50 lbs, that’s only 1 lb. per week. That’s like the 1 game a week for the Pats. Suddenly it’s not so overwhelming. And if I only lose 30 lbs? Well, I may not have hit the goal but I’m still 30 lbs thinner than when I started.

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So that’s my approach to resolutions. Goals and Challenges. Tomorrow I’ll share some specifics. Maybe we can encourage one another to meet the goals we set for a fresh new year.

The Cat’s Meow, A review

We did get to try out the Cat’s Meow on Christmas. CVS was open so I did make a battery run.

It’s easy to put together so it was ready to go in no time. I set it on the floor and pushed the button on the center post. The ball started moving under the nylon cover making a scratchy-squeaky sound.

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It caught Rocky’s attention first. He circled it with caution then backed up and watched. About that time Buddy arrived from the bedroom to see what all the noise was about. He was a bit more bold than Rocky. He tried to tap the center post with his paw and then settled down with his nose to the edge of the nylon but so far neither kitty tried to catch the moving ball.

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About 5 minutes into the staring match it was as if Smokey couldn’t take it any more. He hopped down off the couch, walked over to the nylon circle and sat on the moving ball effectively trapping it under his butt. Game Over!

I could hear the motor straining to move so rather than take a chance on burning it out I stepped in and moved Smokey off the nylon freeing the ball to move again. The minute I set Smokey down he was back after that ball again. This time he got it between his front paws and once more, wouldn’t release it. I guess he forgot that cats play with their prey.

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Once more I intervened and had him release the ball. I guess 2 tries was enough for him. He headed back to the couch. Rocky had watched the whole thing and now decided to get into the act too. He and Buddy lined up on opposite sides and each batted and played for a few more minutes.

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I got up to get the camera and that seemed to break the mood. Rocky left for his sun lamp.

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Only Buddy was still interested. He just watched for quite awhile. I was about ready to turn it off and save the battery when I saw the tell-tale butt wiggle and  Buddy attacked.

I guess all that concentration worked up an appetite. Buddy played alone a bit longer then headed to the food bowls. I turned the Cat’s Meow off for now. If they show some more interest,  I’ll turn it back on but they have all gone their separate ways for now.

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My cat testers give it 2 Paws up (Smokey & Buddy)  and one Paw down (Rocky) or as they say on the show “Does it Work?”. Yes it does but the amount of interest varies from cat to cat.

All is Calm

Christmas is behind us for another year. Calm has returned to the condo. I don’t even have children and it can get hectic as kitties tear into catnip mousies and wrapping paper.

But not this year!?

Christmas morning around my house was pretty quiet. My cats and I all slept in. Yup, one of their gifts to me I guess. It was  9:30 am before I woke up and not a creature was stirring unless it was a mouse. The 3 cats were still down for the count. I couldn’t believe I’d slept so late!

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I really wanted to give the cats their stockings. Yes I stuff a stocking each year. They each got a cat toy, a couple cans of specialty cat food like Fancy Feast or Blue Buffalo, some cat nip and cat treats but no one was interested.

I opened the Cat’s Meow toy only to find the dreaded words “Batteries Not Included”. Now why couldn’t they have printed that on the side of the box somewhere? I even checked last week! Maybe the CVS store is open on Christmas? I know Walmart is closed.

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I tossed out a toy mouse but only got “The Look” then the 3 cats pealed off to go find more naps. Hmmm. No interest in boxes, or wrapping or toys. That’s quite the switch for my silly boys.

Midway through the Disney Christmas parade Rocky threw up breakfast.  The other 2 cats ignored the interruption. Rocky isn’t the cat that usually throws up. Both Smokey and Buddy are  more prone to tummy issues. Smokey gets hair balls and Buddy  eats too fast sometimes. He tends to “projectile  vomit”. Both send out a volume of sick up that is amazing for their size ( and pretty yucky for me) but Rocky not so much, so I wondered what he might have gotten into.

I didn’t find any plastic or chewed up tape  so maybe he just didn’t feel good. A couple hours later after another nap he seemed back to normal.

I got a book from the cats. Shadow Woman by Linda Howard and settled in for a day of reading. I have 2 problems when I read. 1. I read too fast and the book is done too soon and 2. Once I get “into” a book it’s hard to put it down.. The two problems mean that the book was finished by early evening. Bummer. Over too soon.

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I hope everyone had a nice day too!