Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Nearly Silent Night

I woke up in the dark, sometime between bedtime and dawn. I didn’t want to look at the clock. I counted the snores. Hubby, 1; dog, 1; cat, 0. Tony doesn’t make much noise when he sleeps so I wasn’t too concerned; Alice is a completely different story but she was out in the living room. Tony chirped and hopped up on the bed beside me to snuggle into my hand. Some critter in the back yard rustled some leaves, just enough to make Tony turn an ear towards the window but not enough to get up and investigate. We were all warm and safe.
Tea Tarot
(c) Copyright 2011 Marcia McCord

We had had a peaceful Christmastime. Other than my gift of a cold from the outside world, all was calm and at that hour, we all had excuses for not being too bright. I sniffled softly, trying to keep the rest of the house asleep.

This year was the closest thing to an old-fashioned Christmas I have had in a while. It started out the first weekend of December with the Global Holiday Fair, an annual charity event. I usually take a shift in the kitchen filling orders for chili, no chili dog, no make that 2 chili dogs and could we have the spicy vegetarian chili, not the mild, medium or hot beef chili, and banana fritters and turkey vegetable soup and sodas and few other local delicacies and could I have the chili on the side? After a couple hours of that and my holiday spirit really sets in. I’m glad I don’t work in a restaurant. Those people are made of stronger stuff than I am.

Over the years volunteering for kitchen duty, I’ve learned that “zone defense” seems to work the best. The kitchen aisles are not that wide and the kitchen workers for the most part, ahem, are that wide so that we seem to do better “bucket brigade” style than trying to run a hundred yards for a touchdown. I like low-contact kitchen sports when you’ve got an armful of molten chili. I’m pleased to say this year that no kitchen workers were harmed for yet another year of Christmas kitchen safety. Church choirs sing and different charity groups have booths and sell Christmas-y and other winter holiday gifts. My husband always goes big at the bakery booth. This year, I was enchanted by the sculptures done by Doug Chenelle and his friends at Milestones of Development. Where else can you get gift exchange items that are individual pieces of art for the low, low price of, well, what you’d spend on a gift exchange item?

My husband is fond of consumables for gifts. If you saw our garage, you’d know why. So our big gift this year was my favorite Yule welcoming celebration at the Cal Revels in Oakland, California. Once again we had the perfect seats. I use the “nose” method of determining seating chart selection. If you are sitting so far in the back that you get a nosebleed, you’re too far away; if you can count the hairs in the performers’ noses, you’re too close. I have to say it’s hard to get a bad seat at the Scottish Rite Temple in Oakland, though. The theme this year was King Arthur and Camelot. We were treated to the story of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight with colorful costumes, artful dancing, juggling and as always a sing-along with the crowd. I love the Cal Revels' Christmas spirit, full of joy.

This year I had an added treat of a visit from my sister and her husband. My family never gets together at the holidays so I was thrilled to get a chance to have dinner at the Union Hotel in Occidental with them. Occidental is Away From It All, charming, woodsy, and has two famous rival Italian restaurants, the Union Hotel and Negri’s. Both are delicious dining, worth the scenic drive through amazing Northern California.

We always spend Christmas Eve with our friend Gerry and her family. The family is growing and growing, with adorable Lu, now almost two, and her new little sister who will arrive next week! Gerry’s grandson Nick had splurged on Scratcher tickets and I came away $3 richer. And, Nick, thanks for the pepper spray! I hope I never need to use it.

I decided to tackle Christmas Day head on this year and invited my brother-in-law Don, plus my young friend Andrew and his buddy Patrick to dinner. I had taken a somewhat more leisurely approach to the meal than usual. John likes his roast beef burnt, the condition where the chef in the finest and even less-than-fine restaurants will toss up their hands in a fit of pique and exclaim in some accent or another that “ze can NOT guarantee zee quality when zee customer demands zee beef overcooked!” I decided to pass on the fit of pique. John and Pat wanted well-done roast and although it makes me shudder to do it I figured out a way to give them their burnt beast and still have a decent, recognizable cut of prime rib for Andrew and myself.

“Two roasts,” I said as my Final Answer. Though it hurt me to do it, I scorched that poor beautiful rib roast until properly petrified for my well-done-ers and waited a discreet amount of time before introducing my well-cooked rare roast to the oven. A generous crust of maple seasoning and garlic salt graced them both. We played board games at the big round oak table while everything cooked. I lost on the last question for Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader? and won at cribbage by a hair. We then quickly swept the cats into the bedrooms, set the table with my Grocery Outlet Christmas dishes, brought out the better silver, and had a feast fit for any king and a table full of knights, including the pumpkin pie with generous whipped cream.

My favorite Christmas moment, however, came the next day. I am in the midst of helping my friend Susan and her daughter Della get their internet connection up and working. I hadn’t seen Susan in a long time so I was so happy to get a chance to talk. Her cat had died a few months ago and they were still blue, missing Coalie.

“You need a cat,” I said, with my usual subtle diagnosis. “I know a cat.”

I didn’t exactly know the cat. I knew of the cat, or rather cats. My friend Becca had just told me about a recent rescue of a set of indoor cats who had not reacted well to one of the cats in residence. Teddy had been ousted from his territory in the office and had set up his last defenses in the bathroom. The situation was dire, especially since Teddy sounded a lot like the low-key lovebug that my Tony is. Teddy, the little Knight of Cups, sought peace, love, harmony and was currently lost in the deep, deep woods of a once-familiar home with monsters all around.

Boxing Day became Teddy Day and Teddy was introduced to Susan and Della. Teddy is a luxurious silver tabby with well-proportioned features and a soft medium coat. We knew the introduction could be delicate but we were hopeful. While Teddy did show his shy side, he didn’t panic. No barking dogs, no marauding gangs of invader felines, just two sweet ladies with a vacancy for a snuggle bunny. Teddy crawled up into a secluded spot in Susan’s recliner, not yet ready for thorough exploration. He didn’t hiss. He didn’t run or scratch. He let us all talk softly to him and pet his tail or foot.

“I’m a match-maker!” I beamed to John. At least I hope I am. Like the Knight of Cups, I feel it is never too late to pursue love, no matter how shy you are, no matter how long it takes. What better season than this to try to bring a little love into creatures’ lives?

Bright hopes and best wishes!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Last Minute Christmas Gifts

“Goon!” I bellered. I call him Goon but he’s actually my husband, Prince Third-Time’s-a-Charming.

“Goon! Come quickly! I broke the toilet!”

You have to realize that I took an awfully big chance marrying this guy. For one thing, Versions 1.0 and 2.0 were not successful releases, if you get my drift. I don’t like the blame game so I feel it’s important to note my own flaws in those previous and unsuccessful financial relationships. For one thing, I failed to see how wrong a choice I was making at the time. These are expensive mistakes and so, counter to conventional wisdom, traditional religious beliefs and what your mama said, I recommend at least a thorough beta testing of the model prior to purchase. However, I also have to admit that the enthusiasm of the sales force prior to purchase can diminish to near-zero after the sale.

If you didn’t follow that, you shouldn’t get married. I’m just sayin’.

Another part of taking a big chance had to do with the parties involved, namely The Goon and me. He’s a Capricorn and I’m an Aries and for me to say that he “grounds” me is something like saying that helium is holding down hydrogen. I’m flammable; he’s not. And there's more to it than just your Sun Sign. There were some who were concerned about the lack of adult supervision in our relationship but we have the dog now.

Quincy will bark at us until we are all seated and being nice to each other, preferably across the room. There is no hugging or kissing in dog, as John explains, so we have to sneak in PDA when the dog’s back is turned. This is one of the secrets of keeping our romance spontaneous.

“Quick!” I’ll hiss to the Goon in the middle of the kitchen.

“While he’s outside in the back yard!”

We’ll sneak in a smooch or dance to some tune in our heads, usually sung with made-up lyrics, something like this that was never meant to be in Oklahoma,

“Don’t cross your eyes like that.
They’ll just get stuck that way.
They look so cute stuck that way!
People will say we’re in love!”

We started calling Quincy “The Duenna” and just settled for calling him Dwayne when he starts supervising during the good stuff. We didn’t realize we had a Cocker Spaniel in law enforcement, his Day Job being the Knight of Swords. What’s funny is that he (the dog) tends to work only one shift. After about 10 pm or so, he just looks at us, snorts and goes back to sleep. My sense is that he figures if what we’re doing is fighting, it’s someone else’s problem until he’s back on duty the next day.
Picture Postcard Tarot
(c) Copyright 2010 Marcia McCord
John figures his marriage vows were to love, honor and say Yes, Dear to just about anything I came up with. In fact, I did make him promise me one thing.

“Promise me…” I struggled with the exact wording.

“Yes, dear?”

He felt it wise to get practice in before the ceremony.

“Promise me you will not be handy.”


See, the thing about guys is that they always want to fix stuff for you. That’s so Knight of Swords too. That’s so cute. Well, it’s cute unless he doesn’t really have a knack for it. It’s not that John hasn’t a knack for fixing things. It’s that he is so creative with alternative solutions and wants me to participate in the process of selection. My imagination runs wild with visions of burst pipes and John reviewing the choices of duct tape versus replacement pipes and whether copper is better than PVC. My promise extracted from him means that when the pipes burst, we call a plumber, period. He is free to speculate and even annoy the Hired Professional all he wants as long as he stands back far enough to let the expert do his work.

Sometimes John does do some handiwork but I always cringe at the descriptions prior to actually viewing the body, so to speak.

“Come out here and see this lash-up I rigged for watering your roses,” he will announce. I suppress all my fears and reason that as long as the “lash-up” doesn’t actually undermine the foundation of the house causing it to settle even more than it has already, it can’t be all bad. If necessary I could always purchase new roses for the yard.

Most of the time I think it’s a language barrier. John speaks Butte-en-ese (byoo-tuhn-EEZ), the native tongue of those from Butte, Montana, usually Irish in origin but with the occasional Finlander and Italian phrase thrown in. It’s almost like English and perhaps just a tad more cosmopolitan than the language spoken in the movie Fargo. Like so many things about John, I used to think he was joking because it sounded so funny. Then we went on our honeymoon to his family’s reunion in Butte and I realized he was telling the truth after all. By the end of the week, I was saying, “Yah, sure, you betcha’” with the best of them. At least full immersion in Butte-en-ese gave me a way to translate, but occasionally a term like “lash-up” is something I take entirely too visually.

How can you lash up water, I muse as I’m reluctantly trudging down the stairs to view whatever he’s done to my roses now. The project reveals itself to be merely a complex series of tiny hoses, valves and sprinklers threaded through my flower beds for zone watering. The materials he used were those actually intended for flower bed watering. He called it a “lash-up” because he was not sure, even after the success of his project, that he’d done the right thing.

Back to more recent times and the broken toilet, John rushes into our 1930’s era pink, violet and black tiled bathroom which I call Mary Engelbreit’s Bad Dream. Don’t get me wrong. I love the color scheme, but I recognize it’s not that California sea glass and sand thing that people associate with luxury bathing nowadays.
Tony Sincerely Concerned With the
Status of Things in the
Pink, Violet and Black Bathroom

I had reluctantly agreed to replace the 1930’s toilet a few years ago due to wear and tear. Little leaks become big leaks and replacement seemed like the right thing. You could sink the Glomar Explorer in that baby with the water capacity, so the new one is more eco-friendly and low-volume. It feels responsible to have the new one, even though I miss the old one. But if I’m saddled with the new one, I expect it to last at least 50 years like the old one did. Flipping the little flush handle on the new convenience and having it swing limply in response was, well, horrifying. I had to yell for help. My Goon came running. OK, it wasn’t running because of the replaced knee, but he hurried after he figured out I was hollering for him.

After all, I have to give him these little opportunities to rescue me, right? He threatened to use language that Mother would not have approved and eventually wrestled the chain back onto the hook, restoring order to the Universe.

“My Hero!” The big ones like praise like this so I like to make sure he gets it whenever possible.

“Dollie,” he calls me Dollie, “Dollie, if I’m a Hear-O, what would a See-O or a Smell-O be?”

My eyes close and my mind shuts down momentarily. I breathe deeply.

“Quincy, bite the Bad Man.”

It’s not very effective giving verbal orders to a dog who can’t hear so Quincy, picking up the scent of our breath, wags his tail, pretty sure he was just told he was a good dog. Bad jokes, however, are a small price to pay for getting the toilet working again especially since I’ll be cooking Christmas dinner for a motley crew of guests this year.

Sometimes those last-minute Christmas gifts can be the best thing. If I can find that nice bow the cats hid under the couch, I might put it on the toilet tank as a reminder that we still don’t have to go out under a tree like the dog does!

Best wishes for a bright holiday season, no matter what your faith!


There's a last-minute gift you can give any time of the year and that's your registration to be a bone marrow donor. Our little Tatiana's happy recovery was short-lived and we lost her. That bright little star twinkles down upon us from heaven. But you can make the gift of life to someone else. Be The Match.

While you're at it, please say a prayer for my friend Johnny Leadfoot who has been battling cancer this year. He's been trying to dress up as Santa for the folks at the cancer hospital in Houston with a sign that says, Does this make me look fat? Prayers for him and for his family would be appreciated!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Do You Hear What I Hear?

The dog just barked in my ear, enough that it hurt. I have to consider this a good sign though. I can hear the dog well enough that he doesn’t have to scream in my ear. Hearing is important to my work, both the Day Job and my tarot work.

I had my hearing tested last week. It took almost a year to get the appointment and, unlike my medical plan’s other policies, this particular test wasn’t covered under the “diagnostic tests are free” rule for the co-pays. I had to pay money to find out if my hearing is bad enough to need a little boost.

I spent a good deal of energy in my childhood translating what my mother said to my father. I suspected it was “selective deafness.” He just couldn’t hear my mother. Lorna, my hearing test technician, confirmed this phenomenon also known as marital deafness. Apparently it can be contagious.

“Good news, honey! I don’t need hearing aids yet,” I said to John.


Well, you get the picture.

The good news is that I didn’t have to spend an extraordinary amount of money on a personal speaker system to pump the everyday world straight into my head. Decent hearing aids are thousands of dollars and I’d love someone to explain exactly why.

I want to give a break to the deaf community here by saying I think it’s perfectly OK if they feel good about their variation of the hearing feature and alternative language skills. I’m not an audio bigot by any means.

However, since I have grown used to hearing, I would like to continue to do so as a personal choice. I attended my share of rock concerts. I saw George Harrison during his Dark Horse tour. Well, I saw his left shoulder and vest. I was on the floor of the arena in St. Louis in the last row of the folding chairs. Even standing on the chair, due to my lack of personal altitude, I feel the best I can say is that I saw George Harrison’s vest. But I did hear him.

I saw Bob Dylan when he was doing a jazz thing. I went to a concern where Blondie warmed up for Savoy Brown. I slept through Savoy Brown. Not many people can say that, I think. I loved the REO concert in Rolla, Missouri where we danced out of the gymnasium, happiest concert I ever attended. I thrilled to Renaissance in Edwardsville, Illinois by the river bank, transcendent music for me. I sat in the top row of another sports arena and watched fondly as one of my precious friends, with the aid of entirely too many brewskies, attempted to rush the stage in adoration of Stevie Nicks during a Fleetwood Mac tour. Bob’s attempts were foiled but perhaps it’s just as well. We are not sure he would have remembered the encounter had he been successful. We all understood the need, though, to touch the intangible.

I probably attended more Kinks concerts than any other group or single artist. My first husband and his best friend from high school were Kinks fans. The girlfriends and wives of the group of guys they hung out with generally turned up their noses at the Kinks but I think now they were just scornful of the primal scream competition that the guys held any time they got together, filled the rooms with smoke and turned up the volume on the stereo which was usually playing the Kinks. I could usually bring the scream-fest to a halt by participating in it with them, which made the guys look at me as if I were stoned and not them. As musical, melodious and meaningful as the Kinks’ music was, that had to contribute to my hearing loss potential.

Still when the girls would get together, they would ask me how I could stand to listen to Led Zeppelin or Jethro Tull and I would blink because, well, I liked them, seriously. I adored Pink Floyd and I didn’t care which one was Pink.

You’d think I was some sort of rock and roll groupie since my second husband was a sound and lights man for live events. And I have to admit one rabid fan moment as a backstage groupie. Oh, it was nothing like one of my college acquaintances who crawled into a bathroom window with a cast on her arm just to sleep with a pop culture author she had heard speak at the university that evening. (Insert bug-eyed emoticon here.) But it was bold for me.

I had come along to a private function, a high-priced fund-raiser that took up the interior of a mall in the Bay Area somewhere near Silicon Valley. Dressed in my t-shirt and blue jeans and complete with a sinus infection that should have prevented most normal human functions, I was a stage hand helping with the miles of cable and plugs and tape and test-1-2, test-1-2 that is the setup of a live event. It’s a Page of Swords sort of job, technical, not pretty. You have to do what you’re told and do it right the first time. You’re not paid to give your opinion or enthusiasm.
Picture Postcard Tarot
(c) Copyright 2010 Marcia McCord

Most musical acts will do a warm up and sound test well before the concert in these small venues because the acoustics and placement of speakers and microphones varies each time they create a stage in a place where no permanent stage exists.

And there he was. One of my idols since, well, since I wasn’t really old enough to know better. Michael McDonald, once of the Doobie Brothers and Steely Dan and now out on his own, was the featured act. Tall, dark, handsome, with a liquid voice that could make even my high school biology teacher weak in the knees if she’d given him a chance, he gave a sound check which was his entire concert. It was my own private concert. Heaven!

Shy, still, I quietly approached Mr. McDonald’s personal sound technician, not wanting to disturb The Artist Himself.

“Do you think he would mind,” I snuffled, “if I asked for his autograph?”

The sound guy looked at me, so obviously not a stage hand, covered in dust and grit. Was I the only 40-year-old groupie who had asked this question?

“Naw! Him? Are you kidding? He’d love it!”

I figured the sound guy was lying to me. Or not. Either way, if I wanted an autograph before I died of the sinus infection, I had to make my move. I stepped softly across the flimsy stage and tapped Michael McDonald on the shoulder softly but definitely. He wheeled around, surprised.

“I’ve been in love with you forever!”

My dirty hands flew to my mouth as my face grew red. The room spun or it could have been the ear infection. Mr. McDonald had half a grin on his face, perhaps looking for a security guard. I nearly melted with embarrassment. Smooth, I thought. Very smooth. I shoved my crew ID badge and a Sharpie marker at him.

“Can I have your autograph?”

We were both relieved that was all it was. He signed my badge, “Love, Mike McDonald.” I succumbed to my dread and infection, retreated and drove home, unable to speak for many reasons. I still love “What a Fool Believes.” I still have that badge. I want to keep hearing the music, if for nothing else than for nostalgia’s sake.

Best wishes.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Fighting for Love

Tony and Binket don’t get along. This is like saying that the tsunami in Japan dampened spirits a bit. Cats when annoyed with each other usually pose sideways, dance around, fluff up their fur and make noises anywhere from severe automotive trouble to people being tortured. There’s a lot of spit and threats and insults thrown. There can be a retreat after both cats have decided that each could take the other with one paw tied behind his or her back and a lot of mumbling and might-have-beens afterwards. That’s not what happens with Tony and Binket though.
Victorian Trade Card Tarot
(c) Copyright 2010 Marcia McCord

Binket, in her defense, did get here first. She was a rescue baby from southern California, just a tiny handful of calico fluff from an abandoned defense manufacturing plant. The property owners sent a few stray cats to clear out the mice. The people with this easy mouse-control idea forgot that cats left unneutered will multiply almost like mice. Now rescue groups will scoop up what they can from the grounds to see if they can be neutered, rehabilitated and placed in loving homes like mine.

Binket came complete with a roaring case of ringworm, a fungus that spread to the dog, the other cat, my husband and me. We all got the treatment. The dog lost his “job” as a volunteer companion for severely handicapped people. The rescue people said that couldn’t possibly happen when I called to warn them they might want to up their disinfecting so other rescues weren’t affected. I didn’t want to argue with them. These were two addled ladies who were trying to hold back the tide of unwanted animals in Orange County, just barely keeping it together to save the ones they could with nearly no money. If they bought bargain brand bleach, it was probably watered down and less-effective in killing the fungus, God love them.

Even though Binket was raised from just a few weeks by the softest touches in the Universe, my husband and myself, she ended up being a cranky kitty, so much so that I started to look up the theories of inheritance of disposition in cats. Apparently, if you’re a cat and if your father was a cranky kitty, you’re probably a cranky kitty. That’s what the latest cat science had to offer me. So I was a little dismayed that cooing, cuddling, coddling nurture did not have as much effect on No No Bad Cat’s nature. She buffaloed her older adoptive sister into submission which didn’t seem remarkable, except that she’s slightly smaller. Napoleon complex, maybe.

Peepers is the kind of cat to open pantry doors and snooze undisturbed for hours. More than once we’ve heard strange noises coming from the kitchen only to find that we do not, in fact, have a poltergeist. It’s only a 10 pound Siamese mix who has had her linen drawer closed and is now ready to get up and go about her kitty business. She really isn’t pleased that there is anyone in the house with her besides me in the first place but has grown used to Binket. Her way of dealing with conflict is to burrow until the blast is over.

Our little feline family grew and Eleanor joined us. I had thought I met Eleanor on the worst day of her life. It turns out that every day is the worst day of Eleanor’s life. She is the Omega Cat. No matter what the contest, she comes in dead last. Strangely, Binket, who by now had fallen deeply, madly in love with the dog, a romance still in full flower, adjusted well to Eleanor’s arrival. I think she sensed immediately that Eleanor was no threat to her Alphaness and dragged her around like a feathery 5 pound toy. Eleanor seems to like this sort of abusive affection from Binket so we determined not to interfere. After all, when you have a cranky kitty, any sign of positive relationships is a sign of hope.

It all came to a crash when I brought home Tony. True, Tony’s a male cat but I venture to say that never a more unsuspecting, unambitious, shy on brains and soft in the middle male cat has ever graced my doorstep. He’s like an animated stuffed toy and just about that smart. He seldom has an idea about anything other than warming up on the nearest warm thing, often my laptop computers. He steps on the telephone when I’m on conference calls, has a couple of favorite soft toys including one we call Stewart Little, is jolly with the dog, is scared of his own shadow and otherwise takes up cat space. He’s an unusual looking cat, considering he’s just a brown tabby. OK, he’s downright funny looking. I took him to the vet to see if his physique was in any way a dangerous health deformity. She laughed and said, yes, he is funny looking and it’s likely his parents were funny looking too. Instead of being that sleek, long luxuriant short-hair that model cats are, he’s a lot like a bean bag or turtle with an itty bitty kitty head. There’s quite a bit of extra Tony to Tony so he weighs in at about 16 pounds.

We went through all the standard instructions of how to introduce the new kitty to the household. Peepers seemed to think he was OK as long as he didn’t do anything aggressive and Tony’s not that kind of guy. Binket, though, went ballistic. Even when I put them on either side of an interior doorway with catnip on both sides to associate each other with psychedelic herbal pleasure, Binket did everything she could to kill Tony. She crammed as many paws and claws under the door, hissed and spat, and tried to figure out how to open the door by pounding on it. Tony immediately went on the defensive, which for him meant he tried to compact his generously padded and floppy frame into as tight a ball as possible and whimpered. This adds fuel to the flame for Binket. She knows now that her mission in life is to destroy her enemy. It doesn’t matter that he’s nearly twice her size.

She’ll do anything to slip into the section of the house where Tony is and attack him. Tony wets his pants, screams and cries and is generally dumbfounded at the assassination attempts. Naturally, I try to prevent this scenario, if for nothing else the cleanup needed afterwards.

Recently, though, Binket got a surprise. Tony fought back when she cornered him under a desk. She had grabbed his ear and he, amazingly, chomped down on her foreleg. A lot of screaming and flailing later and Binket retreated long enough for me to separate them, clean them up, comfort them both. Binket’s bite needed tending by the vet after a few days and she came home bandaged with anti-biotics.

Tony is his usual floppy, purring like an Evinrude, delighted to a frenzy over my just-washed hair, snuggly on cold mornings self. His ear has healed and you’d never know he’d been hurt. Binket has changed a bit though. She’s become snuggly instead of cranky. She wants to be a lap cat, now, after 5 years of dancing on the tables and shooting out the lights. She still doesn’t like Tony but she isn’t on the attack so much. Now she just wants to dash in and sleep on the bed. I’m good with that. She doesn’t resist being picked up and carried around and petted like she used to. Maybe this was a good thing.

This has been a 5 of Swords moment in our little family. What looked like a win when Binket exerted her aggressive bullying had always been a loss. But this recent battle lost seems, in the long run, to be a win overall. Binket? Happy? Who knew it was possible?

That win-lose scenario plays itself out in our human interactions all the time too. Sometimes winning the battle is losing the war. And sometimes, just sometimes, losing the battle means getting what you wanted in the first place. I think Binket had to push her limits to allow snugglies in her little cat life. I know people like that.

Best wishes.