From Friday, March 28:
Overheard at the new Treasure Island in Hyde Park:
He: Oh, we forgot to get bagels.
She (acidly): Then get them.
I don’t think she was hissing about the bagels.
Observed at the corner of 55th and Hyde Park Boulevard:
Man with cell phone to right ear and cigarette in left hand, woman with cell phone to left ear and cigarette in right hand — bookends.
They walked together, mostly, except when one or the other would veer off. When the other finally noticed, he or she would turn casually to catch up, without interruption to the phone conversations.
Nothing but love.
I like how her left toes are curled. 🙂
(After I wrote this, a friend took the following video on New Year’s Day, showing Hodge with his fleecy green friend.)
Sunday morning I was walking around while brushing my teeth with my 10-year-old Sonicare, which sometimes aggravates Hodge (the sound? the walking around?). I wasn’t thinking about Hodge at all when suddenly his furry body slammed into my legs. All I felt were fur and muscle — not a hint of anything hard or sharp, like teeth. I take this as a sign of the progress we have made since 2002.
In addition to fear aggression, two of Hodge’s behaviors mystify me. One involves standing on a soft object (cat bed, blanket, or pillow, for example) and lifting his right front foot, then his left front foot, then his right front foot, over and over, for as long as 15 minutes. As he does this, the expression on his feline face varies from deep concentration to inner pain. It doesn’t seem to be enjoyable, yet I’m not certain it’s right for me to distract him and get him to stop when he doesn’t seem to want to. Or is he not able to?
I had never witnessed Pudge engaged in this activity, so I mentioned it to K., who has more experience with more cats than I have. She nodded and said that she’d seen Morpheus doing the very thing I had described. One evening during my stay, she directed my attention to the other sofa, where Morpheus was standing on a blanket, lifting one front foot after the other, looking thoughtful and even pained. Unlike Hodge, Morpheus has claws, and it’s hard to guess whether this behavior is related to the feet alone.
In addition, Hodge has a toy to which he is either mother or master — I can’t tell which. It’s a foot-long, faux fleece green caterpillar that he drags around and even brings to my feet repeatedly when the mood strikes him. Sometimes, he grasps one end of it with his mouth and steps on it with his feet deliberately even as he tries to walk off with it. From my perspective, he looks mentally impaired as he tries to drag his fleecy friend along while pinning it down firmly. This, too, can go on for quite a while. It’s funny, yet frustrating, to observe.
When Hodge does manage to walk around with the green guy in his mouth, he sometimes vocalizes in a way that I’ve not heard from him in any other circumstance. It’s a loud cry that sounds more like a mother’s than a predator’s. His facial expression seems to be more of concentration and concern than triumph, although I suppose he could be thinking about where to hide his “victim” from others. I can’t imagine maternal feelings in a neutered dominant male. Given the idea that cats see people inconveniently sized, socially inept cats, I wonder if the caterpillar is prey — and if its arrival at my feet is intended as some kind of love-offering. In that case, I must be a disappointment to Hodge, as I do not accept in graciously in the same spirit in which it is offered.
Perhaps I am the one whose behavior is mysterious and disturbing.
The Emotional IQ Test: How People-Smart Are You?
Diane, your Emotional IQ is 124.
This number is the result of a formula based on how many questions you answered correctly on Emode’s Emotional IQ test. But your Emotional IQ score is much more than just a number: it’s an indicator of success.
Research has shown that people with high emotional intelligence scores — not necessarily those with the highest IQ scores — tend to be the most valued and productive employees and have the longest and happiest romantic relationships.
So, where are you most emotionally smart? Your test results show that your strongest suit is empathy — your ability to see things from someone else’s point of view.
(For the little good it does me . . .)