I digress, however. After I was successfully roused by Ra for his morning feeding I went through the little ritual I've prepared for he and I. The ritual is sort of a safety measure I came up with. In the old days it used to be that Ra would pester and pester and make a nuisance of himself until somebody fed him. After they got his food down from the closet shelf and measured it out he would run back and forth, making laps between whoever was feeding him and his bowl. He would also twine amongst your feet if you were feeding him, presumably to show how much he loved you for feeding him. This behavior resulted in him getting stepped on more frequently I want to admit, as well as in me tripping and taking an express ride to the floor even more frequently than I want to admit. Something had to change.
After I moved into the new apartment I had the opportunity to take the step I was looking for. I put Ra's food and water at the foot of my bed, just underneath the sill of one of my bedroom's windows. The next step was to develop a pattern for Ra to follow. I didn't have to worry about a reward because I knew his getting fed would be more than enough reward for him. He's a cat! Felines live through their stomach. I think Roho, Kes and everyone else though I was mad to try and do this, but I knew with enough time and diligence I could get him to behave the way I wanted so there wouldn't be any more mishaps. I developed a cue for him where I pointed at the bed and snapped my fingers, telling him to "get up." He'd jump on the bed and turn around, looking expectantly at me. As soon as I would open the closet door that held his food he would jump down again. I would close the door, wait for three or five minutes and then try again. Eventually he got the idea that if he stayed on the bed he'd get fed, but if he jumped down he wouldn't get anything. When I had to ask roho to feed him while I was down partying it up in St Louis with captain18, masem, neuracnu and a few thousand other people I also asked Roho to try to stick to the same plan. When I came back I was informed he'd tried to trick Roho into feeding him without going through the ritual, but Roho stuck to his guns and refused to feed him until Ra had behaved properly. This is good since it means that after four months the conditioning has finally sunk through that dense kitty skull and stayed lodged in his brain. I am very smug about this.
I passed my time through the rest of the morning by chatting online with folks, pausing only long enough to get in a shower and a quick shave. When [Unknown LJ tag]Aureth</a> showed up we spent about half an hour chatting and poking and prodding at roho's newest acquisition, an Apple Powerbook of a few years ago. It was hoped that Aureth would be able to coax the silly thing into talking to our network since it has an ethernet port (via dongle) available for it. Eventually the Cornwuff admitted defeat, citing hunger pangs and low blood sugar. I signed off FurryMuck and put on my boots, and we all walked out to the car. I couldn't believe how nice it was! I didn't need a jacket at all, and I was only wearing a polo shirt and jeans. It was bright and sunny, there wasn't a breeze to be felt and the temperature had to be somewhere in the 60s. It's spring weather, all right, but how long will it last, I wonder? The Midwest has a habit of changing the weather from nice to incredibly nasty around the time March Madness gets rolling. The betting pool has already started circulating around at work, so it must be getting near the point again where the weather will shift one last time to prove that we still are at its whim. Frankly, I plan to just tuck in under my blankets with my cat and read some more when the last big snowstorm of the season comes.
We made our way up to BDs and were greeted warmly, as usual. The manager was a little amused that we had the Cornwuff in tow, and remarked that he nearly didn't recognize us because there were four of us instead of the usual three. I had to chuckle at that... we're becoming known to most of the employees as "The Trio" or "The Trifecta." I don't mind, it means we get a little more attention in addition to our tasty food.
I had two bowls this week, which sort of surprised me, but it makes a certain twisted sort of sense as well. Since I've picked up the Atkins habit from Kestral I've stopped eating carb-laden foods, which also includes (sadly) the tortilla shells that are served with the meal. Because I wasn't partaking in all those tortillas I probably had a little extra room, so I took advantage of it. It probably didn't hurt that my stir fry was heavily seasoned and tasted heavenly. BDs really has become my reward for making it through the week.
We came home and sat about for a little while, then decided to scoot over to Sam's Club so we could attend to a few items. I wanted to exchange my full screen formatted DVD of "The Road to Perdition" for a wide screen disc, and Kestral and Roho also had some items they wanted to pick up. Aureth accompanied us because he wanted the excuse to go back outside again, no matter how brief the exposure might be. I think he's pleased that he did, because he got to witness me having a brief conversation with an off-duty police officer from Chicago about his sidearm (he had a Glock, but I never bothered to ask what model he was carrying. I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that it was a Glock 32, although I could be completely wrong. The officer chatted with us for a few minutes about the gun, and then let us take a look at the Fobus holster he was using to carry the gun with. I've never seen anything like it! The design was very unique, and the officer said that he had found the plastic used in its construction to be practically impossible to damage. I wrote the name down as something to lob at my father later, because I think he might enjoy owning a couple of these.
We returned again to the apartment and settled in to watch my newly-acquired copy of Minority Report. Roho was swapping floppy disks like a mad thing to perform the MacOS-mandated "system recovery disk" creation, although how much good in an emergency the stupid things will be is anybody's guess. Kes chatted idly online while she watched and I sat in the middle, completely immersed in the movie. I have never seen anything quite like this. The benefit of the ongoing computer evolution is that the special effects you see in movies just keeps getting better and better with each generation of releases. This movie had a lot of the same feel to it as Spielberg's other peak into the future with Artificial Intelligence: AI. There were portions of the film that were jarring, the future had disturbing developments (targeted advertising that followed you around EVERYWHERE you went, a rampant crime rate, betrayal, etc), the special effects we bleeding-edge good, and the whole film had been filmed so that it had a very blue hue to it. I enjoyed it immensely, because the plot twists and turns were well architected and executed. Of the three things I guessed at in the movie I only got one right. I also didn't find any huge flaws with the movie, although I suppose that could be due in part to how awe-struck I was by it. I was left shaking my head and muttering "wow" an awful lot.
Not long after the movie ended Aureth made his way back home, and the rest of our household went back to our usual evening routine -- we are nothing if not predictable, sometimes. I turned on WinAmp, sequestered Ra in my bedroom with me as I do every night and signed back online. I got to chatter lazily with some more friends and had a good time overall. An added bonus for me was having another long, leisurely-paced and pleasant conversation with somebody special. I'm always left feeling surprised and deeply honored after these talks because I learn something new, and they just go a long way towards making me feel very lucky and special. The next time I hear Enya's "Only If" I know I won't be moved just by the music, but also in part by some of the memories I have associated with it now.
Around 11:30 I called it a night, kissed Ra on the head and crawled under the covers. I slept pretty well until the morning, when Ra once again decided to wake me early and continue to pester me as only a housecat can for the next three hours until I got up and fed him again.
An additional bit about the long conversation last night: a point was brought to my attention about possible travel destinations I might want to consider, based on knowledge of what I find intriguing and how moved I am by nature as a whole. After listening to some of the things that were described I find myself twelve hours later thinking a lot more about it. I can't stop mulling the thoughts over and over in my head about the opportunity to travel and how good it would be to take a vacation somewhere exotic. I would very much like to see the sights that were described. I'd like to bring my camera with so I could take roll after roll of photographs of all the natural wonders I would be surrounded by if I were to go. I want to get away. I want to forget about work, traffic, deadlines and everything that's worrying me day in and day out. I want to immerse myself in a whole new experience. I want to get some of the happiness I think I could achieve with such a trip. I want to see beauty.
I've got three weeks of vacation this year.
If I don't use it I will certainly lose some of it -- if not all of it.
Dreamed I saw a desert rose
Dress torn in ribbons and in bows