Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Max on... Feng Shui (aarrrgh!)

"Feng shui? Oh NOooooooooo!"
Okay kitties. I need your expertise. What is it with this Feng Shui stuff? Her Highness or HH as I fondly call her (that’s my food human, for those of you who don’t know) is into this Feng Shui phase and it is driving me crazy. We’re writers, so naturally books and papers get comfortably piled around the condo. So, what’s so wrong with that?

I applaud the practice of “piling” for several reasons. First, I think it makes us look productive and creative. Second, none of it’s in my way. If a pile of books or paper is sitting in my nap spot, I just knock them off the desk, table or chair. No problem – it takes little effort on my part. And, third, having a few papers and books on the floor just makes my landing more interesting when I jump down from the desk.

But noooooooooo, HH can’t seem to get with the program here. It has something to do with serenity… a calm environment… blah, blah, blah. Well, when we first moved here, we had that Feng Shui environment and there was nothing much for me to rearrange in the wonderful way that only a cat can rearrange.

So, here we are in this battle. There’s a yard sale in a week and a half, and HH is furiously working to gather stacks and boxes and piles of stuff to try to sell to other people, so our environment will be devoid of distractions. So, our days lately go something like this: HH puts a pile of books or fabric or whatever out to be added to the yard sale, and I frantically fling my body onto the pile to save it from a wrongful demise. Then, she brings out another pile and I fling my body on it. But, “aarrrrgh” that leaves the first pile unprotected.

Oh-oh…. I’m losing ground….

Suggestions…..? I’m shedding like crazy over here.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Max on... Care and Training of Your Food Human -- Bedroom Access


"How to Train Your Food Human to Make Room for You on the Bed"
If your fondest desire is to snuggle down each night with your food human, here are some tips to help you achieve that goal:

Make it into the room

First you must make it into the bedroom. Many times food humans shut their kitties out of the bedroom at night due to their pesky behaviors, such as attacking feet during the night, pouncing on stomachs, and sleeping on faces. Once you're out critter pals, it's a difficult but not impossible task to get back in. Try some of these tactics:

1. Show that you'll be a good nighttime companion. If you are shut out, request entrance quietly. A soft mournful meow or two from outside the door just might do the trick.

2. Another tactic is to work on the sympathy vote. Park yourself right outside the closed door -- even better sleep plastered up against it -- so when your human opens the door in the morning you will fall into the room. This will show your devotion to your food human. One morning, you just might hear, "He's been such a good kittie all these nights, I think I'll give him a trial back in the bedroom tonight."

3. If nice tactics don't work, get a running start and hurl yourself repeatedly against the door. When your human opens the door, scoot in and quickly scurry under the bed or dresser just out of reach. Stay there until things settle down for the night.

Once your in, how to train your human how to allow you, in all your cat glory, to stay in:

1. Each night when your human lets you in, quickly find a spot at the end of the bed and out of the way. Curl up and go to sleep. Despite your urge to pawty all night, this is your only opportunity to prove to your human that your being in the room will be no trouble. Restrain that pawty urge.

2. Inch your way a little closer to your human over a series of nights. Eventually, curl up behind the knees or at the small of the back. Research from the Max Institute for the Research of Human Behavior has shown that humans like a little non-intrusive, warm pressure at those points. It seems to be quite reinforcing to humans. If you handle this right you just might seal the bedroom deal for yourself and ensure that your human invites you in each night.

Don'ts of Nighttime Behavior:

1. Raise a ruckus.

2. Use any part of your human as a scratching post.

3. Howl or groan (purrs are allowed)

4. Run about the room.

Sweet Dreams... feel free to share you comments.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Max's Book of the Month: Dewey by Vicki Myron with Bret Witter


Critter pals, I have just finished the best book. It's Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat who Touched the World. The story is told through the eyes of Vicki Myron, the librarian.

The book is charming, endearing, and all cat. I, for one, love the fact that Dewey was a cat and remained all cat throughout this true story. Myron with Bret Witter told the story of Dewey and, in the telling, remained true to Dewey. If you read the book, you'll know what I mean.

I don't want to say too much because I want you to enjoy the story for yourself, but Myron finds a kitten in the return book slot at the Spencer Iowa Public Library one cold morning. "Dewey wins the heart of not only the librarian... but the patrons of the library." And he goes on to become known to and win the hearts of people from the town of Spencer, the state, the country, and even wins international fame.

This book chronicles his life. He's not extraordinary, it's just that he's extraordinary at being a cat. He does us proud, fellow kitties. For example, Dewey only likes to play with balls that contain catnip. When a special child brings him a gift of a ball with not one nip of catnip in sight, Myron prays that he'll get excited about the present so the child will not be hurt. Dewey, of course, intuitively rises to the occasion and not only plays with the ball, but tosses and chases it to exhaustion.

This is a story beyond cathood. It tells of the importance of relationships and how one small critter could change the lives of those around him.

I'm going to break out and give my first 4-paw rating to this wonderful book. There is a full version of this non-fiction book as well as a 40-page version for young readers. Enjoy this great read.