Why Did The Cat Die?

The expression “curiosity killed the cat”, is usually used as an attempt to stop someone from asking unwanted questions. Cats are extremely curious from the time they are born due to their survival instincts and a natural instinct to assess their environment for prey and predators.  They are inquisitive when they see something new, because they need to make sure that it doesn’t pose a threat.  Kittens may spend the whole day looking into every corner, watching carefully, observing each movement and catching small prey, bringing them home as trophies.  Cats enjoy climbing because being high up in the air gives them a broader view of their environment, allowing them to easily observe everything without being disturbed.

When cats explore, one thing they are looking for is a potential hiding space.  The experience of jumping and sliding into a box resonates with their instinct to find protected spaces out in the wild where they are able to see their environment without being seen.  It is a good idea to provide boxes and other similar spaces for your cat to climb into as this is an inexpensive way to enrich their home environment.  Try hiding toys in these spaces, and always make sure that the environment is safe for your cat and that your cat can easily retrieve the toys from the box.  Cats use their minds to shape the world around them and they are always seeking answers to why things exist.  Knowing why cats behave in a certain manner, will help you to better understand your cat and provide them with a more comfortable life that is free from possible domestic dangers.

Written for Linda G. Hill’s ‘Life in progress’ JusJoJan January twenty-second prompt suggested by Pamela, Butterfly Sand Curiosity run amok and that is “Curiosity”.

Blind As A Bat

Being blind as a bat, isn’t really being blind.  Bats are not blind, they actually have excellent vision.  Bats use echolocation to navigate and find food in the dark.  To echolocate, bats send out sound waves from the mouth or nose.  When the sound waves hit an object they produce echoes.  The echo bounces off the object and returns to the bats’ ears.  Their vision gives them a much more complete picture, and at higher resolution, than an ultrasonic image, but when they combine their eyesight with their echolocation they achieve a sort of 20/20 super-vision.  Bats have learned that insect activity peaks at night, so they come out at dusk for their meals.  Bats are able to find insects faster than any bird.

It turns out that many of the stories about bats are just myths.  Bats are not dirty and they generally don’t bother people at all.  They look sort of creepy, especially when they are hanging upside down, but they won’t try to make a nest in your hair, as they don’t make nests.  Their guano, a spiffy word for bat poop helps to disperse seeds and regenerate plants.  Bats are pollinators, so if you enjoy bananas or avocados, you need to thank bats for that.  Bats eat the type of insects that enjoy eating crops and gardens, so keeping bats around is a good thing.  Bats can have rabies so you should never disturb a bat.

Written for Linda G. Hill’s ‘Life in progress’ JusJoJan January twenty-first prompt suggested by Lady Lee, ladyleemanila and that is “Echo”.

Making Discoveries By Accident

You stumble upon something that has grand and mysterious significance, but as Louis Pasteur famously stated, “Chance favors the prepared mind.”  Serendipity will not occur unless you exercise your powers of observation.  Sudden flashes of insight don’t just happen, they are the products of preparation.  The origins of the word serendipity stems from a Persian Fairy Tale called “The Three Princes of Serendip”.  The three brothers meet a camel driver who just lost his camel.  He inquires if they had seen it, and purely as a joke the princes supplied the camel driver with all sorts of semi-contrived details.  The first prince asks, “Was your camel blind in one eye?” “Yes,” responded the camel driver.  And the second prince said, “Did your camel have a tooth missing?”  “Yes,” the owner said again.  The third asked if his camel was lame.  “Yes,” said the driver.

The driver retraced the Princes’ steps along the trail, but he did not find his camel. When he encountered them again, he accused them of deception, but the first prince said, “Your camel carried a load of butter on one side and of honey on the other.”  The second said that the camel also carried a woman, and the third prince added that she was pregnant.  The camel driver was now convinced that anyone who knew all of these details must have stolen his camel, so he had the princes jailed as camel thieves.  When emperor heard about the crime, he sentenced the princes to death.  They then confessed they had played a joke on the camel driver, and that their imaginations must have gotten the better of them because some of their descriptions happened to coincide with the truth.  Later, when the real camel was found, the emperor released the princes.

He then inquired how could they have guessed so many details. The brothers, told him the following camel story, “I thought he must have been blind in the right eye, because only the grass along the left side of the trail was eaten even though it was not as thick as that over on the right side.”  “I guessed that the camel lacked a tooth because the way the grass cuds were chewed indicated that a tooth was missing.”  “I guessed that the camel was lame because only three footprints were clearly indicated, whereas the fourth print was dragged.”

They continued, “I guessed that the camel had a load of butter on one side because there were many ants on one side of the trail, and I thought he carried honey on the other side because many flies gathered along the other side of the trail.” “I guessed that the camel must have carried a woman because I noted a footprint and found some female urine near where the camel had knelt.”  And the third prince concluded, “I guessed that the woman was pregnant because the hand prints nearby showed that she had helped herself up with her hands after urinating.”

Written for Linda G. Hill’s ‘Life in progress’ JusJoJan January twentieth prompt suggested by Jill, J-Dubs Grin and Bear It and that is “Serendipity”.

Thrilla In Manila

Billy Crystal said that Muhammad Ali lovingly known as “The Greatest” was so fast that he could turn out the lights in his bedroom and be under the covers before it got dark.  The Thrilla in Manila was the third and final boxing match between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier.  It was fought for the heavyweight championship of the world at the Philippine Coliseum in Cubao, Quezon City, Philippines, on Wednesday, October 1, 1975.  Many people regarded this as the best fight of all time, but others say the world heavyweight championship between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman which took place in Kinshasa, Zaire, on October 30, 1974 and was dubbed the “Rumble in the Jungle” was the best fight ever.

The fight was a seminal moment for the Philippines, a moment of true international attention and recognition for a country which was convulsing under three years of martial law and a crackdown by dictator Ferdinand Marcos.  By capitalizing on the great Ali-Frazier rivalry, Marcos managed in one swoop to both unite the country and at least for the duration of the fight, he was able to rehabilitate his image on the world stage.  Marcos was a kleptocrat, a ruler who used political power to steal his country’s resources.  Eleven years after this fight Imelda Marcos would flee the Philippines with her husband, President Ferdinand Marcos, during a 1986 uprising leaving behind at least 1,220 pairs of shoes, along with a vast collection of clothes and accessories.

Frazier won his first heavyweight championship bout while Ali was barred from fighting due to his conscientious objection to the Vietnam War, and Joe lobbied for Ali’s ban to be rescinded, in part so he could beat Ali himself and vindicate his championship belts and also because he had lent his great rival money during the lean years of the ban.  Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier were like two brothers and this being the case Muhammad Ali always teased Joe Frazier, but they were companions, these guys genuinely loved each other.

Showdowns don’t get any bigger than this title bout, with the possible exception being when David took on Goliath, as this was the third and final meeting between the graceful, balletic and fast-talking Ali and his nemesis, the taciturn, heavy-hitting Joe Frazier.  In their first meeting at the Garden Ali started quickly, but Frazier pressed a withering body attack in the middle rounds and clearly staggered Ali with a left hook in the 11th.  Most had Frazier slightly ahead, and he sealed the unanimous decision by flooring Ali with another left in the 15th round.  Following the first loss of his career, Ali won 12 of his next 13 bouts, getting upset when he suffered a broken jaw against Ken Norton in March 1973.  By the time he got a rematch with Frazier on Jan. 28, 1974, at the Garden, neither was champion since Frazier had lost the title to Foreman.  Ali won a clear unanimous decision by using his speed to outpoint Frazier in a fight with no knockdowns.

Ahead of the Manila fight Ali had taken to name-calling and needling, much of it with racial tones and the fight got its nickname from a rhyme that Ali rapped about his opponent ahead of the fight, while punching a toy gorilla and saying, “It will be a killa… and a thrilla… and a chilla when I get the Gorilla in Manila.”  Ali needled Joe in an attempt to generate publicity, there was no hate there.  Frazier was deeply offended and resentful of Ali’s taunting, so he made sure that he was in great shape for this fight and he was hell bent on winning.  The fight turned out to be a slug fest for both fighters, fifteen scheduled rounds in an airless steamy sauna of an arena.  Ali chose not to take an early moment in the fight to knock out his opponent, presumably because he wanted to give the fans a show.  The fight ended with Frazier’s trainer Eddie Futch throwing in the towel just before the 15th round.

Written for Linda G. Hill’s ‘Life in progress’ JusJoJan January eighteenth prompt suggested by Di, pensitivity101 and that is “companionship”.

Give Someone An Inch

In the 12th century, King Henry I of England fixed the yard as the distance from his nose to the thumb of his out-stretched arm.  A yard was originally the length of a man’s belt or girdle.  In the 8th century, the length of King Charlemagne’s foot became the measurement of a foot and this was determined to be 36 barleycorns laid end to end, however no measurement for the barleycorn was given.  In the 10th century, the width of King Edgar’s thumb was officially designated as an inch.  This happened to be three barleycorns across.  Barleycorns are still used today as the unit of shoe sizes.  The Roman shoemakers were the first to use a barleycorn to measure feet for making a sandal.

Written for Linda G. Hill’s ‘Life in progress’ JusJoJan January seventeenth prompt suggested by John, The Sound of One Hand Typing and that is “Inch”.

Does Paris Hilton Wear Undies?

That may be up for debate, but it was the first thing I thought of when I read that the prompt is Paris.  No I am not going to post any pictures as you can find them all by yourselves!  I actually found a website that lists 15 reasons why girls should ditch their undies and go commando and of course women who don’t wear underwear never have to worry about getting their panties in a bunch.  I never dated a girl who was not wearing panties, but I guess I would find it to be a turn on if I picked up a girl for a date and discovered that she was letting it all hang out.  I could see women wearing pants going commando, as that would be no big deal, but any women wearing a dress or a skirt would be very daring.  I guess for a woman to wear certain sexy gowns they might be required to forget their panties.  Halle Berry looks pretty good in that outfit.

Written for Linda G. Hill’s ‘Life in progress’ JusJoJan January fifteenth prompt suggested by Kelli and that is “Paris”.

Landslide

Stevie Nicks wrote the love song ‘Landslide’ for Lindsey Buckingham.  This song is a reflection of her bittersweet relations with him at that time, as well as a reflection of the changes she was experiencing in her life.  It was written in 1973 at a point where Stevie and Lindsey had driven to Aspen so that he could rehearse for two weeks with Don Everly.  Their first album Buckingham Nicks, released in September 1973 was a commercial flop, which lead to their contract being terminated.  Their management company had the Carpenters and Jim Croce and Lindsey knew Warren Zevon, who had been playing with Don. There was an opening for a guitar player, and Lindsey got the gig.  Lindsey was going to take Phil’s place after the brothers broke up.  They played some clubs, and everywhere they went, all the people would yell for them to play ‘Bye Bye Love’ and ‘Wake Up Little Susie’.

Stevie stayed in Aspen for almost three months with one of her girlfriends that was there.  Having her only record dropped was horrifying to both of them because they had a taste of the big time, they recorded in a big studio, met famous people, and made what they considered to be a brilliant record that nobody seemed to like.  Stevie had been a waitress and a cleaning lady, and she didn’t mind this, as she was perfectly delighted to work and support both of them, so that Lindsey could produce and work and fix their songs and make their music.

Eventually she felt like, she was not happy, she was tired and she didn’t know if they could do any better than this.  She began wondering if it was worth staying in the strained relationship to keep the music together.  Stevie decided to continue and this period when she wrote ‘Landslide’ was the only time in her life when she ever lived in the snow.  “And I saw my reflection in the snow covered hills”.  Her reflection reveals the woman that she was before and she does not completely recognize that person now.  She got stranded in the middle of winter, with snow all around her, but this snow represents purity and innocence, which made her feel like a little child unable to make a real, substantial decision.

She was afraid of changing, but just as a landslide brings the snow down, she realized that she had built her life around Lindsay and this helped her to focus on her relationship.  All this time she is changing and growing and she is not the same woman that she once was.  As she looked up at the Rocky Mountains she was inspired and felt like she could keep going.  She told Lindsey that they were going to the top!  Within a year, Mick Fleetwood called them, and they were in Fleetwood Mac making $800 a week apiece.  It was like they were at the end of their rope and suddenly they became rich overnight.

I took my love, I took it down
Climbed a mountain and I turned around
And I saw my reflection in the snow covered hills
‘Til the landslide brought me down

Oh, mirror in the sky, what is love?
Can the child within my heart rise above?
Can I sail through the changin’ ocean tides?
Can I handle the seasons of my life?
Mmm

Well, I’ve been ‘fraid of changin’
‘Cause I’ve built my life around you
But time makes you bolder
Even children get older
And I’m gettin’ older, too

Well, I’ve been ‘fraid of changin’
‘Cause I’ve built my life around you
But time makes you bolder
Even children get older
And I’m gettin’ older, too
I’m gettin’ older, too

Ah, take my love, take it down
Oh, climb a mountain and turn around
And if you see my reflection in the snow covered hills
Well, the landslide will bring it down
And if you see my reflection in the snow covered hills
Well, the landslide will bring it down
Oh, the landslide will bring it down

Written for Linda G. Hill’s ‘Life in progress’ JusJoJan January fourteenth prompt suggested by Janet and that is “reflection”.