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Regular friend of the decanter Mike F recently dropped a linkie in the old Llama Tasty Bits (TM) Mail Sack to gCaptain, a site devoted to all things maritime and offshore.  He particularly noted Maritime Mondays as a nice way to start the week.

I’ve added the link to the port swiller blogroll and note it for the benefit of anyone who has the urge to go down to the sea.

A glass of wine with you!

Regular friends of the decanter may recall my mentioning before, with some bitterness, the ironic juxtaposition of the facts that a) of all the members of the Port Swiller household, ol’ Robbo is probably least fond of cats, and b) of all the members of the Port Swiller household, ol’ Robbo is the one who usually gets saddled with the responsibility of taking care of our pair of felines.

The cats themselves understand this arrangement perfectly well.  (Indeed, I am not altogether sure that they didn’t have a paw in engineering it.  Just the sort of thing a cat would think amusing.)  One manifestation of this understanding is the increasing frequency and intensity with which the younger of the two, Bella, pesters me to feed her.

It’s not that food isn’t always available to her.  It is.  But I only keep the bowl of dry food topped up.  What she wants is the wet stuff, which we give her once a day and which she generally has hoovered up within ten or fifteen minutes.  (She is also in the habit of trying to snarf as much of her elderly companion’s ration as possible.  The way she slurps up the gravy is downright revolting.)

To this end, there are times when I feel positively persecuted by Bella.  She follows me about, mewling pitifully.  She sits on the arm of my comfy chair while I’m reading and tries to hypnotize me into opening up a can.  In the morning, when I am feeding her, she does her level best to get tangled up in my legs while I’m trying to dish the stuff out.   It is not unusual for me, when she tracks me down in the kitchen and starts in, to shake my finger at her bowl and yell, “You’ve got food, you unspeakably gluttonous villain!”   (The look she gives me in response would be difficult to render into a written description.)

I used to think that Bella was just greedy.  However, according to this article from the Telegraph, she’s actually psychotic:

Cats that pester for food could be suffering from psychological condition

Cat owners see it as a sign of hunger and affection — their pet miaowing and rubbing against their ankles as dinner time approaches.

But according to a group of vets, it is a sign of a creature whose obsession with food has driven it to the edge of insanity.

They claimed that cats that show too much eagerness to be fed could be suffering from the newly-diagnosed condition of “psychogenic abnormal feeding behaviour”.

And the attention-seeking behaviour is a symptom called “excessive solicitation of interspecific interactions”.

According to the researchers, who set out their findings in the Journal of Veterinary Behaviour, other symptoms can include “food-related aggressiveness” — taking food from other cats’ bowls — and “context-specific excessive appetite” — jumping on the table to eat from the owner’s plate.

I will say that Bella doesn’t jump on table.   Lucky for her, because the first time she did would be the last.

So what does one do with a cat affected by PAFB syndrome?  Become an enabler and give in to her constant demands?  Seek counseling?  Intervention?  Maybe a support group?  (“Hi, my name’s Bella and I have psychogenic abnormal feeding behavior.”  “Hi, Bella!”)  Cut her off cold and sleep with a cosh under my pillow in case she goes postal?

UPDATE:  Dr. Boli presents an advert for the very thing to let your cat indulge in its excessive solicitation of interspecific interactions.

What would we do without scientists?  From the Beeb comes the nooz that Scientists have dispelled the “Miserable Monday” myth.

We may say we hate Mondays, but research suggests Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays are equally loathed.

US investigators who looked at a poll of 340,000 people found moods were no worse on Mondays than other working days, bar Friday.

[snip]

Prof [Arthur] Stone [of Stony Brook University] says it is the contrast in mood from Sunday to Monday that has led to Mondays being unfairly singled out.

Smiles, everybody! Smiles!  And that’s an order because otherwise you’re being hurtful and discriminatory.

As a matter of fact, regular friends of the decanter will already know that Robbo has decreed Tuesday as the worst day, it being a depressing, forlorn hole in the week compared to every other day.  At least with Mondays, as Science has now confirmed, one has the weekend to push off against.

 

Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

My apologies for the relative lack of posties over the past few days.  The fact of the matter is that ol’ Robbo was home alone with the eldest gel whilst Mrs. R took the younger two up to Conneckticut to visit grandparents one last time before the end of the summah.  Seventy-two plus hours going mano a mano with a fourteen year old gel, and one of an intensely mulish disposition at that, is……not conducive to creativity.  At least, not wholesome creativity.  I confess I’m still feeling somewhat drained this morning.  Thank Heaven the cavalry is on its way back.

Speaking of the end of summah, as I glanced idly out the window of Port Swiller Manor Saturday afternoon, I suddenly realized that the sunlight looked different on the trees.  This is one of those signals of the change of seasons that ol’ Robbo looks for and relishes every year.

Saturday afternoon was, in fact, about the last time I had the opportunity to actually see sunlight, as it clouded over in the evening and has stayed that way ever since.  Indeed, it bucketed rain most of yesterday.  Again, not the showers and storms of high summah, but instead a more pre-autumnal kind of drenching.   Too bad I didn’t get the grass cut, but there it is.

Can you sense that ol’ Robbo is looking forward to the fall?

As I came out of Mass yesterday afternoon, it was absolutely pouring.  I noticed one of the schola, a little old lady, standing gloomily under the porch sans umbrella and calculating how wet she was going to get dashing across the parking lot to the robing room.  Since I carry a full-sized bumbershoot myself, I offered to, as it were, give her a lift.  As we walked, she asked me what I thought of the announcement, made during the Mass, that going forward the plan is to cut out both the Asperges Me and the English reading of the Gospel in order to save time.  (Father S claims that between the over-sized 10:30 Mass and various afternoon baptisms and the like, the noon TLM is proving to be a real squash.)   I said I thought it too bad and seemingly to cheapen things.  At this my companion’s eyes began to glitter and she started rattling off a whole list of Things They Do Wrong at our church.   I found myself inwardly delighted listening to such goodly rad-trad screediness.

Baseball affithionados will be aware that Robbo’s beloved Nationals start a critical series against the second-place Braves tonight which, if we win it, could prove a major kybosh of their effort to catch us.  It’s going to be a white-knuckled couple of nights.  GO, NATS!!!

 

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