Monday, March 28, 2011

M&M Monday

Outdoorsy Girls

Whenever I say, "Do you girls want to go out?" Tabby Bobcat can be snoozing on the other end of the house, and she'll be the first at the door.

Tabby leads the way down the ramp; Maggie follows.

The morning light in this pic is extra-delicious. Sweet Maggie by the clothesline.

She ventures off a bit farther than Millie. Sometimes Millie will join her.

Not this time, tho. This is usually as far as she goes; near the woodshed.

My sweet Millie.

You can't tell, but Tabby Bobcat is behind the base of the forsythia bush there. And poor bush; she has bent some of the lower branches and played with them. She also plays with the rocks; throwing them up with her front paws.

Of course, by the time I switched angles to get a pic, the Kodak Moment was gone!

One of Maggie's other spots.

Another favourite spot of Maggie's by the wood shed.

Whereas the porch is Millie's domain.

We interrupt this M&M Monday for a Tabby Bobcat Special:

This is where Tabby likes to hang out, when she's not accosting the forsythia bush.

Couldn't resist. She's just so stinkin' CUTE.
Back to our regularly scheduled M&M Monday:

Notice the Gluten Free pasta I dropped on the runner? Maggie trotted in  & I thought, "Oh, good. She'll clean it up for me. She sat down next to it . . .

And was completely indifferent.  "MEH."

Perhaps Millie would like some GF Pasta?

But no! Not really all that interested.

Back inside . . . 

Tabby on the coffee table. Millie says Hullo.
These are the pix from the the Big Download of 988 photos off my camera. I've been having trouble downloading. I have some wonderful springy pix for next week--I hope!  The girls have really enjoyed being outside more, except as I write this, the wood stove is fired up & roaring with the cold snap. 

I had an interesting experience with Millie this week. She gets panicky when she slides off her bed and can't get back up. Well, without even thinking, I went behind her and lifted up her lower back and positioned her back on her bed. There's NO WAY I could have done that when I first got her. She's the reason for the duct taped runners down my hall. One ferocious warning growl & snap at my hand and I never tried to lift her again--until this week. And she was OK with it. And then--THEN!  I went out the front door and when I came back, she was lying down on the bare floor. *sigh*  Again, this is why I have beds, rugs, & carpets covering the floor because it's slippery and if she gets stuck on there, it's a whole production to get her back onto a textured surface. Except. When I came in & walked to the carpet, she started to get up, but hesitated. I said, "Come on, Mil." And she did. I guess she's feeling safer an more secure.

Years ago, when I was studying with the very-brilliant Eric Jensen, he told of an experiment done with dogs where when they walked across a certain part of the floor, they got little shocks on their feet. (Horrible, I know). They only did it once or twice and then turned the shocky thing off, but the dogs continued to avoid that area. (I know. Wouldn't you?) So then they would walk the dogs over the area to show them that they wouldn't get shocked. How many times did it take before the dogs would voluntarily walk over that area? Can you guess? 25? 50? 100? 

It took 200 times before they felt safe again. Eric was using it as an illustration of learned helplessness, where a child has the ability, but has been conditioned not to respond or perform. (I had a student like that when I was teaching first grade. Repeating first grade for the third time, he was perfectly capable but just sat there like a lump; whistling way beyond passive). Anyway, my point is that it takes time to build new neuro-pathways to create a new habit. It takes practice--and especially if there is an intense emotion attached to it, like fear. I could say this is about Millie, but it's also about me. It only took one warning snap in the beginning of our relationship for me to want to avoid lifting her up. Ever.  But in the meantime, I have massaged and Reikied her almost every day; especially her lower back. So she trusts me to touch her gently and she knows I'm not going to hurt her. So maybe it was really me needing to unlearn a fearful pattern? Hmmm . . . and Millie was waiting for me.

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