Wednesday, November 15, 2023

Thursday Thirteen #335

13 mysteries about cats. I was listening to cat behaviorist Jackson Galaxy the other day and he said he often decides what topics to tackle on his website/podcasts by going to Google. That's how he finds out what us cat fanciers are wondering about.

I wondered about what we wonder. And so I went to the Google machine and here are the questions I found.

1. Why do cats lick you? Here are 8 reasons from  Short answer: They're bonding with you and marking you with their scent.

2. Why do cats purr? Usually it's because your cat is relaxed and happy. Sometimes they do it to "woo" us and persuade us to feed them.

3. Why do cats make biscuits? I prefer "kneading." Here are 10 reasons from Short answer: It's instinctive behavior, carried over from kittenhood, and my cats do it when they're feeling affectionate.

4. Why do cats sleep so much? It's genetic. They're cats! If you want more, here are 7 reasons from These folks are so good at this, they should change their name to

5. Why do cats eat grass? It's good for them. Benefits of grass guzzling include faster, easier bowel movements and vomiting, and vitamins. Read more about it here.

6. Why do cats meow? It's how they talk to us. Cats meow more to people than they do to other animals.

7. Why do cats like catnip? It enters your cat's system through the nose and releases a euphoric reaction. In short, your cat is getting a harmless, natural high.

8. Why do cats hate water? Once cat fur gets wet, it takes a long time to dry. So a wet cat feels cold and weighed down, which is pretty icky.

9. Why do cats hiss? It's an instant reaction to a sudden negative emotion: fear, anxiety or anger. A hissing cat isn't in control and should be given a wide berth.

10. Why do cats like boxes so much? Predators themselves, cats are aware they can be prey. A confined space makes a cat feel safe.

11. Why do cats groom each other? It has less to do with cleanliness and than communication. Grooming can convey affection, trust and dominance.

12. Why do cats do airplane ears? It's a sign of anxiety, kinda like a precursor to hissing. Airplane ears mean, "I really, really wish you'd quit what you're doing."

13. Why do cats to bunny kicks? When a cat drops to the floor and starts kicking with its back legs, it's showing you one of its more versatile moves. Bunny kicks provide effective self-defense and are also useful for gutting prey. (Yeah, I know. Ew, ick.)

Please join us for THURSDAY THIRTEEN. Click here to play along, and to see other interesting compilations of 13 things.


An attagirl from Brandon!

This week I had took my 35th yoga class. It was noteworthy not just as a milestone, but because Brandon -- who is a badass human pretzel -- told me one of my poses was "great."

I freely acknowledge I am the worst in the class. I could be Brandon's mom, and I'm aware that the 1999 Springsteen tour shirt I wear is older than some of my classmates. I'm overweight, uncoordinated
and have a bad back. But I show up. 

So I took that unsolicited smile and praise from Brandon to mean I am improving, and my sincere efforts are recognized by the guy on the next mat.* 

It felt so good!

*Rachel, our instructor, gives me words of encouragement every week. But that's her job, isn't it? It meant more from Brandon.

Photo by Junseong Lee on Unsplash

Every Laura needs a Millie

It's over with Robert. He's the man my oldest friend met online last spring. They fell into bed on their second date -- so very unlike her -- because she felt a deep connection. She believed that since they were lovers they were in love. She was, therefore, disillusioned when she went back to the dating site to cancel her subscription and saw his account remained still active and he was still "looking."

She confronted him and he explained that her health and mobility issues (she walks with cane) "bother" him. But, while they agreed they were not right romantically, they could be friends. And he has been very good to her. He took her to the ER after a fall, he took care of her cats and picked her up from the hospital after her bout with congestive heart failure. They've gone to the movies and he invited her to parties at his house. They texted daily when he was visiting his daughter in Oregon.

I told her I thought her she was becoming too dependent on Robert because she knows he's still dating and looking for a romantic partner. She assured me she'd be fine when he gets another woman in his life. That he's her friend and she wants him to be happy. 

I insist life doesn't work that way. I said that his as-yet-unmet new woman, who I always referred to as Suzette, won't allow it. "Robert, why is that woman always around? How did you meet her?" Suzette would ask. "Oh, you slept with her a couple times? I'm sorry, darling, but I'm just not comfortable with you running over there every time she calls."

My oldest friend insisted that she can't worry about things she can't control, things that haven't happened. I agree. But she could widen her circle of friends and pursue interests away from Robert so next time she is sick or lonely, she has someone nearby other than Robert to turn to.* Of course she didn't do this.

Over the weekend, Robert took her and another friend to a meditation event at a Buddhist temple. They all had a lovely time. Robert announced that he was going to be unavailable this weekend's get-together at the temple he's going to Las Vegas with his "new girlfriend." He didn't give her name, but he added that he met her through his daughter while visiting Oregon. So he was dating this new "Suzette" while texting my friend every day. My friend feels betrayed.

I understand why she feels this way, but I don't think it's fair. He made it clear to her that he wants a lover who can more fully participate in his life. The parameters of their relationship was "just friends."

I told her I get that she's lonely and encouraged her to reach out and try to make new friends next time she visits that Buddhist temple.

"He goes there. If you think I can go back with him there, you don't know me at all." Well, that just put me back on my heels!

"Are you in love with him?" I asked.


This is so unutterably sad. She is overweight and diabetic with heart disease and a bum leg. I understand why that isn't what he wants in a lover, but I know she can't change all that overnight.

After we talked for a while longer, she called Robert. She told him she wished him well, but that, feeling about him as she does, she just can't be around him anymore.

"All he kept saying is, 'I'm so sorry.' He didn't say, 'Call me if you need me.'" 

I told her I thought that was best, because if she called when she needed him, she would backslide and she'd just be hurt again.

BFFs from the Dick Van Dyke Show
But now she is very alone again, and that's sad, too.* She's back on the senior dating site, corresponding with an Army vet in his 70s. They haven't met yet. I don't want to dissuade her from romance, but I don't think that's what she needs right now.

She needs a Millie Helper. Or, if you prefer your MTM as Mary Richards, she needs a Rhoda. A friend you can count on to keep your secrets, make you laugh, and come over to feed your cats when you're in the hospital.

I am lucky. I am surrounded by pals. I miss my oldest friend, of course, but I have Elaine, Nancy, Joanna, Will, and John. There's tremendous comfort in that. I wish the same for her.

*Yes, she has family in SoCal. But her daughter is more than an hour away. Her cousin is 15 minutes away, but while Cuz says she cares about my friend, she really can't be bothered.

California, Here I Come!

The TCM Classic Film Festival is so very ON! And I am so very happy.

A few short months ago, the fate of my favorite TV channel was in jeopardy. But after a viewer uprising and the intervention of a trio of very important directors (Spielberg, Scorsese and Paul Thomas Anderson), Warner Bros/Discovery decided to find another way to save money.

So the show will go on, and I will be in attendance. I've got my hotel reservation and on December 6, I buy my pass. In January, I'll book my flight.

I have a plan and I love a plan!