All work and no play....
Schubert's annoying qualities are beginning to outweigh his cute factor - which was minimal to begin with. So I've decided to begin training him. I've discovered he's dramatically smarter than he looks. I knew he could "sit", but I found out, by accident, that he also knows the command "lay down", (but doesn't really like to do it) and thought, that's it, you're not getting away with the stupid routine any longer. So, in one day he's almost cured of jumping up on legs, and is much calmer on laps. I just keep saying "no" whenever he exhibits an unacceptable behavior and directing him to the appropriate behavior. He's a surprisingly quick study. The only thing I've not figured out yet is how to keep him from eating cat poop out of the litter box. See, I can't ever catch him in the act. He just shows up, entirely unashamed, with kitty litter stuck to his nose, and horrible breath. His potty habits are getting better, though. He only poo's in the house now if I leave him alone for more than 4 or 5 hours, which seems to occur about once a week. That's great improvement in my book, and if he doesn't get any better than that I can live with it.
Oh, another pet story. Mao, the cat that painted the house black, was our very shyest, most sensitive kitty. Once a day he would approach me with a plaintive "meow", wanting me to pet him for just a moment, then that was it. He had a special place in my heart because he was so emotionally delicate. Then the unthinkable happened. He was covered in black high-gloss latex paint and I had to hold him for a very long time, by his neck, as he clawed and fought, under a stream of water in the bathtub to get all the paint off before it dried. It broke my heart to treat him that way, but it had to be done. I thought that was the end of the tiny little bit of his trust I'd spent over a year earning. What ended up happening is that he is a changed kitty. He's come out of his shell. Several times a day he begs me with meows to pet him, and wants me to pet him for a long time. He even lets Paul pet him now. I can't make any sense of the change in him. It's heartbreaking and precious that he would trust me more after such an ordeal. I'd never have dreamed it.
Tomorrow is my hardest job of all. I only do it every month or more, and it's a doozy every time. I intend to listen to John Piper's John Owen biography, and a lengthy series on the book of Hebrews to keep my heart encouraged, and my mind in a good place while I work. Paul has to be to work at 3 AM. He's my hero.