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Overcoming Stress with Laughter


This ‘N That by Nicky De Lange

A few weeks after Hurricane Harvey rolled through Texas, bringing over 50 inches of rain in record time, stress is still everywhere.

Stress takes time to overcome, but one of the best ways I’ve found to deal with it is with humor. It’s hard to mope when I’m laughing at a funny movie, TV show or book.

With that in mind, I decided to dig through a file I keep in my desk that contains items I have found to be funny even after viewing them several times. Today I’d like to share them with you in the hopes those of you experiencing post-hurricane trauma may get a little relief from it.

The following excerpts come from an e-mail sent to me by a friend. Like most of my friends, she knows I love cats and cat humor. It’s title is “Why Do We Need Humans?” Here are just a few of my favorite parts:

Whats so great about humans anyway? Why not just hang around with other cats?

Because they have Opposable Thumbs. Which makes them the perfect tools for such tasks as opening doors, getting lids off cat food cans, changing television channels and other activities that we cats, despite our other obvious advantages, find difficult to do ourselves.

How and when to get your human’s attention: here are some tried and true methods.

Sit on paper: If a human has paper in front of it, chances are good it assumes the paper is more important than you. Establish your supremacy over this wood pulp product at every opportunity.

Waking your human at odd hours: A cat’s “golden time” is between 3:30-4:30 am. If you paw your human’s face during this time, you have a better than even chance it will get up and, in an incoherent haze, do exactly what you want.

Punishing your human being: Sometimes your human will stubbornly resist bending to your whim. You may have to punish them. For example, use the cat box during an important formal dinner. Or stare impassively at your human while it is attempting a romantic interlude. While your human is sleeping, lie on its face. And my personal favorite is to stand over an important piece of electronic equipment and  feign a hairball attack.

Another topic covered in “Do Cats Need Humans?” is rewarding your human with the thoughtful gift of a recently destroyed animal. Some cats believe humans prefer their gifts dead, while others insist their humans enjoy a slowly expiring one, given their jumpy and playful movements in picking up the critter after it has been presented.

In a previous column I told the story of the time one of our cats brought in what I thought was a dead rat. I let out a loud scream. When I realized it was a live baby possum I let loose a second, louder screech. The cat seemed to really enjoy the whole thing.

The final conclusion to this view of cat thinking is that humans are all pretty much the same. Opposable thumbs, it concludes, will take you only so far. ?

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