Old Testament Cats, Another Basketball Game, and Malcom Gladwell

My cats persist in using the same stepping stone in the back garden as an integral part of their crime scene. I’m no cat expert, so I’m not sure if this is typical cat behavior. Actually, the stepping stone seems to serve more as an Old Testament altar of sacrifice, rather than a crime scene (though, I wouldn’t be surprised to walk out one morning and find the chalked outline of a mouse on the stone). The cats persist in slaughtering their prey on that same stone. Today, I found the stone literally awash in blood. It brought to mind the story of Elijah and the prophets of Baal, both building altars on the top of Mount Carmel, sacrificing bulls under the hot Judean sun until the blood drenched the dust.

I sincerely hope my cats are not sacrificing mice to Baal.

We headed out today to another basketball game involving my 6-year-old’s YMCA team. I use the words “basketball”, “game” and “involve” in a relatively loose way here. The game included a great deal of rushing around, usually in the wrong direction (if analyzed from a traditional basketball point of view; though, if taken from the broader and more progressive view that all roads lead to Rome, then, yes, they were always going in the right direction), large amounts of gazing vacantly off into the distance while the other team scored unencumbered points, random outbursts of what looked like Irish step-dancing, several bouts of inexplicable tears, repeated instances of players wandering off the court to get a drink or sit down or ask Mom if they could watch the Rubbadubbers when they got home, and one boy persistently and loudly claiming that blood was streaming from his nose (it was not). By the end of the game, all the children were very cheery (due to receiving their usual bag of snacks) and the parents were all looking pretty frazzled (due to the vicarious humiliation their little prides and joys had unwittingly heaped upon the family name).

Lately, I’ve been reading Tipping Point, by Malcom Gladwell. I’m only about a third of the way through. It’s a fascinating book. His theory of behavioral epidemics presents a lot of food for thought. I’ll have to wait until the end of the book, of course, but I’m extremely curious to see if he goes into a case study of how to arrange a behavioral epidemic. It’s all well and good to analyze them after the fact, but can you deliberately cause one?

2 thoughts on “Old Testament Cats, Another Basketball Game, and Malcom Gladwell”

  1. Our cats take a fiendish delight in leaving the remains of mouse meals just off the doormat in the garage. If it is still dark and you step out on an important errand, well you can envision the rest. For cats, it’s all about entertainment!

    As to basketball, are there ever any parents with glazed eyes shouting “Defense!” when their son’s team should be shooting, or wondering at half time if your team is Home or Guest??? And I’ve still got one son yet to play! “Don’t worry mom,” he says, “I like soccer and baseball best!”

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