Adventures in coon cats

This morning, we got up early (for the third morning in a row.  Yes, I have a call in to the Auditing Department.), in order to adorn Princess Jasmine Sprite in her travel regalia — the sparkly pink-and-purple leash, the red harness, the royal ladybug ruff, this morning augmented by the sable fleece blanket.

Her Highness had, sadly, forgotten the appointment she had directed Staff to make with her physician, and, as I gathered her up in my arms and started for the kitchen door, she made one loud, anguished cry that sounded for all the world like, “Dad!”

We settled in the passenger side, and she managed to work herself into quite a state by the time we reached her physician’s office, where she immediately transformed herself into a Frozen Not-There Cat for the duration of the physical.

She is, as we suspected, Perfectly Healthy, weighing just a whisker (almost literally; coon cat whiskers are. . .not insubstantial) under 15 pounds.  She received her two-year distemper vaccination and was given a chip, which puts her in the vanguard of Feline Technology at the Cat Farm.

Princess Sprite is now resting comfortably on the blue rug (her Turkey carpet, formerly Trooper’s Turkey carpet, formerly Sharon’s Turkey carpet) in my office, after a brief sojourn in her Secret Aerie to recruit her strength and recharge her Princess Powers.

The mail had been delivered at home by the time we returned.  The mail consisting of two books, and! my new waterproof, lined, winter gloves from Duluth Trading Company.  I am remiss in reporting that my slip arrived yesterday, as did our Yule gift to each other — a case of mixed wines from

I think that leaves two shipments outstanding, which I expect to see next week.

Speaking of yesterday, it turns out that though pickleball is on the schedule at the Champions Fitness Club in Waterville on Tuesdays and Thursdays, attendance is sporadic.  I went in yesterday, hoping for a game, waited around for half-an-hour, nobody showed, so I left to do errands.  Sigh.  Next opportunity to sport the pickle — Wednesday morning.

I did learn yesterday that, if I decide to make enough of a habit of pickleball that I’ll want my own equipment, I will not want a wooden paddle.  The paddle I was loaned last Wednesday was aluminum, I suppose, and it was like an extension of my hand; I hardly knew I was holding a paddle.  The wooden Club paddles weigh a ton, and I can see it wearing my wrist out inside of a (short) game.

Hmm.  I wonder if I can play left-handed, anymore.  Over the years since the nuns changed my handedness, I’ve become more and more right-hand-oriented.  Something to experiment with, I guess.

After supper yesterday, Steve and I drove out to Skowhegan, on purpose to visit the New Balance Factory Store, Steve being in the way of wanting a pair of tennis shoes — about which more in a moment.  I did not intend to buy tennis shoes, myself, but a pair of blue cross-trainers with orange laces called my name and I did not resist long.  I’m wearing them right now, and myghod, they weigh nothing.  Maybe I’ll be able to fly again, like when I was a kid in the first new sneakers of summer.

But!  We were speaking of tennis shoes.

I asked the young lady on the floor at New Balance for “tennis shoes,” and she obligingly showed me the tennis shoes on offer, helpfully pointing out the pivot point on the sole.  Because “tennis shoe” is a technical term.

I chewed my lip for a minute, and then said.

“Back in the dark ages, we called all the kid’s casual canvas shoes tennis shoes.  Nobody really played tennis in them.  There’s another word — sneakers?  Soft shoes that are not created for a single task, but that you can walk and play games in?  I’m looking for sneakers.”

“Oh,” she said.  “Cross-trainers.  Right over here.”

On the one hand, good on her for being patient and guiding me to what I really wanted.  On the other hand, I feel like I’m needing to give a history lesson every time I want to buy something, lately.  Anybody else having this. . .experience, or am I just hopelessly behind the curve?

And! For those who Await, a photo of — no, not the new sneakers — Princess Sprite and Trooper, doing the taxes.

Sprite and Trooper do the taxes Jan 6 2016

10 thoughts on “Adventures in coon cats”

  1. Has Princess Sprite directed Staff to do the Royal Figures as of yet? Interesting regional differences on naming things – here in the Midwest those ‘cross trainers’ are called Gym Shoes. At least, that’s what we called them back in the Pleistocene Age. Of course, we wore them for everything BUT gym! Mine’s were always flawlessly WHITE. I don’t know how – I managed to destroy two pairs of shorts PER DAY in the summer climbing chain link fences, sliding backwards down wrought iron banisters, racing up and down sidewalks with the other kids. Them was da days!

  2. The Princess still looks a bit grumpy. Glad to know she’s very healthy.

    I agree with the puzzlement about what to use as a generic name for sport shoes not meant for a single sport. ‘Tennis shoes’ is still the term that comes to mind first, then ‘sneakers’. Our Brit friends seem to use ‘trainers’.

  3. Interesting regional variations. When I was young (long time ago) canvas ‘sports shoes’ for want of a better description were used at school for ‘gym’ lessons. Where I grew up they were called ‘daps’. We moved from Bristol (UK) to Loughborough (UK) some 200 miles – they had never heard of ‘daps’ but called them ‘plimsoles’. I haven’t heard either of those terms for ages. Nearest seems to be shoe shops calling them deck shoes though they aren’t quite the same. Would be interested in a picture just to see what we call them over this side of the pond.

  4. I went with sneakers.

    Keds still exist, but the quality has degenerated to match the cheap imitions of childhood. I think the current contender for canvas shoes is Converse.

  5. Thongs is another term that has shifted in meaning over the years. My mom wore rubber sandals, now more commonly describe as flip flops, all through my childhood. Now the word is apparently an identifier for racy (very uncomfortable looking) underwear. I will still sometimes mistakenly speak of thongs when I should be speaking of flip flops which greatly amuses my young audience.

    We used to call those canvas shoes “tennies.” I wouldn’t dare try that term with a shoe clerk these days. Were you ever able to locate a canvas pair? Most athletic shoes are make of something else these days.

  6. I’m pretty sure these aren’t canvas. Some kind of nylon, I’m guessing. But, they’re light and flexible, and I can wear them to do Tai Chi, walk on a treadmill, and play pickleball, so I’m calling a win.

  7. Much thanks for the update, which jogged my memory that my vet wished to see my Feline Overlady (FO) this first month of 2016. Appointment for comprehensive exam is set for this Sunday. I shall nor need more than a pint of blood after.

  8. I have, in the past, and try to continue to be now, been amused by young people who like to insist that a thing has “always” been (done) the way they now know to be correct.
    It is especially amusing when it concerns “security” measures. NOT

  9. The nuns never did try to change my handedness, but they had no idea on how to teach a lefty to communicate in cursive. Even today most of my writing is printing. I did find calligraphy almost impossible to do left-handed and taught myself to do it as a righty.
    After my left arm was shattered in a MC accident (with a flat spot on my helmet), I was forced to write with my right hand for a couple of months — again, printing, not cursive. I’ve gotten so good at it my printing is better from the right side, but quite a bit slower than from the left.
    I have, however found in this an advantage: the enforced slowness forces me to take more time completing my CWPs, Sudokus and Ken-Kens and, hence, I make fewer errors.

  10. And we called them runners or running shoes. All the rest are affectations on the part of clerks in fancy sports footwear shops attempting to make us buy different shoes for every activity. The reason the basic canvas style might have stayed white was that mothers could throw them in the wash. Try that with modern high-tech shoes!
    The thongs thing also has strong regional variation. I grew up believing thongs were worn on the feet not the butt (Canada). Flipflops seems to have been a US import that has taken over, at least among the young and trendy set, but I saw an Aussie show on TV last night and the folks were wearing thongs on their feet. Let thongs prevail as footwear throughout the former British Empire!
    Joe: It is possible to do calligraphy left-handed, especially if you cheat and use chisel-tipped felt pen. When I used nib pens and ink you could always tell because lefties find it easier to start each stroke at the bottom of the letter and work up towards where your hand is curled above the line. This makes the heaviest ink fall at a different place than with a right-handed calligrapher, but most people can’t tell unless they know what to look for.

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