Friday, July 13, 2012

Another Scorcher in The Big Smoke


Hot again here today, hot and muggy and oppressive. But at least I have been too busy the past couple of days to really notice the weather. I've started playing around with a trial website through a company called "Your Web Department". They were suggested to me by Lisa from the Challenge Factory when we met on Wednesday; they offer a "no-code" website service which makes it very easy to use one of their many templates and add all your own content. As my business will be selling content to other people, this shapes up quite well for me. The company is run by Paul Chato, whose name sounded very familiar to me when Lisa told me about this company the other day. There's a good reason for that: Paul Chato is a former member of The Frantics, a comedy troupe from Toronto. I actually spoke to him today on the phone because he saw that I had signed up for the trial and Lisa had told him about me and my start-up; he actually said he was "excited" to see me sign up for the trial today after Lisa bent his ear this week. If things work out he may be able to send business my way from his site or just take me on for some contract work as a content writer, which would be completely awesome. The momentum of this new venture is really quite something right now: today I registered The Grumpy Penguin as a business in Ontario and signed up for a Facebook page under that name. As I've said numerous times before, things are actually happening almost on their own. It's really exciting.


Because the speed of the progression of recent events has been a bit overwhelming, I really appreciate the grounding my little cat, Addie, brings to my daily life. She is so doting and loving and happy to see me that it's impossible to be too stressed. Sarah passed along a cute site to me the other day called "Catbook" (it's actually a Facebook app) and, in particular, a piece there entitled, "How cats display affection". I've mentioned before that Addie isn't a "cuddler" and it took me a while to get used to that; however, she absolutely adores Sarah and me and shows it in many other ways - in fact, almost everything on that list applies to Addie. In particular:
"Most cats who are bonded to their owners will respond with excitement when they hear your car in the driveway, or when you make distinctive sounds (like jingle of the key in the lock) when returning home. If they run for the door when you come through it, they've missed you and are relieved that you've returned safely home to them."

Streeeettttch
Addie upon my returning home
Every time one (or both) of us comes home from wherever we've been, we are always greeted exactly the same way: Addie bounds into the living room (usually from upstairs), performs a long stretch with her bum way in the air, picks at the carpet with her claws for a moment and then flops over onto her back so we can rub her belly. When it's late at night and one of us is out but the other is upstairs in bed, Addie is very restless and often rests on the stairs until the "missing" family member is safely home, at which point she performs the same belly-exposing routine as usual. Which nicely brings us to:

"When your cat rolls over and exposes her belly to you, she is signaling that she trusts you and loves you. Exposing her belly exposes her vulnerability. If she did that in the wild, she'd be toast. She's comfortable enough with you to let down her guard."

Addie just being Addie

Oh. My. Goodness. When is Addie not showing us her belly? I have never had a more "supine" cat in my family. It's at the point now that when I see Addie sitting on her belly she looks uncomfortable to me. As of this evening there are 422 (!) photos of Addie in my Flickr account; well over half of them feature her showing some or all of her belly. And it's not a trap, either, despite the warnings of The Oatmeal (incidentally, I bought that poster and it hangs in this room). Addie loves having her belly rubbed, at least for short periods of time. If you use your foot, she'll allow it for a lot longer; I've yet to figure out why. That's when Sarah's yoga classes really come in handy, but I usually have to hang onto an immovable piece of the room lest I tip over while performing this "duty" for Addie.



Of course, the affection indicator on that list that is the most like Addie is this:
"If your cat follows you from room to room and hangs out wherever you are, it's a sign that she's interested in you and wants to be where you are. Some cats who otherwise do not display affection can still express their love just by 'being there for you.'"

Basket kitty
Never very far away

I think that picture says it all. I spend a good portion of each day in the hottest room in our home, on the computer. Addie rarely spends a moment anywhere else when I am in here, regardless of how hot it gets. No matter how difficult a day I may be having, it becomes so much better when I turn my head and see her there. There are many ways to show affection; Addie's specific actions show that she is as happy with us as we are with her. We're pretty darned lucky, even if I don't get to do a lot of this:



By the way, it was another Friday the 13th today. I wrote a blog piece on the fear of this day back in April, when I was just a blogging neophyte. That was three full months ago and I've managed to write something every single day since then. I'm pretty happy with the way things have worked out. Hope you had a great day; I certainly did!

10 comments:

  1. All of that is, indeed, very fitting of Addie :). As to your blog, I'd suggest getting a twitter account for it as well (assuming you don't have one already); most companies, especially blogs or vlogs etc, have one that they use either for the occasional shotout or to post new updates. It'd work very well for you (though I know you already use facebook, and probably your own twitter as well, for that stuff).

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    1. Thanks, Tim! I do, in fact, already have a Twitter account for The Grumpy Penguin; I just want to point out, though, that it won't be associated with this blog, per se, but rather with the new company and its website. I'll follow you from there so you can follow back, but I believe it's @thegrumpypeng1. Eventually this blog and my business identity will be separated with the only connection being some of my favourite pieces from here will appear in a portfolio there. I don't want to cross over too much because I don't want this blog to stop being a place where I can express my own opinions; similarly, I don't want my personal opinions to scare off any potential customers.

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  2. Look at "aaroncollins.org". You'll be amazed at what people will support

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    1. I took a look. I'm still shaking my head. But, pop, I think you meant this comment to appear on my "Ethics of Aggressive Solicitation" post? Or am I mistaken?

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  3. Ijust came across it and wanted you to see it as well, not for any specific reason. BTW, best of luck in your new pursuit of "content writing". You've certainly got the talent for it

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    1. Thanks for sending it. Sarah and I are both still shaking our heads about it.

      And thanks for the boost, Dad. It's much appreciated.

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  4. I love your cat. That is all. ;)

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    1. What else would there be? :) Thanks, Nat. She's so delightful we can hardly believe our good fortune most days.

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  5. What a wonderful surprise to read your unsolicited nice words about Your Web Department. Thank you. We try. Also, I had no idea you were a Frantics aficionado. It never came up. I don't have a cat but we do have a bull terrier that likes to sit at my feet when I work. Does that count?

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    1. Well, Paul, I tried to allude to my Frantic fan status when I told you I was "familiar with some of your writing". :) I thought it might be unprofessional to be any more specific, lest I were to suddenly start singing, "I'm not afraid of wild crocodiles/Caribou or man-eating bees..." or reciting dialogue from Last Will and Temperament. That might have been awkward.

      As for the bull terrier, he/she absolutely does count! The thing is, though, I'd wager nobody has ever felt compelled to put together a website explaining "How Dogs Display Affection".

      By the way, the more I play with my trial website from Your Web Department, the more I love it. When I go live I intend to write a blog post just about the experience. I'm really happy Lisa steered me your way - and, just FTR, she didn't mention your background; she simply told me your name and I recognized it right away.

      Thanks for the comment!

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I've kept my comments open and moderation-free for many years, but I've been forced to now review them before they post due to the actions of one member of my family. I apologize for having to take this stance, but that's the way the world is headed, sad to say. Thank you for your understanding.

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