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The Cat Who Came To Dinner

By Susan Hawkins

Until this three-month odyssey, I wasnt much of a cat fan. Its not that I disliked them. I just hadnt been around cats much at all. They seemed too independent and not inclined toward unconditional love. My husband and I were newlyweds, and we had just moved into our first home, a dark-brown contemporary cedar with lots of grass and trees, when our neighbors cat, Pixie (or perhaps it was Dixie,) charmed her way into our livesand our hearts.

I have a perfectly good explanation about the confusion with the cats name. Our next-door neighbors, Greg and Linda, had two catsPixie and Dixie. The cats were somehow related (sister and brother? two sisters?) and had very similar markings, mostly creamy-white fur with patches of gold and orange here and there. I couldnt tell them apart. And I really didnt need to, even when one of them began hanging out on the wooden deck that ran across the back of our house. A cats a cat. At first, Id step out of the sliding glass doors to join the cat, petting him (or her) and talking the way anyone talks to an animal when theyre becoming acquainted. But it didnt end there.

After about two weeks of this interaction, I began leaving the sliding door cracked to see what kitty would do, and of course, just like your typical cat, she (or he) felt entitled and strolled right on in, carefully checking out the surroundings, rubbing cheeks on the furniture and sniffing wherever appropriate. A few days of brief indoor visits led to entire evenings when Dixie (or Pixie) would join us on the living room sofa for television and popcorn. She (or he) thrived on affection and would sit for hours in my lap while I stroked that velvety fur. I was completely aware that my previous perceptions about cats were changing right before my eyes.

Because it was rude to have an extended-stay guest without providing meals, I bought cat food and treats, setting a spread every evening with a bowl of fresh, cool water. Our neighbors (you remember themits their cat) didnt seem to mind that one of their own had found new accommodations. They had just had a baby, so I imagine they were somewhat glad one of their cats was taking a sabbatical.

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About six weeks into this mutual arrangement, Pixie (or Dixie) felt comfortable enough to start sleeping in bed with us. It was actually very sweet. As a newlywed, I felt like we were well on our way to building a cozy home. Unfortunately for the cat, neither Jim (my husband) nor I was used to sleeping with a cat. One night, Jim swept his leg in a wide swath across the sheets, and Dixie (or Pixie) went flying into the wall.

Whump! Meowwwrrrrrrrrr!

Youd think that would have cured the cat of sharing our bed, but the treacherous sleeping arrangement continued until one thing changed everything.

We got a dog. A puppy, in fact, and a big puppy it was. A German Shepherd. In our defense, we had decided to get a German Shepherd while we were engaged. We agreed, as soon as we got a house, wed find a puppy. Although Jim had had a cat as a child, he preferred dogs, too. We brought little Zak home on a Saturday morning.

Dixie (or Pixie) took one look at this puppy (only eight weeks old and already bigger than the cat,) and she (or he) took off like an F-16. After that, wed see her watching us from the other side of the fence, staring at me as if to say, Idiot. We had such a good thing going, and you blew it.

I guess I was hoping that Pixie (or Dixie) and our little Zak (who eventually became 110-pound Zak) would become friends. The cat knew better, though it was lovely while it lasted. The best part? I learned something about catsand life. You never know whats going to touch your heart until you let it in.

About the Author: Susan Hawkins is a writer for Max and Mittens where you can shop for cat supplies including

cat beds

, treats, toys and collars.

Source:

isnare.com

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isnare.com/?aid=432564&ca=Short+Stories

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Office Workers Need Comfortable Chairs

Submitted by: Annie Deakin

When you think of all the chairs that you will use today, which one will see the greatest amount of use? For many people the answer is the office chair. You may not get to choose your office chair, but if you do get to have input, be sure that you choose a comfortable chair.

Office chairs are often on castors. These castors allot the chair to be rolled from place to place. Chairs without castors are generally intended for visitors to the office and are sometimes called side chairs. In well coordinated offices, side chairs and desk chairs are made to match.

Since a majority of the day can be spent in the office chair, it is necessary to be sure that the chair you choose will be comfortable for you.

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If your current chair is not comfortable, you may want to try to make some adjustments to it. Seat height is often adjustable through a lever on the side of the chair. Newer chairs have a pneumatic cylinder that not only assists with height adjustment but also serves as an air shock of the chair.

The second adjustment is the tension on the seat back. If you spend most of your day using the keyboard and mouse of a computer, you will want to adjust the back of your chair to provide good back support. This will leave you feeling less tired at the end of the day.

If you need to buy a new office chair, you should know that there are options other than the traditional covering of cloth or leather. Newer chairs are available with a mesh back and sometimes even a mesh seat that allow for maximum air circulation to your body. Additionally you will find that there are molded plastic chairs that offer the same benefits.

Look for a chair with removable or adjustable armrests. Inexpensive chairs that use the arm rests to support the back will not allow you to adjust the seat back and the armrests may stick under your desk or prevent you from placing your chair in the correct position for typing. If you need a little extra room in the seat of your chair, look for those chairs, which have armrests that adjust out as well as up and down.

Workers who have to do their tasks at counter height, prefer the chair that is especially designed for work at this height. These chairs offer the much needed back support that a normal stool does not provide. A foot rest keeps the worker from cutting off the circulation to his or her feet caused by letting them dangle freely.

You will find office chairs at your office supply stores as well as online. There is a large variety form which to choose. The type that is most comfortable for you is a matter of personal preference. If it is time to throw out that old dinosaur of an office chair that you have used for years, and purchase a new office chair, be sure that you choose a chair based on your daily comfort.

About the Author: Annie is an expert furniture and interior design writer. Her current area of specialism is

furniture

,

kitchen chairs

and

shelving

Source:

isnare.com

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isnare.com/?aid=434317&ca=Home+Management

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