Yesterday we followed Mama Cat’s introductory demonstration at her new Catlympic training camp. When we left off, Beatrice had just taken her mark. As the bird handler moved into position, it was clear that Beatrice was very nervous. Her pupils were huge as she prepared to keep her eyes on the bird as Mama Cat had instructed.
The handler started to work the bird and Beatrice began to track it. Mama Cat said, “Now remember, Beatrice, try to watch the bird and anticipate where it will be. Watch, anticipate, act. You can do it.” As the bird made a low pass, Beatrice cracked under the pressure. She sort of flopped over on her side and made an awkward swipe that missed the bird by a mile.
Although Beatrice’s attempt was ineffective, Mama Cat stayed positive. “Good try, Beatrice…”, she said, “Now get back on your feet and let’s try that again.
As the bird made a low pass along the ground, Mama Cat yelled, “Now, Beatrice, now!” Beatrice lunged for the bird and, although she did not capture it, she at least made good contact.
“Good, Beatrice, good!”, Mama Cat said. “Now let’s see if you can apply what I have taught you to some aerial work.” Beatrice seemed to be filled with confidence by Mama Cat’s encouragement. She immediately focused on the bird as it began to make low passes, and she attempted to take a swipe at it.
Although Beatrice missed the bird on its first aerial pass, she quickly regrouped and made contact on the second pass. Mama Cat shouted, “Yes, Beatrice, yes!”
Now overcome with excitement by Mama’s encouragement, Beatrice began to get ahead of herself. She spun around and attempted to execute a Super Wheelie. As she did so, Mama Cat said, “No, no, Beatrice, we’re starting with the basics. We’ll work on special moves later. For now just watch, anticipate, and act!”
Beatrice didn’t seem to hear Mama Cat. She dropped down from the Super Wheelie and ran in a small circle. It looked like she was setting up for something big. Mama Cat tried to reign her in, but it was no use.
As Mama Cat said, “Beatrice! Listen to me! Focus on the basics! The basics!”, Beatrice launched herself into the sky yelling, “FLYING SQUIRREL!” She missed the bird by an embarrassingly wide margin.
As Beatrice landed, Mama Cat roared, “BEATRICE!” That finally got her attention. She looked up meekly at Mama Cat and said, “Sorry Mama…I guess I just got carried away.” “That’s OK…”, Mama said, “…but if you want me to train you, you will need to listen to what I am saying at all times. Can you do that?” Beatrice replied, “Yes Mama. I can do that…sorry again.”
Mama then told Beatrice that her training session was concluded for the day. She told her to take a break and get a drink of water, and then she called Thomas forward to start his training session.Thomas eagerly took his place in the center of the lawn.
So Sayeth Otis