Trying To Train Thomas

My Disciples,

I’m so embarrassed. Earlier today, Brother Henry and I were hanging out in Kitty Valhalla with Thomas. We were trying to figure out what we should do when Thomas asked, “Are the Catlympics still happening this fall?” When I told him they were he said, “Well, since I’m no longer out in Limbo with Mama Cat, how will I be able to train?”

Teaching Thomas 1

As we were lounging in Valhalla trying to come up with something fun to do, Thomas asked about Catlympic training.

Brother Henry perked up when Thomas asked the question, and he said, “I can train you Thomas!” He then looked expectantly at the nearby Guardian who obediently grabbed a mouse toy and started dangling it in front of Brother Henry. Brother Henry said, “Although we ordinarily use an artificial bird in the Catlympics, we can practice on this fake mouse instead. See this paw Thomas? Watch what I do with it.”

Teaching Thomas 2

The Guardian started dangling a simulated mouse in front of Brother Henry and he said it would work just as well as a simulated bird for the purpose of practicing. He told Thomas to watch what he did with his paw.

As the mouse swung by in front of Brother Henry, he gave it a mighty whack with his paw. Then Henry said, “See Thomas? That’s what we call a ‘Power Swipe'”.

Teaching Thomas 3

Henry whacked the mouse as it passed, showing Thomas how to properly execute a Power Swipe.


In My opinion, the Power Swipe seemed like far too basic a move for Thomas. After all, Thomas had been training under the best Cathlete around just a few months ago. As Brother Henry prepared to demonstrate another Power Swipe, I interrupted and said, “Brother Henry, let Me take over. I think I can teach Thomas a thing or two.” Brother Henry obliged, and the Guardian swung the mouse over in My direction. I said, “OK Thomas. As Mama Cat taught you, the first thing you want to remember is to watch the bird, or in this case the mouse, closely.” I kept My eyes fixed on the mouse as it swung toward Me.

Teaching Thomas 4

I told Thomas that the first thing to remember is to watch the mouse closely, then I demonstrated as it swung toward Me.

As the mouse came closer, I glanced at Thomas and said, “The next thing you will want to do is anticipate where the mouse is heading, that way you can… ummmm.” I had turned My attention back toward the mouse, but I could no longer see it. I had taken My eyes off it for too long when I was instructing Thomas. I had broken the first rule I meant to teach him!

Teaching Thomas 5

I took My eyes off of the mouse as I was talking to Thomas, when I turned back, I no longer saw it.

I tried to keep going, but things were deteriorating fast. I said, “…because when you anticipate, you will know when it is time to act, which is the third step in this… ahhhhhhh… I…. ” I was struggling with My words because something had just landed on My head. I was certain that it must be the mouse.

Teaching Thomas 6

Something had landed on My head. It was the mouse.

Now desperate to salvage both the lesson and My reputation as The Leader, I said, “OK, see… I totally anticipated that the mouse was going to land on My head. So now, I will act. I’ll just… errr… I’ll roll this way… and…” I began to tilt My head, trying to get the mouse to roll down toward My mouth or paws.

Teaching Thomas 7

I did My best to act like I planned all along for the mouse to end up on My head. I tried to roll it down to My mouth.

After a few awkward moments, I successfully rolled the mouse into a position where I could grab it. I wrapped My paws around it and proceeded to maul it.

Teaching Thomas 8

I finally managed to roll the mouse into a position where I could grab it. I then gave it a good mauling.

As I finished mauling the mouse, I let it drop from My paws. I turned to Thomas, who was still watching Me from his cubby, and said, “And that is how a true Catlympian does it!” Thomas looked back at Me for a moment and then said, “Ummmm… I doubt it.”

Teaching Thomas 9

Thomas doubted that what he had just seen was the technique of a true Catlympian.

I didn’t know what to say, so I went over to the door and scratched to let the Guardian know that I wanted out. Brother Henry came with Me, although I would have rather he didn’t. When we got halfway down the stairs he said, “Ummm… Leader Otis? Is it ok if I train Thomas from now on?” I said nothing as I slunk off into the living room to lick My psychological wounds.

So Sayeth Otis

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Filed under Daily Life

14 responses to “Trying To Train Thomas

  1. 2 cats

    awww I love Thomas

  2. Chris

    Everybody is adorable!

  3. Aw come on! Brother Henry is not giving you enough credit! You showed exactly how to deal with wyle unpredictable mousies/birdies! the first thing gymnists learn is how to fall! You are teaching how to recover missed mousies/birdies! Good stuff!

  4. I love seeing Otis and the gang – Thomas is quite the handsome fellow but looks a little aloof about the whole Cathlete thing LOL! (you do a great job of photographing these folks in motion, very difficult to do.)

  5. RC Cat almost swooned observing Brother Henry do that elegant paw-work in that first picture. She is quite interested in watching the Catlympic training now. She also says she has rarely seen a better mauling of mousie, Otis. While Thomas is playing that “cool cat” role, RC mentioned that handsome looks will only get one so far – and he should be attentive to all tutoring.”
    Just a little more time until he is comfortable and up to the challenge?

    • Brother Henry is definitely a sight to see, especially when he is strutting his Catlympic skills! I believe Thomas still has a long road ahead of him, but he’s making progress, and slow and steady wins the race. 🙂

  6. You do make me laugh!!! It is very good of you to mess up and show them that it is ok to make a mistake, and you are such a good teacher they have not realised that this is the lesson you have taught them – you are improving their brains without them knowing!! Well done you

  7. Pingback: That Was The Last Time…Until Next Time | The Blog of Otis

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