People and fur people who like The Leader Otis,
It’s Thomas. When we left off yesterday, Mama Cat had just taken us through the catlympic basics, and she was about to move on to some advanced techniques. The Brothers and I eagerly awaited the next lesson. Mama cat said, “OK, now, as we move into the more complicated moves, remember that I am still working on the basic principles of ‘watch, anticipate, act’. Always, ALWAYS keep those basics in mind, even if you are preparing to execute a crazy move like…” In mid-sentence, Mama cat took off across the yard in a run.
Mama Cat moved like lighting. Even while she had been talking to us, she must have been watching the artificial bird and anticipating where it was going. She covered about 10 feet in half a second, and then launched herself into the air, completing her interrupted sentence with a shout of “CATMIKAZE!!!”
The Brothers and I let out a series of appreciative yowls and jumped all around. After we settled back down, Mama Cat said, “Thank you! Thank you! Now, boys, I don’t expect you to be pulling off Catmikazes with a twist right from the start, so let me show you how you can safely practice the Catmikaze. Watch closely.” As the bird handler drew the bird in close to Mama Cat, she got into position to intercept it. She then pulled off another Catmikaze, but she kept one hind leg on the ground while she did it.
As Mama Cat returned all four paws to the ground, she said, “See? By keeping one foot on the ground, I was able to practice proper body positioning without running the risk of a back or belly flop. Let me show you again, this time adding in the twist.” On the next pass of the bird, Mama again performed a Catmikaze with one paw on the ground, but this time she rotated her body to the right to add the twist. I watched carefully, taking mental notes.
While Mama Cat was showing us how to practice Catmikazes, Brothers Henry and Oliver seemed distracted. They were talking softly to one another instead of paying attention. Mama Cat said, “Excuse me boys. Is there something you would like to share with the rest of the class?” Feeling a little embarrassed for having been called out for not paying attention, Brother Henry said, “I’m sorry Mama. Brother Oliver and I were just discussing how we were hoping you would teach us how to do the Flying Squirrel move. The Catmikaze is exciting, but the Flying Squirrel is the ultimate feat of cathleticism.” To this Mama replied, “That’s right Brother Henry, it is, but don’t you think you should learn to walk before I teach you to fly? I’ll tell you what, I won’t teach you the Flying Squirrel today because I think you should perfect the Catmikaze first, but I will do a quick Flying Squirrel just so you can see how it’s done. Deal?” Brothers Henry and Oliver said in unison, “YES! THANKS MAMA!” Keeping her word, Mama made a short run and executed a perfect Flying Squirrel.
After The Brothers’ excitement had died down, Mama Cat said, “OK. That’s enough for today. I think you three should now work on what I have taught you.” Mama Cat then wandered over and jumped up on the chair in the Mama Snuggle Shack 3000, which indicated to the bird handler that she was done. I moved right up to the wire on the door to The Leader’s Outdoor Domain, indicating to the bird handler that I wanted a turn. The handler complied, and I tried to practice what I had just learned.
Tomorrow- Learning From The Master Part IV: Some Trouble With Training