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Thu., Oct. 8
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Over Coffee With Ellen


FELINE HOSPITALITY – Perhaps there is someone in the readership of this column who has an answer to the question as to how I might teach our feline friend Tigger hospitality. Last weekend our home was filled with family (which was wonderful – a fun time together), including our son’s visiting black lab Daisy.

Our dear feline friend Gracie, who had been with us for 15 years, just didn’t enjoy the company of others. When anyone entered our home, she would go to the bedroom where she would stay, usually hiding under the bed, until every visitor had left. One year when we were dog sitting for a family pet for a two-week period, Gracie did, in fact, live in our bedroom the entire two weeks.

The new feline friend in our home, Tigger, is quite social. In fact, he loves company. If anyone comes to the door, he runs to greet them. He begs to be petted and played with and excitedly runs to the top of his cat tree for a better view of passing visitors.

Last weekend was no exception for human visitors. Tigger was delighted to see each one and seemed quite pleased to have so many people to play with – I am sure he thought they had all come just to pay attention to him.

There was one exception to his welcoming nature and that was with the sweet, quiet visiting black lab. Tigger was not so welcoming to the canine visitor. In fact he lept to the counter and positioned himself so his large paw could come in contact with poor Daisy’s head. And there was usually a hiss accompanied with that swipe.

I entered the kitchen at one point during the weekend to find Tigger in the entry way to that room. He was lying on the floor looking into the kitchen. As I walked toward the sink, there was poor Daisy in the corner of the kitchen. Every time the black lab attempted to leave, our host cat would hiss and lunge toward her preventing the larger pet in the house from exiting.

I attempted to explain that Daisy was family to our usually quite friendly Tigger, but whenever Daisy would pass by any greeting sounded like a loud hissing sound and was usually accompanied by a forceful swinging cat’s paw.

There are so many who have both cats and dogs under one roof. I grew up in a home where there were always multiple cats and a dog and I don’t remember any of them being upset by the presence of another.

I would love to develop a feeling of welcoming and hospitality in our new feline friend. If there are any suggestions you might offer, please pass them on so when Daisy visits the next time perhaps Tigger could enjoy her company. Or perhaps not.


WARMEST WISHES – Myrtle Smith, an absolutely lovely woman, celebrated her birthday yesterday. What a joy it is to wish Myrtle a very happy birthday. Myrtle is an amazing woman always there for each one in need, including a certain gentleman on some Sunday mornings. Although my wishes are belated they are most sincere. I hope your birthday was wonderful and my warmest wishes for only the best in the year ahead.


WITH THANKS – The past few weeks have been frustrating as I have dealt with a disturbing lack of service from a business (a non-local company) I deal with on a daily basis. How frustrating this experience has been and continues to be.

A friend had told me about her experiences with another company, Verizon Wireless, so last week I stopped at the Malby Avenue Verizon wireless facility. What a terrific young woman greeted me. I was most impressed with the kind, skilled assistance provided by Trina Larose at the front desk. My heartfelt thanks Trina (and thanks on Friday to Morgan, too). The service Trina provided and the time she took in explanations she made to this non-technical individual were extraordinary. And for that I am most grateful. Isn’t the north country a wonderful place to live and shop? I certainly think so.


SINGLE POINT – What a difference a single point makes. For non-NFL fans, this past weekend was the opening of 2013-2014 season. My favorite NFL team - the NY Jets - played Sunday afternoon. In an exciting match-up with a new quarterback, Geno Smith, at the helm and I believe only 36 seconds left in the game, my NY Jets won 18-17 over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

And after one week of play, my team is undefeated. Yes, after one week-end of play, my Jets are the only NY team remaining undefeated.


THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK – For me and my family personally September 11 was a reminder that life is fleeting, impermanent and uncertain. Therefore we must make use of every moment and nurture it with affection, tenderness, beauty, creativity and laughter. Deepak Chopra, MD, after the terrorist attack on September 11, 2001.

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