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Let's talk cat. Let's study dad.

Stuart Bailie | 09:11 UK time, Tuesday, 6 January 2009

The holiday reading was considerable, if not profound. I had a chortle at the reliably bad gags in Harry Hill's Whopping great Joke Book. I also read Harry's barmpot fiction, Tim The Tiny Horse. And like many media sorts, I sifted through Malcolm Gladwell's Outliers: The Story Of Success. He's like an intellectual fan dancer. You get occasional flashes of something, but a lot of posturing and suggestion.

And I'm still not sure about the conceit that playing for punishing hours in Hamburg clubs made The Beatles into stars. Why didn't it work for Rory Storm And The Hurricanes? And why didn't an endless workload turn all those drab Irish showbands into world-beaters? Methinks that creativity is somewhere else.

cat.jpgBut my most illuminating read was How To Talk To Your Cat by Jean Craighead George. You see, myself and Noodles haven't been getting on so well. We've got a mutual disrespect thing going on. But at least now I appreciate his innate selfishness, and I can follow the subtle movements of whiskers, tail and ears. The book was a family hit, and it's encouraged the household to analyse the behaviour of dad. These actions include:

Scratching his chest when he is happy.
Rubbing his head when he is thoughtful.
Rubbing his eyes, vigorously, at inopportune moments.
Raising his shoulders when he's being assailed by sales persons and dodgy tradesmen.
Sighing loudly in cars for no apparent reason, which makes the driver think that there's something badly amiss.

The study continues.

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