free spirit

I remember how shocked I was when the great-aunt of one of my friends said things one day that suggested she had more than a passing familiarity with marijuana. Later on, once I learned she and her husband were part of a traveling jazz band in the 1920s, it began to sink in: Not only was she young once, she did some things my generation assumed her generation was too stuffy to imagine, let alone do. This free spirit of the 1920s now stood before me as a respectable, old lady!

I mean, I watched “Reefer Madness” when I was a young adult at university, and laughed at how na├»ve people “back then” must have been to see that film and fall for it. I almost hoped they laughed, knowingly, too! Little did I realize I knew anyone from that period who enjoyed recreational drugs, whether weed or distilled spirits!

This great-aunt was a grand person, full of fun, able to break out in song for the pure joy of it, very young in her outlook, and comfortable around people like my friend and me who thought we understood how the world worked because we were university students by then. She was possessor of some secrets that made her almost dangerous to know it seemed then. Ha!

Today, I came across a video of a flapper doing something so outrageous and dangerous, I immediately thought of this great-aunt again, now long dead:

It also reminded me of “Flying Down to Rio”, a 1933 film featuring Fred Astaire in this scene:

I doubt my friend’s great-aunt ever tried this sort of stunt. I like to think she gave it serious thought though. Remember, she was a free spirit in the 1920s! The more I got to know her, the more I realize she still was a free spirit, and remained so as long as she lived.

catty remarks

I try to give my Persian cat brothers as much environmental stimulation as possible. A happy cat doesn’t urinate on the carpet, for example, or get to star in a “My Cat From Hell” episode on the Animal Planet Channel.

Stimulation is the primary reason I open windows to let in outside sounds and give a clearer view of what’s happening outside. You who watch my endless cat videos know I even put a little chair and a large pot next to the door so Andy and Dougy are high enough at the back door to observe the bird activities without having to stretch.

There are times, however, that the environmental stimulation is excessive, as evidenced in this video of Dougy birdwatching this morning but getting caught by the birds!

I read that cat chattering is now thought to be the cat mimicking prey vocalizations to improve hunt success. While I don’t think Dougy will eat a big fat robin today because of his vocalizations, chatter as mimicking prey vocalizations is an intriguing idea.

“No really, Ms. Robin, I am a robin, too!”

“Like hell, you churlish cat!”

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=2&cad=rja&sqi=2&ved=0CDUQFjAB&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.catster.com%2Fthe-scoop%2Fscientists-discover-new-meaning-for-cat-chattering&ei=eo60Ue2jBereiAKQj4GYDA&usg=AFQjCNEBlcVOZYUjnD-J1uCN31dr5PQNPg&sig2=qlqnS_DPJIOFlYiOMkqG9w&bvm=bv.47534661,d.cGE

I hope this link works. It’s the one about cat chatter.