Banks County Opinions...

DECEMBER 4, 2002


By: Angela Gary
The Banks County News
December 4, 2002

A lesson in patience
Turkey and dressing, country ham, pork chops, creamed corn, sweet potato soufflé, rice, salads, pecan pie....
I’m sure the table I sat at Thursday that was filled with food was similar to the one many people sat around on Thanksgiving Day. One difference may be that I waited three hours for this feast.
My family decided to eat out this Thanksgiving. There are only six of us, including a 1-year-old, who planned to gather this holiday. We also planned to leave that day for a family vacation and saw no need to spend the morning cooking before heading to a mountain cabin for a few days.
We went to the Dillard House near the North Carolina-Georgia line for our lunch. Unfortunately, so did a few thousand other people. I had no idea so many people eat out on Thanksgiving Day.
We got our number at 11 a.m. and were told we would be seated in an hour or an hour and a half. Three hours later, we finally made it to the table. I’ve never waited that long for a meal and hope I won’t ever again, but it was certainly a lesson in patience for us all.
I’m better at most with waiting. I can read a book or just sit back and rest, which I don’t get near enough time to do. I can also make lists of things I need to do or jot down thoughts for a column or story.
My mother is also pretty good at waiting as she doesn’t get much “down” time either between coordinating the building of the new house and keeping up with my nephew.
It seems to me that it’s the men and children who have a harder time with waiting. I get that from my own experience and from “people-watching” Thursday in the crowded lobby of the Dillard House. For those who aren’t patient, they certainly got a lesson on patience this Thanksgiving.
The three hours would have passed more quickly if I hadn’t been so hungry. I didn’t want to snack and ruin my meal, so I was more than ready when we were seated at 2 p.m. I don’t know if it was the hunger or what, but it was some of the best food I’ve ever had. Of course, we ate too fast to visit with each other but we had just finished a three-hour “social hour” and were more interested in the food than anything else.
Angela Gary is editor of The Banks County News and associate editor of The Jackson Herald. She can be reached at

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By: Shar Porier
The Banks County News
December 4, 2002

Cats and baths
Actually, I did not start out a cat lover. Growing up, my Grams’s mean, old Tomcat was not a good representative for the felines of the world. Nope, he was a grumpy old cuss that never wanted to do anything but catch mice. No petting, no purring, no contact! His contrary nature led me to have a “no-cat” policy.
It wasn’t until I moved south many years ago, that I actually began to reconsider my decision. One Christmas Eve, a beautiful Siamese cat turned up on the doorstep. He made himself at home immediately and took control of the house and my heart. He was a talker. He named himself — Dat Fat Rat Cat. I asked him what his name was and that was his “reply.” It didn’t take him long to train me in the ways of cat-ownership. It was easy. Just do as I’m told.
Of course, getting him to do what I wanted, like take an occasional bath, was a battle. After a few fights over the process, he settled down and let me have my way with him in the utility sink. I loved him dearly and I’m sure the feeling was mutual. His favorite spot was curled up in my lap — all 28 pounds of him. He was a big guy!
I think back on him every time I go to bathe Lyla, my Persian. Now, ever since she was a kitten, she has gotten regular baths. You’d think she’d catch on and just let the thing happen. But, nooo! She has to put up this big fuss and meow and growl and be as obstinate as possible about the whole thing. This has been going on now for 11 years.
Yesterday, it was time for her bath. I picked her up and she promptly sprayed me, one her latest tactics to get me. Like that’s going to make me change my mind about the whole thing.
Into the sink for the wetting down part of the ordeal. Her ears flatten and she gives me this “I hate you!” look.
I dunk her head and she, of course, shakes, sending a spray of water all over me. I’ve learned that if I’m going to wet her down, she’s going to wet me down, too. Now comes the shampoo part. I drizzle the stuff all over. Foam it up good. Cut off the escape of any fleas that might have moved in since her last bath and topical dose of flea killer.
She doesn’t mind the head scratching part or the neck scratching or the back scratching. But go for the belly or the rear and all hell breaks loose.
She leaps and twists trying to get out of the grasp of one hand holding her. She’s slippery from the soap and hard to hold. She slips out and leaps…right into the washing machine.
Now there’s an idea. Just shut the lid and… no, can’t do that.
Back into the sink and the belly scratching. She has now reached the point of complaining loudly in her nerve-shattering screeching yeowl. I know there isn’t much time left, before things start to get ugly. Lyla begins her low growl, “Eerow, eerrrooow…” I finish her belly and behind quickly.
The dogs come over to see what’s going on. I could believe they like to keep an eye on me and make sure I’m safe. But, I know they are there to watch the cat get dunked and revel in her misery. I think they know their presence really rouses her ire. She does not like an audience and her cries become louder. (If anyone had happened to stop by and heard her, I’m sure they would think I was being totally cruel to the “poor little kitty.”)
Rinse time, thank goodness. She again lunges to get out of the sink. But, I have her securely in grasp. Her growls become louder, her ears are flat against her head.
“Hey,” I tell her as sternly as I can, “don’t forget who’s the boss here.” Yeah, like that’s going to make any impression. I laugh at myself. Big mistake. She thinks I’m laughing at her. You just don’t laugh around cats unless they know for a fact you’re not laughing at them.
She gives me a most disgusted glare and bites my hand. Not hard, she’s never drawn any blood or anything. It’s one of those bites that lets you know she could hurt you if she wanted.
I ignore it and spray her head down. She reaches up and grasps the faucet with her front paws. Great, now I can get her “don’t you dare touch it” belly. The spray sends the foam down the drain.
There, she’s finished. Well, almost. Now comes the drying part of the process. I lift her out of the sink and wrap her in a towel. She’s quiet and lets me “buff” her fur, briskly rubbing the towel up and down. But, as soon as I start on her belly, Lyla lets me know I’m making her extremely unhappy. She grabs my hand again and holds it. I tweak her ear, vainly trying to retain the upper hand. She lets it go, none too happily.
The dogs sit at my feet happily wagging their tails. Sweetpea has a big grin on her face.
We’ve soaked one towel and I grab another and wrap her up. She’s now in the continuous growling stage of total “You aren’t going to humiliate me like this in front of the dogs!” aggravation.
She squirms and twists and growls. The dogs are now watching intently. Sweetpea is “laughing.”
“Hee, hee, heee! Look guys, the cat’s getting a ba-ath. The cat’s getting a ba-ath.”
Lyla takes one look at the dogs and Sweetpea’s smiling face and hits overload. She’s now in overdrive trying to get out of my grasp and the cocoon the towel has become. Every inch of her body is going in as many directions as possible to escape.
Things are getting ugly. I tell the dogs to go lay down. Yeah, like that’s going to happen when I’m “torturing” the cat.
The second towel is thoroughly wet, signaling the end of the ordeal. I begin unwrapping her, slowly, gently. I tell her, “Ok, it’s over. You can go sit under the lamp now.” (That’s where she always goes after her bath — to my nightstand where she basks near the heat of the three light bulbs I turn on in advance for her.)
She looks up at me and just sits there, purring pleasantly. Like the last 30 minutes never happened. She hops down off the washing machine cool as a cucumber. She shakes one leg after the other with each step. She’s not going to let the dogs think she has been anything but perfect.
“I AM the puurrfect cat,” she seems to mew as she prissily heads up the steps to my bedroom. I watch her, shaking my head and smiling.
Sweetpea looks up at me, questioningly, “Fun’s over so soon?”
Shar Porier is a reporter for The Banks County News.
The Banks County News
Homer, Georgia
Telephone: (706) 367-5233 Fax: (706) 367-8056

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