Category: Columns

Pet Talk: Disciplining Cats and Kittens

By the Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences   The innocent look cats give us when they misbehave may melt our hearts, but like any pet, cats need to be properly trained. For both the first-time cat owner and a “kitty veteran,” Dr. Sarah Griffin, lecturer at the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, has some advice on training your feline friend.   Kittens are playful and full of energy. Though biting and scratching are considered undesirable behaviors, they are part of the kitten’s natural instincts to hunt, even though no pet owner wants their kitten to see them as prey.   “There are many cat toys available that kittens love and also allow them to interact with their owners in appropriate ways,” Griffin said. “I recommend redirecting these natural biting and clawing tendencies to toys. When the kitten attacks your hand, give it a toy to attack and ‘praise’ the kitten with a gentle pet when it follows your redirection. If the kitten is scratching furniture, redirect them to a scratching post.”   For older felines that love exploring the highest of places in your home, Griffin said there are products and home remedies that can be used to keep cats off of furniture or counter tops. For instance, a sensory buzzer could be used when a cat jumps on an...

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It Seems To Me… Exercising Authority

by Pastor Steve Oh, the questions God asks!  He really is the Master Teacher.  Nowhere else can one find such amazing insights into human behavior. Proverbs 29:20 says, “Do you see a man who is hasty in his words? There is more hope for a fool than for him.”  NASU   It is easy to see the obvious truth in this question and response. Who has not observed others around him speaking without thinking?  Who has not done it himself?  Who has not felt the painful consequences of such rash speaking? Obviously one who does that is certainly a fool, at least for the moment.  James 1:19-21 gives good advice on the subject, “everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger; for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God.” NASU Speaking in haste results not in righteousness but rather in anger, bitterness, and hurt.  I must plead guilty and I am certain that you must also. While the interpretation above is correct and lines up with clear Biblical teaching, I think there is something else in view here in this passage. Proverbs is a compilation of short, pithy, statements designed to teach morals.   In many cases, any given verse seems unrelated to the one coming before or afterward. However, in this case, it seems that Proverbs 29:20 is related to the...

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Movie Review: Dunkirk

by Bob Garver   Entertainment Weekly killed “Dunkirk” for me. Not because the review written by Chris Nashawaty was negative or turned me off in any way, but because it went too far toward the other extreme. On Tuesday afternoon, the headline on proclaimed the film to be “Easily the Best Movie of the Year So Far.” So I went into the film expecting nothing less than unquestionable excellence, something that would make me forget all about “Logan” and “John Wick: Chapter 2” and all my other favorites of 2017. I should have known that it was never...

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Reflections from Red Oak Ranch

by Jan Fielden Saturday morning I got up raring to go as usual.  As I looked out the kitchen window which I normally do, I saw a big hog down in the pasture.  The hog was not very far away.  He had not wandered into the next pasture but was still on the house side of the cross fence.  “I think I can get him before he takes off running”, I thought to myself.  The Beagles had not discovered him as of yet because they were not barking.  I quickly got my gun, put on my boots, and headed out the door.  I got only two steps before I stopped in my tracks! There on the patio was a Copperhead resting, sunning its self, or whatever!  I backed up and ran over to get the shovel that was leaning on the house.  I came back over to the snake and the Beagles arrived about the same time.  They, of course, began darting in and backing out, darting and backing.  I hit the snake with the shovel and yelled at the Beagles to stay away.  I had to put my gun down and was trying to knock the snake senseless so I could move him over into the dirt in order to kill it.  Hitting a shovel on concrete is not easy on the hands or the concrete or the...

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Movie Review: War for the Planet of the Apes

by Bob Garver By Bob Garver In this era of remakes and reboots and other words to describe digging up long-dormant franchises, the revival of “Planet of the Apes” has turned out to be one of the best surprises. It would have been so easy for things to go wrong with these movies: they could have been too silly, they could have taken themselves too seriously and become unintentionally silly, the special effects could have been unconvincing, the special effects could have been so convincing that they fell into the Uncanny Valley. And yet, the right balance has been found at every turn, first with “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” (2011) and then with “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” (2014). Now comes “War for the Planet of the Apes,” and it deserves a place of honor alongside the other two as an emotionally-investing film that happens to have a CGI ape as its main character. The key to the movie is, as always, the motion-capture performance of Andy Serkis as Caesar, the leader of the apes. Early scenes have Caesar as you would expect to see him: angry and brutal, but also wise and merciful. It’s fine, Serkis clearly hasn’t lost his touch. But then Caesar goes through some hardships and Serkis has to give the character all these touches where he’s blinded by rage...

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