Time with loved ones

Ellen Emery

As I begin to write my column this week, I am seated in the living room of our Bombay home with my laptop in front of me. Our feline friend, Tigger, is lying on the floor in front of me on his back in a most relaxed position.

He has a felt Santa hat that, no matter what the season, he loves to curl up and sleep in — the only problem is he can barely fit inside. As he relaxes, his body lays half within the hat and half outside, again on his back sleeping soundly.

Our neighbor (who has multiple cats in the home) shares coupons with me. From time to time, a newsletter is included with the coupons from across the road. The publication is called “Catnip — The newsletter for caring cat owners.”

The newsletter is published by Tufts University Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine. I received a newsletter recently that had as its top story, “Anxious Cat? Try Music!”

I have mentioned my love for music before in this column — music (especially the music of James C. Phillips) brings such joy and is also calming. I am always interested in the effect of music, and I found the thought of music affecting my feline friend fascinating. I read the article, which even gave a title of a YouTube offering of music to “Relax My Cat.”

I can honestly say I don’t believe our feline friend, Tigger, has ever been anxious. He loves to run and play on cool days.

And he enjoys the company of the humans in his home, especially that of the Gardener. He definitely will let us know what he wants us to do and when he wants to be brushed and petted, but I don’t think I have seen him anxious.

I decided to locate the YouTube channel and see what Tigger’s reaction might be. He was sleeping on the top of my jewelry box. I had to wake him to have him listen to the relaxing cat music.

He obliged my request to come near my iPad to listen, but there were cat treats nearby. The Gardener has taught Tigger to high-five with a paw for a treat. He is reluctant to give a full high-five to me but will sit nearby and literally hit me with his paw indicating he wants a treat.

I gave him one as the music played. Tigger then left my side and went back to his spot to sleep, leaving me to listen to relaxing cat music!

I truly hate to disagree with the individuals at Tufts University, and perhaps there are those in the readership of this column who have anxious cats. Our Tigger certainly doesn’t show signs of anxiousness and showed absolutely no interest in the music on YouTube. I would suggest the individuals who created a YouTube channel for relaxing cat music should develop additional offerings of music for the human companions of those felines.


The quotation in the Aug. 11 editions of the Advance News and Watertown Daily Times was attributed to Robert G. Ingersoll. In fact, Aug. 11, 1833, was the birthdate of Mr. Ingersoll.

I smiled thinking of his birthdate and wondered if the individual who selected that quote for inclusion in the Aug. 11 newspapers had known that fact. The name was familiar to me.

My younger years (ages one through 12) were spent in Dresden, a small town on Seneca Lake in the Finger Lakes. As I walked to and from school and to visit friends, I would pass an empty house that had a small sign on the door telling passers-by it was the birthplace of Robert G. Ingersoll.

No one was ever around the house, and it was always closed, But everyone knew a famous individual named Robert G. Ingersoll had lived there. Mr. Ingersoll is known as an American writer and orator, I learned much later.

A few years ago, our family visited Dresden. We stopped at the Ingersoll home — it was open and had been transformed into a museum. It was wonderful to stop, visit and remember.


My thanks to Jaime who was preparing food at Tim Hortons at the Western Door on Aug. 1. She not only prepared a delicious sandwich that day but was so kind in going beyond the dictates of her job. This lovely young woman thought I waited too long for my lunch and made sure it was provided in a marvelous manner.

I honestly didn’t mind any wait and don’t think my time in line had been lengthy, but I appreciated Jaime’s concern and caring for each customer. Isn’t the north country a marvelous place to live and purchase a sandwich on a Thursday noontime and be provided the most marvelous customer service? I certainly think so!


When our youngest son, Gregg, was home he wanted to stop at the state Department of Motor Vehicles. He lives in New York City, and attempts he had made there were time consuming with lengthy lines.

He went to the DMV office in Massena and was so pleased. He found the clerks behind the counter pleasant and helpful and lines extremely short (at least as compared to those he had faced in the city!).

He was extremely pleased with the service. And for that I, too, am most grateful.


This past week, there was a stop at a local coffee shop. I waited to place my order standing behind members of a lovely family who were placing their orders.

A gentleman in the group had ordered black coffee (my usual coffee order). I smiled as the clerk behind the counter immediately followed his order with the question, “What do you want in that — cream or sugar?” The immediate response from the gentleman was, “Coffee!”

I absolutely loved that response. It seems that an order of black coffee should be self-explanatory.

But invariably, I have also been asked if I want cream and sugar, too. How perfect just to respond quietly “Coffee!”


“We are not put on Earth to see through one another. We are put on this Earth to see one another through.”

— Gloria Vanderbilt

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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