While it’s generally impossible to understand why a cat decides in mid nap that it suddenly needs to dart to the laundry room, I have learned a few lessons that actually make some sense out of my kitten’s puzzling shenanigans:

1. Generally, you can’t get inside the mirror to figure out what the other cat in there is thinking.  The best you can do is reflect your own views and try to shape others’ observations with your commitment.

2. Jumping from the couch to the coffee table may require a smaller leap than you think—if you don’t want to slide right onto your face.  Be careful with big leaps and measure your objectives first so you know the true effort required.

3. Biting your nails only makes it harder to get a grip.  Taking action is the best way to overcome stress in your communications.

4. A purring audience can turn on you in a flash with biting reactions if you rub them the wrong way.  Understand your audience’s background, current hot buttons and level of understanding of your subject.

5. Any scrap of paper can become an intense focal point and ultimately be spread all over the place.  Be certain confidential information is secured, be careful of replying to all in e-mail—and of inadvertent replies to nested e-mail messages, and remember that anything you say to a reporter or that a reporter finds can be fodder for news coverage.

Now why is the neighbor’s dog hanging on the fence?

–Steve Friedman

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