Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Good Discipline

Gizmo got a whoopin' today for the first time in a long while.

Normally, she is our little irascible,rag-tag, touch-me-not grouch.  However, she has gotten into the bad habit of doing things that she knows are wrong as a way of getting our attention.  For example, clawing our feet or jumping up onto counters that she knows are off-limits.  Then, whenever we get onto her, she is belligerant about complying, and none the happier for the chastisement.

Today, I had enough.  Obviously, giving her love and attention whenever she was being sweet-natured have not been enough to nip this in the bud.  My philosophy has been to just redirect, and re-enforce the desired behavior.  But, this strategy has not been enough to foster an attitude of contentment in this one little kitty.  Sometimes we don't just need rewards for good behavior- we need swift and unambiguous correction when we err.

So, today when she was in the midst of her discontent, and expressed it by racing through the house and churlishly leaping up onto the wet bar, I fussed at her to get off.  Her reaction was not immediate. So, I grabbed her, and gave her two sharp taps on the rump while saying, "No!"

There was an immediate shift.  She actually seemed penitent. I told her she was a good kitty.  Then she sweetly cuddled up next to me and contentedly went to sleep.

I think that animals are much like us, in that they also find it hard to be happy whenever there are no clear boundaries.  We all need to know that we are loved enough to be disciplined.

Gizmo feeling sleepy...

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