Petey on the Job

Petey walked to his first day of work reflecting on how fast the time had gone.  Before graduating from CAT-U he was offered a job with Structures Done Right.  Now only 5 days after graduating, Petey was on his way to shadow one of the foremen of the company.

He found the office for Structures Done Right easily, and was greeted by a blue-eyed Persian at the front desk, “Hi, can I help you?” she asked flirtatiously.

“I am Petey.  This is my first day here.  I am supposed to meet Mr. Levy here.  Is he in?”

“Yes, he will be right up.”

The Persian picked up the phone and hit a few buttons, spoke to Mr. Levy and then hung up the phone.

Petey looked at the photos of buildings under construction that hung on the wall.

Mr. Levy appeared a few minutes later.  He was a sleek built Siamese with piercing green eyes. “Good morning, Petey.  Are you ready to get to work?”

“Yes, sir, Mr. Levy.”

“Great, well, let’s go.”

Petey followed Mr. Levy out the door and down the block. 

Mr. Levy explained as they walked, “Today we will be helping with the construction on the Furville Tower downtown.  Have you seen it?”

“I saw it when they were just starting to put up the frame work, but that was a while ago.”

“They have the exterior frame up and are working on the support structures on the inside of the building now.  Soon they will be putting up the walls.”

Petey nodded.

Mr. Levy led Petey through the fenced off area, and handed him a yellow hard hat.

After introducing Petey to the crew, Mr. Levy said, “Ok, the first thing we have to do is finish getting the corner supports on.  Take these nails and the support joints are over there.”  Mr. Levy pointed to a stack of thick corner brackets.

The crew grabbed the nails and headed off.

Petey said, “Um.. Mr. Levy, I don’t think those nails are long enough to go through the bracket and the wood.”

“What?  Nonsense.  I have been using the same materials for every building.  I have been doing this for 8 years. “

Petey nodded and quickly looked back to the crew that was working.  He realized that he shouldn’t have corrected his boss.  I am just so excited; I couldn’t help it.  I know they need the three-inch nails not the two-inch nails.

As Petey stood in silence certain that Mr. Levy hated him already, the crew members attempted to attach the corner bracket to the structure.

They each hammered four nails into the bracket, but when they let go, the brackets fell to the ground.

Petey smiled to himself seeing that the nail had barely penetrated the wood.

Mr. Levy glanced around, before calling the crew over.  “What’s going on?”

“The nails aren’t long enough,” a buff brown cat responded.

Mr. Levy snatched the nails from the out stretched paw, and muttered, “Who mixed the two-inch nails with the three-inch nails?”

The crew members shrugged and shifted uncomfortably.

Petey saw that the bucket of nails had the number 2 on one side and number 3 on the other, which caused the confusion.  But after earlier, Petey kept his mouth shut.

Mr. Levy dug through the bucket and said, “We are going to have to sort these out.  Here everyone take a handful.”

Petey and the crew grabbed the nails and quickly separated the two- and three-inch nails.

Once the crew was back to work, Petey grabbed some extra buckets, and a marker.  He marked out the second number on each of the buckets, so that it was clear what length nail went in each.  He then carefully sorted the nails into their new buckets.

Mr. Levy watched Petey work without objection.  “Thank you, Petey.  Nice initiative.”

Petey beamed at the praise.

After lunch, Mr. Levy was explaining how the crew was going to start putting up the stucco walls.

Petey listened intently as he watched the crew prepare to hoist a large sheet of stucco up against the frame.

Petey waited for Mr. Levy to pause, before he said, “Mr. Levy, they need more support on that stucco sheet, or it will break before they get it flush to the wall.”

Mr. Levy, followed Petey’s gaze and was about to respond, when the sheet snapped in half and fell back to the ground.  The crew members scrambled to avoid being hit, and all escaped unharmed.

“Good eye, Petey.  Why don’t you go help them?”

Petey nodded with a smile and walked over to the crew.  He explained, “You need an extra support in the middle of the sheet, otherwise it creates too much pressure.  The pressure is what caused the first sheet to break.”

The rest of the afternoon passed quickly, as Petey assisted the crew with placing the stucco sheets along the frame.  The crew members all respected Petey and by the end of the day were asking for his help over Mr. Levy’s.

Petey couldn’t believe, it was already quitting time.

“Bye, Mr. Levy, thank you,” Petey called as he walked out of the fenced yard.

“See you in the morning, Petey.  You did excellent today.  You will be surveying your own construction site in no time.”

Petey smiled and walked home.  He could not wait to tell his siblings about his adventures.  I like this job a lot.  I can’t wait to go back tomorrow.

The End

Gizmo and the Rodeo

Two-year-old, Gizmo had graduated from CAT-U last Saturday.  Now only one week later, he was headed to his first rodeo with All City Rodeo.

Gizmo saw the arena ahead and ran to greet his new boss.

“Good Morning, Mr. Buck.”

“Hello there, Gizmo.  Are you ready for your first rodeo?”  Mr. Buck responded.

“Yes, sir,” Gizmo said puffing out his grey chest in excitement.

Mr. Buck led Gizmo and the others through the crowded arena to the riders area.

After talking with the cat at the registration table, Mr. Buck returned with the riding times for each of them.

Gizmo’s eyes lit up as he saw he was scheduled to ride in two different events.  The Buck-off event, where he had to hold onto the bucking bull for as long as possible.  The Barrel Race where he would ride a horse through the barrel maze as fast as he could.

“The Buck-off is coming up soon, we need to get you a number, Gizmo,” Mr. Buck said breaking into Gizmo’s thoughts.

Gizmo followed Mr. Buck through the crowd to the edge of the arena.  A pudgy black cat was holding vests and passed them out as each rider approached.  Gizmo was given the number 5 vest, which meant he would ride 5th in each event.

“That’s good, I can watch the first few rides,” Gizmo told Mr. Buck excitedly.

“Yes, it is never good to be the first one in the event.”

Gizmo stood at the railing at watched as the Buck-off started.

The first cat didn’t last 2 seconds out of the gate.

The second cat lasted 5 seconds.

The third and fourth cat each only lasted 4 seconds.

“Wow, this looks hard,” Gizmo muttered under his breath.  He climbed onto the bull, who right now stood calmly in the slot.  Gizmo dug in claws into the saddle cloth as far as they would go.  He took a deep breath preparing himself for what was to come.

“Ready?” a voice asked him.

Gizmo nodded and clenched the saddle cloth tighter.

The gate flew open and the bull now bucked and twisted down the arena.  Gizmo held on, not feeling at all off balance by the bucks.  The bull then turned to go back up the arena.  He did a series of mini bucks followed by a big buck that caught Gizmo by surprise.  The buck caused Gizmo to slide down the right side of the bull.  Gizmo quickly righted himself on the saddle and was digging all four feet back into the  saddle pad, when the bull did another big buck sending Gizmo hurdling over the bull’s head and onto the sand below.  Gizmo managed to land on his feet and get up the railing before the bull trampled him.

“The longest ride so far, Gizmo rode for 10 seconds,” the announcer’s voice boomed over the loudspeakers.

“Yeah, good going Gizmo!”

Gizmo looked in the direction of the cheers, and saw his three siblings in the stands.  He waved to them and continued on his way back to Mr. Buck.

“Good ride, Gizmo,” Mr. Buck praised, “I think you have won this event.  There are only two more riders.  The rider after you barely made it out of the gate.”

Gizmo nodded, trying to hide his excitement.  He turned to face the arena, so Mr. Buck wouldn’t see the huge smile that Gizmo couldn’t keep off his face.

Gizmo stood at the railing watching the last two riders in a daze.  He couldn’t believe his ears, when the announcer called, “Gizmo has won the Buck-off event today.  Come to the staging area and claim your ribbon, Gizmo.”

Mr. Buck patted Gizmo on the shoulder, “Good going, son.”

“Thanks,” Gizmo beamed and hurried off to collect his ribbon.

Gizmo showed off his blue ribbon to Mr. Buck, before handing it to his siblings to hold.  Gizmo went back to his spot along the railing and started mentally preparing for the barrel race.

It wasn’t long before the first cat and horse team wove through the barrels.  They took several turns too tight and knocked over three barrels by the end of the run.

The next two riders also knocked over the third barrel, but otherwise had a good ride.

The fourth rider made it through without knocking any barrels over, and his time was fast at 1 minute 7 seconds.

Gizmo mounted his horse and clutched the saddle pad.  When the gate opened the horse lunged forward in a gallop.  Gizmo swayed momentarily in the saddle, before steadying himself and concentrating on the barrels.

Gizmo leaned and nudged his horse around barrel after barrel.  After making it passed the third barrel without knocking it over, Gizmo let a breath out. 

“Almost there,” he muttered to his horse.

A few barrels later, Gizmo and his horse made it through all the barrels in a clean run. 

“Gizmo has a clean run with the time of 1 minute 9 seconds,” the announcer’s voice says.

“Drat,” Gizmo says as he makes his way back to Mr. Buck.

“Good ride, Gizmo,” Mr. Buck praises.

“I was too slow,” Gizmo complains.

“You can’t expect to win every event.  You did great for your first show with us.”

Gizmo’s face brightened.  “Does that mean I can ride again next weekend?”

“Yes, I already have you signed up for three events.”

Gizmo felt better, knowing he hadn’t blown his dream job after only one day.

Gizmo collected his red second place ribbon a while later.

As the arena was emptying out, and the crew was starting to clean up, Gizmo found Mr. Buck.  “Thanks for letting me ride today.  I learned a lot and will be ready to go again next weekend.”

“Great, see you for practice on Monday.”

“Bye,” Gizmo called as he hurried out the arena door to find his siblings.

“Good job, Gizmo,” they all cheered at once.

All the way home, Gizmo told his three siblings about his day.

The end.

5 Things Pets can Teach Children

Many children start asking for a pet at a very early age.  Parents play an important role in teaching children the correct way to interact and care for pets.  If introduced to the care of a pet in the proper way, pets can teach children a number of valuable skills.  Today, I’m going to cover the top five skills: responsibility, patience, trust/respect, compassion, and self-esteem.

Responsibility:  Parents can use a pet to teach children of any age responsibility.  Pets require daily feeding, exercise, attention, and cleaning up after.  Depending on the pet, they may also require regular brushing.  No matter the age of the child, they can learn responsibility from the pet.  Younger children can learn through one task such as feeding or playtime. Older children can learn how to care for a pet by performing multiple tasks daily.   The tasks that are required to care for a pet are a small price to pay for such a loyal companion.

Patience:  It takes patience to bond with a new pet. While the family is getting used to having a pet in the house; the new pet is becoming comfortable with its new surroundings.  At this pivotal point in the new relationship, it is important that a child is taught the correct way to interact with the pet.  A child will learn patience while the new pet becomes comfortable with the family. 

Trust/RespectThe biggest part of this bonding time is building trust and respect between the family and the new pet.  Children must be taught how to touch the pet gently, tend to its needs, and learn not to disturb the pet when it’s eating or sleeping.  Once this relationship has been made, pets make wonderful trusted companions.    

Compassion:  The work that goes into building a relationship with a pet teaches children compassion.  Caring for a pet requires compassion and understanding.  The new pet can’t communicate with words what it needs.  A child needs to be taught to understand the subtle body language that pets use to convey their desires.  A pet needs a compassionate caretaker who can understand the pet’s required care. 

Self-esteem:  Pets show unconditional love to the family that cares for it.  This love can be a great boost to a child’s self-esteem.  A pet can be a constant companion for the child.  The pet’s nonjudgmental love makes it easy for the child to confide in the pet.  The skills used to build this relationship with a pet will also give the child the confidence to use these skills with others in their life.   

Owning a pet teaches children how to respect others and build trusting relationships using patience and compassion.  All this being said, it doesn’t necessarily mean that all children are ready for pet ownership. Parents should first make sure they are able to help their child with the pet. Together, the family should decide what type of pet is best. Moreover, don’t assume a child will take care of the pet without assistance from the first day. The ultimate responsibility usually falls on the parents, not the child, to make sure the pet is cared for properly.  But allowing a pet to become a member of your family will benefit everyone involved.