12 March 2017

Fixer Cat

Were you one of those kids who always wanted to help his or her mother or father when they were cooking, cleaning, fixing or making things?

Do you have a kid like that?  Or does your kid like to "supervise"?  Maybe you were that kind of kid.

What about your pets?  How do they behave when you're maintaining, repairing or building your bikes?

Marlee and Max, my feline housemates, like to poke their noses in whatever I'm doing.  I've tried to teach them how to do basic stuff, like fixing flats, oiling chains, chopping garlic and grading students' papers. But they always have the same excuse:  "We don't have opposable thumbs!"

That's all right.  I am convinced that they are good luck.

I think this one would agree!


  1. Our cat MiMi doesn't try to assist in any repairs but she does have one quirk. Anytime I try sit and read a book or magazine she will immediately come and lay on top of it. Either she's attracted to the smooth texture of the paper or she disapproves of my choices in literature.

  2. Phillip--Max, my orange cat, does the same thing, whether I'm reading poetry, bike manuals or my students' papers. Maybe he's trying to tell me that we're living in a postliterate society and I should get with the program. ;-)

  3. My basement "shop" area is used for both bikey stuff and woodworking. I very rarely let my pups down there, but when they do come down they're intensely interested in the smells of everything. Particularly wood shavings/ sawdust.

    They're absolutely worthless for changing tubes or oiling chains!


  4. When I patch an inner tube, I usually pump it up a bit afterwards and let it to set to see if the patch took, and to check if there is another puncture I didn't notice, before I re-install it. Our cat Lydia comes around at this point and wants to test the inner tube with her little needle-like claws. Naturally pulling the tube away from her is contra-indicated as she would most likely take it as play. Careful talking is the only feasible plan.

    One of these days I might forget and leave a pumped up inner tube on the floor and we will have to peel the cat off the ceiling.

    Lydia also likes playing hockey with small parts and bolts. Total anarchist.


  5. Wolf--So cats aren't the only ones we can't put to work? All right, I won't chastise Max and Marlee anymore!

    Leo--If she punctures it and air comes out, it means the tube was patched? Hmm, that's an interesting test.

    Of course she likes to play hockey. She's in Finland, after all!