Herding Cats

I wrote this some 6 years ago and it has the most reads (4,000+) of any of my posts.  

"I wish sometime I could make it through an entire night without a cat waking me up for something.  It took me a long time to figure out that they have secret watches with alarms. 

The last one, Jake, tapped me at 2:38am nearly every night of his life.  His watch rang out with the Long Island Railroad overnight train that ran out to Montauk.  I figured out that he associated the train with something that I got on in the morning so it had to mean food or my arrival home at night which, again, meant food. Muggs, the last in the line of train timed cats has a watch set for 5:05AM.  I note this as getting them to do anything at my will is like, well, herding cats and I wonder what it is about people - what aura we put out - that signals we can be easily controlled by others and have no control over them. 

A long time ago at college, Henry Fonda the actor gave a lecture/master class.  I went out of curiosity - a star sighting to be sure and this was during the Viet Nam time and his daughter Jane was stirring things up so his visit was the subject of some debate and notice.

I got there a bit early and it wasn't a huge place but it was packed and I had to sit on the floor in the aisle.  Mr. Fonda was on stage, sitting on a wood chair over by the side..just sitting, legs crossed, hands folded in his lap, and we thought deep in preparation so no one said anything. He sat. We sat.  The silence was deafening and frankly we were all uncomfortable...now unsure of our place.  The time to start came and went and finally, finally, a student just asked him if he was ever going to talk or just sit there essentially like a lump.

Mr. Fonda, and I remember the action perfectly, looked up, then exposed his wristwatch and gave it a hard, cowboy stare, followed by  a look of disbelief, stood, adjusted his jacket and walked the podium.  You see, he was merely waiting for us to reach the point where we wanted him to start and were tired of waiting.  He said he could have waited all night and it took a great deal of self control to sit, impassively to the point were we got uncomfortable first and gave him his "cue" to begin.

It was a fantastic lesson.  To tie it into a cat's ball of yarn, the similarities between the approaching train and the cat paw on the face, the verbal cue from an uncomfortable audience and Mr. Fonda springing forth into well controlled actions....well you see?   

Some of u are meant to be in the audience - and some know how to bring it to life".