Page Two of The Cat Pushes My Buttons
Ultimately she lost interest and left Mike with a remote jammed with conflicting signals. He needed to clear commands mostly by guesswork before we could get back to M*A*S*H reruns.
Mike came to my rescue one afternoon because Ishi had changed the settings to the DVD player instead of the TV. Since I can’t remember how to operate the DVD either, I was really lost. Once the cat gets things switched around, it involves a second remote control device. I don’t know what all the buttons do on the first so-called ‘universal’ contraption, let alone this auxiliary remote. I realize I’m setting myself up to sound like an idiot, but I rarely use our system for anything besides the television. I never record and play back programs, so my brain cells don’t ‘record’ and store how to do it either.
Unless I want to keep watching whatever the cat selects, I’m really going to have to figure out all this technology one of these days. I’m helpless when it comes to resetting things after Ishi has played with them. I’ve yet to find a chapter in the instruction manual that covers troubleshooting programming errors generated by a cat. The topics provide step-by-step instructions how to accomplish a task, but invariably omit the necessary process to reverse arbitrary button pushing. A sad oversight, as far as I’m concerned.
Given enough time, I have figured out past equipment we have owned. I always seem to manage to accomplish that feat about a month before we need to upgrade for some reason. Alas! That inevitably leaves me back at square one.
Last week some large green numbers popped up in the middle of the television screen during a movie, counting down minutes, second by second. I didn’t know if Ishi had initiated some sort of launch sequence for NASA or what was happening. But I can report that watching a ‘doomsday clock’ countdown evokes an escalating sense of foreboding inversely proportional to the time remaining. I needed a super hero to rush in, garbed in spandex with his cape flapping dramatically, to quickly to stop it in the nick of time.
So … I did what I always do in these situations … I got Mike. The final seconds were slipping away by the time we were both back in the room with the television. Obviously we had no time left to ‘save the world’ from whatever was about to happen. It didn’t help my peace of mind one bit when it counted down to zero and then said, "Goodbye!" Talk about unnerving!
The television next proceeded to turned itself off and we stood there, shoulder to shoulder, staring at the blank screen.
"Ishi must have set the sleep timer," Mike concluded. She was nowhere to be seen during all the excitement, of course. Having set the timer earlier in the day, her mischief was over and she went off to take a nice nap on our bed.
I picked up the remote and did one of the very few things I’m qualified to do with it; I turned the television back on. The program I had been watching was still there waiting for me.
It is somehow disturbing that Ishi can switch to the DVD player, set the timer to turn off the television and a number of other tricks and I can’t. Let’s not even talk about the time I discovered Ishi was playing pinball on my computer. And she doesn’t even have opposable thumbs.
Thankfully she hasn’t memorized the phone number of the Home Shopping Network, especially since she has also been known to play with the telephone. I suppose we would be safe even if she did, because she doesn’t own a credit card. Then again … there is always the fear of identity theft. Excuse me; I think maybe I’d better check my wallet.
©2010 Roberta McReynolds for SeniorWomen.com