If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Scientific Trials

When I was in college as an undergraduate, I worked at one of the university's test facilities.  I shudder to think that what we were doing was a part of research!  As a young kid, I certainly didn't take the tasks I was doing as scientific.  The researching professor would design a ration for feeding the animals and expect us to measure and weigh each element of that ration before feeding the animals.  I'm sure that in the mind of the researcher we were accurately weighing or measuring each element precisely and accurately - certainly not what we did - Oh, I think that is about three pounds, or that is close to a cup... 

Now that I think of this as an adult and read periodically about medical, technical, mechanical, organic, or botanical research that impacts my life every day, I imagine that all research is probably conducted about the same way and shudder to think that my health and my safety are dependent upon such results.  ARGH!!! 

I focus on this topic because I am conducting a bit of scientific research myself.  Oh, it isn't really about health, organics, botanics or something all that lofty and important.  It is purely personal.  You see, Mike has some cats.  No, Mike has WAY too many cats here on the farm.  I always grew up having a barn cat to keep the mice away from the livestock feeds.  However, with this many cats, there shouldn't be mice anywhere on this eighteen acres in this county in the southeast!  There are at least a dozen cats out at that barn!

First, let me say, I am not a cat lover.  Secondly, we have way too many cats.  As fate would have it, the cats sort of gravitate here to the house periodically.  I have tried various methods to try to keep them away from the house - envision hand clapping, chasing with a broom, Annie Oakley with a BB gun...  I realize they know that we feed them and this is why they seek our companionship.  However, we only feed them at the barn.  At any rate, one of the reasons I don't want them here at the house is my porch furniture.

In the summer I put cushions on the front porch furniture and we sit out there sometimes especially during a summer evening rain.  Mike also inherited this wrought iron sofa - no cushions - just the frame.  I like this piece of furniture and like to use it.  However, without cushions, it is uncomfortable, to say the least.  Yet, cushions cost more than a brand new sofa and cushions.  So, I have improvised.

Last summer, Jessica and I stumbled across a deal on a chaise cushion at Olde Time Pottery.  I got three of those cushions and it worked perfectly on the sofa.  You can get a glimpse of them below and read about other projects I've tackled HERE.

The cushions are a bit faded since they have weathered outside constantly for the past year, but still functional.  I'm thinking about giving them a fresh cover but because of the cats, I hesitate.  You see, one of them, in particular, has made this her favorite bedtime roost.  I've tried lots of deterrents but none seem to work.  Then, I Googled did a bit of research and learned that cats don't like aluminum foil.  They even sell these blanket-like upholstery covers that have a foil backing on one side to prevent animals from climbing and laying on furniture.  That seemed way to expensive to me.

Being the experienced researcher that I am, I decided to conduct my own study.  Guess what!  Cats do not like foil!  I haven't seen them on the sofa cushions.  I have seen no evidence of them on there, either.  I think it works!  My reading told me that it would take about a month to train the animals to stay away.  I think that is a small price to pay. 

Who says science isn't important in our lives?  When will I ever use these research skills I used to ask my teachers.  Now I know!