Should Link’s Family Get A Kitten?

Welcome to Ear Biscuits podcast where two lifelong friends talk about life for a long time I'm Rhett

And I'm Link This week at the round table, a dim lighting, a decision has been thrust upon me and my family Thrust And before a final decision is made, I wanna use this forum to talk it through, because this is no light decision This may be one of the most difficult decisions that we've ever made as a family

And I'm teasing this as if people who listen, don't read the title of the podcast and they don't know what I'm talking about Maybe some people just– The title something like, should Link get a cat? Yeah, should Link's family get a kitten? Which becomes a cat and that's the first point, but that didn't shut it down So there's been a whole conversation and I'd like to bring it here to the table Rhett Well, I've got lots of the thoughts Oh my gosh, and yeah– And I did some research for you, I just wanna let you know

Oh really? Boop dboop I did some research Boop dboop This may turn into one of those podcasts where it's like I'm airing out all of my inner turmoil and getting your opinion on it Because before we get into that, I do have something else that I'm grappling with that I don't think will take that long but– Are using a grappling hook? It's bothered me No, I'm just using self analysis

And when I share the story, I'm gonna share with you With my family, I didn't get the response I wanted I was like, "Oh my gosh, am I a creep?" Before you share that, do you want to acknowledge the nature of our conversation last week? I think we should probably– We should yeah Do it as quickly As you know things got deeply real one episode turned into two

We're recording this episode before that episode part two of the conversation is released So that means that we haven't seen what you think about it yet, how you've responded So we're going to– But it's been a week since you've listened to it If you're listening as these come out So we anticipate that you weighed in on the conversation using #EarBiscuits, which if you haven't, it's not too late

As always use #EarBiscuits to be a part of this conversation Right, and we don't know We could continue the conversation, we could just have a follow up, but we just didn't wanna do it until we hear your thoughts on it

Yeah, so, we're open to continuing the conversation publicly in some form or another If the public discourse calls for it, if not, we'll just move on It's not like we didn't continue to talk about it for two more hours– We talked about it After that podcast And we're still good

We're still good We're still good We were good and we're still good Don't worry about us That's right

Well, teach yourself But you're not making eye contact Okay, but that's too much eye contact Because it hurts my neck Okay, okay

My next too I like to look into my Actually, I don't ever look into my camera

You probably look into that camera a lot I do some times You're a camera Looker Yeah I'm not a camera looker

Yeah I'll look into that camera If I wanna emphasize my opinion on something you're saying non-verbally I wonder how many times I've actually looked into the camera that's filming me I don't believe that it's many

I go through life looking for a camera to communicate with non-verbally It's true, we can have a conversation about that too That's another one I guess this first thing is related to, well, camera's a little bit My kids are well into a school and I opened the door and they've got this screen and there's all of these kids with their faces on the screen

And it's so weird to be doing class over Zoom I'm not doing it And I really hadn't experienced it Is it an extended? My kids don't start until the next week, by the way It's really late for the school

Is it like, "Hey, we're in class from eight o'clock until 2:00 pm?" Pretty much, yeah One continuous No, it's not– 'Cause you got to go to different teachers It's high schoolers Yeah, Lando doesn't

But Shepherd is gonna have the same teacher the whole day Yeah, Lando's got the same teacher There's one class that switches out and I haven't asked him exactly how that works, but they've got a scheduled in breaks and he gets up and moves around I heard some banging in there and he was like– Drunkless He's doing PE, he was doing calisthenics

Oh wow In his bedroom I was like, "Okay" With the camera on? Yeah, he was falling along with the Instructional thing That's tough

But the thing I realized was, well, we've been conducting so much of our business and teamwork and coordination and meetings on Zoom for months and months and months now But that's totally different than being in a class But we did get a taste of it whenever As a company, we're doing a class, I don't wanna get into the specifics of it, but it's just pertinent to say in a totally different mode, than how we conduct our business meetings over Zoom We're all attending these enrichment classes So we're all basically students for that one hour every week or every other week And that's as close as I feel like I've come to what it feels like to be my kids in school in remote electronic learning And something happened there that I observed that, I don't know

It just disturbed me a little bit On Reddit, there's a thread called Am I The Asshole? Where somebody posts something that happens to them and how they contributed to a situation And the question up for debate is, was I the asshole in this situation? And the best ones are the ones where the title seems to spell out, what I did makes me an asshole But then when they describe it, the really good ones change your mind because the details My question to you is– Yeah, you're the asshole

Am I– No, it's a slightly different question It's, am I a creep? Okay Here's what happened We were in one of these You were in it too We were both in this class of sorts and– I know where you're going with this by the way, but I'm not gonna say anything Okay, you got to tell me Okay

All right Here's what happened I debated whether to talk about this because it was very I wanted it to be clear up top and I hopefully I've made it clear if any of our employees are listening, that this is a different venue and I haven't done this with anybody that– I know what you're going to say That works for me And yes, I have done it Okay, so I'm looking at the screen and it's a class, your mind, I'm paying attention, but it's just somebody talking And they'll usually put a presentation slide up

And the thing with a slide is you can read everything on the slide like that but they've only read through half of it So I'm like, "Okay, I know where this is going I've read the second half of the slide So what am I gonna do now? I'm gonna look around at the other people and see if they're paying attention" And I noticed that one person who was sending

With the webcam on, we basically all had our webcams on, by the way, for my kids, they're required to have their webcams on You can't turn it off and say that you're paying attention Of course

Which makes sense Looks like you just like put a sheet over yourself in class, same principle I'm putting it on my privacy sheet Has one of your kids got in trouble for that? You had to say it was your idea Yeah

It was a tarp A privacy tarp I noticed this one person in the background, they're sitting in the foreground, right in front of their webcam, but in the background over this person's shoulder, I see one of the far walls is decorated with albums I'm like, "Oh, I did that in our creative house" Okay, this is going in a different direction

Oh, it is So then I went over and I pinned this person and made them full screen So I could see if I could identify their albums And so I'm looking over this person's shoulder, happens to be a woman To me that's not pertinent– But you did mention it

And I'm looking– As if it might be I'm looking over her shoulder at her albums And I'm leaning in, I'm like, "I don't recognize any of these albums" It was like– And then she's like, "What are you looking at?" That's not how it works in 2030, that's how it will work I'm like, "I recognize that Harry styles album, the one with watermelon sugar on it

" Okay, you're really narrowing it down Whoever this is, is gonna know who it was Yeah, maybe that's why I shouldn't be talking about it It's someone who works for us, who was a woman who has albums in the background No, it's not someone who works for us

It's someone who works for the company– Company who's doing the training That's putting on the class I do not know this person– That changes things This person does not work for me That's important to me Because then as I'm looking at these albums, my eyes move over a little bit

And there she is And I'm like, "Oh my gosh, this feels creepy" Meaning I'm starting to feel like creep And like unpender And I was like, "Oh my gosh, what have I done? Who am I? Because it felt weird that I was like scrutinizing this person's decor

But then I'm like, "That's borderline" People could pin anybody they wanted and just stare a person down That's what I do You please take the hid off me and tell me about it I knew this is what you were gonna say

It went a slightly different direction And it's interesting that you found this ability, it seems more recently Well, I know you can pin people but– No, no you– Pin people who aren't talking? You began to– And don't know you're looking at them Practice this I think this happened pretty early on for me in COVID

But my motivation for doing it, which is we're in a big meeting and everybody's listening And I click on people so I can see if they seem engaged, if they're processing something Is this a meeting that you're leading? I think the first time I did it, was in a senior staff meeting that we did as Zoom Sometimes I'm like, "This person is talking about this, does this person who isn't directly related to this?" I'm asking the question of an employer, of a boss It's like– Yeah, you're

Are they engaged? It's a valid question when you're If you're sitting around a boardroom table, which we normally do with our staff meeting And I would look at a person who's like, "Is so and so listening to so-and-so and should they be?" I'm thinking things like that

Right? Yeah And then more recently with the training classes– But hold on, with that boardroom you're telling me that you pinned someone who was listening to someone else talking in order to analyze if they were engaged? Yeah And then did you feel a pang of creepiness? This is the analogy that I use So sometimes I go on a walk at night And go up to people's windows

And I'm walking There are some houses that the biggest window in the front of the house is into their living room And you can see what they're watching on television Oh, I've done this I don't stop walking

You don't stop walking, do you? Not usually, if they're watching something really interesting– You don't like square up, turn your shoulders No, but you know what happened the other night? Was walking and I looked into somebody's living room Basically what I'm saying is when you got your blinds open at night– Is permission Your living room, my understanding is you're saying, "Yeah, you can look at my house" And that's how I felt ultimately about the album collection

I was like, "This person set up the shot" Yes, they framed it They framed the shot So everything's– They set dressed their own Zoom shot Everything in the frame is fine for people to see, because they've set up that shot

No, I don't feel that way about the bedroom window I'm not a peeping Tom I don't go to the side yard and look into, that's off limits But I'm in the street, I haven't left the sidewalk I'm not in your yard

I may slow down I slowed down the other night because I passed a house And I was like, "What is that they're watching on television?" Oh, this is a new one, this show And I was like, "They have a security feed of their driveway on their television And that's why I'm currently on the television

" What? Oh what? Are you serious? Yeah Are you serious? Yeah, it's not that exciting It is, that's crazy And now– Did you wave? No, but now every time I walk by, I'm like, "There's the house, that's got the security feed of the driveway very prominent in the living room facing back" Were they seated in there watching it? No, it's just constantly

If they're not watching television, they've got a security feed of the driveway on the living room television I can do that Well, I could probably do it too Is this a contest? You're competitive I know and I'm just saying

I'm saying with the nest cam in their global com crashed You can cast your screen You have the capability doing that If I'm expecting guests, sometimes I'll put it up there They must always be expecting guests

It's hilarious that you stopped and saw yourself– But in their– On their telephone Here's the thing though Here's what I've concluded They know this is how it works, because why would they leave the window open and have the television where you can clearly see? I actually think it might be for like intruders It might be like, "Anybody who comes into our driveway will see themselves in our driveway, that we're seeing on this feed

" Because you would put it in like a different room if you didn't want people So what I'm saying is, that Zoom window in a video conference is your public facing window And so I fee

Now, if I'm just like, "I'm gonna click on this person and just look at them" Which is not what I've done Just watch them, to watch them

I don't even know why I would do that, but– To see what it feels like to be creepy For the training exercises, again, like you say, we're in this class and this is a night and we'd probably ended up talking about what the training is later We're just in the early stages of it right now This was our idea It was our idea for everyone to go through this training

And I am thinking like, "Are they getting what they need out of this? Do they seem engaged?" Oh, so you pin other– I pin multiple employees And you could tell by the way I told the story that I felt comfortable pinning someone I didn't know who I was taking a class from First is pinning someone who worked for me I think if they heard that I'm just afraid they would be creeped out I don't pin them for an extended period of time

'Cause you can't see everybody Yeah, you can't see everybody So everybody I ca see if they're like, "Oh, this person" But if it's like, "That person looks mad or that person looks disengaged" I might click on them and be like, "Am I getting the right impression from them right now?" And it might be a five second checking in like, okay All right

But they looked mad, but they just– Do you feel And again, I'm really on the fence, I'm legitimately asking, do you feel okay about this because you're the boss and there's like a professional motive associated? I would feel fine if they did it to me I thought that I was going to need to develop some approach of like, "Okay, I'm gonna direct message this person and say, "Would you mind if I pinned you so that I could see take a closer look at your albums?" You're seeing that's worse

The difference between me and you is that, I'll just look at their albums and feel no remorse And you'll send a message that actually– Makes it worse? Makes it worse Now that we're talking about it– Confession makes things worse, but then they relieve burdens Now, if I had the ability, I don't know how to do this, I'm sure there are people who can do this If I had the ability to

If I see a message on that's intended for you, I shouldn't read that If I had the ability Well, I was getting to hacking, I do have the ability to read a message on a phone I'm sorry, I lost my train of thought But what I was getting at is, some people can hack your security cameras at home And look at what you're seeing on your nest camera

Really? Yeah And this is why you need two step authentication, but I'm sure you already have it set up

But if you didn't and someone was able to get into your Obviously that's a violation of someone's privacy because they think that this video feed is for them But when I'm on a video conference, my assumption is anybody could be looking at me right now

I think we just need to send out Talking about the difference between somebody being small on your screen A memo And somebody being big on your screen If you got a big ass monitor already– The small is the big? The small people are already big So there's a gray area here

I just think that this is your open In fact, the living room window thing is not a great analogy because if you were watching television in your living room and you saw a tall man slowly walking in your front yard, looking at what you're watching on television, you'd feel a little violated because the window isn't open Unless you were watching

Right And then it's Whoa, that's a tit for tat Yeah, so I just think that this is like a drive through window You open it and of course you can look behind me This is my public facing window

I just don't think people are aware of it I feel like there needs to be a warning, and maybe remember– You're being– You can be watched in full screen at any moment So watch your resting faces– I think everybody already– But try to stay engaged Knows this It's easy to forget

Yeah, you started scratching an itch, before you know people are watching and that itch could be anywhere Okay, amendment to my idea If I had somebody pinned for investigatory purposes, I'm not even sure if that's the word and they began to do something embarrassing And it was clear to me that they had forgotten that they could be pinned at any point, booger picking, something more salacious, whatever At that point, I feel it would be my moral obligation to unpin them

And maybe even send them a message, "Hey, you're on chat Don't forget that" And you're big on my screen You were coming up big Is that Eric Clapton on that album behind you? I would have recognized Eric Clapton, slow hand

I also wonder, should we send out a memo? I'm not gonna single you out I think we've done that by making– And just say– It on the podcast "Hey know what employees? Just to remember at any moment, you could become up big for Rhett" I think we just in the general Slack before the next training meeting, we say, "Please listen to the latest episode of Ear Biscuits" Gosh Because you should be doing it in any way

I don't know, man I feel like I'm never gonna pin anyone again And now you're gonna be pinning constantly How did that happen? I'll do all the pinning for the both of us I gotta tell this story, I got to throw my son under the bus, take some of the heat off of me

Lincoln, who's 15, he's just getting started And he at the dinner table, I was asking about class and how does it work with Zoom? And he got this sheepish look on his face that he's about to tell a Lincoln story And so we all get excited about that And he's like, "Well I don't remember which class it was And he was like, "I was making a noise to myself during class I was like, I'm like, 'What?" Oh, God What is that noise? He's like, "I don't know, I was bored

I was just making a noise" He's like, " " I was like, "It sounds like you were dying" Oh my God I'm just like, that's your boredom noise? And he's like– Oh God "Yeah, it sounds like, " And then all of a sudden I looked and I got big on the screen and I realized I wasn't muted

Yeah, that's how it works Link And then Lincoln said 'Cause everyone's automatically muted, usually in a classroom

And he said that the teacher said, "We gotta mute that boy" In front of everybody and then Lincoln was like He was there like, "I sent a private message to my teacher

And I was like, "I am so sorry, I thought I was on mute" I was like, "But you didn't explain why you were making the death noise?" If there was ever any doubt– That Lincoln is of your loins, you do not need a paternity test What if I was doing that while you were talking, thinking I was muted? Wow, death noise I'm glad we solved that one 'Cause now we've gotta solve this cat problem

Okay But first, what are we trying to get people interested in this weak Link? We're trying to get people interested in– That's an old shirt right there Shoot, shoot, shoot, Kiko told me Don't tell me Kiko I'm not gonna remember these two things– The travel mug? No

No I may have just revealed something that I shouldn't have What is it? Oh, hair tie You got a hair tie? Mythical hair tie I'm actually using another hair tie at the moment

Just because they gave me some– You gotta go to mythicalcom They gave me some for a photo shoot And what's the other one Kiko? And then they took them back Shoelaces

Shoelaces Yeah, we got hair ties and shoelaces We're expanding around here 'Cause you don't need to use shoelaces to tie your hair and don't need– You can though These hair ties- In a To tie your shoes

That would be tough We have both mythicalcom Rep your boys on your feet and on your head and everywhere in between before things go out of circulation like this shirt, which is one of my favorites Can I ask you one question before you get started about this? Yeah, yeah, yeah

The timing of this is interesting, right? I know it is Because just other night, not the other night, the other day when we were at the creative house, our kids both All of our kids have taken to using the creative house, is they're like, I don't know, like their getaway

And LUck will be like, "Dad, gonna go to creative house today?" I'm like, "Okay" He hasn't even started school yet And I'm just like, "Why do you like going over there?" He's like, "Oh, it's like get away" Yeah, exactly It's just you get to go over to the house

So Lily has come over a number of times to do some work And when she came over the other day, she was like, "Hey Rhett, I think we might get a cat Or I think I might get a cat" And she was obviously trying to instigate something, a conversation But I assume that she doesn't for her own good listen to this podcast

She doesn't know about my encounters with the cat She doesn't know about the soft place in my heart that I now have for cats No, Rhett, Lily has taste And she listens to Dear Hank and John Okay, you're right

She's too smart She knows what's up So you're just saying, this makes it even more interesting You're just saying it's serendipity It's potentially destiny

She knows your reputation of hating cats She doesn't know the update Wow 'Cause you're bringing this into a very different environment If you had a brought this proposal into Rhett from two months ago, I would have a completely different

But my– You're talking about- Attitude towards cats has changed Because you had– Or cat You had a run in with cat that you gave your love to this cat, and now it's gone And presumably dead Some people got upset with me that I presumed it was dead

But listen, just the other night, right before I went past the house and it's on myself on someone's television I went past the cat house We always go past there Still no cat? Still a sign up, still lost The cat's not coming back

Has your heart grown? I got to say that I'm like, "Man, what are the chances I can find another cat like that?" That was a highlight of those walks Now I do have the ability to see myself on the television, which is, I definitely go by that house every time That's a highlight now Which is just a substitute for the cat

No, it's funny because it was getting to the point where 'Cause all these people followed up after that podcast and were like, "Oh yeah, Tabbies" They're called tabbies, the orange tabby

Oh yeah, those are always really, really friendly Oh, you know what? Also a Maine Coon it is the official cat of Maine They're huge They're very sweet too They're very doglike, I had heard that

'Cause we've got some friends who got a Maine Coon A lot of hair though And so, yeah, I'm sure allergic to Anyway, this is gonna fall on soft ears, but I will say- It's interesting I have something that might give you pause and that's not a pun But it is a good one So yeah, I meant to say pause So the other night, well, Lily hardly ever texts me

She's beginning her senior year, I feel for her That's tough Because it's their senior year of high school and here she is just doing it on a screen, getting pinned on knowingly by creeper guys– Yeah, ready year one I'm freaking concerned, I'm just a little sad she's doing well, all things considered, but it's just a bummer So she texts me and like a per cup

'Cause I'm like, she sent me a pic of a cat That was just it Okay, that's smart And then I didn't know how to respond Then I got distracted

Is there something particular about the cat– I didn't respond Was it doing something funny? Was it skateboarding? On a second look, the cat was in her lap When I got home, I could tell– In Lily's lap? Yeah, in her lap 'cause it was her shorts But when I got home, we were eating dinner or about to eat dinner And this is like family conversation time

But she says, "Dad, there's someone needs to talk to you about" And I'm like, "Okay" And I'm thinking dinner She's like, "After dinner" Oh, okay

That's interesting You don't talk about, oh This doesn't need to be for the whole family, this just needs to be for me It's what I thought And then when dinner was over, honestly, I'd gotten distracted

I'd gone into police mode of make sure all the dishes are done Yeah, that's pleasant But someone that's not me I'm not fun to live with sometimes And she's like, "Dad, I need you to come sit on the couch

" I was like, "Oh my God, is this a freaking intervention?" And then she turns on the television and she standing and smiling like she knew what was up And all of a sudden I look on the screen and it is the first slide of a presentation that she has created that I would now with her permission, like to share with you Let me pull this in here Oops, oh, here it is As you can see, it's a beautiful orange hue background with white bold lettering

If you're not watching this and you wanna watch this, Ear Biscuit, YouTube channel, every Sunday, we released the video version It's got all the visuals, including this, big, bold white letters Reasons why you should let me get a kitten And then it hits me This is the presentation she actually talked me into

Well, it's pretty obvious Yeah, it's the thesis is in the title It's very straight

She hit me over the head with it, which she knows how to communicate with dad It's like hit him hard so that he's not confused And then in little letters it says Featuring Yeti Which I presume is a cat I didn't know at this point

Or she's just gonna use like a Yeti microphone And then down here it says, Listen to me I'm for real, I can be very persuading

That's good, that's a really good start I would have said I could be very persuasive, but I don't think grammatically You know what's- She was there but her were on point You know what's interesting about this? Is this a thing that the youth are doing? Because for mother's day this year I told Luck and Shepherd I was like, "Guys, you gotta go all out, you don't do anything

You just live here and you eat And you're here all the time You drive your mom crazy Do something cool, show some effort" And– I remember you telling me about this

Shepard wrote her an original song called Mom Now it was just a piano, just an instrumental, but it was beautiful, I recorded it She loved it I think she may have cried a little bit We listened to that and then I was like, "Luck, what did you do?" And he was like, "Oh, oh

" He got this look on his face like you won't believe what I did And then he said, "Mom, come into the living room and sit down" And he was casting a presentation onto the television And he led a presentation about Jessie and how awesome of a mom she was Brilliant

So are kids doing presentations because that's something to get excited about? We can complain about generation, whatever they're right now, all we want But if they're doing presentations, there's hope That's the brilliant manipulation of it all Rhett 'Cause she knew that you would love a presentation Yes

I would venture to guess if we went to the right realms of TickTock, all the children are talking about, "Hey kids, you wanna get what you want out of life You wanna wrap your parents around your finger?" Present something to them "Present something to them Pick a font and a color and have add" Because it gives you the idea that your kids might one day be gainfully employed

You know what I'm saying? Right If you can do this– Oh, you could do business Half, there I say 75%– 80% 80%- Of corporate success Is presentation

If you can do a presentation– Presentation, bullshit You will win at life Yeah, where would we be without PowerPoint? Right, man Okay I'm really interested in this

And I perked up As you shouldn't I perked up Slide two Now you see there's a picture of cat

Reason number one, the cuteness factor And then on the right, there's a picture, it's the picture that she texted me Apparently, when I did not respond to the text at all, she was like, "That didn't work, I got to up my game" And that's when the presentation came about I didn't ask her that, but above the picture, it says his name is Yeti

And it's this white kitten, a few weeks old sitting on That's Lily's lap Those are her purple pants

And then underneath it, it just says, just look at it This is smart 'cause this is– The cat is looking right into my thought There are a few principles in advertising that she is really doing effectively here The first one is the fact that she exposed you to a picture of the cat, just out of the blue So this is a repeated exposure to the idea

And people have to see and hear things multiple times in order to actually take action So the fact that she seated the cat earlier in the day, really, really smart Maybe she should go into advertising Now she has this friend who's fostering kittens before they're adopted So she goes over and hangs out with this person and has told me that, "All these cats, so cute, you gotta see these little kittens

" So I was aware that this was happening, but I didn't really see this Is that cat going to turn red, orange? It looks– it's a white cat with this little tinge of It looks like brown, it could be orange– It looks friendly

Some blue eyes At this point I'm like, she's not saying, "Dad, I want this Kitten She's saying, "Dad–" I want this kitten "I want this kitten" It's staring into your soul, it's name is Yeti

I liked that name Slide three, reason number two, listen, anxiety is a real problem, cats can help Here are some facts for you Cats lower your stress level, cats lower anxiety because they take less effort than dogs Petting a cat has a positive calming effect

That's good And finally, 84% of people say that their feline friend had a positive impact on their life And there's two pictures of this We're in a stock photo territory now, About kittens exclusively Of kittens, make an eye contact, again with my soul

This is good This is good But I'm starting to put up walls and thinking, okay You might be in the 16% The anxiety thing, I feel like at best, it's probably a wash Bringing in another creature into my house, raises my anxiety

I have a lot of questions, but you know what? I made up my mind Hold the questions to the end I'm not gonna interject And I'm gonna try to make a demurring face, which is hard to interpret That's a vocabulary word

Next slide Reason number three, Jade will have friend This is the weakest point, but proceed Studies show that it is extremely important for dogs to be socialized Constant socialization will help Jade with her aggression towards people and other animals

So there's a picture of Jade If you want more of those, then go to Jade the official Instagram channel I think that picture is on it Boy, she cute Look how cute that dog is

And just below it is Yeti, the cat And then there's a caption, Can't you just picture them being the best of friends? Look how cute they're together Wow And– They're not really together, they've been put together on a presentation So that feels manipulative

Yeah Now, if she had gone the extra mile to Photoshop them together, I'd be listening But I think that this is the problem here is I can't picture them being the best of friends because I've had experience with Jade However– Now, Jade and Barbara are best of friends But Jade was better with the cat– In In my house than Barbara was

The prevailing theory there is that they were in a neutral territory for Jade, it was not Jade's home But it was Barbara's home and she was freaked out Because Barbara loved the last cat I can feel many listeners at this point, having lots more knowledge about introducing cats to dogs and all the dynamics there and picking apart her argument I'm not privy to that information

So the way that But more to come on that So don't get too worked up

For now I'll just say, there's a weakness in her argument here with number three, because our second point highlights a problem, which is constant socialization will help Jade with her aggression towards people and other animals It's basically saying Jade is aggressive towards– But she had to address this point You could have argued, "Listen, don't bring it up" But it's such a concern It's the leading concern

So she couched it, she made it reason number three So I understand why she included it But I think– I think that she shouldn't included Lily could be a lawyer Well, let's not get ahead of ourselves

Well, do they do PowerPoint in courtrooms? Yes, she could be The thing that I'm looking for here is some relevant facts about how She just said constant socialization will help Jade with her aggression

I need some data to back that up 'Cause I know that Stevie has a cat and a dog and– I was thinking about that a lot And I'm like, "I think Stevie does not like her cat" Oh, don't speak for Stevie I'm not gonna

I said I think, I could be wrong I just know that– I know she loves her dog I know that the dog and the cat are not on the best of terms

But they can be in the same room Well, yeah They don't hate each other Next slide Reason number four, cats pretty much do everything themselves

Now the picture of a kitty and then a picture of a trash can with the sign litter on it which– Almost looks like a coffin They can go to the bathroom and bathe without any help or training, how's that? That's interesting But don't worry, I'll keep the litter box in my closet That doesn't make me feel great It made me feel good

I said, "Okay, this is gonna be your problem But I have some concerns I'll get to you later" Okay, now I have what might be for you if you've never heard about it, a mindblowing little path that I wanna take you down that is relevant to reason number four Now, we can come back to it I don't know how many reasons there are in this presentation but– I think there might be one more

The litter box in the closet raises concerns that I feel I need to inform you as a friend about, but I'm gonna take you down a path though, so it's gonna take some time Let me get through the rest of this 'Cause I wanna say what my response to her was So I'll go through the rest of the presentation, reason number five, Yeti and I can even make the same demonized face Look, it's a picture of the cat getting scrubbed on her neck by Lily

And then it's a closeup and our right eyes, looking out to the right and our left eyes looking a little off to the left And this is something that the it clown– Can do, yeah He can– On command And Lily can do that And it scares the crap out of me when she does it

She looks down and then her eyes go up and out and it's like the demon's trying to pop out of her brain So she has a connection to this cat But how come she didn't put her face on there? Because she knew it would scare the crap out of me Final slide, bold letters right in the middle That is my pitch in smaller letters

Please let me get a kid And then I look over at her from the screen and my daughter, she's my first born I love her deeply I'm super proud of her I'm beaming with pride, that she has constructed a cohesive set of arguments and formed it into a presentation

And I just can't deny And I'm like, "The way that I respond" This is– She will remember it for the rest of her life And here's the thing with teenagers I'm keenly aware that every time they go out on a limb with either to assert themselves, to take a risk, to share feelings, what's going on inside of themselves? It's always precarious because I felt like any time you respond to a teenager, it feels like your entire relationship is riding on it

Well, especially now 'cause– Especially now– Because if I gave this presentation to my dad, he'd be like, "Nope" And then he would just walk out And I still have a good relationship with him But if I were to do that to my kids– The terms of our relationship– They fall apart Are a little different, and I don't know, you can pass your own judgment on what that is, but you wanna keep connection going

You wanna keep communication lines open You know what? They can't get everything they want, but you have to do it in a way that it doesn't close them off to you because their predisposition is to close themselves off I'm speaking in generalities, and Lily may not say that, but I'm speaking less from the reality of our relationship and more from fear of how it may work And even when Christine, I talked about it later, we were like, "I don't really want a cat, but I don't wanna make her this upset about something she's so passionate about at a time we were looking for positive things to experience I was like, I just need to be really calculated my response

And I was like, "First thing I need to say needs to be positive and affirming I was like, "You know what? Lily, I wanna commend you on making this presentation, on taking the time to do it and everything in it And I just want to acknowledge that if it were not for you, Jade would not be a part of our lives And that decision, she found Jade at an adoption thing And she brought us all over and said, "I want this puppy, we need this puppy

" And the first picture I have is the two of them, like at that moment, because Christy wasn't there and I texted her the picture and stuff So I acknowledged that and I was like, "So I'm gonna hear you out" I was like, "Second thing I need to point out is, in 10 months from now, you're gonna be gone And if you go off to college, most likely you're not gonna be able to take this cat with you This is a family decision to have a cat

" This isn't her getting a cat, this is you getting a cat This is you getting a cat for 10 months or so And in us getting the cat for the rest of the time it's here 20 years maybe And that really concerns me

I'm also really concerned about the impact of Jade I don't want Jade's feelings to be hurt Well, they will be at least initially And if there's anybody that I spoil without any argument, it is Jade I got no defense for that

And I'm not proud of it, but it does happen constantly So I think about her and then I'm like, "I need to know if there's" If this were to happen, I'm not saying it will

I'm not saying I'm on board and all of us have to be on board Lando was there the whole time begging for it to happen He's on board Lincoln seemed to be on board, but didn't care because he's really close to Jade He's making death noises

She sleeps with him now and he's like, Christy does not want a cat Christy wants another dog Well, that's what I was gonna ask you, 'cause it feels like- And I was warming up The the only person who's opinion really matters in this situation is Christy's And Christy's like, "I'm concerned about the fact that I want us to have another dog, and I don't want this to keep us from that ultimately to where we were boxed out of that decision

" And also, she loves plants more than she loves me And so she was very concerned about the plants, 'Cause cats will eat the plants Cats the plants– That cat ate plants in my house Some cats will die because they eat the wrong plants You got to think about your plants and a plant person doesn't wanna think about their plants

And I was like, "Lily, you need to address the plants You need to do research on that I need to know if there's a trial period I need to know how would we introduce the two of them? I need you to do research on that" And we have to face the fact that like, they may not get along

Making a true test We cannot just relegate a cat that in 10 months, you're gonna be gone that has to be isolated from our dog We can't live that way But you could go feral after 10 months I'm like, "Real talk, we have to have an actual trial

If this were to move forward and a possible outcome is that we have to give the cat back because it's not good for the cat or the dog or our family And you would have to be ready for that" So she went back and did a research She did a second presentation, which I'm not gonna show you I'm not gonna go through it, but this is what it looked like

You can see it here Mostly text It's just white There's no more passion in it, it's just text And all it does is it walks through how to introduce a cat to a home with a dog

This could have been an email, but I appreciate the effort So we're up to speed on what it takes step by step, over weeks to introduce a kitten to a dog, to have a chance This is like a multi month trial by this one By the time you've gotten through it, she's gonna be off to college But the last thing I said was, "Lily, you have to address all my concerns and you also have to

I'm interested in how you're gonna sweeten the deal" She's like, "What do you mean? You want me to pay you?" No, I'm like, "well, are you to make a commitment to watching movies with me that I want?" Oh, bribing Yeah, like bribe me

Like, "I want us to watch some movies together that are my choosing I want you to have a good attitude when we watch them" Okay, interesting I was like, "This is an opportunity to force her to cultivate our relationship And you need to pull out all the stops

Also you need to give me carte blanche to exploit anything associated with this experience for entertainment purposes on Ear Biscuits" Yeah, well, that's a given It wasn't a given cause she tells me not to talk about stuff all the time Just kidding So that brings us to now

Okay All right I'm gonna throw what might be a complicating wrench into this a little bit, 'cause I'm not sure that in any of these presentations I can't vouch for the second one is very long If the issue of toxoplasmosis has been addressed No, it has not

I have not I may have heard the term– Prepare to have your mind blow In preparation for that, I will just say we've gotten to a point where, because she's been so passionate about it, and we know what We're very open to trying out this kitten I think at this point in this conversation, I'm predicting that we're going to get the kitten on a trial basis It has not happened And I don't know if it will happen, but if I had to put money on it, I think that's what's gonna happen Okay

Now let me– I kind of like cats Let me premise this with the fact that, again, I have a soft spot for cats now I've already told you that my "Hatred of cats," was mostly a bit I'm just a dog guy that preferred them And I did recently fall deeply in love with the cat that is now dead

All that being said, I knew about this whole toxoplasmosis thing before And I'm sure that if you're a big cat lover, you're gonna get upset with me Is this– 'Cause I'm bringing something up that you may think is unfair or whatever But it's absolutely fascinating and it's amazing how prevalent it is, but people don't really talk about it that much So there's a single cell in microscopic organism called T gondii

I don't know if I'm saying that right, but it's not a bacteria or a virus, but it is distantly related to the parasite that causes malaria Cats get T gondii and the disease it causes is toxoplasmosis by eating infected rodents, birds and other animals Estimate suggested about 40% of cats in the United States are infected Most don't show any symptoms, but they can develop jaundice or blindness and experienced personality changes if the parasite spreads to the liver or nervous system Now let me explain how this thing works

So the theory on this is that– You're trying to gross me out of getting a kitten This particular organism evolved It only can reproduce in the digestive tract of a cat That's the only place that it can actually undergo its reproduction process So it's got to get into the poop of cats

And then it's got to get back into a cat's digestive system So what it has developed is an adaptation whereby when it gets into a rat or a mouse, cysts grow on the neurons, inside the mice brain and causes the rodent to lose it's fear of cat piss So mice and rats– They're repelled by the– They're repelled by cat piss And if they get toxoplasmosis, not only are they not repelled by it, but some studies suggest that they're into it, that they're attracted to it And as you can imagine– So the cat opens it's mouth, well it's pee hole and it walked right in

So they lose their fear of cats, essentially, which makes them an easy target, which gets the toxoplasmosis or gets the T gondii back into the digestive tract of the cat and the process starts all over again Now– How does it get in the rat or the mice, because they drink the pee? It's in the poop, it's not in the pee and poop is everywhere Cat's got poop– And the rats eat the cat poop? You end up getting fecal matter in your mouth sometimes It's just all people, it just happens And if you're a rat, you probably get a lot

Then make it about you Say, "I get rat poop in my mouth" 11% of people in the United States are infected with T gondii So one out of every 10 people is infected Good gosh

The rates are much higher in regions where people eat more raw meat or sanitation is poor for example, infection rates exceed 90% in some parts of Europe and South America I've heard that something like the vast majority I've heard somebody talk about Brazil has a lot of people infected with T gondii

Now, in healthy people, toxoplasmosis often causes a flu like illness or no symptoms at all, but it can occasionally be dangerous or even fatal in those with weakened immune systems, antibiotics can treat the infection though, drugs may not completely banish the parasite Now this is where it starts getting crazy, so I saw an article in the New York Times, years ago, where somebody is talking about this, basically that crazy cat lady is a real thing So somebody who lives with a bunch of cats and is almost assuredly been of infected by T gondii has toxoplasmosi, actually undergoes behavioral changes because of the infection They're happy? And some people say, well, they could develop an attraction towards cat urine, but the research on this, the data is really incomplete because you can't really conduct a controlled study on cat people in an ethical way But there's a lots of research that suggests that there are behavioral changes

And let me just talk about some of these behavioral changes that might be the case Again, this isn't an exact science Jaroslav Flegr an evolutionary biologist at Charles University in the Czech Republic is looking into this issue He has spent years studying toxos impact on human behavior He found for example, that people infected with toxoplasmosis have slower reflexes and are 2

5 times as likely to get into car accidents I might already have it Toxoplasma gondii infection is thought to alter the personalities of infected individuals, whether rats or humans by increasing risk, taking behaviors Studies have shown that this can be– So you take risks and you'd have a slower reaction time That's not a good combination

Studies have shown that this can lead to more accidents But on the flip side, this is where it gets tricky Stephanie Johnson and colleagues, I don't know who that is, but it's in this article Recently– They have more fun Showed that this risk taking tendency can lead to increase entrepreneurial behaviors

So you gotta take this into account Now, the– Crazy cat lady entrepreneur So it gets weird, but the chances are, especially if your daughter has a cat poop receptacle in her closet, that is– That she's going to become a business owner Surely getting on her clothes, which may become business suits You got to think about the fact that she's gonna get a little potentially riskier and you gotta be comfortable with that

And she may be on the cover of Forbes magazine one day and thank you But also you're probably gonna get infected Only 11% of people in the United States have it But if the cat never goes out and eats raw flesh, then the cat's not gonna get it You can't control a cat, you know that

40% of all cats have it, that's a low estimate They're called house cats, you don't let them outside 40% of all cats That's almost a coin flip Globally but– No

In United States It's a coin flip It's a coin flip whether or not you're gonna have toxoplasmosis and your family, and your own brain There's an upside to it I just want you to be prepared

Do not mention this to Christy Wow You just can't be part of it Okay, I'm just telling you that Especially if she's got it in the closet, she's gonna get it

You're right, the cat has to contract it, which it's probably gonna happen, and– I know that cat people are screaming at you right now So I'm gonna I know there's gotta be a balance in fact, but hey, I appreciate you bringing this up because I will need to achieve a comfort level on this approach

I'm not saying listen, to all of that being given And like I said, the science is not super established, but this isn't fringe theory stuff I've heard of it With all that being said, they think that if you take the world's population into account, I think that more than half of the entire world is already infected with this, already has toxoplasmosis So it isn't like– Let's go all in

It's not like that big of a deal Some people, it can be a big deal So this would not preclude me from getting a cat If I were to get a cat, I wouldn't be like, "Oh, toxoplasmosis" I like taking risks, man

And now we're two Rhett because if my memory serves me correctly before Lily discovered Jade, and then we decided to adopt her, you said, "I think we're gonna get a dog" You told me that you as a family, you were heads up, "I think we're gonna get a dog" And then I ended up getting a dog before you because– You moved into your new house before Yeah, because what we said is– When you move into the house, we'll probably get it We had said the whole time that we were living in our old house, we were like, "This is a rental, we can't have a dog–" That was the reason

"When we buy a house, we're gonna get a dog" And it was like this Because he couldn't– Multiple year lead up to like, the kids were like, "We're gonna get a dog

We're gonna get a dog as soon as we move" Dog And so we did So I think there's a repeated thing like, you had a connection with a cat you've softened Then Lily shows up with a cat

And by the way, update on Yeti After the first presentation, Yeti was adopted Okay, that's relevant But there was another one that she was like, "You know what? There's another one" There's always another cat

This one's a black cat I was like, "Oh, now we got luck coming in or lack of luck" She's like, "This one's gonna be even better This one's more laid back, this one's black, I'm gonna call this one Opal So we're gonna have Jade and Opal

" Oh, interesting Opals can be many colors, but the most valuable color is black, she said Anyway, I think you're gonna get cat Well, the dynamics– Out of courtesy, I'm just giving you a heads up that you know what's gonna happen Well, the dynamics are similar

Here's what I'll say, my family, everyone, but me really wants another dog and has wanted another dog for a long time And I want another dog And I like the idea, but I don't know I feel like I'm the only one in my family with a real grasp of the negatives that come along with having another being in the house, and the poop But we don't really have much of a yard, we've got a little artificial grass in one spot

And that's where Barbara does her business And Barbara's a little dog You're gonna double the business Jessie will put out pictures of– A huge dog Giant sheep dog, like she put doodles or stuff like that

Like, "It just looks like a Teddy bear" I'm like, "Could you imagine the size of the ted?" All I can see when I see that dog, you see cute giant Teddy bear I see giant pieces of shit Now– That's what I see That's not the case with a cat

You're right But to me it's an adventure, breaking the seal on having an animal in the house was a very rewarding experience for me And I'm so glad that we got Jade I have positive experiences with cats I'm curious, I think it would be really cool if they could be friends

Again, if they can't, I don't think it will work And then I'm like, "I think we can still get another dog, I don't know" Maybe like a farm eventually Well, a farm that only has pets That's fun though

Can I read you a list of names? These are famous people Some people are dog people, and some people are cat people And if you feel like you're connecting with the people who have been determined to be cat people, maybe that's a sign that you should go the cat way Or maybe you should just stay the dog route Yes, you can read me this list

Martha Stewart What's the question? Do I like Martha Stewart? When I say Martha Stewart– Do I identify with her? Do feel like there's a kinship with her spirit in some percents? You could vibe with her because I'm gonna tell you whether she's a dog person or a cat person I would have said no, but in seeing all of her colabs with Snoop dog, she's changed my mind And now at the last second I'm gonna say yes I could have a connection with Martha Stewart

Martha Stewart is a dog person Oh Speaking of Snoop Dogg, Snoop Dogg Would I connect with Snoop Dogg? Yeah I'd love to

Yes Ironically, Snoop dog is a cat person What? Okay, so now I'm 50 50 Okay, all right But Jade is like a cat, that's the confusing thing

John Lennon John Lennon, I'm a McCartney man, no John Lennon is a cat person Yeah Seeing I don't think in my mind, I'm like, "If I don't like somebody, I'm assuming they're a cat person

" 'Cause I know I'm a dog person It's just, am a both person? All right, Oprah Boy, I would be intimidated But then I think she would make me relax right off the bat and we'd be in a cushy couch together And we'd be like

I think within 10 minutes of hanging out with Oprah, we'd be holding hands You know how when you hold both hands with somebody and you're looking right into their eye, having a conversation I would love to do that with Oprah

I've never done that with anybody But Oprah would be the person I would have both of her hands in my hands I think my hands will be in her hands Oh, she's in control for sure Yeah, my hands are in her hands and my eyes are locked on her eyes

And then maybe my head is resting on her bosom after a couple hours That feels like a connection Yes Oprah is a dog person Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga Like in a getup or without makeup? 'Cause– As Stephanie Yeah, definitely I want to connect with her I've connected with everybody, haven't I? I believe so

Yeah, I wanna meet her too, man Lady Gaga is a dog person Isn't that surprising? I know she drives a pickup Katy Perry I know she dated John Mayer

That's long ago Is this my end with John Mayer? Not anymore, no Katy Perry is a cat person Yeah Freddie Mercury

Freddie Mercury, man, what a talent? What? What a talent? I think it's one of those don't meet your heroes kind of thing I think I admire him too much to meet him So you don't think you would dive with them? No Freddie mercury is a cat person You're skewing dog right now

Just so you know, you're skewing dog I'm skewing dog I'm not getting rid of my dog though The Rock He's tough, I just don't know

I don't think so The Rock is a dog person And finally, Vanna White What a talent? Myrtle beach girl Definitely, definitely

I'd be strolling on the beach Christy would be there But say are you in a relationship with Vanna? 'Cause that's what it sounded like No, it's a double date situation It's a triple date 'cause my– Was Jack there? No

They're not a couple I know her husband but whatever What do you think her husband is like? Do you think he's known as Vanna White's husband? I think it's like a Dolly Parton's husband's situation Low profile? Yeah, you just don't know It's like is he covered in tattoos? Right

I've heard Well, I don't know The rumor is that Dolly's covered in tattoos, not her husband I think her husband has– Really? Has a lot of tattoos You definitely connect with Vanna? Yeah, yeah, triple date

My dad and his wife are also there We're all strolling down the beach Vanna White is a cat person We're strolling on the beach with a bunch of cats Bunch of cats

So I wasn't keeping score, but I think maybe that demonstrates that you've got openness to both It's better to something you did and something you didn't Okay But not having a cat at your house that you don't– People talk– That doesn't really apply to this situation, I don't think

People talk about– Because once you have a cat, you have the cat Cats like– For a long time Like the reputation of a cat, even if I hate the cat, it's like I have a first person experiential knowledge of that I've only heard all this stuff about cats I wanna experience that for myself

I wanna take out a bite out of that pie is how I feel about I'm like, "Let's just go for it and see what happens" Well, I do think that you But do it responsibly, do it safely that yeah, yeah, yeah I would say that the one thing that is definitely true in Lily's presentation is the level of commitment is way less Because your day to day with a dog, there's so much

Yeah There's so much responsibility because the dog needs so much, the cat doesn't need as much from you So I do think that getting a dog, that's a problem If the cat doesn't need me, I'm not gonna like it, I will say that But I'd like to know

Getting a dog that is a problem dog is a bigger Again, I'm saying this is a dog owner That makes sense to me

I think it's a bigger responsibility or a bigger pain in the ass than getting a cat That's a problem cat That just doesn't like you Most people have cats, it's like, "Yeah, we don't touch him We would just set the food out, he roams around

" After a while it's like, "Okay, that's the way that cat is" I think Steve's cat is a little like that, but I always see the cat in the background I need to talk to her about it Yeah, okay So no final decision

I'll keep you updated and exploit it for entertainment as much as possible because that is a wide silver lining For sure Definitely in my profession, it's better to regret something you did than something you didn't do? What percentage of my contribution to the entertainment value of what we do is based on my personal regrets? I've never thought of that, but more than mine All right I feel good about that

Yeah Do you have a wreck? Oh shit Forgot about the wreck I'm excited about your wreck I've told you about this because I texted you

We weren't watching survivor one night, 'cause everybody wasn't there And I don't like watching survivor unless all of the family's there Including the cat

And so it was me and Lando and Christy And we were like I'm just like browsing and it was close to bedtime

I was like, "We might have time to watch like a 22 minute Sitcom" And then I saw this thumbnail on Netflix and the runtime of the thing It looked like a movie, but the runtime was 16 minutes

So I'm like, "This is strange A 16 minutes thing on Netflix, a short film type situation" But I was so drawn in by the thumbnail of it that I was like, "Let's watch this, it's short If it sucks, it's fine" John Was Trying To Contact Aliens

That's what it's called It's got this guy with a long hair and a long beard And he's got what I would call the crazy eye from the life aquatic with Steve Zhu, and they'll talk about that And I'm like, "This looks interesting After I watched it, I texted you

I know your bedtimes later than mine" I just knew you would like it So I was like, "Watch John Was Trying To Contact Aliens on Netflix it's 16 minutes You can do it before your bed time" And I did it in the morning while I was watching breakfast, I was eating breakfast

I've never watched Netflix while eating breakfast Well, I was coming in and I was like, It's 16 minutes and it's probably something funny to talk about, so I'll just watch it I think Netflix is onto something with these shorter videos I think they could just have shorter videos and they could be more personality based But if you have commenting underneath and video replies So make it YouTube? Yeah

It's just like an interestingly edited biopic, not biopic It's just a documentary of this guy, John, and like the middle of nowhere who has devoted his entire life to contact aliens And there's a defining moment in the documentary that we're not going to spoil I'm not gonna spoil it The only thing I'll say is that while watching breakfast, why am I saying watching breakfast? Yep

Is that what happens when you watch Netflix While eating breakfast with my wife, watching this 16 minute short film When the thing that you're talking about that we will not spoil happened, my eyes welled up with tears I would just think it was 16 minutes long, it was touching, it was touching We were giving away too much already because the best thing is to go in totally blind

So forget everything we said, except to watch it Yeah, 16 minutes of your time That's all we ask and a hundred Well, how many minutes we've been gone right now? Sometimes we ask a little bit less Sometimes we ask a little bit more Thanks for being on the journey with us #EarBiscuits To watch more Ear Biscuits, click on the playlist on the right

To watch the previous episode of Ear Biscuits, click on the playlist to the left And don't forget to click on the circular icon to subscribe If you prefer to listen to this podcast, it's available on all your favorite podcast platforms Thanks for being your mythical best

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