Is Lux a mean cat or just programed that way?

So the situation from the first post has been resolved. However, in a way I didn’t anticipate.  The tempers flared with a coworker and myself last week.  Actions and words exchanged between us would show an outsider that things would not smooth out between us.  I thought to myself that we would not be able to work together again.  I felt like crap for the next couple days after it happened.  (Similar to that sick gut feeling after a bad breakup with a girlfriend.)  The event replayed in my mind over and over all weekend. Sleep was interrupted because of these thoughts.  Was I wrong?  Again, as I stated in my first post and still stand behind, I was right about the issue however wrong on how I handled it.  Did I mess up our work environment because of my ATTD? (See my about section.)

I’m not sure if it was a couple days off of work or the fact that two guys fought and got over it, but it’s fixed.  I walked into work ready to apologize.  Not needed, we just picked up from where we left off with our new update installed.  What did I learn from this?  I learned that there are times where we need to take our reactions over the top to get the point across.  Also, there may be better ways to get your point across than going over the top with your reactions.  I think most of us do neither or most of the time.  Probably due to the over-sensitive PC environments we live and work in.  We are afraid we will hurt someone or ourselves if we act outside of the “social norm”.

It looks like this can happen to even cats!? Lux, the 22 pound cat that is nice enough to let this family live with him, had is own temper flare up recently.  Lux (for reasons his therapist will reveal later) scratched the family’s 7 month old toddler on the forehead.  After a defensive kick from the father to the cat’s rear end, Lux went off the edge and forced the family (including their dog) to seek shelter in the bedroom.  (This dog may need some help from the therapist as well!)  Well good news, Lux is back home!  Maybe they just needed some time off from each other as well.

So, are Lux and I alike?Hannibal_Poenaru_-_Nasty_cat_!_(by-sa)

(The cat pictured in the post is not Lux. This cat also may be laughing and not really angry?)

Who knows what pushed either of us to our ATTD moment.  According to the American Psychological Association, “The instinctive, natural way to express anger is to respond aggressively. Anger is a natural, adaptive response to threats; it inspires powerful, often aggressive, feelings and behaviors, which allow us to fight and to defend ourselves when we are attacked. A certain amount of anger, therefore, is necessary to our survival.”  Survival in today’s world may be in the workplace, home, or social group?  I know the trained response is programmed in us way before we were even born.  It is a primal reaction built into each and every one of us.  We have just received the “don’t act like an ape” software update to comply with the current applications that we work with.  The hardware is still there.

To continue from the APA: “On the other hand, we can’t physically lash out at every person or object that irritates or annoys us; laws, social norms, and common sense place limits on how far our anger can take us.”  (The software update.) So for Lux the cat and myself, our file just crashed. We defaulted back to our original hard wired programing.  The weekend or kennel (Lux was in the kennel and I had the weekend off, just in case you lost track) was our reboot.  Social norm software update 2014.3 reinstalled and working normal!

There are healthy norms between socially acceptable and a full software crash.  Just like most of our computers, we don’t test the limits too often.  I think we lean towards the acceptable part and rarely push the limits of our programing.  Maybe there are times where we need to push the “common sense” limits.  We may surprise ourselves on what could come of it. (For better and for worse.)


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  1. #1 by Clarissa Silva, MSW on March 21, 2014 - 11:24 am

    Brilliant analogy Steve! Your posts are poignant, sharp and thought provoking.

    Pushing the limits of common sense could be a great idea because it will vary for some and make them better versions of themselves. For others, it’ll regulate dumbassness.

    Welcome to the blogging world! Great stuff! Keep up the great work!


  2. #3 by umadyet on March 21, 2014 - 11:12 pm

    Thank you Clarissa! For some, just having common sense would be a good start!


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