Coffee Spills

What I hear and see and think about at the coffee shops I patronize.
Brisk. Fresh. Well-balanced. Occasional nutty and bittersweet overtones.
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Sunday, December 11, 2005

My left paw

Have you ever noticed how easy it is to write with your non-dominate hand on the black board, or any surface on which you raise your arm and don’t need to rest your hand? Teachers probably know that when teaching children to write. I figured that out in third grade I think. Thought I was terribly smart until I realized that the skill didn’t translate to the top of my desk.

I looked up at the fireplace hood at Panera’s December 1 and it was covered with dust. I had my left shoulder nearest the fireplace, so without even thinking I raised my left hand and effortlessly wrote, “Wash me.”

Paw dominance and color sense were two common questions when I was the veterinary medicine librarian at Ohio State. (The cat, sensing a cat topic, has just jumped into my lap.) Yes, cats have a paw preference:

“Cats have "paw dominance" similar to the right-handedness and left-handedness found. Owners will have noticed that some cats tend to prefer one paw over the other for manipulating objects while others use either paw. Studies indicate that 20% of cats are right-pawed; 38.3% of cats are left pawed and the remaining 41.7% are ambidextrous. Preferences are determined by the part of the brain called the sensorimotor cerebral cortex. Paw dominance is fixed and can be modified only slightly by environmental factors, such as convenience for reaching something.” Feline medical curiosities

You don't even want to know how they learned all that brain stuff about cats.


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