Luna’s Great Leap

I have written before about our cat’s fascination with my Julbocken, the Scandinavian straw goats popular at Christmas. She loves to chew on the wheat berries at the end of the straw sprigs that make up the beards. Last Christmas I left them out in the living room instead of putting them back in the closet in January. I had repaired the beard of the largest Julbock and festooned him with a lovely beard and wanted to show him off.

I had three Julbocken and an Austrian straw girl on top of a curio cabinet that I thought was out of the cat’s range for leaping. The figures were at an awkward angle to jump to from the love seat (or so I thought). I thought the angle and the narrowness of the surfaces would dissuade her from leaping. I would sometimes see Luna, the cat, stare intently up at the figures from the floor, as if calculating what she needed to do to get up there. The other evening I heard a strange yowling, and I entered the living room to see her on top of the curio cabinet feasting on the repaired beard of the largest julbock. I got Luna down and put the goats back in the closet. I left the girl, since she had no berries to chew on.

A few days later I took this photo, that I think captures Luna calculating how to make another leap.

She hasn’t, to my knowledge, leapt again to the top of the curio cabinet. The girl has been left undisturbed. Luna isn’t a very active cat, but she is far more calculating than I would have imagined.

When have you taken a calculated risk? Did it work out for you? Who are the most successful risk takers you know?

16 thoughts on “Luna’s Great Leap”

  1. The Julbocken are bigger than I imagined. Oh yeah, that cat is planning something.

    I take a lot of risks. Everything from eating food past it’s due date, to climbing over the railings of things, or leaving the chickens door open at night. “Calculated risks” and “cautiously optimistic”. I wonder if that’s a good combination or not?

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Sounds like a winning combination to me, Ben, especially if you have the ability to pick yourself up and dust yourself off when something doesn’t work out as planned. I can’t wait to hear tim’s unique perspective on this.

      Liked by 3 people

  2. In 1988 I “borrowed” $5000 from my credit card and opened a commodity futures trading account with a local broker. With his guidance, I made a small fortune (six figures) in soybean futures, then proceeded to give most of it back by investing in sugar futures. I made a very respectable profit percentage-wise in those six months, paid off the $5k, and dabbled in commodities for the next several years, eventually drifting back toward break-even. It was a calculated risk because we would have been able to pay off the credit card over time and not get in too deep where we would have gone bankrupt or anything. Not that we had very much to lose back in 1988 anyway.

    Stupid of me, but an excellent learning experience that prepared me for stock trading and investing a few years later. That has turned out better–still showing a positive return even after the lost decade of the 2000s.

    And don’t get me started on calculated risks playing golf. So many shots are calculated risks that sometimes turn out spectacularly. Most times they don’t.

    I have a golf buddy who is a very astute businessman. Back in 2007 or so–after he’d sold his share of a specialized recycling company to his partner for a nice profit, he and his brother decided to open an RV dealership. I remember thinking “He’s crazy because the housing market is going berserk, people are all focused on buying houses. Who wants to buy an RV?” But the guy did his homework, came up with a detailed business plan, and was able to get his first store off the ground.

    14 years and four locations in southern MN later, the brothers sold their business to Camping World for probably millions of dollars. I told Mike, if you ever need an investor for your next venture, count me in! 🙂

    Chris in Owatonna

    Liked by 5 people

  3. My parents met and married during the Great Depression. It basically flattened their world and made everything difficult, with one result being they both became extremely conservative about money. But the surprising result was that the Depression taught each of them to become a fighter . . . to absolutely refuse to surrender to life’s blows. When I looked at their experience of the Depression I couldn’t figure how they took that lesson from it. But they did.

    Then a moment came when two scaredy cat people had a chance to gamble on a new venture. To my astonishment, they gambled . . . by moving to Minnesota and starting a new factory. It paid off beautifully for them, and they sure deserved every morsel of happiness they won by taking that gamble. I was gobsmacked when they took that gamble, with one lesson being that you don’t really know another person until you have seen them handle an extreme event.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. I’m not sure how calculated it was, but flinging caution to the wind I became a single parent by choice in 1995. Personally I think it’s turned out very well.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Parenthood is inherently risky business. I salute every parent who has taken on that that role, either singly, as a couple, or as part of a larger community and done a good job of it. Single parenthood is often not a choice, but when it is, it seems like an exceptionally brave one to me. I congratulate you, vs, I can only imagine the level of courage and determination it has taken to pull that off. You’ve done good.

      Liked by 4 people

  5. Latest calculated risk was walking out the back door. I did, turned around and came back in the house.

    My sister was here last week, and there were numerous decisions to make about meal venues, both while traveling in Iowa, and for the one place in Winona that we were going to try for lunch. Small calculated risks, to be sure, but still risks when there was so little available time. We had success on all fronts. (Steve, there is a Dublin Bay Irish Pub & Grill in Ames that was quite good!) There is Miya, a relatively new Japanese bistro in downtown Winona that was just right.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. To me a calculated risk is a decision that I have consciously considered the results of if I failed. What would be the worst possible,consequence of that decision? I’m wondering if life’s most important decisions really fall in that category? I’m probably overthinking this, but it seems to me that most people, myself included, don’t give enough consideration to a lot of decisions we make, even those that can and do affect our long-term health and well being.

    I’ve made some major decisions in my life without fully understanding the possible long-term consequences. Some of these decisions were made with youthful abandon because I was in love and too damned naive to realize that they would change my life forever. Other decisions were made simply because I didn’t see another alternative at the time.

    Graduating from college, for example, without a job or prospect of one and no supportive family to return to, explains why wasband and I set out for the Twin Cities. Our marriage was on the rocks, we had all of $600.00 to our name, but staying in Carbondale was simply not an option. Next year it will be fifty years since we made that decision, so I suppose you could say it worked out. We’re both still here, though haven’t seen or spoken to each other in thirty-five years.

    For me money has never been something that I have used for measuring success. No, that’s not quite accurate. It would be more accurate to say that money is not the only, and maybe not the best tool for measuring success. The balance in my bank account assures a safety net that’s nice to have. I don’t have to worry about a roof over my head, having enough food to eat, or being able to afford my medications, but beyond that it is not a source of contentment or happiness for me. I know some people who have successfully accrued great wealth and who are leading joyful and meaningful lives. I know even more people, mostly creative folks, who are struggling to make ends meet. I wonder if Thoreau was right when he wrote “the mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.”?

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Regarding your header photo, Renee, Luna is most definitely interested in your Julbock. Our Martha routinely jumps to the top of the tall cabinet in our dining room, especially when our friend Don is visiting with his Portuguese waterdog puppy, Zara. From there she can keep track of the puppy without Zara being able to get to her. She looks quite decorative up there.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. When in Brooklyn apartment with Wasband (I’ve told this before), we had one book shelf sitting on top of another, so the dang thing was 8 feet high. Nailed a strip of carpeting to one side so the cats could use it as a tree when s-i-l came with her two Irish setters…

      Liked by 1 person

  8. They say we make the best decision we can, with the information we have, at the time we made it.

    And listen to your gut. Trust yourself.

    I have come to realize, I always have a plan B. For everything. Not sure where that came from.

    A few years ago, a friend was trying to start a business. He was in the fundraising stage. I asked if there was a plan B. Nope, there was no plan B. It was sink or swim.
    He sank. And life has been really rough for him. But if he had gotten that business open, Covid would have killed it and I think he’d be worse off.
    Unfortunately, he’s in a pretty dark place and I doubt he’s seen that yet.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It’s really hard to watch a friend make some pretty devastating decisions and not being able to dissuade them. It’s even harder afterwards, if they persist in blaming others for them. Owning your mistakes is the first step in not making that same mistakes again. Unfortunately I know several people who resolutely absolve themselves of all responsibility and blame others for their misfortune.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. I rarely have a plan B. I put a lot of thought into plans, and don’t like to waste it. It has got to work. If it fails, maybe I can adjust it, rather than throw it away and make a new one. I hate waste of anything, including brainpower, I don’t have much.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.