The Cat and the Rabbit

When I was a teenager, living in my parents’ house, we had a cat. Growing up, we only ever had the one cat, who showed up one day and decided to move in. He was a beautiful tonkinese, and probably influenced me to love them more than any other breed of cat. Prior to that, we were a dog family, and my mom would not have a cat in the house. My brother and I decided that he should be named ‘Cat’ and started feeding him.

Much to our surprise, my mom was utterly smitten with ‘Cat.’ If you’ve ever spent time around one of this breed, you would understand. She promptly corrected the spelling of his name to ‘Khat’, and gave him a prominent place in the household. Rather, he carved out for himself a most beloved place in the household.

He was a lover, but still wild. He was a mighty hunter who culled the acreage of birds, lizards, mice, and pretty much any other hors d’oeuvres he could catch in the yard. This was usually a good thing…

One day, my mom caught me while she was in a frantic state, “Khat is chasing a bunny!” she cried.

“Cool,” I responded.

“No,” she said, “you have to save it!”

“Why?” I asked in my teenage surliness.

She explained, “Because it’s a baby!”

I rolled my eyes and tried to explain that this was the way of nature, and that the baby bunny’s sacrifice would serve to strengthen its stronger, faster bretheren, but she would hear none of it. Since there was obviously no other possible way to console her, I went to the back yard.

So, there I was, chasing the cat, chasing the young rabbit (In vain, as far as I was concerned). I understood that Khat smelled blood. He would not hear my calls, which only made the rabbit run faster, which only made the cat run faster. I knew full well that either of them could easily outrun me. But, as they zigzagged in a chase around they yard, imagine my surprise when the rabbit passed only a step in front of me!

In an instant, I reached my hand down and scooped up the terrified rodent who was shaking hard from the chase. Khat sat down at my feet, cocked his head and said, “Maaaow?!?!?” which directly translates to, “Put that down, I’m going to eat it!” Once the cat was put inside, the rabbit was released into the woods, and its story diverged from mine.

Fortunately, Khat was easier to console than my mom, and he went on to have many more lap snuggles and eat many more yard vermin. Sadly, his early demise was due to some kind of illness that he contracted from eating wild meat. It was fast acting and killed him before he could be diagnosed. You can’t cut the claws off and contain the wild creature you love without taking away their quality of life. I know full well that Khat would likely still be alive if we had confined him to an ‘inside’ cat. But, he would not have been nearly as happy.

People are like that too. We aren’t tame. When we try to tame each other, it might prolong life, but it will take quality away from it. My grandfather turns 90 in the next 12-month cycle. As far as I know, he is still crawling in his attic and climbing ladders to repair his house, and doing other stuff that makes us cringe.

When grandpa was a child, the pediatrician told his parents that he would not live to see thirty due to a congenital heart valve deformity. He warned them to never let him run to catch the bus because his heart would explode. Now, he’s tripled his maximum life expectancy and leads a very active lifestyle. His physician recommended that he have the valve replaced a few years ago. He declined, and cited that God has kept him around this long and would dispense him in His own time.

So, what’s the point? Even though old men shouldn’t climb ladders, you probably shouldn’t keep them from it. Even though cats should probably be allowed to catch their prey, sometimes it should be prevented for the sensibilities of others. Life is complicated like that. Be thoughtful and mindful of what goes on around you. The right decision is not always the obvious one.

GPal Comeback?

A few days ago, I received an email from GPal informing me that their service issues had been addressed and that they are now ready to rock. If GPal is indeed now ready to face business for real, they have a long road ahead of them to regain the trust of the consumer base.

Coincidentally, they have just announced the launch of Bidscapes, their auction website. Frankly, I don’t care about their cherry-picked customer testimonials on their website. Do either of you, my readers have any recent testimony on the performance of GPal for the purpose of transferring funds? If they really are doing their job, I would consider using them. I would still be wary to unless I was confident that my customers were confident.

A Note to PayPal

I decided to accept payment for my new line of belts via PayPal. Since I have read a lot of anti-gun sentiments from eBay and PayPal, I wanted to go over the rules and make sure I was in full compliance in doing so. After searching the PayPal website to no avail, I wound up calling and speaking to a customer service representative. I asked about PayPal’s stance on funding gun-related transactions, and she helpfully emailed the policy. As I read over it, it confirmed that I could indeed receive payment for my belts, but not for my holsters.

I received a follow-up email today with a request to take a survey. The first two questions were very interesting. The first was how likely would I be to recommend PayPal to a friend, on a scale from one to ten, one being ‘Would never recommend PayPal’ and ten being ‘would recommend PayPal to everyone.’ I answered that one with a paltry score of six. The second question was a request for a written explanation of my first answer. They gave me 2000 characters. This was my response:

PayPal makes no secret of their anti-gun stance. I have firm convictions concerning our Second Amendment rights. If there was a service comparable to PayPal that did not display such an agenda against an individual’s God-given right to defend oneself, I would give it my business, and recommend it instead of PayPal. As it stands, PayPal’s sole competitor is Gpal, who has yet to show that they can be relied on for dependable electronic fund transfers. I seriously doubt that this is the first note to say as much.

I sell hand-made, leather, concealable gun holsters. I would love to use a service like PayPal to receive payment from my customers. However, here is part of PayPal’s prohibition according to the rules that were emailed to me:

“Firearm parts – Include, but are not limited to, receivers and frames, silencers, kits designed to convert a firearm to automatic firing capability, high capacity magazines, multi-burst trigger activators, and camouflaging firearm containers.”

A concealable holster is nothing if not a ‘camouflaging firearm container.’ Therefore I can sadly not use PayPal services for the vast majority of my monetary transfers. If it were otherwise, it would be far more convenient for my exclusively law-abiding customers as well as for me, it would likely accelerate my business growth and help to stimulate the economy in a small way. But, since PayPal has taken the attitude that they have towards law-abiding gun owners, I can only give a lukewarm recommendation to those I know, based solely on the convenience of transfers.

It would be a point of celebration for millions of Americans if PayPal would reverse this policy, and encourage the legal commerce of guns and gun parts. It would undoubtedly increase business for PayPal and improve their reputation among law-abiding U.S. citizens. I hope that you will consider messages like this, and consider supporting the U.S. constitution and the right to keep and bear arms. Thank you.

I doubt my voice will make much of a difference to PayPal, but if nobody speaks, the message will never get through.

Buy a Belt!

Friends, if both of you buy a belt at The Holster Site, I can have dinner tonight. I kid, I kid! But, seriously. This is the best belt I’ve ever handled.

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I’ve been wearing mine for a few weeks now, and it is wearing very nicely. What makes this belt special is that it is two layers of top-grain leather with a nylon webbing reinforced core. It is extremely tough, but it’s also very comfortable. The nylon core reduces stretch and roll, adds strength, and leaves the belt flexible enough that it will shape to your body.

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The three layers are first glued and then stitched together. The belt is then fitted with a buckle with two Chicago screws. For a little extra, you can get all the hardware in solid stainless steel.

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These are priced at $90.00 with chromed hardware or $100.00 with solid stainless steel hardware, but I’ve got them on an introductory half-price sale through Christmas Eve. That means $45.00 for the standard hardware or $50.00 with stainless! This price is against all my better judgment, so needless to say, I just don’t see it happening again.

So, cruise on by The Holster Site and order yours today. If you are so excited you can’t stand to leave this page, simply order your belt here:


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Don’t forget to specify the length needed from where the belt folds over the buckle to the middle adjustment hole!