Thursday, January 22, 2009

Barbatos: Dr. Doolittle, Reconciliation, and African Kings

I never got around to having Barbatos reconcile the Africans that were having issues. It wasn't important enough to me, and I don't know if that's a failing on my part, or a message in itself. My world, mine, is very small and very personal. Not private, necessarily, but personal.

I have, however, been working with Barbatos. I like the name, for one thing. It conjure images of pirates and the Carribean. Arr. I also have a plethora of pets in my house.We have several goldfish, three ferrets, two cats, and until a couple of days ago, one dog. We had to get rid of the dog because the allergies were killing us.

I love having a dog. I was working with Barbatos, and I developed a communion with the dog. She and I got along really well, and she was brilliant. Training was going great, except for crapping in the house, but that was because when we first got her, I yelled at her when she crapped in the house. She learned crapping was bad, and to hide it. After a while, I realized this was the wrong tactic, and stopped making a big deal when she pooped inside, and made a really big positive deal when she did it outside. Things were getting better, she had at least begun pooping BY the door, and I think a couple more weeks and we would have gotten things straightened out. Figuring out what she was thinking and feeling became really easy when I started Working with Barbatos. She didn't understand me any better, but I was able to understand her in new ways.

I also developed a communion with the ferrets. When Rosco passed away, we got a couple of friends for Badger. One is his "wife," and the other... well, he's this HUGE fat ferret, older than Badger, and kind of mean spirited. He's pure white and beautiful, but he's just mean. He dominated Badger, and wouldn't let him eat. Rosco had done the same. So the fat mean one is on the way out. Fuck him.

The other night, my daughter came running in with Badger, all in tears. He wasn't eating, and he wasn't playful. I told her he was depressed, and needed to be separated from the fatty, given lots of attention, and his own food. No, she wailed, he's sick and must go to the vet hospital. :sigh:

$165 later, the vet explained that he was depressed, should be separated from the dominant male, and played with. I knew that was the problem, without having any training in animal psychology or anyhting, I just had this communion with the ferret. I took one look at him and knew what his deal was.

And then there's the goldfish. They're easy to forget about. The other night I dreamed they were dead. Specifically this really cute little frog, one of my favorites. In the morning, I went down to check on them, and the frog was alive, but VERY HUNGRY. We hadn't fed them in a couple of days, as my wife has been ill. She usually asks each night before the kids go to bed if anyone fed the fish today, and since she's been sleeping by the time they go to bed, I have been derelict in her duties.

So the fish were communicating with me, or Barbatos sent me a dream about the pets, I dunno.

His powers of Reconciliation aren't quite universal. He seems to be best at reconciling people in positions of authority. There's a manager here at work who doesn't get along with another manager at all. They are career employees, have worked here for years, and have disliked each other for most of their time together. I'm working with Barbatos on them, as I've been pulled in to take notes on a meeting between them, and they've managed to get along well enough so far on this project.

However, I recently had a person join the RealMagick yahoo group who conflict revolved around. Whatever residual reconciliation powers might be residing in my sphere from my work with Barbatos weren't enough to bring peace and harmony to that particular person. Not that it was a great loss, and maybe if I cared enough I'd send Barbatos to influence her directly, but honestly, she's too annoying to worry about. It was nice to have a fresh voice on the list though.