Photo by David Davis
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so where she can think about her behaviour! Here are some “cat unfriendly” ideas previous seven days. What fraction of time
Strategy 3: Starve her until she shows she from other groups: was in the Red Room and how was each
has earned her food and water. • Spray her with water when she plays up. Red Room incident resolved?
• Put an electric shock collar on her and buzz • Undertake a newspaper survey (or watch the
Almost all students condemn all three her when she’s naughty. nightly news) to ascertain how many stories
strategies (obviously, some will agree to be • Talk sternly to her whenever she has done relate to the Red Room. Construct questions
smart, but underneath the bravado, they know the wrong thing. about the data generated from the survey:
intuitively that my strategies are hopeless). • Surgically remove her claws and blunt her • Where are most Red Room stories located
However, those students who have issues teeth so she can get angry but hurt anyone! in the newspaper (or news report)?
with their own Red Rooms sometimes opt for • Throw her outside whenever she is naughty. • What are the consistent Red Room themes?
punitive strategies, even though they realise • Were more males or females involved?
they are unlikely to work! Some more home-based examples for your • How often were children involved?
students to play with: • How often were police or army personnel
Next, invite students to design some strategies • Create a plasticine model to explain how a involved in sorting out the situation?
for turning Bad Cat into Good Cat in order to Red Room reaction occurs (read Part 5) • How many of the stories relate to local,
make her more family friendly. Use either a • Compare the ways that adults use their Red national and international issues?
rating scale or prioritise the given lists from Rooms with the ways that kids use theirs. • How many of the stories were recent,
best through to worst strategy. • Design a survey instrument to help you compared to those that have been around
identify other family members’ Red Room for a longer time?
Here are some “cat friendly” ideas that triggers. • Which of the issues resulted in violence?
groups have suggested: • Make a list of Red Room triggers for each • Select one of the stories and rewrite it or
• Get her a kitten to care for. member of your family. Find a way to sort role-play it from Blue Room, Green Room
• Pat her gently, often. the triggers into categories such as: or Orange Room perspectives.
• Make her feel like an important member of • Homework. • Generate a list of ten things that get you into
the family. • Chores. your Red Room.
• Talk quietly to her. • Pocket money. • Create a fridge magnet with a list of your
• Catch her doing good things and give her a • Bedrooms top ways of getting out of your Red Room
reward each time. • Language. without hurting anyone, including yourself!
• Make no sudden movements around her. • Sibling rivalry… • Watch a scary movie (with your parents if
• Let her sleep in your room some nights. • Compare the triggers with a friend’s list. you are a youngster!) and identify how the
• Buy her cat toys and play games with her. actors’ Red Rooms react to fear. Try to
• Have her de-sexed. What are the similarities and differences? locate the following behaviours:
• Take her to a pet psychologist! Speculate on why there are differences. • Withdrawal (Red Room flight such as
• Buy her a scratch pole so she doesn’t ruin • Calculate how many Red Room instances running or hiding).
your furniture. have occurred in your home within the • Immobility (Red Room freezing such as
44MEE Dec-Jan 2010 www.middleeasteducator.com
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