My Kit-Cat Clock Swings Again: Let Christmas Begin!

cat-2My daughter gave me a Kit-Cat clock two years ago. Y’know, the black cat clocks with the moving tail and eyes? It’s one of my favorite things and looks great in the kitchen. About two months ago, I noticed it had stopped moving. It still kept time, but the tail and eyes were stationary. A Kit-Cat clock that doesn’t move looks sad and stifled. Stagnant.

I figured that there was probably a trouble shooter’s guide online, so I googled and found videos and said guide. I viewed all the videos, read the instructions, replaced the two “C” batteries exactly as shown in the diagram, balanced the clock on the table, gave the tail a nudge, and it still didn’t work. Kept time, but no moving tail and eyes. Bummer.  I couldn’t get the magnetic forces and batteries coordinated, apparently, to power the animation.

So I went after the eyes. They must be the problem, I thought. The website said that any dust or grease on the eyeballs might cause friction in the magnetism, so I cleaned them off.  Prowling (sorry) around inside the clock, I thought how this bit of 1930s-era Americana kitchen decor is an engineering marvel. There are  J-clips, a platform, a lever, eyeball pins, eye stems and loops that rotate and hold the stems. There’s a magnet, two batteries, that tail and the back panel. So I put it all back together, and still no cat show.

I hung it back up, deciding to tackle the problem another day… which brings me to today.  I pulled the clock back down and  removed the back panel of the clock. Actually, sliding-snapping-scootching (in that order) the back panel off is probably the hardest part of the whole ordeal.

I’ll put brand new batteries in it again, I thought, clinging to the hope that it could be that simple. I pulled out the left battery and caught a glimpse of the battery placement diagram embossed in the shiny black plastic.  Positive up. Whoa. Positive was down. How did I screw that up, I wondered? I thought I had replaced them earlier exactly as shown. All this toil, head-scratching, opening, closing, and scootching and an upside down battery is to blame?  I flipped the battery around, nudged the tail, and my Kit-Cat clock was back in business. Problem solved. Order restored. You may now resume your Christmas festivities.

A Ken Without His Mod Hair is Nothing

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Photo Credit: Something About the Boy

When I was about ten years old, I received a Mod Hair Ken doll for Christmas. Mod Hair Ken, Barbie’s macho boyfriend and one of the 1970’s most-hyped dolls, came with stick-on facial hair. There were mustaches, beards, sideburns, mutton chops, Fu Manchus.

The little — and I mean little —  hairpieces could be applied, removed, and reapplied only once or twice before the adhesive became less sticky. Then the pieces fell off Ken’s face onto the carpet as I carried him around. Then my mother accidentally vacuumed up the tiny pieces of fake hair because she thought they were tufts of cat fur or brownie crumbs.  With his hair hopelessly lost in the vacuum cleaner, my Mod Hair Ken suddenly became just a regular Ken.

I had really wanted a Mod Hair Ken, but without those little pieces of hair, what was the point?  Exactly two hours after unwrapping the doll, I threw him into my Barbie box and moved on to other things.

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