I heard this expression for the first time late last year. It was a man describing organising a couple of women to attend a meeting with him and me. I am not being sexist. I am merely explaining the context of the occasion when I hear the phrase. You can criticise him if you want.
In case you had not noticed we are at the start of another year. A quite different year. At least it has a different name. What will this year bring? Who knows? How can we plan for what is to come? I don’t know, because, at the end of the day, I don’t know what is coming. All I do know is that you need to be quick and agile to avoid the land mines and catch the fleeting opportunities that will be there for those looking for them. It is going to be a year of misery for some and opportunities for others.
So, decide what it is going to be for you. Are you going to stress over a coffee with like minded people about all the problems ahead? Or are you going out to look for the opportunities that will inevitable present themselves for those that have their eyes open. You decide, I have.
And if you want to stay alert and positive, stay clear of the daily dose of depression that is breakfast television or the morning programmes on Radio Scotland.
Anyway, what about herding vats? Well. I went on to Google, as you do, and this is what I found.
“This particular saying quickly establishes a sort of mental image which showcases the near impossibility of the task. It is already difficult to get one cat to do what you want, now imagine trying to organize several cats.This idiom can be used to highlight that organizing larger groups of people cannot be done, or at least not without requiring a great deal of effort – and patience.”
But, we have cats, to be precise we currently have three and occasionally, when the other one decides to visit, every few weeks, we have four. To be fair, they are not house cats. They were all trapped as feral cats and they sleep in our garage. The last three came from Helmsdale a few months ago.
Can we herd them? That would be silly, that would be impossible. But why would I want to herd them?
There are things I want them to do and I can do that reasonably easily. Let me explain. The last three cats were trapped and were still in the cages when we bought them home. They were not best pleased!
We more or less tipped them into a holding pen. A few days later we needed to take them to the vet to get chipped. I lifted them out of the holding pen and put each back in their trap cage. We transported then to the vet who did what was necessary, and we then took them back home and again tipped them back in the holding pen. No bites, no scratches, no blood, on any of the cats or me. You just have to plan what you want to achieve and then implement a plan. They would have taken a chunck out of me if I had let them, they were still not best pleased.
These same cats now come running to us. Why? We are cat herders!!
If there is something you want to achieve, ignore all the people that tell you it is impossible. Open your own mind to all the possibilities and make your own plans. There is generally a way to get what you want. Just look for it.
So, at the start of the year when so much is unpredictable, stay light on your feet and look for the imaginative solutions so that you can take advantage of all the opportunities that will undoubtedly be out there in the next 12 months.
You too can be a cat herder!