Ask Luke’s Mother-in-Law: The Perils of Protest Peeing


Martha Boyd is not just Luke’s mother-in-law – she’s also an ex-cop, a landlord, a self-described crazy cat lady, a major Star Trek geek and the widow of a green beret. So go ahead: ask her anything. And we mean anything. Just be polite when you do.

Hello and happy Thursday morning. Hopefully this week we will not have a computer glitch like last week and the copy will get to Los Angeles for my normal time – don’t know what happened last week. This week, I send you pile o’ kittens photos. There are 2 to 3 babies in each one – hope you like them. We were just starting to cool down a bit in the desert, but now by the end of the week the prediction is for 100+. Hope not. I have enjoyed having all of my windows open and letting the cool fresh air in. Pretty soon I’ll have to close down the pool for the winter.

Is there any movies you like that other people think are bad? For example, I like Howard The Duck and I know that most people think that that movie is just terrible

Well, none really that I can think of offhand. It is more that I really like a movie, watch it over and over again and get tired of seeing the same thing. You like the movie, but still…. It is like when you have kids and you watch the same movie over and over again because that is the only thing they will watch – eventually you can get sick of anything.

Hi Martha:
I’ve gotten into Columbo lately. Would you prefer a Dragnet/Columbo crossover (I bet Friday and Columbo knew each other – after all they were both LAPD detectives) or a Rockford Files/Columbo crossover? The episode could start with Rockford’s answering machine going, “Uh, yeah, Mr. Rockford, this is Lieutenant Columbo of the LAPD, we have some questions for you about a murder case you’re working on” Ba-da-bum-bum!

I would love to see Dragnet/Columbo. I think Columbo would drive Sgt. Friday nuts – and how about this, they could be working the same investigation involving Rockford. That would be so kick-ass. But alas, we don’t have the players to pull this one off.

So is the Sunday morning He-man on just because Luke and Julia are there, or do you actually watch it without them? Do you have a favorite Masters of the Universe Character?

No, I have it on even if they are not around. I love MeTV and generally not much else is on for Sunday morning until football time. I also like HR Pufnstuf – love that Witcheypoo.

He Man, She Ra and of course Skeletor. When Luke and Julia got married we had a Castle Grayskull cake at the rehearsal dinner – how is that for the family devotion to the series?

If you’re even remotely interesting in fantasy, I can’t possibly recommend Game of Thrones enough. Both the show and the book series (i.e. A Song of Ice and Fire) it’s based from. I’d warn you about the gratuitous sex and violence, but given you’re a fan of Boardwalk Empire, I’m guessing that doesn’t bother you. 🙂

As for The Leftovers, it’s equally the most depressing and thought provoking show I’ve ever watched. It’s about a suburb of New York, 3 years after a Rapture-like event makes 2% of the world’s population randomly vanish. There’s a scene from the season finale where the man character, Kevin (an atheist), reads from Job 23 and I’ll be damned if it doesn’t get me a little misty-eyed every time.

I have had several people recommend Game of Thrones and I think I am going to have to see if I can watch it on Hulu or something. I also have Amazon Fire. I have seen a few bits and pieces when I am at friends’ homes, but I have to make a better effort. Weekends are generally my time to catch up on TV, as I go to bed early, about 8 p.m., and am generally up by 4 or 5 a.m. and getting to work.

My question is, is there anything other than the Rapture, which could possibly explain the random disappearance of millions of people all at once. Perhaps aliens? Falling into another dimension? What are your thoughts?

Rapture and aliens are my best bets. But how about the return of millions of people? Currently watching Resurrection. How trippy is that that the dead start coming back and they are not your average zombies – they are your family, friends etc and they look like they did when they died. This is a good show – I’m waiting to see how they answer the questions on the returns.


What does local law enforcement think of federal law enforcement? Is there a mutual respect or more a begrudging attitude (like in Die Hard)? I know police usually have a favorable attitude toward military.
I am actually both military and LE, and a first responder as well, being an aviator in the USCG. Some people don’t event think of us as military, but does that attitude extend to other first responders?

Yes. Every agency thinks they are the best. For example my husband was Army Green Beret. He got such as chuckle over the fact that he was back training the Marines for Iraq and Afghanistan. There was a response to one of my answers last week when I commented on how the TV show CHiPs got some of the things wrong that they were having John and Ponch doing. My response – it is rather lengthy:

In California if you have police powers you generally go to 1 of 3 academies for training. A police academy, sheriff academy and or the CHP academy. The CHP has 1 academy in the state where as the other two have mulitiple academies thru the stated. For example, the LAPD and the Sheriff academies take their agency and sometimes other acency officers. I went to the Orange County one when I did my training. We had training officers from several agencies in Orange County and our physical training staff was all LAPD. A couple of time we went to training at the LAPD academy, but for the most part we were in Costa Mesa for training.

Every department has their own assigned areas. For example, a city cop does not patrol on the freeway, as it is not their assigned area even if it runs right through their city. Just as a CHP officer does not answer calls in a city. However, we do cross each other’s areas and always help on mutual aid. Most police agencies have a dislike for the FBI. They can like individual agents as friends, but agency to agency the FBI is generally viewed by city cops as the stealers of the show. The local cops have worked something and for some reason the FBI is brought in and they tend to love press conferences and puffing what they are doing and taking the credit for things.

Out where I live in a rural area, there is not quite so much competition between agencies and they all tend to play nice with each other. For example NCIS and the Sheriff department work very well together. You also see CHP backing Sheriff on traffic stops. But we are generally small departments. Back in the more urban areas where I worked most of the time you would see one agency quibbling with another agency as to the city bounday line at a traffic accident as to who got stuck with writing the accident report. How much of the scene is on your side of the city boundary vs mine.

I have also seen city PD’s etc look down on agencies such as school police, housing police and railroad police. We are all police under the State Constitution, but these officers are a slightly different point section of the law that grants police power and where they are a point sometimes the agencies which do not fall under the subsection look down on them and call them glorified security guards. Well security guards – trust me – don’t go through the LAPD academy, etc. Please, I am not saying anything bad about security guards either: I know several who are retired military and or law enforcement.

Do you think police are involved in more violent incidents these days? Or is just htat there’s more media attention?

Both. Yes, there is much more media attention and thus we hear about it more often even in small towns. But I also feel that society has radically changed over the years. People used to have respect for police and followed orders given to them by an officer.

I was involved in a study in college and spent time in London with the Flying Squad out of Scotland Yard. This is their elite robbery/homicide group. At that time they were pretty much the only officers who carried weapons and they hated doing that. The detective I was assigned to most of the time left the weapon in the office. They had an understanding with the crooks. If the crooks did not carry weapons there was no need for the coppers to carry them. They thought it was awful in the States where all of our police were armed. However, today more and more agencies in Europe carry heavier weapons like we do here. Times unfortunately have changed, and not for the better.


Question: I have a male house cat who’s about seven or eight years old and he has not been neutered. Being our ‘brave protector of the backyard’, he tends to get in fights with other cats. He also pees on laundry or towels if they happen to have been left there, as well as scratching up the carpet (Which does not bode well, since we’re not actually supposed to have pets in the house). My aunt says that he will stop doing these things if we get him neutered, but I’m not sure about it. What would you recommend?

Also, is it too late for him start having kittens? Once we move in to a house that does allow pets I (Might) want to get another cat, and if female, possibly have kittens with him.

I have one male cat that is neutered. Yes, before the surgery he was marking his territory in the house, towels, clothes, loved the laundry basket. Since, he is litter box all the way. Same with our girl kittens: before surgery we were hit and miss on the litter box; a few days after, no more accidents in the house. As far as can he still make kittens? Count on it. We have a male feral cat in the neighborhood – been here at least 10 yrs – we still have litters who look just like him.

When you were a cop, did you ever have a case where a criminal had dressed up as a monster or ghost in order to scare people away from their illegal activity, a la Scooby Doo?

No. No monsters or ghosts – only guys dressing like women and turning tricks.

QUESTION! Since you brought up cat scientists. Perhaps the most intensive study of cat behavior was performed fairly recently in the Surrey. Apparently cats have learned to “time-share” territories in order to get along so that throughout the day the same bit of land belongs to different cats. Do you think this model of behavior was learned from people or is a behavior inherent to cats?

This is one thing that our cat detective spoke on at the film. Cats, when they escape in urban areas have a territory that you can generally find them in. Same with cats that are allowed outside. They work out their territories with the other neighborhood cats.

Dear Luke’s MIL,
While I’m good with the current changes to MeTV’s schedule, I saw a commercial last night that says that Saved By The Bell is coming.
This can’t be good.
MeTV is what I’d consider a ‘period’ station, in that the programming is geared to a particular set of generations, and I feel that Saved By The Bell doesn’t belong in that lineup. What do you think?

In my area, Saved By The Bell is only going to be on Sunday from 10 to 12. It’s an okay lead in for Brady Bunch. When Saved was on I was not a big fan and currently I am not planning to tune in to the re-run – after all football will be on and that is more important in my house. I think there are better shows they could have picked – but I don’t do programing.

How do I stop my cat from protest-peeing all over a specific spot on the couch? She knows what her litterbox is, and she has no rivals in the house.

What is she protesting over? You may have to change what is ticking her off. Has she been spayed? There are several spray products on the market that cats don’t like the smell of that will keep them off certain spots – have you tried them? Also try the bed pads that you can put down on kids beds while you are potty training – that will at least hopefully save the couch and she may not like the pad.

Well, lots of questions this week – thanks, glad you are all enjoying. Going to be a busy weekend here in the Morongo Basin. From Oct 1 to 5 we have the Gem and Mineral show and then just this weekend we have the Orchid Festival. Hopefully I will have time to get to both and get some good pics for next week. Anyway have to get this into LYT. As always be good to each other this next week and Huggs. Love you all.

As always, keep your questions coming, be they foolish, philosophical or anything else! Any questions on any topic submitted in comments below will be included in future columns.