I enjoyed your informative intro, 1dennistt.
With your modified seemiller grip, does that mean that you twiddle to use the pips?
And, I hope you still get a few quality years with your cat.
I drove thru Tennessee a few years back, I live in Winnipeg Canada and was going to Georgia. Wow, Tennessee is beautiful.
I usually will twiddle to use the pips on the forehand, but just drop into a regular shakehand grip to use them on the backhand. When using the pips, on my backhand, I don't actually change the grip much, just a little very slight rotation of the racket, makes it easy to change between the Seemiller backhand and the shakehand (long pips) backhand. This allows me to use both backhands on successive shots, really messes with most players I compete with. The shape of the handle makes a big difference in how comfortable I am doing this.
I spent 2 years trying to work OX pips into my game, but apparently that style keeps me playing a little too "passive", and I have just transitioned back to sponge under my pips. This is my second tournament with the sponge under my long pips, and it seems to work better for me. I'm back to playing close to the level I felt I had achieved in 2000-2001 before I took a few years away from the game. The sponge allows me a more aggressive hitting game against a larger variety of incoming spins. I did learn a lot of valuable things while trying the OX pips, about blocking and how my opponents would deal with my long pips. I'm more comfortable blocking with the pips now, and working this into my rotation of shots has been effective.
The cat is doing well for his age, he's a big Maine Coon Cat. If you look the breed up on the internet you'll see what I mean by big. Actually he is small for his breed, must have been the runt of the litter, only about 12 or 13 pounds, average for a male is 18 pounds I think. He's big enough to stand with his back feet on the floor and put his front paws on top of the washing machine, if that gives you an idea of the length. He's old enough now to have some of the problems most older cats experience, so I am just enjoying the time we have. He's spoiled me as much as the other way around, and knows my routine each day, when I go to work he goes down to the basement for a nap where it is cool (he a long haired breed). If anyone is interested in a cat they could do well to search out a Maine Coon. They were once the most popular breed in the US, and won many early cat shows before the exotic breeds came into the US.
Thanks, Tennessee is especially pretty in the fall when the leaves are turning, hill sides are beautiful when the trees turn different colors.