Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Cat Ballyhoo

As I seem to mention every 47 words or so, we have two cats around here at the Lazy 'C' Ranch.  They are sisters, born on a porch in Carroll County and rescued by the worthy organization Kitties 'n' Pitties, and they have changed our lives, all for the better!  Even if it's just remembering not to leave a frozen English muffin sitting on the counter to thaw out for breakfast, or not forgetting to put out chow twice a day, it's the best part of the day when we have a little feline interaction.

Peggy is clearly the more intellectually focused between us, because when she has a question about the kitties, she will look up the answer online or get a book or ask some expert.  But here's the deal.

People write things in the guise of being "cat experts."  I submit that one can have spend 60 years living and caring for 60 cats and still not know what a cat will do next. For example, she reads somewhere that "cats do not like to be hugged" or "cats don't make eye contact with humans."  Well, sir, our Edwina, or "Eddie," as she likes to be called, will snuggle and nuzzle for hours on end, and if you look at her in the eyes, she will do an atomic staredown with you until dinnertime.  The other cat, Deanna, while still affectionate and loving, is not much for being held, and will look at you for only the briefest time before turning her eyes elsewhere. Or closing them, and going to sleep.

If our two cats can be so totally different, then it follows that any book or online piece that says "here's how all cats act and this is what to do about it" is, in the words of noted Beaver expert Wallace Cleaver, "a lot of bunk."

E & D
I hear about people who claim to be animal psychiatrists, and they want you to bring your neurotic pets to their office so their behavior can be observed, and later modified.  I always picture a Dalmation sitting there on the shrink's floor, wishing he could be back chasing a fire engine, or an anxious kitten spilling her feelings. Animals are animals because they are not like us, and our constant efforts to humanize them and characterize their behaviors and attitudes within human boundaries make Eddie and Deanna laugh inside, because they understand spoken English perfectly.

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