The Cat’s in the cradle

I like dogs….and they like just about everyone, or so I think.

We have cats, though.  Through 40 years of married life, we’ve never had a dog.  Put it down to laziness, our work schedules, or the likelihood that the animal would be cooped up in the house most of the time.  I feel that we have done ourselves and the dog a favour by opting for the kitties.

Yes, dogs are known for giving unconditional love, and, many times, that’s what you need.  Reminds me of a quote from somewhere that went “I hope one day to actually be the person that my dog thinks I am.”  (sorry, I don’t know the author).

Cats are known as creatures that are more independent, aloof, and self-sufficient. You can go away for the weekend, leave some extra food out, and have peace of mind knowing that they will not tear the house apart and can largely take care of themselves.  Of course, versus dogs, the kitties will not usually come running and display sloppy affection when you come in the door.  In fact, they may look as if they didn’t miss you very much at all.

Why have such an animal?  Well….they do have ways of showing their love, and not just when you open that bag of treats.  We presently have three of these creatures, being as the fourth one passed away a year ago.  Independent personalities for sure.  The old guy that passed last summer was my constant companion.  Followed me wherever I went, always wanted to be picked up and scratched, and was a sucker for somersaults on the bed.  If you didn’t spend enough time with him, he would sit there, stare at you, and yap.

One of the others can, I swear, tell time.  Every night at about 9:30, it stands by the cupboard where the treats are kept and starts yipping.  God forbid if you leave the kitchen, because it will follow you and hound you until the bag gets opened.  This same one has a morning routine where it comes over to me while I am having breakfast and sits right there until it gets a ten minute head scratch.  Then bites you to signal “that’s enough.”

One (and only one) comes when you call it.  Runs across the room and jumps up on your lap.

There’s a story that’s been on the news and the internet for a while, and I kind of hope it’s just someone’s fancy, that cats (and dogs) are used as therapy animals in hospitals and homes for the aged.  The part that bothers me a little is that the cats, when left to roam in these facilities, will gravitate towards the person who is close to death.  In that case, my number must be up, because I’ve got ’em stuck to me all the time.

Thirty odd years ago, when our first child was born, we had a single kitty that we had had for quite a while.  When we brought our son home,  the cat showed a curiosity towards him.  As he was just a newborn, we got a little apprehensive and watched it closely.  When our back was turned, we were shocked and surprised when it crawled into the bed with him.

Wife yelled out “The cat’s in the cradle!”, whereupon we made the difficult decision to deport him to her parents’ place.  It spent the rest of its career there.

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