Whittling Away: Cats teach valuable lessons | Columnists

Cats are funny critters, I like them. I know that there are a lot of people out there who feel differently, you know those with the “ I love cats — they’re delicious!” bumper stickers. To each his own, I’ve even met people who didn’t like vanilla ice cream if you can imagine that!

I think it’s the attitude that gets to people fostering this love-hate thing. You can’t make a cat do anything they don’t want to do. Dogs do things to please you, they want you to love them, cats want you to do things that please them and they don’t much care how you feel about them as long as their needs are being met.

Bored or haven’t had a good challenge in your life lately? Try obedience training your cat. Get a small choke collar, a 15 foot training leash and put them on your cat. Snap the leash smartly to get the cat’s attention while pushing down on their hind quarters and say in a firm voice, “Sit.” Unlike your dog, your cat will keep you entertained for several minutes and after you get untangled from the leash and stop the bleeding, you will find that you have both learned a lot.

Have you ever noticed that cats walk skinny and sleep fat? They also sleep a lot, preferring places high up and preferably forbidden. One of the few times a cat will forget his or her dignity is while napping. Belly up, paws crossed at weird angles, they pass their time is complete bliss, napping at least 20 hours a day. It’s enough to make an insomniac like myself green with envy.

Frequently at night, after a few hours of being enlightened by infomercials on cutical care and how to become a millionaire in real estate for a mere pittance of 37 easy monthly payments of $19.99, I tear myself away from the softly glowing tube and gaze around the room. There is usually a furry lump on every soft object in the room, contentedly twisted into unconscious hair balls. I’d wake them up, but cats understand revenge and just how it works!

I’ve learned a lot from these small self important puff balls, things like; when you’re given affection, it should be received with the proper amount of respect, the pursuit of happiness isn’t important, happiness is fleeting, cats don’t mess with it, they learned generations ago to seek contentment, something that humans haven’t learned yet, and they have taught me patience and how to love the frequently unlovable.

In return for being treated like royalty and fed on time, I am rewarded with gifts of cat toys deposited in my shoes and the amazing relief of pent up stress that a warm, purring feline curled up in your lap can bring. I have also learned through long experience with these little darlings when to stop painful petting, because nothing is more than a truly happy cat kneading in your lap.

Thought for the week — Bumper sticker seen in Woodstock — Politicians and diapers should be changed frequently and often for the same reason.

Until next week, may you and yours be happy and well.

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