Sunday, August 2, 2009

Reading Today's Blog Puts You in the Catbird Seat

Look What the Cat Dragged In

The Cat’s Pajamas: Today’s blog is all about cats, and is dedicated to the good folks at Cats Rule. Let me first tell you that for many, many years I had no real opinion about cats. As a youngster I had a dog like so many other boys. I remember Old Yeller and “Lassie Come Home.” Don’t recall many movies about cats. I grew up in the city and didn’t have gerbils or ferrets or fish or fowl as pets. There were cats in the neighborhood, I guess, but I never gave them much thought. As an adult there was always a dog in or around my house. Most of them just happened into my life. So I totally missed the dawning of the cat generation. It sneaked up on me one cold winter morning in the desert. A black cat approached Mrs. Dr. Forgot and I as we strung Christmas lights. It meowed, she picked it up and we brought it into the house “just until we could take it to the vet” the following morning. That was about a decade ago. We have since joined the 21% of American households that include a cat.

Look what dragged the cat in: The vet’s announcement was, “Congratulations, it’s a boy! He’s not chipped but he’s neutered and about 18 months old.” Then the vet asked where his cage was and I said, “Huh?” I just slung him over my shoulder and drove him to the vet. He was fine with it. First rule of cat safety: Whenever you travel with a cat it must be placed in a cage. Safety rules for cats in the house are pretty much the same as for other pets. Keep lilies, azaleas, philodendron, and potted plants in general out of reach. They can be toxic. Cats are very sensitive. They can feel the electricity running through wires and might like to chew them, so decoy live wires in tubes and unplug electronics when not in use.

Felix the cat by any other name doth act as sweet: Because his coat was shiny and jet black I named him “Licorice.” But it was soon evident that this cat book was not to be judged by its cover. He was such a lover; cooing, being cute, and generally capturing our hearts that his name was changed to Casanova. But in case you are not a cat person I must warn you that spending too much time with a cat can cause ailurophilia in humans. It is a medical condition defined as “the love of cats.” Symptoms include adults making fools of themselves over felines of any sort. Should your cat be charged with a crime, simply have the local CSI detectives take nose prints at the scene and compare them with the pattern of nose ridges on your kitty because each pattern is as unique as a human fingerprint.

Let the cat out of the bag: Upon adopting my first cat, or it adopting me, I learned many truths about the species. The first clash came when I remembered a short verse by one of my favorite poets, Ogden Nash. “The trouble with a kitten is that… It eventually becomes a cat.” That verse demonstrated that even great poets can err. The domestic world cat population is estimated to exceed five hundred million and 33 different breeds. America’s cat population is estimated to be more than 75 million, which translates into a half billion catnaps per day. When holding the furball against your chest, do not think it is anxious because of a fast heartbeat. Cat’s hearts beat about 120 beats per minute, about twice as fast as their masters (or more precisely, their staff members). And to answer the next question, the largest breed is the Ragdoll. Males often exceed 20 lbs. The tiniest is the Singapura. Females weigh about four pounds. Calicos? They are almost always female. If you’re used to getting a rush because your dog wags its tail at you, then be equally happy when your cat’s tail is quivering, as that is their greatest expression of love. However, if the tail is thrashing, it is time to step away. If the tail just wags, they are in a state of conflict, and of course, when the tail stands tall, the cat is boasting. Cats knead their paws when they are happy.

Be sure to be a responsible cat owner and spay. A cat couple and their offspring can produce up to 420,000 kittens in seven years. If you choose to let your cat roam outdoors through a cat door, thank Sir Isaac Newton who invented it. But be aware that the average life span of an indoor cat is 15 years, while the average life expectancy of an outdoor cat is 3-5 years. Your cat will not only give you years of pleasure but will add years to your life. The average pet owner lives longer, has less stress, and fewer heart attacks than those without.

Separating fact from fiction is like herding cats: The information above is thought to be accurate. There are also many myths about cats that include “Cats always land on their feet.” Cats instinctively fall feet first but broken bones can result. Balconies should be screened. “Cats need milk every day.” Too much milk can cause diarrhea in cats. Milk should be given infrequently if at all. “A cat’s sense of balance is in its whiskers.” Cats use their whiskers as feelers but not for balance. “A cat should have one litter before being spayed.” There is no benefit to a cat having a litter before spaying. Indeed, that one litter can result in unwanted kittens. “A purring cat is a happy cat.” While this one is partly true, cats may also purr when they are injured, ill, frightened, or stressed. “Cats steal the breath from babies.” There is no truth to this myth. Finally, personal experience has shown the myth “Black cats are bad luck,” is absurd. Since Casanova entered our household, we have considered ourselves most fortunate.

A little blogging music Maestro... Since we are writing on a kid-loving topic, let’s do “The Cat Came Back” by The Muppets.

Dr. Forgot

No comments: