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I'm now a cat owner; I can't believe itPosted Tuesday, October 13, 2009, at 9:04 AM
Well, I am writing a column I never thought I would be hammering out on this keyboard.
I have a cat.
To be more exact, I am now the co-adopted parent of a cat.
Not sure what it is, but I have never been what anyone would call a cat lover.
A four-legged critter that climbs your leg like a tree and bathes in spit has never been too appealing to me.
I've always felt like cats were users.
They will ignore you until they want something (usually food) and then they will follow you around and snuggle up to you.
Hmmm ... sounds kinda human-like in that regard.
Other reasons that having a cat as a pet never really struck my fancy was cats always appeared to be more than just a little sneaky and I never thought they were as smart as a dog.
Have you ever seen a cat fetch a stick, roll over on command, retrieve a newspaper, or heel?
Well, come to think of it, few of the dogs that I owned over the years were able to master any of those pretty simple tasks either.
Nonetheless, the Schneider household does now have a pet cat.
He's a cute little thing that we've named "Syd."
The critter is actually named after my oldest granddaughter, Sydney, because it was taken in on her birthday.
The name came about when we were initially unable to determine if our new kitty was a "he" or a "she."
You see, we didn't take a close look at his biological features before we attached the name so we decided that Syd would be a good unisex name either way.
Upon closer inspection, we did establish that Syd is a male version of a kitty.
By way of background, Syd actually found us.
One afternoon I was hobbling around the house on my cane under the observation of my physical therapist and as I was walking past our basement door, I heard this loud "meow" sound.
Candy, my therapist, asked me if we had a cat and my quick reply was "no we don't."
The meowing grew louder so I opened the door to discover a tiny brownish Calico-colored cat sitting on the top of the steps.
It seems a window had been broken and the cat had made his way into the basement and didn't know how to get out.
How the good Lord in all His wisdom could let an annoying sound like meow come from one of his creatures on this green earth mystifies me.
Anyway, when my wife, Sharon, who incidentally was also never a "cat lover," came home our first adventure was trying to figure out how to get the cat off the step and out of the house.
You see, she was afraid to touch the little cat and I was unable to just bend down and grab him because I'm still recovering from knee surgery. Grabbing a cat and holding onto a cane was something that I wasn't sure I had mastered yet.
So the solution I came up with was to grab the cat's body with the curved end of my cane and hoist him off the step and out the back door.
That was accomplished, but instead of running away, the cat decided he liked us -- probably a lot more than we initially liked him -- and he didn't want to leave.
Then, my wife's soft heart and compassion got the best of her and she committed the cardinal sin of not wanting a pet. She fed the cute little skinny kitty some milk and a couple pieces of bread.
So now we have a pet cat for sure.
He's here to stay -- outdoors, of course.
We sincerely hope this male kitty is going to be a good "mouser" and keeps some of the pesky rodents away, who like to invade our rural home, located near the grain fields, during the winter months.
Yesterday, my wife even bought the little feller his own bowl and a kitty litter box, to put in our garage during the coming winter months.
For now the new pet has taken up residence on a wicker lounge chair we have on our back porch and he really likes to snuggle up to this seasonal stuffed scarecrow that sits on the chair. At night, he sleeps there.
This cat I would say is about a year old, so I'm not sure if that qualifies him to still be a kitty or graduated to a full-fledged cat, but I know for sure he is a climber.
You can walk to the back door and in a flash, he's up and climbing straight up the screen on the back door -- looking at you eye-to-eye and bellowing a loud "meow."
It's really kind of cute.
So now the Schneiders have our first cat pet.
I never thought this day would come.
Nick is the assistant editor for the Greene County Daily World. He can be reached by telephone at 847-4487 or 1-800-947-4487 or by e-mail at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/wordmaster1953.
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