One Foot

One Foot

Friday, June 12, 2015

Needed: Good People Skills and a Good Home

Got food?

I live on a quiet cul-de-sac with only a few houses, so neighbors get to know each other here.  When we can, we help each other out and that gives a friendly feel to the neighborhood.
          My neighbor, Mary, is a cat lover and has a very soft heart when it comes to strays.  She adopted the two I am introducing here and by feeding and paying attention to them has given them a home.  The female is a big white piebald with gold eyes.  I am guessing that she is about ten years old.  Because of her coloration, Mary’s son calls this one “cow cat,” but her official name is “Kittzie.” Her outstanding characteristic is her amazing shedding capacity, exhibited when picked up. 
          The second cat is a very old rakish fellow with a crotchety personality.  He has a tattered ear and is missing a canine tooth.  I would consider him unadoptable due to age, but he has proven to be a charmer, even if he appears to have come from skid-row.  I call him "Scruffy," or "rakish old fellow," based on the historical use of the term "rake" that refers to a man who is habituated to immoral conduct, particularly womanizing.
Maybe just a little rub?
 I think Scruffy, indeed, has had his day.  His outstanding characteristic is his wire-brush coat.
        Mary is away right now getting some health care, leaving the care of her cats to her son and me.  He works an odd shift, and often isn’t able to come the lengthy distance to feed, and these two smart cats have figured out where their food comes from in that event.  They simply come and get me and let me know they’re hungry. 
          Now if Tim and I had tried to train them in this procedure, they would never have cooperated.  They simply figured it out themselves.  Often I look out the French door to see a little black and white face that gives me a silent meow and I know I need to go open the cat food.  Out the door I go and the two of us walk companionably back to Mary’s house for breakfast.  There Scruffy waits for his plate to be served as well.
          I can’t help but think that my two cat friends have responded much as humans do when they are feeling needy and could use a hug.    Scruffy was frightened of me at first and avoided my contact. When I would appear he would hiss and it was not until I earned his trust that he would even allow me to feed him.  I often feel the same way about people – just back off and let me trust before you try to fix my problem.
         Once Scruffy saw I was not going to hurt him, he became my friend.  At first he only accepted food, later a touch on the back, but now he throws himself into a good leg rub and puts his front paws up on my knee for a rub.  Again, just like people isn’t it?  Once we allow a little closeness, we do like a friendly touch and a hug.  In fact, I think us older folks are sometimes touch deprived unless our family is nearby, often going weeks without a hug or even a touch on the arm. 
Did you say come for tea?
          Just like some of my other friends, Kittzie is a talker.  She does enjoy having a good meal before conversation, but I bet if I spoke cat talk, she would be telling me some amazing stories.  How is it an animal of another kind would even bother to communicate?  Does she think I understand?  Or is it just that I take the time to listen?
          My friends are going to a new home next week and I will miss them.  I just hope their new owners have good people skills, because they are sure going to need them with Kittzie and Scruffy. 

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