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Cats Are Family Too

by Barry KuKes

As I have mentioned be-fore, my wife is a pet sitter. Many of her clients are cat owners in need of assistance with litter box cleaning, feeding, insulin injections, etc. When a new client hires her to provide services, they will usually say, “oh, you’ll never see the cats, but as long as the food has been eaten and the litter box needs to be scooped, that’s okay.” Cats can be very self-sufficient and independent. Some clients will ask her to stop by every other day to check on their cats, while others request a daily visit.

Over time, the cats will start coming out of hiding to meet her when she arrives at the home. When a cat or dog is not friendly to her, she will leave a piece of clothing that carries her scent —usually a headband. In just a few days, the animals are much more friendly and come to greet her immediately. One small cat was very leery of strangers, but after just one day with the headband, the cat jumped onto her lap and loudly purred. Animals are very scent and odor-aware due to their keen sense of smell.

We have many friends who love their cats. We usually have far more cats available for adoption at the humane society than dogs, so if you love cats too, come to the shelter and adopt one or two or ten. Okay, maybe not ten, but three or four would be good. Like dogs, domesticated cats love attention and miss you when you are gone. It is often said dogs have masters while cats have subjects. Dogs come when they are called; cats take a message and will get back to you at their convenience.

Some cats may be unpredictable, unlike dogs that will usually growl to give you a warning that they are not happy. Many cats will hiss or swat when not pleased with a situation, while others will be purring one second, and the next, they sink their teeth into your hand. Again, unpredictable but still loving and caring. My dog will sit by my side for hours, wanting to be petted. The cat, not so much.

If you have a busy lifestyle and not enough time to care for a dog, maybe a cat is for you. They do keep you company, even if only when they are sleeping on their cat tree. Being in one’s company doesn’t necessarily require constant interaction. Just being in the room makes you and the cat feel loved and not alone.

Please remember if you would like a cat for a pet, adopt, don’t shop.