there are plenty of crazy, err, fun cat people out there. billy corgan is a new convert. willo has a website dedicated to her kitty, kazoo complete with moving images and blog entries. a friend of the family has twelve cats in her 500 square foot new york apartment. there are plenty of kooky ladies who walk their cats in manhattan. when we travel, we demand that someone sleeps in our apartment so that our cats are not alone.
if you've never shared a home with a cat, it can be very off putting to be in the company of feline fanatics. brian recounted a tale from his recent visit with cat people friends. while discussing life, etc. his friends interrupted the conversation to point out something ridiculously cute their cat did. he was annoyed by this. brian was visiting from far away and didn't see why his hosts should point out to him something their cat was doing when they probably saw it doing the same thing daily! we try hard not to be like that. but i do slip sometimes.
i never wanted to be a cat person. but somehow, it just happened. i don't have cat stickers or cat magnets or cat porcelain objects adorning my apartment walls. i just live with two very funny felines, atari and godzuki. friends have targeted me as the number one recipient for email forwards with cat pictures. here are two recent favorites:
i am a dog person. and i was always allergic to cats. but one summer i stayed in a house with four cats and three dogs. i denied my allergies, adapting to living with four legged roommates (this has lead me to believe to some extent that animal allergies are psychosomatic). one cat, fourteen would sleep on my bed every day. i fell in love with him. he passed last year. my optometrist says i'm still allergic to cats. apparently, my eyes don't lie. i have learned to live with my allergies.
strangers who have googled "teach cat tricks", write asking me to give them cat trick help. i have successfully taught atari and godzuki to sit on command. i'm still working on the "kiss my feet trick" (only a crazy cat person would even say those words out loud). teaching an animal tricks is fun. it works best with kitties that like to be rewarded with scooby snacks. it's easy to condition a cat with a food reward. but you need a lot of patience. hey, just like with a kid. deliver a hand or voice command and get your cat to recognize it with an action. every time you make the action or deliver the command and your cat does the trick, reward it. it's that simple.
i especially like reading stories about dogs and or cats who save lives. animals are good for us. science says so. i think so long as i can, i will always have a four legged pet. for now, i'm just looking forward to getting old with our two kitty rascals.