A catty column if ever there was one

By Bob Sweeney

By Bob Sweeney

Driving to work, one sees so many people out walking their dogs. The walk serves two purposes—exercising the dog and the owner.

What I don’t see is anyone walking their cat. Somehow cats just get off living in our homes, using litter boxes and spending their days lounging comfortably on soft carpets.

Sometimes they are eager to see who is at the door and purring while rubbing against a visitor’s leg. Cats love to be petted and have their ears scratched, but they don’t like to be held firmly.

Mother cats instinctively move their kittens by grabbing them by the back of their little necks. All cats just go limp if grabbed firmly by the back of the neck, going back to how their mothers grabbed them.

To my delight, the 2016 December Elks Magazine had a feature entitled “The Humor of Cats.” The article quotes English humorist P.G. Wodehouse in stating, “Cats as a class have never gotten over the snootiness caused by the fact that in ancient Egypt they were worshipped as gods.”

The article written by Glenn Liebman says cats reside in 35 percent of American households with an average of two cats in a home. Statistics show that there are about 86 million pet cats.

The article quotes cat writer Paul Gallico: “Everything a cat is and does physically is to me beautiful, lovely and stimulating, soothing, attractive, and an enchantment.”

The magazine quotes Mark Twain: “When a man loves cats, I am his friend and comrade.” (Guess Mark and I would be friends.)

Writing of the independence of cats, writer Ellen Perry Berkeley spoke the simple truth: “Every cat owner knows nobody owns a cat.”  Paul Gray relates a similar theme, “One must love a cat on its own terms.”

French philosopher Michel de Montaigne once wondered, “When I play with my cat, how do I know that she is not passing time with me, rather than I with her?”

Science-fiction writer Andre Alice Norton speculated that cat independence explains why they are so beloved by writers, saying, “Perhaps it is because cats do not live by human patterns, do not fit themselves into prescribed behavior, that they are so united to creative people.”

Veterinarian Louis Camuti writes, “Cat people are different, to the extent that they generally are not conformists. How could they be, with a cat running their lives?”

British author W.L. George noted that cats’ intelligence is demonstrated by the fact that they know how to obtain food without labor, shelter without confinement, and love without penalties.”

Sir Walter Scott has written, “Cats are a mysterious kind of folk. There is more passing in their minds than we are aware of.”

Author Helen Powers relates, “You can tell your cat anything and he’ll still love you. If you lose your job or your best friend, your cat will think no less of you.”

The wonderful cat article closes with a quote from famed cookbook author Julia Childs who states, “A house without cats is like a life without sunshine.”

I hope all of you cat lovers enjoy this salute to cats.

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