Bulletin Board, excerpt

Our Pets, Ourselves

From (St. Paul Pioneer Press) Bulletin Board, February 1, 2005

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Our Pets, Ourselves

Writes Poet X of PDX: "Subject: A Dog's Life.

"Whoever came up with envying a dog its lifestyle might have picked the wrong family pet. (Linguistically, the phrase probably predates the popularity of cats as companions, which, historically, is somewhat recent, if I remember a Discovery Channel [?] program correctly.)

"When I was a child, we had dogs. Grandma and Grandpa had a few farm cats, but they stayed out of the house (even in the dead of North Dakota winters), so cats have always been somewhat alien to me.

"That's no less true now that we got a 5-month-old kitten a couple months back (to contend with a mouse problem in the new house we moved into a year and half earlier).

"There is nothing that a kitten cannot turn into play. How I wish I had that capacity. (Well, I suppose I have the capacity, but I wish I'd employ it more often.)

"I'm convinced that space aliens got the concept of stranger-than-reality motion from cats who can bat their plaything and catch it as well. (I know that's akin to God creating man in his own image and then man returning the favor, but so be it.) That cats are psychic is also easy to demonstrate, especially in the kitchen, where the cat knows before I do where I'm about to walk and stays that half-step in front of me.

"I've long been on the nocturnal side of the Circadian Ferris Wheel, so I sometimes am just getting to sleep at 5 a.m. when the cat hits his energy high of the day. It sounds like a stampede of horses, but it's just the one cat, his rear section frequently threatening to overtake the fore."