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    Sally Spira, A Welcome Addition

    We were taking our wonderful Dalmatian, Moxie, to the vet the last week of June, to get an allergy shot (she was chewing her paws raw and it was apparently due to allergies) where we saw the most precious kitten that needed a home. The sign above her cage read, "Six little kittens, One with white mittens, Please take me home" and how could I say no? I of course was really nervous that Sam, my adorable feline would not take too well to have a new kitten in the house. When I got her home, I let her run free throughout the house. Actually, I first had Herman show her the litter box. What I'm happy to report is that at seven weeks old, she absolutely knew what to do.

    When Sam saw her, he didn't look too happy. In fact, that first day he simply hissed at her for most of the day. After the second day, they are now fast friends! For all the years I've had cats, I never had a kitten. It is simply the most fun experiencing a kitten if you've never done so. Everything she sees is a game. This includes any and all parts of my body. The feet to seem to be the most popular place to nip, or very possibly the easiest place for her to get. I fully intend to have her de-clawed, but I think I have to wait at least three months.

    I know there are many of you out there better absolutely against the practice of de-clawing cats, but I truly believe unless that cat is going outside, the claws are simply hazardous to most furniture. And I have mainly wicker. Which means that all the furniture would ultimately turn into scratching posts. I'm all for humane treatment of animal, but I've seen firsthand what a cat will do with his front claws. And it's not because they are a bad cat, they are simply following their instincts. So in my taking out the claws, I'm still letting them followed their instincts, I'm just assisting in the process. Since I have never had an outdoor cat, I've always been a firm believer in removing the front claws.

    What I'm finding of most interest is the fact that when she runs she's sort of hops sideways. And in the last few days, she has given Sam a really good workout. And let's not forget that Sam weighs 15 pounds! I even have him on the weight control cat food. It doesn't appear to be helping him much, since he hasn't lost any weight. But he hasn't gained any either. So Sally will be part of his exercise regimen.

    I’m really thinking Sally will wind up being as large a cat as Sam. Every day I love watching each new discovery she makes. I’m especially careful to note where she is whenever I’m driving around the house in my electric wheelchair. Either my aide or Herman are on Sally Patrol to make sure she isn’t under the chair when I move.

    So I’m happy we have a welcome new addition to the animal family. She certainly brings a smile to anyone’s face just by showing up.

    "Kathryn Spira, a native of Cleveland who pursued an acting career in NYC and Los Angeles, now pursues free lance writing from Caroga Lake here in Fulton County. Previous columns may be accessed at her web site www.kathrynskorner.com"