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    Our Cats and Dog Family

    As I was looking at my Page-A-Day Cat Calendar for today, I was struck with the photograph. Actually, for the weekend cats, they are on one page. Both of these cats were dressed up in what appeared to be nightshirts. All my mind went to was how in the world they got these shirts on the cats.

    Cats have a strong mind of their own. Try to give a cat a pill, or catch a cat that doesn’t want to be caught or do anything that you want the cat to do and you’ve got a big job ahead of you.

    I was watching the news the other night, when the final report was questioning whether cats saw pictures when they watched TV. Turns out that mainly, "slower cats" tend to watch TV. Not "smarter" cats, as some cat owners have thought. And the reason this is, is because cats have to react quickly to the visual input of small rodents or birds jumping away from them in order to catch their dinner. Apparently the TV watchers wouldn’t make very good hunters.

    Be that as it may, I was delighted that the story made national news. By the way, it seems the "smarter, faster" cats see only lines which form images on the TV screen and are too fast for the human eye. Which is why we wouldn’t be fast enough to catch rodents. Ick! As if we would ever want to.

    The point of all this is that we shouldn’t attribute human traits to our cats. As much as we’d like to. And I’m speaking from a lifetime of being "owned by cats’" as Cleveland Amory would say. Now, keep in mind that I call myself a "mother" to my cats. I think this is consistent with most cat owners. We feel simply like parents. Now, also keep in mind I’ve never been a parent. So, maybe that’s how I can feel like one. I also consider Sally to be Sam’s "sister" even though they aren’t related.

    Now, Moxie, our Dalmatian, is considered to be a "sister" to Sam and Sally, even though she’s of a different species. How weird is that? But I think if you asked any pet owners, they would say they consider their pets to be their kids. So maybe it isn’t so weird. Even Herman, who is a parent to two girls and a boy, considers our pets to be our kids now that his are grown and on their own.

    On a totally different note, I do not consider myself a "step-mom." Nor do I think his kids consider me one, although I’m sometimes referred to that way for lack of a better title.

    So enjoy your pets, those of you who have them. And if you don’t have them, I would strongly suggest it. Studies show pet owners live longer and are more content with life. And I can add my two cents worth to that!

    "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"