Joel Vernier

I grew up with many dogs in my life. Our family was a dog family not a cat family. We tried a cat for a couple of days in the summer when I was 14. The attempt to be a cat family ended on a 90-degree day during dinner, the cat jumped up on to my shirtless back and sunk all four claws into my back. 

My Dad jumped up and tried to pull the cat off that resulted in my skin being pulled about three inches away from my back. Finally, the kitty let go of my skin, and the cat when to back to live with my brother. 

Fast forward to six years ago, when Angel, “Kitty Cat” came to live with us. My family was hoping to teach an “old dog new tricks.” First up, train Angel to keep off the countertops! She learned quickly.  Then it’s time to feed Kitty Cat! This is one chore I really do not like. Kitty is obnoxiously vocal, literally meowing at the top of her lungs, following whoever gets up first, to make sure she gets fed immediately. It turns into a negative action, because instead of feeding her out of love, I feed her to get some peace and quiet!

In addition, when I open the cat food container, the smell that assaults my olfactory senses is almost enough to create dry heaves. I quickly place the food in her food bowl, feed her and then throw out the container. It takes me a good half hour before I can eat my breakfast. It is cute that she purrs as she eats the food.

Next up is the weekly chore of cleaning out the cat litter box. That smell is bearable until you stir the pot so to speak, scooping up the droppings, hairballs and concentrated ammonia clumps. Seriously I consider this a bio-hazard area in the basement. As Kitty Cat has gotten older, she likes to promote me getting exercise by depositing her droppings around the basement in hidden areas.

Kitty is around 18 years old, and has slowed down, but still shows up at the sliding glass door and proudly presents her kill. She will meow until when open the door and praise her hunting skills. Of course, we don’t open it too far, or she will try to bring her prey into the house.

When she was younger, she would bring in two to three kills per day or night. She would navigate out the doggy door, and in the middle of the night would bring in her prize, and meow until we would wake up, get out of bed and compliment her on her skills. After that we would attempt to get back to sleep listening to her crunching the bones of her meal.

She often would leave the head and the liver as leftovers. After all who eats liver without onions! One time she brought in a bunny that must have played opossum, and when she let the rabbit go in the hallway, it scurried into an open bedroom door. Kitty Cat quickly followed and took care of business.

The end result is that I guess we are a dog and cat family now. Yes, even an “old dog” can learn a new trick! Time for a nap with a dog at my side and Kitty at my feet!

“Remember, every day is a gift! Some are just a little more fun to open than others.” – © Joel M. Vernier 10/11/2021 Author of: “The Guinea Pig In The Freezer.” joelmvernier@aol.com.

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