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Do You Talk Cat?

March 27, 2022

Another Way for week of March 18, 2022

Do You Talk Cat?

We recently caved and adopted a cat who was looking for a home. My husband especially had been on the cat hunt for several years; our last cat had to be put down about three years ago and a friend kept pleading that there are so many cats needing homes. There are just too many feral barn cats in our area, and people failing to “fix” the problem by neutering in time.

We recently heard a speaker from our local SPCA – not associated with any national organization – share how naïve some are when it comes to how new kittens come into the world. He said more than once people surrendering kittens to the SPCA said or hinted their bewilderment that their young cats got pregnant so fast because they “hadn’t been around other cats.” Except, oh yeah, a cat from the last litter was male and the person said they weren’t sure that sibling cats would mate. True story.

You might recall we also have a dog, Velvet. How would she adjust to a new member of the household? Would they be friends, companions, or hiss and bark at one another? Were we too old to adopt a new pet?

So, the new member of the family is Pumpkin (we kept the name the former owner had chosen) a sweet name for a brown and orange cat who had a rough start. Pumpkin had been attacked by dogs on their farm and the youngish owner was to the place she couldn’t handle two dogs and a cat financially.

But soon Velvet and Pumpkin were snuggling up during naps on a sunshiny floor. Not that everything is perfect: dog is jealous, as any smart canine worth their dog chow should be. I mean, she’s had the run of the house and yard for the last three years and of course doesn’t really remember our cat Paisley. (An orphan my daughter brought home who needed to be fed through a dropper the first week or so.)

Then there is cat language to decipher. Do you know what a cat’s different meows mean? Right now, we know in early morning if we hear a loud mea-rare with an accent on the second syllable: it means Pumpkin is hungry or demanding something. Other times of day she is contentedly happy and murmurs a softer, gentle meeeeow. Or a soft, velvety mrrr.

Animals make us laugh. And cry. They engage us in disgusting clean up duties. Dogs or cats in a house are not for everyone. Dad’s policy on the farm was animals belong outside. My farmer neighbor across the road is the same way.

Many older people, especially those living alone, develop great bonds with their pets that give them purpose in living and serve as great company. I saw an older woman carefully pushing a dog stroller, which appears to be a trend. I’m not sure if all stores allow stroller dogs to enter without being a service dog, but most stroller dogs that I’ve seen are well behaved. Once I saw a dog raise a fuss barking at another customer who got too close.

Pets are work, of course. Children are work, spouses are work—relationships take work. A dog or a cat in the house is not for everyone. Animals can make older people accidentally fall. Dogs need walking. They cost money, sometimes dearly. We have never been able to justify spending thousands on a dog or cat to keep them alive or living more comfortably. But that’s up to each individual and their budget and what they can afford.

Children of course also beg for pets, but parents need to carefully consider the pet’s and family needs. Sometimes a kid’s begging can be appeased by trips to a pet store or zoo. And a firm parent able to say “no.”

We know that our Creator must have loved animals to have blessed the earth with so many species!

.Our neighbor’s sheep. I always love their spring lambing season

My grandsons were all recently spouting off their favorite animals in Marco Polo videos we exchange. Some very exotic! What are your favorites and why?


Or, or other cat or dog stories? Comment here or send to or Another Way Media, P.O. Box 363, Singers Glen, VA 22834.

Another Way is a column by Melodie Davis, in syndication since 1987. She is the author of nine books. Another Way columns are posted at a week after newspaper publication.  

  1. I’m allergic to cat dander, so no felines for us. We don’t feel the need for pets because, as you mentioned, they are a lot of work. Your cat and dog look very contented together, like in a peaceable kingdom.

    I like your photo of the sheep with lambs, just my speed. 😀

  2. One of my daughters, husband, and sons visited over the weekend and had to test out their dander allergies, unfortunately. They were very good sports–the son is a big cat fan and did a lot of nose wiping. There are cat foods now that can lessen a human’s responses to the dander and we will stock up on that kind next time we have these beloved visitors. One brand is Purina Pro Plan LIVECLEAR Adult Indoor Formula Dry Cat Food (not an advertisement but the previous owner had used this or something similiar.)

    Glad you could connect to the lamb photo! One of my favorites.

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