Sunday, April 24, 2011

No Lesson Learned?

Meet my cat, Annie.

Annie (left) and her brother, The early days
We got Annie seven years ago when we adopted her with her brother from a pet rescue organization. They joined our other two cats. (Yes, count them. We have four cats. And yes, we are a little bit crazy to have that many.) She came into the household adventuresome and bossy. Among other things, she tried to take over the favorite spots of the older cats. This had mixed results. After a few months, the pecking order was finally established, and much to her chagrin, Annie was the Number Two cat.

This sometimes left her a little cranky and determined to succeed in another area—eating. She soon figured out that I usually did the feeding and stuck to me like glue. She would always be the first one eating, pushing others out of the way if necessary even though they each had their own bowl. She would bump my hand as I was pouring food so more would spill into the bowl. Then, if any food was left from the other cats, she would finish it. Success was finally hers because soon Annie was the Number One heavy weight cat.

Annie was always getting into something.
Her size did not appear to slow her down, however. She was still the loudest cat and the most aggressive hunter. She was always first on the scene when anything new came into the house. Even though squabbles between her and the other cats quieted down, she would still take advantage of vulnerable situations to try to assert her authority. In other words, she had not forgotten her ultimate goal of being top cat, but still she remained Number Two. 

This started to really bug her. Her normal grooming became a source of comfort and she licked so much that she licked her belly bare of fur. The vet said that we should intervene. Annie was soon fitted with an Elizabethan collar to deter her licking. This threw her for a loop in the beginning. She bumped into things because she was not used to the extra width around her face and no longer could use her whiskers to help her judge distances. She was frustrated that she couldn't perform her instinctive grooming because of this plastic collar around her head. At first the collar seemed to dampen her spirit, but being Annie, she soon adapted. She bumped into fewer walls. She insisted that I pet, comb, and scratch her to take care of the areas she could not reach to groom. She hunted and caught a mouse even with the hindrance of her collar. Otherwise, She took a lickin' and kept on tickin'. Or maybe we should say, She couldn't take a lickin' but she keeps on tickin'. 
Annie was not happy with her collar in the beginning.

I don't know what we are supposed to learn from Annie's example. Maybe,"Always have a dream." Or "If first you don't succeed, try, try again." Or "Food is not the answer." Or "Better watch what you're doing or someone will whisk you away and fit you with a fashion accessory you don't want even though it is does help balance the 'fullness' of the rest of your body." Or maybe, there doesn't have to be a lesson in everything. That's what Annie says. She says that thinking too much gets you in trouble. Look what it did to her belly. Oh wait, that is a lesson-"Don't think too much."

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