Newspaper Article Archive of
The Kalona News
Kalona, Iowa

Newspaper Article Archive of
The Kalona News

July 12, 2018 A focus on cats, even if they are not truly focused
Article Pages -- as published on the The Kalona News website.

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If you read my last column you will remember there was a lengthy discussion on a commonly committed fault known as “lack of focus,” of which many of us suffer.

A suggestion proposed was that the fault could be quickly corrected by simply putting our minds toward active involvement.

Not so fast: Suggestion and application are not solid buddies and may obviously need more study.

An example of application, not necessarily a solution, is this column about cats, so on with it.

Dogs are often thought more popular as pets than cats, but cats don’t care. They contend there is no need to ask for approval; they own the rights.

For example: If you’ve ever had a cat cozy itself on your chest and gaze longingly, soulfully, into your eyes you will quickly learn who the better one is. It’s not you.

My alpha cat Addie, a gray and white 10-year old lummox, of 14-16 pounds (varying on how good the food has been), will ease his front legs up slowly around my neck in a performance-perfected aim to assure me his intent is peaceful; and when his rumbling purr soon drifts up under my chin, there is nothing more required.

The jugular vein is nearby, of course, but he’s always careful his claw-nails are curled inwardly in deference to my vulnerability; I still pray he will not become suddenly startled.

Then there is Kee Kee, the tiger-striped elderly queen of the outdoor underbrush and all indoor hiding places. By day she is a cat of great endurance, calmly accepting lack of attention but by night becomes a ferocious predator as legs (as they often will) glide erratically around under the bed covers in presumed attacks on her.

Pashi – a black, white and tan calico – arriving here as a petite kitten, is now a hefty 12-pound, 7-year- old adult, flaunting an intriguing air of being an abandoned child, wandering aimlessly, mewing plaintively, even in full view of others.

I often wonder if she is still searching for a mother lost?

Last, but certainly not least, is Wynkee, a diminutive tiger tortoise shell who doesn’t take much guff from anybody, but at the same time is so sensitive to criticism she will often hide her head from unresolvable fears.

All have extensive vocabulary understanding of words such as: “up,” “down,” “sit,” “leave,” “go to the door,” “move over,” “get out of the way,” “not now,” “that’s it, no more,” “come on…,” “hurry up,” “share,” “be nice,” etc.

Cats learn quickly and remember easily, but at times that can be frustrating.

For instance: If Kee Kee doesn’t want to accept a command she will swing her head away and endlessly check on anything and everything in front of her.

Addie will look up questioningly, but if I say “no” or “not now,” he patiently walks away. Wynkee asks to sit beside me on the sofa and will immediately sit or leave, the choice often determine by her.

Pashi treads a fine line, still searching, and daily asking for a full back rub every time she sees my shoes are off; it’s a toenail thing.

There you go: a solution?

Lois Eckhardt can be reached at P.O. Box 413, Wellman, IA 52356.

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