I have a new friend. When she bangs on my door, on a daily basis now, it’s clear that she wants to come in and visit. So, being a good neighbor, I open the door and in she trots. She now knows where the kitchen is and that I’ve laid in a supply of her favorite foods. She heads there, leading the way, talking a mile a minute. Stuffed after she eats, she’ll sprawl on the couch and have a long nap, safe from the world.
My new friend is a cat — a grey tabby, age 4, with a tiny bell on her red collar.
This cat, whose name I’m told is Missy, is an orphan, at least right now. Her owner, a neighbor, is in the hospital and the prognosis is grim. The woman was found a few weeks ago when another neighbor noticed that Missy was still sitting on the porch in the middle of the afternoon, apparently unfed and upset. The neighbor investigated and found Missy’s owner on the floor. An ambulance was called.
Let this be a lesson to all of us. If we have pets and we live alone, we need a backup plan for the animals’ care.
Someone needs to know we have pets, know what they eat and where the food is kept. If it’s an older animal and medicine is required, somebody needs to know how to give it, and when. This someone needs to know the name of the vet.
The second lesson is about us: Somebody needs to be aware enough of our daily routines that if something is wrong, they’ll know to investigate: the blinds still closed, the paper still at the door … or the cat still sitting unfed on the porch.
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