by Jackie Deal
Yep, I’m an “ailurophile. Don’t call 911 and it’s okay, I’m not contagious. An ailurophile is a cat lover. I’m unemotional, pragmatic, blah, blah, blah; no way could I fall in love with a cat. But there it is, this ten pound black and white tuxedo cat has me hooked by her little white paws.
By no means am I alone, in 2016 it was reported that there were 90 million dogs and 94 million cats as pets in the U.S. I’ve just bought Amber (my Cat) a scratching post, some new food to try, a new stuffed mousie, some catnip and a (supposed) laser-light toy. Before you laugh at my expenses how about this? “The average cat owner spends more than $1,000 annually on each furry friend.”(from Todd Hafer’s delightful book “101 Amazing Things About Cat Lovers”.)
The “supposed” laser toy? My friend Pat had a laser beam that her cat loved to chase around the floor. The one I bought turned out to be just a tiny flashlight and Amber watched with glowing yellow eyes….my hand and the beam coming from it. Forget the floor.
However the scratching post was a big success. I sprayed it with catnip and Amber fell in love. She scratched it, wrapped all four paws around it, climbed it, bit it, licked it and had a ball. Here’s hoping it will save my one upholstered chair.
A lot of famous Americans were cat lovers. Abraham Lincoln was said to feed his son’s cat Tabby with a golden fork at White House dinners. And of his cat Dixie he said, “She is smarter than my whole Cabinet. And furthermore she doesn’t talk back.” During the Civil War when visiting General Ulysses S. Grant, Lincoln rescued three freezing kitten and brought them back to join Tabby and Dixie.
Winston Churchill‘s favorite cat was named Nelson and he bragged that it could chase away dogs. He also had a cat named Jock who ate at the table with him and Churchill would not eat dinner until Jock was present.
I may be an ailurophile but I don’t go to those extremes. I’m determined to teach Amber that she is NOT to climb up on the kitchen sink. Any other high perch is fair game but I draw the line at sharing my food prep’ area with paws that have been in a litter box. Amber is not so fastidious; we’ll see who wins.