By Jackie Deal
Amber is lost! Disappeared! Not to be found. I’ve looked everywhere. High. Low. Her favorite hidey hole. No Amber. The water heater repairman-prone across the kitchen floor, head under the sink- mumbles “I didn’t let the cat out. She’s not out.” With all the things Amber is, she’s not an outdoor cat. She’s a beautiful tuxedo cat, black and white, sensitive, independent but Amber is not an outdoor cat.
I frantically begin to call, “KITTY! KITTY!” She has never, ever answered me before but I try anyway. “KITTY! KITTY!” ‘’meow-ow-ow.” “KITTY! KITTY!” “meow-ow-ow”. She’s answered! I start to trace the pitiful meow. The living room? No. Bedroom? No. Kitchen? No. Aw, the bathroom. I look under the sink, behind the toilet, in the linen closet.
And then I notice the shower stall: its translucent panels reaching up to about 12 inches from the ceiling where it’s open, and it’s right next to the sink. I open the shower door and huddled in a far corner is a pathetic little black mass. Huddled small, eyes downcast. “meowow” She looks up-sees the open door and bolts out. She tears down the bedroom steps, through the kitchen (leaping over the repairman) and dashes into the living room where she attacks her scratching post. She nearly climbs the 4 foot pole digging in with all four paws. Every cat needs a scratching post.
That scratching post hears all of Amber’s woes: “My Human no longer pets my tummy when I throw myself in ecstasy on the floor delighted she’s finally comes home.” (Truth is, Human is recovering from total hip replacement and is forbidden to bend over.) “And then she has the audacity to set herself down and call ‘Kitty, Kitty, come, come.’ What does she think I am? Her rag doll?” Then there are the times when Amber plainly wants something and Human is too dense to know. “I ask her plain as day. “Me-Wow-Wow-Er”? What part of Me-Wow-Wow-ER” doesn’t she understand? Surely she knows that means ‘treats’?” Time for the scratching pole.
The scratching pole hears all, keeps all and cleanses the soul. Wouldn’t it be great if we had a scratching post? All the slights and snares of daily life could be scratched away. SCRATCH! SCRATCH! Never again to have to carry hurts and anger. SCRATCH! SCRATCH! No more counting to ten through clenched teeth, SCRATCH! SCRATCH! What a civilized world we might have if each of us had a personal scratching post.