News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Opinion

July 1, 2014

RONN MOTT: Cats

Looking at the situation as a whole, the adopted cats, plus one, seem to be doing OK. The boys, Magic and Mellow, like to roam occasionally, which causes some consternation when they are gone for a long time.

The thing that bothers us at this time of year is fireworks and all of the noise that goes with the Fourth of July. It upsets the cats greatly. Last year, Magic had to be taken to our veterinarian because of a “stress-induced virus.” He developed a fever and had difficulty breathing. So the noise of the explosions and such are not laughed off easily when we think of the sickness and the cost of tending to it has rolled around for another year.

Maizey seems to think any time the wife and I go into the kitchen she should take that time to eat — even if she has just eaten a minute or two earlier. She is a cute little thing, but is swelling up like a balloon from all the food she consumes. I guess the amount of food we keep down will have to be limited because of her unwillingness to stop eating after she is full.

Mellow is like the name: a real mellow fellow. He is growing up with good care and a healthy appetite and, unlike the others, he still likes to play. Sometimes when he comes to roust me out I have to decide what it is he wants. The morning of writing this piece, he wanted to play. I thought he wanted to go out, which I allowed, and I no sooner sat down with my cup of coffee, and he was back at my feet meowing, and I guessed he wanted to play. So that’s what we did.

I’m adjusting to the fact that cats love to sleep, and to the hours in the day they set aside for that very thing. That’s not a bad life if you have humans to look after you, feed you and care about you. Eat, sleep, roam about and sometimes the need to be playful.

Last winter we allowed this feral cat we call “Maxine” to stay in our garage in bad weather … rain, snow, ice or sleet. And she is taking to the idea of two square meals a day, morning and night, as a very good thing. Since she has been on her own for what we believe to be five years or perhaps more, she has taken to the back yard like a ruling queen. She gives all the other cats trouble, and we hope that will calm down and cease, because we do not want the cats we have raised since they were kittens to be intimidated in their own yard. The day I’m writing this it seems to be getting better, but not as good as we would like it to be.

The lady who owned Maxine disappeared, and the cat was left with a totally empty house and no one to love or care for her. She has survived and the six months of the wife and I caring for her with food, water and shelter has made a huge difference. Her life is so much better. She isn’t especially friendly, but she is accepting her situation and seems to be grateful for it.

These small animals are greatly loved and they bring us much joy. Magic, the cat who knocks to come in; the Mellow fellow; Maizey, our first adopted cat; and Maxine, a perennial grouch who we, and some neighbors, have kept alive by giving her food. And so it goes with the cats at our house. They appear to be on a path to good health and being dischargers of love and affection.

Ronn Mott, a longtime radio personality in Terre Haute, writes commentaries for the Tribune-Star. His pieces are published online Tuesday and Thursday on Tribstar.com, and in the print and online editions on Saturday.

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