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Speaking of listening to pets …

Scroll down a little bit and read my January 24 entry, "Listen to what your pets have to say." Our story continues.

When Lois and I brought out the wool comforter to help keep our cat, Tut, warm on these cold nights, we thought that would solve his problem of being too cold and I guess it did. Unfortunately, it also created a new problem: Wool Comforter Envy. Newman, our tuxedo Maine coon cat had it.

When I got the comforter for Tut, I didn’t stop for a second to worry about Newman. His mass of long, black hair keeps him from ever getting cold. Newman could sleep on a frozen lake and be happy. But he’s not sleeping on a frozen lake these days. He sleeps on the couch next to Tut, and he doesn’t have a wool comforter to sleep on.

I first discovered the problem when I came downstairs to go to work yesterday morning. Newman was sleeping on the wool comforter. Tut had been sitting outside our bedroom door, grumbling. When I got home from work last night, I could hear the thunder of galloping "hooves" as the cats chased each other around the house. Newman weighs 18-pounds and sounds like he’s wearing cement shoes when he walks. When he runs he sounds like a herd of bison.

Newman and Tut were standing nose-to-nose hissing at each other when I walked into the room. The wool comforter was on the floor next to them.

"Stop!" I said. Presto, no cats. Funny how that always works.

I picked up the comforter and put it back on the couch where Tut always sleeps. Then I went and got a red wool blanket out of the closet and stretched it on Newman’s pillow.

Now Newman has a bright red blanket and Tut doesn’t. Boy is he happy.

And the best part? Tut doesn’t care.

Posted on Wednesday, February 1st, 2006
Under: animal communication, Animals, Cats, Pets | 2 Comments »

Listen to what your pets have to say

We need to pay close attention to our pets. They communicate with us in a lot of obvious ways with their body posture, tail movements, special sounds (purrs, whines, growls, meows) and in the ways they look at us. But it’s the subtle and unusual things they do that we need to be particularly alert for. They usually indicate something’s wrong.

My Abyssinian cat, Tut, has been following me around and meowing at me for the last couple of days. Not a lot, and nothing really obvious. A soft mew here, a gentle bump against my leg there. I really didn’t give it much thought until the other morning when I got up in the predawn darkness to go to work. Tut was waiting for me outside our bedroom door to give me a bump against my leg with his head. Hum. OK, now I’ve noticed.

Last night I brought it up with my wife, Lois. "Maybe he’s cold," she said. "I nearly froze last night."

So we got the wool comforter out of the closet and fixed up a nice warm nest for Tut in the area of the couch where he usually sleeps at night. He climbed in it right after dinner. Later, just before we went upstairs to bed, I carefully tucked the comforter over and around Tut until we could only see his eyes peering back at us out of his woolen cave.

This morning Tut was still in his warm cave as I left for work. And Lois said he was still there when she got up an hour so so later. Obviously nice and warm and happy.

Keep that in mind the next time you feel a little bump against your leg.

Posted on Tuesday, January 24th, 2006
Under: animal communication, Animals, Cats, Pets | 4 Comments »