As children, my brothers and I never had dogs or cats. Now, as adults, we all have dogs, and Julie and I have cats too. My middle brother was the last to convert; he and his new family just adopted his first dog a week ago.
I advised my brother from the vantage point of my three years’ greater experience. I said:
Several times over the course of the next few months you will feel like an abject failure, like you have been unable to succeed at this simple thing — raising a dog — that any moron can accomplish. You will feel that you did the dog a disservice by adopting her. You will feel utterly worthless as a human being, like the lowest slime that ever climbed out of a toxic waste dump.
This is normal. Nothing to worry about!
Whatever the meeting was about, it must have been important, because they were quite worked up about it. I participated by waking up, sitting bolt upright and shouting swear words. Which startled Julie, who was still awake and reading in bed.
Not long afterward, Sammy, our male cat, decided to have carnal knowledge of my feet. He got so excited he bit down on my toe, which was protected only by a thin blanket. I shot bolt upright again and swore at Sammy. He scrammed. I guess he doesn’t like dirty talk during sex.
So if I seem to be tired and cranky today, that’s why.
Cat behavior specialist Sarah Ellis says cats can be trained. It just takes a little more patience than with dogs. She’s got a book on the subject, “The Trainable Cat,” with co-author John Bradshaw. And she talks with Terry Gross on the Fresh Air podcast.
Who Says You Can’t Train A Cat? A Book Of Tips For Feline-Human Harmony – Fresh Air podcast
How much do cats actually kill? – The Oatmeal
90+ degrees out, I was sitting in the room that gets the worst air conditioning coverage, and Sammy is very, very warm.
I think this is an excellent idea.
Julie sent me this link from Catherine Hess at the Humane Society, for tips: The Cat’s Meow.