Friday, May 7, 2010

Welcome a Pet into Your Life!

Taking a break from the mind/memory resources to recommend ... welcoming a pet(s) into your life! 

If this is just not feasible due to space, allergies and so forth, some other options might be to adopt a pet at a shelter or set up a bird feeder.  For a while we just placed a handful of birdseed on our patio near a chain-link fence and waited for the daily visits from a lovely pair of cardinals.  It was always so endearing to see one of the pair arrive on the scene and call for the other to join in the feast.  

Feeding birds ... that was BC - Before Cats.  We also had to discontinue the bird feeding because word got around to the hawk community that plump birds were coming to our house - which made them easier targets for the hawks to prey upon.  We did our best to shoo the predators away, but it was safer to discontinue or feed them in more secretive locations instead of an open patio.   

Our first cat, an orange tabby named Milos, was part of a ferrel litter.  It took a little time for him to feel comfortable in his new home.  I still remember this cute little kitten hissing at us all like the cat Jonesy in the movie Alien.  I had an idea and acted on it - get a piece of string/yarn and play with Milos.  After a few minutes, he forgot all about fear and was just having fun chasing the string.  My amateur career as the "Cat Whisperer" had begun.

One Sunday morning, while going down the driveway to retrieve the Sunday edition of the Times-Union, a lovely, rather thin, black cat strolled up to me from the wooded lot next door and started a conversation.  While I couldn't quite grasp the nuances of the language or dialect, she seemed to be saying something like, "I've been dropped off... I'm really hungry ... would you help me?"  My wife and I provided her with some nourishment and she was so grateful!  She would sometimes perch on our son Paul's windowsill and he would open the window and let her in at night.  We kept hoping an owner would come to claim her, but, alas, no one did; she had been abandoned.  We also noticed that she was putting on some weight after getting some regular meals.  A trip to the vet confirmed our suspicions - she was pregnant!  A great friend and co-worker named Becky provided us with a very informative/helpful book on cats - especially on pregnancy, birth and kitten care: The Well Cat Book.   After a few weeks, Panther, our new cat had 4 kittens!  She delivered two one afternoon and two more sometime early the next morning.  Our next door neighbors asked for two of the kittens once they were weaned and we kept two - Smoky and Snowy.   They have been a joy, good company and a continual source of humor.

Here's a video I posted of this Chatty Mommy Cat and Kittens and the kittens several months ago:

I recall viewing a film in school that was about a cat that wandered here and there.  Some people were kind: they fed and petted this homeless feline.  Others threw rocks or tried to kick the poor kitty when it tried to rub against them / nuzzle them (closeness and vulnerability).   I think the film was meant to show the good and bad we are capable of doing - that is, what we choose to do.  Its a matter of what's going on in  one's heart.  We can care or be callous.  

Our Heavenly Father provides for the birds and for all of Creation.  He is mindful of even a sparrow's fall.  We have an opportunity to follow in His footsteps by being kind and merciful to our pets and wildlife.  They are a blessing.


  1. Enjoyed the Video of Panther and her kittens. And, thanks for the remind that in all things we have an opportunity to follow in our Lord's footsteps.

  2. I am glad you enjoyed the video. I would love to capture Panther's purr / meow into a ringtone some day! It was really touching a few months ago to hear her calm her kittens with her soothing purring kittens while nursing them or bathing them. Maybe insomniacs should listen to that?! I believe you can learn a lot about one's character by observing how they treat animals (their own and those of others). Animals - they are in God's thoughts, too!