Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Special thanks to Phil

I want to send a special thank you to Phil, who posted a comment about his dog, Prudence, and her response to the words "Go away." Here's part of that post:

That reminds me of my faithful pitbull/dingo mix, Prudence, who made me laugh for almost sixteen years. When she was around 4, I accidently discovered a command that she immediately responded to - "Go away."I was sitting on the floor reading a newspaper or magazine, and she came up for her usual dose of affection, and stood on my paper. I kiddingly, and in a playful voice, said, "Go away, Rudy. Go away."

To my somewhat bemused amazement, her ears dropped, she looked directly at me for a second, as if seeking confirmation of my meaning, and then turned and walked a few feet away, turned around and laid down. I had never taught her that command.

I'd love to know if Prudence had been with Phil for her entire life, or if she could have learned this command prior to meeting Phil. I'm wondering because I remember the day I brought home my dear Jake from Multnomah Co. Animal Shelter, back in 1995. All my dogs had always enjoyed the front seat in my car, so on the day we left the shelter I opened the passenger door for Jake and in he jumped...and kept on jumping, over the center console, and into the back seat.

During our many years together, Jake would ONLY ride in the back seat. Clearly he had learned this before he came to me. I figured he would eventually make his way up front, after which he and I could have meaningful conversations without my having to turn my head and speak to the back seat. But this would never be.

The thought just occurred to me - maybe he didn't like my driving skills, and this was a self-preservation tactic. In which case, dear Jake, I completely forgive you.


Wednesday, February 20, 2008

An Old Soul

This past weekend my sister-in-law, Sara, and my 11 year-old niece, Emma, came up from Arizona for a short visit. I hadn’t seen either of them in over 10 years.

The last time I saw Emma she was in diapers. My dog, Jake, who wasn’t used to being around children, learned very quickly that kids create a trail of dropped cookies and other treats, just waiting to be cleaned up. Also, they are at snout height – perfect for licking a face covered in crumbs. So Jake glued himself to Emma’s side.

Emma is now a delightful young girl…and she is an animal lover! It is even possible she could become the first veterinarian in our family. But that’s down the road. If I had to describe her as she is today, I would call her an Old Soul. You sense there is a deep, ancient wisdom within her. If you believe in reincarnation, there is the feeling she’s lived many lives before.

Emma reminds me of Molly, one of my cats. I have always had the sense that Molly is only partly in this world – the rest of her is off in an alternate universe, living a completely different life. There is some of that in Emma….and being around someone like that is wonderful!

I hope my angel Jake took a moment to check in on his two-legged cousin. There’s a lot less crumbs than there used to be, but I suspect she and Jake may fly in the same, starry skies.


Saturday, February 02, 2008

Do You Believe in Ghost Cats?

Do you believe in ghosts? How about ghost cats? If you’re not sure, just read the following story, which was sent to me by Christine Merrill of Baltimore, Md:

It was May 6th or 7th, 2005. I was spending the night at my sister's house before her exploratory operation at some hospital in Mclean, Va.

The night before, or early evening, when the sun was still shining light shafts through the windows, I was talking to Eleanor in the kitchen. She was folding her arms in front of her as she stood in the doorway, which lead out to the living room. All of a sudden, I saw a black and white cat jump up the one stair in the sunken living room right past my sister's elbow.
I said, "Oh, I see you got a new cat!"

She said no, she had the same four rescues. Then she smiled funny and said for me to follow her. Her husband and a couple of the step children were in the kitchen and I thought maybe she had indeed adopted a new cat and didn't want them to know about it!

"What did this cat look like?"

I said, "He was half black and half white, medium to large sized. Handsome." She looked surprised. I exclaimed, "What, what?"

She then told me when she was packing up in the hotel room in London a few days prior (she was on a book tour) she turned around and all of a sudden this black and white cat was just sitting there at the bathroom door looking up at her!

She thought, "Oh, that is the Hotel cat. No wait, there is no hotel cat! And this is the 15th floor!"

So we concluded it was a 'ghost cat' who had followed her home from England. Nice cat. Must have been someone's pet? Our pet (in the future or past?) Don't know. She told me she just saw a brown cat in their kitchen two weeks ago just walking by and disappearing. Her three cats,
now, are not brown! YOU believe in ghost cats?