The Back Yard Zoo by Jim Dunlap

Jim Dunlap     I'll call this, "Cat watching - a continuation." After thirty years of, more or less, forced observation of cat behavior, I have come to yet another conclusion. My cat, a cat, any cat, can and does walk directly in front of you, and by using some sort of force field or echolocation, or radar, manage to place its body directly in the very spot where your next footfall will land. It is not necessary for the cat to turn its head to see where you are. When you step on him, and you will, he emits only enough of a cry to alert other cat-loving members of the family so they can scream out in terror, "Why did you hurt the cat?" This cat behavior is sometimes misinterpreted as being driven by natural morning hunger.

     Not so tuna breath! It has been and will remain a mystery as to what causes this annoying episode in the behavior of a cat. If in fact you make the mistake of simply feeling sorry for the apparently starved feline, he will circle you while the can opener whirrs. He will appear as anxious as a kid waiting for the wrapper to come off a popcycle. He will then approach the bowl as if it were a loaded spring, sniff once, (twice if he is an older cat) look up at you, and then walk away.

     Later in the day you will notice that the food is missing, but you never actually see him eat it! If you refuse to ever again feed the cat, the family will accuse you of cruelty to animals. You will be taunted, shamed, and denied access to the chips that always seem to be in the spot right next to the catfood!

     And while I'm at it, what's this thing cats have with doors being left ajar?


Jim Dunlap, jim.dunlap@pisd.edu


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