Appealing to our animal instincts
Updated: February 7, 2013 9:24AM
I could just open the front door and wait for it to happen.
Though that’s no guarantee it would.
And while it might not happen to me, it did happen to a friend of mine.
Maybe I’d better start at the beginning and explain.
Since our cat Jack died a few months back, my wife and I have been in mourning and constantly taking our emotional temperature to know if we can ever invite another cat into our home. So far, we haven’t been able to take that step.
Then I heard from a friend.
She never had a cat. She had
dogs. (I like dogs, too. In their essential function and in our emotional response to them, dogs and cats are the same.)
Her dog died and she didn’t get another. She had no thought of a cat.
Then one day she opened the door to a visitor. “Do you have a cat? I heard a meow,” the visitor asked.
“No,” my friend replied, as an orange tabby rushed from the bushes into her house.
My friend took the cat to her vet. The cat had an implanted microchip, which led to the vet who inserted the chip and then to the cat’s owners. But they no longer were at the address and phone number the vet had.
So, my friend did what any very nice person would do — she named the cat and went out and bought stuff for him (the cat is a him) to eat and to play with.
“Are we three?” my friend’s husband asked.
“Looks like it,” my friend replied.
And they are living happily ever after.
As my friend wrote me, “It turned out a cat was what I needed, even though I didn’t know it.”
So, maybe I should wait by the open front door for a cat to scoot in and take over. It happened to my friend. And I know some other people who acquired their beloved dog when one day he jumped into their parked car and claimed them, much as Peary claimed the North Pole.
But we don’t have to wait on serendipity. I, and you, know where dogs and cats who need homes are to be found.
There are millions of cats and dogs in shelters in America. The Humane Society of the United States estimates that three to four million dogs and cats are euthanized by shelters each year in this country.
I think my wife and I will take one of these critters.
How about you?