Cats, and Even Kittens, as Teachers


All is well with the kitties in the Fry household. Max’s health scare is resolved (for the moment), little Lily is thriving—it is so much fun having a kitten around again—and Sophie, our 4-year-old formerly feral tortie, loves having her to play with. Max can’t stand the kitten. Grumpy old (11 years) man that he is, this formerly feral cat has no tolerance for the likes of a kitten who loves to cuddle with his mom (me), and who regularly disturbs his sleep in all of his favorite hiding places.

Lily has more friends than I do at this point. We yearn for a sociable cat, having had hidey cats for so long, so we invite all of the “cat people” we know to come play with her anytime they want. You can see, by the photo I chose for this blog, how well-loved she is by friends of all ages. This is 2-year-old Alyzay with her. Despite the look of concern on Lily’s face in this picture, these two have a marvelous time playing together.

Yesterday, a friend brought Lily and her housemates catnip and treats. Even Sophie came out of hiding to get in on the goodies and she even allowed a little petting.

When we rescued Sophie, she was 10 weeks old and had been living in a cat colony in a nearby town. At the time, we had a purrfectly sociable cat (we called Winfield the greeter) and Max, also formerly feral and afraid of all shadows and sounds. We hoped that Sophie would learn from Winfield, but she ended up following Max into the hidey holes when guests came.

Now, however, it seems that Lily is teaching Sophie a few of her tricks—show yourself, be cute and you will get lots of attention and even treats. Sophie is actually getting better. This week, she came out in plain sight to observe the play habits of a 4-year-old visitor. I think she’s learning that little people often drop food and, having come from the streets, she is a real scavenger. She particularly loves Cheez Its and string cheese.

If you enjoy true stories, reminiscences and commentary about cats and kittens, you will love my latest book, Catscapades, Tales of Ordinary and Extraordinary Cats. Order your copy here only: It’s in print or ebook form.

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