July 2, 2010 in Features

Score one for cat’s lack of interest

By The Spokesman-Review

The little boy looked like he was 3 or 4.

He was out for a sidewalk stroll with a woman who must have been his grandmother or great-grandmother. They were taking their time.

The boy spotted a gray cat sniffing plants next to a house on a corner. He stopped and pointed. “A cat,” he said.

The feline started to move toward him.

A weed-puller in the yard calmly warned the lad and the white-haired woman that the cat in question was “wild.”

The fairness of that assessment could be debated. But those familiar with the animal would testify that she is, at the very least, unpredictable. Anyone contemplating extending a chubby little hand in her direction probably ought to know that they weren’t dealing with a furry Miss Congeniality.

In any event, the little boy had a decision to make. Should he welcome the animal’s approach and look forward to petting a kitty?

Or should he regard the “wild” cat as a predator and himself as prey?

His expression took on a hint of concern as he weighed the options.

Who knows what sort of nature programming that kid had watched on TV. Maybe he had seen graphic images of lions taking down herd animals.

Sure, it was a house cat moving in his direction, not a tiger. But it’s worth remembering that 3-year-olds are pretty small. For all intents and purposes, the feline headed his way qualified as a big cat.

And it was almost upon him.

The little boy’s thoughts at the moment? Maybe he was wishing he had drawn up a will. Perhaps he was resigned to his grisly fate and simply hoped the end came quickly.

Slowly, he took a couple of small steps back. The cat stopped.

They eyed one another without making a sound. Then, after a moment, the animal headed back toward the house.

In the little boy’s dreams that night, maybe Spokane looked a bit like the Serengeti.

Today’s Slice question: Has one of your pets ever figured out how to outsmart a timer-controlled mechanical food dispenser and triggered supplemental servings?

Write The Slice at P.O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210; call (509) 459-5470; fax (509) 459-5098; e-mail pault@spokesman.com. Would you consider yourself a failure as a parent if one of your daughters grew up to become one of the Sea Gals?

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