Last Wednesday we put Angus, our middle cat, into the cat carrier, put the cat carrier in the car and drove off to the vet’s office. We dropped him off there to get his annual shots and left for the human health clinic, where my wife and I had our flu shots.
Now Angus is black, hence the name, but in conformation and temperament he is very Siamese. He does not suffer such indignities in silence, complaining all the way to the clinic and all the time he was at the clinic. This was perhaps the sixth time he has been to the clinic in the four years of his life and he knows the routine. It appears that he may know the roads as well, even though he can’t see them from his place in the carrier.
He was much quieter on the way home, until we decided to pick up our mail before returning home. When we passed the road that led to home, he suddenly became quite vocal and frantically tried to find a way to get out of the cage. He calmed down a bit when we stopped for the mail and then turned around to head for home and became altogether quiet when we turned off the highway onto the gravel road that led home.
I can’t ask him to explain his behaviour, but it certainly seemed that he now knows just where we are supposed to turn off the highway to go home – even without being able to see the road.
More than 40 years ago, in the first year of our married life, we lived in a two-storey house with a cat, Moochie. Both of us had fond memories of the dogs who were our childhood companions, so we decided to add a dog to the family. The dog and the cat didn’t exactly hit it off. The first night we closed the door at the bottom of the stairs, with the cat up and the dog down, The cat litter box was in the basement, but we thought he could probably make it through the night.
I was the first one up in the morning. When I walked into the bathroom, there was Moochie peeing down the bathtub drain. Not long after that, we decided the dog was not compatible with our lifestyle and had to go.
I will grant that a trained dog shows remarkable signs of intelligence. I suppose the things that make a cat more compatible with our lifestyle is that a cat has much more patience and figures out things like personal hygiene all on its own.