Sat June 9, 2012
The Making of a Great Pet
In order to have a great pet, you have to invest in it, but you are almost guaranteed to get a great return!
By Mindy Norton
Are you a dog person or a cat person?
I like both, although right now I happen to have cats. It started with one cat that showed up at our house, then another - well, you know how it goes.
We have had Rufus the longest. He's a big red tabby, and when I say big I'm not exaggerating. Rufus weighs in at more than 20 pounds. He's considered a senior cat because he's more than 7 years old. He started out kind of ornery, but as he's gotten older he has mellowed quite a bit.
Next came Lacey, a pretty little Calico cat who is sweet and dainty. She loves to play and be petted but really doesn't want to be held.
Sasha was adopted from an animal rescue group. We think she may be the most normal cat we have. She likes things on her own terms. You may hear her growl when she doesn't get her way, but no matter how mad she gets, she never bites.
Then along came Oscar, our ambassador. A large grey and white cat, he is laid back, easy going, and gets along with everybody. He loves to play, will walk on a leash (no kidding) and is the most social cat we've ever had.
So four cats with four very different personalities - and one thing in common: each was homeless until coming to live with us.
If you came to visit and got to know any one of them, you would have a hard time understanding why anyone wouldn't want that animal as a pet. The fact is that we have invested a lot of time in our cats, getting to know them and letting them get to know us.
Years ago a friend who worked for the Humane Society of the United States commented that we always seemed to find the best pets.
I believe that the main ingredient that makes a good pet into a great one is the time you spend with it.
The month of June is Adopt-a-Cat Month, because more cats are surrendered to animal shelters during June than during any other month of the year.
So visit your local shelter and find a cat of your own. Adopt it, take it home, and give it a little time and attention.
You'll save a live - and you'll have a new best friend and great companion, when you're speaking of pets.
Speaking of Pets with host Mindy Norton (firstname.lastname@example.org) is for people who care about pets and about humane treatment for animals in general, and who want to celebrate that special relationship between us and our animal companions. Find out more about Speaking of Pets at Alabama Public Radio.