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Unpopular Ideas

Ramblings and Digressions from out of left field, and beyond....

Location: Piedmont of Virginia, United States

All human history, and just about everything else as well, consists of a never-ending struggle against ignorance.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Cat Junkies

For all their standoffish ways, one of the advantages (there can't be many) of keeping a bunch of cats around is that you stand a good chance of seeing how one or two can become the most dedicated kind of junkie, aided and abetted by the fact that shamelessness is nowhere to be found in their makeup.

Both times that I've seen this happen have been in the area of personal relationships. I don't know why this happens, though I would guess that all too soon, grouped cats soon get totally bored with each other, and why not? It can't take long to notice that none of their cat relatives have anything to do with furnishing the food trays, while also being badly lacking in keeping up their ends of the discussions on world affairs.

Not long ago we had a long-haired gray who was a "me" junkie. She decided early on that, for a two-legged Big Ugly, I was actually worth hanging around for long periods, and all her life she devoted herself to doing just that. And at the same time we had a short-haired black individual who was totally spoiled by my wife and was an affection junkie. He was always and forever ready for another rub, on any part of his person and no matter where it came from, from people or from other cats.

To our continuing great sadness, both those wonders are gone now, but we still have one member of our once large cat family left. And recently he, another short-haired black named Beauty, slowed up sharply in his eating, and a few days later a noticeable swelling appeared on one of his jaws.

Though, at about 19, Beauty can't have that much of a career left, I thought of going to the vet, but the last time I took one of our cats there, I was badly traumatized by having to bring her back home lifeless, due to the diagnosis of the hopelessness of her case. Besides, Beauty, as the last one lolling, had shown that he was a definite survivor, partly because of his way of working his own way out of various physical disorders.

So I let things be, while letting myself be tortured by fears of the worse, exacerbated by the absence of my wife in Florida, as she is the one in charge of his care and feeding. And sure enough, a few days ago, one morning the swelling was gone overnight, and Beauty started eating again.

Meanwhile I had been noting how all along he had been accepting a calory supplement, a mysterious -- and expensive -- substance of some uncertain color that squeezes out of a tube like toothpaste. But I had been told to give him that only once every few days, regardless.

I got to thinking, since he loves that supplement even through all his difficulties, what else has a viscosity close to it and is also sweet and that we already have plenty of?

As a former beekeeper, with several friends who are still keeping bees, I have ready access to all the honey I want, which is not that much, and I even have 2-1/2 gallons of it on hand.

So I started stirring in a few drops of honey in each of the cat's servings, and now he eagerly looks forward to every meal, at the beginning as much as four a day, or slightly more than a can a day, and though all the evidence can't be in yet, it appears that he has instantly become a honey junkie.

I don't know if the honey is bad for Beauty or not, and I don't know what my wife will think when she returns. She is something of a tyrant when it comes to intake, cat or man. But I've never heard of honey being harmful to anybody or anything. It supplies energy, it is anti-bacterial, and it is a good, all around medicine.

Anyway, like me, Beauty qualifies as being elderly, and I think that when you've reached that state, you deserve getting anything you want even if it might be harmful. And besides, that isn't likely to be much anyway, in either of our cases.


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