It’s been a while since I’ve mentioned my friend and number one fan, Tigger. I’m only doing so now because Tigger and a dog name Zander recently reminded me why I love cats and cannot stand, absolutely cannot stand to see any animal mistreated. Call me crazy but I am totally convinced animals have feelings much like humans. They experience hurt, sadness, happiness, loneliness, anxiety, anger, you name it. Some, like Tigger, even have an addictive personality. They become hooked on a certain food or certain routines. Some, gasp, are even cunning like Caesar in Rise of the Planet of the Apes. Well perhaps not that cunning. Anyway, suffice it to say, animals are not dumb unfeeling beings, which the following two examples clearly show.
Here’s the tale in storytelling mode so as not to bore you…
The sun was just beginning to rise. As usual Tigger squeezed out soon as the door cracked opened. Instead of racing off to the kitchen way Zoey used to he stood on his hind legs to let me stroke his head. He then nudged my naked toes with his cold, damp nose, making me start my day with a good chuckle. His freedom came a little later than usual but he’s downright diplomatic about it. In the living room he pawed at his mat, then went for my toes again while I stood riveted in front of the television.
The weekend edition of Good Morning America (GMA) was on. The guests were Zander, a seven-year-old Samoyed-Husky mix and his owner John Dolan. The teaser was that Dolan was admitted to the hospital and a heartsick Zander trekked two miles to be by his side. The hosts know what suckers we are for a good animal story so keep us hanging for a while.
As I prepared Tigger’s breakfast, he didn’t meow even once. Looking down at the blissful cat I asked, “Who are you and where the hell is Tigger?” In answer, he dug his head hard against the edge of the wood surrounding the dishwasher, lawnmower purrs filling the kitchen. After he’d eaten I let him drink from the bathroom faucet then let him out the front door.
With an ear out for Zander’s tale, I did a few chores then returned to the idiot box. “Release me,” I moaned really drawing it out. I don’t know how long I stood there before a noise, an outside distraction, got my attention. A persistent scratching I quickly recognized. “Tigger, you know better,” I chastised, rushing to let him in before he could do damage. The cat shot past me as though the hound from hell was on his heels.
It wasn’t Cerberus but could’ve spelled equally bad news for the wayward tabby had his frantic clawing on the screen not gotten my attention. The neighbor’s dog, an Eddie on the show Frazier look-alike, charged right up to the opened patio door, teeth bared barking and growling.
Cigarette protruding from her hand like an extra appendage, my neighbor called to her charge and trotted across the back lawn. I ignored her as I scooped Tigger into my arms. Tail bushed out three times its normal size, he allowed me to hold him. After several seconds he nipped at me to regain his alpha maleness then made his way down the hall. “I just saved your life Mister Man,” I yelled after his retreating back. “You are so very welcome.”
Tragedy averted I returned to the tease show. Zander and his owner are on set. John is telling the hosts how Zander slipped away from home to find him. To be by his friend’s side, the loyal Husky took on some pretty dangerous terrain to get to a hospital he had never before been. The two mile trek, probably entailed crossing a nature reserve, stream, and even a busy four-lane highway. While Dolan talked the blue-eyed white husky sat there grinning tail wagging. It’s obvious the two love each other. Zander just went the extra miles to prove it.
Tigger and Zander are examples of how intelligent animals really are. I am sure some of you have stories just as interesting. Care to share?