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Where do pets come from?
Adam said, 'Lord, when I was in the garden, you walked with me every day, but now I don't see you any more. I'm lonely, and it's difficult for me to remember how much you love me.'
And God said, 'No problem! I will create a companion for you who will be with you for ever, and who will be a reflection of my love for you, so that you can remember my love even when you cannot see me. Regardless of how selfish, or childish, or unlovable you may be, this new companion will accept you as you are and will love you as I do, in spite of yourself.'
And God created a new animal to be a companion for Adam. And it was a good animal. And God was pleased. And the new animal was pleased to be with Adam, and he wagged his tail. And Adam said, 'Lord, I have already named all the animals in your Kingdom, and I cannot think of a name for this new one.'
And God said, 'No problem! Because I have created this new animal to be a reflection of my love for you, his name shall be a reflection of my own name: and you will call him DOG.'
And Dog lived with Adam, and was a companion to him, and loved him. And Adam was comforted. And God was pleased. And Dog was content, and wagged his tail.
After a while, it came to pass that Adam's Guardian Angel came to the Lord and said, 'Lord, Adam has become filled with pride. He struts and preens like a peacock, and believes he is worthy of adoration. Dog has taught him that he is loved, but perhaps too well.'
And the Lord said, 'No problem! I will create for him a companion who will be with him for ever, and who will see him as he is. This companion will remind him of his limitations, so he will know that he is not always worthy of adoration.'
And God created CAT to be a companion to Adam. And Cat would not obey Adam. And when Adam gazed into Cat's eyes, he was reminded that he was not the supreme being. And Adam learned humility. And God was pleased.
And Adam was greatly improved. And Dog was happy. And Cat did not give a damn one way or the other.
Ten Commandments of the Gentleman Cat
[ with acknowledgements to The Fur Person by May Sarton, W.W. Norton, New York, 1957 ]
1) A gentleman cat has an immaculate shirt front and paws at all times.
2) A gentleman cat allows no constraint of his person, even when it is loving and well meant.
3) A gentleman cat does not mew except in extremity; he makes his wishes known and waits.
4) When addressed, a gentlemen cat does not move a muscle. He looks as though he hasn't heard.
5) If he should be frightened, a gentleman cat looks bored.
6) Unless he is directly concerned, a gentleman cat takes no interest in other people's business.
7) A gentleman cat does not hurry towards an objective, or looks as though he wants just one thing: it is not polite.
8) A gentleman cat approaches food slowly, no matter how hungry he is, and decides from at least three feet away whether it is 'good', 'fair', 'passable', or 'unworthy'. If it is unworthy, he pretends to scratch earth over it.
9) A gentleman cat shows his gratitude for a worthy meal by licking the plate so clean that it looks as though it has been washed.
10) A gentleman cat is never hasty when choosing a housekeeper.
Footnote: there's a simple tribute to Thomas, the gentleman pictured above, here.
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Our featured feline at the head of the page, and your companion through Feline Fragments, is Maggie. She came as a kitten from Powys Cat Rescue. One of their volunteers had seen her wandering around, apparently uncared for, and thought her rather young to be just left to roam. The person 'responsible' for her said she 'didn't care', and so the youngster was taken in for rehoming. Only about 4 months old when I brought her home in 2003, she was a self-assured soul, probably because of her early experience, and was soon climbing all the available trees in the garden. She was a determined hunter in her earlier days, and was usually outside, but now prefers snoozing unless the weather is good. She has superb whiskers and as the photo shows, loves getting into things! (see it here without the puzzle effect)
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Page created February 2005, with later revisions