Here's the Scoop: May 20, 2009

Whistling in the dark
We hadn’t owned a pet in quite awhile before obtaining a “packaged cat” about a year-and-a-half ago for Christmas. I have detailed a few of the kitty’s exploits in this space, but have some updated observations.
I guess one thing that needs to be cleared up is the “ownership” issue. “Holly” (it’s that Christmas tie-in) is pretty much the owner of the folks who give her a warm place to reside and who feed her (when I remember).
Although I like dogs, I had no real interest in owning one again. They demand a bunch of attention, I reasoned. Unlike cats. Or so I thought.
Holly pretty much gets all the attention she wants. Even if she has to climb across our bed at some ungodly hour of the morning because she feels it’s time for us to be up. That would be fine, I guess, but it’s not like she’s sitting there with her legs crossed until she can get outside for some relief. No, it takes opening the door two or three times before she’s ready to head out.
It seems that Holly, like many reasonable adults, is no fan of this “prolonged winter” we’ve been experiencing this year. Some people might scoff at this notion, but after cohabitating with Holly for two winters, I feel I can read her mind. When the arctic blast of spring belts her in the face morning after morning, her expression tells me, “This sucks.” I’m pretty sure I’m right about this.
While she maintains her feline natural independence, Holly has several trails that are canine-like. When I work at the computer, she generally curls up next to me — and sometimes points out typos. Not often enough, of course.

No more “Here Kitty”
My wife has also trained Holly to respond to whistling. I’m not much at whistling (unless you count the Andy Griffith Show theme song), so I have a harder time getting Holly to respond to my whistles.
However, after witnessing how Holly races home (usually from a spot just off our yard known as Vole Rock (Holly’s term, not mine), I thought maybe I could teach her a few tricks.
For weeks I attempted to get Holly to “fetch” the newspaper for me. She’s pretty strong and with the lack of advertising in most papers nowadays, they aren’t all that heavy. No dice.
One day, after another failed attempt at getting Holly to bring me the newspaper, she looked me in the eye and stared hard. “Newspapers are dying, don’t you know?” was the message I received from her.
“Not all newspapers,” I responded. “Geez, the crooks will have a field day if there’s no one to keep them honest.”
Overhearing this “conversation,” from an adjacent room, my wife chimed in, “You and the cat really must stop arguing over the long-term health of the newspaper industry.”
Holly gave me a knowing look that said, “She sides with me, but doesn’t want to hurt your feelings.”
Being a person who enjoys having the last word, I couldn’t let this conversation end without getting in one more jab.
In whispered tones, I told Holly, “Well, if there are no more newspapers, we won’t be able to start fires in the fireplace and you’ll have nothing to lounge in front of during those cold nights and mornings — 347 days of the year.”
I’m sure Holly has figured out that there are other ways to start a fire, but I know she got the message about the number of cold days.
“Now you’re whistling my tune,” she seemed to respond.