Gotta Cat? You May Understand.
<p>I came home the other morning, after a twelve-hour night shift, and as usual, my cat “Pistol” greeted me at the door.  I picked him up and gave him a hug, something he appreciates.  (As much as a cat can appreciate anything.)  When I put him down, he went to his bed and looked up at me.  He knows that my next move is down the hall toward the bedroom.</p> <p> </p> <p>My cat doesn’t have any toys.  I bought him a toy when he was a kitten.  It was an “action” toy, guaranteed by the manufacturer to “please and delight” any cat, and provide hours of fun.  It was a simple little device.  There was a 6x2-inch platform, with a motorized 6-inch rod coming out of the center, to which a string and ping-pong sized ball were attached.  When the switched was turned on, the stick would turn slowly, dragging the ball in a circle.  Small lights would light up in a random pattern.</p> <p> </p> <p>I installed the batteries, set it on the floor and turned it on.  Pistol ran.  I found him two days later sneaking toward his food dish in a low crouching crawl similar to the tigers you see on NatGeo.  His tail was straight behind him and his ears were twisting like individual radar antennas.  It seemed that every muscle in his body was ready to explode at a second's notice.  That was the last time I tortured him with a “please and delight.”</p> <p> </p> <p>Pistol is not afraid of mice.  I really believe that if mice could talk, they would have a nickname for Pistol.  “Chuck Norris.”  I have seen Pistol run down the hallway at full tilt because something squeaked in the closet at the end of the hall.  Then way after “the last minute,” put on the brakes and hit the closet door at the same time.  (I think the mice do that on purpose.  I’m sure they have a cheering section on the top shelf.)</p> <p> </p> <p>Sure.  I could get rid of the mice.  But the way I see it, putting poison down could end up poisoning Pistol if he caught a disabled mouse.  Traps are gory and could turn up missing if they only catch a foot or tail.  And besides…it’s the only way Pistol gets any exercise.  He won’t come near anything I put on the floor, except his food dish.</p>