The Ecphorizer

What the Humane Society Won't Tell You
Mason Barrett

Issue #68 (July 1987)

Last summer I decided to get a cat. I remembered something in my rental agreement about pets, so I called the landlady to see what red tape would be involved. I was surprised to learn that a $50 deposit was required to cover any damage the pet might cause. I remember wondering how a cat could possibly

I, for one, can assure you that cats are very intelligent.

do $50 worth of damage to an apartment, but after owning this particular animal for two years, I think I was probably undercharged.

[quoteright]My previous experience with cats had always been with the full-grown variety that spends 90% of its time sleeping and the other 10% eating. The small black kitten I got from the Humane Society was quite a different story. She proved to be a very energetic little creature, especially late at night.

The cat has been called quite a few names, the most socially acceptable one being Salem. The first week, I noticed that Salem was a cat of refined taste. For example, she would always pass up her economy model scratching post in favor of my suits and ties. She displayed a definite eye for quality, preferring silks and wool blends over their less expensive polyester counterparts. Incidentally, I believe it was about this time that Salem had her first encounter with the business section of the Atlanta Constitution.

Salem always amazes me with her speed and agility. If we are both in the living room and I start toward the kitchen, she can usually trip me up twice before I reach the refrigerator. I soon learned that although cats often seem aloof and unfriendly, this never applies when the refrigerator door is open.

The matter of feline intelligence has always been a hotly debated topic. I, for one, can assure you that cats are very intelligent — even capable of diversionary tactics. One day I was enjoying a bowl of Raisin Bran in the living room when I heard a loud crash. I rushed into the kitchen to find several broken dishes. I don't remember passing the cat on the way to the kitchen, but guess whose fuzzy little face was in my cereal bowl when I got back to the living room.

In closing, I would like to recommend a cat to anyone who wants to add a little excitement to their life. 

Ailurophile (-phobe?) MASON BARRETT sent us a note saying "I've never written anything before, but I finally decided to give it a try." We assume that, as with many other would-be authors, he equated "writing" with "writing for publication." But see how easy it was?

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