Keep Smilin’ with Rosie Preston – Smarter than your average cat

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By Rosie Preston

The cat is a domestic species of the small carnivorous mammal. It is the only domesticated species in the family Felidae and is commonly referred to as the house cat to distinguish it from the wild members of the family.
Our family owns a 13 years old long-hair black and white bobtail named Preston Kat. We found him after my dad’s funeral at a church down the street. Since then, PK has been considered a member of the family. To understand more about a cat as a pet, I looked up information, some of which surprised me. I recognize the many things my cat does that I had never thought of before.
My six-year old great-granddaughter Briella recently asked me why Preston Kat acts jealous. Every time one of my grandchildren spend the night with me, PK can’t stand it if he cannot get between us after we go to bed. Sometimes he winds up on top of Briella’s pillow to get as close as he can to us.
Preston Kat knows his name and has his own ways of letting me know what he wants or what he is thinking.
Briella recently asked me why I talk to Preston Kat. I explained that he seems to understand a lot of what I see. In my research about cats, I found that cat communication includes vocalizations like meowing, purring, trilling, hissing, growling and grunting, as well as cat-specific body language.
A cat’s learning style is about the same as a 2 to 3 year-old-child. A group of kittens is called a kindle. Cats can jump up to six times their height. There are over 500 million pet cats and over 100 different breeds. Cats can sleep around 13 to 16 hours a day, which is approximately 70 percent of their lives. Cats may live for around 12 to 15 years if they are kept in the house, as opposed to three to five years for outdoor cats.
One of the largest domestic cat breeds is a Maine Coon, which can weight up to 35 pounds. The heaviest cat on record is almost 47 pounds. My son found a kitten in the woods by my house and it turned out to be a Maine Coon, which would be very expensive if a person wanted to buy one. By the time it reached adulthood, that cat weighed over 30 pounds. My son named it Muffin. It followed him around the house and waited on him to get home from work.
Cats have two color-detecting tones that allows them to see blue-violet and yellow-green wavelengths of light, but not red-orange. Cats have powerful night vision that allows them to see light six times lower than what a human needs in order to see.
They also have excellent hearing and a powerful sense of smell.
Cats can be lethal hunters and very sneaky. When they walk their back paws step almost exactly in the same place as their front paws did beforehand, it keeps noise to a minimum and limits visible tracks.
Cats spend a large amount of time licking their coats to keep clean, which helps if you are a pet owner who does not have a lot of time to bathe and groom an animal. Preston Kat once got out of the house and was lost for three hours before he slithered home, looking very ashamed in the process. He was covered with dirt and leaves, and I had to give him his first real bath (he growled a lot, of course). I put a leash around his neck to hold him still so I could get him soaped and rinsed. Since that time, if he escapes, he only goes as far as under our porch, so I think he must remember what happened when he ran away that first time.
Preston Kat communicates in several ways. For example, he sits by my chair at night and looks at me and meows when he thinks it’s my bedtime. I’m often not ready when he does this, but he still sits there. When I finally do get up, PK rushes me to the bathroom while I brush my teeth. He then rushes me to get into my bed and oftentimes will lie on my pillow or in the middle of my bed so that I must physically move him. This is not easy to do, as he weighs about 16 pounds.
After I get settled in bed, Preston Kat is right beside me. One night, he woke me by purring so loudly close to my ear that I had to move him to the bottom of the bed. On another night, he had his head on my right shoulder and his paw touching my neck. He will stay with me all night and get up with me in the morning. He then starts to meow and leads me to his food and water bowls.
The strangest form of communication I have witnessed with PK is when he came to the side of my bed one dark night and meowed in a serious guttural tone. I finally got up because he would not hush. He led me to our sliding glass door, and when I moved the curtain over, there was another cat on the deck. They soon were meowing through the glass at one another!
The other day, Preston Kat was lying beside me as I sat on the sofa. Phil called to him and PK immediately jumped onto his lap. Phil looked at me and said, “See, he loves me, too.” I had never doubted that!
Preston Kat has a trait that most pets do not, as he will only eat dry cat food. This makes my life a little easier and less expensive than canned cat food.
I know Preston Kat may pass away before I do, which makes me very sad. My friend had her favorite pet dog cremated and has its ashes. I told Phil that I could never bury my cat, so cremation is my plan for him. Many people love me in this world, but I don’t think any live being could ever love me as much as my Preston Kat does.
Keep smiling, Rosie

Contact Rosie Preston at rosie.preston@yahoo.com.

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