Letters

Letters 05-02-2016

Facts About Trails I would like to correct some misinformation provided in Kristi Kates’ article about the Shore-to-Shore Trail in your April 18 issue. The Shore-to-Shore Trail is not the longest continuous trail in the Lower Peninsula. That honor belongs to the North Country Trail (NCT), which stretches for over 400 miles in the Lower Peninsula. In fact, 100 miles of the NCT is within a 30-minute drive of Traverse City, and is maintained by the Grand Traverse Hiking Club...

North Korea Is Bluffing I eagerly read Jack Segal’s columns and attend his lectures whenever possible. However, I think his April 24th column falls into an all too common trap. He casually refers to a nuclear-armed North Korea when there is no proof whatever that North Korea has any such weapons. Sure, they have set off some underground explosions but so what? Tonga could do that. Every nuclear-armed country on Earth has carried out at least one aboveground test, just to prove they could do it if for no other reason. All we have is North Korea’s word for their supposed capabilities, which is no proof at all...

Double Dipping? In Greg Shy’s recent letter, he indicated that his Social Security benefit was being unfairly reduced simply due to the fact that he worked for the government. Somehow I think something is missing here. As I read it this law is only for those who worked for the government and are getting a pension from us generous taxpayers. Now Greg wants his pension and he also wants a full measure of Social Security benefits even though he did not pay into Social Security...

Critical Thinking Needed Our media gives ample coverage to some presidential candidates calling each other a liar and a sleaze bag. While entertaining to some, this certainly should lower one’s respect for either candidate. This race to the bottom comes as no surprise given their lack of respect for the rigors of critical thinking. The world’s esteemed scientists take great steps to preserve the integrity of their findings. Not only are their findings peer reviewed by fellow experts in their specialty, whenever possible the findings are cross-checked by independent studies...

Home · Articles · News · Random Thoughts · Abby and Me
. . . .

Abby and Me

George Foster - March 15th, 2007
I live with a cat that may be one of the orneriest cats to ever strut around Northern Michigan.
After years of being around her, she still growled and swatted at my intruding feet when I walked too closely. She tolerates being petted around her neck, but only fools accidentally stray below her head - a sudden hiss and bite await these encroachments. And I like cats... at least I used to.
When I married recently, I knew this cat was part of my wife’s household.
Abby is crazy about my wife, but even she is not allowed to touch this cantankerous animal any old place. Among our visiting friends, Abby’s inhospitality is legendary.
A couple of weeks ago, Abby stopped eating due to a physical disorder and lost much of her body weight. After considering all options, my wife decided to spend hundreds of dollars to surgically place a temporary feeding tube in the cat’s stomach. I questioned the wisdom of prolonging this older cat’s life. I didn’t express my doubts, though, because I know how much my wife loves that grouchy cat.
As fate would have it, my wife left town on a pre-arranged extended vacation about the same time we were stuck with an invalid cat. Who do you think is now responsible to force-feed Abby five times a day through a tube in her stomach? Aaaaruuugh. What did I do to deserve this?
My life suddenly revolved around caring for a cat that didn’t like me. Daily, I was required to spend at least three hours filling syringes, feeding, cleaning up, and generally attending to Abby. My dogs never needed three hours of care in any month, never mind a day.
In the beginning, each feeding was a disaster. While Abby squirmed, I squirted soft cat-food from the syringe on the walls, in her fur, on my clothes... everywhere but in the targeted feeding tube. Of course, while I cussed up a storm, Abby tried to run and hide - making the job infinitely more difficult. I came close to asking my wife to cut her vacation short. I thought, “Come home immediately, Abby is YOUR cat.”
I did feel sorry for Abby, though. She was forced to wear a plastic cone on her head, a big bandage around the stomach area, and hang out in a cage most of the day. Yet, she rarely complained.
As time passed, she actually was happy to see me when she left the cage at night. After a couple of days, Abby and I got used to the feeding routine. She seems to have sensed that I am trying to help her and has begun to purr during each perfunctory feeding. You know, Abby is a pretty good cat, after all.
Despite what she has been through and her weakened condition, Abby’s spirit remains indomitable. After leaving her cage, she often walks up to our other pets and looks them in the eye, as if to say, “You still have to deal with me, buddy.” She marches around the house with her head held high, visiting her usual spots, refusing to give up. Abby has become my hero.
As I finish this column on the computer, my beautiful little kitty is curled up, upside down on my lap, sleeping away the morning. Now that Abby and I have bonded, my returning wife will be surprised to find she is no longer needed to care for the cat.
You see, Abby’s welfare is far too important for me to entrust with anyone else.
 
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