Letters

Letters 05-23-2016

Examine The Priorities Are you disgusted about closing schools, crumbling roads and bridges, and cuts everywhere? Investigate funding priorities of legislators. In 1985 at the request of President Reagan, Grover Norquist founded Americans for Tax Reform (ATR). For 30 years Norquist asked every federal and state candidate and incumbent to sign the pledge to vote against any increase in taxes. The cost of living has risen significantly since 1985; think houses, cars, health care, college, etc...

Make TC A Community For Children Let’s be that town that invests in children actively getting themselves to school in all of our neighborhoods. Let’s be that town that supports active, healthy, ready-to-learn children in all of our neighborhoods...

Where Are Real Christian Politicians? As a practicing Christian, I was very disappointed with the Rev. Dr. William C. Myers statements concerning the current presidential primaries (May 8). Instead of using the opportunity to share the message of Christ, he focused on Old Testament prophecies. Christ gave us a new commandment: to love one another...

Not A Great Plant Pick As outreach specialist for the Northwest Michigan Invasive Species Network and a citizen concerned about the health of our region’s natural areas, I was disappointed by the recent “Listen to the Local Experts” feature. When asked for their “best native plant pick,” three of the four garden centers referenced non-native plants including myrtle, which is incredibly invasive...

Truth About Plants Your feature, “listen to the local experts” contains an error that is not helpful for the birds and butterflies that try to live in northwest Michigan. Myrtle is not a native plant. The plant is also known as vinca and periwinkle...

Ask the Real Plant Experts This letter is written to express my serious concern about a recent “Listen To Your Local Experts” article where local nurseries suggested their favorite native plant. Three of the four suggested non-native plants and one suggested is an invasive and cause of serious damage to Michigan native plants in the woods. The article is both sad and alarming...

My Plant Picks In last week’s featured article “Listen to the Local Experts,” I was shocked at the responses from the local “experts” to the question about best native plant pick. Of the four “experts” two were completely wrong and one acknowledged that their pick, gingko tree, was from East Asia, only one responded with an excellent native plant, the serviceberry tree...

NOTE: Thank you to TC-based Eagle Eye Drone Service for the cover photo, taken high over Sixth Street in Traverse City.

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