Letters 11-23-2015

Cheering From Petoskey While red-eyed rats boil fanatically up from the ancient sewers of Paris to feast on pools of French blood, at the G20 meeting the farcical pied piper of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue thrusts a bony finger at the president of the Russian Federation and yells: “liberté, égalité, fraternité, Clinton, Kerry--Obamaism!”

The Other Mothers And Fathers Regarding the very nice recent article on “The First Lady of Yoga,” I have taken many classes with Sandy Carden, and I consider her to be a great teacher. However, I feel the article is remiss to not even give acknowledgement to other very important yoga influences in northern Michigan...

Drop The Blue Angels The last time I went to the National Cherry Festival, I picked the wrong day. The Blue Angels were forcing everyone to duck and cover from the earsplitting cacophony overhead...

Real Advice For The Sick In the Nov. 16 article “Flu Fighters,” author Kristi Kates fails to mention the most basic tool in our arsenal during Influenza season... the flu vaccine! I understand you might be afraid of being the victim of Jenny McCarthyism, but the science is there...

Keeping Traverse City in the Dark Our environment is our greatest asset. It sustains our lives; it drives our economy. We ignore it at our peril. Northern Michigan Environmental Action Council (NMEAC) has submitted letters of concern to both the city commission and planning commission regarding the proposed 9-story buildings on Pine Street. We have requested an independent environmental assessment with clear answers before a land use permit is granted...

All About Them Another cartoon by Jen Sorensen that brings out the truth! Most of her cartoons are too slanted in a Socialist manner, but when she gets it correct, she hits the nail on the target! “Arizona is the first state to put a 12-month lifetime limit on welfare benefits.” That quote is in the opening panel... 

Unfair To County Employees It appears that the commissioners of Grand Traverse County will seek to remedy a shortfall in the 2016 budget by instituting cuts in expenditures, the most notable the reduction of contributions to various insurance benefits in place for county employees. As one example, the county’s contributions to health insurance premiums will decrease from ten to six percent in 2016. What this means, of course, is that if a county employee wishes to maintain coverage at the current level next year, the employee will have to come up with the difference...

Up, Not Out I would like to congratulate the Traverse City Planning Commission on their decision to approve the River West development. Traverse City will either grow up or grow out. For countless reasons, up is better than out. Or do we enjoy such things as traffic congestion and replacing wooded hillsides with hideous spectacles like the one behind Tom’s West Bay. At least that one is on the edge of town as opposed to in the formerly beautiful rolling meadows of Acme Township...

Lessons In Winning War I am saddened to hear the response of so many of legislators tasked with keeping our country safe. I listen and wonder if they know what “winning” this kind of conflict requires or even means? Did we win in Korea? Did we win in Vietnam? Are we winning in Afghanistan? How is Israel winning against the Palestinians? Will they “take out” Hezbollah...

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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