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A Cat Short
Commentary by: Elaine Viets
Aired February 00, 2007

Here’s a question for veterinarians:

How do you know when someone is a cat short?

Do you take a course at college? Is there special training in cat adoption?

Our vet always knows the exact moment when we’re ready for a new cat.

After my cat Montana died, I knew it would be awhile before I adopted another. I told our vet, “Maybe someday. But I loved that cat. Give me at least six months.”

I moped alone in my home office. I missed my cat sleeping by my computer, knocking pens off my desk, knocking papers on the floor.

But I wasn’t ready for a new cat.

My vet knew it. That’s what he said when he called: “I know you’re not ready for another cat. But I have this kitten maybe you’d like to see.”

“No,” I said. “It’s too soon.”

“Of course,” the vet said. “I understand. He’s a survivor, though. Someone killed his family. But you don’t have to take him.”

“Well,” I said, “it wouldn’t hurt to look.”

It didn’t hurt at all. Harry had handsome brown fur, black stripes and green eyes. He played with my purse strap, rubbed my hand, and rolled over for a scratch.

I rolled over, too. “Guess I’m ready for a new cat,” I said.

“You don’t have to keep him,” the vet said. “You can bring him back if he doesn’t work out.”

Yeah, right. We’ve had Harry two years this month. The vet hasn’t called with another cat. But he’ll know when we’re a cat short.

(The opinions expressed are not necessarily those of St. Louis Public Radio.)

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Elaine Viets

Elaine Viets


Elaine Viets is a freelance writer.

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