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What my cat taught me

Cats know far more than we may want to think. They don't just lie around all day, believe me. The wheels are always in motion in their small heads.

The first thing I learned was that if you plan to move in with someone, it's best to learn all there is to know about that person before getting into a permanent arrangement.

The day my cat Luna arrived at my apartment she immediately disappeared. I had no idea where she was, though I knew she hadn't escaped. She still hadn't shown up when I went to bed that night, which was a bit unnerving.

About an hour later I felt a furry head under my chin. I guess I'd passed the test. We were now roommates.

No question about it, Luna was very smart. So when a friend suggested we had a combined IQ of at least 250 I was happy to share that, until I realized Luna's was 190, mine 60.

When a cat wants your undivided attention, there's a good reason, beyond boredom. Listen up.

One day Luna meowed at me all day, even foregoing her daily siesta. Nothing stopped her. That night, though, as I filled a glass with water to take my pills, Luna was drinking out of the glass while I was getting the pills. Poor girl had had no water in her bowl all day. My poor eyesight had missed that.

When you're down in the dumps, a cat may not only want to know what may be of interest there but also provides comfort. When a close friend had died, though I'd shed no tears, Luna sensed my feelings. She had never slept on my bed with me in it, but on this sad occasion she snuggled up close.

Forget trying to hide anything from a cat. Luna had two toy red mice and one very fuzzy gray one that I hated, as it looked entirely too real. When she was snoozing, I put it in a vase inside a closed cabinet. One day there it was out on the floor. She'd found it and got it without knocking over the vase.

Luna was also good about hiding things. She'd had a green toy mouse which she usually just ignored. One day it had disappeared. I'll not be the one to find it, as it's probably way under the couch beyond reach of the vacuum cleaner.

What I've learned from Luna may exceed what I learned in grades 1-12. I do know for sure, and am reminded daily, that she has the upper paw.

Mary Ann Johnson lives in Jacksonville.

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