Moose Lake Star Gazette - Serving Carlton and Pine Counties Since 1895

Become an animal-owned person

Escape with Eddie


Anyone who knows an animal lover, knows just how attached they are to their pets. I have concluded that after you adopt an animal, they become the owner and give the directives to be followed.

I just finished reading Cleveland Amory’s books "The Cat Who Came for Christmas," "The Cat and the Curmudgeon," and "The Best Cat Ever." Amory was a New York reviewer for TV Guide and the author of a number of books. His sense of humor was legendary and his dedication to animals extraordinary. He was the founder of Fund for Animals in 1967. He described himself as a “Dog Man,” never dreaming that one day he would write a book about Polar Bear, the cat who came for Christmas. Polar Bear was a foundling who had no social standing. He came from a back alley a few blocks from Amory’s apartment. That Christmas Eve was to be a stellar moment in Amory’s life, as he was led on a stealth trip to rescue a cat with the Cat Lady.

The Cat Lady stated she had been stalking this alley cat for weeks and was sure that this evening she could nab him with assistance. She was right and the foundling became the guiding light in Amory’s life.

As a cat lover myself, I had to laugh through the entire book. Polar Bear was discovered upon being bathed with a wash cloth and a little soap to be white as the driven snow, hence the name, Polar Bear. I highly recommend these books for anyone who has been owned by a cat. Mark Twain, being quite a cat fancier, stated once, “If man and cat were combined, the cat would be the worse for it.”

My cats are all incredible role models for human ownership. Alice has first dibs on the bathroom sink every bedtime. You get the impression that she, not me, needs the toothbrush first after her bedtime snack. Oh yes, all of them get bedtime snacks; a cat could starve before morning. This is certainly true during the winter months when the wind blows and the Arctic air whistles around the eaves. Cats will certainly tell you, a fur coat is never enough, a warm bed is what’s needed.

A lot of people, animal lovers like myself, give animals human attributes. This is called foolishness by many, but for those of us who get to know our furry friends well, they become our children. “Bring that ball to your mother,” I will tell Emma, the dog. Naturally, like any spoiled child, she will dilly dally until I lose the energy for fetch. The ball game always lies in her court, because she brings the ball when she decides she is ready to chase it. Of course, this dog is not a terrier like my previous dog. Mac would play fetch ‘til the cows come home. He never missed an opportunity to fetch thrown balls. If we wouldn’t play with him, he would go to the top of the stairs and push the ball down and then chase it, retrieve it, run up the stairs, and do it all over again. That is terrier behavior. To say I miss him is an understatement.

Rereading Amory’s books reminded me just how important animal rescue organizations are in our communities. The Fund for Animals did major work is saving baby seals from fur buyers and saving whales from wanton destruction. Nowadays, the United States Humane Society is a major factor in prevention of cruelty to animals. Though he was a Harvard graduate, Amory refused to donate to their alumni fund, primarily because of the use of laboratory animals.

When you wish to obtain a pet, checking with the local animal shelter is recommended. If you wish to buy a purebred animal, make sure you purchase the animal from a legitimate breeder. There are a lot of people who breed animals for profit and do not care about their welfare. Do your homework, then acquire your pet and become an animal owed person. You will never be sorry.


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