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On the Idaho dairy farm where I grew up, cats were more like co-workers than best pals. I had my chores and they had theirs, and for them, the work involved keeping the rodent populations down. It wasn’t long after I started veterinary school, though, that cats started finding their rightful place in my heart.
At our Almost Heaven Ranch, the ranks of our beloved cats were recently reduced by the loss of a very special one. Varmie was one of three kittens my wife and I rescued more than 13 years ago, and her death from feline infectious peritonitis leaves a big hole in our hearts. Her last few days were filled with lots of canned salmon, tasty tidbits and extra long scratches at the base of her tail. Saying goodbye is never easy, that's for sure.
Cats long ago became the most popular pet everywhere in America — except in our veterinary offices, where they still trail dogs when it comes to getting the care they need. (In the weeks to come, I'll be writing more about how that can and should change.)
Why do we love cats so much? As the saying goes, “Cats rule, dogs drool.” And that got me thinking about some of the reasons why we love cats, including five very tongue-in-cheek offerings I hope will amuse. All are offered with respect and admiration for our feline friends, of course.
We love our cats because they give us a new perspective on the world around us. How do they do that, exactly? Well ...
First up, the amazing ability of cats everywhere to hack up hairballs either on the most expensive floor coverings or right where you’ll step with a bare foot. You have to admit that’s talent, especially when you consider how the sound of a cat hacking up a hairball in the night truly makes the whole performance come together.
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