Cheney Free Press -


By Luella Dow

Our understanding pets are smarter than we think

Of Cabbages and Kings


Luella Dow

A lamb and a cat seem quite at ease keeping each other company

We all have human friends. How about the four-legged kind? A recent portrayal on television proved that animals do have emotions and do express them. Some people will say, "Aw, don't be silly." Others will tell you how their pet dog woke them in the middle of the night to tell them, in a doggie way, that their garage was on fire.

Remember the old story of Lassie Come Home? This amazing dog walked many miles (on television) over the roughest, most fearful terrain, to get home to her beloved family. OK, so that was a story. But what about the real Lassie in someone's family, who did practically the same thing?

I wouldn't be surprised if people who raise horses could tell a story or two. And don't forget the sheep. Their owners know all about a sheep's way of leaning on them and saying softly so other sheep won't hear him, "Another cup of grain sure would be nice." Well, don't get me started about sheep or you'll be here all day.

Llamas have their good points. They can prevent sheep from becoming a coyote's quick lunch by demonstrating their imperious attitude, which they all seem to have been born with. I can't place llamas in the friend column. Guess they're too busy patrolling their territory. I know if they have a dispute among themselves, the tallest will win the game. If I should be among a herd of llamas I always raise my arms high over my head to prove I'm the tallest of them all. On second thought maybe I should grab a broomstick.

There are people who like turtles and frogs and snakes, oh my! And fish that spend their whole lives swimming around and around in a circle. My love of pets doesn't extend to the gerbil family or its relatives or monkeys either. Those who want a monkey for a pet are asking for a naughty child to disrupt their lives every day.

How about birds? Beautifully colored, affectionate in nature, in many cases musically talented. And if you're a patient kind of person you can teach them a number of things. Guess I won't say much about parrots. They're kind of like the llamas. When I see one I have the feeling he's laughing at me.

You've heard about my cat, Angel. Did I ever tell you how she clicks her nails on the doorframe when she wants to be let in the house? And when I open the door she gives a little trill, which is cat talk for thank you.

A couple of days ago I was sitting by my fireplace after shivering and enjoying the overly brisk autumn breeze outside. I yawned. Angel looked me in the eye. She yawned! We've all seen when one person yawns another close by will automatically yawn too. Some scientist ought to study up on that. But a cat? That shows you how smart these pets of ours are and how they understand us. Maybe I can teach Angel to answer the telephone. After we've had a good yawn.

Luella Dow is a Cheney-area author. She can be reached at


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