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Greek-American Stories: Let’s Talk about Cats and Dogs

You’ve heard the expression, “my feet are dog tired.” And, “it’s those dog days of summer, again.” Poor dogs get the brunt of it all. You’ve heard, “it’s raining cats and dogs.” Now, that’s the silliest!

As I’ve written before, I am an avid animal lover; I feed two stray cats, one opossum, two skunks – and a once-in-a-while raccoon. It happens I’m a fanatic cat lover, mostly because I love and respect their unexplainable personality, their independence. A dog will display to any human unquestionable love. They’ll look up at you and you can almost perceive their innate trust and affection in a look that says, “I love you and I hope you love me, too!” But, a cat will look at you and display, “I love ME and that’s the way it is. Be nice and maybe I’ll like you. That’s, maybe!”

They have pride and ego, something I much admire. No wonder they were worshipped as god-like in ancient Egypt. Herodotus wrote that in ancient Egypt, people shaved their eyebrows in mourning when their cat died. Abraham Lincoln had four cats in the White House. Cats share 95.6% of their genetic makeup with tigers and mountain lions, more of my favorite beings. They are mammals. Cats groom themselves, know where their litter box is located and are lactose intolerant – like me, a Leo, besides!

Getting back to dogs, someone once said, “when the world around me is going crazy and I’m losing my faith in humanity I just have to look at my dog to know that God still exists.”

How much better can it be said that a dog can bring a soothing sense to a sad and downhearted person? You’ve heard, I’m sure, someone say, “I had a dog of a time,” or, “every dog will have its day,” each phrase referring to something quite opposite in meaning. What about the phrase “puppy love” that describes a girl who loves someone prematurely. Then, I’d read, “love is a four legged word. A dog is the only creature on earth that will love you more than he loves himself,” said Josh Billings, humorist. Unlike cats, dogs need walking, bathing, and hydrants. They’re mammals and according to science, are descended from wolves. There are about 150 different types of dogs. Another unusual fact about dogs is that they can ‘scent’ your feelings – feelings like fear or sadness.

Unfortunately, from what I’d researched, the Bible has nothing good to say about animals.

Hollywood has had quite a few successful movies starring dogs – two that come to mind are ‘Rin Tin Tin’ and ‘Lassie’. I can’t recall any movie starring cats. Hmph! My cat, Lucy Bella would be a star in a movie. She is beautiful, smart, and well mannered, too! She understands Greek. (I heard that!) Well, it’s true! cats don’t like icy weather. When she wants to go out from my bedroom window to sit on the roof, she sits and stares at me, waiting for me to open the window. When I say in a high-pitched voice, ‘KRIO! KRIO!’ She’ll hear my warning and stay, squatting on the sill. Otherwise, if I say nothing, she’d trot out a few feet, sit, and watch the birds at the feeder. If a chilled gust of wind wraps her, she’d leap back inside fast and stare at me as if saying, “you forgot to warn me!”

When my daughter, Sophia, is at the door, Lucy Bella will high-tail it upstairs to unknown parts knowing she came to trim her nails a little. She checks my grocery bags searching for cat food cans. When I come home after being out for a length of time, she looks up at me at the door with an expression that says, “It’s about time you got home!” Beside me while I watch TV, when she hears someone in our driveway, her head comes up, and she looks at me as if saying, “did you hear that? I’m outta here! See you later.”

Cat or dog, they’re the best thing in life after kids. Anyway, if you’re lonely or bored, I advise you to adopt a dog or cat. But, treat it like a best friend and you will be rewarded tenfold.

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To the Editor: I recently had to apply to the Greek Consulate in Atlanta for the issuance of a power of attorney.

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