Feline Savvy

January 17, 2024 at 6:07 p.m.
Louise and Snuggles
Louise and Snuggles

...by Louise R. Smith

This essay by Louise Smith is from our archives. It is the second in a series about Louise and Snuggles the cat. 

As a cat owner, I have been amazed at the “smarts” demonstrated by my 4-year-old Ragdoll cat. Do cats really have intelligence?

I used to complain about “those dumb cats” who continuously used my beloved flower bed as their personal latrine thus crimping my love for gardening. I no longer tend a garden but take great pride in my constant companion, Snuggles, whose displays of intelligence always amaze me.

Snuggles intuitively knew when it was time for my daughter and sonin-law to leave and return from work. He planted himself in front of the window overlooking the driveway where he monitored their arrivals and departures to the minute.

He has appropriated two chairs in my sitting room as his favorite spots for naps. Many times when I leave my recliner and think he’s fast asleep, I return to find him sprawled out in the vacated spot sporting that victory look. I can almost hear him gloat, “Ha Ha. I’ve got your place.”

Two little “beanie babies” sit on my bed which I thought Snuggles always ignored. Until one day, I discovered his furry toy mouse, about the same size as the beanies, nestled in between the two of them. Had he added “mouse” to the collection, not wanting to be left out?

Snuggles has, I think anyway, a cute penchant for racing me around the corner to my bathroom. However, guests find this practice most disconcerting when they watch, in horror, the door slowly opening, as they’ve failed to latch the bathroom door securely.

Most of the time, Snuggles responds to my command, No No!” He pounces onto my bed in the early mornings and settles on HIS pillow adjacent to mine. If my hand is exposed from under the covers, he licks my fingers working up to my wrist where he opens his jaws and clamps down in one mighty bite. “No No!” this time has no effect...but incurs my wrathful shove sending him sailing off the bed.

Well, I guess cats aren’t created to be intelligent all the time, just savvy some of the time. ❖

Louise Smith was a retired newspaper editor and frequent contributor to Northwest Prime Time. I was utterly charmed by Louise when I met her years ago. I remember thinking to myself that I hoped to become more like her as I grew older. She passed away at 95 & one-half in 2009. To learn more about Louise, read a funny, heartfelt tribute by another frequent Northwest Prime Time contributor, former associate editor Suzanne Beyer. Here is the link – I recommend you give it a go. Reading it brought a tear and a hearty chuckle: https://www.bothell-reporter.com/opinion/remembering-a-special-friend-louise-r-smith/

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