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"X" Marks the Spot?

I just had to throw up this quick post today!  In case some of you, my Gentle Readers, have not logged on to the “FreeKibble” site, click here.  A very young lady – 12 years old, started this site, with the help of sponsors she solicited, to get people to donate kibble to homeless shelter animals in her home area of Oregon.  The program has since gone nationwide.  You need not spend a penny!  Just subscribe to the site, then play “Bow-Wow” AND “Meow” trivia each day.  Doesn’t matter if your answer is right or wrong.  Just by playing you donate 10 pieces of kibble – and you can play every day!  Subscribing to the site gets you a reminder each day in your e-mail in-box.  It takes only seconds to play and you do some good at the same time.

I remind you of this site once again, because today’s “Meow” trivia question was something that really got to me in a big way.  

Both cats and _____ have identical regions in the brain responsible for emotion.

A. Rabbits
B. Dogs
C. Goldfish
D. Humans

The answer is D – Humans! Both cats and humans have identical regions in the brain responsible for emotion.

We have a persistent cat named “Justin.”  He was named that because he came into our lives “Just in time.”  We have since learned, as evidenced by the photographs above and below that we could never have called him “Latefor,” as in “Late for dinner.”  He weighs in the neighborhood of 18 pounds.  We do not overfeed him – if anything, he is slightly underfed.  The vet says he is fed enough, and he is just one of those “big kitties.”

This all ties in to the trivia question, because lately both Hubs and I have felt a little guilty.  You see, it is impossible to lie down in bed – any time of the day – without Justin leaping, full force, upon your chest, and then proceeding to “knead” your neck and throat as though you were a big wad of yeast dough.  He also, at the same time, will push his face into yours and purr as loudly as he possibly can (I haven’t measured the decibel level, but I’m quite certain it is astonishingly high).  We have taken to closing the door each night to keep him out of the bedroom, in order for us to get some much-needed sleep.  He has gotten wise, however, and in anticipation of our bedtime, he enters our bedroom before we do, hides under the bed or elsewhere, and as soon as we lie down, “POUNCE!”

We have tried to be gentle about putting him off.  He does not easily take the hint.  He finally accepts the inevitable by doing one of two things.  He will either give up the idea of lying on your chest, and choose to lie by your side or on top of your legs (and he is a hotbox!); or he will, when thrown off the bed, decide to leave the room altogether (after toss # 10 or 11), but not before casting the most woebegone, heartbroken, devastated, and insulted look at you that he can muster.

So, this particular piece of trivia has pricked my conscience.  Is he really feeling the emotions of rejection?  Does he feel unloved and unwanted?  We have tried to tell him, in no uncertain terms, that he is welcome to stay in the room with us, as long as he stays off of us, or at least resists kneading us until the oven is preheated. Ah well – sometimes, as I said, he accepts the hint, other times the hint is forced upon him.  From now on, though, now that I am aware of his emotional capacity, I will wonder.

One other tidbit about Justin:  When he finally settles himself to sleep, for the night or for a nap, (which he does at least 20 hours out of every day) he does something that can only be described as “deflate.”  He takes a huge breath, and then exhales it in a L-O-N-G  and very audible sigh.  Were it not for his considerable size, it seems as though he ought to go flying backward around the room, as though he were some popped balloon.

Poor Justin.  He is sitting at my feet now, considering a nice long knead and then a nap in my lap.  He is sadly mistaken.  But now I have to worry if his feelings are hurt!  As if I didn’t already have enough. . .