Pet of the Day

October 8, 1997

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Dusty, the Pet of the Day
Name: Dusty
Age: Five years old
(Second photo at seven weeks old)
Gender: Male
Breed: Domestic Shorthair
Home: Manitoba, Canada
   I got Dusty when he was barely 6 weeks old. He was a barn kitten and totally terrified of people. When you picked him up, his little heart would race away at about a million miles an hour. I finally gained his trust one day by feeding him milk off my finger tip. His favorite act as a kitten was to climb into your lap, turn upside down and chew on his tail. He still hasn't completely outgrown that habit. His present goal in life is to see how far away from you he can leave his "golf" ball and still get you to throw it for him. This usually involves getting up off the couch and down onto your hands and knees to get it. He has several of those foam golf-like balls, and, given a willing participant will fetch them incessantly. He likes it best when my boyfriend comes over because my boyfriend manages to throw the ball not only down the hallway but actually through the shower curtain and into the bathtub. Each time he retrieves the ball he brings it back and drops it just a little bit further away from you. He then sits down beside it, stares at you, and meows as if to say "I'm ready..." If you don't pick it up and throw it again for him he paces back and forth between you and the ball meowing at you each time you look at him. If that doesn't produce the desired result he will jump onto your lap and give you a head-but just to say "Hey you - Remember me?" If all efforts to entice you fail he will pick up his ball, give you a disgusted look and forlornly wander off out of the room, a ploy guaranteed to make you feel like a rat. Did you know that a cat can still effectively meow while carrying a foam golf ball in his mouth?

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