From the Q&A Files

Here are a few questions and answers from my readers.

Q: Why does my cat insist that I eat with him? He won’t eat his food if I’m not nearby, also eating.

A: Has it not occurred to you that your cat loves you? He wants to be with you, share his favorite times with you, maybe even offer you some of his food. If he’s young or you haven’t had him long, he may feel insecure about being away from you, even to go eat…something dangerous could be there, like something he feels would be a threat, and he relies on you for protection at a critical time…meals! If you become angry, yell at him, etc., and refuse to be with him, he will eventually learn to eat alone, but then you’ll be back here asking why your formerly loving cat is now aloof and not affectionate anymore. Or, you could simply schedule both your meals so you’re eating at the same time. If not for companionship, why did you even get a cat?

Q: I just adopted two 6-week-old kittens. I gave them some regular cow’s milk but they don’t want to drink it, even with a syringe.

A: Why would you give them milk that contains lactose? Cats are lactose intolerant. If they’re still in need of nursing, they need KMR , Kitten Milk Replacer, available at most pet supply outlets. Their natural appetite (by instinct) is telling them not to drink what you’re offering. Now, it’s possible they’re ready to start eating solid food, too. Try some canned food and dilute it with warm water or warmed KMR so they can lap it up. This is near the age when some cat mothers begin weaning their babies. Please, also, find some information online on how to raise kittens. Your vet might be a good source, but not necessarily. Read as much as you can from reliable sources.

My Cat Saved My Life

By Susan F. O’Donnell-Burke

Earlier this year, I almost died. But I’m here to tell the tale

because of my cat, Missy. She saved my life.

My cat, Missy

Dogs aren’t the only pets who are capable of
saving their people.

I adopted Missy 7 years ago from a shelter where she was
scheduled to be euthanized the next day. Now I believe we
were meant to be together.

The black kitten was in rough shape at the local shelter and
the volunteer staff couldn’t seem to get her better. She was
the last of a litter of ten that needed to find a loving home.
I couldn’t let her die.

We are now closely bonded and she looks after me, much to
my surprise initially, because, like many people, I didn’t know she
had it in her. Cats do love us when we care for them with
our love. Don’t let anyone tell you they don’t care. Missy proved
that to me.

I was driving my car along
a coastal highway in California that had signs to “watch for
falling rocks.” Well, a very large “rock” (more like a boulder)
landed on top of my car and punched its way through to the
road, leaving a gaping hole in the back seat area. It stopped
me, of course, and I needed help getting out of the car.

A passing motorist stopped to help and transported
me to a local hospital. But I soon opted to go home to my beloved
cats and called a friend to come get me.

Miraculously, I escaped what could have happened. Had the
boulder crashed into the front seat instead, where I was seated, I would
not be telling this story.

But there was another issue that still threatened my survival.

For several days I could not sleep. Then, on the third night, I fell
asleep as if to never awaken again. My breathing was shallow and

Suddenly, I was awakened by sharp “needles” raking my chest.
It was Missy. I pushed her away and told her to “stop that!”
But this pattern repeated itself many times throughout the night as she
kept waking me up, causing me to resume breathing.

I’m sure I would not have survived the night without my sweet Missy cat
reminding me to breathe! I saved her life 7 years ago and this time, she
saved mine!