I’ve had many cats in my life. Growing up in Crown Point, Indiana, I had a Siamese named Corky who would swim in our backyard lake and follow anyone with a fishing pole in hopes of garnering a bluegill snack. My senior cat, Murphy (now 14) is the only cat I know who will come when you whistle the Jeopardy theme song.
But I have never met a cat so calm and content — and cool — to be a feline as Zeki. Zeki’s beginnings as a stray were scary. On a Fourth of July a few years ago in Dallas, she was a hungry stray. She made the near-fatal mistake of coming up to a man in hopes of scoring a treat. Instead, he took his hunting knife and skinned her back before she managed to wiggle free and scoot under a porch. Kind neighbors heard her cries of pain and rushed her to the veterinary clinic where she underwent extensive treatment, far too many sutures and water therapy.
Zeki was fostered by my friend, Dusty Rainbolt who knew that this white cat with distinctive gray markings would be a good match in my household — and my heart. She was right.
Today, Zeki is about 4 years old. She is very social, quite confident and has yet to meet a stranger or feel like she is in a strange place. She travels with me all over the country as Pet Tech’s first official feline teaching assistant. I am a master certified pet first aid/CPR instructor and Zeki (and often my dog, Chipper) come to class to give students opportunities for hands-on skills on a pair of very tolerant teaching assistants who just happen to wag tails and purr. If you are interested in taking one of my classes, learn more by visiting my Pet First Aid 4 U site.
And, of course, she has her own Facebook page — Zeki the Cool Cat - and we invite you to join and catch her latest feline escapade.
Recently, Zeki became certified as a therapy cat with Pet Partners (formerly known as Delta Society) and our goal is to have her visit VA hospitals and reading programs in schools.
But one of her uncanny traits is her ability to make friends with dogs. She has this energy I suspect that she emits to dogs to let them know she is not a fraidy cat and that she likes them. She has canine pals who are Great Danes, pit bulls, poodles and even itty-bitty Chihuahuas.
Need proof? Here is a recent photo taken in my backyard of Zeki hanging with her ‘pup posse’ that consists of my dogs, Chipper and Cleo and our neighbor pals, Stanley and Buddy. Zeki is working hard to debunk that notion that they ‘fight like cats and dogs.”
Do you have a cat who really digs dogs? Please share your feline tale!