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Trained by the Cats

Trained by the Cats
By Joe Phillips Dear Me
Trained by the Cats
By Joe Phillips Dear Me

OXFORD DONATES $10,000 TO SECCA – Oxford of Lyons presented Southeastern Early College and Career Academy (SECCA) with a $10,000 donation through the Oxford Foundation and a company-wide educational initiative. SECCA will use the money to support the partnership between SECCA and local business and industry, as well as celebrate student achievements. 'We are so thankful to Oxford for their generous donation to SECCA. The partnership between local business and industry is what makes our community such a great place to live and work. SECCA is committed to making students aware of local career opportunities, and helping them acquire skills to help them become successful employees,' said John Sharpe, SECCA CEO and Director of High School Programs. L to R: Oxford Import Administrator Flora Torres, John Sharpe, Oxford Senior Manager of International Operations Angie McDaniel.

Is it worth it?

There are two cats that live around here. They are all that remains of a tribe of a dozen feral kitties that grew up in town and didn't take to country living. All but these two dribbled away.

The cats are most often seen at the back door looking in when nobody inside is looking out.

They are rarely touchable and are most approachable while eating. They tolerate a back scratch while gnawing away at commercial cat food. I know they are enjoying something because the tails stand tall.

Over time various brands of canned cat food accumulated. The cats were offered samples and full cans, even a can of sardines, but a sniff was all they attracted. Cats looked at the canned stuff and made direct eye contact.

They developed a preference for dry cat food and turned up their nose, sometimes refused to eat, anything else.

The dry cat food came from Aldi in 16 pound bags, but they are suddenly not available any more and haven't been for a couple of weeks.

I read that cats often bring proof of their hunting ability to show to their humans, but there hasn't been a squirrel or slow chipmunk at the back door in years.

The cats are able to function on their own. They can hunt if the prey is not highly motivated, but they appear to have Little cat faces are visible first thing in the morning. They are friendlier at breakfast than at any other time. I take it these cats are not night hunters.

In mid afternoon there are cat faces at the door again. After that feeding they file off into the back yard where they take stertorous naps curled up on the green tractor.

My grandmother's cats hunted for their supper. They kept watch from the smoke house roof and learned to leave young chickens alone.

She said the rooster taught the cats barn yard manners, and after that all was respectful.

She scraped out dishes and skillets in the backyard for the chickens, but the cats were not above feeding shoulder to shoulder with the birds.

My cousin Don still laughs while remembering the sight of a cat trying to gnaw off a bite of stale, brick-dense cornbread held between front paws.

My grandfather periodically renewed the supply of rat snakes that lived in the corn crib. The snakes owned the inside and the cats were free to take on any escapees.

I think these cats have just gotten lazy or have trained me to adapt to their schedule.

Right now I'm coming to the end of our stock of dry cat food and need to find a replacement if Aldi is out of the cat food business.

Cats do not have a wide emotional repertoire, but being stared down by a cat is humiliating.

lost interest.

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