Some animals run rings around their owners and peers
CAT STASH ANGELA LUZ PEREZ
My cat Heihei, a short-haired domestic, ignores most of the food we give him – even cooked chicken, beef and certain types of fish. To teach Heihei a lesson, my boyfriend, Ronald, decided to stop giving Heihei any food until he finished the dry food in his bowl. A couple of days passed by and we noticed that Heihei was eating whatever food we gave him.
Needless to say, we were thrilled to see him try so many different types of food. We were so happy that we decided to buy him some treats and new toys as rewards. Happy kitty, happy life. Or so we thought. That Sunday, four days into Heihei’s new diet, I noticed a stash of food under our sofa. Specifically, the food that Heihei hated.
Thinking that it might be a coincidence, I gave him some dry food. Heihei proceeded to eat it. Before leaving the room, I set up my phone to record a video of him eating. When his bowl was empty, I checked my phone. The video showed our charming pet putting food into his mouth, walking over to the sofa, dropping the food on the floor and then kicking it under the sofa. He did this multiple times until the bowl was empty. I showed the video to Ronald, thinking he would be angry. “That is impressive! My pet is smart,” he exclaimed. I have to say that I was also very impressed.
RULING THE ROOST CAROLE LAWRENCE
In 1954, when I was ten years old, my mother’s friends gave me a Bantam hen and rooster. The hen promptly turned up her toes and dropped down dead when she saw her living quarters. However, the
rooster thrived and soon became a real chicken-coop tyrant. He might have been small, yet this pint-sized, feathered bully ordered the bigger hens about like an army general! I named him Napoleon. He soon had the chicken pen running just the way he wanted it.
Napoleon would strut about in his feathered finery just like a real dictator. All he needed was a funny shaped two-cornered hat to complete the outfit. He had the poor hens up at the crack of dawn and he wouldn’t take no for an answer.
Whenever I took in their food, Napoleon had to have the first bite. After he’d eaten his fill, he would round up the hens and order them to start eating. The Bantam ruler would stand back then, flap his wings and crow grandly.
Napoleon had been with us for nearly a year making the hens’ lives a misery when I decided the only solution to stop the bullying was to put him in a pot. Thankfully, my mother’s friends asked if they could have him back as their rooster had died. I gave him back gladly and the difference it made to the hens’ lives was instantaneous. I could almost hear them sighing with relief and loosening their feathered corsets. Finally, they could relax without being ruled over by Napoleon, the Bantam dictator.
UPPING THE ANTE MAVIS MERRICK
Sitting on some old cement steps, I noticed an ant carrying a leaf on its back. The leaf was many times bigger than the ant and I wondered what purpose it could possibly serve. The ant finally came to a big crack in the cement that it couldn’t cross, so it stopped. It had two options – it could either turn back or drop the leaf and proceed down the crack without it. The solution it came up with was far superior. The ant dropped the leaf on the crack and made it across the gap by walking over the leaf. It had made itself a bridge! Once on the other side, the ant picked up the leaf and continued on its way. That’s problem-solving for you, on the smallest scale. You could earn cash by telling us about the antics of unique pets or wildlife. Turn to page 8 for details on how to contribute.