My Smart Kitty Boy

I’ve told the tale of Zorro joining our household before but I’m not sure I have ever told about how smart he was.  Here’s one story of his intelligence.

Zorro was a scratcher. I’ve known a lot of cats over the years (other people’s cats) and no one could scratch like Zorro.  And he scratched everything: sofa, beds, tables, piano bench, speakers.  Everything.  I tried every technique you can think of to re-direct him.  Multiple kitty scratching posts, catnip spray (to entice him to the posts), cans with pennies, squirt bottles, double-sided tape, aluminum foil, bitter apple spray.  I even tried little shields that you put onto the kitty’s claws.  Take it from me, don’t try this.  You’ll get damaged doing it and within 24 hours, the kitty will have chewed half of them off.

I know that de-clawing a cat is an awful thing to do. I know exactly what they do and I know that many vets will not do the procedure.  I had a long talk with my vet and as much as I loved Zorro, it was coming down to keeping Zorro without claws or having to find Zorro a new home.  This was a terrible decision and I flip-flopped back and forth for over a month.  But he was literally scratching his way through the house.  The day I caught him scratching the piano leg (ignoring the kitty post that was 12” from him), I knew I had to act.

Suffice it to say that it was a rough surgery and he ended up staying at the vet two extra days so that they could keep him contained and quiet. After he got home, he limped for two weeks, breaking my heart with every step.  I knew I was going straight to kitty-owner’s hell.  Then one afternoon, I was standing in the kitchen and from where I was located, I could see Zorro up on the buffet in the dining room, but he didn’t see me.  He jumped down and walked toward the kitchen with no limp whatsoever.  As he crossed the threshold into the kitchen, he looked up and saw me; he immediately sat down and lifted up his “sore” paw.  I snorted at him and told him he was busted; he must have heard my intonation or maybe he just knew the gig was up.  He never limped again.

So all those folks who think cats aren’t smart because they can’t be trained like a dog, I say, you didn’t know Zorro!

Have you ever been scammed?

44 thoughts on “My Smart Kitty Boy”

  1. I tend to not spend too much time thinking about this, but in all likelihood I’m scammed with some regularity. For instance, last night as we were leaving the restaurant, I was approached by a young man carrying a gas can asking for money to help fill it. I happened to know I had a five dollar bill in my wallet, so I gave it to him. He looked at me and said, “Thank you, and God bless.” He looked sad as he continued down the sidewalk – toward his next victim? As we got into Hans’s car he commented: “Well, that was a new one to me.” I shrugged and reminded him that my philosophy has long been that a good deed is a good deed and cannot be undone by someone else’s misdeeds. If that young man was truly in need of money to buy gas, I’ll never know, and to me, it doesn’t really matter. If he was scamming me, that’s on his conscience, not mine.

    Does that make me a naive sucker? I suppose so. But frankly, I prefer to be a person who believes in the best in people – and animals for that matter.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. I have long felt that I would rather continue to trust in people and perhaps give money to someone who doesn’t really need it than to reach a point where I think ill of every potential person looking for a handout. I’d have given him the $5, too.

      Liked by 4 people

        1. I have a friend who keeps a bag of new socks in his car. Men’s socks. And whenever he sees someone on a corner he asks if they want the socks. Because socks are the number one request at homeless shelters I believe. He said only a couple of times has someone refused the offer of the socks? I’ve thought that maybe I should have socks in the car as well, it seems like a great idea to me.

          Liked by 2 people

        2. I have a few ziplock bags with socks, a granola bar, a bottle of water, a couple bandaids…. some people are delighted with the socks, etc., and some clearly just want cash. 🤷‍♀️

          Liked by 1 person

  2. Rise and Shine Baboons,

    Yes, I have been scammed–and when it is an animal doing the scamming I really feel foolish because often I don’t see that coming.

    My family always had a pet dog. The first two were rat terriers named Scouty I and Scouty II. Scouty II somehow allowed my dad’s wheelchair to roll over her front paw. It healed up well, but left a curve in that paw. When my mother was angry at anyone, Scouty II would limp. When Scouty II was in trouble, she would hold the paw up in the classic wounded dog position and walk on three legs. It was a reliable estimate of the emotional tenor in the house on a given day.

    VS, I am so sorry that this cat has passed on to kitty heaven. That is such a lost feeling when somebody departs the family.

    We had a busy weekend that co-opted my participation on Steve’s great AB piece. We saw them often living in N. MN, but only once did we see it with all the colors. I love that. We are off to the State Fair today–a cool day for this which I love!

    Liked by 6 people

  3. Thanks for doing a post about Zorro kitty, VS, and I love this story. How old was he?

    I have almost fallen for a scam where a (not very close) friend emails your from Europe for emergency money… it all sounded plausible, but I finally thought to call her at home (I didn’t have her cell #), and there she was! I’ve been much more wary since then, and I think it’s so sad that humans will do this to each other.

    Liked by 4 people

      1. I have an 18-year-old, and one that is probably about the same age, though I don’t know for sure. I wish they could still be around for a few more years, but I know that’s not very likely.

        Lovely picture of Zorro.

        Liked by 6 people

  4. That just proves the theory that cats are sneaky and devious. 🙂
    Kelly and I were talking one day about how we kinda miss having cats around the farm. But I don’t think cats and the baby chicks would work well together. It’s hard enough keeping the dogs away from them.
    (Currently have a momma guinea with two babies that have survived about a week which is impressive as guinea moms are terrible moms).

    We were scammed in the parking lot behind First Avenue a few years ago. We had just parked and I knew you paid on the way out but this guy came up and said he was collecting money up front to save time. I did question it but he had all the answers. So I paid him. Course that didn’t help when it was time to leave – the guy in the booth wanted to be paid too. So one of them scammed me.
    My 93 yr old mom is pretty careful. Thankfully. A few years ago she got a message on her computer that it was hacked. So she called the number it gave. Then she called me from her other phone and put the two phones together so I could talk to that guy. I’m laughing as I type this. I was yelling so she’d hear me holding the phone out there “It’s a scam! Just hang up!” Eventually she did.
    Thirty five years ago I was approached by a young man in a parking lot selling magazines subscriptions. I gave him money for Rolling Stone magazine but I thought for sure I was scammed. Nope, got the magazine for several years.
    I went to a psychic once, Madame Zondra. Among the things she told me was that I would have trouble with money. It cost $12.95 or something. When over I gave her a $20, she left and I left. It was only later it dawned on me she left to get me change. Guess she was right on that one. But she also was wrong because I’ve been pretty good with money after that.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. Which reminds me of Marcus, the budding art entrepreneur. I haven’t seen him in a while. After his initial foray into selling his art door to door, he began showing up wanting cash for various charitable projects. On one occasion he showed up alone with a couple of dollar bills in one hand. He was collecting money for a woman in his building who has cancer, he said. I told him no, and I explained that I didn’t think going door to door asking for money was a good idea. On another occasion, he showed up with a little girl pushing a stroller with a baby in it. This time he needed money for some school activity. He was pretty vague about it, and seemed uncomfortable when I pressed him for more details. Again I declined, and reiterated my prior warning about going door to door begging. I haven’t seen him since.

      Liked by 4 people

    1. For some reason, I’m not susceptible to the scams perpetuated via the phone, internet, or mail. By now, I’ve pretty much heard it all.

      You may recall a few years ago I received a snail-mail notification that I had won a Publisher’s Clearing House lottery. I spent a few precious moments fantasicing (sp?) about what this windfall would mean to me before my rational self took control. It was fun while it lasted.

      Liked by 5 people

      1. Just this minute I got a phishing scam in my email box that was almost sneaky enough to get me. The email says the sender has accepted my payment for a video game about zombies. The note encourages me to check out the purchase details by clicking on the attachment. Of course, I’m thinking I never meant to send a payment for a video game, and my natural impulse was to check out details on this bogus purchase.

        I caught myself and didn’t click..

        Liked by 4 people

        1. Yep, lately I’ve received any number of emails with words like CONFIRMATION in the subject line. Confirmation of purchases I have never made. I report them as spam and delete them. Makes me wonder, how many of these scams actually pay off.


    2. The scam calls purporting a computer virus and some claiming to be the IRS have started to use an electronically generated voice, I’ve noticed. While it’s scarier sounding, it’s hardly convincing. Still, they wouldn’t do that if it weren’t effective, I suppose. I wonder with whom?

      Do young people get as many scam calls as us oldsters or are we considered easy marks?

      Liked by 5 people

      1. Good question, Bill. I know that some of the robocalls we were receiving up until a week ago were, in fact, targeting older people. Not necessarily scams, but services or products we neither want nor need. I also wonder whether landlines get more of those calls than cell phones?


        1. Hard to tell . I never answer numbers I don’t recognize on my cell phone and those represent about 90% of the calls I get. Fewer of the cell calls leave a message than on the land line, though. (We don’t answer the land line unless we recognize the caller either).


        2. Hans activated some feature on the phone that screens calls. Now all callers are informed that this number doesn’t accept solicitations, and then there’s a short wait before the call is put through, or you can opt to press 1 to be put through immediately. Apparently it provides enough of a delay that robocalls hang up before that happens; we haven’t received one since, and we used to get as many as 15-20 per day. It’s a small annoyance to friends who call us, most people understand.

          Liked by 4 people

        1. Having just come from a check up with my mom (who is in her mid-80s), these scams also rely on changes in cognition as we age. It’s not just the trust, it’s the reduced ability to sense when something is “off.” Thankfully, Mom has avoided falling for these – and when she has been unsure, calls one of her offspring before acting. She almost fell for a call from her “grandson” until she realized that he wouldn’t need the money he supposedly was asking for…

          Liked by 3 people

  5. I can’t imagine the number times our local law enforcement get told by people they have arrested for possession of drug paraphernalia that it isn’t theirs, it was left in their vehicle by a friend.

    Liked by 4 people

  6. OT: I mentioned last week that my daughter’s family would be visiting the State Fair. I admitted to being nervous about how that would go. My SIL grew up in Michigan, so he doesn’t know nuthin about state fairs. And my grandson is mighty skeptical about anything new that adults promise he’ll “love.” He’ll try new things, but starts with doubts.

    They went yesterday. Weekend crowds overwhelmed the park-n-ride system. After waiting an hour for a bus, my SIL quietly said, “I sure hope this is going to be worth all the trouble.” There are countries where you could lose your life by criticizing religious figures. We don’t have sacred topics like that in Minnesota, but my daughter noticed that about seven heads on the bus swiveled when John expressed doubts about the Fair, and if looks could kill . . . .

    Bottom line: everybody loved the Fair. Fair food and baby animals were the big winners, but the two newbies were blown away. My daughter goes back twice this week to help the U of St Thomas booth. Give her a shout if you see her.

    Liked by 6 people

  7. OT – Please indulge my sharing as I know this group understands.
    Another friend I never met has passed away.
    Cris Dopher – a designer living in NYC,
    From a post by his mom:
    “Cris was diagnosed on April 1, 1975, with CF. The doctor told us he wouldn’t live to be 5. Guess they didn’t know Cris. He was going to be 48 on the 17th of September. He was smart, talented and happy with his life and friends. Thanks to his donor (and the family), he lived 5 years and 8 months after transplant. He survived the transplant, colon cancer, liver cancer and the motorcycle accident that could have killed anyone. He could not survive this last round of lung rejection, lung cancer and the associated chemo.”

    Damn it.

    I only knew Cris through a theater email list. Over the years he talked about the CF and the lung transplant in some pretty hard, clear terms of what he was going through.
    He was part of a cross country motorcycle group that raised money for “Behind the Scenes” – a theater related charitable group. I believe it was on one of those trips that he had the motorcycle accident. Again, he journaled his recovery and the related difficulties.
    At the beginning of August he wrote a post:
    “Post-transplant day #2062
    Post-wreck day #776”
    In which he compared his struggles and those of a woman going through similar issues; both knew they were going to die at some point, but who would go first?
    He thought it would be the cancer, not the chemo, that got him.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I understand, Ben; sorry for your loss. I still catch myself occasionally expecting a comment from Edith here on the blog. Guess I haven’t yet accepted the finality of her death.

      Liked by 5 people

  8. OT: Recently, I’ve been remembering how I wanted to answer a blog question a day LATE (or more ). So here’s another thing I’ve found unusually beautiful (though maybe not astonishing) that should have been on Steve’s weekend post:

    I frequently take my mom, in wheel chair, outside when I visit. One route we travel is between two hi-rise buildings, where there is quite a wind tunnel. One day we stopped to watch a plastic bag being buffeted about by the breeze, very much like this scene from “American Beauty”, for a few minutes.

    Another time we went to our favorite spot under a maple tree, and watched as a mom sparrow brought insects and fed her two babies, in a birdhouse right above us.

    Liked by 5 people

  9. You want to get scammed by an animal? Get a Frenchie. My little black bulldog Sugar is the queen of drama and “I am so hurt” or “I can’t possibly jump up there on my own” (even if she just did 5 minutes ago). I now pay someone else to trim her nails – not because I am incapable, but because I gave up on getting past her “you are murdering me” scenes (she stands begrudgingly, and still, for the groomers).

    Sorry to hear about Zorro. I know he was special.

    Liked by 4 people

  10. Had two voicemail messages today, someone claiming to be from the Social Security Administration saying that they have suspended my social security number. A robocall. You kinda wonder about who makes up the script for these calls – it just says you should press one if you want more information, but it doesn’t say what you should do if you’re getting this as a voicemail message, and you were not there to press one when they left the message. No callback number or anything. Sheesh.

    I have had credit cards canceled because someone had my info, probably skimmed from a gas pump or something. I suppose that counts as a scam. it’s never cost me anything, though.

    Liked by 3 people

  11. There’s a saying, attributed to Ronald Reagan, “Trust but verify”. I must admit that my first instinct is to verify, and if I can’t verify, I don’t trust.


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