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By Scott Sullivan

Editor

Cat Behaviorist

As an optimist I love the fact there are cat behaviorists. Cats behave? People make careers of this nonetheless.

As editor. I am often urged by readers to consider new opportunities. So I’m signing up for the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants’ first-ever cat behavior consulting mentorship starting April 1.

Teacher Katenna Jones, ScM, ACAAB, CCBC, CDBC, CPDT-KA “will traverse the process of seeing private clients, and evaluating and managing problem feline behaviors,” says the course prospectus. We’ll address topics such as:

  • Taking effective case histories, writing reports and tracking progress.
  • Client communication, compliance and retention.
  • Discussing a wide variety of unwanted feline behaviors. I can add a lot to this based on experience.
  • Tips for protecting yourself physically, legally and financially. Just what I need: scratch wounds and malpractice suits.

“I paid 5 grand and my cat is still nuts,” Crazy Cat Lady 1 would tell me.

“He was nuts to start with.”

“She.”

“Whatever.”

“Are you an ScM, ACAAB, CCBC, CDBC, CPDT-KA?” Crazy Cat Lady 2 would ask.

“I’m a wife-certified SOB.”

“I must have been nuts to hire you,” Crazy Cat Lady 3 would say.”

“You’ve achieved self awareness. Congratulations,” I would say.

“You’d be a terrible cat behaviorist,” my wife said.

“I wanted a consultant, not an insultant.”

“You can’t even behave yourself.”

“Which lets me understand wackos of any species. Like the people who stole a traveling zoo in Bowling Green, Ky.”

“They what?”

“An SUV loaded with a bearded dragon, armadillo, skink, silky chicken, hedgehog, tortoise and baby kangaroo was stolen from a Panera Bread parking lot.”

“Who needs fake news when you have real news like that?”

“Which is why I’m getting out of this business. The vehicle was found with all but the kangaroo inside. Then police were called when a man walked into a restaurant carrying the baby.”

“I’ll know better than to carry a kangaroo into the Outback next time,” my wife said. “I don’t think they’re hiring zoo thieves. What about cats?”

“I get them: eat, sleep and let your pet humans pamper you. I wrote a story about cats last week.”

“Your cougar story?”

“Maybe there’s a breeding pair with a ‘kitten’ at Saugatuck Dunes State Park. Maybe not.”

“What should people do?”

“More like don’t. For example, bring and dangle tuna treats, catnip, chase toys and coax, ‘Here, kitty.’’”

“What else is out there?”

“Bobcats, supposedly. Not to be mistaken for Bob Fish, the Biggby Coffee founder who lives here.”

“Easy mistake to make.”

“I had to correct radio host Mike Johnson about that last week. I also told him beware of cougars.”

“Older women predator types?”

“I don’t think his wife would like that. Plus it leaves more of them for me.”

“Talk about an optimist,” my wife said. “Not even crazy cat ladies like you.”

“Like you?” I asked, looking at our three cats remaining.

“Who cried when Eamonn died? You laid on the floor for an hour with your ear to his chest, petting your black cat till his purring stopped, then his heart.”

“Best thing I’ve ever done.”

“You left his body for me to throw out,” she continued.

“I couldn’t do it. Twenty years a pet and I wheel his body to the curb, frozen in a trash bin.”

“He wasn’t in his body any longer.

“I keep thinking where he is.”

“In your thinking. That’s where he is.”