Tuesday, February 19, 2013

"What is it, Girl?"

[image credit Wikipedia]
When I was a kid, I grew up in the 1950s with the black-and-white (then normal) Lassie TV show.  The show had a number of iterations; I’m specifically thinking about the version with Jon Provost as Timmy Martin and June Lockhart as his mom.  And of course, Lassie playing herself.
A sappy trailer follows, but it's truly worth 64 seconds of your time if you are a child of the 1950s:


My impressions of this show now, as an adult, are these:

--The Martin Farm was a strange and wondrous place, everything from deciduous forests to rocky deserts.

--Timmy was a very bad kid who did whatever he wanted with limited parental discipline (“Oh, Timmy!” they would sigh).

--Lassie was a smart dog, much smarter than any of the humans.  Except she had paws, not hands, and could not speak ordinary English.

Why do I blog about a 1950s TV show today?  The reason is an aha! or déjà vu moment I just experienced. 

The moment is reminiscent of another recollection from the show: whenever there was an emergency, Lassie would return to somebody who could effect a rescue and begin barking furiously.  The human would somehow understand the barking and say something like “What is it, girl? Timmy is trapped in a mineshaft?  Good dog!” then go rescue Timmy from the mineshaft. 

And they say Ronald Reagan was the Great Communicator.

Fast forward to today.  I love cats—we have 4—but to be honest, they are pretty stupid.  Or their evidence of intelligence does not translate well into human experience.  Or something. 

[Image credit Gary: the cat we call Tizzy.  Of course, no human can know what she calls herself]

Anyway, the cat, Tizzy, that we are “watching” for our son (for some 4 years now, so she’s officially OURS) yesterday exhibited some Lassie-like intelligence. Every time I walked by the head of the stairway to the basement she went kinda nuts—running halfway down, meowing furiously, running back up, meowing even more furiously…as though she were trying to tell me something.

I literally said, "What is it, girl?"  and followed the cat downstairs.  The moment Tizzy saw me start down the stairs she immediately turned and ran down the stairs and thru the cat door over to the unfinished part of the basement,  where the cat litter boxes--and more importantly, the dry food feeder--are located.

Turns out the dry cat food feeder was empty.  Tizzy was milling furiously around the empty feeder, meowing earnestly.

So next time Tizzy tries to get my attention I will obey sooner.

[By the way, had a stunning long winter run on the Appalachian Trail yesterday with some fine running companions...more on that on Wed]


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