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Does your pet know your name?

Some of Chuck Doud’s most popular articles were the ones about his cat. People love cat stories, and I always say that there is nothing funnier than a cat. I guess you would say that us humans are the funny ones, though, because we laugh at cats while they have control over us. Chuck would say that he and his wife rented from the cat who lived at their house.

My husband and I have 2 cats living in our house, and they ARE in control. My husband also is the servant of several cats who live in our backyard. Every one of them has a name, and each name was developed based on characteristics or personality, and each cat knows his/her name because we condition them to know what they are called. Of course, any cat owner knows that a cat will not necessarily come upon hearing its name. It’s a control thing.

It recently occurred to me, that although pet owners regularly talk to their pets and will call them by name, the pets never call their humans by name. In fact, not only is your pet unable speak your name (unless you have a talking bird), your pet may not even know your name, or that you even have a name.

Pet owners who live alone are at most risk for this, as there is no one who can confirm who they are, by name. Nobody says to the cat, “Go see John for your food,” or “Tell Jane what you want.” In our house, our cats do know my husband’s name, as I constantly send them to him for whatever they are begging me to do. Like a good servant, he usually provides what they desire, or gives them an elaborate explanation as to why they are unable to receive it. “I told you that you have to eat that food until it’s gone. I’m not going to the store to buy more right now.”

Our indoor cats, Scooter and Dennis (the Menace) often hover around the front door in an effort to escape and explore the outside world. My husband, David, created this problem a few years ago when he let them go outside to wander around. After Scooter was bit by a dog, neither of them is allowed to peruse the neighborhood. However, they both beg for that privilege, and they are quite communicative in demonstrating what they want. Occasionally, one of them will get out. This is just about the only time when they seem to lose their identities. At that point, neither Scooter nor Dennis knows his name.

When pets live in a family, especially if there are children living at home, the use of names among the humans is more prevalent. So, the pets learn what the names are. However, in a home where there is only one or two people living, there is usually little need to call each other by name. If a person is talking, it is usually to the other person.

In our human world, we introduce ourselves to other people. Sometimes, we must wear a name tag so that people will remember our names. When we talk with each other, we mention each other’s names, and when we talk about someone else, we know who we are talking about, because we say the names.

So, I am wondering how we may get our pets to know our names. Maybe there is no need for them to know. After all, aren’t they getting what they want?

Think about it.

— My love to all,


• • •

Mercy, peace and love be yours in abundance.

— Jude 1:2



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