Pet care: A silent witness to the crime - Albuquerque Journal

Pet care: A silent witness to the crime

Last in a series.

Acute hearing is among most cats’ best methods of detecting movement of nearby prey – but not for fuzzy Mr. Lancaster. Like the majority of blue-eyed white kitties, he was genetically as deaf as a post. Despite this handicap, he was an inspiration to all of us. We could have changed his name to “Mouse B. Gone.” Sadly, he was less adept at collaring thieves.

After three years as an associate veterinarian I realized a life goal of owning my own practice. I’d saved and invested heavily; providing good medicine requires serious equipment purchases. I was an intense young man. Now, I am no less intense but I am less young. Slow days were difficult in those early months.

When I arrived one morning, Mr. Lancaster was the only creature stirring but he had not spent the night alone. The front door had been forced open. Instruments and cash (not much of that) was stolen. I felt like I was clawing my way through a mud pit as I made a police report, filed an insurance claim and cleaned up the mess.

Mr. L was noticeably sanguine. His total silence, when Martha pointedly asked him to identify the perpetrator(s), was no surprise to me. Every day I wish pets would speak a human language but they insist on communicating as who they are: cats and dogs.

Amos, on the other hand, deduced that Mr. Lancaster’s slow blinking meant that he knew the intruder. This well-intentioned young man wasn’t the first person to believe he could divine the secrets of animal communication but nobody’s initials were found scratched in the cat litter.

Current understanding of animal behavior relies on peer-reviewed research. Our cat’s slow blinking indicated an affiliative emotional state. He didn’t care that we’d been ripped off; he just wanted Amos to pet him.

The one-legged duckling our predator-in-residence nearly lunched became a pet for one of our excellent clients. The burglar’s identity, however, remains shrouded in mystery. I wish him or her no misfortune, except maybe a decomposing mouse above their ceiling.

⋄ For help with behavior problems, you can sign up for a Zoom Group Conference on my website, drjeffnichol.com.


Dr. Jeff Nichol is a residency-trained veterinary behaviorist. He provides consultations in person and in groups by Zoom (505-792-5131). Each week he shares a blog and a video to help bring out the best in pets and their people. Sign up at no charge at drjeffnichol.com. Post pet questions on facebook.com/drjeffnichol or by mail to 4000 Montgomery NE, Albuquerque, NM, 87109.

 

Home » ABQnews Seeker » Pet care: A silent witness to the crime

Insert Question Legislature form in Legis only stories




Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email yourstory@abqjournal.com

taboola desktop

ABQjournal can get you answers in all pages

 

Questions about the Legislature?
Albuquerque Journal can get you answers
Email addresses are used solely for verification and to speed the verification process for repeat questioners.
1
New Mexico seems determined to extend class time. What ...
ABQnews Seeker
Three competing proposals are on the ... Three competing proposals are on the table
2
Agency delays protections for imperiled bat, prairie chicken
ABQnews Seeker
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced ... U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced new designations for the lesser prairie chicken set to take effect bumped to March 27
3
New NM health secretary learning on the job after ...
ABQnews Seeker
Patrick Allen heads a key agency ... Patrick Allen heads a key agency on the front lines of the state’s pandemic response, after leaving behind a lengthy state government career in ...
4
Kenneth H. Martinez, 1954-2023: Former district judge ‘was good ...
ABQnews Seeker
Albuquerque native, 2nd Judicial District Court ... Albuquerque native, 2nd Judicial District Court judge had a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease
5
New Mexico bill would ban contracts for migration detention
ABQnews Seeker
Recently introduced bill could unwind contractual ... Recently introduced bill could unwind contractual arrangements at Otero County Processing Center in Chaparral
6
Native American leaders: Educational trust fund will be key
ABQnews Seeker
Native American leaders said creating a ... Native American leaders said creating a special $50 million trust fund to help finance educational p ...
7
No drama for birthday llama: ABQ llama celebrates 27th ...
ABQnews Seeker
'This llama is bringing everyone together,' ... 'This llama is bringing everyone together,' says family friend
8
New Mountain West Commissioner Nevarez gives nod to former ...
ABQnews Seeker
New Mountain West Commissioner Gloria Nevarez ... New Mountain West Commissioner Gloria Nevarez discusses her new job in an ever-evolving college athletics landscape.
9
Talking Grammer, Ep. 59: MWC Commissioner Gloria Nevarez
ABQnews Seeker
In Episode 59 of the podcast, ... In Episode 59 of the podcast, we had a conversation with new Mountain West Conference Commissioner Gloria Nevarez.