Several years ago, a neighbor moved away taking with 'im a cat that often came 
over to visit with me whenever I was out in the yard.  What Cat really wanted, 
of course, was the generous amount of head and tummy scratching that I bestowed 
upon it.  

A few months after moving away, the former neighbor came to me and asked if I 
would adopt the cat, because somebody in the "new" neighborhood did not like 
having the cat around.  Reluctantly, I agreed to the adoption.  

Initially, we kept Cat's food and water dishes on the stoop outside the kitchen 
door, but animals and birds from "miles around" quickly found the steady and 
abundant food source and overwhelmed me, especially with their generous 
"deposits" left behind, so I brought Cat's dishes inside to a corner 
immediately inside the door.  Cat and I soon settled into a routine:  She 
seemed to always know when I'd enter the kitchen for meals and/or snacks would 
"meow" to let her in for a snack with me.  She'd always sit beside me and 
stretch her neck and head up toward my hand for the customary scratches behind 
the ears.  I'd soon tire of that and say, "Go ahead and eat." while motioning 
toward her dishes near the door.

After several years of this, grandson #2 (about 8 at the time) was at the 
breakfast table with me one morning when Cat meowed outside the door.  I got up 
and let her in and immediately went back to my seat.  Cat walked back to the 
table with me and took her usual position beside my chair with her head 
stretched up toward my hand for her usual scratches behind the ears.  As I read 
the paper, my right hand hung down beside the chair to occasionally stroke 
Cat's head.  After a couple of minutes, I said in a low, firm, but not harsh, 
voice and without any motion and never looking up from the paper, "Go ahead and 
eat."  Cat immediately turned, looked over at her dishes and slowly walked over 
to them and started eating.

Grandson, watching all of this, was amazed and exclaimed, "Granddaddy, I didn't 
know that cat could speak English!"

I responded, "Well she doesn't SPEAK English, but she obviously understands it."

So, what about it, does Cat "speak" English?

Wilton
                 
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