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FALLING FELINE SERVES AS CATALYST FOR REFLECTION ON CAT-SAFETY ISSUE

SHARE FALLING FELINE SERVES AS CATALYST FOR REFLECTION ON CAT-SAFETY ISSUE

It was, by my reckoning, about 1 in the morning when the cat dropped on my head.

I had fallen asleep reading and was sitting up in bed. This was a good thing or he would have fallen on my face. I might have been rushed to the hospital and ended up another household safety statistic. One more senseless, falling-cat tragedy and an unconvincing insurance claim.As it was, I had only a bump on the top of my head and a scratch across my forehead to explain to the observant. It could have been worse.

The cat had been reclining on the window above the bed that night. Mitsu is an old cat, very old, and a fat cat, very fat. A 20-pounder. A large cat in his dotage is a threat to furniture, carpeting and mostly himself. But he is not generally a threat to people, particularly when asleep.

Cat safety is an issue seldom discussed even in our risk-averse society.

The way I see it, with the addition of the most recent kitten and the existence of yet another tabby, we had trebled our chances of cat-related injury.

Multiple cat ownership already is a touchy issue. You have a couple of dogs and nobody thinks anything of it. But a large cat population, well, that might be a symptom.

But where is the line drawn when hosting cats?

One cat - Already too many in many respected quarters, but it's a matter of taste.

Two cats - OK, if you're not renting. Understandable if there are children present or you've helped someone else out of a cat crisis.

Three cats - Suspect, but plausible. Might be a home decorating statement.

Four cats - Consider counseling. What does this really mean?

Five cats - Near-anarchy and cat-related injury is a certainty. Does Neighborhood Watch know?

Six cats - Biohazard. Check with local zoning authority.

Seven cats - Search for weapons. Contact family members.

Eight cats - Who files for the court order?

By these standards we are well within acceptable limits. But every time a large animal falls on my head, I can't help but take it as a warning.