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October 22, 2020

Mack Williams column: Anna the cat

By Mack Williams
For the Salisbury Post

I have an indoor, blond, long-haired cat, minus any noticeable tabby stripes, named Anna. She’s weathering her totally indoor situation very well. This has nothing to with government pandemic recommendations; she’s an indoor cat, anyway. When she gets a little stir-crazy, she’ll run up and down the stairs and window blinds in a tither. When I get stir-crazy, I’ll visit my son, Jeremy, in Yanceyville. However, I will not be in a tither — I observe the proper highway speed limits.

I considered taking Anna for a visit to Jeremy’s, but when she used to live with Jeremy’s two other cats, they didn’t get along. So, since he now has three cats, the visit might resemble Mutual of Omaha’s old “Wild Kingdom” TV show, and not in a good way. Since the late Marlin Perkins’ animal handler, Jim Fowler, has also become “late,” he wouldn’t be available to help stem the mayhem.

During the daytime, Anna can be found lying by the glass back doors observing outside life passing by: a neighborhood cat, a scurrying squirrel, a weed-munching groundhog, or a hopping bird, having just alighted from its flight. Observing through the glass, Anna is almost outside, but not quite.

Since Anna is an indoor cat, I’m always on guard with any chance of her slipping out of the door with me; so I was flabbergasted the other day to look out my glass doors and see a cat resembling her exactly, walking into the underbrush of the backyard woods. But after glancing over towards the kitchen counter top and seeing her there asleep, I immediately knew the outside cat was her doppelganger. It is said each of us has a doppelganger. Stalin had one, and Saddam Hussein had several (but in both cases, doppelgangers were very much needed).

Before seeing that Anna was inside, I momentarily imagined she had paranormally, astrally projected herself outside. I don’t think cats are capable of this, and a lot of scientists doubt that humans are capable of it too. If the late Dr. J.B. Rhine of the old Parapsychology Department at Duke University weren’t already “on the other side,” he might could tell us. But seeing as how regular cat psychology is scary enough, I seriously doubt if he wanted to delve into something as terrifying as cat parapsychology.

I’ve often told my daughter Rachel (who also owns a cat) that if some form of advanced alien life is ever discovered on another planet, it will probably be feline, and not primate in its nature.

Anna is lying against the glass back doors again, and I presume she’s pondering what it’s like to be outside, as she watches the scurrying squirrel, the munching groundhog, and the hopping bird, having just alighted from its flight. And of these three, I wouldn’t be surprised if she is dreaming of killing and consuming the two of lesser size.

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