Cat lovers love their cats, but sometimes we have to admit that they aren't all Einsteins. A relative adopted a stray who came to her door, a beautiful short-haired gray. It soon became obvious that he was either developmentally disabled or had had a traumatic head injury. The unkind would say that he was dumb, like Lorilee's Special Ed.
The cat, which she called Dickie, could not learn and did not have an apparent thought process. He existed in the Now, and the Now was hungry and unhappy with where he was. If he was inside, Dickie wanted to be out. If he was outside, he wailed to come in, only to turn around and sit by the door, asking to go out again.
Dickie liked his food cheap and smelly, and any time his hostess entered the kitchen, he became convinced he was starving. He'd go in and out between her feet until she gave him something--or pretended to. He'd follow her to the food dish, watch her mime dropping something into it, and look eagerly into the bowl when she backed away. He'd be confused when there was nothing there, but it took him a while to actually believe it. (This was not cruelty on her part. It was what she had to do to get him to let her cook or clean or whatever.)
It was impossible to dislike Dickie. Like Eddie in the book, he had no intent to be bad or to irritate. He was just...special, like all cats are in their own way.
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