* Say cheese: These low-maintenance cuties bathe and groom themselves to perfection, which explains why they’re always pretty as a picture. And there’s nothing more beautiful than a cat basking in the sun.

* Pied Pipers: Enjoy the privileges of a 24/7 exterminator service that keeps the house free of rodents. There are no fees, hidden or otherwise. Cats are in this business purely for the fun of it.

* Who’s the boss?: Ellen Perry Berkeley’s famous saying goes: “As every cat owner knows, nobody owns a cat”. A tap on your shoulder will wake you up and your heart’s sure to melt as they stare unblinkingly at the empty food bowl.

* Laptops to love: When it rains, a warm fur ball will crawl into your lap and stay there until the sun comes out. You can count on company when the weather makes you feel less than cheerful.

* Bye, bye B.P: Who needs self-help books or meditation when the simple act of stroking a cat can significantly lower your blood pressure? Here’s to less anger and more fun.

* Large-hearted heroes: Some cats have saved owners from raging fires while others have alerted them about impending natural disasters. They take loyalty to their loved ones very seriously.

* Lucky us: The ceramic Maneki Neko (‘beckoning cat’) with a raised paw is seen at countless shop windows and restaurants in Japan and is considered to be a harbinger of good fortune. If you have a living, breathing lucky charm, even better.

* Simple pleasures: Cats teach humans that real happiness comes in the form of fresh milk, wind-up toys and impromptu attacks on Velcro stickers. Material things are redundant.

* Constant slapstick comedy: Their own reflections in the mirror, your shadow or even slow-moving bugs are all bit actors in the show that cats put up when they’re in the mood for a silly game. Get ready to laugh till your sides hurt.

* A purr to die for: At the end of a long hard day, there’s that wonderful feeling cat lovers look forward to. A loud, long purr that says “Welcome. You’re home at last. Cuddle up!”

BOW WOW

My goal in life is to be as good a person my dog already thinks I am.

Author Unknown

There’s no need for a piece of sculpture in a home that has a cat.

Wesley BatesHero of the week

J. Rani of Purasai houses twelve cats and feeds two others who visit when they’re hungry. She’s always keeping an eye on the felines and combs the area to look for them if they’re late. L. Rohini who nominated her as a hero tells us that Rani is a role model for pet owners everywhere.

Know of a hero who has performed of an act of kindness to animals? Write to metropetpassion@gmail.com

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