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By Barbara Burns
My cat, Weston, is one smart cat. He's the smartest cat in Catawba County, maybe even the smartest cat in the state. Here are the top 10 reasons Weston is the smartest cat in the world.
No. 10: He has an extensive vocabulary. For example, he knows the meaning of "no claws." When he climbs in my lap for a nap and kneads his paws, I tell him "no claws," and he retracts his claws. He responds to "Are you hungry?" Do you want some Gerber's?"
No. 9: When the Carolina Panthers were the NFC champions in the 2003-04 season, Weston wore a Panthers jersey for the playoff game. Now, he won't have anything to do with it. Smart cat. He's certainly smarter than those cats.
No. 8: Weston has favorite programs to watch on TV. His favorite is "Who Wants to be a Millionaire?" â€” not because he likes to look at Meredith Vieira. Instead, the flashing lights that signal a correct answer hold his attention for the entire 30 minutes.
No. 7: He loved to watch a video bought especially for him, "Cat Sitter." Squirrels and birds, complete with chirping, filled the TV screen. At first, Weston looked behind the TV for the squirrels and birds, but he gave up once he was convinced they weren't behind the TV.
No. 6: He knows how to keep company, even family, out of his home. Eleven years ago, the precocious 5-year-old had an anxiety attack when 12 of his in-laws showed up for Thanksgiving dinner. Three days in the ER nixed any future visits from more than two people at a time.
No. 5: He "sits" on command.
No. 4: He "shakes" on command.
No. 3: He knows how to slap his paw in my hand and "gimme five."
No. 2: He watches for my car to pull in the driveway everyday. In fact, he recognizes the car before I pull into the driveway.
No. 1: He knows how to work Santa Claus for cool presents: a hammock, a water fountain and a kitty gumball machine.
So, readers, is your cat smarter than Weston? Is your cat or dog smart? Let us know about your pet.
To feature your furry friend as Outlook's pet of the week, send your photos to The O-N-E.
Tell us your pet's name, owner, where he or she lives, favorite toys and favorite person. Tell us why your furry friend is the smartest ever. Or, visit www. observernewsonline.com, click on Pet Pals and follow the directions. This is your chance to show off that special, furry friend.
Barbara Burns is editor of Outlook and a columnist for The Observer News Enterprise. Her column appears in the Thursday edition of The O-N-E. Reach Burns at firstname.lastname@example.org.