don't look so shocked

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I truly don't know why everyone's so amazed about the cat that saved the little autistic kid from the dog attack. I have had cats every bit as protective of me as my dogs. I have had a parrot that protective of me. They are sentient beings. They know when you are there for them and when you are not... especially when you save them from something that is upsetting them... and they always give better even than they get.

They know what's what. Don't think that they don't just because they can't speak human. They understand human. If you're worth their solidarity, you get it. I think the main driver is the feeling of safety you provide. If you are too rough with them, they're probably not going to bail your ass out when you need it. If you don't provide a happy environment for them... same... or they'll even split if given a chance.

I have great success with most animals... domesticated or wild. It's iffier with the wild ones, of course, because it's harder to get your solidarity to pierce their survival instinct, but, for real, I don't think that cat would've hurt Roy if he'd been 100% about him. Maybe Roy made him do stuff he didn't like too often. Or maybe Roy had insulted him too grievously or too often. I just think this stuff doesn't happen when the animal knows they can trust you.

That's why your kid won't be getting saved from a dog attack by your cat if you've been making him wear a unicorn horn hat or dressing him up like Bat Man or not letting him have his peace and quiet, with too many other pets and kids and partying and strangers banging in and out, all shit cats hate. Dogs have more of a sense of humor about this sort of thing, but, really, you can ruin it with your dog too.

I'd say safety and dignity are the top two with cats. Safety and attention are the top two with dogs. Both will learn and respect your boundaries if you assert them, and both will be there for you when the chips are down if you've laid down that solid base of trust and respect and love.

As for parrots, I just know you go from being complete stranger to love of their life if you save them from the savagery of seven-year-old boys. Guido's parrot, May-May, abandoned him to be with me for the whole month I was in Atitlán because, upon arrival, I'd saved him from the attentions of a little fiend whose mother was oblivious to the parrot's plight. Instant solidarity. He'd still mind Guido, but he'd squawk and cause a fuss at nap time every day while I was there, not wanting to be away from me, even to sleep. That bird rocked! I never knew better company.

Looks as though things are radically more upscale there nowadays. They must've gotten electricity in Santa Cruz finally. Don't know who's running it now either... wonder if May-May stayed or left with Guido... but, man, that is the spot on this planet, even with wifi and hot water. Used to be that breakfast came with the room and a gourmet dinner was $3 more. Seriously, one of the best decisions of my life was to abandon Belize for Arca de Noé... that and Goldie Honda.

I can't remember anything as pleasant as having my morning coffee with May-May. He doted on me. He vigilantly kept all bugs away from me. He ate my toast crumbs. He drank coffee from my cup. He wrapped himself in my hair and nibbled at my ear lovingly. He just stuck near me every minute he didn't have to be in his cage. I know he would have bitten your nose off if you'd even spoken roughly to me.