True story, I cat you not:
This lady in the neighborhood was going deaf but didn’t want anybody in her family to know it, so she sought a uniquely feline solution to her problem. When in doubt, always turn to cats, because we will rule the world long after your humans have been deposited in the landfill of history.
Anyway, this neighbor lady-let’s call her Marge-finds out she can’t hear the phone or the front door anymore, and her oldest daughter, the one who looks in on her the most, is starting to mention the “N” word as in: NURSING HOME!!!
Well, Marge doesn’t want any of that, so she goes straight away to the no-kill cat shelter out on the highway and gets herself a good ol’ kitty name of Useless.
That’s right: Useless.
Useless was “deposited” at the shelter in the dark of night with a note attached to his neck that said, and I quote: “Please find a good home for our beloved cat Useless. We are moving to assisted living and they do not allow pets. And don’t be discouraged by his name. He really is quite useful. My husband didn’t like cats when we got him, and he thought all cats were useless, hence the name. Anyway, please find a good home for our beloved friend. Emily P.”
Emily P. my eye!
They could have smuggled old Useless into assisted living with them, but they didn’t, and so our friend Marge came to be Useless’s new human.
Useless took to Marge right from the git-go, and when Marge complained aloud about her little hearing problem and how that might land her in a nursing home, why Useless proved to be most useful the first time Marge’s daughter came a knocking at the front door.
Marge was sitting there in her chair reading a good book and didn’t hear the knock. Not one decibel.
But Useless sure did, and he ran and hopped up on Marge’s lap and aimed his big ol’ black-and-white head at the front door.
Marge about dropped her book, she was so surprised.
“Are you telling me there is someone at the front door?”
Useless mewled in the manner of all wise cats and continued staring at the front door.
So Marge got up and greeted her oldest daughter, who was all set to hand her mother the latest brochure from the latest nursing home she had investigated on her mother’s behalf.
“I didn’t think you could hear the front door, Mother,” daughter said.
“Oh,” Marge said, winking at Useless, “I’m not as old and decrepit as you may think.”
To which, dutiful daughter could only table the matter of nursing homes until Mother’s next hearing loss.
And that would have come the very next day when dutiful daughter called Mother on the telephone knowing full well Mother was sitting in her chair, because dutiful daughter was out front in her car calling on her iPhone.
Well, Useless heard the first ring, and he hopped right up on Marge’s lap and mewled and inclined his great feline head toward the telephone on the table.
“Phone?” Marge said.
“Mewl, mewl,” Useless said.
Marge answered the phone before the third ring, hit the “boost tone” button, and cheerily greeted her dutiful daughter.
And so it continued, both day and night, until dutiful daughter stopped investigating nursing homes on Mother’s behalf, and Marge began referring to Useless as: Useful, my Seeing Ear Cat.
As for my feline friend, who told me all this through the catvine, why he’s eating a better brand of cat food and feeling most Useful these days.