5. The importance of Whislers...

Tigger jumps up on the sink to visit while I shave and brush my teeth. He usuallyHelping me shave sits next to the sink and sometimes slaps at the water or my hand as I brush my teeth or shave.

"What on earth are you doing?" he asked one morning as I shaved.

"Shaving my whiskers off." I replied.

"Why? You don't have any whiskers." he retorted as he ran a paw through his own long, graceful whiskers.

Water is interesting"I know. That's because I always shave them off before they get long enough to see well. Would you like me to shave your whiskers off for you?"

"Don't even think about it! Not only are they part of my great looks they are very important for me to feel things."

"How do you know you wouldn't look better with them shaved off?" I asked.

"Impossible! There isn't any 'better'. I am puuuurfect just the way I am thank you very much." he said as he looked at his reflection in the mirror.

"Uh... OK... but why are they so important to you other than making you lookCan't ignore it 'perfect'?" I countered.

"They help me feel what is around me and tell me when I am trying to get into something that is too small for me. That sort of thing." he explained as he demonstrated by feeling the limits of his whiskers with his paws.

"Aha! Then why did you get stuck between the counter and cabinet the other day. Didn't they tell you the space was too small for you?"

"My whiskers told me it was big enough to get into... they didn't tell me it was too small to get out of. Besides, I may have just been distracted and not heard them tell me. I did get out though."

"Sure you did, with my help. Want to take another shower with me?"

"What do you mean 'another' shower?"

"Well, you did come into the shower the other day. You didn't stay long though. Boy did you move fast getting back out."

"I didn't 'come' into the shower, I fell into the shower by mistake. I was walking on the edge of the tub minding my own business when all of a sudden, for no reason at all, I slipped and fell into the shower. I can move fast can't I?" he answered and emphasized it with a mighty leap from the sink half way across the bath room.

"And I thought you wanted to try the shower out. You're welcome to join me in the shower anytime you want."

"Thanks but no thanks. Cats are much too smart to get into water like that.", he huffed and took off as I prepared the shower and got in.

Once finished and dressed I was ready to drive up to Altamont to check the mail.
"Let's go Tigger." I called. "Let's go check the mail."

Always ready for a ride in the truckWe got into the truck and Tigger got up on his platform on the passenger's seat. We began the pleasant drive up to Altamont. On the way I noticed school busses on the road and realized school was back in session. Tigger was stretched out on his perch taking in the scenery.

As we passed the school there were kids on the playground. "Look Tigger, the kids are back in school again.", I said, forgetting that he had been born after school was out and they hadn't been in school before as far as he was concerned.

"What is school?" he asked watching the kids getting into the bus. Loving a ride

"It is where kids go to learn things."

"Don't they have moms. My mom showed me how to do things and stuff." he sat up smartly when he mentioned his mom.

"Of course they have moms and their moms show them lots of things but they still have to learn lots of things moms and dads can't teach them."

"Like what?"

"Oh, reading, writing and arithmetic, geography, history... lots of things."

What?"Do they learn about cats?" he said as he jumped from his perch onto my lap and stood with his paws on the window so he could watch the kids.

"I suppose so."

"How about dogs?"


"Birds and mice too?"

"I wouldn't be surprised if they learn about them too.

"Well, isn't that really all that counts?"

"Well yes... I guess it is. I still don't see any reason for knowing much more than about cats, dogs, birds and mice. That pretty much does it for me. Did you ever go to school?"

"Of course. I went to all kinds of schools."

"Oh? What kinds?"

"School like those kids are going to, schools in electronics, schools in business, a school about surveying.... lots and lots of schools."

"Do you shave your whiskers off and get into the shower on purpose?"


He lay back down, "Didn't learn much in school, did you...."

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