Amazing Intelligence in Animals—Tom, the Virginia’ Vet Association’s pet

 

Intelligence will never stop being beautiful

I first published this short article in the Temple City Star on 18th of January, 2018

Dogs aren’t the only animals that serve men in the military. Cats, also, play a role. Tom—yes, that’s what the vets have named him, “… is a tomcat that’s established himself as the facility’s feline therapist” in the Salem, Virginia’s Veterans Association Medical Center.

“[Tom] arrived after some hospital staff read a book called “Making Rounds with Oscar”, by Dr. David Dosa, a physician who treated patients with medicine and with his therapy cat, Oscar. They (Salem VA hospital) knew they needed a cat just like Oscar, so they adopted Tom.” Writes I-lovecats.com.

Because some visitors aren’t exactly friendly to cats, the hospital has a “No Pet” zone, but Tom doesn’t mind. He makes friends easily, so more and more non-cat lovers are relenting and starting to pet him and bring him treats. There are some heartwarming tales written about the many ways Tom has helped long-term veterans deal with life, and Sharon Herndon, whose late father was a vet in this hospital, even wrote a book about him, titled, “Tom the Angel Cat.” She wrote, “Tom is the final salute to a job well done. He’s serving our country’s heroes by acting as one himself.”

Isn’t it nice when we treat animals as companions in our world we live in, rather than  treating them as a nuisance.

“Intelligence is the ability of a species to live in harmony with its environment.” — Paul Watson

About Albert Schindler

I was born on the 27th of February, 1931, on a farm near Hubbard, Saskatchewan. As far back as I can remember I had a spirit that would not stay earthbound. In junior high, I remember taking first place for a short story in which I described my terrifying encounter with a dinosaur. In outer space – that is, when the teacher wasn’t directly speaking to me, I went where Buck Rogers wouldn’t dare go. I was more of a Calvin in Calvin and Hobbes type of guy, with my own, personal, very powerful, transmogrifyer always at the ready. In my ‘teens and twenties, I pushed aside my Calvin alter ego in favour of making a living and didn’t take seriously again my ‘writer’s bug’ until my late 30s. I still saw that the world as full of exciting things to learn and investigate, which my writing reflected in the several articles and a couple of short fiction pieces that I wrote and sold, including over 30 children’s radio plays for Alberta’s ACCESS Radio. Unfortunately, I abandoned my budding writing career in favour of starting my own business as a sign painter. Now that I can officially call myself ‘retired,’ I plan to resume my writing career, only this time, writing mostly fiction. Why fiction? I have lead a great, adventurous life in which I made many mistakes (the ‘adventure’ in life), that have taught me some very important lessons and allowed my spirit to grow to unimaginable proportions, inconceivable to me while still in my thirties. In fiction, I believe, one can adventure into both the inner and outer consciousness of man and the universe to infinite levels where only the boldest dare peak. Convention holds that article writing has to be factual – oh, you can be creative in how you present your information, but ‘fact’ (whatever that means) still must have its parameters in article writing, whereas fiction is limited only by the size of a writer’s spirit, and so far, I haven’t been able to fathom my limit.
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