Talking about cats and catcalls

Published 12:00 am Friday, May 9, 2003

If only we had it this easy.

Austin, like many towns across Minnesota, is trying to figure out how to trim services, personnel and programs so it can scrape by.

Then there's other places where they've just passed a citywide ban, outlawing the permanent trimming of Kitty's claws.

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If only we had it this easy.

Folks in West Hollywood recently adopted the measure, with many city residents saying the declawing usually involves the amputation of the cat's front toes.

That's a problem I don't have to worry about though. My landlord doesn't allow pets. Even if he did, I probably still wouldn't have any.

Well, maybe a little quiet house dog. But no cats.

Why? There's many reasons.

Growing up on a farm, it only made sense to have cats.

We used to have a couple, and they did a good job at getting those mice. I was always reminded of that each time I heard my mom scream.

It's not that I don't like cats. Moreover, it's really all about tradition.

Who's man's best friend? It isn't a cat. Or cable TV.

Besides, how many guys do you see walking their cats in the park.

Plus, I'm allergic to cats. I suppose if I had a shorthaired one, like a Siamese, that wouldn't be too bad.

Pets are great, but they're a big responsibility with vet bills, food costs, etc …

I wonder if there's a way where I can convince my landlord to install a pet elevator with a built in doggie door.

If only we had it this easy …

Thanks to all who've either e-mailed, called or stopped by to voice their opinions on a column that appeared in this space a few weeks ago. It talked about how we've changed our policy to letters to the editor and how people can offer solutions to help better our community. I've received both negative and positive feedback on the idea, with more of the comments being the latter.

That's good to hear, but not as a pat on the back. Rather, it's a reflection of the majority of people who want to figure out solutions on how we can make Austin a better place to live, instead of using the same, tired responses that don't offer any solutions.

It's easy to complain. My friend's five-year-old does that.

But the challenge is to offer productive solutions that will better our community as a whole, regardless of age, gender or race.

The latter is the harder option. But by undertaking it, we will be better off as a community in the coming years.

Dan Fields can be reached at 434-2230 or by e-mail at