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Ron and I celebrated our third anniversary with George last week. I always get a bit teary-eyed when I think about the day we met a sick and hungry little kitten wandering around on the street, and then I worry people will think I’m a little nutty. I know some people don’t like cats and just as many roll their eyes at sentimental pet owners. But I really do feel that our relationships with animals and they way we treat them enriches our humanity. A couple years ago, I wrote about the joy having a cat has brought into our lives, and I still feel the same way—even when George tries to kill me.

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George constantly impresses me with his repertoire of irritated or annoyed facial expressions. It is truly amazing how much nuance that cat is able to express just by narrowing one eye or tilting his head. I was so entranced that I uploaded this photo onto my Facebook profile. 
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Unfortunately, George felt that I was mocking him and sulked on my keyboard. It was so cute, I had to take another photo.
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At that point, George decided to start playing “kill a hand,” his favorite game, and I had to kick him out of the room. Sometimes he gets a little bit frisky and starts stalking Ron and me. 
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Last week, George decided to be super-extra-naughty and jump onto our bookshelf. He’s not allowed up there because he likes to knock stuff off with his gigantic, wedge-shaped cat head. 
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Indeed, while he was up there, George tried to push my glass apple, newly purchased from an artisan in Raohe night market (饒河街觀光夜市) off the shelf. I later realized that my apple glows in the dark. Maybe George was just trying to protect me from a nu-core-lear threat? (Har har) 

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The other day, we came home after a trip to the Taipei National University of the Arts’ (國立臺北藝術大學) bucolic campus in Beitou, where several water buffalo are kept. They are tame and one even went so far as to nuzzle me on the shin. When I came home, George could not stop sniffing my legs. He balanced himself against me so he could inspect my knees, then he dropped down and stared in confusion at my ankles. That must have been the first time he’d ever smelled a water buffalo. I bet he thinks I’m a water buffalo now. 

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A few months ago, a Shu Flies reader emailed me and asked me where she could adopt her own kitty. I directed her to Animals Taiwan and they arranged for her to bring a beautiful kitten home. It made me so proud that I helped contribute a bit to helping a cat find a loving home. There are too many stray cats in Taipei. Some of them are sleek and plump, and it’s obvious that many neighbors must be caring for them. But you also see many who are thin, skinny and covered in scratches from fights with other cats or street dogs. It makes me so sad. I’m so glad we found George when we did—but really, I think we owe a lot more to him than he does to us. Despite his hand-chewing tendencies and that one time he farted on me, George is a loving companion and he adds a touch of warmth to even the most lackluster days.