Cathy Hamilton, age 11, of Scottsdale, Arizona, for her question:
Why are Siamese cats so mean?
Now, wait a minute. Andy's Siamese cat, Rama, is a model of courteous conduct and never utters a mean word. That is, unless provoked and there lies the subtle secret. As a general rule, pets repay their people with the sort of treatment they get. Rama wishes you a happy Christmas Eve and adds a thought of his own. Siamese cats, he says, are superior characters, highly intelligent and stuffed full of affection and yearning for human understanding. This makes them more sensitive than most pets and calls for extra patience.
Proper training starts, naturally, with the Siamese kitten. True, the little smarty connives to get his own way. But his need for your understanding is so great that, if you try, he strives with all his furry little heart to please you. For every ounce of love you give him, he repays 100 ounces. He is, of course, a great talker. Listen and reply calmly in your own language. This two way conversation may sound ridiculous but it seems to make sense to him. Perhaps the little genius figures that if you just listen to his complaints there is no need to get mean. This wacky dialogue also works when grown Siamese cats feel provoked.