Community Thanksgiving Dinner a success
by Maralyn Fink

I attended the Community Thanksgiving Dinner at St. John’s Lutheran Church today in the Church Hall. A traditional Thanksgiving meal was served to all who came.

A good turnout enjoyed the meal and companionship among the each other.

A big thank you to the volunteers from preparing and serving the food, the Lutheran Church for hosting the event and to all that came. Thank you again.

Wreath Making class is December 14

Rise Up Co. and Flowers by Kate Upton will come together on December 14 to present a Holiday Wreath Making Class.

Join them for a fun night out as Kate walks you through how to make a beautifully unique wreath to make your home look warm and pretty.

The class will be held from 6 – 8 p.m., and the cost will be $55. This includes all of your materials. There also will be a snack and beverage.

Come by yourself and make some friends, or better yet, bring a friend.

Get your tickets now as they prepare materials.

Free crafts inspired by Janet Halfmann’s Yay for Big Brothers!

Attention teachers, parents, grandparents, caregivers. You won’t want to miss the free animal paper dolls and clothes craft that illlustrator Shennen Bersani created for Janet Halfmann’s Yay for Big Brothers!

Remember When – Oakview students play Santa in 2014

Oakview Elementary 4th graders were in the holiday spirit.

Mrs. Dambrun and Mrs. Jury’s classrooms donated wonderful gifts to the CASA kids in lieu of having their own classroom holiday gift exchange.

Thank you for your generosity and making sure the Executive Director knows that Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are a super gift. We have the most generous students and families.

Letters – Community Thanksgiving since 2010 this year

Volunteers, organizers and hosts, along with scores of contributions by area businesses, service clubs, and churches all came together to celebrate this national day of giving thanks.

The year before when no vaccines were doing their work the entire experience was take-out only. But this year the widely spaced tables hosted at the St. Johns Lutheran Church made it possible for people to dine-in, too.

One early estimate of pre-registrations put the total number of meals for guest plus volunteers at something approaching 200. Each year a few details change, but the traditional menu is solid gold and remains constant.

Among the innovations in 2021 were childrens book from libraries around the county freely given to those wishing to keep them.

By 2 p.m. the Lions were not winning, but the big TV showed them doing their best. When it comes to feasting with others, though, everyone was a winner!

Guven Witteveen

Maralyn’s Pet Corner – Do Cats Know Their Names?
courtesy of Ken Lambrecht, DVM

Do cats know their names or recognize our voice in some other way? Although we’ve spent over 10,000 years sharing our time with cats, there’s very little research to determine the answer to this question.

Fortunately, things do seem to be changing a bit as we share even more time and experiences with our favorite felines, and there are a few interesting recent research pieces that says there is evidence that cats may indeed know their names.

What Do Cats Recognize and Respond To?

As a veterinarian who has listened to my clients’ perspectives over the past 30 years and a person who has been “owned by cats” since I was 17 years old, I definitely have my thoughts on the answer—and it seems to be very selective.

An interesting article from 2013 affirms that cats do recognize human voices and respond primarily by ear and head movements. They further found that using harmonics and broad pitch were more effective in eliciting that response. They concluded that cats recognize their owners voice specifically by using the voices of three strangers followed by the owner and then another stranger.

Another interesting study from 2017 discussed how we talk to our pets compared to babies using high-pitched voice, simple content and harmonics. The study used “kitten directed speech” that was simple, higher pitched and musical or harmonic. They found that a cat’s hearing range had a wide scale and pitch and that cats may be attentive to human utterances with more variation.

Teaching a Cat to Respond to Voice Commands

One of the strongest variables I see in how responsive cats are to their owner’s voice is whether they are hungry or not. It is well-known among animal trainers that food is a powerful motivator to respond to verbal or audible cues. Common sense says that food, coupled with the owner’s voice, should result in a response at least some of the time.

If you think about cats only really having only two modes, predator or prey, their responses are typically in line with those modes, to seek food or hide. If we can erase any fear of us, the owner, and use food as a reward, they should come to us for food using an audible cue—or even a clicker.

Training a cat to respond to a verbal cue, such as their name, from a young age is very important. Because kittens have a very early human association period that can begin at 17 days old, it is important that kittens are handled and get used to human voice and touch to make sure there is absolutely no fear and they associate us with attention, love and food.

By starting as a kitten, using a harmonic pitch and variation, and possibly a multi-syllable name in association with food rewards, we should get a better response from our beloved felines (which could be anything from an ear twitch to running to us). As cat lovers we know, we simply need to accept graciously whatever they choose to do!