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DOUG FORD: Wisdom

I have to give my cat more credit.

One day, maybe three weeks ago, I saw her sitting underneath a piece of shrubbery beneath a window at my house.

She was giving something the lowdown, and upon further inspection I saw what looked to be the remnants of a bird’s nest in the upper branches.

Remnants, I say, but she refused to budge for several minutes, staring wistfully at what she thought was an occupied nest.

It wasn’t, I assured her, but she wouldn’t take no for an answer, sometimes standing on her hind legs to get a closer look and coming close to jumping into the bush a couple of other times.

I can assure you it’s not occupied, this is a nest left abandoned from last year, I kept telling her.

You can guess the rest of the story.

Over the past two weeks, I began to notice some new construction at the nest site, although I hadn’t seen Tom Silva, Norm Abram, Richard Trethewey and Roger Cook and the rest of the “This Old House” crew in the neighborhood.

Or Pete Nelson and the crew from “Treehouse Masters” for that matter, and the nest didn’t qualify for a Habitat for Humanity project, either.

My cat’s suspicions were proven correct just several days ago, when I peeked into the now fully developed nest and witnessed at least two blue eggs nestled within its confines.

My cat also has a prime viewing spot for another nest in a holly bush below a living room window, it too containing eggs just deposited within the past week.

She had been staring down that nest the past couple of weeks as well, so what do I know?

Seven years of elementary education, five years of high school, four years of college and a lifetime of education in the school of hard knocks, only to be outdone by a cat named Whiskers.

Coincidentally, the Class of 2014 just graduated Saturday from Halifax County High School, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed as the saying goes, the world their oyster.

As an alumnus of Halifax County High School, I remember, and as a graduate of the school of hard knocks, I can offer a bit of advice not altogether unrelated to the story I just told.

Be inquisitive, always stand ready to learn, keep an open mind and never take no for an easy answer.

Don’t look down on anybody or anything.  We’re all God’s creatures, and we’re all here for a reason. 

Whiskers would wish you all good luck, but her mind is on other things right now, mainly her next meal and how to get after those birds.