Being partial to cats myself, I love this piece on a journalist who discovers that - gasp! - not only can you clicker train a cat, but it can open new doors never before imagined:
At one outdoor concert, a 10-year-old boy with Down's syndrome walked by. He was enthralled by the piano-playing feline. He stared at Ricky for several minutes, then spontaneously began to laugh. We're not talking little giggles here. I mean full-blown belly laughter. His mother was stunned. She told me quietly, "Billy's father passed on two weeks ago. Everyone tried to get him to talk, to react, but he wouldn't."
Billy, who was still in stitches, began to pet Ricky. Then Billy sat down and snuggled with Ricky, now purring in his lap. I don't know what secrets Billy shared, but he whispered to Ricky for several minutes. Just before he and his mom departed, Billy looked at Ricky and said, "I love you," then he kissed Ricky. Ricky just had this extraordinary ability to reach people.
Read the whole story here: The Herald Democrat