We are now outnumbered by our pets. Actually you could also look at it that I’m outnumbered, three women against me and the dog.
Perhaps I should better explain, we have a new cat.
I have long resisted my wife’s suggestions that we get another cat, perhaps a kitten that our cat, Dax, could train up as her own. This could also help to reduce any loneliness in Dax, though she has always seemed perfectly content to lie in the sun and torture our dogs (Simon and now Riley).
I am not a cat person, though I am directly responsible for the first cat.
Dax ran up on our porch on Beggar’s Night five years ago and whatever inclination we might have had to let her back out into the night was shattered when I uttered the words “we have to take care of the least of these.” Incidentally my pastor finds my interpretation of this passage hilarious. We did make a considerable effort to search for her original owner, but to no avail, and truthfully in that time she had wormed her way into our hearts. We love Dax, though she is a pretty high maintenance cat (now about 9 years old). We give her comfort treats in the morning and the equivalent of kitty Prozac every night (which is a two man job). All of this in an effort to reduce the amount that she pees on our doors, and like many cat owners we have become subject to the whims of our cat, letting her in and out at times of her choosing, lest we be punished.
Don’t get me wrong, she’s very cute. She does the thing where she hides all her legs under herself like a loaf of bread, and makes a really cute purr noise if you poke her when she’s not expecting it. She’ll snuggle with you and purr and particularly likes to lick your feet just after you get out of the shower.
Anyway, about a week and half ago my wife and I were sitting in the living room. She’s watching Bones and I’m catching up on some Arkham City when the dog hears a noise. I love Riley, but we’re still working on the not barking at even the slightest provocation, though in this case his interest was justified. We heard a very pathetic animal noise. My wife and I interpreted this noise very differently as it happens. I thought I heard the cry of an injured animal, maybe a raccoon that had been in a fight, and was probably something to be avoided, lest we get scratched. My wife describes it now as the most pathetic mewing noise you could hear.
Turns out she was right. An extremely friendly little kitty came out of the bushes and started rubbing all over her feet, even allowing my wife to pick her up and more shockingly pet her belly.
The day before I’d seen some lost cat signs and said that this cat was probably theirs. So we put her in the cat carrier and drove her to her supposed owners. But as it turns out, though she looked quite similar, this was not their cat. We called around for shelters but on a Sunday night there’s really nothing you can do. We searched PetFBI, Craigslist, Facebook, etc. but had no luck finding anybody looking for her. We didn’t want to let her back out into the cold, and she was such a sweet kitty that we wanted to make sure that wherever we dropped her off it was a no-kill shelter. As it turns out, at least in the state of Ohio, this is not an easy thing. We (Ohioans) care more about dogs, who I guess are less capable of taking care of themselves, but still.
But the truth is it was no use anyway. A day in the house and my wife had already fallen in love. Coonie (as I originally nick-named her) has a bushy tail (like a raccoon) and is only about 6 pounds (the vet thinks she’s 6 months to a year old). Her right eye is deformed which also was behind our motivation to make sure she got into a no-kill shelter or had a good home with us.
Cat integration is proceeding well. We may actually have detentes, Dax and Coonie don’t particularly like each other, but they stay out of each other’s way which is way better than Dax has been with the basically feral cat that often came by our house (an orange male we nick-named Worf). Riley actually seems to get along better with Coonie than he ever has with Dax (he has yet to realize that hissing and swatting does not mean the cat is playing). We even caught him licking Coonie yesterday night which she seemed to tolerate, at least initially.
So, I don’t know, I guess now we’re those crazy pet people. This had probably been brewing ever since we bought a coat for the dog (though he has thin hair and it can get very cold outside). If nothing else all the animals keep things exciting, and now I have another adorable ball of fur running around while I try to convince the dog we need to stick together.
Any tips on cat-cat, cat-dog integration?