Our cat, the dog

 In Facing Reality, SHIFT

When we were in a long spell between dogs, our cat took it upon herself to become the dog.

Since my husband had a home office, he enjoyed the companionship of a dog to lie at his feet and pad around the house following him. He began noticing that the cat, which had heretofore spent her days lying about on the furniture, as cats are wont to do, began to sit by him in the office.

Before long he began to absently pet her. Uncatlike, she took it. She seemed to see what was needed and began to play the part. When my husband wandered to other parts of the house, cat would follow.  She would even come when called. He began to keep cat toys in his office and would take little breaks and watch her do flips in the air chasing a feathered “bird” or a bit of fluff.

And then we got another dog.

At first the cat tried to hold her territory. The dog, still being a puppy, wanted to frisk with the cat. Cat would twitch her tail warning off the “affectionate” attacks. Often she would have to resort to batting at the dog’s nose and delivered the occasional sharp claw. Puppy was undaunted. Cat had to seek higher ground.

We began to realize we needed to protect both of them from each other. When my husband was in his office, he would shut the door allowing only Dog inside. Cat would meow at the door without ceasing. When we would sit down to enjoy the occasional movie or television program, Dog displaced Cat in our laps. Even though we have made the effort to make Dog share lap time, it was a concept pretty much lost on them both.

This morning Dog was outside, I was in my husband’s office and Cat came back to her former place. Most of the time she just sleeps perched on a few favorite spots, following the sun. It will be a short-lived reclamation as Dog is at the door again to come back in.

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