I’ve spent the first few posts essentially explaining why I’m trying this. For the last several years I’ve found very little creative outlet that soothes my nature. In the last few days, however I’ve found it rather easy to put words down and pass ideas on. Progress! I thought maybe with this post I might try an actual subject that I find interesting to observe in our house. That would be the cat and dog dynamic, or as we refer to it, “The Zoo”.
Currently we have two dogs and two cats. There was a third cat which sadly, we lost last year far earlier than we ever expected. It’s a blended family, just like the humans in the house. I brought two of the cats. My wife brought her cat and dog and we acquired the second dog. To be more accurate, he found us. My wife still refers to him as “homeless”, but she wouldn’t trade him for anything, except maybe chocolate covered strawberries. But that’s a post for another time!
My wife brought into the family her miniature schnauzer. I will say it right now…I have never been a fan of any dog that had more hair on its face than its body. Schnauzers were always at the top of that list. But having one in the family has certainly softened that point of view. Princess Dog, as we refer to her, was diagnosed last year with diabetes. Add to that she has cataracts, most likely a result of the diabetes so she is essentially blind. We inject her twice daily with insulin, just like a human would do. While it’s not necessarily funny it’s hard not to chortle when she goes bumping into things. I call her our furry pinball. She just bounces off and rolls on.
Zeus Dog found us as a puppy when he wandered into our garage 4 years ago. We’re still not entirely sure what he is, but a mix for sure. We were sitting at breakfast when we heard this crying coming from the garage. My stepdaughter goes to the door and screams, “It’s a puppy!” He was about 10-12 weeks old and he’s been a fantastic dog. Although he clearly is the neediest and most jealous animal I’ve ever been around. He will frequently sit, yes it, on Princess Dog if we show her any attention. And he has just the butt to do it!
Iris Cat is one I brought in. I adopted her from the Humane Society along with the late Rosie. She is a Russian Blue mix. Maybe it’s the Russian heritage but she clearly she feels she’s royalty and should be treated as such. I’ve spent the last 3 years trying to convince her she’s nothing special, but I’ve failed miserably. What she lacks in cuddliness she makes up for in snobbery. But it comes from the heart. If you need to go to the bathroom she’ll be there to sniff.
Then there’s Shyanne Cat. My wife’s cat…..for I don’t know, something like half a century. In other words, long before I was around. Shyanne is hard to define. She really must be experienced….but at a paw’s distance. A Rumpy Manx, she’s a no nonsense cat, full of cattitude and extremely sensitive to anyone she doesn’t trust. Which is everyone except my wife. Shyanne and I got off to a surprisingly good start when we first met. I had been forewarned that she doesn’t take kindly to strangers. Things were cozy until I got my face a little too close while she was in my lap. Let’s say I can still see, but only because her aim has faded in her advanced years. Let the war begin! Having not really been around cats much in my life it’s probably fair to say I MAY have overreacted….for nearly 2 years. But they say time heals all wounds. I call it more attrition. I simply got bored and tired of hating her. So we, for all intents and purposes, signed a cease fire and since we’ve bonded quite well I think. Oh don’t think I’m going to pick her up and carry over my shoulder anytime soon, but she certainly took good care of me during my surgery recovery last month. Well that is if you considering lying on me so I can’t move easily taking care. But as the wife says, “She means well.” Mmmhmm.
It’s quite the sociological study to watch the dynamics of “The Zoo” unfold. For starters, if the dogs are outside and it’s just the cats inside, Iris acts like the dominant cat. Oh don’t think Shyanne won’t occasionally stand up to her, but more often than not she’ll tuck rump and run off griping the whole time. If it could be translated I’m pretty sure it would just get bleeped out. So then open the back door and enter the dogs, or rather the “Canine Tsunami”. Zeus Dog will go nowhere near Shyanne Cat, even so far as to run completely around the house to avoid having to cross her path. Now the important info here is Zeus outweighs Shyanne by about 45 pounds. In other words he could simply put his paw on her, or as he does to Princess just sit on her, but no. He’s our big baby. It is entertaining to watch Shyanne feverishly slap her front paws at him if he does blindly wander in the no fly zone. Even more entertaining when you know Shyanne has no front claws and can’t do any damage at all. But as long as she has the con in on Zeus, we’ll have our cheap entertainment. Who needs cable tv?
Princess, the blind, diabetic furry pinball isn’t fazed by Shyanne’s self perceived dominance. She bumps into anything in her way and doesn’t care what it might be. She’s like that old person that just says “Screw it! I’m old and IDGAF” I’ll leave you to google that last acronym if you don’t know it. I’m writing a family blog here. Iris goes from being the faux dominant to getting out of the way. Usually that means the kitchen counter or bar. Bring on the perch.
Good times are had by all except maybe Shyanne. I’m not sure if she really ever has a good time. She’d probably hiss at me for that remark.
The dynamic will never be the same without you….