Friday, August 25, 2006

Top Dog? -- jcarolek

Our family has been acquiring pets over the past ten 10 years. The first to join the family was Mel, the cat who masquerades as a lion. Regal he is and regal he looks...but don't let that fool you...he's not too bright. His biggest thrill in life is sitting on the exact piece of newspaper you are trying to read! We have to throw him "decoys"...yesterday's newspaper, placed casually on the floor, as if we are JUST ABOUT TO READ IT. He will come from afar to sit majestically upon it. Mel lives inside.

Next to join the family was Killian. When my husband and I married, my husband decided that getting a dog (something my daughter desperately wanted) was a good way to "bond" with my teenage kids. Off to the pound they went, being careful to select a dog that Mom (me) wouldn't be allergic to. Schnauzers and Poodles are the least offensive to my allergies. So, there she was, a two and half year old, super goofy looking dog, part schnauzer....other part ...STINK! Whew! Killian she was named and home she came, but she is an outdoors dog. She has a lovely back porch and heated dog huts, a tent and more, but she is an outside dog! She loves to run and play and has WAY more sense than Mel. (After all, she is my best fishing buddy!) Killian ruled the outside, Mel ruled the inside.

Next, because my daughter REALLY wanted another kitten, and, what the heck, we already had one, we returned to the animal shelter where she adopted a calico. She named her Miah. Miah is very pretty, and sneakier than Mel. She is also a LOT mouthier. She and Mel took a couple of days to work out the details, but it goes something like this. In the morning, Miah bays at the door, reminding us that she (and her silent buddy Mel are HUNGRY). I open the doors to the large closet that is their nighttime retreat, and feed them. Within 30 minutes they are chasing each other up and down the hall, making more noise than my children did when they were young! Then, they sack out for the day, waking up in time to remind us (yes, Miah does the reminding) that it is BEDTIME ALREADY!!! So, I feed them again, and tuck them in for the night...all is quiet on the homefront.

And so the story goes, the family lived happily together, humans and cats inside, dog outside. The children grew up and left home, and so, the animals now outnumbered the human residents.

In July, my daughter decided to move to CA....WAY across the USA! She had a cat which she had adopted four years ago, and, since she was unsure of where she would actually be living once she arrived in CA, she decided to leave her cat with us....Hmmmm...this cat has been raised as an indoor outdoor cat....I decide that the best plan for our new family member, Dracula, is to keep her as an outside cat. So, we started her off in the enclosed porch with Killian. It took a few days for them to get used to each other, but it appears they have worked out an agreement. It goes like this: when I take Killian for a walk on the path through our woods to the lake each morning, Dracula walks 20 feet behind us. On our way back, Dracula walks right alongside Killian...without any hissing or other unpleasantries. They "hang out" together on the porch most of the day and then run free in the evening. They come back into the porch for "supper" and the porch door is closed for the night. In the beginning, Dracula kept to the high ground, perching on the table or the shelves. Killian had her pick of the sleeping quarters. This morning when I went out to take Killian on her walk I found that Dracula had taken over Killian's favorite travel kennel! Killian was sleeping in her tent! I think Dracula is now Top Dog!

Tonight I took their pictures. Killian, now bows before the camera, while Dracula is comfortable in her Top Dog position!

I hope you have enjoyed this chronology. Perhaps I need to get a life?

No comments: