Well, it’s official. The cat is pissed. As first I thought she was scared. Maybe she is, just a little. But yeah, mostly pissed. I mean, I didn’t expect her to hug the dog as she came barreling through the back door of her new home on Wednesday, but she did react pretty damn weird. Granted I don’t know much about getting cats and dogs to live comfortably together (any animals I had growing up were taken care of by my parents, played with/tortured by me) but Jewel (cat) immediately ran upstairs and slinked across the floor, belly and shoulders low like in hunting stance…and hid in a tight spot behind some boxes we have yet to unpack. Then she was up on my desk, something she never does. No purring, no usual meowing or rubbing her head on every object she comes in contact with.
I was heartbroken. I felt horrible. It’d been about 20 minutes and I was already convinced they’d avoid each other forever. How would we live this way? Forcing Joe and the dog to live in the garage crossed my mind. (Kidding. Not really. Hey, our garage has a loft above it. A loft. It’s pretty epic.) So I immediately took Mr. Calahan’s advice and began treating Jewel like royalty. Of course I played with the dog, pet her, loved her (she’s the sweetest little thing…but I have yet to hear her bark or make anything other than a whimpering noise at the shelter) until she curled up on a blanket in the living room and went to sleep. But then I coaxed the cat out from under the bed and gave her the usual Queen Kitty treatment: snacks, a thorough brushing, some scratches behind the ears, a dollop (Joe’s favorite word) of her chicken flavored anti-hairball stuff. Then she started purring, and I felt a little less like a big jerk.
Jewel did sleep with me that night while Nevada (doggie) slept soundly on her little blanket…but she didn’t bother me so much for drinks from the faucet, and only once she was absolutely sure the little ball on the living room floor wasn’t making any sudden movements did she sneak into the kitchen for some food. Then she’d either hide in the basement for a while, or sneak back upstairs for some more snoozes. (We do have a little kitty hole cut out of the basement door, so she can comfortably go up and down without the door having to be open. And Nevada can’t fit through that hole. Win.)
As I was getting ready to leave for the always dreaded morning shift yesterday I was happy to see the cat in the kitchen, crunchin’ on some food. Then I left the room for a moment and when I returned she was chompin’ on the dog’s food….and before I could control myself I made some sort of disturbing flailing hand motion and told her to knock it off, instead of gently pointing her in the right direction (big jerk), so of course she darted down the basement, once again. Ugh.
So I headed down there, already running late (at 4 AM, mind you), to try and make amends, which I figured she wanted nothing to do with when I reached down to pet her and she said something like “MrrrEeooOWWWWWAaaaa!!!”, cat for “go away, you asshole!”. Sigh.
Thursday afternoon. Enter: Catnip.
After another tiring morning shift –
Customer: (5:30 AM) Can I get a Heineken?
Me: I’m sorry, we can’t serve alcohol until 7. State law.
Customer: UuuUUuuuggHh! (He sounded much like Jewel did that morning.) ::puts head on bar::
Me: ::stone face:: Sorry.
Customer: Well, can I get an ice water?
Me: I’m sorry, but you have to buy something in order to sit in here. (We. Are. A. Restaurant.)
Customer: I’d still give you the dollar.
(Well golly gee, in that case!)
Customer: Well, can I sit there and get an ice water? ::points to a table behind him, literally 2 feet away::
Me: That’s still inside of the restaurant, sir.
Customer: Ugh. Give me a menu then. ::looks:: Let me get a milk.
– I stopped at the local Acme for some dinner ingredients (seriously, try this recipe…amazingness) – Acme is kinda expensive by the way – and decided to grab the cat a small , over-priced toy as a sort of peace offering. My choice: a little fuzzy mouse that gets stuffed to the brim with catnip. Score.
I brought it home, filled that baby up, and watched her go absolutely nuts for a while. It was great. It worked so well that while the dog lay sleeping in a ball on that same spot, I was able to coax her downstairs with it. She’d stop every few feet, looking from her kitty drug to the dog, to the kitty drug again. Her need for a fix was much stronger than her fear of the dog so she chased that baby all the way into the kitchen! Then she ate. Then she batted it down the basement and played with it down there. Uuuuuggghhhhh.
So while they aren’t the best of friends yet, napping and plotting my demise together, they did spend a lot of time staring at each other this morning. The cat has been slowly closing the gap between herself and her not-so-little sister, sneaking up more and more basement stairs to get a better look. And I think she dog is more afraid of her than she is of the dog! Nevada’s back legs shake every time the cat stares deep into her soul. Those cat eyes are no joke. So hopefully – while Nevada is a hound – she won’t want to eat the cat. I think she’s afraid the cat might eat her, anyway.
I’m hoping to come home one day to find the cat riding the dog around like a pony. That would be awesome.
Does anyone have any advice in this area?
Regardless, our shelter rescue is healthy and happy, and I’m looking forward to many play dates and movie nights curled up in little balls together.