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Pet People

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Dogs & Cats, Living Together----MASS HYSTERIA!!! by Stacey

Okay, does anyone else recognize that line from the first "Ghostbusters" movie? Bill Murray uses it as an example of the chaos around them as the spirits take over New York City. Being one of those pet owners that have both dogs and cats, I found it most appropriate. I've never bought into that myth that dogs and cats are natural enemies and do not get along. Just like any two groups of individuals, it all depends on how you are raised.

I grew up with cats only, and did not get my first dog until I moved here in 1994. I brought two grown cats, Ranger and Harley, with me from Hawaii, and then we got Dixie as a tiny puppy. So, she grew up with cats in the house, and thought nothing unusual about it. Basically, she didn't know any other way. It was the environment in which she grew up. Those two cats, however, were new to the dog concept, and were not very receptive. They had no dogs in their formative years, and didn't much like it.

Harley was pretty laid back, so for the short time he was here with Dixie, he didn't care that much. I lost him to an intestinal blockage, and after a time, we adopted Casper, the friendly cat, to join our family. Casper was a kitten, so the same thing happened for him that did for Dixie. He grew up with a dog, so that was natural and normal for him. As for Ranger, well, let's just say that he tolerates the dogs, but just barely. It has been over 13 years since he got his first canine sibling, and he's still not happy about it. Not one bit.

When Reb joined us soon thereafter, he also was a puppy, so the cats were a fascination for him. Especially Ranger, the big white and black mystery creature that would ignore and evade him. Reb LOVED to chase his older brother Ranger. When Sweetie came into our lives, he LOVED to encourage Reb to chase Ranger. "Get the cat, get the cat" could always be heard when he was around. (And people say I don't have children)

Sh*thead was the last of my original family members to join us, and he was a TINY kitten when he showed up under my front hedge. I was going to take him to the vet (at the time they ran an adoption service from their office) and let them take care of him. I did not need another mouth to feed. But, the next day when I went outside, he wasn't there. I thought he moved on over night. But, no, I walked around the house and there he was in the back fenced in yard with my two BIG dogs (both over 70 pounds). I thought he was a snack for sure. But, then Dixie LICKED him. She pulled him off his feet with her tongue he was so small. It would seem he brought out her maternal instinct. Needless to say, he went to the vet, but just for a checkup.

The thing about Sh*thead is that I really don't think he knows he is a cat. He worships his big brother Reb. He will make every step that dog makes. He'll lay in the floor rubbing on Reb's head. He will get right in the middle of the dogs when they are getting treats or licking out a skillet or pan for Mama. Now that Lucy has joined us, she too grew up with cats. She also (thanks to Sweetie) loves to chase Ranger.

Do those of you that have multiple species households have issues with the differences? Do you have funny stories to tell about how your dogs and cats got introduced or how they get along? Share! I know I'm not the only one that has cats that think they are dogs.

The first picture is Ranger when his brother Reb CAUGHT him! It was the first time in all these years that Ranger didn't get away and poor Reb didn't know what he was supposed to do with him now that he caught him. I just laughed and laughed. The second picture is Dixie and Sh*thead pre-washing a pan for me. Notice how Dixie is holding the pan down so that it doesn't escape from them. I sure miss her.

posted by Stacey at 7/15/2007 04:33:00 PM


Blogger pearcehart said...

Our household is split evenly, although there is only one girl fur child. There seems to be a truce between them all. Scootie was raised with the dogs so he wants to play with them. But the dogs were not raised with cats (at least from their behaviors, it appears that way). Max and Charlie have almost accepted the cats. They espcially respect Larry, senior cat. Larry has no qualms about slapping down a nosy dog, except for Aimee, dog princess. Aimee is Head brat. She does not like to be sniffed, prodded or played with. Everyone defers to Aimee and will go the long way 'round to avoid encroaching on Aimee's space.

very occasionally someone will irritate Aimee somehow and Aimee will go after them. Dad and I have to break up the tussle. Not exactly a fight because the victim just tries to get away. Then Aimee has time out where she is banished to the bedroom untill we can determine is any real damage has been done. Thankfully, only one punctured ear which bled like a stuck pig. After a suitable length of time, I call Aimee and she scuttles to my feet and grovels and lays on her back. I look at her and make her squirm and then I give her love. The squabbles occur very infrequently. Aimee is about 11 years old and getting crotchety. We think she knows she's not supposed to do it but her temper gets the best of her.

Sometimes when Aimee is in a mood, and the other kids have to pass by her, you can see that they are trying not to make eye contact with her and they wag their tails furiously as they pass by her. I can just hear their little voices..."Don't look her in the eye, don't look her in the eye, almost by, don't look her in the eye!"

When either max or Charlie are playing with thair favorite toy ball and it rolls next to Aimee, you can see the indecision in their little faces. Usually, they sigh and lay down, chin on their paws and wait for ball to be rescued.

Things would be a lot less tense without Aimee but she is our problem child and we love her to pieces. We know her life clock is ticking down. She is less active and getting grayer around her muzzle. For all her faults, she is loyal and protective.

Monday, July 16, 2007 12:03:00 PM  
Blogger Stacey said...

Where are all the people telling me how adorable my children are????? HELLO???? Is anybody out there??????

Monday, July 16, 2007 2:52:00 PM  
Blogger B said...

Yes luv, your children are adorable. YOu know I have a fondness for your Lucy--she's a doll and so beautiful. You've been so lucky with your fur bearing family members. Though some are no longer with you, I know that they are still very well respresented in your home and in your memories. I love you read your stories cuz they are happy parts of hundreds of days that might have just been ok, average, or plain dreary without your pets past and present. Plus the fact your kindda a sap for them like I am for mine.

Monday, July 16, 2007 4:26:00 PM  
Blogger B said...

And knowing the rest of you (like I feel I do, especially on this subject) I know that you ALL keep the memories alive in a positive way and that those fuzzy little faces will never be forgotten and remembered with happy thoughts. ok--my hallmark license is expiring--bye for now

Monday, July 16, 2007 4:29:00 PM  
Blogger Pam said...

Stacey, sorry I didn't get the chance to tell you on this subject, but of course your babies are adorable and beautiful! And again shame on you for calling sweet Punkin Sh--head! He is beautiful and sweet!

Monday, July 16, 2007 6:01:00 PM  
Blogger Pam said...

Hey where in the heck is that low down dirty rotten scaley a-sed cheuvanist pig spouting Dragon? All that being said, "Oh brother where art thou? I miss you!

Monday, July 16, 2007 6:05:00 PM  
Blogger pearcehart said...

I am thoroughly disgusted with this character Beaz. The man is the most dangerous sort of man there is... he knows how to use the internet and uses pseudo-facts to support his claims and those less well-read eat it up. I thought it would be helpful to respond to posts but it has become an exercise in futility.

Sandy, do the editors ever read this stuff? Do they know what kind of wackos are using the Story Chat board?

Monday, July 16, 2007 6:22:00 PM  
Blogger Sandy said...

Yes, the editor ties to do her best, but it's a free forum. It's a lot to keep track of, but basically they have to look out for accusations of wrong-doing thrown about because of libel issues.However, people are free to be stupid and ignorant. :) I don't read it much any more because I'd always get mad at the pet licensing comments, and as an employee, I'm not allowed to comment on Story Chat. It's not worth the aggrevation to read things that will upset you.

As you all know, my cats and dogs live separate lives, so no issues! Though they know each other is there and visit through fence when I take the mutts for a walk. The dogs no longer bark at cat meows.I could probably introduce them one day, but will wait until Zoe is gone. She's the one I don't trust with them. Scooter lived with a cat before coming to me and Peanut is a wussy boy.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007 12:03:00 AM  
Blogger jdt said...

Stacey, your babies are really cute! I like the cat and dog sharing the dish. I don't know if that would ever work at our house. We can barely get the monsters to share.

We have a multi-species household. We have the four little monsters and 2 kitties. I had the cats first. Chance the oldest, is black & white, and I think he hates me for bringing all these other animals in the house. He used to be the only pet. After a couple years, I got my calico baby, Scruffy. At first, Chance did NOT like her at all. I actually think he wanted to kill her at first. He used to trap her under the bed and bite her so hard. However, after a while they learned to live in harmony and now they are the best of friends.

It was funny when I began to add the monsters to the family. When I brought Abby home, she was only 1 pound. Scruffy immediately curled up with her, and became her mother figure. Chance, well he was a typical male. He just put his nose in the air, and decided he would have nothing to do with her. It was cute because when Abby was little she used to lay on top of Scruffy and sleep. Unfortunately for Scruffy, Abby grew up, but still wanted to cuddle.

As time progressed we of course kept adding more monsters to the family. It is an interesting dynamic because Abby always respected Scruffy, it is like she taught all the dogs to respect her. However, they don't quite feel the same way about Chance. They actually give him a hard time and are always chasing him around, but yet they never chase Scruffy.

I think Chance has a soft spot for Annabelle though. He likes to sit around a play fight with her. The problem is when the other monsters see, they all try to play and then poor Chance is outnumbered. Lucky for the cats, they have full run of the house and can get away. The dogs have boundries, as we have baby gates all over the place.

I have often thought about maybe finding Chance a new home where he wouldn't be picked on so much, but I really think he would be sad to go and leave Scruffy.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007 7:23:00 AM  
Blogger Pam said...

Jdt, I agree taht if you found Chance a new home he would miss Scruffy but also I think he would feel abandoned by you too. He might not ever get over it since he isn't a real young kitty. It would be better if you could try to teach the dogs not to pick on Chance so much. Maybe you can find a way to just let Chance and Annabelle play alone in a room where the others can't get to them. Since you have the baby gates it sounds doable. Think about it.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007 11:57:00 AM  
Blogger Stacey said...

Well, Jen, sounds like Chance is just like my Ranger. He's the oldest and "above" those annoying dogs. Yes, the dogs only chase him, not the others. Why? Because he's the only one that runs from the dogs. The others just look at them and go "whatever" and go about their business. Chance doesn't want them to bother him, so he runs. Scruffy could give a flip. Believe me, the dogs aren't going to waste their time chasing a cat that won't run.

In your first paragraph, you said that now they (Chance and Scruffy) are the best of friends. How awful would it be to be taken from your oldest and dearest friend (not to mention your human parents) and put into a new home where you don't know anyone?? That would be an awful thing to do to an older cat especially. If he didn't adapt well to your dogs, how do you think he would handle being kicked out?? I'm with Pam.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007 12:28:00 PM  
Blogger jdt said...

I agree with you guys about Chance missing us, hence why I haven't found him another home. I think maybe Stacy you are on to something, if he would just ignore them and not run, they probably would leave him alone. Maybe I will try to give him and Annabelle some play time in the evenings. They would probably both enjoy it.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007 12:48:00 PM  
Blogger Skeeter said...

Stacey, Sorry to not post yesterday about your topic. I mowed the yard and then had a splitting headache until bed time. I was able to read but the brain would not allow me to type. Anyway, I think your babies are adorable. On your story of Reb and Ranger, I was imagining what would Wild E Coyote have done if he ever caught the Roadrunner? Love the look of confusion on Rebs face! Dixie and “Beautiful do nothing wrong” Punkin should be an all time favorite Kodak moment for you and Sweetie!

On the topic, we don’t have dogs but as in the last post, y’all know the girls seem to do well with small dogs. One day by pure accident, Kie the Rhodesian ridgeback slipped into the house through my legs and Sheba was in the utility room to greet us. She let out one bad-a$$ hiss then shot like a rocket into the sunroom and up the Monkey tree! Kie was still pretty much a puppy and only wanted to play with her but she was not amused by him! Cheetah was no where to be found of course!

One time when we had Skeeter with us to visit the Saints family, Mom B brought the neighbor’s dog into visit us. Skeeter about flipped out at the huge hairy English Sheep dog! Skeeter jumped from ground to the top of the china cabinet in one swoop! The Saint yelled at Mom B for that one and she was innocent enough explaining to us how she knew he liked dogs due to his best friend Rio. Rio was a small Schnauzer which belonged to our friend. Rio and Skeeter were pup and kitten and grew up together and were buds. Mom never thought about the size difference. Poor Skeeter was traumatized to say the least.

Jennifer, maybe Chance enjoys the way the dogs play with him! He knows he can get away so no harm should come to anyone. If Chance really does not want to be bothered by the “monsters” then he would not go near them. Cats are smart and he probably likes this cat and mouse game with the pups… I agree with Pam and Stacey, you cannot separate Chance and Scruffy…

Alice don’t loose too much sleep over Beaz and some of the others on the comments. I think some of them just say crazy stuff to see whom they can get riled up. I think they do that as a form of silly entertaining game...

Tuesday, July 17, 2007 1:00:00 PM  
Blogger O'Malley said...

I am late as always but your babies are definitelty bee-u-ti-ful!! I love the pan licking. We had neighbors over for dinner very soon after you should and I married. After dinner was over while we sat digesting at the table, You Should held his plate down for our boxer Cody to lick it off. I told him after dinner that I was mortified that he had done that in front of them and they would probably never eat with us again. Oh well, its funny now and your picture reminded me of that.

We started out with only dogs and I gradually added stray cat after stray cat-always while you should was deployed or away somewhere. Our dogs have always taken a keen interest in the cats and the cats have never minded them. My current boxer Rocky takes great pleasure in chasing both our indoors cats and sticking his nose up their butts. No kisses for him! They tolerate him ok but he tends to step all over them and is completely unaware that he is doing so. He is still full of puppy stupid but I'm sure he will grow a brain soon.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007 5:11:00 PM  
Blogger Pam said...

Jdt, sounds like we are in agreement here about not seperating your Chance and Scruffy. As long as the dogs are just playing and not actually trying to hurt Chance it probably isn't all that bad but I love your idea of giving the cats the extra play time. I think that will help a lot. If Chance has his nails and would just swipe the dogs one good time they would be a lot more careful in how they play too.
Shannon, that was great the You Should let you Cody lick the plate,ha. That was a good one to write when we were talking about letting the cats and dogs eat from our plates subject. Did you miss that one? Doesn't matter, that was great! And I would be happy to eat with you after that. I mean the dishes do get washed plenty good enough. Just knowing how well you treat your babies does my heart good!
Does Rocky like kitty logs for a treat too? Our grand doggie Roxies does and ahs to be watched to make sure she doesn't get them,ha.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007 7:26:00 PM  
Blogger Skeeter said...

The Saints story. Before his Skeeter adventures, he had some friends that had some pesky neighbors. Said they would show up at dinner time each night and having a nice wife, she would always invite them to eat. It got obvious they were becoming moochers with never offering to help clean up, bring a meal or ask them to their house for a meal. Pure moochers at dinner time. After a few weeks of mooching her hubby came up with the most perfect idea. After dinner one night they called the dogs to the kitchen. The dogs licked the plates clean then the wife put the plates back in the cabinet.... The moochers never showed up at dinner time again!!!!

Sniffing butts is one thing but eating kitty logs is plain gross! Skeeter's friend Rio did that once! From then on, I closed the door to the sandbox when Rio would come to visit! Oh you brought up a nasty memory for me Pam... yuck....grossey poo....

Tuesday, July 17, 2007 8:42:00 PM  
Blogger Pam said...

Sorry Skeeter, but just talking about one of our Roxie dog's bad cravings. We do all we can to make sure she doesn't get to them! I do agree it is sooooooooo grossssssssss!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007 10:15:00 PM  

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Pet People

Sandy Britt, an animal welfare advocate and volunteer with Clarksville rescue organizations, takes care of three dogs: Zoe, Scooter and Peanut; two cats: Catfish and Tarzan; and one husband, Glen, and according to him she takes care of them in that order.

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