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