Sometimes I wish y’all were psychic because I would ask: WHEN WILL MY CHILDREN SLEEP THROUGH THE NIGHT ON A REGULAR BASIS? But the psychics readers would just get angry about me yelling. Like five minutes before I even did. And anyway (as you KNOW), I have more pressing matter than lack of sleep for the past four years.
I need pet advice. We’ve had a dog for like six weeks now. (sorry about the lack of formal introduction)
He’s an almost three-year-old Tennessee Walker Coonhound from a local animal rescue (AARF: Animal Adoption and Rescue Foundation).
He’s loving and playful. Like puppy dog playful. Especially when he sees our three cats. (So my husband married the crazy cat lady. So what?) Rachet just wants to play with his little friends. And he totally backs off when they hiss. But the minute they move again, he’s like YAYAYAYAYAYAY (but in dog so WOOFWAGTAILSNIFFSNIFFJUMPWOOF)
All our cats are nine years old (poof! they magically have the same birthday even though they aren’t related. poof!) Two cats, Loki and Juno, are indoor/outdoor and one, Calliope, is outdoor only (Calliope is a long story involving pee and if you suggest I test her for a urinary tract infection I will send you the hundreds of dollars in vet bills already spent. or the cat.)
The problem is, when the dog came, the indoor/outdoor cats went ALL outdoor and the three of them went missing for days at a time. (possibly following Phish around the summer. HA! no seriously, that’s a good cat-gone-missing joke.)
I thought it would get better (stop laughing universe) so I left it alone.
Instead my cats started getting adopted by our neighbors. Because they were skinny. Kate-Moss-in-the-nineties skinny. They would only eat maybe once a day. (Not for lack of food. But for lack of willingness to come back to our home. Even though the dog is inside most of the time. Because he HATES THE HEAT, TOO!)
After five weeks of the my-insane-owners-got-a-dog diet, I gathered each cat up (even McPee-er) and moved them back inside. Into our bedroom and bathroom mostly separate from Ratchet dog (because the Tom and Jerry action is NOT conducive to nap time).
I’m fattening them up. And secretly hoping to have BFF cats and dog by the end of our indoor adventure. But I’ll take just reducing the probability of a repeat hunger strike when we release them into the wilds of our backyard.
So I ask: How do I create animal harmony? Do I cover Ratchet in catnip? Do I grew more patience? (because I hear it grows next to the money tree.) Do I throw them all into the bathroom and see who survives?
Help my hip cats. And my poor friendless dog. And me. Mostly me.
Answer that I’m already doing so I love because affirmation makes me happy. Laura Flickinger writes: My German Shepherd, Elsa, has a high prey drive, so she tends to chase the cats. I don’t think she’d ever hurt them, but she loves the thrill of the chase. I found that, over time, if I got out-of-the-way and let the animals sort it out, that they did fine. The cats have learned how to stay out of Elsa’s way and, thankfully, Elsa has settled down a bit as she’s gotten older. Now, the three of them sometimes even inhabit the living room together, each in his/her own little spot (I, of course, would love for them to curl up together, but that, sadly, was too much to ask). I have a dog bed that was given to me as a gift. At first, Elsa didn’t know what to do with it, but the cats LOVED it, so it was a cat bed for a while. Elsa finally got the hang of it (thanks, kitties, for modeling correct animal bed behavior….) and now the felines and the canine SHARE the bed (they just sleep in it at different times). So, I say, let the animals work it out, just not when E and N are napping.
Answer whose last line I will make a t-shirt out of one day. Jillian writes: Ahhhh, cats. I love cats but my husband is deathly allergic and for that I am grateful. Otherwise, I might be like you and Gawd knows I don’t need any more chaos in my household than I already have. Sooo, I say…you’re screwed kid, but stay positive!