Monday, August 18, 2008

Trouble with Cats and Dogs

I'm prevaricating. I'll write this then I'll stop prevaricating and do some proper writing, after I've washed up and got the clothes out of the washing machine. Ahem.

I've been meaning to write this for ages. It was Lucy's blog (and the need to do some serious writing) that prompted me to actually get it down on ... electrons.

Our pets tend to last a long time. Cats that go for 13 years (mind you, we had a gay tom that died of a broken heart when his mother got hit by a car, seriously), dogs that last 18 years, fish that go on forever. But we had more or less run out of pets recently. Only my daughter's cat, Socks, (and a goldfish) remained.

Then we got snails. African snails, you know, the big ones. When things are quiet you can hear them crunching through cucumber and cuttlefish bones. Spooky.

Then we got a new cat. A friend was moving and couldn't take him with her. So we got Darjeeling. It has to be said that Darjeeling is an incredibly handsome cat, and he knows it. He's a blue* (which is blue in the same way white horses are grey) and clearly has some oriental ancestors. He's also very friendly. Unfortunately Socks seemed to have forgotten she used to live with two dogs and two other cats. Darjeeling only wanted to be friends while Socks was going round like a princess with her nose out of joint.

Quick flashback to when we promised the boy that he could have a dog when he finished Primary school. He didn't forget - he never forgets anything. (Actually he's very reliable when it comes to remembering stuff.)

So we got a puppy. Toby. He is half Labrador and other proportions include Beagle and something else, or maybe a Pointer of some sort.

The enemy of my enemy is my friend. Suddenly Darjeeling and Socks were best buddies, well mostly. Poor Darjeeling, he's clearly had unfortunate encounters with dogs, he's been terrified. Socks' level of resentment went up several notches. First another cat, now a dog.

Toby just wants to be friends. He got his ear clawed when he tried to be friends with both of the cats at the same time. And, in an effort to demonstrate his friendliness further, he managed to corner Darjeeling alone on Saturday.

Toby enjoyed his trip to the vet on Sunday to see about his eye that had been viciously clawed by a cornered cat. He likes the vet, the vet gives him treats. He still likes the cats, and getting attacked has not quelled his enthusiasm.

Hopefully when he's less puppy he'll calm down and let the cats be friends on their terms. If he lasts that long.

What's on the turntable? "Give a Little Bit" by Supertramp from a Greatest Hits album. Unfortunately this album doesn't have some of the best songs from "Crisis? What Crisis?"

*As I'm prevaricating I thought I'd look up blue cats. Turns out that Darjeeling must have a big percentage of Russian Blue but he's no pedigree. He has socks and his face is flatter than your typical Russian Blue. Personally I think that makes him even better looking.

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