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June 30, 2002

Our Dog Now Has His Own Cat.

We had another stray kitten show up insisting we adopt him. He'd been hanging around the front door, going through his "Ain't I jes soooo cute" routine every time anyone would walk past (I suspect he kicked back with a cigarette and a newspaper when we weren't looking) until we finally let him in. The other cats were really miffed that we'd let some off-the-street "common" cat in (never mind that that's more or less where both of them came from) They'd hiss every time this new one would get near. We had a lengthy discussion about names and rejected "booger", "kitten", "scarecrow" and several other really unsatisfactory ones. I noticed his fur seemed to look a lot like Bluebell's Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream, so suggested "Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough", which was soundly rejected by the committee. The kitten's eye are a rich blue so my wife suggested, "Bluebell" which was accepted by all involved. (Except the cat of course. What do they care what name you choose, it's not like they're ever going to come when you call, anyway)

My wife assumed he'd be an outside cat. I have problems with that since outside cats, in my opinion, are nothing more than strays that have a more narrow territory, and know where to get their next meal. He stayed the night inside and explored the house. The next morning we made the discovery that Bluebell had generously been allowing a large families of fleas to live on his fur. Fortunately they appeared to be rather snobby fleas and refused to jump off Bluebell onto our "cheap domestic" carpet. Bluebell was immediately relocated to the back yard, fleas and all. (. . . call my carpet cheap. Buncha no account, snooty fleas . . .)

Anyway, Bluebell had already made the acquaintance of our dog Casey. Our other cats had taken the effort to teach Casey that cats are not to be messed with. Gracie and Casey used to play a friendly game of chase, when they were our only pet. It was really very funny to watch. You'd see Gracie (the cat) tearing across the living room with Casey (the dog) in hot pursuit. Then a few seconds later Casey would come tearing back with Gracie in hot pursuit. Since Casey out weighed Gracie by at least a factor of 20, it was a funny site. So when Bluebell first met Casey, Casey gave a polite sniff and Bluebell hissed, waiting for Casey to try to kill her. Casey politely declined and Bluebell figured Casey could be tolerated.

One thing I've noticed about cats and dogs, if you put an adult dog and a kitten together, fairly quickly the kitten will adopt the dog as a sort of parent, and become very affectionate towards the dog. That's assuming the dog's a friendly dog and not one likely to rip kittens apart just for the heck of it.

So now Bluebell stays in a corner of the yard where his food in out of Casey's reach, but they both share the same water bowl. They seem to be getting along very well, and Bluebell isn't wandering around any, appreciating the safety of the yard, and the added protection of Casey's territorial obsession, since Casey accepts Bluebell as part of the family.

We figure Bluebell can be Casey's cat. It keeps Casey from being so lonely in the yard, and provides a place for Bluebell to stay. But boy did Charlie (one of our other cat) look smug once Bluebell was sent outside. He can be so uppity sometimes.


Posted by Jack Lewis at June 30, 2002 06:43 AM