Kemosabe offers his tips on dealing with a tragedy that affects too many dogs, like himself: living with cats.
There are basically four kinds of humans in the world: ones living with dogs, ones living with cats, ones living with dogs and cats, and ones living without dogs or cats. This advice is for the dogs living with humans who also live with cats.
First of all, humans think that when cats meow it is a way of saying “I Love You.” That couldn’t be further from the truth. When a cat meows it means one of three things: I’m hungry, clean the litter box, or put the dog outside for my comfort and convenience. When a cat meows to a dog the message is: I am only being nice to you because the human is watching.
Among all the insults experienced when you’re living with cats, there is nothing more humiliating than having the resident cat rub up against you, marking his “territory”.
Humans think this is so cute, and that somehow the cat really loves the dog. HA. As soon as the human is out of earshot, the cat gives the dog a good swipe across the nose, or maybe even the most disgusting gesture of all: running its tail under the dog’s chin or chest. ICK. Time to head for a horse water trough, or have a good roll in the dirt.
Some of the most fun that dogs can have living with cats is by playing a game called “Chase the Cat.” Very invigorating. Unfortunately, in our house where the cats are the size of small countries, they don’t run very fast. When I am at a barn, and I see a barn cat, I just want to run as fast as I can and chase that cat into a tree. I don’t want to hurt the cat, or eat the cat (yuck). It’s simply a demonstration of the superior power of canines.
Of course there are the very smart cats who, upon seeing a dog, just lie down and flick their tails in anticipation of the cat paw-knife-strike on the nose. Take it from me, those can really hurt.
At our house we also like to play “Blame the Cat.” This can only happen when the human is outside or away from the home. Whenever Thunderbear pulls food off the kitchen counter, or I mistakenly drop one of my human’s shoes in the dog water bowl, or Buckaroo climbs into the forbidden chair, or Crockett unrolls the toilet paper roll and runs through the house flinging bits of toilet paper everywhere…. that’s the time to play this game. When the human walks in, we sit innocently in front of her and let her know it wasn’t us: it was the CAT.
I find one of the most annoying things about living with cats is that they are bed hogs. If one or both cats are in the human’s bed before we get there, trying to dislodge them is like trying to dislodge a log with claws. These cats don’t move. And they get very bent out of shape when Buckaroo tries to encourage their departure from our bed by jumping as close to them as possible without landing on them. They scratch us, they claw us, they hiss at us, they make ugly throat noises. We have found that if all four of us jump on the bed at the same time, the cats will eventually depart in a sulky way.
Of course it is not just the human’s bed either. One bowling ball of a cat likes to sleep on our deluxe West Paw dog beds, and knead the lovely soft cover with his needle claws because he’s too lazy to go outside and scratch a fence post. We try to get him to move by barking as loudly as we can…into his ears.
Then of course the human comes and rescues him. And as she picks him up, he gives us that look: neener neener neener.
Living with cats…it’s a weird kind of canine karma, I think.