Friday, August 11, 2006

Cats and Dogs

We've had an interesting couple of weeks. We'd been talking about getting a dog for some time, and finally we decided to just do it. So for about a week, we surfed all the adoption sites, followed up leads and came up with a short list of potential dogs for adoption. One night last week I told my cat that the next day, we'd be bringing a dog home. That night at about 2:30 a.m., he went out catting, and the next morning he still hadn't returned.

We had found a dog at our local humane society shelter, a beautiful 1-year-old German shepherd who had been found wandering in late July, no tags, no collar, starving and ill. We visited her one day, put her on a 24-hour hold, and brought her home the next day. She was 2 days post-op from being spayed, and still recovering from that and her previous illness, but she gave us all a big kiss when we came back to pick her up. As soon as we got her home, she settled right down and by now her personality is beginning to emerge. The humans who'd had her before hadn't housetrained her, hadn't taught her any commands, hadn't played with get the picture. She loves my kids and is blossoming with us. This is a smart dog. In two days, she'd learned her name, (we named her Andromeda, Rommie for short) come, sit, and lay down. She's still working on stay and heel. She loves living in the "den" with us and being part of our family. But there is one thing in our household that she does not love, and that is the cat.

Back to the cat. Moonshadow must have had some horrific adventure, because he was missing all day long after we brought the dog home--very bad timing, that! I was devastated and thought I'd lost him, so on what was supposed to be a happy day with the dog, I was mourning my cat of 14 years. Trying not to blubber in the neighbor's faces, I walked street after street, distributing pictures and phone numbers so people could call me if they found him. Then that morning at 2:20 a.m., I woke up thinking about him. 10 minutes later, I heard the cat door, ran downstairs, and found a very happy, very hungry feline eating big kibbles out of the dog's new dish.

We welcomed Moonshadow home, then brought Rommie down to introduce them...and they hated each other on sight, of course. So we've been trying to acclimate them to each other gradually, and I hope things will still work out. It would not be fair for my beautful, beloved kitty to lose his home of 14 years just because a big puppy now lives here, and it would also not be fair to Rommie to lose her new home just because my grumpy old cat can't keep himself from growling at her and pushing her buttons. So for now, we're keeping them separated and trying to introduce them gradually. Wish us luck, and any tips would be welcome!

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