Today I was struck by the differences between Stormy and the dogs. This does not apply to all cats. But the Doberman, for example, would never have voluntarily fallen asleep that close to the cat.
Stormy will sometimes park herself in the middle of the floor, for no apparent reason. If that happens to be in a place where there is no way around her, you have two choices. Step over her, or get her to move. Any self-respecting dog would move, since they wisely don’t trust that you won’t accidentally step on them. On the rare occasions when they don’t move, it’s the law that they must do so as soon as you start to step over them, thereby hopelessly entangling themselves in your legs. I broke a rib that way once. Stormy just continues to lie there. She’s either very trusting, or very clueless. Possibly both.
When the Doberman died, almost two weeks ago now, my other dog was clearly affected by it. Stormy did not appear to notice. However, today I found her lying in the floor in front of his crate, staring inside. Maybe it just took her a while to notice, or maybe she noticed all along and I wasn’t good enough to pick up the cat signals.
When Troughton the Doberman was alive, he didn’t live in the crate, he just ate there, to prevent the other dogs from snarfing up his food and causing him to have to fight for it. One of Stormy’s favorite activities was to go in his crate and pee on his sheepskin pad. Bonus points if he was actually eating in the crate at the time.
Since he died, she hasn’t set foot in the crate. The door is closed, but she can open it, as she has done many times before. I guess the bloom is off the rose.
When I first got Troughton, I had three other dogs instead of just one, including a Rottweiler. Those were interesting times, in a sort of quasi-scientific way. Interesting to see how Troughton, who had always been an “only” dog, find his position in the pack. He was helped along greatly by the Rottweiler, who finally settled the matter by biting Troughton. Besides being interesting, it was also terrifying, so I don’t mean to minimize it. I had never been that enamored of Troughton’s alleged intelligence, but in this case, he got the picture fairly quickly. His place in the pack went… straight to the bottom. He didn’t really allow himself to be bullied, but neither would he challenge them. A wise decision: if Troughton had challenged one of the two smaller dogs, he would have brought on the wrath of the Rottweiler, who would literally die protecting his pack. If that isn’t some form of intelligence, then I don’t understand the word.
Stormy has excellent cat radar. She can be lying in the middle of the floor, or in a kitchen chair, but if I lie down on the couch, she is right there in seconds, settling herself next to my chest and purring. Ahem, Stormy. My plan was to take a nap. Who can sleep with this infernal racket going on? I gaze fondly back at the days when I also had a cat named Erin, who was so quiet that in order to tell if he was purring, you would have to put your hand on his throat.
It’s a well-known fact that dogs are dependent beings, because we’ve made them that way over the centuries. Cats are considered to be more independent, which, as far as I’m concerned, is not supported by the evidence. Cats are notorious attention-grabbers, as illustrated by the cartoon to follow.
Over a lifetime association with both dogs and cats, I can confidently say this: dogs and cats are different.