Stormy the Cat and the Mysteries of Cathood

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.

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8 responses to “Stormy the Cat and the Mysteries of Cathood

  1. Speaking of pack dynamics, the SO and I have just spent 3 days in a small house with 6 other adults and 2 teenagers. The human pack got along marvelously. The SO took the teens out on the SeaDoo and scared the living daylights out of them.

    However the Bichon (my SIL’s dog) and the Scotty (my dog – in name only, she’s really my SO’s dog) are not on the same wavelength. My goal was to escape the weekend with no bloodshed. Which was a success, if you’re only counting dog blood. However, the Bichon has a really short memory and was threatened daily, and more than once each day, with termination at the flashing teeth of the Scotty. They got to where they could walk by one another with an elaborate show of “I’m ignoring you”. If there had been dog blood, well, she’s my SO’s dog!

    People blood was limited to me stabbing myself with the wire brush for cleaning the grill and one of the teens getting a fishhook in a finger.

  2. Ha! I wondered how that scenario worked out 🙂 Even though the Bichon was more or less on her home territory (I assume she’s been there before), my money was always on the Scotty.

  3. Gosh, the drawings remind me of my daily struggles to get some reading done. And having had both dogs and cats – you are VERY right! They are different!

  4. That cartoon is an absolute classic, isn’t it?

  5. The SIL’s comment re “short memory” reminded me of the Chow you fostered. The one that forgot every morning that jumping was not allowed and who also couldn’t remember that Hansel was boss.

  6. Ah yes. Chloe. Chloe eventually figured out the second part, and happily became Hansel’s worshipful slave and enforcer. (“What do you require of me today, Master? Shall I kill something for you?”) Hansel, being his stoic Rottweiler self, never gave a scintilla of a clue as to whether he appreciated her efforts. Which of course just made her try harder.
    You probably don’t remember this, but Chloe found the most perfect home I think I ever found for a dog in my years of rescue. She was adopted by by a 50-something man with a gray ponytail. He was a musician and traveled all over the country playing in oldies shows with Tommy James (as in, Tommy James and the Shondells). He also had had a Chow who traveled with him everywhere he went. If the hotel would not accept pets, he slept in the truck with the dog. But the dog had recently died at an advanced age. The man also had a day job as an AV specialist for the State, meaning he did things like tape sessions of the State Legislature. I made arrangements for him to come see Chloe at my office. So he just walked across the street from the Capitol building. When he walked in the door, he had treats in his pocket and a leash in his hand. Nothing could have dissuaded him from taking her. I often wondered if he took the rest of the day off, or if he took here into the Capitol 🙂 I bet that would have given Security a pause!

  7. Ha! Shhh. You will hurt her feelings 🙂

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