Of Cats and Dogs

21 Jul

Ahhh… my apartment is quiet. Only the sound of the fan can be heard. Shira is curled up in my lap sleeping while I doze off in my big chair. Meanwhile, my dogs, Asher, Shay and Tova are asleep on the floor.

This moment was two months in the making. When I brought Shira home I had set a room aside for her including bed, tree, litter box and toys. This is where she would spend the next couple of days just to settle down and settle in to the new sights, smells and sounds. She would enjoy the time I would spend just coming in and hanging with her.

Soon she was eager to leave the room. Now I would put the dogs away in their crates and let her roam the house. As the days went by she became more and more adventurous and now I would even find her sleeping on top of the crates occasionally peering down on the inhabitants within.

Soon I introduced her to my Collie, Shay. He is a very soft and sweet boy who’s last feline experience was a cat that hissed at him. So as she approached him to sniff, poor Shay was the one to run away. Some clicks and treats later he realized she was nice and they became friends.

The Rottweilers, on the other hand, although having been around cats before, would just get too excited. I started working with them individually with a clicker marking everything they would do correctly around the cat, especially relaxing. This could only be done in short sessions in order to keep the excitement from building.

Asher, my 9-year-old Rottweiler, has a style similar to Pepe le Pew. And just like that famous skunk, he can’t understand why Shira did not succumb to his charms. Getting him to understand that she did not want to be scrubbed from head to toe with his big tongue and lots of slobber took a little longer to teach.

The end of this week marked the point when she no longer wanted to be locked in her room when the dogs were running about. It was met with pounding on the door and a moving door knob. So, making sure baby gates were up, tree strategically located and with a deep breath I let her out. The first two days were short-lived when she would have enough of over zealous Rottweilers and would leave.

Last night she managed to weave and bob keeping out of their way but never truly leaving the area all evening. And then came today…

As I woke from my snooze there was Shira on one side of my leg and Tova on the other.  And here is what happened next! 

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