Who will win this round?
Molly, our 80 pound, yellow Labrador Retriever on the home team?
Or, Peanut, an 8 pound visiting feline?
Slow introductions of new animals are a must. We understand. But, eventually, you hope they will come to an amicable understanding of one another. Molly, our lab, will be 2 years old in June. She came to us as an 8 week old puppy. She’s fun, energetic, and thinks everyone will like her enthusiasm or friendliness, if you want to call it that. Those that know labs will readily admit, she’s still a puppy and her excitement for meeting new people and animals (?) will not wane anytime soon. She’s also very attached to my husband, her primary care giver.
Peanut, our son’s cat, is older but not that old. Our son got him in December of last year. Being a college student has been extremely isolating this year, especially if you are a student mostly doing independent research of your own and that of your professors. Classes have been virtual for the most part and contact with other students has been limited. Living in graduate student housing means even more isolation as they tend to be apartments with exterior entrances. In December, our son’s roommate graduated, prompting the ability to get a cat – something that had been desired for a long time, I think. But, cats are independent as anyone who has had one knows. Peanut is a nice companion and has been a good addition to our son’s apartment. He visited us over the holidays, went to our cabin with our family, and we visited him when we stayed with our son in February. Of course, visiting us means visiting Molly, our lab!
During prior visits, the introduction has been slow. We have some gates to keep the dog out of certain parts of the house (if we need to) and these functioned well to give the cat a sense of security through separateness. We did not force any interactions and they were able to sniff and watch each other. Mostly, they stayed apart.
This week, Peanut returned for a visit with our son. After the first day, filled with both animal’s curiosity, the cat seemed to be settled in. The dog seemed resolved that there was another animal in the house. He was curious, though, you could see it. And, I think the cat was curious, too. Closer and closer to the gate he walked staring up at the giant beast in front of him.
On the second day, Molly went to day care – we send her once a week so she can socialize with other dogs and have some doggie fun. When she comes home from these days, she is exhausted, as was the case Thursday night.
After dinner, Charlie, our son, brought Peanut out into the main part of the family room where we watch T.V.. Molly was loose and very respectful. She did want some attention, and got it from Charlie. After about 45 minutes of eyeing the cat and having the cat eye her, Molly moved in closer to the couch where Peanut sat. Charlie was petting each of them – one hand on the cat and one hand on Molly. It was peaceful and pleasant. Then, suddenly…..
Out of nowhere, Peanut smacked Molly on the nose with his paw!
Molly was so shocked she immediately fell over onto the carpet!
It really was quite funny!
So, if you put your money on Peanut, the visiting cat, to win the smack down, you win!
For the next half hour, Molly stayed far away from Peanut, who stayed on the couch with Charlie. Molly, looked at the cat and patrolled the rim of the carpet, staying on the hardwood floor…..far away from the eight pound lightweight with a rapid right jab!
Today is the 6th day of the 31 day Slice of Life Story Challenge! Thank you to TwoWritingTeachers.org for organizing and hosting this yearly challenge for interested writers, teachers, and authors. You’ve developed a wonderful, supportive community!