Entangled species: When cat meets dog
Ace has always exhibited an intense interest in cats — not so much in consuming them, it seemed, but just in meeting them.
Whenever he sees one, he becomes something resembling ecstatic. He tugs me toward them, pants, drools a little. He’s met a couple, while on a leash — and in both cases he didn’t want to leave them. I’d thought a bit about getting him one for a housemate.
So I was curious how it would go when Mister was dropped off. He’s a big, orange foster cat whose owner is going to Iraq. A dog park friend and seasoned cat rescuer had taken responsibility for finding him a new home.
For the first couple of days, Mister stayed in an unreachable nook of the bathroom. When he did come downstairs, he took to camping under the couch. He doesn’t seem exactly fearful of Ace, but does give off a don’t mess with me vibe, and hissed and swatted at him a few times in the first week.
Ace, meanwhile, gives off a vibe not unlike that of an awkward and overeager suitor.
Gradually, very gradually, Mister has shown signs of being a little more at ease around Ace, tolerating Ace getting within a few feet before he gives the dog a sideways glance that makes Ace back off and his face take on a look of confused rejection.
I’m not sure if Ace wants to play, or just get a good long sniff, but he has become entirely obsessed with the cat, and will lay for hours with his nose at the foot of the couch, waiting for the cat, who of course never comes out.
Of course, being human, I want them to hit it off, become best friends, play together, snuggle up with each other at night and create cute photo opportunities.
We’re still undecided on whether Mister will remain. There’s another family interested in him. Maybe he would be happier in a dog-free house. Maybe Ace would be happier being an only pet again.
For now, though, it’s like that old cartoon I mentioned. It shows a dog and a cat together. The dog has a blissful look on his face, and his thought bubble reads “True love!!!” The cat has a detached look of “whatever” on his puss and his thought bubble reads, “Detente.”