Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Dog and a Cat

I’ve written about my dog ‘Chica’ before, but my wife and I also have a cat. We got him from a lady who rescues feral cats and abandoned dogs. We brought him home when he was about six months old. He’s now about a year old. We named him ‘Buster’. Named him that because the top of his left ear is cut off, neatly, as if it might have been done with a scissors. Makes him look like a Buster. I don’t know why that makes him look like a Buster, but it does.

Anyway, I find it interesting that people are always asking other people, “Are you a dog person, or a cat person?” People ask me that also, and the question has never made any sense to me. Why can’t you be both? Why are love of cats, and love of dogs, considered to be mutually exclusive of one another? It’s like asking, “Are you a Democrat, or a Republican?” Why can’t you be an Independent? Are you a Christian or a Jew? Why can’t you be a Born-again Jew, a Jew for Jesus, if you will?

Chica and Buster have become great friends. The big Doberman with the floppy ears, and the little kitty with the left ear lopped off. It’s been interesting to watch the development of their relationship, the boundary setting, the trust, the rules for play, etc. Buster has set most of the rules, and Chica has had to learn to respect them. It’s had to be that way since Chica is so much bigger than Buster.
Unlike the human world where the big guy, the richest, the most powerful and influential, always gets to set the rules.

The relationship between the two began as soon as I brought Buster home. Home was already Chicas domain since she’d been with us since she was a pup. She was immediately challenged with the necessity of acquiescence, even allowing Buster into her territory, and she did concede ground, albeit not so willingly at first. The second stage of the relationship amounted to the two of them just watching each other. They watched, and took note of one another’s behavior, learned each other’s body language, and other means of communication. Then came the testing of boundaries, slowly, deliberately, and ultimately, quite successfully. They each learned what was OK with the other, and what was not.

Today, just a few short months later, the two of them are the best of friends. They kiss each other all over the face, and snuggle like bunnies. Buster will put his whole head in Chicas mouth trusting Chica to be gentle and, invariably, she is. The cat will lie on his back on a table, exposing the vulnerability of his underside, and Chica will lay her snout on his belly. Buster, hanging upside down under Chica’s jaw, will wrap his paws around the top of her head, and the back of her neck while Chica licks his belly. It’s pretty cute.
Oftentimes Buster will stand on a table, on his hind legs, claws retracted, and box Chica like a fighter in the gym having his way with a speed bag. Chica will stoically absorb the friendly assault with a toothy grin, and then come back for more.

Chica gets quite concerned when neither of us can locate Buster, whether indoors or out, and will relentlessly search for him until he’s found. It’s quite poignant to see how much the two of them like, even love, one another.
Anthropomorphism, I know, but just because psychological properties can be attributed to something
doesn't mean that it can't also be true.

I think that Buster and Chica are such good friends, and get along so well,
because they don’t ever talk about politics or religion.

At least I’ve never heard them.

Don't ask me if I'm a dog person, or a cat person.
They each touch different parts of my heart and soul.