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Saturday, September 23, 2006



A friend wrote an article recently about a human version of "cattiness", it was a terrific article describing the high road one woman took while the other, well, didn't. It made me think about how people behave towards one another.
I took to thinking about the way real animals treat one another-not really that much different than humans. With this broken foot, I've had a lot of observation time lately, so I've spent some that time watching my two beloved furry kids. After all, they sure have been staring at me a lot!
Let me point out right now, this cat and dog love each other dearly-really. In fact, the reason we actually decided to keep our now 3 year-old gray tabby is because our Labrador-retriever mix adopted him. None of us could even touch him until after the "new mommy" phase was over. Sunshine (the lab) took one look at this little deformed kitten and fell in love. She cleaned him, trained him and even goosed my niece when she tried to give him a the slightest of caresses! And in turn, Pepper (the tabby) thinks of his canine mom as the "cat's meow". He also acts like the typical teenage boy at this point and pushes her "buttons" quite frequently.
He deliberately walks over to her cherished toys and bats them around the room. That ploy gets her running around the house after him in less than 10 seconds. He'll hop into her bed with her and start my patting her on the head, then kiss her ear, which turns into love nibbles and escalates into a real nip, just to get her goat.
In turn, she barks at him, picks him up by his nape and gives him to me! She's never read Hillary Clinton's book, but at this point I guess she has decided "it takes a village" to raise even a feline child.
Watching Sunshine and Pepper, I'm reminded of how my human kids behaved when they were young. In the very early years, our daughter would tell me the journalistic "w's" of how to care for her brother. Considering she was 2, this was actually quite a feat. I can still remember the scolding she gave the pediatrician when her baby brother's colic seemed to be taking over the household. She was mystified as to why the doctor did not seem to be able to correct this problem.
Then came the "teen" years. Lord, we all needed help during that phase. They both deliberately pushed not only each others buttons, but ours (the parents) as well. They were really quite awful. Thankfully not as bad as some other households I observed, but also not as nice as some others. I cannot tell you how happy we are that phase is so over.
During that time, my husband and I felt as if we were the heads of the United Nations-trying to maintain the peace and teach tolerance at the same time. Much like jungle warfare I'd imagine.
Now they are thankfully back to being close and supportive of one another. In fact, our son even makes the time between working full-time, going to school full-time and his fraternity obligations to go with his sister and brother-in-law to her ob appointments!
Okay, I don't suppose that we will take the dog with us for the cat's inoculation appointment next month, but I'm sure she will be checking him out thoroughly upon his return.

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