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Inter-Species Love

>> Tuesday, November 9, 2010

So now that Simon is an only dog, he's learning to cope with being alone much of the day.  He's doing an admirable job of adjusting.  He's very needy and even more enthusiastic than usual when we get home at the end of the day, but otherwise is pretty much back to being his old happy-go-lucky mischievous self.  And because he's Simon, he has found a new companion for getting into trouble with.

Rotten, stinkin', no-good fluffy-pants Pippin the cat.

Last night when I got home from work I wasn't feeling particularly well, and wanted a few quiet moments on the couch to relax.  Ha!  I most certainly did not get that.  As I wearily dropped my belongings and settled into the couch, the two of them began a lively game of tag, romping around the entire downstairs, across the valuable antique area rug in the living room, and quite literally ricocheting off the couches, my knees, the arm chairs in the library, and the walls.  They knocked a bunch of books off a shelf, and I lost patience.  After getting up and going into the library to shout at them loudly enough to get their attention (my neighbors must think I'm nuts), they stopped and looked at me as if to say, "Gee, Mom, what's up?  Shouting like that isn't good for you."

I grumbled under my breath and went back to my couch.

Pippin came casually waltzing in and immediately got himself tangled in the lace living room curtains.  While I was cursing under my breath and unhooking his claws from the lace, Simon took advantage of my attention being diverted to rummage in the lunch bag I'd unwisely dropped on the floor.

I confiscated it.  And sat back down on the couch.  Dog and side-kick cat casually wandered off.

Within about another minute, a giant howling, yowling ruckus ensued in the dining room, where Pippin was gaily thromping on poor cat Sneakers while - I swear - Simon looked on and chuckled.

I broke up the spat, soothed Sneakers, went back to the living room, and heaved a great big sigh as I sat back down on the couch.  Figuring I'd finally shouted loudly enough to take the wind out of their sails, I enjoyed nearly three whole minutes of quiet.

Too much quiet.

At the faint sound of rustling in the kitchen and the conspicuous absence of animals in the room, I went to investigate.  Pippin was on the counter (where he is strictly not allowed and he knows it) rustling up to his scruffy neck in a bag of dog treats.  He'd torn open one bag and swatted a few treats down for Simon, who had gobbled them down, as evidenced by the large, wet, recently licked area on the floor. Simon was intently staring up waiting for more.  Conniving little rascals!

Pippin was so engrossed in his task, that when I poked him in the side and cleared my throat, he jumped clean out of his skin.  In the .1 second it took for him to become airborne, he managed to knock the dish rack into the sink, the open bottle of San Pelligrino onto the floor (where it merrily fizzed into a giant puddle), followed by three bags of dog and cat treats, a shot glass, and my daily pills organizer, which shattered on impact and sent dozens of pills in a lovely spray across the entire floor.  Of course, he'd scared the pants off me, too, by jumping that suddenly so that I stood there, gasping and empty handed, having tried unsuccessfully to catch any of the objects he'd sent flying.

About halfway through picking up pills and picking fur off them (my floor washing skills leave something to be desired), I started to laugh.  A great, weak-kneed, eye-wiping, floor-rolling laugh.

Good God.   And people wonder why I don't have a TV.  Who needs one when I share my house with these lunatics?

It seems Simon is, for now, fine without a canine companion.  He has someone to scheme with, who's more agile and conniving than his sister hound ever thought of being.  He appears to be having a rollicking good time of it.

We've had canine/feline buddies before in our household.  Our old dog Clancy used to open doors to let our cat Tucker out of the house, and the pair of them once got caught by my father sharing a hamburger he'd momentarily left unattended, with Tucker on the counter pawing bits down to Clancy.  And yet, still somehow it amazes me, the inter-species friendship thing.  How many times have you seen an enormous empty field, with its only two occupants - a goat and horse, or cow and sheep - standing in the middle, together?  I guess even human/dog friendships are inter-species, and heaven knows there are plenty of people who are inseparable from their canine friends.  But when it's two animals it seems all the more impenetrable to me.  How do they talk to one another?  And what draws them together?

I am just grateful that Simon's the kind of dog who will make friends wherever he goes.  When I saw this video today, it reminded me of my nutsy friends, although this pairing is even more impressively mismatched.  Thought I'd share.


Carolyn H November 10, 2010 at 1:13 PM  

My one dog gets along fine with one of the cats but still thinks another cat would be better as lunch. My second dog gets along fine with the cat who would be lunch for the first dog. Weird, in a way, how one dog's buddy is another's pariah. I'm glad Simon is adjusting and has found a new buddy.

Carolyn H.

Ellen Rathbone November 10, 2010 at 2:14 PM  

OH - how touching! We could all learn something from the animals.

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