In September we adopted/rescued Zip our dog. Based on past experience with the pets we have had over the years, we knew it would be awhile as he and the cat sorted out their relationship. We have watched at times unsure where this relationship was going. This week it became clear how it was going to work.
Our cat was a ten-year-old rescue when we got her. She had been in the shelter for six months and had no front claws. Corabelle was not a fountain of self confidence or assertiveness. Her relationship with Harley, our previous dog, had been one of an quiet truce. Neither acknowledged one another more than necessary and when they did it was usually with a snarky look. CoraBelle did not have much use for dogs, and would prefer that they not be there, but would tolerate them if we insisted on one.
Zip had lived with a senior woman and two senior dogs before she passed away. He had not lived with cats and by all accounts had a sedentary indoor lifestyle. After living with us, he has decided that there should be some times of intense play and zipping around the house. He has also shown interest in playing with the cat and sleeping with the cat. Up to this point the cat is unsure why she should allow either of these. To Zip the cat was his friend, who cared that she was a cat, she was an animal that was good enough for him. We were not sure how this was all going to fit in with CoraBelle’s idea of life at home.
But….but….but…that is my toy
This last week CoraBelle decided she was the top of the pecking order. She decided to hog the dog toys and making the dog watch as she slept on his toy stash. Zip is fast enough he could have made his way and stole his toy back but instead he deferred to her. I am guessing that she thought enough of this running around and she was going to a stop to it. Zip, though he had nothing to fear from a older clawless cat, gets it and has recognized her as the top of the pecking order in this house. It appears that the cat has chosen to interact with this dog and by controlling the dog toys control the dog. I can’t wait to see where else this takes them.
Everyone has things that bring out their tender heart. For me it is senior animals in shelters. I wish I could bring them all home. It breaks my heart to see them there.
I have a dog that was eight and a cat that was ten when they were turned into the shelter. Their stories are like so many others who should being enjoying their golden years, instead are uprooted from the only home they have known and sent to a shelter environment. Our dog only spent a few weeks in the shelter, unfortunately our cat spent over half a year before we adopted her.
Senior pets are often slow to be adopted because folks are generally attracted to those young cute kittens and puppies. Most senior pets have some basic skills and likely a couple bad habits as well. What is unique about the senior pet is that they are very anxious to please and forever grateful when rescue them. They will forever be thankful to you for picking them. This gratitude makes them much easier to train and teach them the rules of your home.
Now that I have more time of my own I find myself stopping at the local shelter volunteering and spending time with the animals there. I know I can’t take them home, but I can make their time at the shelter a little less lonely. Sooner or later a senior lover like me will find them and take them to their forever home.
I just learned that November is adopt a senior pet month….how cool is that.
I just spent the better part of the week on the road for work. I am home again and reminded the joy of owning pets. Each of them brings something different to the the household. My dog brings a sense of spunkiness and a challenge of a stubborn personality. My cat brings that that quiet acceptance. All of it so enjoyable after a week away from it.
Sunday we did our final butchering of the season. We had butchered roosters earlier in the spring and meaties in the summer. So our larder was already full with some good homegrown chicken. This last culling of our flock was done to bring us down to the right flock size for winter. Our perfect winter number is six.
It was hard for us because we lost three of the chickens destined for the freezer to the fox this week, such a waste. We had been dragging our feet, because butchering isn’t fun. With two winter storms under our belt we knew the next warm day we had to take action. Our time for procrastination was over. Sunday was it for us. The temps were in the 50’s and the wind was howling. Not perfection conditions but we put our heads down and got with it. In just under an an hour and a half we went from beginning to end in dressing out three hens. We are now ready for winter.
We have a Cairn Terrier who likes to chase all sorts of things that dart around. By his breed he should be fascinated and want to catch mice, gopher and rats.
We recently bought our cat a laser to play with. It has turned out that that our dog loves it as much as the cat. I imagine some day that the dog and cat will smash heads one day when they both attempt to capture the light. It almost makes me laugh to imagine them like two stooges hitting heads and falling back stunned. Hopefully I will have a camera handy when it happens.
It seems hardly possible that our new cat has been here for just two months. She has become a wonderful member of our family.
Most notable to us is that she is so young. It seems so funny to say she is so young acting at 10 going on 11, but when your last one was over 20, ten is young. She loves to play with crumpled tissue paper, watch the birds, and hunt bugs.
She is social, not that our last cat wasn’t but when you are over 20 for a cat your favorite life chore is sleeping. Corabelle makes her rounds each day. She spends part of each morning following the sunbeam around the living room. When the sun finally moves from the south to the west window she heads to my office and to say “hi.” Once my desk has been fully inspected she heads to her favorite hidey hole until my husband gets home from work. Each evening she spends her evening sitting on laps while we read and stalking the bugs that are attracted by the lamps.
As important for her to find her place with us it was important for her to find her place with our rescue dog as well. He is a bit of a pill. I highly doubt she and Harley will ever be the same kind of friends that our first cat and dog, often sleeping together. They are both middle aged and it is looking up. Just the other day I found both the cat and the dog sleeping on the love seat at the same time.
As I write this we have now had the shelter cat just over two weeks. During this time we have tried out all sorts of names trying to find one that she gives us the nod on. Most shelters change their animal name on the records to protect everyone. We were unsure if the name used at the shelter was her name for the last 11 years or just the last five months. No matter how often we used the shelter name she never responded. We were not crazy about the shelter name either, so we decided new home, new name. Now naming a pet sounds easy but it never is for us. We pick names we think sound grand and perfect but somehow the animal has always let us know their name. All this week our new cat has become more interested in us and being around us. Today she came up and laid on me while I read. She whispered in my ear you can call me Corabelle. My brand-new 11-year-old shelter cat has been named. Everyone is pleased.