Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Tipping The Scales

People who knew me BD (Before Dogs) always knew I was a cat person and were generally shocked when I invited a puppy to live with us. I’m sure most folks assumed I would eventually become The Crazy Cat Lady (which hasn’t been completely ruled out). People who met me AD (After Dogs) always knew I was a dog person and were generally surprised to find out I have any cats, never mind 6 of them. I’ve always considered myself more of an equal opportunity pet owner, never really preferring one species over the other. I realize that I spend the majority of my time doing stuff with the pups – which could make it seem that I prefer them – but a lot of that is due to the fact that its easier to actually DO stuff with dogs. I really don’t think the cats would be interested in musical freestyle and I know they don’t care at all if someone gets lost as long as they have their dinner. Mikey might enjoy herding ducks, but I think he’d spend more time stalking than herding. Of course, considering how often Duncan tries to take a little taste of sheep… But I digress.

I’ve always encouraged the cats to come out to the living room and socialize. When Reyna’s home, though, they generally have no interest in that. With Reyna gone to PT a lot, Belle has become much braver and will usually come out and visit. As long as Duncan doesn’t do anything so rude and inconsiderate as get up or move around, that is.

The other day, Reyna was gone and Belle came out for some lovin’. I was surprised to realize just how annoying it is to have a cat insert herself in everything I was trying to do. I don’t know if it just never bothered me BD, or if I just accepted that That’s How Life Is. Either way, its really aggravating now. The pups certainly don’t get on the counter and walk on the scanner or step on the keyboard. And when I sat down for lunch, it just got worse. If the pups beg at all, they do it very politely (Reyna gently places her paw on my knee, while Duncan simply looks the other way). Belle didn’t beg so much as she demanded. Mostly by sticking a claw in the wrist of the hand holding the fork, or trying to put her face in my plate. And then she had the nerve to be offended when I shoved her off the couch. I realize that the pups do things that are annoying, too. But hey, That’s How Life Is – again. If the cats came out more often, I’d probably find myself becoming more tolerant of the things they do.

Except for this.

Recently, certain cats began engaging in Unacceptable Behaviors. I’m not 100% positive as to who is doing it, but I’m fairly sure. One cat is engaging in a Disliked Yet Tolerable Behavior, and that doesn’t bother me too much. But at least two of them (although, thank goodness not all six) are doing those obnoxious Unacceptable Behaviors. And no, these cats are not in ill health. I’ll admit that my love for them is becoming somewhat conditional and I’m the closest I’ve ever been to de-homing an animal. I remember when, many moons ago, Reyna engaged in a similar Unacceptable Behavior. Installing a dog door helped with that, as did a bit of behavior correction. I am currently in the process of installing (with much help from John) a similar cat door. A regular cat door, of course, would not lead to a cat-safe area, which is a concern despite Mikey’s blatant disregard of this particular problem. So, we’re going to make a cat-safe zone (more on this as things progress). I don’t really believe it will solve the problem, but it will give me a confined area in which to lock those certain cats. They may not be happy about that, but they’ll be happier with that than with being dumped in a shelter or taking up residence under the tree in the back yard.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I think maybe you need a T-shirt that says....Crazy Cat/Dog Lady!!!! I hope that eventually you will be able to get your "cat problem" solved. Good Luck!!! :)Love, Mom