09 June 2009

Domestic Relationship Between a Canine & a Feline

My wife used to have a dog: a cute, little, yippy dog named PJ. She used to belong to Rebecka's parents (the dog, I mean, though Rebecka used to belong to her parents as well, I suppose), who then gave PJ to Rebecka, who was living alone in her own house at the time (Rebecka, that is). To make a long (and already to this point very parenthetical and confusing) story short, when we got married (Rebecka and I, not the dog) and moved to an apartment, we had to find another home for PJ. Fortunately, Rebecka's aunt in West Virginia took PJ, which was good because she (Rebecka's aunt) likes dogs and has a good-sized lot of land to let PJ run around on and sniff things.

Of course, being a tiny Pomeranian/Poodle (or what I affectionately refer to as a "pomepoo"), PJ is an inside dog. Already dwelling in the new home PJ was moving to was a cat. (For clarity sake, we will call the cat Fifi. I don't know the cat's real name, but most cats are named Fifi.) Conventional wisdom tells us that when two pets of entirely different genera (especially when one is a canine and the other is a feline) attempt to live together in the same household, trouble abounds. I would like to be able to tell you that conventional wisdom does not apply in this instance.

However, both PJ and Fifi have staked their claims to certain territories of the house. Once the other party enters into that claimed space, the old cat-and-dog fight imagery made famous by many cartoons past is reenacted. Most of the time this occurs late at night or while someone is on the phone or anytime it seems to be most inconvenient. But, for most of their time cohabiting the same household, PJ and Fifi just avoid each other's company, as if a mammalian force field undetectable to humans exists to keep them separated.

I am fairly convinced, though, that the late-night fighting and general avoidance of each other is all an act. See, I think PJ and Fifi, in an effort to eliminate the humans so they can have the home to themselves, have collaborated a stealthy scheme which involves carefully planned timing and artful dodging. In fact, I believe that PJ and Fifi sit around in the easy chair or sofa enjoying civil conversation over hot tea and crumpets while the humans are out working. As soon as the car door shuts, the pleasantries are dismissed to be replaced by the expected canine-feline interactions.

Like most lap-type dogs, PJ has a little doggie bed. For most of her stay at this new home, she'd sleep in the bed in the living room and, come bedtime, her new owners would move her bed to the bedroom to sleep. To eliminate this continuous process, they bought a second bed for PJ--one for each room.

PJ did not get to use this new bed the first few nights. She wasn't necessarily too attached to her first bed. It wasn't really even the fact that the new bed ceased the nightly ritual of which she was so fond. No, the reason she could not use the bed was because Fifi--in all its feline chicanery--fixed itself immovably on the bed, staking squatter's rights. After nights of trying to convince the cat to extricate itself, the owners finally had to buy a new bed.

This is the humorous part (so feel free to laugh at what comes next): The family now has three pet beds. Fifi (the cat) does not use any of them. Oh, the comedy of cat connivery.

No comments: