Since this week’s book giveaway is all about dogs and cats living together (click here to leave a comment for a chance to win two great books) I’ve been paying careful attention to how our trio of goofy canines and our sassy feline interact.
The dogs are pack-like, I suppose, but that pack definitely includes me and my husband (we’re the alphas — or as I like to think of it, benevolent dictators.) The dogs don’t really interact with each other very much though. Stormy will occasionally tug a toy with one of the greyhound girls, Melissa Moo will give Stormy love biteys all over his face and at least once a day, as a trio they will do hot laps around the backyard to burn off energy.
Otherwise, the dogs just kind of hang out quietly with us, vying for attention.
The greyhounds are unbelievably jealous of each other. If Coral is being petted, Melissa is compelled to butt in, and vice versa. It’s as if we may run out of love and one hound miss her share. Neither seems to mind if we are snuggling with Stormy though. It’s strictly a breed thing. One greyhound cannot have the affection advantage over the other.
All three dogs fear Thai, which is kind of crazy considering he’s declawed. What can I say other than the cat has swagger. The greyhounds will not cross in front of Thai. Sometimes I have to chase him out of a room just so the greys can get from one point to another. And all the dogs will stay away from the community water bowl if Thai has bellied up to the bar.
Still, Stormy will, at least once a day, play bow to Thai, and Thai will reject him with a hiss, a swat and a hasty retreat. Stormy always gives Phil and me a disappointed look, as if to say “What? I just wanted to play.”
All four pets, when they are in a calm mood, will co-habituate in the same room, but Thai, in typical feline fashion, will usually take a spot up high where he can observe the dogs.
I admit to being a little jealous when I see other folks post photos on Facebook of their dogs and cats that get along so well they snuggle. That will never happen with my crew. If I want a photo of the four of them together, clearly I have to make a collage.
Still, I feel a pretty big sense of pet parent accomplishment that we have an inter-breed, inter-species household that, for the most part, live in harmony. It’s not easy and it requires a lot of careful guidance and attention from the two-legged members of the family, but overall, we have a happy home.
As far as I can anthropomorphize, anyway.