Thursday, December 22, 2011
The allure of cats
Some of us are dog people, and others are cat people. Then there are those like me, who adore dogs and yet we find cats irresistible too. The only solution for us is to have (at least) one of each.
Fostering dogs has become a way of life for me over the past year, and my long-time canine companion Chica seems to have come to terms with the endless parade of strange dogs, from tiny bottle-feeders to a young puppy with a broken leg, a poodle with no social skills and a dachsund with Valley Fever who appears to be a fixture here, since it's hard to adopt out a sick dog, no matter how normal he may appear.
But the Capt and I both still have a yen for the unique company of a cat. We had a male named Pooz when we lived in California, as well as a little Maltese named Sofia, and they coexisted as though they'd never heard they were supposed to be natural enemies. Their interspecies wrestling matches on the living room rug were far more entertaining than TV. When we went sailing, we gave Pooz to a friend who lives on 64 acres, which we always thought would be a great life for him since he so enjoyed ranging far and wide. And Sofia died last year at 13. But now we have another Maltese named Chica, Chiquito the dachsund, the neighbors' Yorkie we babysit, and as of last week, another cat. Female, this time.
I've never had a female cat before and I'm impressed by the difference in her manner. Fé (Spanish for Faith) is the mellowest and most amiable creature I've ever had in my home. She was abandoned when her owner, a neighbor, had to leave in a hurry to help with a family emergency. For a few days I just went to the empty condo to feed her and let her sit in my lap for a while. There were four dogs in my house at the time and I didn't think she'd be happy being so outnumbered.
Finally, one day I took Lucy the poodle to her new home with a retired German lady who's smitten with her, and I brought Fé home. I put her in a crate, took her to the vet for worming and shots, and brought her to my house, crossing my fingers that Chica, Chiquito and Akira would keep the peace. For a couple of days I set up a baby gate in the living room doorway to mark off Fé's territory, and then gradually allowed the dogs into the room. There have been some tense moments, and some jealousy, but for the most part Fé has kept such a low profile they forget she's around until she speaks up. We've even had Chica and Fé in bed with us while we watched a movie.
So the question comes up, are we fostering this cat or are we adopting her? We might be able to find a home for her, though it's a lot easier to adopt out kittens. At some point soon we'll have to decide, but for now we'll just enjoy her company and see how it goes...