My husband’s cat of 15 years had to be put down, and after a suitable period of mourning, decided that even I, a confirmed dog person, would tolerate a cat here again. Although I got along with Chessie, she didn’t like dogs, and terrorized my yellow Lab, Sandy. Not so much terrorized her, but for a little cat, if Sandy came near, she turned and held the poor dog at bay with a hiss. Blending families can be so hard.
I know cats and dogs can get along, and in fact, my dog had no real instinct to chase cats like she chases skunks (yes) and squirrels. So, with several animal shelters and rescue groups around, I started a search for a new cat. Not all shelters have websites around here, so I headed over to petfinder.com. I thought a Maine Coon cat would be a good choice, as they are considered to be the “dog lover’s cat.”
Searching turned up many choices, but I kept going to one I found residing at the T.E.K. Animal Shelter in Alna, at that time a hobby run by the animal control officer for the town. Her name was Momma and she was advertised as being part Maine Coon. So I called and made an appointment to come see her.
She’d been found as a pregnant stray, and gave birth while in the care of the shelter. Of course, all the kittens were snatched up, but poor Mama was left behind. Nobody wanted this 2-3 year old cat. And she was gorgeous! She’s a medium haired brown tabby, with the absolutely sweetest face one can imagine. Well, how is she around dogs? Another resident of the shelter, Leo, a beagle puppy, was in a crate whining, so the owner let him out. He went right for the cat, grabbed her tail and dragged her around. She didn’t even bat an eyelash, let alone a claw. Well, that answered that question. So, we filled out the papers, and went home to wait for the references to be checked.
A month went by, and I’d never heard back. So I called, and our paperwork had gotten put aside and forgotten. The owner asked, “do you still want her? I can call now.” I was flabbergasted this sweet kitty was still there. Well, an hour later we got a call to come pick her up.
When we got her home, she strolled out of the carrier like she knew this was her home now. The dog came over to sniff her warily, and she stopped, licked Sandy’s nose and continued on to check out the best sleeping spots.
Now, my husband was still grieving for his cat, so I worried that this one wouldn’t capture his heart. But like most animals, she knew exactly how to do so. If he would sit on the couch, she’d come curl up on his arm, and wrap her front legs around him so he wouldn’t move. She’s quite vocal, and when she wants him to come lie on the bed, she lets him know. And he does. It wasn’t long before he began to warm up to her. And even though she might be the world’s worst mouser (trust me on this) and not the brightest, smartest cat in the world (again, trust me on this), she had the brains to know how to work her way into my husband’s heart. And even the dog’s.
When she escaped out the door one night, and disappeared into the tall grass, while my husband and son were beating the bushes looking for her, I just calmly went in and got the dog. I took her outside and said, “Sandy, find the kitty.” And son of a gun, she did. She sniffed the air, followed her trail, to one area, then another, and ran to where she was hunkered down in the weeds, and held her there, allowing me to retrieve her. So she even has wormed her way into the dog’s heart.
Anyone who passes up the older, more settled cat for the cute kitten doesn’t know what they’re missing. The sweetest cat in the whole world has found her forever home with us. Dog included.
Thanks for sharing your story Sue! // HART