We have many dog and cat beds. We also have TWO kitty condos. But we all want the same fuzzy bed.
So I’m lying peacefully on my bed when Pumpkin comes over to check out the scene. You can guess what happened. The “Before” and “After” are about 15 minutes apart.
My mom came home one day and found us sitting close together on her bed. She was thrilled and (of course) rushed for her camera.
“What are you talking about?” she asked us. “Comparing foster homes you were adopted from? Figuring out how to con me out of more treats?”
Hey, can’t a couple of friends just hang out together now and then?
I don’t know how the Royal Family does it especially the Queen and Princess Anne. They have to wear shoes, hats and skirts.
Me? I am a CUPPIE, a Canine Urban Princess. I don’t even own a tiara, thank goodness. Occasionally my mom ties a bandanna around my neck. I have to wear my collar and tags because Mom says she doesn’t want to pay a $75 fine. But otherwise, I get to go barefoot and naked.
When we get home I get to collapse on my bed or my favorite spot on the floor under the coffee table. Mom lets me stay there because she realizes I’m too tired to chew anything and run up a vet bill.
“Maybe the cats could use a dog fix,” she suggests with her sarcastic little smile.
No way. I won’t rise to the bait. I’d like to give that fat Ophelia a fix, but I don’t think it’s what my mom has in mind. And besides I have to think of my position. We princesses always look calm, smug and superior, even when a cat tries to steal our food.
This morning the weather was awful. My mom dropped me off in the Dog Lounge with instructions to, “Make sure she gets LOTS of exercise.” I did and I’m wiped.
So who’s daring to enter my turf on Cathy’s bed? This is where I get to take naps. Since when do cats share my space?
Ophelia doesn’t get it. She’s the Queen Mother and I’m just the Princess.
Cathy caught me in this awkward pose. She tried to get a more dignified picture but she was so happy to see Ophelia looking directly into the camera.
Notice how my mom’s priorities have shifted. My blog gets the photo where Ophelia looks best.
Ophelia was saying, “I’m being polite and dignified. I don’t know what’s going on over there.”
Nothing’s going on. I’m just scratching an ear, for heaven’s sake.
After the cat food fiasco, my mom has been feeding me small amounts of crunchies mixed with rice. I’m eating. I’m happy and healthy. See, mom? No bit deal. I haven’t dragged you out at 2 AM for the last two nights.
The cats are another story. Cathy doesn’t want me eating their food so she put their dishes on the kitchen counter. Creampuff enjoys jumping up. Ophelia, who’s not exactly skinny, says that waddling is more her style. So Cathy lifts he up a few times a day, hoping she’ll get the message.
Ophelia’s not into messages. I think she was spoiled rotten in her first home. But give her credit: she’s adjusted well, all things considered. Some cats hide in a closet for a whole year. Or a lifetime.
Ophelia just hides in her kitty condo.
Wow…Ophelia marched right into the living room and took up a position near the sofa. She tried to jump to the sofa arm but couldn’t quite make it. Then she sat on the floor all evening while Cathy worked on her laptop. She growled when Creampuff seemed interested. Creampuff took off.
My mom was thrilled. Frankly, I think observing our cats is like watching paint dry, but hey…what do I know? I have a dog bed in every room and nobody messes with me.
Dr Jim the cat shrink told Mom to tempt the cats with delicious treats. Alas, the canned food doesn’t stay tempting for more than a single feeding. I suspect she’ll be heading over to Safeway for some generic version of Fancy Feast and maybe some human food in a lower-cost version.
Cathy’s following a diet she downloaded from the Internet. She looks great, but she says, “It ought to be called the Expensive Food diet. Lots of blueberries and salmon and organic produce.”
Alas, I have to go to my crate when Mom tries to tempt the kitties with treats. So far nothing seems to be working. Creampuff seems to have caught on to the game.
“Just a few years ago I was bragging about what great pets I had,” Mom sighs. “And now we’ve got the dog with the delicate tummy and the most neurotic cat on the planet.”
She exaggerates. But not by much.
My mom Cathy was eager to hear what the cat shrink would say. “Dr. Jim”turned out to be like Dr. Doolittle. He talks to animals.
He’s awfully smart. He told Cathy more or less what I’ve been saying all along. Ophelia should be living alone with a nice little old lady. Well, he didn’t put it quite like that, but…
An older cat like Ophelia shouldn’t be placed with another cat, he said. But since she’s here, we can try a few tricks. So mom has them in separate rooms as much as possible. She’ll be feeding them delicious treats – but only when they are together. We could give them Prozac. (Prozac?)
No drugs yet, my mom said. She’s going to be rationing out the treats to motivate the relationship.
“After all,” my mom pointed out, “it’s not like Ophelia had a lot of choices. Not many people want a cat who’s 9 years old, overweight, and long-haired. Even little old ladies.”
And what about me? That nice Dr. Jim knows a normal, sane animal when he sees one. He decided I looked like a happy, healthy dog. He complimented me on being so good. Cathy, of course, took all the credit but hey, I can be generous.
Especially since Dr. Jim said I should get more treats.
“When she tries to jump on someone, make her sit and give her a reward. Carry a bag of treats. Give her a treat just for walking right.”
Wow. I love this shrink. He can analyze me anytime.
But I have more important things on my mind. We dogs have our priorities straight.
Here’s what happens on a Sunday evening. We’re all tired. Mom’s been working and she moved her laptop to the living room so we could all be together.
Ophelia, our new housemate, got tired of hanging out in the laundry room. So she moved to the closet. And today she scrambled up on the couch. A classic takeover.
And what am I doing? My mom took me on a long walk today. It was very warm. As you can see, I’m exhausted.
Cathy was so thrilled. Our family is coming together again. Ophelia is fitting in.
Cathy’s got a pile of books to read. She’s always looking for books to recommend to her readers, she says. But I know she’s got a murder mystery tucked away for times when she goes brain dead. Which, in my opinion, happens whenever she spends time with the cats. She isn’t crazy about Ophelia’s name but we can’t think of anything else.
And where’s our other little family member? Yep…sound asleep on her chair. I told you we were all exhausted. That’s how Ophelia gets away with it.