Tuesday, August 7, 2007
My in-laws went on vacation. Though they have several pets who stay at home while they travel, they decided that their 5 month old lab puppy (who's bigger than my full grown Springer Spaniel) would be better off staying at someone else's home. I offered to let him stay with us. Max is an outdoor dog and we've a fenced in yard. Our dog, Claire, doesn't love him but she only goes out to potty. How much trouble could he be?
On his own he probably wouldn't have been much trouble at all but our neighbor's escape artist Beagle showed him a few tricks and they were roaming the neighborhood the first morning. My husband and I dashed into the streets heading in opposite directions armed with cell phones and leashes. The country dog was lost in the big city. All the potential dangers spun through my brain: cars, more cars, dog-nappers. Dog-nappers! The beautiful chocolate lab pup was a friend to everyone. Anyone could have him. Visions of myself leading rescue parties through the neighborhood surfaced. We'd look in every yard. Peek into every house! I may have to break down doors, violating countless laws but I'd rescue the lost dog so help me God! I'd rescue him!
My cell phone rang abruptly ending my musings. It was my husband. Both dogs had wandered back home and were standing in the front yard. I confess, I was a touch disappointed that I wasn't going to get to kick down a door but my relief overcame that minor setback in my ongoing battle for justice and I hurried back to our house.
The dogs had pushed an old section of fence away from the ground and slipped out. I was ready to put up a privacy fence that day. Brian did some research and came back with an estimated total. Eight hundred dollars is a lot of money. We brought Max inside. How much trouble could he be?
Max isn't quite housebroken. He's a very large puppy. He left some very large puddles. No worries we decided. We hate our pink carpet anyway. He can stay in the laundry room. I moved the cat litter boxes out of the laundry room and moved Max in.
Problems solved. Except for one. Claire soon adjusted to living with another dog. Friday and Hemmy didn't mind Max too much but Kitiara-Kitiara loathed him. Max, it seemed, had committed the transgression of being canine in her presence. She simply could not tolerate such blatant dog-ness. Something would have to be done and Kit was just the cat to do it.
Kit established an anti-dog perimeter vowing to defend the feline territory from marauding puppies even if it killed the puppy. Since the perimeter was slightly larger than the house it didn't take Max long to cross the line. Kit sailed into battle! She launched all eight pounds of her tabby body at 50 pounds of puppy counting on her patented Ninja moves to avoid taking damage or catching puppy cooties. With ears plastered back and whiskers flush to her face she used a rapid firing right paw to inflict maximum damage in minimum time. Perplexed Max ran to me for help. Kit was still attached. With some trepidation I reached in and disentangled one very angry Kit from one very frightened Max. Luckily I wasn't scratched.
Max wasn't so fortunate. Distinctive scratch marks were evident in his fur right between his eyes. Kit really goes for the kill. I could tell some serious peace negotiations were in order. I put in a call to Jimmy Carter. Condolezza Rice didn't return my calls either. It was up to me.
After copious amounts of tuna and a new batch of furry mice Kit agreed to allow Max to live and even to inhabit a portion of the house. She wasn't going overboard mind you. We lived in a tense state until the happy return of my in-laws. Though they'd been traveling for the better part of a day we thought it best to take Max home that night. They were joyfully reunited with both Max and the collection of Claire's toys that Max had claimed for himself. He's a sweet dog but we were happy to have our laundry room back.
The next day dawned and with it the realization by our pets of the intruder's departure. Kit was joyous! She preened and dashed around the house looking exceedingly smug. No doubt she attributed the absence of Max to her war efforts. Reality has a way of sucking the fun out of life so I didn't disabuse her of her notions. If she thinks she's a Ninja kitty what of it? How much trouble can it be?
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