How our dog and cats live together

Of course cats and dogs can get along! True, strange dogs don’t trust cats they don’t know. Cats are inclined to run away from loud dogs when they meet them outside. Our cats don’t trust strange dogs, but will happily let our dog snuggle up to them. They are also happy with visiting dogs, as long as they are well-behaved in their eyes. How did we manage to make the cats accept our dog?

Both our cats are rescue cats from a local shelter. We picked them up separately. First we got our girl, who was supposed to be a loner cat: could not play nice with other cats. It took us 2 years to realise that she actually was feeling lonely, so we chose a ginger tomcat from a large rescued cat family. He knew how to be social and he needed to quiet time after the house full of cats he grew up in. Somehow he understood that the girl wanted him to be there, but not too close. And he slowly got closer to her, whenever she allowed it. Now they eat together, their heads almost bumping.

But I always wanted a dog. It took us a while to settle on the idea of a chihuahua and then it took us a further while to find the right one. Meanwhile, we let the cats get to know a friendly dog who was calm, even if she wasn’t used to being around cats. The ginger tomcat fell in love with her. So when we eventually brought home a tiny chihuahua puppy, the cats knew what it was. Then all we had to do was train the puppy and teach him how to act around the cats. The cats helped with that part of the training. They taught him exactly what they allowed and what was not allowed.

Now they all get along fine. The ginger tomcat is the chihuahua’s best friend and wrestling partner; the tuxedocat girl tolerates him, but also challenges him to play. Of course as soon as the dog seems to be winning, she hisses at him and ends the games. And the dog listens.

Nothing makes me happier than sitting on the sofa with my guy, the cats and the dog. And just enjoying that moment, where everyone is just relaxed. It never lasts long. That’s what makes it extra special.

Long distance

It’s not so much a ‘long distance relationship’ thing, though we did have to go through that phase for a while. It’s more a ‘being apart for a week’ thing, when F. has to be away for work. And it’s just weird. Especially since we did the whole ‘long distance relationship’ thing before. Now I feel as if I have to be just okay with it, because it is only a week and we can keep in touch much easier these days. But still. Fun it ain’t.

Why is it that when you are in a relationship you get that attached to someone’s presence? It’s not like I roam around the house crying and not knowing what to do. I do get on with it. In some ways I get more stuff done when he is not here, than when we plan our evenings together. I guess it is just boring when I am alone. That does not stop me from doing things we don’t do together. Like watching tv in bed … in the morning! That was one of my joys when I lived alone. I haven’t done that since we moved in together. Mind you, when you wake up in the same bed, my first thought is not ‘where is the remote control?’. But when he is away, me and the cats will watch some tv in bed before we get up.

The cats, that’s another thing. M. the girl is heartbroken every time F. packs his suitcase. E. the boy simply enjoys his absence, by lounging on F.’s side of the bed. M. greets F. when he gets back, as if life without him is worthless. Yes. She sometimes makes me feel guilty for not missing my guy more than she seems to do. E. is annoyed, and demonstrates that by not moving off the side of the bed that is contested between the two men of the house.

One perk is that my guy brings back goodies I love. Like tea. And chocolate. And magazines he picks up at the airport. So really. What do I have to complain about? Besides it being boring, and includes me doing lots of work around the house and, well, that I just miss him.

Thoughts on getting a puppy

Getting a puppy has been on my mind  since I moved out. But when you work fulltime and are living alone you know you can’t offer the puppy all it needs. Besides working long days, the apartment I lived in was too small. It was too small for the cat I eventually got, too. But somehow you fool yourself into thinking a cat won’t mind. It didn’t become a possibility to have pets until we moved in together and got a slightly larger house. For the puppy we wanted to get a house with a small garden. And we have one now.

We’ve both had dogs in the past, but never together. And we both have different favourite breeds. And though I know that breed is not that important, the one thing that it does offer is healthier pups. I know not many people think this is true, but in the Netherlands official breeders of a particular breed will have a long list of rules and regulations to pass before a healthy pup can be born. So we are most likely going to go for a breed. But which one?

I absolutely love poodles. They are bright, smart, can have a sense of humour and have this awesome curly coat. He liked sturdier looking dogs, like the Akita or Shiba Inu. Both breeds are quite independent and smart. But we also have to think of the cats. Our youngest girl has had a bit of a run in with a dog that was slightly bigger than her. So we think we’ll do better to choose something that remains smaller than her. Which is limiting. But combined with what we like in dogs (independend, smart, loving) we are probably going to fgo with a chihuaha. And the youngest cat seems to like chihuahuas! And that is important.

Yes, it seems we are getting a puppy for our cat. Or both of them. The Ginger Tom seems to get on really well with dogs in general. Well, he is a very loving and friendly cat. And even though it is my dream, my wish, I think when we are getting a puppy we need to make sure everyone in the house likes him. Or her.


New blog

How do you even start a blog? What’s the best way to open it, with the first blog post? And how do you decide anything you do or think is share-worthy? I dunno.

It’s like the dreaded blank page. That moment when you have to decide where to put the first pencil line. Or the first sentence of the story you want to tell. And then there are so many more things to decide, such as categories, layout, images to use, and how you’re going to fill the potentially endless blank pages ahead of you.

Is this why people blog about their cats so often?

A first blog post should be an introduction, I think. Not a copy of your about page, but a starting point to establish for yourself and your reader which direction you’re heading in. But again: blank pages and endless possibilities! How do I even know where I am going to go with this? I have no super-interesting life. Well, I would say that, wouldn’t I? I am living it daily. For me my own experiences are the normal that I use to measure other people’s lives. Other people are always more interesting. So … I might be interesting to someone else.

First blog post: who am I?

Let’s see who we are dealing with. I am no longer considered ‘young’ and apparently I have to think that’s a bad thing. I have no kids, nor ever wanted them, and that makes me sad or lonely to some. I have a younger partner, which makes me … right trendy, actually. And obviously, I have cats. Two of them, one male and one female. But I am campaigning to get a puppy into our household. I also have a few other interesting things going on in my life, but because they are connected with other people, whose privacy I respect, I won’t go into that too much. It’s one thing to share yourself online, it’s another to willfully drag others into that without asking.

I think my life is pretty okay. It may be a bit disorganised sometimes, but I am happy with it. Maybe that’s the key. Writing a blog to remind myself that I actually like the life I am living, even when it doesn’t always go the way I want to. Like with the kitchen remodeling.

But I’ll get back to you on that subject. A new blog awaits