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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

A dog/cat's life

There was an ongoing joke in my house growing up: if I ever wanted to tell my mother that she wasn't welcome in my house, I should get a cat. Because of allergies to cat hair, my mom would have a hell of a time withstanding a visit. I kept that in mind but I always wanted to her to visit me.

I never wanted a cat growing up. We always had a dog when I was growing up. The dog was a wire-haired fox terrier and he stayed outside. From J.W. to Rocky to Bailey, there was a dog in the backyard.

Now that I've lived in a house for six years always with a dog in the house, I have a different sense of closeness to a pet. I've never as close to Victory as I have been with any other dog.

And as of the last few weeks, I have never been so close to a cat.

Diana recently took in a stray cat that had been hanging around our area for the past few months. The cat, an 11-month-old male who has been dubbed Mimo, really clung to Diana right away. I liked him too, but I've always been cautious around cats with claws. (A certain dinner party a few years ago where a friend's cat laid its right hand claw into my leg is hard to forget.) That said, in the following weeks, I've felt easier around a cat.

Mimo is a really mellow cat. He lounges and takes things really easy, even though he seems very non-committal on where he'd like to sleep for the night. My hope is that he will be a great foil for the antsy Victory.

The stumbling block is that Victory goes bonkers around other dogs and cats in the neighborhood. Probably for the reasons of territoriality, Victory squirms and fidgets around when she sees another dog or cat outside. I seriously believe she means no harm to these other animals. She's never tried to bite anyone or jump on top of anyone. It's more of a, "Hey, this is my territory" kind of vibe.

Victory has seen Mimo before and has gone ballistic around him. But a few weeks ago, when a relatively-inebriated party guest brought Mimo into our house, Victory and Mimo didn't go at it like Braveheart. They were more curious than anything else, and Victory didn't bark or jump around. They looked at each other and kept walking.

I hope someday Mimo and Victory will be able to live together under one roof. I have a good feeling they will. Diana and I are waiting for the right time to properly introduce the two of them, but the time isn't right yet. I'm just in the dark about why Victory must act one way outside of the house and another inside the house.

Oh, and Mom, you're more than welcome to visit, cat and all.

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