I used to have cats.. I love cats. I had rabbits, rats, mice, hamsters, guinnea pigs…. but never a dog… I wasn’t much of a dog person….
That all changed 3 years ago…. well actually long before that. I had been slowly turned to the idea of a dog. Perhaps it was a new phase in my life or just a need for company.. I don’t know.. But for 2 years leading up to me getting a dog, I could not concentrate as soon as a saw a little putch come through the door or pass me by. It didn’t matter how serious the conversation…. Seeing a Dog would always stop me in my tracks… it didn’t matter how many told me NOT to do it … and how much time and care a dog needs.. and how I wouldn’t have that time….it all didn’t matter.. I had made up my mind, so needless to say.. eventually the dog entered my life.
This ofcourse, to great dismay of my cats, who were not too fond of this new intruder in the household. I assumed it would work out somehow. I had fantansies of how my dog would sleep with the cat and they would be best buddies.. unfortunately this did not happen, not the first, not the second.. and still not….and it got me to wonder why…
They fight like cats and dogs they say….. what does it actually mean? To fight like cats and dogs? I can see how this is for cats and dogs (exceptions to the rule of course)…My dog (Jaylee) sincerely loves my cat (Morgaine). He wants to play with here and earlier wanted to cuddle with her but now is mostlly afraid of her and revears he. But when she meows he comes to her rescue. When she is sitting in front of the door, Jaylee let’s me know she wants to come in. When she does, he is the first one to greet her.. He moves away if the cat wants to sit and he waits for her and what she does before he comes close. He will lie on his back or get as close to the ground as he can as to tell her, he is no threat and he accepts her in the lead.
Granted, sometimes he wishes to play with her, making the cat feel attacked and she will hit him. But this never stops the dog from loving her and doing all the things he does because he loves her. (please note I call the dog ‘ he’ but he is actually a ‘she’.
Now this is what I gather how the cat perceives it: A strange, very threatening, black animal keeps attacking me from behind, barks at me.. follows me around, steals all my favorite places to sleep. I have no more rest no home since the dog came. I will try my best to act normal, for it seems to calm him down, but he better not be getting too close for I am fearless cat and I will do whatever it takes. I belong here. Well actually.. I am scared shitless of this dog but he cannot know I fear. I will prevail.
For the cat every effort to play is an attack, every help to get her inside a warning to stay away, his attempt to keep his distant a sure sign of an attack coming up etc etc.
This got me to think. Here I was this wonderful sweet loving cat, and this wonderful sweet loving dog. This should be enough to break the ice. They both want the same thing: peace & love. They both desire the same thing: quiet and balance. They both have respect for eachother.. so in human terms this should be enough to create peace, love and understanding. But it doesn’t. They both fear eachother and still trying to get along.
All I can see is they come from different worlds. A dog wagging his tail means ‘ play’ a cat rigorisouly using it’s tale means attack. A dog approachting another dog means, I fear not. I come in peace. For a cat this means: I will attack. When the cat gives love he excepts the dog to receive. the dog wants to give back to the cat which leads to more misunderstanding.
IS this just cats and dogs? Or are we as humans also not unfamiliar with this behaviour? What if we are all constantly fighting llike cats and dogs because we are simply not familiar with the others world. So we could argue we should be more aware of what the world of the other person looks like. To understand the other more. THe dog is sure trying to understand her and act aproapriately and so is the cat.
I think in our western society at large, we have refined, ‘thinking for the other’ ‘ anticipating what they might say and think to avoid conflict’ to an art. But the downfall of this is that we have lost touch with what we want. We are so focussed on what others tell us.. what’s right and what’s wrong… that we forgot to put ourselves first.
Perhaps acceptance is the way of the future. I accept that you are different from me, please accept me for who I am. I don’t think the dog and cat are enemies. I think in someway they have accepted the situation or are still in the process of doing so as soon as I accept the way things are…are just…the way things are…..