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Touch of Life: Cat-Dog relationship

don springer headshotBy Don Springer

Have you ever seen a dog kiss a cat? No? Neither have I. Why would I ask such a question?

I am currently reading columnist Charles Krauthammer’s new book “Things that Matter,” which I find most interesting. It is a compilation of his columns from the Washington Post, Time, etc. over the past three decades.

In the early part of his book, Krauthammer, talks of a dog that had been in the family for a few years and suddenly died. His pre-teen son had a friend that visited often and upon hearing of Chester’s death (the dog’s name) he said he was sorry Chester had died as he was the only dog he had ever seen kiss a cat. Krauthammer dropped that subject there and didn’t explain, if he knew, how that kissing scene came about. Most of his columns are far more serious and deal with national government, politics, and relationships that fit that ilk.

Back to the dogs. As written earlier, I have never seen a dog kiss a cat or vice-versa. Most of the cat-dog relationships I am familiar are: 1) Dog chases cat and cat runs up a tree ending incident; 2) Dog catches cat, fight pursues, dog wins and cat avoids dog for rest of life; 3) Dog chases cat, catches same, fight occurs, dog ends up with a severe scratch on tender nose and no longer chases cat. Our family once owned a fine collie named Sunday (we bought her on a Sunday) and she was shortly thereafter joined by a second family pet, a Siamese kitten named Mr. Chicken. Why we named him Mr. Chicken is an explanation that would require more space than allowed here.

Sunday was about a year old and Mr. Chicken just a few weeks. We wondered how the relationship would turn out. The answer was; well. Sunday was much larger and saw this kitten far less than a challenge. Something that needed help one might say. I guess Mr. Chicken was too young to know he was supposed to hate dogs and stay away from them. He did not.

As the years progressed the two grew up enjoying togetherness. I never saw them kiss. Mr. Chicken would play with Sunday’s tail and fur. Other times she would find the dog asleep and curl up beneath her feet and legs and enjoy some “oooos” of her own taking advantage of the additional warmth from Sunday’s fur.

This went on for years as both lived long lives. Our offspring grew to see and know this relationship as well and we talk about these pets often. If you are a pet-lover, you know pets get into your heart quickly and you feel it deeply when they pass on. Both are buried at the home place and I still think about them when I cut the grass. Good memories I have of both.

Since then we have had a bouvier named Abbey, who was with us for nearly 12 years and now an Old English named Maggie who is over 13. Abbey is also buried on the home place and, if I out live Maggie, the same will be her resting place.

Such are the people, places and things that have touched my life in my home!