Life and Pets

One foot ahead of t’other …

I’m out in the kennel building, communing with the wonderful pets: Nugget, Maggie, Odie, Bodhi, Chimo, and our own cats Smokey and Prin. Lady is keeping an eye on Taffy, the guinea pig.

I groomed this big little (heavy, short) pomeranian, Tigger, today. Though he doesn’t resemble my Callie very much, he has some similar mannerisms, and I felt like crying while I worked. Tigger’s family likes him clipped short but with the black tufts on his ears left LONG, and though I think the blow dryer blew the tufts into the path of my clippers at one point, I did my best. Tigger’s owner is debating about leaving him with us for a week at a later date, so I described the routine and the deal. You might think me crazy, but I actually ASKED the doggie if he could cope with this kind of “kennel” situation, and he responded with a kiss to my cheek, as if to say that he would think it okay. I told Tigger’s “mom” this.

Tigger

Tigger

I groomed Panda this morning as well. This small, fine shih tzu cross gets clipped no more than two or three times per year, but he is always gentlemanly and compliant. Also, his owner never says, “Awww, did you have to make him so short?” nor otherwise delivers any rebuke; he knows that I just do what needs to be done for the dog and his tangled coat.

Panda

Panda

I’m boarding “Nugget” for the first time. I’ve groomed this beautiful red toy poodle once, and the owner and her mother both made remarks about how short I had made the dog. You know where this is going, don’t you? I was compelled to clip Nugget short because of some, er, tangles. I still take the small rebukes personally. I’m just babysitting this week, and though he needs it, was not asked to clip Nugget; I like the little dog, and he has been eating fine and, for the most part, content, however, at the moment he is screeching like a banshee in an outdoor run. He has everything he needs except 100% of my attention.

Nugget

Nugget

So… I’ve had a very pleasant morning. I’m trying to type with Prin on my lap, as she moves about for the best fur-to-human contact, purring loudly. I could never  have imagined that a cat would take to us and the new environment so quickly. The barking of dogs does not seem to phase her, and she in fact seems not to want to leave the vicinity of the kennel building at all. She and Smokey have established a mutually disdainful truce… though they will growl in passing, they do not fight while they both want to stay in this big easy chair. Smart cats, I’d say.

Prin, dozing

Prin, dozing

I was remembering something that a vet once said about cats. I was expecting something quite medically complex as an answer to a question I posed to him, “Why do cats raised in similar environments have such wildly different personalities?”. Don’t analyze my lame question, because the vet’s answer was very special. He replied, “Cats are born WITH or WITHOUT the ‘friendly gene’ … and that’s IT.”

We all know kittens or cats which have been well treated, born and raised indoors and underfoot and well socialized, who are unpredictable or blatantly MEAN. Most of us also have met a feline moved in from a barn, with little human contact during its life to that point, who is as even tempered and brave as can be. All the cats have or have not got the “friendly gene”. Works for me.

Prin wasn’t moved from the wild or a barn… she was mostly an indoor cat. Even so, due to unfortunate circumstances in her human family, she may not have had very much human contact in the last few months, and was abandoned or left behind, before I “rescued” her. If ever a cat showed gratitude, it would be our Prin. Smokey came from somewhat better circumstances, but because a friend was having a difficult time trying to keep himself alive, the kitten didn’t get too much handling in the weeks before he gave her to us. Both cats, evidently, have the friendly gene, indeed.

How I miss my wee buddy, Callie. She was an unobtrusive but constant presence in my world for not even two years. How could I be so attached to her? I was attached in one visit, and I was always so grateful that our friend “shared” Callie … ie, let me adopt her. I’m not finished crying over this yet, though I have no regrets about how the end of her life was handled and know that we did well by her.

Gary said a sage and helpful thing, as we talked about Callie’s soft little bark, meted out only for her own good reasons. She was not at all yappy, and took her cues from our beloved “big” dog Lady, but Callie didn’t say a word until she had been living with us for two months. Gary remarked last Wednesday, “Callie found her voice here.”, and he said that he missed her too.

Must get back to doing some work. I don’t have anything too profound on my mind, as usual, but I like having you here to talk to. I feel badly when I don’t find time to chat in my Blog, even when I cannot converse intelligently on very many topics, as do SOME bloggers!

I just appreciate that you visit me here.

Love, Ann

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