We have both dogs and cats in our household at Sunriver Metal Works. In fact, we have 3 of each. They all peacefully co-exist (at least most of the time).
Our new puppy, Cutter, has pointed out a few differences between dogs and cats that we always knew (but didn’t think about much).
- Cats can jump higher than dogs. I see Cutter’s wonderment as he watches AJ easily leap on top of the desk. He’s only made it to the couch to this point, but loves to look over the top of the couch. Maybe he gets the same sense that AJ does sitting on his cat perch high above everyone else. Someday he hopes to jump onto the bed like AJ does, although it looks like a mountain right now.
- Dogs seem to get more affection than cats. AJ watches me as I interact with Cutter. Cutter loves affection (okay – maybe DEMANDS is a better word). Cats generally let you know when they deem it okay for you to pet them. We do notice that AJ looks longingly (sometimes) at our interactions with Cutter. For a few seconds, maybe AJ is jealous (maybe).
- Dogs are always looking for their next meal. In our house, it seems like the dogs are always scrounging the floor for food. Even seconds after they get their meal, they look at you with those eyes. Cats on the other hand (generally) will browse during the day as they are hungry. I know some cats will overeat, but mostly they seem content with many little meals during the day.
- Cats and dogs can play together. With all their differences, they do seem to have the ability to create games. Mike watched a game of cat and mouse the other day between Cutter and Sammy. They would run for a minute, then both would stop and face off. It looked like a game of chicken, which quickly resumed into “catch me if you can”.
- Dogs and cats have intuition when it comes to illness. Our vet recently diagnosed our elder statesman, Rob, with cancer. He has slowed down and sleeps non-stop. Everyone gives him a wide berth, but each will go up and touch noses as if to say “I’m thinking of you”.
The cats and dogs at Sunriver Metal Works have been taught to love each other. It’s been that way since they were kittens and puppies. They are part of our family, and we worry about them when they get sick. Last October we lost Casper, our black lab. Now it appears that we will be losing Rob in the not too distant future. Getting Cutter has brought joy into our lives that only a new puppy can do. It seems that life (and death) frequently work that way. Your sadness gets filled with joy from another source.
If our four legged family members have taught us anything, it’s that you must live and love everyday like it’s your last and appreciate what you have. And that things are just things. It’s the emotional connections that make us whole.
Update 11/22/16: We did lose Rob last fall and Skye this summer. Old age and knee surgeries are hard on those big dogs. Cutter continues to thrive even as an only child!