May 1

Cat meets dog and gets milk

Category: animals

dsc_3029.jpgdsc_3033.jpgWe are feeding the kitten milk. Although she eats solid food, it doesn’t seem to be enough, and she nuzzles us looking for nipples. So we figure she still needs milk. We feed it to her in a dropper after warming it. A teaspoon’s worth of milk fills her up. She can be very demanding about her need for milk, becoming absolutely dictatorial about it. In fact, she is pretty single-minded about everything. She knows what she wants, and she wants it now.

Meanwhile , there is the dog to be dealt with. He went absolutely nuts when we introduced them. For several days now we have been run ragged trying to contain him.

The dog exists in a state of thwarted desire; we’ve cut off his balls and control his food intake pretty carefully. This leaves him with only one major need, which is to catch and crush small animals. He can dispatch moles and voles pretty well, but his nemesis is the population of squirrels in our back yard. Their rapidity and constant proximity drive the dog into a foaming frenzy. While we are at work all day, he sits by the back glass door, rapt with focused lust, until we arrive and free him. He then vents a day’s worth of frustration by hurtling his body towards the squirrels as fast as caninely possible – body low, shoulders bunched, spine flat, tail straight and pointed back. Every calorie of energy goes into that run. A sysiphean run which always fails, as the squirrels are too vigilant and fast. They flee upwards and the dog throws himself into the air, trying to climb the tree. He can get a good 7 feet up the tree, but always falls back, ragged barks tearing themselves from his throat like wads of foam from a hurricane-whipped sea.

And then we brought into his life a small, prey-like creature that emits tiny, high-frequency noises of helplessness. This is the culmination of all his desires; it’s close – it’s weak – it can’t get away. And it’s inside. And he can’t have it. He wants, needs, longs to crush it. The dog whines and cries, begging and pleading with us – how can we not let him fulfill his destiny? This is everything he’s ever wanted, and why can’t he have it?

dsc_3023.jpgIt has taken about 72 hours, but it finally seems to be dawning on him that there is a special rule concerning this particular creature. We have gradually introduced them to each other; first at a distance, and moving slowly closer as things seem more under control. The dog has heard the iron word of a fearsome god, and understands at least that a line has been drawn. It also helps that food rains from the sky when he behaves. We can now hang out in the same room with both animals, and even let the cat walk around on the floor. This requires constant attention on our part. The dog is in a hypervigilant state, always excited, but things have progressed to the point where we can let them touch. The dog has to be in a headlock, but it can be done. He really wants to lick her and cover her in dog goo. I don’t like my kittens slimy – just a personal preference – but dogs need to become one with things, either by ingestion or at least by sharing fluids. Certain accommodations must be made.

2 comments

2 Comments so far

  1. Kelly O May 22nd, 2008 8:42 AM

    CUUUTE! Both the dog and the kitten. I totally want a couple cats, but I’ve promised my husband no new pets for at least a year. (Um, except possibly a small flock of hens.)

  2. Wanda October 15th, 2008 2:30 PM

    ahhh! Cute! It’s hard to be frustrated when they give you that pitiful look.

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