Wednesday, June 6th, 2018 9:40 AM
It is a commonly held belief that cats and dogs do not get along. We’ve all heard the cliche’ “fight like cats and dogs”.
Personally, I’ve never thought that is the case. When I grew up we always had a cat and a dog and they never fought. When I was newly married to my first husband we had a cat and dog, too, before we had our son. They never fought either.
Naturally, when I brought in Sammy a year and half ago, and then Charlie nine months later, I had the expectation that the dogs would not fight with the three cats.
And they do not. They actually play together which we need to monitor because the dogs can get a bit loud and overbearing; but they never fight. Maybe I’ve just been lucky.
There are vast differences, though, in cats vs. dogs.
After a vacation where you lock a dog in a 5 X 8 room in a kennel for four days, they will greet you with unbridled love and enthusiasm. Their joy in seeing you will be boundless and there will be much licking, tail wagging and maybe even a little excited piddling. The fact that you were the one who left them for four days in an uncomfortable situation will never occur to them. As soon as they see you, you will be best buds again.
Cats are a bit different. After leaving them at home when you go on vacation, without barking dogs, and a pet sitter who visits and feeds them, pets them and plays with them not once, but twice a day, they will, in fact, ignore you when they see you. They know that you abandoned them and they will look at you as if you are the lowest, most insignificant, non-entity they have ever seen. Until they decide they forgive you and insist on cuddling up on your head all night.
Nights. That is one thing I didn’t consider when I added dogs to our household. Dogs sleep schedules are much like human’s. They sleep at night and are up during the day. They are diurnal beasts. Cats are nocturnal beasts. The sleep all day and are up at night.
With three cats and two dogs, this combination of animals pretty much guarantees that some animal will want attention from Dennis and/or myself every hour of every day. This causes problems as we would enjoy uninterrupted sleep for at least five hours a night.
And then there’s that magic time of year that we are in right now, when the days grow long and the sun rises earlier. When the sun rises, so do the dogs. When the sun rises in the vicinity of 5 AM there is an overlap between the nocturnal beasts’ nighttime playtime and the diurnal beasts’ daytime playtime.
This is not good news for the humans in the house who now have two species cavorting at the end of the bed instead of just one.
There is now a competition for who gets to wake us up first. Will it be the cuddly cat who knows he only needs to purr to get me to pet him or will it be the dog who thinks licking whatever skin happens to be exposed will bring him attention? It could also be the cat who nibbles my nose to wake me. At least she’s gentle. Usually.
Lately, it’s been the whining, barking dog who insists he has to go outside because it’s light out who has been getting us up. (This is the same dog who will refuse to go outside in winter until the sun comes up which is a good two hours later than it does now.)
I’ve heard there are people who lock their animals out of the bedroom at night. We’ve tried that and have the shredded carpet outside the bedroom door to prove it. Cats do not like to be locked out of anywhere. Dogs don’t like it either. That’s one area that they are both the same.
I believe this dichotomy between sleep schedules is the real reason the combining of the species has been discouraged throughout the ages. It has nothing to do with them fighting.
I am probably the only person in the state who is looking forward to the days growing shorter.