Sworn enemies?

12:14 PM

Rethink that good old myth about cats and dogs, most of the time they get along superbly.

Many will want you to believe that cats and dogs do not get along together, that they are natural enemies, dead set on exterminating one another. This picture above shows that it isn't so. My cat took to Jasmine quite well and they are past the "just tolerating" each other. And, while my dog could still not care less about Mittens, Mittens has taken a liking to Jasmine, and will often play with her tail, her paws ( she must like the corn chips smell dogs have about their feet), and will on occasion even cuddle with her. This is one more picture in favour of the "Cats and dogs can be friend" lot. I have many friends, and family members that have been down that path before, and none had tales of bloody battles and hatred to tell. In all the cases the feline and canine cohabited peacefully, with many stories of pets developing a strong interspecies bond. On the other hand, I have many stories of cats not getting along with fellow kitty, with led to nasty fights in some cases.

I grew up with cats, and we had three of them in our flat at one point, two of them had no problems living together, sleeping together and being friend, the third one was an asocial diva who simply could not tolerate anybody on her turf, but would sneak to the neighbour's flat to spend time with their dog and Siamese cat. The two likeable ones ended up banding together and pissing her off, which often led to nasty cat fights we needed to interrupt with splashes of water. You see, cats are solitary hunters, and they don't really like having competition on their territory. Dogs are not a threat to the territory at all, they are just perceived as another species that live on their turf, not a potential leadership snatcher. The thing cats initially fear about dog is them chasing them and eating them, as feral dogs might make a meal out of their kitty skin. Once that threat is removed there is no reason for the cat to be hostile to the dog, and this is typically the case in a domestic setting. Dog gets dog food, cat gets cat food, both are fed by the humans, and the cat still can roam areas the dog can't. The dog will never threaten to take over that special spot on top of the shelves the way another cat could.

Cats have that secret plan to dominate the world (I swear they do!). They think your house is theirs, and that everything living in their territory belong to them. Don't be fooled, when they rub themselves against your leg they aren't showing love and affection, they are just marking you as their territory, rubbing their sent all over you. We human think it's cute so it ends up being a win-win situation. Dogs are just happy to be part of a pack, and could not care less if they are at the bottom of the chain of command, in fact most canines are just happy to let you two legs being the Alpha. They don't have any ambition to rule the household at all, and as long as they are getting their walk, their food and affection from their owner, they are A-OK.

And, this is exactly the scenario that unfurled in our place. Jasmine was just curious about the cat at first. The cat freaked out on their first meeting (and bit me). Then over the span of a few days realised the dog would never chase her if she stayed up and out of reach. Over the course of a few weeks she realised that the dog would never go after her because she had a dog bowl full of food twice a day. From there she progressed to not minding the dog at all while Jasmine learned that Mittens made an acceptable roomie as long as she didn't try sniffing her from too close. When Mittens started going at her tail and paws, she simply let her do it, completely submissive because she somehow figured out it was better to let the cat be above her in hierarchy, and Mittens became brave enough to rub herself against the dog and cuddle with her. It took a little over two months to go from the hissy pissy, ready to strike stage to the cuddling stage for our cat. And, yes, it is always the cats who calls the shot in a feline-canine bond, not the other way round.

As for my dog? She knows she won't win against the cat, and whenever the cat is coming close she just wait for Mittens to do what she wants, she even yield when my barely 2kg Kitty decide to sample the dog food. Never mind that Jazz is about 20 times heavier.

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  1. Arunesh12:19 PM

    Cuteness overloaded!

  2. I know, the day I took that picture I sat in the kitchen idle for a while just watching them sleep like that, it was way too cute not to do so.


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