The dogs are far from bored around here. We’re getting ready for an obedience trial next weekend, so just went to an obedience match this past weekend. After that comes an agility weekend. In the meantime, we’re training for the December VST test, without any real assurance that Dart will be ready. He’s got the nose, he’s got the understanding, but he works so intensely that he uses himself up about halfway through and turns into a puddle of goo.
So naturally, it’s time to introduce a little chaos into their lives by way of Mickey Cat.
We still don’t know if Mickey will be largely an indoor cat or largely a barn cat. Ideally, we’d choose “indoor” and so would he. But the household is no more logistically prepared for the insanity of “adolescent cat” than it was when we got Mickey just under a month ago.
Well, maybe just a little. As in, we’ve added a top-entry litterbox to the center area of the house and we’re waiting to see if either species will use it/ignore it appropriately. And while Mickey is still crated while unsupervised, this past week he added a number of skills/experiences to his repertoire.
He visited my dad at his hospice residence. He spent carefully metered time in the barn alone. He experienced rain (he disapproves). He spent extended time loose in the house and learned no jumping on the counters, no crawling around behind my computer (where he’d managed to step on my UPS for a cold shut-down on two computers at once), no flying through the air to cling to the humans as one would cling to a screen door.
He also proved that he will come racing when called regardless of distance, and killed his first mouse. (He’s been “killing” and eating already dead mice from the barn trap since the day he got here, but this was a…well, it was a wounded mouse. And he took care of it.) He’s in the process of learning the command to kennel up (get in his crate), and I suspect that one of these days he’ll stop flying through the room to settle down and have a good couch cuddle. He has already has the ferocious purr down pat.
And oh yeah…
He met the dogs.
Poor Connery. He just wants to be friends. But after a brief period of fear behavior, Mr. McKittypants turned him into a play thing…stalking him, leaping out at him from secret places, and in general being a Mean Cat. They’ve been out together twice and at this point Connery walks warily and removes himself from Mickey’s orbit as possible. (The action pic isn’t as dramatic as it looks. “Over-reaction” would be one way to put it!)
In between meeting dogs, Mr. McKittypants had a Big Adventure.
I was doing my usual five things at once that morning, and Mickey cat was outside in the fenced yard in his harness. I was on a long biz call when he began flinging himself against the various screen doors. Then the biz call was interrupted by a hoped-for vet call (for sick DuncanHorse) and I was struggling with the bad cell reception there when I glanced out the window and saw a frantic little cat. Outside the fence in the PADDOCK.
“MEOW! MEOW! I don’t know how this happened MEOW!”
I rather incoherently finished the call while Mr. McK disappeared…somewhere. Finally I was able to run out and open the gate to call him. Boy did he come running! “Where WERRRE you? Why was I out HERRRRE?”
So we answered the question, rather sooner than intended, about whether he’ll run off if he gets outside the yard.
Then Mr. McKittypants and Dart met in the wilds of the living room. I think Dart’s approach to the whole thing–cautious when faced, chasing when McK dashes past–will teach McK some excellent lessons about the best way to avoid attention from dogs.
Dart gets a bone. Connery gets a bone. Mr. McKittypants gets a bone. Because of course he does!