Karla's Kolumn: What pets can teach us about relationships
July 1, 2021
So I had two main themes planned for this column this week and well then something funny happened last night, well funny, endearing and just cute.
When we adopted Tigger and Fluffy several months ago from New Hope Humane Society in addition to them getting use to their new home we needed to introduce them to our two dogs. Our dogs were used to Chuck and Buddy (RIP) but these were two new furry kitties.
Fluffy, Shadow and Ivy seemed to hit it off right away but Tigger has been more cautious about everything and well to be honest he scared Shadow early on with a loud, deliberate hiss when Shadow got too close. The loud, deliberate hiss did not deter Ivy because she just enjoys life but she did keep her distance.
They’ve all been getting to know each other outside for a few months now and I’ve watched the progression. Shadow would not come through the front door if Tigger was close to the door. Then she started darting pass so Tigger started moving out of the way when the dogs came running up on the porch.
All five fur kids go for walks when either Alan and I go walking around the property but Tigger and the dogs still kept some distance.
Monday night though I see that Tigger has now accepted Shadow and Ivy as his older cousins. He went up to sniff noses with them and at first I think Shadow had a flashback to the hiss and pulled back a little and Tigger came up closer again so Shadow risked it and they touched noses and she let Tigger rub against her side.
Ivy and Tigger also touched noses but Ivy was not in the mood for any cat rubbings; she really prefers to snuggle with them on the grass.
To watch the relationship develop between the cats and dogs has been entertaining and educational. I think sometimes we humans want relationships to happen quickly, whether it is a friendship or something more. But, any relationship takes time and effort. It takes spending time with that person, to get to know them, to build up a trust. Some relationships take longer than others but we all need to be patient, patient with ourselves and with the others in the relationship.
It took time for Tigger to develop trust and in the meantime Shadow developed trust issues, but spending time with one another every day they got past that Monday night.
I know that Chuck and Shadow have a special kind of relationship where they can’t seem to wait to see each other, they wait for each other and Chuck comes running whenever Shadow is outside. But, then again, we all have relationships that mean more to us than others.
I learned another thing about our cats over the weekend. Sunday night neighbors were shooting off fireworks. My worry was that Tigger and Fluffy would run off.
They were not out on the porch when I went to look but then it was evening when they do most of their wandering.
I tried not to worry and I need not have as morning arrived and there were all three cats waiting impatiently for breakfast, as usual.
Cats are like people, some of us love fireworks and the noise, some of us may not love them but are not bothered by them. Cats don’t like them much at all and I’m guessing they found a safe, comforting place to hang out until the noise subsided and they felt safe to venture out again. They knew come morning light, the most safe and secure place would be on the porch when there would be food.
This Fourth of July as we celebrate in a variety of ways we need to consider our pets, our neighbors, our friends and our family. Make sure you keep your pets safe or they have a safe place to go.
Remember also, we have the freedom to celebrate this Fourth of July with fireworks, food and fun but not everyone enjoys fireworks. You may have a neighbor, friend or family member that is bothered by loud, booming noises, so be considerate and take the time and make the effort to develop that relationship by being considerate of their needs as well.
May you and your loved ones have a safe and happy Fourth of July.