Over the years, the kids and grandkids have shown up to stay a few days, hauling in luggage, sporting gear, computers and whatever else they could fit into the car. That has also included their dogs. As BlackJack is the master of the house, the dogs have given him wide berth. They’re relatively smart dogs and most have known better than to tangle with claws and fangs.
A long time past, though, daughter showed up for the Christmas holiday from college with an unexpected bundle of grey fluff in her purse. It was Misha, the kitten that I would later inherit.
I had Fero, the K9 German Shepherd. Fero was not only perfectly behaved, he had been around cats in the kennel and had been friendly with most of them. He expected to have the same relationship with Misha.
Misha was not so inclined to befriend a dog, especially a large dog.
We would walk into the living room, where both animals were hanging out, to find that Fero had picked up Misha in his mouth, gently gumming her so as not to hurt the kitten, walk her to where he planned to snooze, and then curl up with her to nap.
Misha’s look of terror quickly turned to fangs, claws and hissing as soon as Fero put her down. Needless to say, Plan A did not work.
So, Fero moved to plan B; that is, wait for Misha to fall asleep and then curl up next to her, with his front legs wrapped around her. That seemed to work for a short time until the kitten awoke. Then, all hell would break lose once again.
It was shortly after Christmas, for which I did thank the Christmas Tree Goddess, when Misha awoke from her Fero-surrounded nap. She had figured out the house sufficiently to know where hiding places were and, with as much of a hiss as a pint sized kitten could muster, Misha bolted out of Fero’s hug, across the room and up the Christmas tree.
Misha was too small to do much harm, but none of us had counted on Fero joining in the fun. The fully decorated tree crashed to the carpet and the two animals took their chase into the back parts of the house.
Fast forward twenty some years and son, daughter-in-law, two grandsons and a young, very active, very friendly dog named Clementine came to spend this Christmas holiday. BlackJack enjoys the boys, but took issue with Clem and dove under my bed, where he spent most of the weekend complaining.
BlackJack ventured out to cuddle with oldest grandson when the others ventured out into the snow with Clem, but most of the time was spent keeping an overly friendly pup from trying to play with a grumpy old cat.
That detente seemed to be almost working, with BlackJack taking full advantage of his situation by tucking himself into my bed at night and Clem curled up on her bed, exhausted from her day in the snow. Then, during the night after Christmas, about 3 or 4 AM, BlackJack decided to venture out and Clem thought she should join him, probably thinking they could have fun playing.
By the time I awoke to the noise and intervened, BlackJack was in full fur, hissing, and backing his way under the decorated Christmas tree, with Clem in full pursuit. It was a vision of Christmas past, with the fully decorated fully decorated flippen Christmas tree and ornaments swaying back and forth as two animals faced off. This time, however, the tree stayed upright, thanks again to the Christmas Tree Goddess.
It was amazing the two animals didn’t wake the entire household with all the hissing, clawing and whining, but everyone, except me, slept soundly as the two animals were successfully separated and tucked back into their respective beds.
Then, once again, peace settled over our home for a few more hours.