|Not a very good pic, but here's Zoey and José.|
Our cat is an old outdoor tom who showed up on our doorstep one day with a hop-along limp and an easy-going nature. He’s the John Goodman of cats. He’s all black and round and he’ll show up every once in a while with a torn ear. He prefers to be outdoors, and so he’s our outdoor cat. He has a cushy place in the garage with a doggy door and a heat lamp and food and water. He began as “The Neighbors’ Cat” and now he’s just José.
Our dog is a beautiful red curly Golden named Zoey. She’s a teenager with a teenager’s love of chewing things up and getting into trouble. She’s got the lovely sweet Golden temperament, but she’s also got a little bit of eye-of-the-tiger, assertive. By that, I mean she won’t back down when another dog comes around. She’ll be playful, but she won’t let it go. We got her at six months old about a year ago.
We had José first, and then we got Zoey. The first thing Zoey did was to bounce all around José, a blur of red around a puff-ball of black. José was not too keen on the idea. If we would have asked him, he would have voted against the whole, “Oh, let’s get a cute puppy!” idea. It wasn’t long before José put Zoey in her place. A good swipe of the claws, and Zoey backed off. But only for a moment ~ soon she was back, bouncing around in a circle, and she soon learned just how far those claws could go. José is at a disadvantage because he has a bum front leg. It’s fused straight from something that happened before he came to us. When he walks, he has to swing that front leg out and around. So when Zoey bounces in and then right back out, he can’t chase her down and give her a whoopin’, which at first he would have done had he had the chance.
But their relationship has evolved. She’ll wait at the back door until we let her out just so she can go harass the cat, but now he waits for her right there on the back step. Our back door is glass, so they can stand almost nose to nose. She still goes out and bounces around him, but now he walks up to her, tail in the air, and rubs against her. They’re the best of buds.
There’s a lesson in all this about the old and the young, ancient enemies, and all that. But I’ll just say, it’s nice to see them standing there, leaning in.