Dear Other People’s Pets: Why Aren’t You Stalking Me?
I’ve been in New York for the last two days for work. My fiancé has been there too. I love it when that happens.
This round, we stayed with good friends who have two dogs: a little black and white shepherd, Shiner, and a pit mix, Phoenix, plus a majestic long-haired, black and white cat named Whiskey.
June Carter was staying at my parents’ with Thunder. Dad came by the farm to feed the cats.
Back in New York, I was pulling all my best, gentle tricks on those animals: Kneeling down so they could come to me first, using my squeaky voice, giving them the chest rub. They enjoyed it, but not the way my pets do. For instance, they didn’t follow me, or jockey for my attention much.
Phoenix and Shiner would wag their tails and hang out for a minute, or Whiskey would give me a gentle head-butt, but then they’d walk away, looking for their own mom, or their favorite chair. I started to wonder what was wrong with me.
Did I lose my touch? Was I not the inherently gifted animal communicator I thought I was?
That’s when I realized how much I’ve gotten used to being stalked.
When I’m at my own house, if someone covered in fur isn’t staring at me, sitting on my foot, or dragging a shoe across the floor, while looking up slyly, to see if I notice, something is wrong.
I’m not saying this to show off. I encourage June Carter to do her own thing, or the cats to chase each other. June may be timid, but I want her to be content when I’m not home, or busy watching Legend of the Seeker rerun marathons.
I’ve been testing her too, letting her stay outside the crate for a few minutes at bedtime, while I’m up on the bed. I’m hoping she can sleep outside the crate eventually. But it’s complicated because she’s not allowed on the bed.
Only the cats are allowed on the bed. We have to maintain some semblance of their original territory. It’s part of the getting-a-dog treaty we drew up.
When I’m up there with Boris and Zoe under each arm, I can just see the white tip of June’s tail, circling back and forth at the foot of the bed, like a little shark. I really missed that creepy level of devotion, that hunted feeling.
I’m back home with all three of them tonight, and I can’t wait to get the Jaws treatment.
Image via brostad.