Saturday, 2 November 2013

And on the subject of cats ..

We also own two cats. Puddle, our a dainty, sleek green-eyed girl, has a sensitive disposition and spooks easily, whilst Daisy, our black and white girl, is clumsy and perhaps a little less 'tuned in' (to put it politely!)   


Needless to say, neither cat welcomed the arrival of a bouncy puppy girl.  Puddle spent the first week hidden on top of a kitchen wall cupboard and Daisy disappeared upstairs to the safety of a bedroom.


I've owned cats for thirty years, so know there is no point forcing matters; cats do things in their own time and accepting a new puppy into their world has been very stressful for my two.

As my cats sleep in the kitchen, the first decision I made was to buy a tall dog gate for the kitchen doorway, so the cats had somewhere familiar they could feel safe in the evenings, yet still have access to our living area if they wanted to share time with us, but all animals could see one another through the door gate to give them the opportunity to become accustomed to one another.  As my cats are adult and quite set in their ways, I also made a decision to keep them separate from Polly at night, as that seemed only fair.

Despite reading how wonderful Goldies are with other animals and adopting Polly as a 'cat safe' breed, I'm afraid the plain fact is, Polly has been unable to resist the urge to chase poor Puddle and Daisy - it's far too much fun for her!  I have invested plenty of time and energy into dissuading her and she knows she shouldn't, but if my back is turned, my naughty girl finds those fast moving kitties impossible to resist, even if it does earn her a cat swipe on her lovely soft nose!

Polly is desperate for Puddle and Daisy to play with her!  She really can't understand why they don't want to bounce around puppy style and when they wave their tails wildly, she thinks they are inviting her to play, but of course, waving tails signals danger in the cat world!  The cats always outwit the dog and are gradually starting to realise running away only encourages her to chase; regrettably, they are still far from becoming friends with their new housemate.  It's plain to see, dogs and cats simply don't speak the same language.

So, six months after adopting Polly, I'd say we are a little further forward, but not much.  Our cats now tolerate her presence in the house and garden, although insist on keeping her at paw's length and Polly has worked out that laying down quietly doesn't threaten these sensitive creatures quite as much as bounding up to them with her tale happily waving.  As you can see from the photograph above, Puddle will now share living space with Polly, but only if she is able to perch high above her; Puddle is far from relaxed, typically pretending the dog isn't nearby, by looking the other way.  Polly wants Puddle to stay in the room, so defers to her by laying close by on the floor, but looking away.  Whether they will ever be friends has yet to be seen, but I do believe they are slowly beginning to understand and respect one another a little better.

As for Daisy, she's still in hiding under the conservatory couch. Puddle is 'Queen Cat', so if and when she makes friends with Polly, Daisy will most likely follow suit.  

To summarise: This continues to be a very slow process!

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