Monday, February 23, 2009

Breakthrough

I know I've been remiss in my blogging, but things got a little exciting around here, what with Youngest Daughter developing an allergy to school and all. Well, actually, the allergy is to homework, but she seems to be doing better, so I'm ready to settle back into my life.

We've had a breakthrough. It involves the dog, Roxy, and the cat, Ami - short for Amelie. Ami was already an adult cat when Roxy arrived, and she completely rejected her new housemate. For the last three-and-a-half years, she has refused to come into the house when the dog was home. This has made some things, like getting Ami fed and sheltered at night, fairly complicated.

For a long time, we had to shut Roxy in a room away from the family room so we could open the French doors to the balcony, usher the cat in, and take her to her little home in the garage where we keep her food and water and bed. After a while, Ami began to trust us enough that as long as a human being was holding on to Roxy, she would saunter through, tossing malicious glances over her shoulder until she reached the garage door. Roxy would watch her, positively quivering with curiosity, now and then bouncing up a little until one of us said, NO!

When Roxy wasn't home, as when she went with Eldest Daughter to Lake Arrowhead, Ami had the run of the house. This was okay, but not optimal - she was always a little ticked off when the dog showed up again. A couple of weeks ago, however, ED and Roxy got snowed in at the lake for twelve days. Ami was very pleased, assuming, I'm sure, that her nemesis was dead and good riddance. But early this morning, ED and Roxy came back.

I knew there'd be trouble. Ami had reclaimed her domain, but Roxy had not relinquished it. Somebody was going to get hurt, and I was pretty sure that person would be four-legged, furry, and possessed of a tail.

At breakfast time, while Roxy napped under the table, Ami scratched at the door to be let in. I opened the door and she spotted the dog. She gave me one of those soul-withering looks - How could you? - and walked off to sulk on the roof. An hour later, with Roxy sacked out downstairs in my room, Ami came back and scratched again. I opened the door again. Ami came in very cautiously, looked around, sniffed at things, and finally settled in her favorite spot on the chair in front of YD's computer. She had a nice bath and a little nap, and then we both heard Roxy's tags jingle. Ami streaked outside through the balcony door.

For a while, she disappeared. Then she turned up again, peeking through the pane in the French door. Roxy was lying on the other side of that door, so she sat up and looked interested. Ami gave her the back of her tail -!- and settled under the glider for some thoughtful crotch-licking. Having no idea what would happen, but feeling hopeful, I opened the balcony door. Ami ignored me. Roxy edged over to the door and sniffed a little, and then lay back down. This appeared to be our usual standoff.

I got out my yoga mat, put a yoga tape in the DVD-player, and proceeded to work out for forty-five minutes, undisturbed by cats or dogs. When I finished, I stood up and rolled up my mat. Roxy was sprawled in the roadkill position in front of the door, snoozing. I said, So, you won, did you? She opened one eye, twitched her nose, and went back to sleep.

Poor Ami, I thought. Oh, well, I guess I'll go get the mail. I closed the balcony door, which had stood open all this time, and headed to the front door. In the living room, on the sofa, I found Ami, curled up in a ball, sound asleep! She had walked right past the dog and made herself comfy in the other room; the dog had stayed still and remembered not to chase her without any human intervention whatsoever.

Yowser. It all happened right behind my back! Peace broke out!

Now, if something like this could happen in the Congress, and in the Mideast, we'd have real progress.

Update: Ami continues to assert her ownership rights to the house, and Roxy continues to be a very good girl about the whole thing. She's intrigued, though, and sometimes has to be persuaded to stay away from the cat. She seems more curious than antagonistic - in fact, more than curious. The dog is fascinated with the cat.

ED took Roxy back to the lake on Wednesday morning. Yesterday, when I woke YD up, she said, "Where's my dog?" I said, "Up on the mountain." She said, "I bet she misses the cat." I said, "I bet she does. And I bet the cat hopes she dies up there and never comes back." YD said, "That is definitely some unrequited love."

1 comment:

other lisa said...

Heh! Usually they do work things out, eventually. The same kind of thing happens when I introduce a new feline into the mix (I have three). Though my eldest cat has still not forgiving me for the Cursed Kitten.