While these two were playing on this rainy day, I whipped out my phone for some pictures. They paused and got into immediate poses.
Maybe Zoe knows something we don’t. But, I know this picture would never have happened with Doc.
As much as Zoe and Doc got along, she was the alpha. I remember her staring him off the bed more than once. If we showed attention to him, she was right there asking for the same treatment and a little bit more. They played keep away with toys in the best way. She tried to frame Doc by stealing a sandwich the first few days of his arrival. He was on to her plot when she attempted the same thing with a muffin. They conspired together by sequestering Yeti’s mouse toys in their mouths and asking to go outside. Doc had an over-active guilt complex. He put himself in a timeout whenever Zoe got scolded for “cleaning up” the yard by “picking up” after Doc. So, I have no doubt who instigated the above crimes. Yet, they had a great relationship, and I know she misses her back-up when the doorbell rings.
We know this because she brought Doc’s duck to Dave and whined not long after Shadow joined our pack. Or she knows something we don’t.
Maybe Shadow does, too. He may sense my increased attentiveness to her, but he has upped his own.
Maybe they both know something we don’t know. Which is why she gets off the bed if he wants to be there. I haven’t witnessed any frame-ups or conspiracies or clean-up efforts this time. She is quick to tell him when he has gone too far with his playing, yet she understands he and Yeti need their wrestle time. She does steal his rawhides, but stopped a few weeks ago. In fact, yesterday, I’m convinced she brought him the knotted end of a bone. He was “cleaning” the cat box again.
Which started the week after she let him cuddle up to her on the same blanket at the camper.
Maybe they are just doing the things they do…when they know something we don’t.
My hands were a bit full in this moment, so picture this.
When my husband fetched Yeti from the boarding kennel on our way home from our camper, he carried Yeti. Translated: Yeti was not in his carrier.
Apparently, he had a little hissy-fit about my husband retrieving him and not “Me-om.”
Yeti endured being held by my youngest for about half the journey, all the while gazing longingly at me with his big blues. Eventually, he made his way over to me.
Shadow is a fabulous car-traveler. He is better than Zoe, who has to be crated and sounds like a chimpanzee whenever we near our final destination. Shadow either sits or sleeps the entire time.
Yet, introduce a cat crawling over to my lap where his nose is resting?
He did try it–a couple play bites. After all, Yeti is his favorite friend. But, a quiet stern “No bite” led to something not even I expected:
A couple soft licks and head-to-head cuddles the rest of the way home.
Trust me…it was a pretty picture.
After spending a week away from each other, Shadow and Yeti have been quite brotherly this week. Although seeing Shadow go for Yeti’s jugular and watching Yeti get into kick-claw mode, I am learning to remember boys with be boys.
My veterinarian also assures me that this is normal puppy-kitten play. It’s important to let them figure out how to get along.
Here are a few tips I’ve learned from my own experience.
- Allow puppies and kittens to have supervised play. Keeping a close eye on play times is important because it can quickly turn into a game of chase around your china cabinet.
- Teach the command “Leave it” to your puppy. Not only is this an essential command for protecting your best leather sandals, but it’s key for assuring safe play. Oral play–even going for the jugular–is common for puppies. But, that doesn’t mean allowing the puppy to have the upper-paw with kitty.
- Accept that kitty will not learn “Leave it.” My kitty loves to instigate, but teaching a command like “Leave it” only makes him think it’s time to play-attack my leg. If kitty won’t stop pestering the puppy, it’s best to separate them for a while.
- Make sure kitty is wearing a break-away collar. Puppy might think it is fun to drag kitty across the floor, and kitty may not mind. But, a break-away collar will ensure that puppy can’t accidentally choke kitty.
- Keep kitty’s claws. Your puppy may have a war wound or two, but the natural feel of a claw on the snout will teach him to curb his enthusiastic play.
- Let communication happen. A yelp or a meow tells each pet when enough is enough.
- Keep crates nearby. It may be easiest to crate the puppy to keep the chasing to a minimum. But, having an open kitty crate nearby is also a good idea. My kitten sometimes climbs in his as a way to be near the puppy. It can be a good bonding experience.
- Allow a communal drinking bowls. Play like exercise is hard work. Having a communal drinking bowl can be another bonding experience after a good romp.
- Treats and praise for good behavior. Talk it up when your puppy listens to you and treat your kitty when he’s sweet to his furry pal.
All in all this playing is one of the best ways for pets to bond. It might even save a life. One night, Shadow’s effective Retriever tackle prevented Yeti from escaping the yard. So, let those puppies and kitties play, for boys will be boys.