There are times in nature you realize you’re not the top predator, sometimes too even in your own home …
This is Scout yawning at the top of the stairs in 2006, I re-edited it last night and was going to replace the old online version only to discover it wasn’t online. It had been on my old site but apparently never made it to the blog, even though I started the blog a couple of months before the shot was taken.
One night in July I woke to my teeth chattering so badly I had to clench my jaw to get them to stop, not exactly normal for the middle of the Arizona summer. The thermometer confirmed a low grade fever and the rapid test confirmed Covid, which I later discovered was quietly sweeping through the plant. I quarantined in the bedroom, at first we kept the pets out but after talking with the vet we allowed them in when I was feeling better. Boo even slept on my chest at one point, something he hasn’t done since he was a kitten, he usually prefers curling up beside me.
In the early days Boo and Trixie occasionally complained outside the door about not being let in, with paws swiping under the door to try to catch my attention, but if Sam was still with us we would have had to let them in and just brought in litter boxes and food. He would have curled up on my chest and been annoyed if I coughed too much, but not so much as to actually get up. I would have been serenaded to sleep by the purrs of a cat who was happy so long as we were together.
If this seems like a picture of an ordinary living room, it is, and it’s why I love it. When we first adopted Bear we kept him in our large bedroom as he would sometimes chase the cats. I wasn’t too worried he was going to physically hurt them but he needed to be calm around his furry masters so they wouldn’t live in terror of him. He had lived with cats before but I didn’t see much indication of it and felt if he didn’t get better quickly we wouldn’t be able to keep him.
I took the picture in April on a day off when I brought him into the living room and had him stay on his bed and let the cats come as close as they wanted. The cats grew up with Ellie so were willing to give him a chance but not if he was going to chase them. The first day I had to keep him on a pretty short leash but on this the second day he was much more relaxed. When he fell asleep I got up and sat on the couch and Trixie came in and sat behind me, eventually even Boo worked up the courage to sit beside me. When they were both a little more relaxed I got up to take a picture of the three of them, and while I did Boo stole my spot. Some traditions must be upheld even in the presence of a scary dog.
I’m thankful to say Bear’s cat manners did improve as he got used to the little ones and he eventually earned his freedom to roam the house. With Boo I would feed both he and Bear some of Boo’s favorite treats and Boo would come right up next to Bear for those, which helped them get used to each other. I had to laugh when one day I came home from work and both Boo and Bear came to meet me at the door, with Boo standing underneath Bear, a sign of how far we had come. Trixie was less afraid of him from the get go but I knew she was getting used to him when she was sleeping on my legs and Bear came in and gave her a good sniff and then licked her in the face and she took the indignity in stride.
Boo looks at Sam in one of his Boo Boxes, both a little proud that for once he could teach big brother a new trick instead of the other way round, but also realizing the box he wants might now be occupied. Fortunately for Boo Sam only sleeps in the boxes on occasion, plus Boo generally prefers the smaller boxes while Sam only likes the big ones.
From December when I was playing around with the Nikon.