Donald Trump is alive and well, living in my house disguised as a domestic short hair, black cat with a crooked tail and a bad ass attitude. Which is why our Am Staff (aka pit bull terrier mixed breed), Gracie, has yet to have free roaming rights inside despite the fact that we adopted her last April. Just so you know, we’re well versed in multi-pet households. We’ve had dogs and cats living happily under one roof for 20 plus years. We are really good at mingling critters.
This go round we’ve got just the right combination to brew up one major disaster if we don’t keep a tight reign on the dynamics.
Dynamic Number One: Donald Trump (aka Onyx.)
Adopting Onyx was a deliberate choice.
We brought him home from the local animal shelter when he was four months old. He was a long-legged, scrawny thing with a permanent bent in his tail, huge yellow eyes, and, when I looked closely, missing whiskers on one side of his face. Missing in that they’d been cut off to stubs. Whether these signs of a rough beginning in life had any affect on his outlook on life or whether he was a product of his DNA, as he grew older, he became a very opinionated,
aggressive assertive cat with a bottomless appetite.
Food is his reason for being. Not just his food. He wants the cat food in the dish that belongs to Mac, our orange and white cat. He bulldozes his way into food containers, leaps into cupboards to knock down zip-locked bags of dog treats, biting into the plastic so that he can raid the treat bag for himself and whichever savvy dog lays in wait on the kitchen floor.
If he doesn’t think you’re getting his food ready fast enough (and if you’re stupid enough to stand near one of the kitchen counters), he’ll swat at the food container, invariably knocking it out of
your my hands onto the floor, spilling 4 quarts of dry cat kibble onto linoleum. He has pissed off more than one pet sitter because they didn’t believe me when I warned them about his food aggression fixation.
We always know where he is (except for when he’s asleep) because he tells us!
He’s got a really loud, Siamese yowl. There have been times I’d swear he was singing his death song. Come to find out he was playing with an improvised cat toy on the second floor landing.
He’s more dog than cat – he plays a mean game of fetch with a wadded up paper ball that he chases regardless of where I throw it. And, he brings it back. Again. And again. And, again.
He clamors for attention. “Pick me up now and carry me.” And, we do.
On warm summer afternoons, he sits in the bay window hissing and growling at the neighborhood dogs walking by.
Don’t get me wrong. Onyx is affectionate and happy to be around you as long as you don’t mind a cat that isn’t going to back down. No matter what. If I were going into combat, I’d want Onyx on my side because I know he’d always have my back.
And, in the world of cats and dogs, there’s something to be said for a cat that has learned how to stand its ground. Underneath this admirable trait is a cat that (I suspect) puffs himself up when he’s scared. Kind of like drawing a line in the sand, digging in and daring the opposing foe to cross it.
That opposing foe seems to be Gracie. But wait. Despite the fact that she is the second dynamic, all is not as you might think. And, that my friends, is another blog post!