Our doggie is a little Scottish rascal, Angus.
Our kitty cat is a fat British gentleman, Rupert.
We should have known they wouldn’t get along.
We’ve had Rupert for 11 years. He’s had the run of the house. Except he hasn’t run very much at all. He’s getting to be a lazy boy. And he’s getting, uh… big-boned. Plus, he’s set in his ways.
He does like human company, though. He likes to hang out on the couch. He likes petting. He likes sleeping with his people. If there’s company, he’ll come downstairs to check them out — as long as it doesn’t sound like too many people.
We’ve always commented that in this way, he’s like a dog.
However, he does not actually like a dog.
The arrival of Angus, age 1, has rocked his world.
Angus is very curious. And he barks. He barks at other dogs. He barks at visitors. He barks at lawn equipment. He barks at indoor cleaning equipment, like vacuum cleaners or the Swiffer wetjet.
So far, we have kept the two segregated. It’s detente. That’s a fancy French word meaning, “fur will fly unless you keep us apart.”
Rupert stays in the master bedroom. Or, more precisely, he stays in the big closet I share with my wife. Even more precisely, he stays underneath a rack of my pants. If you see me with a lot of white hairs on my navy trousers, this is likely the reason.
Now and then he comes out from the closet, but if he hears pawing at the door or a bark — back in he goes!
Angus has the run of the rest of the house. And run he will — with his little clicky-clack paws slipping around the hardwood floors like a racecar without tire tread.
He’s not reliably potty-trained yet, so someone’s got to stay near him to watch for signs that he needs to go outside. I’m often that guy. I don’t mind. We both like to be on the couch.
The result, though, is I am often exiled from my own bedroom.
In instances when we’ve left the door open, there’s been conflict.
Angus starts sniffing around, sensing another life form in the vicinity. He eventually discovers Rupert cowering under my pants. This is a dream come true, because Angus is a terrier whose instinct is to expel scared creatures from dark holes.
So Angus starts barking.
And Rupert’s back stiffens up, and he starts emitting a low, threatening “grrrrr” sound from his throat.
Eventually, he is intimidating enough to back Angus off. Or else a human rushes in to separate the two.
Then Angus happily makes a final attempt to eat Rupert’s delicious kitty food.
So, anybody got any advice?
I don’t want to be locked out of my room forever. And I don’t want kittycat to be terrorized.
Should we just let them fight it out — like cats and dogs?