Managing The Herd

I didn’t sleep well last night. The evening started off promising enough… Anna went to sleep with little fuss around 8 pm. Amanda and I got in a few games of a card game called Dominion. I got to catch up on a little reading, and as I started to drift off, my cat Pinkie decided it was time to lay down the law by tormenting a dog that we are pet-sitting for a few days. Not wanting to have to focus on a wound care protocol for either myself or the dog, I first had to convince Pinkie to chill out. As I would reach to pull her out from under the dresser, the dog would approach with ignorant curiosity, and my wife then had to intervene. Eventually separating the two, I figured Pinkie would be fine in the office for the night – perhaps she could enjoy the warmth of the network router. Ten minutes later she began a mournful cry adjacent to our daughters room, so that plan was scratched. Out came the baby gate, thinking that if we allow both dogs to sleep at the foot of our bed, the cats will see that we’re fine and not have to follow thru on their assassination plans. Since I didn’t shut the hall closet door properly when I grabbed the gate, strange noises started up about five minutes later. Miranda was free climbing thru the wrapping paper in search of some treats that we hide up high. As Amanda went to fix that issue, I heard the thumping of Pinkie hurdling over the gate to hide up in our box springs beyond our reach. At that point, everything becomes a blur as I drift in and out of consciousness keeping one ear open for the sounds of bloodshed.

Here are the nuts and bolts of our four-legged friends from last night…

Pinkie – “my cat”. The regulator. If something alarming is going down, she wants to kill it. The regurgitator. Sometimes pees while standing up.

Miranda – “Amanda’s cat”. Overheard me campaign against her adoption, and never forgave. An extremely sensitive pregnancy test. Eats ribbon. Vomits ribbon. Occasionally defecates ribbon. Scavenges. Escapes.

Lucy – our resident canine. Multiple uncommon health disorders. Herds cattle amazingly well. Storm anxiety. Loves other dogs, unless she is on a leash.

Presley – the guest. Fleas love her. Digs. Cannot see tomato plants. Doesn’t know that no means no, especially regarding licking people. Always smells just a little funky.

Now the above may come across as negative, but they are realities, and we love them regardless. Thank goodness, because if our warts were deterrents, I might be the loneliest of them all. We adapt to the issues and don’t demand change, but sometimes we do end up losing sleep. This brings me to the point I have been working towards…

No one is perfect, and the same applies to the animals in our lives. When we bring one of them into the fold, they certainly introduce a great deal of happiness, but at the same time we have to have realistic expectations. Sometimes I’ll be consulting with a client on a problem only to realize that they are wanting something that their particular cat just will not stand for. In other instances, the root of an issue involves having one too many cats in a limited space or perhaps a collection of mismatched personalities. As related above, it can be quite difficult to manage the herd…patience and understanding are key.

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