Ponder this:

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

MiMau and the Importance of Keeping the Upper Paw

The challenge for Sunday Stills this week is "wildflowers." As soon as I got home yesterday, the dogs, MiMau and I walked up the driveway and out and down our one-lane dirt road. The dogs sniffed and trotted, the cat meandered along behind, and I took a hundred wildflower pictures, trying different settings.

About halfway through our walk, a car came from behind us . . . stopped far up the road in order to let us get ourselves sorted out. I picked up Max and Angus, one in each arm, and trusted MiMau to have enough sense to run off the side of the road on her own. She knew the car was there and if I had had a third arm I would have picked her up too. All things considered, it is as well that I did not have and do.

Max and Angus started to quibble with each other across my chest. I held them tighter, wishing the driver of the car would hurry up and get on by. MiMau sensed the growing tension and reacted by going into attack mode and put some impressive clawmarks into both sides of my left calf. The car went by, the driver politely thanked me. I put the dogs down and let them fend off the cat. I limped on, the blood wet and cool on the leg of my jeans, and they worked off their group steam. Sometimes the less involved I am in their squabbles, the better off we all are. (Tell me again: Why is managing pets different from managing children?) By the time we'd gone on a hundred feet, everybody was back to abnormal.

In MiMau's ten years here, she has trained four dogs: The two poodles; foundling dog Chase; rescued dog Marly.
Her early method was hiding behind the sliding door of a closet and reaching out a paw full of claws, followed by random rushes. By the time Marly arrived, she had honed her skills to The Eye:
"This porch is mine. You may come No Closer.
"This nice dogbed of yours? Now it is mine."

Tonight we have a four month old German shepherd as a house guest. His owner is away and his owner's wife feels that the dog doesn't like her, so the little guy's having an overnight away from home.

MiMau spent today outdoors in the rain. She was tufted with wet when I arrived home, and greeted me loudly and appreciatively. She might have sworn at me (I didn't quite hear), but I think she was mostly happy that I am tall enough to reach the handle that opens the door to Dry and Warm. It had not been A Good Day For The Cat.
The arrival of House Guest Pup did not improve her Tuesday.

I was not on the scene for the meeting. Husband tells me that she used some very rude language to our guest before departing the environs in disgust.
An hour later, she stalked into the room, past the pup.
She assumed a vantage point beneath a table two feet from the pup. She could see him; he could not see her.
He could feel the force of The Eye: something wicked this way comes.
He licked his lips.
MiMau craned her neck out from her hiding spot, her body stretched behind in taut interest.
To Husband I said, "You know what she's thinking."
"She's thinking," he said, "that she's going to establish her dominance right away."
"Right," I said. "She's working up to Ninja Cat."
He took the dog into the tv room and closed the door.

She really is a nice little cat. She and Angus, in particular, have a close relationship and they regularly groom each other and settle into sleep together.
She is, however, the smallest member of the animal family, and she knows she has few options in the face of larger unknown quantities. It is best to let those quantities know, at the earliest opportunity, that hidden behind her soft and fluffy exterior she is All Teeth And Claws.


Wanda..... said...

Little but mighty!...Enjoyed your short story this morning...except for your clawed leg...you had me smiling.

Carolynn Anctil said...

That's hilarious...except for the bloody leg part. MiMau sounds like a real character with loads of personality and spunk, even if it sounds like she has a bit of potty mouth now & then.

It's too bad the German Shephard's stepmom isn't bonding with the pup. Now is definitely the time to be doing that, before he grows up.

June said...

Wanda, she IS "little but mighty!" That's a great description!

Carolynn, I know what you mean about the dogmom. It gives me an idea of what it might be like if we were to acquire another animal that would be Husband's. I've told him another animal would be HIS...to vet, to walk, to potty, to feed. I'm a little worn out with animal caretaking.

Oh, and some Neosporin took care of the big red lines on my leg; I'm fine now.

Hilary said...

It makes all the difference (to our pets and to ourselves) when we understand them. Clearly you do. Great story.

Freda said...

What a lovely story - and how true. I used to go for a walk with a retriever, a cairn and the cat. Sadly, all three have now gone on to happy hunting grounds. But there is a young 4yr old cairn and an old ginger cat. Their antics still amuse me every day. So glad I clicked on your link. Thank you for such a wonderful word picture.