The cat who was slinking around the house last winter is still around, and yes, I have been sneaking dog food out to it, much to the mutts’ distress. Food leaving the house instead of coming in is enough to worry Sam but for me to be opening up some sort of feline food bank is enough for him to yip at me. Sam knows that the amount of food can indeed be finite, and that the more you give away the less you have. Yet somewhere inside I believe that Sam understands love, and the more you give away the more you have.
A few years ago I tried having a cat and all hell broke loose and there was some very nasty conversations about pack hierarchy that involved me sitting on top of Sam, nose to nose with him, telling him in a very calm voice that I was who decided if we were going to have a cat or not. I made no small amount of headway with Sam but the damn cat up and died on me of natural causes. I miss Wakita. I miss having a cat around. Things have changed around the house and there is a new top dog, Lucas, who seems to understand what I want out of dogs better than the Elder Mutts. Bert is getting too old to chase anything anymore. He half heartedly charges at armadillos and then turns around and pretends they ran away. Bert is old and stiff and his time is limited. I never realized how much Sam had slowed down until Lucas got his feet under him in a big way. Sam hasn’t a chance to catch Lucas on a dead run, or even in close cornering. Sam’s days as a speed merchant are over. At nearly ten years old, Sam’s days are now beginning to draw shorter for him, but he has had ten years that he should not have, by all rights. Stay dogs in the woods get no second chances, no reprieves, no good homes, but Sam did all of that. Forever scarred by the first three months of his life, Sam has never wavered in his belief that food is something sacred and each meal an event. Sam has taught me much.
Lucas doesn’t seem to have the drive to hunt the other two started out with, and honestly, Bert didn’t begin with it until Sam arrived. I don’t think Bert ever killed anything before Sam got here. Lucas did go after a squirrel once, and got him, too, but overall he just likes to run. He is the only dog that lives with me right now who I can tell to sit and to stay and he is going to do just that, even if the other two dogs are eating something yummy just a few feet away. Luke wants to do what I want him to do, and he likes doing it. Nothing makes him happier than for me to put him through this leash training, sit, stay, go, stop, and all the while the half tail he has is stiff and attentive, his ears up, and that dead serious look on his face.
I don’t give a damn what anyone says about Pit Bulls. You cannot find a better animal to spend your life with. Lucas shows every sign on earth there is some pit in him and I could not be happier. True enough, you have better train a pit to be a pet, and you must, you must, you must, give a pit some running room or some hard exercise but if you make a pit part of the family you will never, ever, have that dog harm you or anyone you show the slightest affection towards. Someone trying to harm you, or your kids, is going to discover why pits have a very bad reputation has as close in hard biting blood bringing fighters because each and every one of them has that inside. So does every good mother, and you know it. They are fanatical about kids and family. I would not give you a dime for a species of animal who isn’t and a lot of human beings come perilously close to that ten cent discount. In a perfect world I would fence off ten acres, get about ten pit bulls, and I would have a swimming pool and a running track, and a very large bed.
Oh, and totally no fear of ever being broken into at night.
So I am going to draw the fluffy stray in, and I am going to train Lucas to like cats, or at least not eat them. Bert will be indifferent, and I am nearly sure that Lucas will act as enforcer. He’s done if before with the other two, well, at least Sam because Lucas knows better than to mess with Bert around me. Bert is a special dog, still.
So what shall we call the Fluffy Stray? I am assuming it is a boy cat because it has been around for a few months and not had kittens. It could be fixed but I have never been that lucky. I think I’ll have a naming contest, and offer to kill off all contestants but the winner in some horrible tale of a cat like monster. Each person can enter only one name, and must decide as to whether or not they want to be dismembered, eaten, or merely be a casualty of the original event, whatever caused the cat monster to appear. Contestants will have their real life attributes attached to their characters, and each person who enters can email me and offer to kill off someone else in an interesting way, and I’ll think about it.
But first I have to lure in the Fluff Cat, and start getting the mutts to start liking the idea of there being a small mammal that is not prey in the house with us. This ought to be interesting.