Fa, Fa, Feline
I am a a Treeing Walker Coonhound. Even if you have never heard of a TWC, all you have to remember is that I look like a very tall beagle and that I like to chase small, furry critters up trees. Needless, to say, it’s probably not a good idea to bring something like a cat into my house. I tend to become a bit overstimulated. Even the smell of a feline will make me go from a sound sleep into four-paw overdrive. Imagine my surprise last Friday night when I caught the unmistakable scent of feline whiffing up from the basement.
But it couldn’t have been – my people are dog people. They say “Hi” and pat all the other canines at the dog park. They feed the wild birds – we have feeders everywhere! My people are NOT cat people. But I couldn’t fight that nagging feeling at the tip of my nose: there was definitely a feline in the house!
It seems that my people decided that this feline, who has been freeloading under our house, was in danger of freezing to death, so they brought it into the basement! What were they thinking? Okay, I never go into the basement, but it is MY house! I am the canine-in-chief! Of course I didn’t want some poor cat to freeze – (it’s no fun chasing a cat that can’t move) – but that didn’t mean that I wanted it in my house. When you are an only canine all the household attention should be on you. I wouldn’t have minded if they had brought in a cold canine (I would have considered sharing a blanket and my sofa), but a feline is like taking in a squirrel – it’s prey, not sofa company. I vocalized my opinion about this boarder, pacing to emphasize my point. I stood guard at the basement door to protect my house from the interloper. I listened to any sound that may indicate a potential feline takeover. My people ignored me.
In fact, my people were very upset with my attitude. They told me that I was a spoiled, self-centered hound. They didn’t understand the danger, at least that’s what I tried to reassure myself. They just couldn’t go around taking in stray animals, I mean what if a bear showed up? We’d have to get a bigger sofa and a bigger bed (we certainly couldn’t all fit on the one they had – someone would fall off and get seriously hurt!). It could get expensive – new sofa, new bed, not to mention the medical bills from falling out of bed.
My people didn’t want to hear anything I had to say. Instead they plugged in the Christmas tree and asked me what I wanted for Christmas this year. Okay, I thought, they are changing the subject, so I decided to play along. When I finished rattling off my list, my people stopped and looked at me. Then they started to tell me about all the animals who lived in shelters who just wanted a toy, or a bone or a forever home. They told me about animals who spent their lives tied to trees, and animals who were abandoned by their people on the side of roads to fend for themselves. They told me about how people let their animals freeze to death outside without any shelter or blankets to keep them warm.
I was embarrassed. My people had rescued me from a shelter. I was the one, who at that time, had hoped for a rawhide and a family. Then I thought about that poor cat, left to sleep in a pile of leaves during these frigid nights. They were right, I was selfish. I felt so bad. I didn’t know how to make amends for my behavior. That’s when I had an idea!