Sister love

I hope you’re not bored of seeing videos with cats in them, because this one was too good not to share. It’s hot off the press, as it was shot this afternoon.
Jaz and Nana, our oldest cat, have moved to second base. I cannot believe I caught it on tape! Nana is so drunk with love that she takes a tumble off the stairs, and Jaz lifts her leg in order to give Nana better access, after which they have a little boxing match. You’ve gotta watch this one right to the end… enjoy:

PS: Note to my Dutch readers: Ik heb onlangs een stukje geschreven voor de digitale nieuwsbrief van de Nederlandse Lakeland Terriër Club. Je kunt het hier nalezen. Als je lid wordt van de club krijg je de digitale nieuwsbrief automatisch toegestuurd. Meer informatie vindt je op hun website, of op Facebook. (Nog meer lezen/zien over Lakelands? Bezoek ook eens het Nederlandse Lakeland Terriër forum!)

It’s all about compromising

It wasn’t exactly love at first sight when it came to Jaz and our two cats. Especially Nana, our eldest, used to tell Jaz off all the time. What did we expect, with a house full of females?! (I can hear one of our dog trainers say: “It’s why they call ’em bitches!”) Jaz tried to get the cats to play, but soon discovered that that’s easier said than done. “These are some strange dogs…”, Jaz must have thought “…they seek refuge in higher places as soon as you as much as wag a tail or move a paw!”

And although in the beginning it seemed as if they weren’t interested in the dog whatsoever, and tried to resist getting to know her, the cats were definitely intrigued in Jaz. Slowly, bonds developed between them, and canine and feline lives started to integrate. Our youngest cat, Bibi, started drinking from Jaz’s water, and even utilizing Jaz’s beds (before, she would frantically try to ‘bury’ anything with Jaz’s scent on it, because, to her, it all stank!). Nana would even be as bold as to come and check out what was going on during our grooming sessions, with Jaz still on the table!

Although the cats sometimes still jab Jaz in passing (often well-deserved, because Jaz can be quite pushy), and Jaz still chases them around the living room every so often, the three of them have somehow come to an agreement to share part of their territory also known as the living room. The cats used to rule the house. All three floors. They now have to share one of them. And although Jaz only gets to use this one floor (which means that, sometimes, she is left out when the cats are playing upstairs), she has the great outdoors to explore. Each has their own privileges. Occasionally, a cat toy will make it down to the main floor, which gets Jaz all excited. Similarly, if Jaz happens to drag some twigs, sand, or ocean water inside, the cats are the first to inspect Jaz, closely examining every square millimeter of her fur.

So everyone has compromised around here. The cats have learned that sprinting will only result in being chased. And Jaz has learned that being too enthusiastic will cause the cats to scurry off. And since they’ve admitted to the fact that they are curious about one another, both parties have started to change their behaviours. The cats tread slowly through the living room. And Jaz almost turns into a statue when either of them is close, hoping for some good body-rubs… Witness the mutual compromise at work between Nana & Jaz, it’s a thing of beauty:

Dogs have masters, cats have staff

Our home has been turned into a well-organized crime scene. Jaz has settled into a nice routine: daycare on Mondays and Thursdays, grooming on the weekends, and terrorization of the cats in between. She’ll chase them from barstool to scratching post to sofa, until they surrender and disappear upstairs (where Jaz isn’t allowed). Sometimes, she’ll corner one of them, attempting to stick her nose in their fur and take a good whiff. But she’s messing with the wrong felines. If she thinks she can win this battle, she’s got another thing coming. Our cats are no pushovers, and, unfortunately for Jaz, they will not succumb to the mere threat of nuclear weaponry. For over the past year, they have realized that Jaz is a lot of bark and no bite, and that they hold some impressive ammo of their own…

In our house, somebody is always watching your every move!
You better watch your back, Jaz…

Namely, whenever possible, our cats play the sympathy card with mommy and daddy. Their big eyes and scurried trips up the stairs scream: “Help us! Please!” However, when they suspect we’re not looking, they’ll throw a punch or two to defend their kind. From time to time, our oldest cat, Nana, even builds up the courage to turn the tables and chase Jaz around the living room, or hit her on the head when she passes under the scratching post. Nasty little sneak-attacks! Moreover, when Jaz comes home from daycare, Nana will rub herself up against her, as if by transferring her scent, she is reclaiming her property… or perhaps this falls in the ‘kill ‘em with kindness’-category…?
Dogs have masters, cats have staff. Cliché but oh so true. Nana is working hard on making Jaz one of her minions, because she knows that it’s only a matter of time; eventually, we all cave.
Take last weekend, for instance. I was grooming Jaz, and Nana came down to revel in her misery. A shameless case of Schadenfreude. She pulled up a chair, and came to take a closer look at Jaz, who was on the grooming table, held up by her noose, unable to defend herself…

Our new grooming audience...
Nana: “Well, hello there, doggy…”

It could have been the perfect crime, had I not been there with them. So out came Nana’s most innocent face as she she purred and twirled around on the chair, meowed at Jaz a couple of times, and was taken aback by the sight of this other, gorgeous cat in the mirror… If you didn’t know any better, you’d think she might actually be growing fond of Jaz!

"Hey... are there two cats here?!"
“Ooooh! Look at her!”

(Wo)man’s best friend – an ode to dogs

Jaz & mom closeup
Puppy love: Jaz & myself just after grooming (which is why her hair looks awesome and mine not so much, LOL!)

A dog is so much more than just another pet. If you own a dog, there’s always someone to greet you the moment you walk through the door, someone that makes you get off the couch to catch some fresh air, and someone to share your stories or split your dinner with. A dog is the friend you take for a walk on the beach (even when it’s raining – because you promised!), the family member you snuggle up with on the couch (and who never complains during endless Sunday afternoon re-runs of ‘Sex and the City’) and a partner-in-crime when it comes to finishing that extra piece of pizza you could do without (but you’ll walk it off together, right?! :P). With its endless zest for life, a dog can magically cheer you up with something as simple as a wag of the tail.

Jaz & dad
Best buds: Jaz & dad enjoying refreshments on the beach at less than ideal temperatures… gotta love Vancouver 😡

Don’t get me wrong, I love my cats as well. But where my cats cry of abuse and scream of murder when I take them anywhere outside the house, Jaz is always ready to roll: anywhere, anytime, with anyone (well… except for toddlers, but we can’t blame her for that now, can we?!). And while my cats stick their noses up at new food offerings, putting them through an FAA-grade inspection before accepting them, Jaz will gobble whatever you have up in a split second – fingers included if you don’t watch out! Dogs have masters, cats have staff. Cliché, but oh so true.

Jaz & grandpa
Ready for anything: Jaz & grandpa on the prowl

But perhaps the best thing about a dog is that a dog knows it is part of your inner-circle. Jaz may not always listen and be compliant (after all… Lakies are known for their selective hearing ;)), but she knows exactly what is expected of her and she has a thorough understanding of our unique bond. She knows when and how to pull a cute face so she gets that extra treat. She knows when you’re sad, and will offer to join you on the couch. She knows when you’ve had enough and she should really listen, or else…!
It’s this interaction and the silent agreement that we have, that makes (to me, at least) owning a dog so special.

Jaz & grandma
Perfect posers: Jaz & grandma. You can tell that Jaz knows it’s picture time...
“Gramps! Did you get the shot?!”

Three strikes – you’re out!

Strike one:

Strike two:

Strike three: