When a Cat Loves a Dog
Miracles Happen ... When a Cat Loves A Dog
The phrase “fight like cats and dogs” can be traced as far back as the 16th century – and it’s still a common expression today. The saying, of course, refers to people who argue all the time – often quite loudly. But real cats and dogs? Is there really any animosity there? Or are these two house pets just getting a bum rap? Well, it depends on whom you ask or where you look. Look at the science and you’ll find that historically and biologically, they’re hardwired to see the world a little differently, leading to reactions ranging from general disinterest to absolute hate. But talk to someone that owns one of each and you may be surprised to hear how well they get along. And YouTube, of course, is full of both – cat and dog love stories as well as chase scenes that would make your hair stand on end. In honor of all the unlikely bonds, I'd like to share my personal story of what happens when a cat loves a dog.
But, if you could spend a day with Gus and Sadie, you’d walk away knowing that cats and dogs can forge a friendship, share an unbreakable bond, and truly be four-legged BFFs.
Paul and Sally Taylor lived a few miles from town on a small farm where they raised and boarded horses. Like many other farm families, they loved animals which led to them adopting two dogs and several farm cats.
The dogs came to them as pups from the same litter, and these two German Shepherd-mix puppies were inseparable from birth. Gus and Max shared the same mom, the same milk, the same bed, the same toys, and even the same food. They adjusted quickly to life on the Taylor farm. They liked their human owners, lying in the sun, and chasing each other – and tennis balls – all around the yard. And when the humans left for a while, well, that was okay because they had each other.
For eight years, life was good. Then one day, Max got very sick and the vet said he had cancer -giving him just three months to live. With the help of some pain medication, and with his family and best friend, Gus, by his side, Max enjoyed 62 more days. He died peacefully at home.
It was hard on everyone – especially Gus. The Taylors noticed the change in Gus almost immediately. Although he was still living, he was a ghost of himself. Without his buddy, life hardly seemed worth living. Gus went through the motions, but he fell into a funk. He barely ate, had no interest in play, and spent his days lying around.
It was about this time when Sadie, one of the farm cats, became a bigger part of the family. She was a little quieter than some of the others – a little more domesticated. Born on the farm, she knew the canine duo from the start, but didn’t hang around with them.
But now that Gus was all alone, she seemed to realize she had a job to do. She took it upon herself to cheer him up, and somehow sensing that too much too soon would overwhelm him, she began a slow and steady campaign. It began on warm summer days when Gus was outside. She would present him with a toy or stick. Maybe she’d nudge a ball his way.
Some days she’d leave him a few kibbles of cat food. (Luckily, unlike their finicky feline counterparts, almost anything is a palate-pleaser to a dog). He ate them.
And so it went. Gus became accustomed to Sadie’s presence, and he didn’t even seem to mind her lying by his side. The Taylors couldn’t help but notice these small changes, so the former farm cat soon became a full-time house cat, and things began to change.
Over the next few months, the pair became inseparable. Slowly but surely, Gus began to live again. Really live! He regained his pep. He looked forward to his meals. And Sadie had a new reason to purr.
And these newfound BFFs? They never fought like cats and dogs!
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