Thursday, September 14, 2006

Pecking orders


Ah, I'm relieved to hear that Lorianne's dog Reggie is as much of a push over as my boxer Ruby in the cat department.

We have returned from holiday to discover that the cats have claimed both the dog's beds for sleeping in during the day. Ruby slowly approaches Frank (the cat) who is stretched out inside her crate, and she lies, head down, sniffing and wagging enthusiastically as he nonchalantly rolls on to his back and swipes at her nose with his claws.

At feeding time, she steps back and is muscled out by Ophelia, our dainty siamese (less dainty actually at the moment, having doubled in size whilst I was away), who likes to have first pick of the dog food, before retiring to curl up in Ruby's basket.

My dog has no difficulty being assertive around postmen, delivery guys, male strangers in the woods. She will bark at huge pieces of machinery and large lumps of stone / tree trunk. Even the scariest formations of plastic bags can be warned with the correct tone of woof. When they don't dare to attack us she turns and snorts, that told them.

In Scotland, no word of a lie, she sprinted 400 meters up a mountain (a climb that would take a human 2 hours) and rounded up a whole herd of wild Red Deer, tidying them into a coherent group and moving them around the side of the mountain, before returning at seventy miles an hour, panting hard but clearly imagining our approval of her at an important job well-done.

I have tried many things to achieve the level of control over Ruby that Frank and Ophelia seem to manifest. Cheese, bacon, training classes, whistles, clickers and even chopped up sausages. I would love to know what my feline friends are using - pheremones? Or perhaps some jedi mind trick ... This is not the bed you were looking for.

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4 Comments:

Blogger Dale said...

:-)

Ah, the thing is that human beings and dogs are hierarchical pack animals, and so we interpret the indifference of non-pack-animals as the confidence of the most alpha of alphas. So we all truckle to cats :-)

14 September, 2006 18:41  
Blogger Lorianne said...

Yes, cats are the ultimate jedi masters, curling dogs & humans around their tiniest toe.

Good think I'm allergic; otherwise I'd surely be enslaved to at least one or two. :-)

15 September, 2006 01:51  
Blogger Stray said...

That's a rather interesting perspective Dale, and I suspect you're probably correct. Hence the attractiveness of sociopaths ... !

So, the irony is, that whilst dogs and humans fall at their feet, the cats have no need for our approval or respect and would still prefer to wash their paws of us.

Lori, you've had a lucky escape!

15 September, 2006 17:54  
Blogger MB said...

That last line really made me laugh. Thanks. Cats are so jedi! I think Dale is absolutely correct.

21 September, 2006 02:45  

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