Sunday, April 26, 2009

The Dude and Kishi both learn about each other

The Dude is a very playful fellow. "Go-Play" is his middle name - I'm not kidding. He likes to play with everyone and every animal he encounters. The only problem is that not all animals are in the mood to play, at least not all the time. Some aren't ever in the mood to play.

Enter Kishi, our cat. She doesn't like to play, except by herself, or with her own tail. Otherwise, please keep the playing away from her.

One day the Dude was enjoying his time with Clair the pack leader, when one day in walks Ellen with her cat Kishi. Both were coming home to stay. Mr. Lickerson was very excited - more people and animals to play with. Kishi didn't share the excitement, and neither did Ellen.

Humper kept wanting to play with that black cat. Kishi wanted to keep away from that dog, whatever they called him. Humans had to intervene every now and then. Kishi had to swat Humper on the nose to get her point across. The Dude learned to dodge the swats, and continued to offer playful exchanges.

It took a while, but eventually both learned good lessons about the other through direct experience. Humper learned that Kishi was an animal that didn't play. Kishi learned that the Dude meant no harm. Both learned to ignore the other except for the occasional sniff and glance.

What started as a potentially annoying relationship eventually sorted itself out peacefully by allowing the animals to interact with themselves as they normally would. A bit of hiding out here, and a bit of nose swatting there, and some chasing around the house and hiding behind furniture was all it took.
We enjoyed the interactions more than our pets, but everything smoothed out soon enough. After 6 months, both Humper and Kishi can now share the same bed, drink out of the same bowl, and lay down next to one another without one being fearful of harm or the other expecting a moment of play.

They now both understand that there's plenty of room under the same roof for both of them. Kishi now stays to herself, just like she wants, and the Dude plays with other dogs in the neighborhood, just like he wants.

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