Dogs, cats, humans

Ok, I’m getting sentimental here. But I’ve opened yet another door of the Medical Winchester Mystery House – an autoimmune condition this time – and I’m in need a bit of sentiment. I’ll write the gloomy stuff later, but right now…

I’ve posted (and posted and posted) about Otto, my dog. I’ve said less about my ex-cat (ex-mine that is, not ex-feline), Orion. Orion now lives with a dear friend, partially due to my medical adventures, but he’s still a frequent visitor.

More important, Orion and Otto are… well, it’s kind of hard to say what they are to each other: lets just call it a really really strong bond. Orion was here first, and when Otto arrived as a 7 week old puppy they fast became inseprable. Breaking them up was one of the sadder things I’ve ever had to do. It’s been sadder yet for the two critters.

During Orion’s last couple of stay-overs, I started taking notes on life with a cat and dog. Anyone who lives with both knows that the usual cat rules and dog rules – and your life – change erratically.

So here are the notes. And please: send along your own observations. No doubt we can come up with a book.

Life with a cat and a dog, in no particular order…

  • It is difficult to do yoga or any other floor exercises if a dog is around. It is beyond impossible if a cat AND a dog are around.
  • Cats are fast, but they’re not nearly fast enough to stop a dog from stealing from their food bowl.
  • 1 cat + 1 dog = 4(x) mischief.
  • A cat can wake up a sleeping dog – and a sleeping human – simply by walking silently through a room.

Corollary 1: A cat can suddenly appear right before your eyes – if it wants to.
Corollary 2: A cat can disappear right before your eyes. Same “if”.
Corollary 3: A cat can hide from a dog too, but it takes more effort than fooling the human (that canine nose).

  • A cat will con a dog into doing things that the cat knows the dog isn’t supposed to do.

Corollary 1: The cat will walk away.
Corollary 2: The dog will play on the human’s sympathy and blame it on the cat.

  • Cats don’t do rules.

Corollary 1: Dogs happily do rules, but not if a cat’s around.

  • When the two of them decide that you’re to be “it”, you’re hosed. You might as well stop what you’re doing and join in the fun.

Corollary 1: Dogs and cats agree on one thing: they positively hate having their humans sit in front of a computer. When they decide to work together to remedy the situation, give up.

  • If a cat likes (tolerates?) a dog, he’ll put up with a lot of canine roughhousing. Up to a point. Then the cat either a) runs off, or b) goes straight for the dog’s jugular. Orion did this to Otto to quiet him down one recent night. The night before, I saw a lion kill a donkey (on TV!) using the exact same technique.

Corollary 1: The dog instantly calms down when teeth are lodged in his throat.

Corollary 2: This technique is scarier to humans than to the dog.

  • Life with a dog and a cat is very challenging because together they’re way smarter than we are. And a whole lot more fun.

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4 Responses to “Dogs, cats, humans”

  1. Lisa Paul Says:

    Hope you are feeling better these days. Love the pix of Little Otto as a pup. Orion looks very Egyptian.

  2. MC Says:

    LOVE them!

  3. Robin Says:


    I still miss you and Otto. I’m hoping there will be a new edition of the “Otto” calender this year and would love to have one! It sits on my desk at work as an inspiration, that unfortunately the people I work with now are unable to grasp–but that’s their problem, not mine. (As a subtext, I hope you are doing ok and are often in my thoughts, but it’s not something I like to ask….) I will write you about my “new puppy” adventures soon, when I am calmer and have not just had to deal with another mess that I’m sure Cesar Millan would be able to fix in 2 minutes…..but is still a work in progress for us!


  4. Sherrie Says:

    I have a unique cat named Jeff.
    Jeff has been living with my husband and I for 10 years and I got Jeff when he was 1.5 yrs old. Jeff always finds me, when its nap time. I go lay down for a quick nap and moments latter here Jeff comes. Jeff then proceeds to lay on top of me! It doesnt matter if I turn over, he will then get back on top of me. He hates it if when sleeping with us, we disturb him. I just wondered why does he sleeps on top of me?
    I noticed in the photo above that the cat slept on the dog also.

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