We have five cats but these two are the youngest. We have had them since they showed up at our front door only one month old. They have given us many moments of joy and laughter over the last three years. They have loved playing with the laser pointer (see above). They love to wait in ambush for each other or any other of their sibling cats. Aubie certainly keeps us on our toes. He loves to claw up walls. ( most of our walls in the laundry room have permanent mud on them.) Aubie is our clawer. He loves to climb me like a tree. You can hear me constantly telling him, I am not a tree! He recently has taken to clawing the door of our upright freezer. He loves to stretch for the magnets and claw them down the door. He also can be seen biting the white button on the door. One of these days, I wouldn’t be surprised if he has opened the refrigerator door using the towel hanging from the door handle.
Missy on the other hand, is our cat that hides in small places. She loves any empty box found around the house. She also has been found under our living room chair in a piece of cloth that makes the perfect hammock for her. Her favorite thing is to sleep on me. Not just by my leg but actually full body on me no matter what position I sleep. She is the most photogenic and being the queen of most of our pictures is all the proof you need.
Together, they love to play Tabby golf. (or at least that is what my husband calls it.) He has cut a round circle out and placed it in our back room. He uses a putter and three balls to play this game. He starts on the other side of the house, puts the ball with the cats waiting on the path somewhere before the “hole”. They then wait until the balls come pass them. Missy quietly waits and then swats at the ball as it passes. Aubie will pretend that he has no interest and as it passes by will pounce on it. They can play this game for a good solid half an hour with no stopping.
Aubie also has amazing control over his hands and mouth. I have seen him carry anything that fancy hims in his mouth. He loves to play with pill bottle tops. When they get to far away from the wooden floor, he will pick it up in his mouth and then carry the top back to the wooden floor. His curiosity is over the top. You can look at him and see the wheels spinning in his tiny head. He will stand on a table, look at an object and get this look on his face, next thing you know he is swatting it with his paw to see what will happen. I love watching these two young cats and can’t wait until I see what next will be their fancy.
Around three weeks ago we adopted a border collie. This year old was found wandering the streets and was picked up. He was passed along from a vet office to a few homes. We adopted him from the Circle of Friends rescue organization.
Aiden is a wonderful dog and full of energy. I think he has medium herding instincts that have made living with cats an experience. It has taken him about two weeks to be able to come up to our oldest cat, Leon, and give him sniffs and kisses. The other two cats have not been as successful but I have every hope that they will be come tolerant.
I had forgotten how much work and how much a of a schedule a border collie requires. Since Seamus, was with us for fifteen years and for the last five he had slowed down immensely he did not require as much attention as far as walking, etc.. Seamus also never really had very strong herding instincts.
Aiden likes to go for long walks but he is not completely leash trained so I have purchased a leader collar. (this has helped a whole lot.) He also likes to fetch his discs and push around a soccer ball. I hope to eventually to work with him to get him to really start doing tricks and long throws with discs.
The best story so far was when we were bringing him home. (It also reminded me that just like kids when dogs are very quite, they might very well be into something they should not…!) As Aiden was riding in the back seat he was going from window to window. We had been at our small group gathering and had received a small container of candy. (We unfortunately, didn’t know that the candy had spilled over. ) Aiden had been very noisy for about fifteen minutes and then was quite. I had assumed that he had tired himself out and had laid down to rest. A few minutes later, Paul said do you smell peppermint? I did but I couldn’t figure out where the smell was coming from inside the truck. A few minutes later, I heard Aiden munching on something. I unbuckled my seat belt and twisted around until I could reach him. I discovered that he had a root beer candy in his mouth. We can only assume that he had eaten a peppermint earlier.
I can’t wait to see what other stories I will be sharing over the many years we will have with Aiden. I knew that getting another border collie was going to be a lot of work but there will be so many rewards. A side benefit is that I’m getting a lot of exercise. Stay tuned for more stories….
It has been almost a month that I had to say goodbye to my baby dog. Seamus had been with me for fifteen years but he lived to be almost seventeen and a half years old. He was a great border collie that was just a part of the family. He began his life with us as my mother’s dog.
I remember the day she called me to say that she thought she had found a dog. She wanted me to check him out so we went to the Atlanta Humane Society the next day. Seamus sat at the back of the kennel when we approached but he immediately began waging his tail and walking towards the front when he saw my mother. You could tell that he had remembered her from the day before. Needless to say, she adopted him and we took him home. She had about two years with him before we had to say goodbye to her and he began his life with me.
In his earlier years, his job was to wake me up every morning. He was faithful with that chore and insured that I did not go back to sleep. He would just sit at the side of the bed and just stare until I began to get up. If I didn’t get up, he would then begin to nose me until I was up and out of the bed. Seamus also loved to play hide and seek. He would stay put and then I would go and hide. I would call his name and then the game would begin. He would seek me and eventually find me. What amazed me about him, was he would always check the previous place you would have hidden. He would play that game for hours.
As he matured and slowed down, he would still sit with me and watch the world go by. The cats that we had, slowly began to watch over him and keep him company. Toward the end Boodle, one of our newer cats, would be constantly at his side when he was out. Boodle would make sure that Seamus was safe and sound.
Now that he is gone. I still go around the house from time to time expecting to see him. Leon our current oldest cat also is missing him. Leon will walk the house crying looking for company. He always had his friend around to sleep with if we were not there. Leon on occasion has taken it upon himself to sleep in Seamus’s bed. I will miss you old friend and even though I will eventually get another border collie to fill up the empty place in my heart. There will always be a place in my heart for you.
Several years ago, I wrote a song for Seamus when I thought we were going to have to put him down. Luckily for me, Seamus lived five years longer. Below is the video that I created using the song that I wrote.
When my dog, Seamus, was young he would gently guide the various cats we had around. He would let the first cat he ever knew, Mistletoe even sleep with him. He has always been surrounded by cats but in the last few months he has had three cats in his life.
As he has gotten rather old and senile, the cats have taken to herding him and watching over him. He can’t tell when he goes out (in a fenced in yard) that it is time to come in. Often, he will stand at the back door wanting in but even when you open the door he doesn’t have a sense that it is open. Only his cat friends are there to let him know that it is time to come in. They will cut in front of him, nuzzle their face into his face and at times walk under him to get his attention.
This role reversal reminds me of people and especially leaders. At times, we need to know when to follow and when to lead. Just because you are a leader either by position or by your talent there are times that you don’t know where to go or have the skills or knowledge to lead the way. You must be humble enough to know when to lead and when to follow and not let your ego get in the way. It’s amazing to me that by watching animals interact we can learn a little on how we should act. The next time I am leading, I hope I take the time and self-reflection to look around and realize that I might not be the person at the time to lead. I also hope, that in reverse, that if I’m following and I do have the belief that I can better lead than the person that is that I have the strength to step out in lead.
The boys- minus Boots
Well our family has grown by two. We have two new cats, Boodle (Kitten Kaboodle) and Boots. These two have been hanging around our property for the past four months but it wasn’t until about a month ago that they came close to the house. I was calling Leon, our Bombay cat, when Boots came bounding up to the back door. It was obvious that he was not getting anything to eat other than what he could catch. It was also obvious that he was at just about a year old. A few days later, his litter mate, Boodle began to come close to the back door. Boodle would disappear for a few days and then show back up. Paul and I suspected that someone had taken him in so we were cautious of feeding him. After a few weeks it became obvious to us that they were not being taken care of by anyone so we began to talk about adopting them.
Now most people will tell you that dogs and cats do not get along. This is especially said about Border Collies. Seamus, as I have posted before, is sixteen years old and has become crotchety. I was hesitant about adopting two cats but I had hopes that he would accept them. It was rough the first few days because the cats especially Boodle loved to go up and greet Seamus. They have come to an agreement about space issues. When Seamus goes out Boots and Boodle both go up and say hello to him. They have begun to watch him when he goes out and make sure he doesn’t wander away. It is similar to Leon’s role in Seamus’s life. (See My Brother’s Keeper)
I look forward to many stories and fun times with our new editions.