My blog isn’t much of a blog anymore, but I can’t let it sit out in cyber space without formal notice of my newest addition, Miss Minnie Mooch (formerly known as “Mooch”).
It’s been just Dixie Doodle Dog and I since 2014. We’re happy with each other and our little family, but we moved (again) in July of 2016. This time, to a little rental house with a fenced backyard for Dixie and I to play in together. Our new landlord is lovely, and when I told him I was considering adopting a second dog or a cat he said that was fine and they had no breed or size restrictions, just a one-time pet fee.
I thought about it for a long time. A playmate for Dixie would be lovely, but she is really particular about other dogs, and really reluctant to share me or my time with another dog. I had a lot of discussions with my trainer about it. I knew it was possible I’d have to arrange separate walks, at least temporarily. It might be work to introduce them and have them get along.
I looked at so many adoptable pets online. My trainer agreed to meet me at a local rescue and look at some adoptable dogs to help me narrow down the field. I went early and looked at some cats. Then the trainer arrived and we looked at the dogs, and chose one to meet. He was very cute and very vocal. He was very stressed. It was heartbreaking. I was so nervous. Despite living with Dixie for over two years, I’m still not a “natural” with dogs. I can’t really read their body language and am uncertain how to approach them or interact with them. I stood talking to the adoptable dog and he barked back at me. It was uncomfortable and awkward.
I thought about it that night, but decided a cat was probably a better fit for both of us. Dixie’s never shown much interest in the cats we’ve seen, which is pretty much ideal from my perspective. Not overly interested, no dislike, just “there is a cat”. She has shown interest in a rabbit or cat if it moved/ran/jumped suddenly. So a quiet calm cat would be best. I would prefer a senior as I’ve always had a soft spot for seniors. But could we find a senior cat that was comfortable around dogs? Seemed like a tall order.
However, I did see one online. A diabetic senior cat that was fine with dogs and calm. Perfect fit! I was just going to wait for a huge project at work to calm down and then I’d apply to adopt this cat. I called the rescue and spoke to them about the cat. They seemed concerned I didn’t know what I was getting into, with a diabetic cat. I tried to reassure them that I’d adopted several diabetics in the past. Moving from Chicago has its disadvantages – they don’t know me here, and they’re right to wonder whether I know what is involved.
I called back the next week, certain we were ready to adopt the cat. He was no longer available. A veterinary clinic had taken him to be their office cat. I was so disappointed. I’d never met this little kitty, but he’d stolen my heart already. I lamented my loss to my friends and resigned myself that perhaps it just wasn’t meant to be.
However, a few weeks later, I got a message from a friend. She wanted me to look at a senior cat available online – same rescue. I told her I was resigned to not adopting, since I didn’t want to put a senior cat through the stress of adapting to life with a dog. She insisted again that I needed to look. The description said the cat was fine with dogs!
I was hopeful again. “Mooch” seemed a great fit. She’s calm and quiet. She had a history of megacolon and arthritis. I don’t have experience with megacolon, but I knew something about it and felt confident we could figure it out. This time, I didn’t delay. I called the rescue right away. I arranged an introductory meeting.
I went to the rescue to meet Mooch. (Dixie was not allowed.) She was adorable. So tiny and SO sweet. The rescue let me review her medical records, and seemed reassured by my questions and comments that I was not making a rash decision. I applied for her adoption.
The rescue checked my references and later let me know I was approved. They brought Mooch to us. Dixie was definitely curious about the little kitty taking up residence in our laundry room behind a baby gate, but not too concerned.
Introductions went well, overall. As anticipated, Dixie does exhibit some “resource guarding” behavior. She’s not very happy to share the pet beds with Mooch, though she’s improving constantly. She didn’t like Mooch to be on the love seat with me. It’s gotten better, but Mooch has also decided it’s not really worth it to be on the love seat. Mooch has decided it’s worth it to join us in bed at night. Dixie was upset at first, but got over it quickly and for the most part we all have our “spots” in bed now.
Mooch is a delight. We have stolen cuddle sessions, usually in the bathroom when Dixie isn’t looking. She purrs and we butt heads lightly. She’s probably the most laid-back cat I’ve ever had the fortune to know. She’s not thrilled if I’m late with her breakfast or dinner and will give me a loud meow to know it, but overall is just happy to have a comfy warm place to sleep. Lately she’s taken up Dixie’s “guarding spot” sometimes, in front of the large picture window, to check out the neighborhood activities. She seems less interested in watching the back yard, though I took her out in a harness a couple times to investigate. (It’s fenced and Mooch isn’t able to run fast, climb, or jump… but I don’t her venturing off where I can’t see her.)
It fills my heart to have a cat in my home again. Dixie Doodle and Minnie Mooch bring me joy, and laughter, and so much love.