Saturday, January 29, 2011

Dogs and cats together

Ook and Zem
Unfortunately my old lab LSD's eyes don't show in this picture. But Zem the little ginger cat seems to be saying "What are you doing mum?" LS was always more calm and accepting of my behaviour, however weird he could have thought it.

Zem came to us from a group of three families of  feral cats that my vet in Toronto was determined to rescue and save.

There were three mothers, each with litters. They all lived together if you can call it living, existing in winter's cold in downtown Toronto with no shelter, food and water scavenged as best they could be. The oldest of the kittens got the milk from all three mothers, and the rest got leftovers.

Zem was about five days old when we found the little nest hidden behind an old house where my vet had discovered them a day or so earlier on one of her home visits (her business was entirely house calls). The mother cats took off leaving the kittens to manage however they could when my vet friend and I arrived. We quickly piled the kittens into three separate boxes depending on size. I agreed to find homes for the four youngest and smallest - the ones who were terribly malnourished.

My son and his partner at the time decided that the baby, whose eyes weren't even open,  was staying. We fed him with an eyedropper.

The four youngest kittens
It was obvious before too long that LSD (Little S*** Disturber - and he was a mischief) was Zem's favourite. Zem got his name from some character in the Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy which my son's partner was reading at the time.

AFter we found homes for the other three, we would find Zem curled up on top of Ook - sometimes lying on his back, tiny claws holding on, sometimes nestled in the shelter of his big paws, paws that were nearly the same size as the tiny kitten.

This friendship lasted for as long as Zem was with us.

When people marvel at having dogs and cats in the same household, I have to chuckle. While they often aren't close buddies like Ook and Zem or now Bliss and Eleia, they can live together in harmony. Humans could take lessons.

Of course if the cat runs - the dog will chase - but it's part of the bigger game of life for them.

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