Is Peace Possible?

There was a moment this morning when I thought peace had arrived at home. The inter-species kind between my old dog and new cat. Not exactly new in terms of days, but the dog is thirteen and the cat less than one year old. Currently, they have separate quarters and we stagger their outside time so that they are never alone together.

This morning however, I had the false assumption that the dog was in the garage. Both doors were down, the normal sign. So as I watered the garden, I let the cat out to play. Suddenly, from behind, wandered the old dog. She had the sleepy – I’ve just woken up – look about her. The cat noticed it as well and just lay in the grass near me. The dog sniffed the cat and looked nonplussed. Then the cat stretched upward and actually touched noses with the dog. It was a scary and delightful moment. My heart was beating nearly out of my chest as I tried not to react at all, knowing they would sense my apprehension. The dog walked away and I was filled with happiness.

Was it possible?

Could these two – a small cat and a huge German Shepherd – actually make peace?

Would they learn to be friends?

It all seemed possible – for an instant.

Suddenly, as though the dog had been sleep walking and was awakened – it returned to the cat, circling with tail up and the ears pointed. I knew the stance. It was anything but good. The cat raised up and the circles got closer and closer to the cat until it was threatened and made three nose pops to the dog with its fierce claws, before running for the bushes with the dog in hot pursuit. I turned the water hose on the dog to no avail. With the cat tearing up the woods and the dog trying to anticipate the cat’s movements and circling back around, it was animal warfare.

The cat ran dangerously close to the witty dog and had to dive up a tree. Running in bedroom shoes, I tried to grab the dog. She knew she wasn’t behaving and ran from me. But she’s too old to run far or fast and laid down at the garage. So I got her by the collar and took her to the basement as calmly as I could. She is too old to scold and it wouldn’t do any good. Then I got the cat out of the tree and let it have a few moments of peace with the enemy contained behind the lines.

Oh well! The peace didn’t last long, but the hope of it remains.

Perhaps Israel and Palestine have similar hopes. If I can get my two resident enemies to become friends – at least friendly – there is a chance for these two warring factions as well. Maybe they’ll consult me for possible methods of peace-making.

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  1. I had my heart in my throat reading this. My sister and I had a horrible experience here in France when we came across a dog killing a cat in one of the villages. We tried to help stave him off but were unsuccessful. Long story, but we’re still upset by the experience. I’m glad your kitty had the tree available to escape into. I wouldn’t take a chance on peace coming about between them.

  2. I had a similar situation at my house. What you have to do is assess if your dog has tendencies to kill. Mine was an old Golden Retriever, who happened to hate our cat, Helen. That beautiful stray a handful and didn’t like anyone, except me. As it turned out, they finally decided to raise the flag and call a truce. I can’t say it was a pleasant household while they both occupied it, but at least we knew we could leave them alone without worry. Oh the joys of owning animals! Good luck to you. Keep us posted!

  3. Thanks for the advice Annie. It’s comforting to know that others have experienced a similar circumstance and that I am not just a bad ‘mommy’. Yikes!

  4. Heck, my old cat Chloe and newest comer Jean-Luc hate each other. Sometimes a nose touch makes me think reconcilation is at hand, but next thing you know they’re hissing and mixing it up. At least they’re of comparable sizes and I don’t think fratricide (catricide?) is the goal,

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