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Cats and Dogs

Though it would be an appropriate description for last night's weather, this time the topic is literal.

I’ve been cat-sitting a sweet baby Russian Blue and Herr J and I walked dogs this weekend at the animal shelter, so it's been a couple of weeks of cats and dogs.

It's been wonderful having animals in our lives again, even though it's temporary. They really do make life better....albeit more complicated.

When I moved to Munich, I had to face the difficult decision of leaving my cats behind. I fear the flight would have greatly traumatized one of the inseparable pair. They're much happier anyway, living with my parents in a house with many birds and creatures outside the big windows and with two people to give them treats and loving.

my sweet kitties, Gus and Loki

It took some adjustment for me to get used to not having to consider the cats in every action...african violets typically got beheaded, other plants eaten; leaving laundry out or the closet open was inviting destruction; and having anything breakable out in the open was a recipe for disaster.

Now I find myself adjusting again...remembering that the cat will drink out of any open container and attack anything hanging down invitingly. And I'm afraid to open the windows to let in air, lest he test the theory that cats always land on their feet.



But it has prompted lots of interesting conversations. Herr J is a dog person (not that he dislikes cats, just never spent much time around them); whereas I grew up with cats and fish mostly.

We've been comparing notes and observing similiarities and differences. Trying to explain to Herr J what is normal cat behaviour is surprisingly difficult. Perhaps impossible, actually. Are there typical cat behaviors? Perhaps some…running amok early in the morning, sleeping most of the day, then coming out at night to loudly knock things off any high surface…that seems very common among all the cats I've known.

life is rough!We have realized that while dogs seem to want human company without exception, cats want it on their own terms. At a distance, and usually at inopportune times or from the person in the room who least likes cats. But they often do want to be around people, contrary to popular thought.

Of course, as soon as you think you have cats figured out, they’ll change things up and keep you on your toes.

It’s been fun having little Smokey around. He’s definitely livened things up and has a really good disposition.  He’s exactly the right mix of loving and aloof. As he's gotten used to his new surroundings, he's been incredibly sweet and wants to be in the same room as me. Whether it's napping or running around, he wants to be with people. He'll follow us from room to room.

Initially we were worried that my speakers would frighten him, as my parents’ new speakers are NOT beloved by the cats. However, he’s done quite well. I actually think he enjoyed District 9, as the prawns made a subtle clicking sound that probably is attractive to a cat (or sounds like food). 

I'm definitely going to miss him when he goes home in a couple of days. However, it's getting really warm and I'm ready to open the windows!  

Look at those gorgeous eyes!

Herr J will post more about the Munich Tierheim (animal shelter), but we did meet one of the sweetest dogs there. Here are Lilly (black) and Romeo (brown), who we walked for a couple of hours Sunday morning. Despite an unhappy start in life (he was part of a major dog rescue led by the police), Romeo's just a bundle of love and extremely well-behaved.  It was really hard not to take him home, or the gorgeous black and white Great Dane we saw on the way out. So far, I'm resisting the call of the animals, but my strength is being greatly tested!

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