I have three dogs (two Standard poodles and an Australian Shepherd) that love to chase squirrels and even - gulp - dispatch them, should they catch them. But, they've never been around cats, except from a distance, and to them, cats looks a lot like squirrels, judging from their usual reactions.
Tonight, my oldest daughter arrives for Christmas, and will be bringing her cat with her for the holidays. So, my question is - should I be worried? Am I in for a nerve-wracking Christmas? Will the family be torn apart by a dog-cat war? Is there an easy way to introduce a cat to dogs so that they get used to each other quickly? Should I put muzzles on all three dogs for the duration?
Or, should I just relax, and look forward to the unique photographic opportunities that this situation may present? Please advise.
#2. "RE: Dear Dr. Nikon..." In response to Reply # 0
Powder Springs, US
What a "k"rap shoot. We have two dogs and two cats; a Chihuahua, a Lab, a Siamese, and a tabby. It's the cats that are after each other. The dogs just watch in amusement. I am not familiar with the Australian Shepherd, but I think the poodles will back off after some welcoming barks
Scott Chapin Powder Springs, GA, USA Nikonians Team Member
#3. "RE: Dear Dr. Nikon..." In response to Reply # 0 Sat 24-Dec-11 04:13 PM by agitater
You're just thinking about this now? Kind of last minute, n'est ce pas?
I recommend the following:
1. 1900 hours: Daughter arrives at the house.
2. 1901 hours: Dad gives daughter huge hug, kiss, more hugs, stares into daughter's eyes wondering how he produced such an incredible child.
3. 1905 hours: Dad gives head a major shake, presses his internal reset button and rushes to thank Mom for producing the incredible child.
4. 1910 hours: Cat carrier is brought into the house. Dogs start barking.
5. 1916 hours: Dad pours a short glass of 20 year old Glendronnach scotch. Dogs continue barking despite repeated remonstrations to shut up.
6. 1930 hours: Someone suggests letting the dogs out in the backyard to run off some of the energy. As this is happening, daughter is heard to ask, "Hmm, I wonder what Socks can use as a litter box?"
7. 1945 hours: Dogs are barking incessantly in backyard. They know that a furry, Socks-like substance is now prowling their territory and nobody (including Dad) seems to be doing anything about it.
8. 2000 hours: Dad pours a second scotch, a bit larger, this time a 15 year old MacAllan (after all, you can't go wrong with the old standards, eh?). The dogs don't seem to be barking quite as loud.
9. 2020 hours: Dad and family, daughter most especially, sit around the living room catching up. Cat is locked in daughter's room to keep him out of the way.
10. 2045 hours: Daughter lets dogs back into the house, whereupon they start tearing up the joint looking for the cat thingy that has been allowed to invade the sanctity of their domicile.
11. 2048 hours: Dogs are fed lightly, watered, and then tossed outside again. Barking ensues.
12. 2050 hours: First phone call from neighbours - "Would you please quiet the dogs."
13. 2100 hours: Dad has third scotch while grumbling about the "testy neighbours" and considering that the MacAllan just isn't good enough right now. 'The daughter is home for the holidays, after all, and that calls for the best!' This time it's two full ounces of The Balvenie, 25 years old, and the smoothest ride this side of heaven itself.
14. 2115 hours: Daughter is still talking about something or other, Dad has a beatific smile on his face reveling in the warmth of family and his wonderful daughter. Somebody notices that the dogs are still barking outside. "Let 'em in, let 'em in," Dad exclaims, "The cat will have to either stay in the bedroom or fend for himself. It's Christmas!" Uh-huh.
15. 2120 hours: Dogs, after vainly pawing at the daughter's bedroom door in search of the cat/squirrel thingy, finally give up and settle down for a well-earned nap.
16. 2145 hours: Dad pours his fourth scotch, this time a two ounce bracer of 20 year old Glenrothes. Dad is a bit unsteady with the pour and slops a couple of drops on the liquor cabinet shelf. Nobody is looking so he leans down and licks up the drops. 'Good stuff should never go to waste,' he mumbles.
17. 2205 hours: Dogs are still quiet, daughter and the rest of the family are chattering about everything under the sun, the phone is ringing (people calling to see if daughter made it home okay). Dad is smiling, sitting in his favourite chair, and the glass of Glenrothes is empty.
18. 2215 hours: Dogs are howling about the cat again. Everybody is fussing about Christmas day, exactly what time to eat, who is visiting whom, who is wearing what. Somebody has put on a Christmas music CD. Dad gets up amid the din and pours himself just one more short one, this time a 16 year old Islay Lagavulin.
19. 2220 hours: Dad is fast asleep in his chair, smiling from ear to ear, with no worries at all about dogs or cats or daughters or anything else. He dreams very peacefully about his daughter coming home for the holidays and how good it feels to give her a great big hug when she arrives.
#5. "RE: Dear Dr. Nikon..." In response to Reply # 0
New York, US
We have two dogs, both rescues so breed is a guess. One is a nine-pound almost pure Chihuahua whose life ambition is to sit in a lap. The other is a 17-pound part Chihuahau part Boston Terrier who loves to play tug of war, fetch, and otherwise be outside sniffing.
Curiously enough, the first time she went to the vet there was a cat loose in the reception area. Pepper was idly curious but exhibited no desire to catch and kill. So you might be lucky.
You also might consider giving the booze to the dogs…
Please remember to shoot and post pics of the meet-and-greet. Use the camera with the fastest burst rate…
Jon Kandel A New York City Nikonian and Team Member Please visit my website and critique the images!
#6. "RE: Dear Dr. Nikon..." In response to Reply # 0
San Diego, US
I'd find a pet hotel or a cat-loving-neighbor-without-a-dog. The cat will likely be nervous as hell (travelling+strange setting) even if there weren't any dogs. Dogs will sense the fear and that will kick in the hunting instincts - this could be the cat's worst Christmas ever.
OTOH, I've seen cats that don't seem to have a capacity for fear and can assert a quiet dominance over most dogs. You never know, but I'd be prepared to isolate the cat somehow.
#11. "RE: Dear Dr. Nikon..." In response to Reply # 0
I used to have a black Labrador. When my daughter came to visit with her black cat, the dog picked up the cat with his mouth and proudly paraded her around the house. The cat was scared stiff and stayed quite motionless, but was released after a few minutes completely unharmed, except for some dog saliva on her fur. Unfortunately I did not take a picture...
#17. "RE: Dear Dr. Nikon..." In response to Reply # 15
Congrats on keeping cats and dogs alive and whole!
Oh, and I was given a nice bottle of Laphroaig yesterday, small-cask double-matured. It still smells of hospital, but that is what makes its charm. And I am usually the only one who will want to drink it
Olivier Rychner __________________________________________ Jetez un oeil ŕ ma galerie if you feel like it! And it's a bit void as of now, but I also have a Nikonians blog
Auta i lomë! And my Nikon's only awaiting daylight...
#18. "RE: Dear Dr. Nikon..." In response to Reply # 17 Tue 27-Dec-11 11:49 PM by musical
Wow, thank God her cat is fine. What a funny thread. I am only seeing these now. Back during our show, the director once said, "if a person falls and gets up, it's funny. If a person falls and doesn't get up, it's not funny." Of course in this case, "everyone" was fine. Funny thread. What's next for New Years Eve? A democrat and a republican, ahaaha. Ok, sorry. This could become a new party motif. Action photography for sure. Lots of possible combos.
"Close Your Eyes and See With Your Heart." a quote by Canadian writer Kerri MacDonald.