Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Lonely Social Cat Bonds with Dog

The pictures don't really tell the story of this Cat Sanctuary graduate, Mo, but that's not his fault...

Mo is a social cat. Every animal shelter, sanctuary, or hospital needs a social cat, because they tend to have a calming, "socializing" effect on most other cats. When Mo went to live at an affiliated cat sanctuary on the other side of the mountain, he actually got the lean, mean, old dominant female and the two fluffy kittens in residence to hang out together and act like friends. They hadn't been friends before.

But the old cat died, and the fluffy kittens found homes. Mo was alone with his humans, who spend a lot of time in town. A social cat likes a bit of company. Some social cats, like Mo's aunt Mogwai and great-uncle Mac, know how to manage dogs and will accept dogs as companions. Mo adopted a scruffy, shaggy stray puppy.

When I go to that house, Mo walks to the end of the wheelchair ramp to meet me and very politely escorts me up the ramp, not demanding that I pause to pet him at every step, but encouraging that behavior as best he can. Then the puppy demands that I pet him, too...and Mo steps back and waits for me to pet the puppy, too, before continuing to pet him.

Although Mo's humans weren't aware of his having posed for pictures before, when I asked him to pose for me on the ramp, this is what I got:

Mo is a Listening Cat; he understands "would you please..." but I'm pretty sure he was guessing the unfamiliar words "pose over there on the ramp" from my body language.

Then I asked him to pose with the puppy. Mo knows the word "puppy." Even the puppy knows that word...but apparently that's the only word he's learned so far...

The puppy looks blurry because he was hopping about and wiggling like mad, straining at the end of a leash, begging for more attention. He'd rather be petted and taken for a walk than merely admired.

The ramp looks uneven because I was tilting the camera to get as much of both animals in the picture as possible. For a home improvement project done by a retired man with no construction experience, on a weekend, almost twenty years ago, it's an excellent ramp.

Mo has yet to socialize a feral cat who's currently living at this address to the point where I could photograph her, too. But he's working on it.