Cats & Dogs: Can’t We All Just Get Along?

Moving into my house made me finally feel comfortable, and settled enough to really think about getting a dog. But…I’ve got two cats, and one has historically been very afraid of dogs. Even little dogs. I used to dog-sit a daschund and Jerry, my scaredy cat, would just hide under the bed unless the dog was asleep in his crate. Jerry outweighed the dog by at least 6 pounds.

So I’ve been on a mission to desensitize him to dogs. Oddly my first attempt, with another small dog, didn’t seem to go over that well. He continued to hide under the bed, and make terrible growling and wailing noises (that my friend describes as a muffled fire engine). I was, however, surprised to wake up in the morning (with the dog under the blankets in my bed) to find Jerry wandering freely around my room. Once the dog got up that was all over, but at least I knew he’d come out from under the bed.

Then another friend stopped by with her border collie. Jerry went and hid upstairs again, but when the dog settled down I saw him come creeping down the stairs. As soon as he saw the dog he high-tailed it upstairs again but that was a big step forward. (Meanwhile, my other cat was feeling a bit threatened by the dog’s boldness and attacked him to let him know who is boss.) Continue reading