Friday, January 15, 2010

And You're Gonna Love Me


Becca, our eleven year old Dalmatian/Lab, is not exactly a patient pup.  Each afternoon at four forty-five, she looks at me with wild, bulging eyes and barks.  Incessantly.  It isn't her regular, "There's a stranger lurking" bark.  Nope, that would not be effective enough.  It's her, "If you do not feed me now, I WILL STARVE TO DEATH RIGHT THIS MINUTE" bark.  Very effective.   In the fall when we set the clocks back an hour, she forgets to bark at me for a couple of days, but then, her tummy catches on to the time change thing(silly humans) and we are back on schedule again.

Becca is fairly particular about who she allows into her inner circle.  There are people whom she has known for years who she still looks at with a leery eye.  And regardless of how many times we reintroduce her to them, she barks at them when they first come in.  She would never bite, but she is a pretty vocal gal who is deeply devoted to her people.

Enter Jersey.  Jersey is one of two Cornish Rex kitties that Mark gave me after our twenty-one year old feral cat, Chloe, passed away several years ago.  My heart was broken and Mark knew that bringing new babies into my life would help me to heal.  We usually adopt from shelters or rescue organizations, but after doing some research on cats with exceptional personalities, Mark decided to bring home these fearless little furless furballs.  Callie and Jersey are not your typical cats.  First off, they look a little bit like bats or aliens, with their gigantic ears and eyes.  They have only one layer of fur(most cats have three) and the little fur that they do have is curly and soft like velour.  Cornish Rex cats also have some quirky personality traits.

They are acrobats and clowns, but they also love to be LOVED.  Jersey came into our family thinking that everyone, and that includes Becca, should love him as much as he loves them.  There is no negotiating.  There is no vote.  You simply WILL accept his love!

Jersey does not care if he is rubbing you the wrong way...

As a matter of fact, your moment of complaint gives him the perfect opportunity to clean himself.

Which he does...

Until Becca stops that incessant growling sound.

At which point, the rubbing recommences.

Becca has learned to put up with this irritation.  She has somehow come to understand that Jersey's display of affection is not necessarily a bad thing.  Annoying, yes, but tolerable on some level.

Maybe she realizes that he needs it.  Possibly it is because he knows that she needs it.  In spite of her complaints, Jersey continues to rub away.  There seems to be a symbiotic connection which exists between these two that allows them to sense what the other one might be needing.  And they allow the other one to express and fulfill that need.(However annoying.)

After Jersey struts away, Becca is left to contemplate what just happened.  I have to laugh at the look of annoyance on her face.  I probably look that way to her when she barks her "Feed me!" bark each night. But patience comes in many forms.  With our pets, it might be in the clean-up that comes with pet ownership.  It might come in the form of deciphering the different barks or meows that they use to get our attention.  Or, it might come during the times that one of us needs affection, and looks toward the other one to provide it.

Relationships can be as complicated or as simple as we decide to make them.  Oftentimes, it can be as easy as reading the small cues that others provide for us.  For this Dalmatian/Lab pup and her Cornish Rex buddy, the lesson is fairly simple.  If someone rubs you the wrong way, the true message may get lost in the translation.  Try to view them with a patient eye.  They will either go away, or you will become better friends.  Either way, you will be no worse for the wear in the end!(and you might even like it!)




14 comments:

Anonymous said...

I love the pictures mom! Jersey is so cute :D

*Me

Anonymous said...

(and becca too of course ;) )

*Me

kim-d said...

Deb,

It will never cease to amaze me that I am always lead to check in over here when you have posted something that I desperately need to read. If it seems that I start out every comment to you with the same declaration, that's because it's true!

I really don't like it when it turns out that it is just better for the annoyance to go away, but sometimes it is necessary. It does end up being better; it's just a process getting to the better.

Every day at around noon, Frank and Nancy start reminding me it is lunch time. Nancy is more vocal, but Frank will stand up with his front paws on my knee and reach for my face with one paw. He wants me to look at him and SEE how hungry he is. :) If I don't pay attention right away, they start to pace. It is so distracting that it really does behoove me to get up and give them their lunch. And besides...they give me so much more than they ask for, it is really MY honor to feed them. They teach me the best lessons. And now, I have to learn more aobut Cornish Rex kitties, because they sound precious.

Thanks for another remarkable post, Deb.

Love & Gentle Hugs, Kim

Ness said...

Deb, I love this post. As you know, I've always been a female dog only person and now Michael has brought my grandkitty Jake into my life about the same time we brought our all boy chihuahua Colin into our lives.

What would my life be without these two hellions? They roll and play and entertain me for hours. Some times if you are just willing to stretch yourself outside of the box you encounter amazing experiences. I'm not one for change so to have a cat and a male dog was a big stretch but one I'm enjoying.

Thanks for being in my life. It means so very much. Love you~mean it.

miruspeg said...

Deb I thought this was a beautiful story, great photos and I have taken away a valuable lesson.
Bless you dear heart.
Peggy xxxx

Catherine Holman said...

How sweet! I have a little dog named Jersey.
Hugs,
Cathie

Mickey (Michel) Johnson said...

...cute, cute, cute...did i say this was too cute? xo, mickey

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Laura Hegfield said...

I LoVe these photos and the description of this not so complicated relationship (it's 100% love after all!) I miss our boy kitty Lev so much! We found our boy in torn up in the woods over Rosh Hashannah, our hearts were torn up too. He always just snuggled right up to Ellie our Standard Poodle...actually the other two kitties adore her too...but Levy was such a special boy :(

Des said...

These are great pics. There's a very cool Yorkshire Terrier who runs my family's house. lol.

wsxwhx664 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Debbie said...

Those are the cutest photos ever! Love them:)

Kathleen Botsford said...

Life has been busy but I just spent the last half hour catching up with you and yours. Delightful as always!
xoxox Kathy
P.S. I SOOO know what you mean about all of the constant techno connections. Jeez Louise!

Mumsy said...

This is such a sweet blog and the pictures are great!Cats and dogs are amazing.

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