When Tucker split his toenail, leaving the sensitive quick exposed, he was sentenced to several days wearing the dreaded Cone of Shame. Ever the terrier, he didn’t let it stop him from doing most of the things he loves (and was allowed) to do, including chewing a bone, with my help.
When he came back from the vet–the first time–Jasper and Lilah swirled around Tucker, performing a thorough examination of their brother. The cats drifted around his legs, their delicate noses twitching with the uncomfortable memories triggered by Vet Smell.
It wasn’t just Tucker that wished the cone would disappear. Tucker banged around the house, knocking into chairs, banging into the backs of my knees, and once almost scooping up tiny Elsa Clair, who meowed her irritation and fled upstairs.
After a few days, they we all learned to deal with the cone; it was part of Tucker now.
Except for Calvin.
He was fascinated by the cone, and would find ways to investigate it.
Sometimes he stuck his head all the way inside.
Tucker, who is one who loves to cuddle real close with his dog and human family, is usually a little wary of the cats. When he’s in our bedroom and his feline siblings walk in, he’ll slowly get up from his preferred spot on the bed, jump to the floor and army crawl his way underneath, squeezing himself into the darkness.
If I were to guess, this precaution is related to the Ambush the Dog game Miss Athena plays when the mood strikes her. Positioning herself on the corner of the family room table, she waits for Tucker to walk by in an attempt to get someone to throw his Ball. If he gets close enough, she delivers a formidable hiss/swat combination. The dog is stymied, unable to engage in his favorite activity. Tucker proceeds with caution when the cats are around.
Now here was Calvin. In. His. Space.
About as in his space as one can get.
Tucker seemed a little concerned, but Calvin is the one among the cats that truly seems to like the dogs. He’ll curl up next to them, rub their heads when he can reach.
One night, Tucker was feeling a little sad; he was uncomfortable, it was raining, I had tied a plastic bag around his foot when we went outside, and he couldn’t play Ball.
Calvin jumped up on the ottoman, and leaned in far enough to reach Tucker’s head.
He buried his nose in the dog’s scruffy fur. Then, he slipped his tiny pink tongue out of his little cat mouth and began grooming him. Tucker closed his eyes, appreciating the the thoughtful attention.
Let others say I was reading too much into this action. But I know Calvin was showing love for his brother.
Do your pets know when someone in the family–canine, feline, human or other–is sick or sad? How do you know? How do they show their love and concern?
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