Critters in the House
We have critters in our house.
Two dogs and a cat to be specific.
Long ago, Max Lightening the Wonder Dog was a member of the Waters family. We all mourned his passing in 2012. Losing Max was so painful I didn’t want another dog. He was a member of our family.
When Mike and I started dating, I knew he had pets. I was cool with the notion of a dog. Or two. But having a cat was a different story. The only cat I’ve connected with in any way was my neighbor cat, Joe. (You can read about Joey HERE).
Still…I like animals and as it turns out, I love the man. So the answer is YES…we have critters in our house.
Honeybee is a Blue Healer. We call her “Bee” for short. I wasn’t too sure about how she would take to me. Blue Healers tend to be “one person” dogs. Mike…to be specific.
“Don’t worry if she nips at you,” Mike said. “She’ll get used to you.” But if she growled or turned my way, Mike scolded her.
Blue Healers are herding dogs. I soon learned that Bee’s “nips” were barely anything at all. She was merely trying to move me in another direction. I could live with that.
When we moved to our new home, Bee no longer had to deal with stairs. No stairs to go out or in. No stairs to climb to go to bed at night. Having no stairs breathed new life into the beautiful animal. She now accepts morsels of food from me and stands nearby, looking up with sincere appreciation as I prepare her midday meal.
The change? I think somehow, Bee credits me with giving her an easily accessible yard and a single story house to call home.
Don’t tell the other critters, but far and away, Roxy was my favorite at the start. That’s a strange thing to say because going into this relationship with Mike, she was the one I feared the most. Roxy is a full-blooded pit bulldog. Until I met her, I had only heard stories of how horrible and vicious pit bulls can be. I heard of how they had a taste for blood and killed young children.
Not Roxy. She might lick you to death…not really…but she is the most loving dog you could hope to find. Roxy is the manager and caregiver of the three. Actually she looks out for all of us. All. Including Bee and the cat. Okay, maybe she merely tries to care for the cat and wants to play with her, but the cat is not receptive of Roxy’s care nor is she ever in the mood to play Roxy’s games.
The last critter in the lineup. Tiki was named after the resort Kon Tiki in the Florida Keys. She has the coloring of the famous “Hemingway Cats” you find in Key West, though unlike those critters, Tiki has the normal four or five toes on her paws unlike the six toes the Hemingway Cats often sport.
Mike rescued Tiki in the midst of a storm. Now, as far as Roxy is concerned, Tiki is the center of the storm. Tiki doesn’t have much to do with me either, though from time to time, she’ll let me stroke her soft gray fur…while she sits on Mike’s lap.
She does appreciate me, though. She watches as I prepare her food and follows me until I set the dish down. She’ll throw me a look of “thanks” before digging in.
So what have I learned from having these critters in our house?
Bee reminds me to respect the differences of those we don’t know well. To appreciate them for who they are and never write somebody off if they don't respond to your overtures of friendship immediately. And... this is the biggie...always be willing to give others a second chance.
Roxy was able to show me that even with all my talk about accepting others, I can be swayed by media to form unfounded opinions about those I don’t know. She has helped me see how bias and discrimination is shaped in the unsuspecting mind.
And Tiki? I’m not altogether sure what I’m learning from Tiki Kitty. Patience, I guess. I’m confident that with patience, one day she’ll trust me enough to let me pet her…on my lap.