Missy and the Gray Cat

Our next-door neighbors have a golden retriever named Missy (which is kind of funny, since if I recall correctly, my grandparents used to have a golden retriever named Missy too). Historically I don’t like dogs, largely because my father let his two black labs (and the half-great Dane that he eventually got) run roughshod with no training. It’s no fun being five feet tall and having a dog jump up with his forepaws on your shoulders, taller than you are and definitely heavier, when you know darn well he’s just as likely to knock you over as not.

However, our neighbor’s Missy and I have gotten along ever since we first met, for certain definitions of getting along. She came bounding out of their backyard, and with uncharacteristic confidence I turned, looked her in the eye, and said, “go home, kiddo.” She turned around and went right back to her yard. Since then she has never again come running at me, and she also no longer leaves their yard; I think they now have her trained not to, even if the gate is open.

There’s also a gray and white cat that roams our neighborhood. He’s obviously someone’s pet; he’s clean and collared. He really loves our house, though, and particularly enjoys sitting outside our windows taunting Selene. Cahlash couldn’t care less whether there’s a cat in our yard, but Selene—oh, our tiny, seven-pound terror would rip that cat’s heart out if she could just get to him, and she lets us know that in no uncertain terms. When he goes round the house’s corner she tries to follow him, but she hasn’t yet figured out that the glass doors to the fireplace aren’t a window, so she stares in vain for him to appear.

This morning I went out to rotate the tumbling composter. Missy was in the neighbors’ backyard, and apparently isn’t used to having someone in our yard, because I was treated to much barking. When I came back out of the yard I noticed the gray cat sitting in front of Missy’s ajar gate. Missy barked at me, leaned down to the cat, *whuffed* in its face, and then ran off. The cat looked over at me with a comical look of surprise on its face and trotted after Missy. That’s one of those moments when I wish I could understand the language of animals.


Our latest reviews are of: Veronica Wolff’s Sword of the Highlands and the supremely quirky A Corpse in the Soup by St. James & Bradner.

Posted in Cats
5 comments on “Missy and the Gray Cat
  1. Trish says:

    I’m sitting here reading your post while my cat is meowing LOUDLY for no apparent reason. Maybe she just needs a cuddle, but I wish I knew what SHE was thinking/saying. Animals can be so funny. Loved the picture below by the way. That’s one of the reasons the cat is not allowed to sleep with hubby and I (and we have to keep the door shut).

  2. What a cute story! I often wish I better understood the conversations my two have. My dog has a minor muscle strain from jumping at the fence in our yard and my cat has been especially sweet to him as a result. It wasn’t too long ago that one of my staff brought her son to the office because she had left something behind. He was looking at my photos of my cat and dog sitting side by side. “Cats and dogs don’t like each other,” he told me. I explained to him that my two animals were best friends. His eyes grew big and he asked, “Really?” “Sure,” I replied and gave him some examples of how they interact together. As he was leaving I could hear him telling his mom, “Did you know that her cat and dog actually like each other?”

  3. heather says:

    Trish: Ha! Selene, one of ours, is incredibly chatty. Sometimes we think she talks just to enjoy the acoustics of a room. I’d love to know for sure what she’s saying.

    I can’t help letting the cats sleep with us (sigh). Most of the time they snuggle between the covers (they’re so warm and cuddly), and I’ll put up with the extremely rare belly-pounce for the incredible reward of waking up to find a cat stretched out between my side and my arm with his or her chin resting on my shoulder. *melts*

    Feline: Aww. That’s adorable! I hope your dog feels better soon!

    When Selene was sick with her first allergic reaction to a vaccine, we had to keep Cahlash away from her for a little while because she was so ill. When we finally let him back in to see her, he oh-so-carefully snuggled up to her, very gingerly, as though he was afraid of hurting her. It was so sweet.

  4. How adorable! I myself own a golden retriever, and am hopelessly in love with the breed, so I can’t help but adore reading the antics of them. 😀 The animals around you sound adorable! I know what you mean by wishing you could understand the language of animals. – Our neighbors have a sheltie named Dixie and whenever she’s in their backyard, her and my golden, Spiffy, run up and down along the fence barking, sometimes playing, sometimes just… I dunno, talking? 😀

  5. That’s cool – we have a Golden Retriever named Surfer Boy. We used to have a cat named Duchess she died recently – she was mostly Siamese. Even though Duchess was rather small at about 10 pounds and Surfer Boy was about 80 pounds the cat used to intimidate him. If she was in the hall she wouldn’t let him pass through. You could tell Duchess knew if he ever wanted to be aggressive she would be no match for him but by acting intimidating she kept him away. Surfer Boy wouldn’t have bothered her anyway as he’s a pretty easy going guy. Eventually after almost 5 years together they sort of got used to each other. He would just walk by her not paying her much attention. At this point if she saw him coming to close she would just go into another room. Even though he never growled or made any threatening gestures toward her. She was a very paranoid but nice cat. He’s everyone’s friend – just a real nice friendly dog.

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