Working with the likes of Christie and Robin at Teamworks Dog Training, LLC has really piqued my interest in dog behaviors, especially how they interact and communicate with each other. I admit to not knowing as much about cat behavior.
When we brought Moo Shoo home, our cat, Tic Tac, was interested but kept his distance. After just a couple of days I was able to let Moo Shoo have the run of the house. He and Tic Tac would cross each other’s paths, but not really interact with each other. A few days after that, Tic Tac started grooming Moo Shoo. First it was just a couple of licks on the head here and there and then a little more extended licking. At times, I swear Moo Shoo would look at me and roll her eyes as if to say “Really? He has to do that?” It also got to the point where the two of them would sleep next to each other.
Last night that all changed. I think I know the incident when it turned, but since then Tic Tac has been very rough with the kitten and I’ve seen him bite her a couple of different times.
I was on the phone and getting dinner ready. The dogs had been fed and Ruby was doing her normal behavior of “chasing off” Tic Tac from her eating area. Moo Shoo had stepped away from the water bowl (I think I might have been close to stepping on her) and Ruby came bouncing in to clear the kitchen. Moo Shoo does not react well to being startled by dogs and this time she went off, like really went off. I shooed Ruby off and Moo Shoo walked away. Tic Tac came to see what all the fuss was about and that seems to be the moment it changed.
If Tic Tac were a dog I’d say he took offense to the way Moo Shoo went off on Ruby, and that he was defending his pack, but I don’t know that it works with cats that way. After all, as Christie says, they are aliens, evil aliens.
Time to start learning some new behavior stuff. Years ago I happened on a hysterical book in the bookstore and had to buy it: “Hiss and Tell” by Pam Johnson-Bennett. Looking at her website and list of other books, I think I see some good reading in my future.