Gus meets our cats
Tuesday, March 27 2012
Sarah the vegan came over this evening with dinner she made for us. She does this occasionally for friends; indeed, she'd actually instigated the meal on Sunday at Ray and Nancy's place as well. It included a good corn chowder (yum!) and a salad based around beets, my least-favorite vegetable. My reaction to beets isn't as negative as Gretchen's reaction to eggplant (I don't mind beets if they are overwhelmed by other things, as in V8 Juice). But there was no way I could eat that salad.
When visiting, Sarah using brings the two slobbering Labradors she's been house sitting this winter. Today instead, though, she brought Gus, the old inbred Boston Terrier with multiple health and emotional issues. Gus is too frail to walk in the woods, so when Sarah and Gretchen took Ramona and Eleanor on a twilight walk down the Stick Trail, I was left to babysit. Gus proved to be a handful. He immediately figured out the pet door (he has one where he lives) and added snuffling around the yard to his exploration of the premises. Unfortunately, his exploration led him out to the road, and when he started heading northward on it I (who had been following closely behind) had to snatch him up and take him back to the house. He reacted with a momentary panic and a yelp to being grabbed this way, reminding me that somewhere out there in the world he has a former abuser.
When Gretchen and Sarah returned, I decided not to tell them about Gus' fondness for the road; I figured it would just give Sarah anxiety, something she has enough of already. And all was well until just before she left some five hours later, when Gus couldn't be found. Sure enough, he was out there at the road again.
Gus only weighs about 13 pounds, making him in the weight class of a moderately-large cat. So it was interesting to see his reaction to our cats. He has experience with Sarah's cat Wilma (who used to be our cat), but Wilma is aggressive and thinks nothing of confronting large dogs. How would he react to a gentle giant cat such as Clarence? Or an only moderately-neurotic cat such as Nigel? As for Clarence, he initially freaked out upon seeing Gus, fleeing upstairs as if he considered poor Gus a grossly deformed runt dog (which, objectively-speaking, he is). Nigel was more curious, sniffing at Gus and following him around in fascination and showing none of her normal initial anti-canine hostility. As for Gus, he seemed to know his physical limits and chose to be as nonconfrontational as possible, steering clear and averting his permanently bugged-out eyes.
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