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Purrfectly Preposterous Pets

Aug 17, 2007
By describing the physical, personality, and temperamental territorial characteristics of Purrfect and Sophie, I can explain the bizarre relationship, or lack thereof, between two exceptionally spoiled pets. Logically, a huge cat can easily subdue a teensy weensy dog. Stereotypically, dogs torment cats. However, Purrfect and Sophie are anything but typical.

Uncommonly tall, Purrfect is also exceptionally lean. His agility is amazing. He leaps approximately five feet to reach his favorite snoozing place atop the entertainment armoire. We tell unbelieving friends he is a flying cat. Witnesses agree. In addition, he stands on his hind legs in the attempt to open the front door with his paws. Being raised alongside a toddler, Perfect also learns to quickly vacate when the children become too amorous.

Growing up with energetic children, Purrfect learns self-preservation tactics. Sometimes, hugs and cuddles resemble restrictive imprisonment. Usually he escapes via an upward flight to the highest perch. As an animal lover, I insist the children respect his safe zone. Nonetheless, he loves the children. I suspect he feels my children belong to him instead of him belonging to my children.

When the children play outside, he cries at the door until they return. After our outings, Purrfect races to the door in greeting. In addition to thinking we belong to him, we suspect Purrfect feels human. He eats a strange assortment of people food. As special treats, he prefers broccoli cheese soup and Arby's roast beef instead of his boring and ordinary cat food. Also, like many humans, he loves to snuggle beneath the covers in slumber on a chilly night.

Similar to a person, Purrfect feels obligated to protect his domain. Despite being a sissy and hiding under the bed during a thunderstorm, he hisses at the mail lady. Currently undefeated, he successfully confronts any cat with the gall to invade his territory. Once, I mistakenly let my mom's wayward cat in the house. Before she fetches him, fur literally begins to fly.

A much sturdier cat, I expect to find Purrfect sore and bleeding. However, the tufts of hair I find later belong to our unwelcome guest. Frequently, the children invade his personal space. On rare occasions, Purrfect bravely tackles my obstinately aggressive preschooler who forceful tries to engage a living playmate.

Although Sophie also enjoys a playmate, her stature limits activities. Sophie is a three-pound miniature Pomeranian puppy. Thus, steps are mountainous. Without assistance, comfy couch cushions are unattainable. When romping around the room, human feet represent a potential safety hazard. So, we view Sophie as a defenseless and delicate little pup. We are wrong!

In contrast to our preconceived views, Sophie is not defenseless. Under duress, she becomes a vicious bundle of fur. For example, when Sophie is hungry, she loses all sensibility. Knowing a found French fry will cause her a tummy ache; I endeavor to pull it from her clinched jaws. Unexpectedly, I find the baby sharp teeth embedded in my finger. She snarls. She bites. She wins. With the same force she uses to protect her food, Sophie asserts her opinion. An ear piercing bark follows any decision unsanctioned by Sophie. . My five-year-old son says: "she can do anything she wants, as long as she doesn't bite. Consequently, Sophie ultimately rules the roost.

While ruling her roost, Sophie fiercely guards her chew toys. Despite her miniature size, she loves to play tug-of-war. She usually wins by default. She is tenacious. She is equally serious during mealtimes. Her food dish is sacred territory. However, she prefers not to eat alone. Better yet, she loves to be hand fed.

In addition to guarding her toys and her food, Sophie envisions herself the official greeter. She loves company. Like a child, she thinks anyone passing over her threshold comes specifically to entertain her. If she is awake, she gives and demands constant attention. She incessantly follows my Mother. She is an unfailing bathroom companion. Left outside the door, she cries. As always, she gets her way.

By comparing and contrasting the traits of two extremely spoiled pets, I paint a literary portrait of two extraordinarily different and yet strangely similar family companions, and establish a background for the following tale. Unable to physically help my Mother move, the children and I opt to baby-sit Sophie. Upon entering our house, Sophie immediately goes berserk. Like the metal ball in a pinball machine, Sophie runs back and forth exploring.

She steals my son's toys and my daughter's socks. Attacked by curiosity and hunger pangs, Sophie tries Purrfect's cat food. Amid the obvious mayhem, Purrfect and Sophie meet. Expecting Purrfect to protect his domain, he is banished to the bedroom. While he is in the bedroom, Sophie taunts him. She scampers down the hall and barks at the door, then she races back to the safety of the living room. Getting no response, she repeatedly flits between the hallway and the living room.

Feeling sorry for Purrfect, I decide to let him release him from captivity if the children promise to guard Sophie against harm. Sophie excitedly anticipates a new playmate. Purrfect disagrees. Flustered by this unknown mobile ball of fluff, Purrfect heads for cover. He escapes to a remote corner under my bed. Now, Purrfect is becoming braver. He watches her from his sanctuary atop the entertainment center, and comes down only after she leaves.

A large cat intimidated by a small puppy seems perfectly preposterous. Approximately six times the size of Sophie, I expect Purrfect to uphold his reputation and establish his authority and proprietorship. Instead of Sophie cowering under the reproachful gaze of our beloved cat, he slinks away in distrust and fear. Despite my daughter's attempts to reassure him, he maintains his distance. Unaware of his potential abilities to harm her, Sophie continually assumes her royal behavior. Sophie Wins.
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