My dog had a rather full day Friday. She went to the vet and had her heartworm test and various shots. As with a lot of dogs, she expends a lot of energy at the vet’s office. So, the rest of her day, I think Keeva pretty much rested and recuperated. Not that her R&R looked a lot different than any other typical day.
Friday night, around 9:30pm, I was returning a key I had borrowed from a friend. I mentioned taking Keeva out, first, before dropping by and she invited me to bring her with me. This was kind of surprising to me, but it was not an uninformed invitation. She knows Keeva — definitely knows she can be high energy, which I mentioned, again, just so we were all on the same page. I reminded her that, especially in new settings, Keeva doesn’t have a “lower energy” switch that kicks in at 9pm (or 10 or 11…).
But my friend really wanted to see Keeva, which I can understand. She lost her own dog a few years ago and she said, again, how much she misses having a dog around. She also said that one of the foreign exchange students, currently living with their family, is away from and also missing his dog, so it was an easy decision.
So away we go, over to this house full of teenagers…at 10 o’clock at night. Keeva just loved the attention, the huge house, complete with five teenagers with which to roust around, and the back yard to explore. Both Keeva and I had a good visit, both wore ourselves out. [which I can sometimes do, just staying awake past 10pm…] Time flew and we didn’t wind up leaving to go home until around 11:30pm.
When we got back back home, I was trying to be as quiet as possible, so as not to disturb the young couple (with a dog and a puppy of their own) who live in the apartment below us. Not sure if they were home or not, or awake or not, but it just seems the neighborly thing to do at midnight.
With no warning, in the blink of an eye, something lit up Callie (my cat) and the dog reacted….or, something lit up Keeva and the cat reacted. I have no idea which scenario, or what combination thereof, happened. Even if I could have hit ‘replay’ I don’t know that I could have detected the split second interaction that sent things reeling.
Out of nowhere, Keeva is on the cat, loudly growling and (what appears to be) snapping at her, with Callie rolling around on the carpet, hissing and howling like a bobcat, in her own right. I moved towards them and called out Keeva’s name to stop, reaching out, all in one motion, but I was helpless to get them apart. It continued for just a very few seconds – which felt like minutes.
Callie ran off to the bathroom, hissing non-stop and wedging herself in the corner between the toilet tank and the tub. (which looked as weird as it sounds, writing it) Keeva took one look at my shocked face, lowered her head, went over and curled up on her bed…and stared at me with a half-apologetic “I dunno either?” look on her face.
After a couple minutes, I was successful in un-wedging Callie from her bathroom corner refuge. After a thorough going-over, I could see that she had no broken skin anywhere, no broken bones. I held her in my arms and talked quietly to her, smoothing her fur. She started up the purring machine, after a time, and I took her to her food and water. She had a late night snack and then followed her usual nighttime ritual, heading to my bedroom and curling up on my bed.
I was still in shock and uhhhh mode. As in, “Uhhh, what the…heck…just happened here, and can it happen again?” This was not the first time they have ever had ‘words’… but definitely the most intense and physical. Keeva is, naturally, bigger…however, Callie absolutely has an ornery side and sometimes forgets that ‘small’ detail.
There was no summit to discuss the dust up. There has been no olive branch offering from either party. Saturday morning, Callie was on my bed and I called Keeva to hop up. They looked at one another semi-inquisitively for a few seconds, about 18” from nose to nose, but each curled up and each remained on her respective side of the bed, mom still under the covers, right in the middle. Callie stayed somewhat in spring-loaded readiness, for a few mintues, but ultimately they both put their heads down and ignored one another.
I love both of my pets. I am protective of both of my pets. Also, I hold each pet accountable for her own behavior when there is a problem in our girl cave. I was shocked, scared, and tremendously saddened to see their fight. I was extremely relieved that neither was hurt and grateful to realize the goal was undoubtedly boundary setting rather than injury.
I’ve thought about it several times. I’ve asked myself what *I* can do to keep it from happening again. I don’t have an answer; I don’t know that there is an answer. But there’s one thing that I do know. Strange as it may sound (and the feeling was stranger, yet), helplessly, painfully watching my pets fighting with one another was, for me, as close as I’ve come to truly understanding how my children felt as they watched their parents going through divorce.