Friday, May 09, 2008

The Adventures of Zoe and Gully

or The Second Cold War or Why No E-mail Has Been Really Answered or Jenny is Very Sleep-Deprived And Will Write A Blog Post Anyway

So, as I mentioned a few days ago, I'm dog-sitting for John Joseph Adam's dog, Gully. John is on vacation for the next week or so, and Gully is staying at my house. This is Gully.

Gully is an extremely polite, well-mannered dog. In fact, he's downright submissive. He walks around with his tail between his legs, and doesn't even really bark that much. He's very pleasant to hang out with, and doesn't mind Zoe at all.

Zoe, on the other hand, is very, very, very pissed off that there is a dog in her house. (This is the second time we've had a dog come, and Zoe is much braver this time with Gully than she was with Dusty--also, different dog, different behavior.) This is how Zoe looked Wednesday night, when she realized that John had gone and really left Gully with us.

Since Zoe is so much braver this time around, she has decided that she will happily see if the dog is not going to kill her. She assessed the risk on Wednesday night. (The glowing eyes in the very back of the picture is Gully lying down on his rug/bed thing.)

Zoe decided that perhaps Gully wasn't that big a risk to be around. This is both good and bad. The good thing is that she feels free to be near him, even as much as a few inches away. This is extraordinarily brave of her. The bad thing is that she feels the need to hiss at Gully, every ten minutes or so, since good lord, she does not want a dog in her house. Gully, for his part, has been SO patient and happy and really just wants to be friends with her.

Zoe wants to be antagonistic. In fact, we've started calling her a little tyrant, since she is bent on terrorizing poor Gully, and is doing a very good Fidel-Castro-as-a-cat imitation. Gully just wants to be free to eat from his food bowl and hang out with Chris and I and go on the occasional walk (more on that later). Zoe feels the need to STALK him. Have you ever seen a 10 lb. cat stalk a 70 lb. dog? It would be funny, if I just wasn't so tired, and trying to keep her away from him.

She is JEALOUS. She does not want Gully to be near Chris and I. She does not want Gully in her house. She does not want Gully to have his own food and water dishes; she has been deliberately eating and drinking out of them, in the most spiteful manner possible. This is the cat that has freaking stomach problems and she's eating dog food! Perhaps I seem a bit excitable. Really, I'm just very tired.

My sweet little cat has become a raging monster. We've started spraying her with a spray bottle whenever she hisses at Gully. She's hissed in the poor dog's face, being only a few inches from him. At times, the two are at peace. Or at least, Zoe is at peace. But we can't really leave them alone because Zoe is bent on being annoying, and dear god, if Gully moves and she doesn't want him to move, she breaks into a hissing fit.

Like I said, Castro as a cat.

So occasionally we've had a slight detente. Occasionally poor Gully has not been terrorized and can hang out with us and get petted. Occasionally Zoe calms down. Occasionally. And this has been happening since Wednesday night, and you all totally missed my moment of hysteria on Thursday afternoon, when I thought Gully was going to snap and really go at Zoe. He didn't snap. I took a nap. I felt better.

But it's now Friday morning, and I'm dead tired, so I think this will be the end of the post for now.

Other small details about life with Gully, just to tide you over.
  1. He does not like walking on a leash and then relieving himself. After a fifty minute long walk this evening, Chris persuaded him to urinate in the forty-ninth minute. The dog has not pooped yet, in the entire time we've had him. I don't know how he's doing it.
  2. We think Gully was meant to be a cat. He is fascinated by my knitting yarn, as well as Zoe's jingle ball on a string. Zoe is NOT HAPPY that he liked her toy, and we had to put it away.
  3. He's a good dog, he really is. I just wish Zoe would calm down. And yes, we have been keeping them separated at times, and it's NOT HELPING. Zoe keeps trying to get Gully through closed doors. Help.


BuffySquirrel said...

Her territory's been invaded. She's bound to be annoyed.

This is one of those things the animals have to work out between themselves, under your supervision. Sorry!

Adaora A. said...

Talk about switching up the roles!

Holy cow! Zoe is a very beautiful cat though, and Gully sounds so well mannered. I must confess my secret wish to have a cat. I've been prowling the local PET SMART which has an adoption centre, petting the cats and wanting one for myself.

Hopefully Zoe will realize Gully is not the enemy.

Ryan Field said...

My recently departed cat was ten years old when I brought home a red poodle eight years ago. She hated his guts from the start, and he was so small then I was terrified she'd actually eat him. The years passed, and though she was always the boss, they eventually learned to tolerate each other. But he never passed by her without hisses and getting smacked on the head a few times.

Just watch the kitty litter cloesly. For some reason dogs just love cat poop.

Kristine Overbrook said...

I'm the pet of two dogs. They have completely different personalities. Cameron is outgoing and rambunctious. Jordan is laid back and submissive.

Jordan has had times when she is upset and she doesn't have a BM. Gully may be missing John and it's affecting his bowels. Dogs can go a while without a BM so I wouldn’t be concerned. In my experience it's just a normal reaction to missing his pet.

As far as Zoe going after Gully, I can't say. I'm allergic to cats and can't have them.

From a parent point of view, when you bring home the new baby you need to show the existing children extra attention. (I'm not saying you’re neglecting her, just that she may need Extra attention with an "interloper" in the house.

Good luck.

Mary Paddock said...

Living with multiple cats and dogs I can sympathize with your condition. We have a Zoe too, though she's really gentle (one of those that melts when you pick her up) and she gets along well with all the dogs. However we also have a Siamese-mix named Echo who occasionally feels the need to stalk the dogs (we think this is due to boredom, but I sometimes wonder about the conversations that take place out of our hearing). To prevent him from becoming a German Shepherd snack-mix we opt to intervene.

Sometimes we crowd him out of the room (called body-blocking when you do it with dogs), and if he's really having a bad day we simply confine him to a room by himself at the first sign of trouble. He's had this happen enough that the verbal warning to the effect of "Echo, knock it off" is generally enough.

In your case, since this is temporary, I'd simply try removing her when she starts up. Put her in a room by herself for an hour or so with some food and water and toys etc and ignore her if she cries. It's not so much punishment as it is time out. This will take the pressure off poor Gully and you too. The princess will adapt. :)

Oh yeah! If you're really worried about Gully's bowel movements (changes in scenery and routine can really upset some dogs) you can safely give him a few tablespoons of canned pumpkin (not the pie mix--the actual pumpkin) a few times a day. This will get things . . . ermm . . . moving and it's absolutely safe. My dogs love this stuff.

tina said...

Sympathies for the cat, dog, and humans! Getting pets to cope with things can be exhausting.

My cat is anti pretty much every animal in the world. When we had a friend with a dog stay with us for a month, that was back when we had a basement and we could keep them totally separated. Both species hung out at the door a lot...lurking.

Sheri said...

Zoe looks exactly like the cat Bill and I used to have.. there's something about black cats isn't there? They're almost human and very mischievous. ;-)

Hope things settle down around your house soon!