Thursday, February 25, 2010

Unusual and Inspirational

I saw something very cute yesterday. Unusual, too. It’s something I think I may have to use on one of my stories—either a Kendra Ballantyne, Pet-Sitter mystery, or a Lauren Vancouver, Pet Rescuer mystery.

What was it? Well, I was visiting a place where a dog and cat were best friends! The dog was black and moderate in size. The cat was calico, although mostly white, and also looked middle-sized for a kitty. The dog was standing by himself when the cat approached. I expected fireworks, or for the cat to change her mind and bolt. Neither occurred. Instead, they stayed close to one another, even nuzzling each other, until the dog walked away. The cat followed. Soon, they were near each other again, and again acting very friendly.

Someone who knew them well said that this was their normal treatment of each other. I thought it was adorable. Animals that are generally considered sort-of enemies, or at least incompatible, were buddies.

Friends of mine who have both dogs and cats have told me that they often get along together—a quiet truce--but I’ve never heard of any being that friendly.

What about you? Do you have pets that are different but nevertheless become close friends?

Do things that seem unusual to you ever inspire your writing or reading?

14 comments:

Jeanne said...

My Basset Hound Daisy and my cat Coalie can't get enough of eachother! When one is sleeping, the other will go and nuzzle right in with the other! And then 10 minutes later they're chasing eachother around the house like maniacs!

KateH said...

Linda, that's not so unusual. Many dogs and cats, espcially if they live in the same home, or in homes that the dog visits regularly, get along well. Many play nice chase games and sleep together. I have greyhounds and while one of mine couldn't be around cats safely, the other is actually afraid of them. I knew a greyhound who lived very peacefully with a rabbit that was allowed the run of the house, and I'm sure it's not the only dog, no matter what breed/mix that does/did that. I also knew a dog that played nicely with ferrets, even though they are the quintessential example of a great dog toy (they smell great, they make squeaky sounds, they bounce in unpredictable ways, and they know how to play hide and pounce games). Sure, a lot of dogs don't get along safely with other critters, but I'd hazard a guess that maybe 50% can and do get along with at least one other species in a friendly manner.

Linda O. Johnston said...

That's so good to know, Jeanne and KateH! I've only had dogs, and have heard what others who live with both cats and dogs have told me. It's fun to know that animals of different species who live in the same household can be not only wary acquaintances, but friends, too!

Camille Minichino said...

Interesting situations seem to pop up everywhere, and we writers use them all, don't we, Linda?
I carry a notebook and jot down everything from an unusual road sign to a passing comment.
It's all fuel for fiction!

Monica Ferris said...

Race horse stallions are often given a burro as a companion -- they aren't safe around other horses -- but I know of one who had a chicken he was very fond of. The chicken found his big, warm back a warm place to roost on chilly nights and the grain he spilled from his feed box a grand treat, so it came out about even.

Monica Ferris said...

Race horse stallions are often given a burro as a companion -- they aren't safe around other horses -- but I know of one who had a chicken he was very fond of. The chicken found his big, warm back a warm place to roost on chilly nights and the grain he spilled from his feed box a grand treat, so it came out about even.

Betty Hechtman said...

My dog loves cats. If she sees a dog on the street, she goes nuts with barking. If she sees a cat, she wants to go up and make friends.

Camille is right about inpiration everywhere. I was walking down Michigan Avenue in Chicago and kept hearing all these great snippets of conversations. I kept thinking how anyone of them could have been the start of a story. Most of them went out of my head except one. A woman talking about a message she'd gotten to meet someone at the Sheraton. But there were several Sheraton's downtown and they hadn't said which one. Hmm...could be the beginning of a story...

Peg said...

Our cat just barely lets our basset live in the house. Mostly the cat ignores the dog, but every once in a while, she perches on the edge of a chair and dares the dog to walk past!!! The dog - well, she'd love to be pals, but has learned to walk a wide berth. Maybe if they'd been babies together???

Linda O. Johnston said...

I do the same thing, Camille. I carry notecards and am always making notes about ideas.

A race horse and a chicken? I can just visualize that, Monica. Love it!

Linda O. Johnston said...

That's adorable, Betty. I suppose the cats don't seem like rivals, whereas another dog might. I was on a panel recently where others with me said that they love to eavesdrop wherever they go--for story ideas!

Oh, dear, Peg. Your story sounds like more of what I thought goes on between dogs and cats. Truce???

Deb said...

Near Richmond Vermont. There is a Camel called Otis that is very close to a goat.

I used to drive by them on my way to work every day. It was a great start to my day!

Kate said...

I have been "foster mom" to 60 different cats, who were not yet ready for adoption at my local shelter. Only one of the sixty did not get along with my 2 dogs. She would hide at the top of the stairs, in the dark, and attack any dog foolish enough to come up. Amusingly, she was named by the shelter staff "Snuggles".
The other 59 cats have been at least tolerant of the dogs, with most coming to enjoy the doggie company. "Cat tipping" is a favorite game for my Aussie.

Linda O. Johnston said...

A camel who's friends with a goat? How cute, Deb!

Kate, your fostering sounds wonderful, and I'm glad to hear the kitties mostly tolerate your dog. But what's "cat tipping"?

Kate said...

Cat tipping is when a certain doggie puts her nose under an amenable kittie, and rolls the kittie over on (usually) his back, then pokes the kittie in the tummy with a big nose! The term comes from an activity practiced by drunken young men in the farm communities of my youth: "cow tipping".