Cats rule. This is something all cats understand. Dogs may not get it at first, but wise dogs don’t argue the point — not even when they know it ain’t so. Especially not when the cat is Tux and the dog is Rosie. She might outweigh Tux by 30 pounds or so but that doesn’t make her bigger than Tux.
Tux is the biggest, baddest cat in the valley and he is the boss. He has driven this point home ever since he arrived here back in 2015 or thereabouts. For some reason, though, he has felt compelled to drum the message into Rosie particularly hard. He’s hissed, spat, yowled, clawed, leaped on, and in general been horribly mean to my ferocious pit bull I mean Amstaff.
Who has never even curled a lip at him.
In fact, Rosie reverts to her cower position or turns tail and runs from Tux when he goes at her. At least that’s been the MO for almost all the nearly six weeks she’s been living with us.
Almost all. Because things are beginning to change.
Last week Rosie and I went out on the allotment for an evening walk but didn’t go far because the cows were hanging out and blocking our way, focused on poor Rosie. I guess it’s because of her size and because she looks less like a threat than she does a fat bullet with stubby legs (I write that with great fondness, mind you), since instead of ignoring me or moseying off the other way when they see me, when they see Rosie the cows tend to get aggressive. They line up, shoulder to shoulder, heads lowered, and stare at her. Then one will take a step. Then another one will take a step. I don’t wait for a third one to move, or for the whole line of cows to get the idea, I turn around and take Rosie with me.
This particular walk Tux had accompanied us on the outward bound part as far as the cattle pens. He was still there, waiting for us when we came back. Oh no! What if he went after Rosie and chased her out towards the cows? But he didn’t do that. He ran at her but veered off when she hunched down and squinched her eyes. Then he trotted back towards home, tail in the air, point proven. We followed.
There was an incident at my gate — a standoff as to who was going to go through it first — but I decided I’d had enough so I abandoned them to work it out. I had covered maybe a hundred feet towards the house when I heard the thunder of paws. I just shook my head and kept going. Next thing I knew, Rosie and Tux were neck and neck, flat-out racing towards home. Rosie hauled herself to a stop but Tux kept going till he was sure we all knew he had won.
Since then there have been more empty threats and fewer attacks, and yesterday I caught Tux and Rosie sniffing noses. I don’t know, but it looks like an armistice is in the works. As long as Rosie lets Tux win, I think this will lead to true peace, and maybe even friendship.