Sunday, September 18, 2011

The Complicated Ease of Friendship

I've always heard it said that friends are made regardless of gender, race, economic status, religion and even species.  I've seen time and time again the bond between animals that would be the most unlikely of friends.  And now, I see such a darling example in my own  home.

In a prior post, I shared the story of how Cayce came to my home.  Neglected and unloved, this white schnauzer has struggled to find a role in the household antics of several cats.  Not everyone has taken with Cayce and with two of the cats, she is not even tolerated.  But everyone is finding their boundary and special space of places to be within our  home.  They are all learning mutual respect along with the loathing.

With that being said, there is one cat that has taken to Cayce.  The most unlikely of cats within the fold that call my house home.  Miss Liz is primarily the outside cat.  She grew up outside and prefers the solitude of the outdoors to the many paws that reside inside.  Naturally, when the temperatures outside are over 100, we bring Miss Liz inside to enjoy the day sleeping in my climate controlled bedroom.  She has her corner that she curls up in and sleeps the day away.  When we return from work and school at the end of the day, she is eager to get back outside.  We are respectful of the things that make our animals happy after all, their lives are not endless and every day matters, just like us humans.

Yesterday, I was awake early, the sun not yet up.  The morning was cool and the air fresh.  Cayce and I went outside for our morning round of the yard.  She is very engaged in this activity.  I'm not sure what all her nose reads when she sniffs the ground but it is like the never ending novel far too delicious to ever put down.  Our walk around turned into a nice walk around the block. She is quiet and rarely does she bark, so we made our way down streets and sidewalks, our only sound the clicking of her nails on the cement.  It was a nice walk, filled with silence and sounds of the world still sleeping.  We both thoroughly enjoyed it.

In the four weeks Cayce has been here, she and Miss Liz have slowly become friends.  There is a preoccupation with each other, this dog and this cat. They kiss with their noses and feel comfortable with each others company.  Naturally, Cayce will take the playtime too seriously and Miss Liz will  have to bring out the slash as a reminder to Cayce that there is love but even this love has its boundaries, for now.

This morning, leash in hand, we went out for the morning yard walk.  I had entertained the idea of another walk around the block.  I gauge the notion based on what ache or pain is tormenting me when my feet hit the floor.  This morning seemed a green light for the walk but when we went outside, the smell of burned earth and trees filled the air.  The air was humid from the misting rain of yesterday.  Since I know how much was burned and still smolders around my town, I decided there would be a shortened walk beyond our yard.

Cayce and I took off down the street.  Our plan to only walk to the end of the street and then back  home.  Again I heard the small sound of her clicking on the road and she walked like a dog in the biggest dog show of her life, her gait brisk and happy.  I almost felt like I should be doing the half walk run their dog handlers do in those amazing dog shows. We reached the end of the street and made the circle to head back home.  A short long walk is better than no walk.

As we reached the view of my house, I saw Miss Liz sitting at the end of the drive.  When she saw us she came running down the street, a sight that made me panic but there were no cars moving about.  She ran up to us and I picked her up to keep her safe while we were in the street.  Cayce was on a leash and I could make sure she was safe from harm, but Liz was free roaming and being the mother and caretaker of all may children and animals, I decided my arms were the safest place to be.  But Miss Liz wanted nothing of that.  Down she went and walked with us back  home. 

Here I was, walking a dog and a cat before the sun had risen, before the world was stirring and in the bathing light of a soft street light.  A most amazing moment, just the three of us. 

Within my home are many mini families.  Together we make up the tribe.  Even in my home there is the semblance of order and structure.  So it is with all living things.

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