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Cozy with Cats And Dogs

I get along with both, preferably together

When my son’s dog Otis comes to visit, he has found that our cat Dexter’s ­kibble tastes very good indeed.
      At one point in an earlier life, when living in Washington, D.C., I had a particularly personable black kitten. Guiness would go for long walks with us around the neighborhood, striding directly under his sworn protector, a friend’s large Belgian sheepdog. Their close relationship went on for over two years until we all eventually drifted apart and on to other things. While they were together, they were a memorable team.
      It’s said that there are only two kinds of people: dog people and cat people. Dog people are more open and friendly; Cat people are more intelligent.
It’s all hokum of course. Our nation is overwhelmingly in favor of pets of all sorts, with dogs and cats the top choices. We’re a nation of softies when it comes to animals.
      I am neither a dog nor a cat person but strongly in favor of both. The two species have so much to offer us and each other in affection and connection that it is foolish to exclude one in favor of the other. They are so much alike yet so different.
      I’ve had cats that loved to retrieve thrown objects and dogs that refused. I’ve lived with some dogs and cats that had their own personal sleep areas and others that refused to bunk anywhere but next to me. Sometimes I found that making friends with one or the other took some effort, but the exercise was always worthwhile.
       If the two species are presented to each other at an early age — kittens and puppies are ready to get along with anything and anybody — they almost always become affectionate and interesting inter-actors. Introductions later in life usually require more patience.
       I knew one particularly soft-mouthed yellow Labrador pheasant dog in South Dakota whose close buddy was a gray tabby. If the tabby was asleep or distracted when the Lab began to travel, the dog would pick the cat up in its mouth and saunter along to its destination, the large, rangy cat held comfortably aloft. I never saw a cross look between them.
       Currently I have a white cat named Dexter that my wife and I inherited from our youngest son, Robert, when he followed a job offer to Florida. Dexter is about my age in cat years — he’s 15 or so — and our habits have coincided over time. 
      During the day he lurks, waiting for me to come home from the water with fish. He then waits patiently next to the cleaning table for the scraps that are his due for guarding our home. He, coincidentally, has developed the same nagging weight problem that I have. I’m not sure it’s the fish, however.
        Dexter’s newest buddy is my middle boy’s dog Otis, who visits us when Harrison is away. Otis is a short-hair pointer and Lab mix, just over a year old. He and Dexter are developing their relationship slowly. They’ve gotten to the point where Otis has learned that an older cat requires a certain amount of respect. Given that, all else will fall into place. In the meantime, they’ve also agreed that each other’s kibble tastes very good indeed. 
      Over my many years I’ve known quite a bunch of dogs and cats, all fantastic pets when raised together. Although I was diagnosed at an early age as allergic to both species, I’ve found that after extensive exposure, the symptoms usually dissipate to a barely noticeable degree. Compared to how much they’ve enriched my life, the small discomforts have been well worth it.


Fish Finder
        The good news is rockfish are biting just about everywhere. The bad new is it is August and hot, so the best catching is in the cooler hours of first and last light. Top water is starting to produce. Jigging soft plastics is getting hotter by the day. Chumming, chunking, live-lining and bottom fishing with fresh and live baits continue to produce nice fish.
       Perch are taking off in the shallows on spinner baits. Despite DNR’s claim of lots of sizeable perch this year, I have found them scarce in my neck of the woods. I may have to travel farther to improve the size-to-numbers ratio.
      Spot and croaker are reported in better numbers. Try Dolly’s Lump and inside the green can at Hackett’s. Bloodworms, shrimp and soft crabs will tempt them all.
      Crabbing has improved at last.