Lessons in jealousy

Jealousy 101: learning about how to look at what someone else has and want it. The art of covetous behavior is learned. How to teach one pet to get another pet to do something. Desired and undesired desires in pets.

Cat and dog napping in the same vicinity is sometimes hard to accomplish. As anyone who has one species of pet before the other comes indoors knows… there is often disagreeable behavior for years on end. Getting the new puppy not to chase the cat is hard work. Getting the new kitten to not claw the dog is also hard work. Teaching two opposite species to become friends takes time. Introducing Tabitha and Honey to lap napping has been a month in the making.

Snuggle classes for my five going on six year old doodle have mostly failed. Trying to get her gangly long legs to make room for me on the sofa was a disaster. Honey has very boney features and has refused to cuddle or snuggle. Her idea of togetherness is doing what she wants to do. Most of the time her attachment to me is about a six foot lead line. And when we go outdoors it is necessary to keep her from running off in discovery of her own amazing nose.

Lap -Ghans are a crochet description of an afghan that did not get big enough. One of the mohair / wool / alpaca blend blankets that I made ended up getting shrunk by accident a few years back. So it is classified as a very warm winter lapghan. On occasion I will put it on my shoulders, but the weight of the “horse” saddle blanket keeps it mostly on my legs. Honey has been working her way up to an hour lap rest. I started by making her stay for 20 minutes and gradually tacked on time. Today I got an hour this morning and another hour this afternoon.

My mother makes these little upholstered two pound bag of beans for warming one’s toes up in the bitter cold winter. Lots of people take the hot sock to bed with them. She has even had people order a particular size for their best comfort. Ours are kept handy by hanging the loop handle over a convenient door knob. We warm them up in the microwave for two to three minutes. I can’t imagine life without my bag of beans! But you know today’s nap with a cat on one leg and a dog’s head on the other leg was a much more consistant warm than any bean bag would ever do.

How to stay warm without an electric blanket? One option is the warm bean bag, but it still requires the microwave. Another option is the old hot water bag, also requiring a heat source for boiling water. A third option is the layered clothing. One can wear the bear skins and leather furs of days gone before. A final possibility of course is to use a warm critter. The famous Iditarod race has many stories of the pack keeping their owner warm and alive after an illness or an accident that threatens their owner’s life. Dogs and cats both have body temperatures warmer than average human body and are very effective in keeping their human warm.

Being a blind pet owner has it’s challenges. So I prefer not to have a litter box in the house with all of it’s mess is one of the clean up chores. However, having a sneaky cat in the house means that she needs to come when called. But naturally she comes just out of my reach and then tries to squeeze by me without getting touched. Funny there has never been a seeing-eye cat! So though Honey is my eyes sometimes, when it comes to finding the cat, she just stares at me with incredulous disbelief if I ask where the cat is at.

When to get up is the final question? Sometimes if I forget to use the restroom first I have to get up before the nap even starts. Today, I got a good hour of snuggles in. It took nearly a month of training to get there though. And then, my husband confesses that he sees Tabitha trying to look through the front window to get to me. He did not tell me though when she did this. Only after the fact by nearly a whole day did he finally tell me. The nap sessions have been helpful for me but now the little yellow monster wants to come in all the time. Oh, well. I was missing my sneaky Autumn something fierce. Tabitha will do just fine as a nap partner.