Monday, September 12, 2011

the dog whisperer (ha, just kidding)

You might remember our dog Jazz, aka Dingbat, from a previous post.  but I don't think I've told you about our cat Cinder, aka Miss Priss.  Cinder gets cat treats morning and evening, and has since time began.  We can't remember how the tradition got started, but it is now one of the unalterable rules of our existence.  She is quite an expert at getting multiple treats, too.  Dh comes down first in the morning, and usually she gets some from him.  Then I'll give her 4-5 more when I come down (because she's winding around my legs and meowing as if she might possibly just curl up and die if she doesn't get her treats in the next 30 seconds).  And when Nell is home, she can usually manage to wrangle some out of her, too.

She doesn't even try with MadMax, though, because she still isn't speaking to him after an unfortunate series of tail-pulling incidents that occurred before he reached the age of reason. I think he must have been under two at the time.  I suppose you could say that at 14, he still hasn't reached the age of reason, but at least he doesn't pull the cat's tail anymore. 

Cinder is 16 or 17 years old-- none of us can quite remember which.  Jazz is 9.  Which means Cinder was fully adult when Jazz was a puppy, and fully capable of puppy terrorization.  So Jazz isn't always reasonable when it comes to Cinder.  She (Jazz) is terrified of her, even though now she is about 40 pounds bigger and could take care of her in one or two snaps if she were so inclined.  But she's not, because in her foggy, doggy brain, Cinder is still the all-knowing, fearful Cat of Aged Craftiness Who Must Not Be Disturbed. 

Given that they are both female, it was hard to work out the pronouns in that sentence.  I hope you could figure out who was terrorized (Jazz) and who was the Perpetrator of Terror (Cinder).

Was there a point to this story?  Yes.  So recently--within the last 3-4 months-- it finally occurred to Jazz that if Cinder was getting treats, she should, too.  Jazz is not a morning person (morning dog?), though, so she misses the early round.  But somewhere around 9 p.m., maybe 9:30, Jazz starts dancing around.  She makes these funny half-growl, half-whine noises in her throat and dances around my chair while I'm sitting at the computer until I get tired of listening to her and get up and get her a treat. 

The dancing and noise-making are almost precisely the same thing that she does when she wants to go outside, though, so when this first started, it was hard to tell what she wanted.  So I would reach back from my chair (which is just barely within reach of one of the doors to the deck, which has stairs down to the yard so she can do her thing), and open the door so she could go out.  At which point she would flop down on the floor, hang her head, and stare morosely at me.  No, Mom, that's not what I meant.  I don't want to go outside.  Please don't make me. I just want a treat. 

Honestly, I had this figured out after about the first two times.  If it's 9:30, she doesn't want to go out, she wants a treat.  But I'm mean.  I enjoy messing with her head.  So every night, I reach back and open the door to the deck so she can go out, and say helpfully, "C'mon Jazz, time to go out!"  And she practically groans as she drops down to the floor and gazes at me soulfully.  No, really, Mom, that's not what I meant.  I don't want to go outside.

After a minute or two, I relent and get her a treat.  It amuses me vastly.

I'm not sure exactly why I thought you needed to know that.  Maybe so you can correctly gauge how to read my more serious posts, since after all, they are the work of a known dog tormentor.

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