Pets Are So Relaxing?
- May 15, 2018
- Jan Swan Wood
Pets are so relaxing. At least that’s what people say. One has the image of a serene feline draped gently across
the lap, purring and content. On the floor, lying politely at the feet is the faithful dog, gazing up adoringly, waiting
patiently for the person to get up and go about business that the dog is ready to help with. The peace and
contentment of all involved is heart warming.
A different image comes to mind for me though. I had toiled until I was tired yesterday, so sought a moment’s
rest in a chair out on the patio. Both dogs were gamboling about, the puppy gamboling the most. Fat Gracie was
pretty content to shade up and rest like me. My psycho kitty, Echo, was following me as I worked outside, so when I
sat down, she sought my company. Echo is a one eyed, polydactyl (mitten pawed) Manx who I raised on the bottle
instead of flushing down the toilet. She’s without question the strangest cat and most uncatlike cat I’ve ever known.
But, we are attached to each other and I do enjoy her company. Mostly.
You have to understand that Echo is not a really “user friendly” cat. She positively loathes other cats, hates dogs
a bit less than cats and barely tolerates humans in general. Her adoration of me is demonstrated by the fact that she
seeks my company and hasn’t tried to kill me yet. Occasionally she wants some lap time, but refuses to actually
jump onto my lap, preferring instead to pull her massive weight onto my lap with her talon like claws. I had
rejected her offer of being on my lap and Echo was laying on the cement next to my feet, which I had removed
from shoes and socks.
My feet were somewhat nervous in their vulnerable state, but Echo was peaceful and not acting like I could lose
a toe. All was well… It felt good to sit a minute. Enter Concho, the 12 week old puppy tornado. First she runs right
over the top of Echo, to see if she was awake. She was. The growling and hissing coming out of that cat was awe
inspiring. Concho was not awed. The wooden storage box/footstool in front of my feet made a fun obstacle for
Concho to dart around, further annoying Echo, who was slashing at her every time. By this time I’m afraid to
actually move my feet because the furious psycho cat would kill them if they so much as twitched. I sat frozen in
I was “encouraging” Concho to go play somewhere else, but she was focused on her mission. She’s a cowdog.
Why would she be afraid of a mere cat? Finally tiring of the game of hide, pounce and get slashed at, Concho
changed tactics and got under my chair. Oh good. She’s using my legs as a shield as she barks and growls at Echo,
who is positively howling with fury by this time. I screwed up my courage, engaged my muscles for quick action,
and as swift as lightning, jerked my feet up out of the melee and placed them on the box. Feet safe, I choused both
of them out from under my chair.
Echo stomped over to lay by the house, twitching with indignation. Concho pranced off and found Gracie and
resumed her annoyance of her. Gracie had had a little break and the puppy slobbers had nearly dried on her neck
and tail, so it was her turn.
So relaxing. Birds singing, cat moaning with fury, puppy growling and snarling as she and Gracie rolled in the
grass. Yes. Pets are positively therapeutically relaxing.
About Jan Swan Wood
Born and raised on a ranch near Newell, South Dakota, I have spent my lifetime in the cattle and horse business. I've cowboyed in Wyoming, Nebraska, New Mexico, and South Dakota before settling down in my home country, where my husband and I bought a...