While my fiancée and I were living with my Grandparents in Tennessee, we decided to get a puppy.  After browsing through several breeds and breeders, we settled on a black lab breeder in Arkansas and got a male pup.  Toccoa (my fiancée) named him Fenrir, after a wolf in Norse mythology who is supposed to devour the world. 

FenrirWell, we brought him home to Kitty and ... Kitty puffed up like a blow fish and ran off after swatting at him.  Pretty soon, Kitty realized that Fenrir was sort of afraid of him, so he picked on him a lot.  He would do things like hide under the loveseat and wait for him to walk by and swat his feet.  Fenrir never knew what hit him.  Mostly, Kitty would swat him from up high, where he was comfortable that he could never be cornered, having plenty of equally high places to jump to for escape.  Kitty never got over the fact that this big oaf was in his territory.

  That being said, Fenrir had no problem with Kitty, and often times would try to play with him.  After he grew a little bit and his hide toughened up, Kitty's scratches didn't really hurt him as much and he just kind of ignored them.  It was always quite a sight to see that weird blacker than black puppy dancing around Kitty, who was puffed up to about twice his normal size, ears back, eyes dilated, hissing and swatting ... he never seemed to notice that Kitty didn't like him.  The attitude was sort of a "man, I'm great!  How can you not like me?  Lets play!!" type of thing.

  Don't get me wrong though, we tried to separate them most of the time after it became clear that Kitty wasn't going to warm up to Fenrir... Fenrir just wouldn't let it happen. 

  Anyway, we soon noticed some peculiarities about Fenrir ... aside from those that labs normally possess (they are one of the more quirky breeds).  For instance, about half the time, if we dangled something in his face instead of trying to bite it, he would swat it.  If we had him chasing a light, he'd get into a feline pouncing position and pounce on it with his paws.  The same thing happened with toys. 

  As he got older, and lived with Kitty longer, he began to pick up more of his traits.  He also did plenty of growing ... by the time that he was about 60 pounds, one of his favourite things to do was to rub against your legs ... hard ... like a cat.  I can't tell you how many times he almost knocked my Gramma down with that!  Then, and it's ironic that he picked these two habits up when he got larger, he started to try to curl up in your lap and sleep on top of the heads of the couches ... Kitty's favourite spot.

  This is by far the most catlike thing that Fenrir has done, and he still does it occasionally.  He kneaded us.  He would stand on us and knead us with his paws occasionally before laying on us.

  Last week, while we were taking him swimming in our pond, he almost caught a bird (we saved it).  Instead of biting it and killing it, however, he just knocked it around, playing cat and mouse until we got there.  The bird was uninjured, although more than slightly jarred (he knocked it once about 4 feet).

  Fenrir is now about 90 pounds. He still tries to sit in our laps, lay on the tops of the couches, pounces like a cat, and swat at whoever (including our other dogs) he may be playing with. 

*As a side note here, Fenrir rarely bites the other dogs while they're playing.  He'll swat them to death, and occasionally nibble on them the way dogs do when scratching an itch and whine, but doesn't bite, although (like a cat) he keeps his mouth wide open*

 by Philip Duckett, Centerburg, Ohio

To read Philip's first story about Kitty, please click here:


In the Middle of a World...

"In the middle of a world that has always been a bit mad, the cat walks with confidence."

Roseanne Anderson

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