We all see these cute videos of cats and dogs hanging out together, all sweet hugs and kisses.
Well, I call BS on that, at least in my experience. After we brought Jackson the beagle home, Pandora the cat was a basket case. She bunked under our bed, coming out at night only when Jackson was kenneled up. She would skitter here and there, grabbing a nibble of food, and then scatter back under the bed whenever I came near. She lived a high stress life, always afraid that beagle Jackson was around the next corner, ready to howl down on her like a demon dog. I thought it was only a matter of time.
Sometimes a cat needs some space.
A couple of years ago, my daughter moved into the apartment upstairs and asked to take Pandora up with her. She’d tell stories of how the cat was now affectionate and cuddly, but I’d go up there and the cat was nowhere to be seen, still holed up under her bed. And this is how it has been, until this month. The last few times I’ve been up there, with my daughter away, the cat has been affectionate, like that perfect imagined cat of your dreams.
This is Pandora, queen of her domain.
I think there’s something regal about a cat who owns her territory. She stands assuredly, knowing that her life is good and the food will come and that there’s no slobbering, howling nightmare of a hound around the corner. She stands all aloof, but you’re sure she loves you, since that’s why we keep cats, to make us feel a little less alone.
This original gouache drawing is 20" x 14" on watercolor paper.