Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Chalcy + Paley = BFF

Chalcy (our new puppy) and Paley (my cat) are best friends.

(Well, Chalcy thinks so, anyway.) (Sometimes Paley thinks so too.)

They're working through their differences.

Paley was initially afraid of Chalcy. She was about the same size as Paley when we brought her home*, but Chalcy looks kind of like our renters' dogs--Chalcy looked more like the lab, but was about the same size as the min-pin, like some terrible combination of Paley's two mortal enemies. Our renters' dogs are MEAN**. And they CHASE her. We kind of expected Pae to be afraid of the puppy.

Pretty soon after we brought Chalcy home, Pae realized that Chalce was not the same as the other dogs. Chalcy would notice Paley and try to go be with her (like the other dogs (!!!)), but as Chalcy would scamper toward Paley, the puppy kept tripping on grass. And then, Chalcy would get near Paley, and the puppy would suddenly lose interest in the cat because she would suddenly notice, OH WOW, A NEAT PIECE OF GRASS! So Chalcy would lay down--right by Paley, but totally disinterested in her--to chew on some grass, or whatever. Chalcy was not exactly quite the same threat Paley was expecting. So Paley started trying to sniff Chalcy, and a little bit tolerated Chalcy sniffing her. Within a few days, Paley started to rub up against Chalcy sometimes.

Chalcy liked Paley, because they were about the same size, and Paley is black like Chalcy (and her missing littermates), and Paley has a tail. Chalcy licks Paley, so Pae knows that the puppy likes her.*** Since Paley is a friend, Chalcy always wants to play with her. Her littermates always wanted to play, so Paley must want to play too, right?

This is how their interactions usually go:
1. Paley rubs up against Chalcy, or comes to sit near her.
2. Chalcy gets excited. Chalcy licks Paley and nestles her head into Paley's side. (Paley is ok with this.)
3. Chalcy begins to suck and chew on Paley's face/side. (Chalcy is little rough with Pae, but Paley is willing to tolerate it, because it's obvious that Chalcy is trying to be friendly, and not trying to be mean.)
4. Chalcy starts to play-bite Paley, which Paley will sometimes put up with.
5. Paley gets tired of playing too rough. She yowls and smacks Chalcy with her paw.
6. Chalcy is excited about the new smack-each-other-with-our-paws game, and starts wagging her tail. Chalcy backs up a couple feet, and does that playful-puppy thing, where her bottom is up in the air, with her tail wagging, and her front is crouched down, ready to pounce on Paley. Chalcy jabs a paw towards Paley a couple times.
7. Paley playfully bats her paw at Chalcy's paw.
8. Chalcy tackles Paley and pins her down to chew on her.
9. OH NO! Paley does NOT want Puppy Fun. (Also, Chalcy is quite a bit heavier than Paley, so being jumped on hurts, or is uncomfortable at least.) Paley yowls and hisses. If Chalcy does not move quickly, Paley will GRAB onto Chalcy's front leg with her claws, and Pae begins biting Chalcy repeatedly, while she growls. (GET OFF, DOG!)
10. This hurts a little bit, but it is Puppy Fun too, so Chalcy enjoys it for a minute, and then it hurts a little, so Chalcy will back off, or Paley will jump out from under Chalcy (to go sit a few feet away).
11. [Repeat.]

As I've been typing this, it sounds a little mean, but everyone is playing, and nobody gets hurt. When Paley is really done playing, she will go climb a tree, or jump up a fence, or hop up onto the car, or go somewhere else Chalcy can't get to.

A lot of times, Paley and Chalcy will play on opposite sides of a fence, batting at each other through the fence. Sometimes they'll run through tall grass. Paley will run through the tall grass, and stop somewhere, and Chalcy will run though the tall grass to "catch" her. Then Paley will run somewhere else a couple feet away and crouch down, and Chalcy will bounce through the grass to find her again, and the game continues. It is a game for both of them--Paley loves all of the attention from Chalcy.

Sometimes they're not too interested in playing, and they'll just lie down near each other, a couple feet away. Usually Paley will come sit kind of near Chalcy and I, and after a couple minutes, Chalcy will take whatever she is already chewing on ("Tug!" or "Stick!") and go lie down near the cat, so that she can keep chewing on her toy, but also be near Paley.

In the past week or so, Chalcy has realized that Paley does not like to be jumped on, so now Chalcy catches her by standing above her, instead of knocking her over. Paley likes this better (of course), so she is willing for longer.**** I think they will be better friends as Chalcy gets older and learns to be a little more gentle. Paley sometimes gets tired of Puppy Games. She does like Chalcy, though.

* Except that Chalcy's mass is all bulk, and Paley's mass is all fur. So. Not exactly quite the same.
** To cats.
*** Chalcy also licks the calves and the goat, so they know she's different than our renters' dogs, too. She likes them, and they are friends.
**** Chalcy still loves to bite Paley's tail (because it is long, and it moves, and it is covered in FUR!), and she loves to bite Paley's ears--this is tricky, though, because Chalcy's mouth is bigger than Paley's ears, so she ends up biting half of Paley's head. This is not Paley's very favorite game.

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