Our middle daughter took this photo of her new pup, Snickers, and our cat Skittles. I’ve taken it upon myself to name it “Suspicion.” I know for a fact that when Snickers first fell asleep, there was no cat on the bed next to him. The cats only come out full force these days when the dog is either contained or sleeping. Then, they prowl around, investigating the kennel where he sleeps at night, tip-toeing around the house, doing what they can to reclaim their now-tarnished territory.
When I posted this on Facebook, a friend commented, “Very suspicious; even the rooster.” I agreed, adding the rooster is the most suspicious character of the three! Look at him, lying there all innocent, pretending he doesn’t know what’s going on. He, more than the puppy even, is taunting the cat: “Hey kitty, kitty, look what I got here. That’s right, cat, we got a new dog in the hood. Our world just got a heckuva lot more interesting. Goodbye boredom, hello fun times!”
I don’t think the cat is buying it, do you?
At least Skittles is giving the pup a little leeway. (Apparently his curiosity overrode his annoyance.) Our other cat Spice, the older of the two, will have nothing to do with the tongue-hanging, ears-flopping alien that has invaded their castle. The first day of the intruder’s presence, she went into hiding. In fact, she got so into her mission that we thought we’d lost her. This was a bittersweet moment for me, realizing we’d gained a pet but lost another all in the same day. Fortunately, we found her at day’s end, cowering in a deep corner of our oldest son’s bedroom — the one space the dog had not yet explored (thus, no tormenting dog scent).
Ah, life is full of new and suspicious encounters, is it not? But it does make for an interesting world.
I love what my friend Shannon posted on her blog a while back that directly relates. It was about the writing life, and she was quoting someone else. It went something like this:
“The cat sat on a mat” is not a story. But “The cat sat on another cat’s mat” is.
Isn’t that great?
Tension makes for a good story. This photo isn’t high quality in terms of professionalism, but when I saw it, I was immediately drawn to it because it tells a story; the story of our summer introducing a puppy into our home, and of how said puppy has been received in a variety of ways, from full-out embracing to the perpetual low growl of a cat who is fairly certain he didn’t sign up for this nonsense.
The best life includes some tension. And though we might resist it, tension keeps the energy flowing and life intriguing. The key is knowing how to harness it for the good.
Q4U: What tension has invaded your summer? What are you doing to harness it for the good?