Puppy Love (Part 4)

People, like animals, are often not thrilled with undesirable changes in their relationships.

Our gentle, aging, and arthritic cat’s hostile reaction to the new black lab puppy did not grow less intense with time. Anytime they were too close, she would hiss vehemently.

Daisy’s growth hasn’t helped the situation. She has noticeably gotten bigger over the two weeks we have had her. While still lady-like, she is bolder about sniffing around Clarice, testing to see if she was ready to play yet.

Sensing an unpleasant showdown, I proposed to my husband we brainstorm how to help Daisy and Clarice get along better. While I was trying to integrate, he favored desegregation. He proposed restricting Daisy’s roam of the house, leaving Clarice some solitary space in the bedroom areas. Finding no consensus I suggested I ask the vet.

While Clarice may feel her life has been ruined, Daisy’s presence has increased the attention Clarice has gotten from the kids. This may be of little consolation to her, similar to a silver lining we may experience from an unwanted relationship.

Our cat is experiencing what many of us do in our relationships. When something we don’t like happens, we are forced into a decision point. We can accept the reality of the relationship change and make the best out of it; we can accept the reality of the relationship change and grow bitter and resentful; or we can pretend the change has not happened and start living in a parallel universe called denial.

I am hoping the Weber home does not become desegregated or we all minimize the current of underlying tension between our pets. I am hopeful that Daisy and Clarice can grow to love each other.

Catholic Women’s Guide to Healthy Relationships Tip: Accept relationship changes that are out of your control and work to make the best of them.