7.18.2011

Animal bonding

Hi, everyone - MP here!  Hope everyone had a nice weekend!

Of the many things I enjoy about living with multiple animals, one of the most special, other than the very unique and specific relationships that I develop with each one, is seeing the bonds that develop among the animals themselves, and they aren't always ones that you might have predicted.  When I was about thirteen, my dad rescued a tiny three week old kitten and brought her home to me to raise.  I bottle-fed her, and our relationship was always very close, but Reni's primary allegiance in life was to our Border Collie, Missy, whom she would snuggle up to for hours, and even attempt to nurse from, something Missy tolerated with an air of world-weary, yet distinctly maternal, patience.  It always seemed to surprise people that we had a dog and a cat who had such a close bond, but it's one that I've seen repeated in the current group of animals I live with, in which Olivia clearly prefers the company of Tucker and Phoebe to that of Tanner or Finn.  

When I first brought Olivia home, Tucker became her self-appointed nanny, watching over her, cleaning her ears and face, lying down with her for naps.  Something which Olivia seemed determined to pass on when Dakotah was recovering from surgery (he had a two and a half inch long incision on his neck where he had to have a suspected malignancy removed).  I brought him home and put him on his bed in the living room, and Livvy went right over and lay down next to him, purring her little heart out.  Tucker was right behind her, and they gathered close to their "big brother" and gave him comfort just by their very presence, something they both repeated often in later years, as Dakotah was preparing to take his leave from us.

I unfortunately didn't take as many pictures of those moments as I should have, and the ones I did take were wiped out when my laptop was infected by a virus two years ago, though I can see them in my mind's eye as clearly as if they happened yesterday. 

But just the other day, I saw a picture and heard a story about two cats that really touched me, and the cats' mom, Heather, graciously gave me permission to post the pictures here and tell you a bit about the story behind them ... 

Meet Elvin and Artie ... 





When Heather and her family adopted Artie from their local shelter at eight months of age, they were told that his left front leg had been broken and was never set properly, so Artie always walked hunched over on his elbow.  Typical of many animals with disabilities, Artie never seemed to realize that there was anything the least wrong with him, and once he was in a home setting and had the space to run around,  he turned into a typical kitten, and with the all the racing around his previously broken leg began to swell up.  When ice packs and restricted activity failed to reduce the swelling for any length of time, the vet advised that amputation was the best thing for Artie.  

The picture above shows Artie's "big brother," Elvin, giving Artie a reassuring nose nuzzle through the bars of Artie's hospital cage, something which Heather tells me is particularly meaningful in light of the fact that Elvin turns into a holy terror at the vet's office, and will shun the other cats in the house when they return home smelling like "cat fix-it."  But rather than growling or hissing at his convalescing friend, who certainly had the vet smell all over him after his surgery and overnight hospital stay, Elvin was nothing but gentle and loving to Artie, even curling up on a nearby blanket to keep him company ...


If you would like to offer Artie some well wishes, you can do so here.  Or if you want to tell Elvin what a great big brother he is, you can do that here .

What special relationships have you observed between the animal companions who share your lives? 


* Photos with kind permission of Heather Laskey










15 comments:

Random Felines said...

Pawesome story!! We have some bonds going here - even the weird ones that make mom nuts. :)

♥♥♥ The OP Pack ♥♥♥ said...

What a very sweet story! We have the amazing bond between Ciara and Thunder - so bonded it is almost unreal. Are furries just so wonderful?

The OP Pack Mom

CaroScat said...

We can learn so much from our anipals. My cat Austin fights with his visiting buddy, Tigger all the time, but when there are a day or two when Tigger doesn't turn up, Austin gets very antsy!

Ann Dziemianowicz said...

What a sweet and special bond! Nice story!

Sagira said...

What a sweet story and cute photos. :)

Old Kitty said...

Me and Charlie went over to say a big hello to lovely Arty and Elvin - such a cute story, thank you for sharing! Yay! take care
x

Avalon Cat Cartoons said...

Cute story. My cat Avalon doesn't get along with any other animal; he's too possessive. He did tolerate my guinea pig, but that's only because he was afraid of him (and by that I mean the cat being afraid of the guinea pig).
~Vanessa & Avalon

houndstooth said...

I grew up on a farm, and for a time we had chickens. After several years, we were left with just one rooster, and he became more of a pet than anything else. Every morning when I went out to do chores and feed the horses, the rooster and dog were waiting on the back porch for me. The rooster and dog were pretty close, they even slept in the dog house together right outside the house. After the dog died, we actually waited a year to get another one because we didn't want the rooster to have to give up the dog house!

Mr. Pip said...

Hi friends,

Thanks so much for your lovely comments, kind words, and good wishes for Sweet Pea. We SO appreciate your support. We are taking things day by day and appreciating every moment together. Sweet Pea is doing remarkably well considering his condition and for that we are very grateful!

Thanks again!

Your pal, Pip

Spitty-the-Kitty said...

Shoot! I tried to leave comments for these two sweet boys but for some reason Catster did not let me :-( Anyway, I'll bet that little Arty is up and around flying through the air with his Big Brother very soon! I loved this story!

Winnie said...

Much as enjoy these tales I still like being the centre of attention
love and licks Winnie

William said...

How sweet! It's nice to know that not every cat turns into a troll where the fix-it place is concerned!

Whitley Westie said...

Such sweet photos!

Spitty-the-Kitty said...

Hey, my Furriends! Just dropping in to say hi! Say, isn't about time for Olivia to blog???

Unknown said...

Tomorrow morning my 9 week old foster kitten will have his front leg amputated.
Heather's story about Artie was very reassurng. I'm dreading his surgery but I know he'll finally be out of pain once he recovers.