We graduated very quickly from a house filled with
7 cats to an oversized dog house with an entire family of adult Rottweilers. In the beginning it was complete chaos. The 7 cats had just gotten used to living with a young Rottweiler and their relationship progressed rather smoothly without any tragic events from fear to curiosity to friendship. Then overnight there appeared 2 adult Rottweilers that made it clear to our household that this was now DOG TERRITORY. So we did all that we could to keep them in separate rooms to protect life, limb and property.
Because we now had a Mamma Rott and a Pappa Rott and a Baby Rott it seemed so fitting to start referring to them as The Three Bears. After all, I quickly learned the the name Bear was a popular one for Rottweilers.
On the top right is a photo of the Tigger clan taken on Long Island before the big move to Kentucky.
I was surprised to see how quickly they learned to get along with each other. From their perspective they were living in the same house so they must all belong there as opposed to every other creature that lived outside. We had a book about Cats at the time that explained the social order they lived in and one of our cats named Butch seemed to be assigned the task of Ambassador Cat. This brave little guy had made the first overtures of friendship to Mocha when we first got her.
And it was Butch again who bravely went up to the ferocious cat-hating Rottweiler Nikko Bear and rubbed against him and laid down next to him on the couch. And if you look closely at the photo on the left you will notice the look of defeat on Nikko Bear's face. His life has changed forever from wannabe cat-killer to cat-lover. And a few years later after the death of Butch and his twin brother Rusty from Feline Leukemia, when their father Tigger was beyond consoling, it was Nikko who comforted him. And in the strangest of ways.
Rottweilers do everything with their mouths. They use it like we use our hands. And a few times when my Jacqueline and I were sitting on the couch with Tigger between us, Nikko Bear would walk over to us and put Tigger's head in his mouth and gently hold it for a few seconds. And Tigger seemed to understand the gesture was one of deep friendship because he would never make any effort to pull away.
The story must end on a sad note because the Tigger clan was a very close-knit family. Butch and Rusty died within weeks of each other and Tigger did not live more than a year after his twins were gone. And after Tigger was gone Nikko Bear mopped around the house for weeks looking for his old friend.
One consolation was there still remained one last cat in the house. A black female that walked up to me one day when I first got here and I was living in an apartment before we found our first house. I named her KC for Kentucky Cat and she became Nikko's replacement friend for Tigger. For the record, KC lived to the ripe old age of 19 before she passed away.
And by the time Nikko died in 2004 KC had also become fast friends with the newest member of our Rottweiler family, Sassy, almost to the point of being her acting foster mother along with Mocha. She ate meals with her, she slept with her and she played with her.
So all this proves what most dog lovers already know, dogs and cats can learn to live with each other and actually love each other. And don't you wish humans could learn something from them?