Why, hello! It’s been so long. Long enough to acquire a few more animals, of course. So here’s the current headcount:
One of these days I’m going to start charging people admission to come over to the Harding Family Petting Zoo. It’s a grand old time.
Anyway, we got this cat. A rescued, 3-year-old, no-one-wants-me-anymore-and-my-owner-is-moving away cat (who is fat). I saw him for approximately 3 seconds on the day he came home before he skittered off to hide in the basement for 5 days straight. We did not catch a glimpse of him for that long, but knew he was alive simply because the litter box was still being used. He was rightfully a little apprehensive about the dogs, who were joyously curious and scared the hell out of him. Now that some time has passed the cat (who we have named Clembough, Clemmie for short as a nod to Groupon’s $1,000 baby-naming deal which may or may not have been a total publicity stunt) cautiously comes up from the basement, pausing at the top of the stairs and meowing loudly for a little attention, please. The dogs oblige immediately, which causes him to flee back down the stairs to his secret lair. The only time he is comfortable going as far as the kitchen is when he hops onto the kitchen table, which is more than a little bit gross.
Since he has taken up residence in the basement, we put his food and water down there. Unfortunately, the dogs can reach it. And since Ryder is afraid of his own water, he is delighted to be able to steal the cat’s non -threatening water.
Allow me to explain. Ryder is what you may call a scaredy-dog. I love Ryder. In fact, of all these animals, he is by far my #1 favorite. But he is also a purebred Golden Retriever and inbred enough to be a bit dumb. We found one of those continuous water dispensers at a yard sale for $3 and picked it up, thrilled that we didn’t drop $40 for the one I had been eyeing at Target. The dogs took to it just fine – until that horrifying moment when the 3 gallon water jug made a GLUG GLUG noise and traumatized Ryder for life. Now he refuses to drink from it, approaching it only when I stand beside him and stick my finger into the water, indicating that it is in fact NOT a giant monster poised to attack him. Since I don’t always stand there with my finger in the water, he tries to find alternate sources for thirst quenching. Every time I take him outside, he drinks rainwater from the lip of an overturned pond that’s waiting to be installed in the backyard. He noses his way into our showers every morning to lick the suds in the tub. And he steals the cat’s water from the tiny dish. The whole thing is maddening.
I know, I should just give him back his old (non-scary) watering dish and stop torturing the dog. But wouldn’t that just be pandering to his insecurity? Giving credit to inane neuroses? Ok, so he’s just a dog. But Bird has no problem with it, and it GLUG GLUGGED at him, too. I’m at a loss here. Poor scaredy dog.