When we were considering getting a dog, I repeatedly expressed concern about the cat and the response (from, as I now realise, mainly dog lovers) was invariably, “Don’t worry about it; they’ll work it out.”
This is a comforting lie. What has happened is that the cat’s indoor territory and his freedom of movement through the house has been drastically reduced. Tia, the dog, can be taught to sit, lie down, be quiet and wait, but only if the cat isn’t about. If he is, she will terrorise him, and the cat has had to confine himself to upstairs, beyond the incredibly inconvenient stairgate we’ve fitted to keep Tia downstairs. She is jealous of any attention he receives and will whine and yap as I pet him. She regards him as an intrusion to be driven out.
While I am enjoying the walks with Tia, despite the fact that they eat up huge chunks of time and fill up my already over-allotted days, making time to think, write or read even rarer than it was, I do not really like her. She is like a charming, beautiful, spoilt princess who has disrupted my life when it didn’t really have time for disruption.
Fortunately, Albee is a stoic, and has claws, so he gets in and out of the house with a little help and can find peace on our bed or in my study. However, I miss his presence in the sitting room or in the garden, from which the little princess has entirely driven him. He goes over the road now, to the garden opposite and no doubt annoys our neighbours’ cats, passing on the misery.
I’m sorry, Albee.