As many of you may remember, we adopted Cletus the Tuxedo kitten last summer. We did this in part because I thought it would be nice for our dog Sadie to have a little friend. Sadie had long been trying to play with our other cats, and as sensible felines, they’d have none of that.
Cletus is exactly what Sadie needed. Cletus absolutely plays with her. Cletus loves to play chase with Sadie, especially while Sadie’s leash trails behind her. And what kitten wouldn’t want to attack a dog’s wagging fluffy tail?
But Cletus the kitten spent a great deal of time with Sadie the dog, and he modeled some of her canine behaviors…
Cletus the kitten sniffs and tracks like a dog. When it’s quiet in the house, I can hear him sniffing things in another room. Yes, I’m aware that cats sniff things, too, but not like this. I sit on one end of the loveseat, eating my tuna noodle casserole. Sadie lies on the floor in front of me. Cletus perches on the opposite arm, sniffing. I CAN HEAR HIM SNIFFING. “Whatcha got there, Mama? Lil tuna? Lil noodles? Lil peas? In a white sauce? Mmm, that smells delicious!” Child sits down on the sofa with a bowl of popcorn, and he sniffs in her direction, “That smells good,” his sniffs say, as he saunters over to rub her popcorn-fetching arm.
Like a dog, this cat eats anything. You’d think it’d be okay to leave your chips and salsa on the coffee table while you answer the phone, but no.
Cletus and Sadie have apparently set up an agreement by which Cletus jumps up onto the countertop and tosses over whatever I’ve left out.
“Sadie, would you like some cornbread?”
“Yes, Cletus, yes!”
“Sadie, would you like a lil hammy sammy?”
“Yes, Cletus, yes!”
“Sadie, would you like some bacon?”
“Oh yes, please, Cletus, please!”
I have to put everything away now, because Cletus will totally stick his paw into a container of sour cream before rolling it onto the floor for his good pal, Sadie. Now I must always use lids on the cooktop, otherwise there’s to be no more leaving anything on the stove with a low heat, because Cletus will be happy to eat taco turkey meat while it’s still warm, and he’ll be happy to bat some down to Sadie as well.
Since he apparently imprinted on the dog, Cletus also responds to the chimes of the alarm system, alerting him to open doors and windows, as well as rushing to greet his humans when they come home. He also stands at the door and looks out longingly when his humans leave. When the doorbell rings, he’s right behind Sadie, probably hopeful that someone has brought him a lifetime supply of ice cream, which, no matter how many times you tell him, “This is specifically not for kitties!” he cannot resist, as he sniffs his way to your bowl.
Morning with Cletus is >pounce, pounce, pounce, audibly sniff human nose< “Good morning Mama! Isn’t it a great time for you to put kibble in my bowl?”
Now and again, one of the other cats will tackle him, pin him down, and groom him. I think, like parents would, they tell him, “You are a cat. Be a cat. Stop with all the sniffing and don’t hang around that dog so much, she’s nothing but trouble!”
I’ve had other cats who’ve guarded our children, our house, and our yard in ways you’d expect a dog to do, but I’ve never had such a doggish cat. Have you ever had a cat who acted like a dog?
If you enjoyed the photos here, you should watch this video — which is looped, because who could watch it just the one time?