My husband and I got our cats about six months after we were married. They were our little boys. E.T. had a bad eye and had to go to the vet quite often in the beginning, but overall it was a wonderful time. We had lots of moments of joy and my husband and I experienced such intimacy in our shared love for our new family members. Here are some photos from that time period.
The cats were quick learners. They didn't need to be potty trained (which of course is typical of cats) and were easily redirected from negative behaviors to positive behaviors, ie. biting cords to biting straws, scratching furniture to scratching cat scratcher. They learned their names within their first week at home and quickly knew sit and up as well. They were our babies. They were smart and they loved us. Up until the time we got Oso, we would have at least one cat greet us at the door when we got home, often all three. Here are some recent photos of the group.
I have a photo on my camera which is not yet uploaded of all three of them snuggling together on a cold night. They were our babies and they still are. Experiencing their development from only 5 weeks of age is one of the reasons why we decided to get a puppy rather than an adult vizsla. I will often look at the cats and remember what they looked like as a baby and how they fit in the palms of my hands. It makes me love them even more.
With Oso, it is not difficult to see him as our little baby. He depends on us at a much higher level than the cats ever did. I am reminded of this as I softly whispered to him to help him fall asleep tonight after a midnight potty break. He transformed from yelping to sleep within moments. All he needed was a little comfort. (don't worry I waited for a break in the yelping to start the love)
We chose the vizsla breed partially for their reputation as the "velcro" dog. Our little guy does not disappoint. The longer we've had him the more he has grown in our heart and us in his. When we brought him home he was the happiest little camper. He slept through the first night and did not seem to miss his siblings or humans. When we took him to puppy day care, he left happily, his first time at dog beach he sought comfort when overwhelmed with a big dog with the human's feet who was closest (not ours). Yet, he knows he belongs to us. His recall is magnificent. When I call him at dog beach, a hike or in the middle of puppy playtime he searches for me. His expressive little eyes searching the room before he starts running towards me (or a person he thinks is me) as quickly as possible. The look he gives me while running has me hooked. He is our baby. We have 4 now, we are the Sanchez 6.
And although the cats and Oso are not best of buddies, Tipsy let Oso touch his nose today and that is a great start. The cats never showed us that they doubted our love and as I sit here typing, all three of them are sleeping within 4 feet of me. Oso is fast asleep in his crate, comforted with a couple minutes of soothing words.
*When we first got Oso all three cats got a lot of entertainment in watching him as often as tehy could. Notice them perched around the sofa.
And a formal introduction....
To finish off the post, I must remark that raising a puppy is much more difficult than raising the cats. We are doing the best we can and only hope the little guy turns out as well as his feline brothers.