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Okay, so after jumping through about a million hoops, we were FINALLY able to bring home the boxer rescue (on Friday afternoon) that we absolutely fell in love with after we met him two weeks ago. We have renamed him Bear (my kids insisted on getting to name him since he's "their big puppy" :D) and he's just the sweetest, most adorable thing you've ever met! He's five years old and that's perfect for us because we have three children: a 9 year old daughter, our son is five and our youngest little girl is 16 months. We knew a puppy was out of the question, not just because boxer puppies are so hyper, but moreso because saving a life trumps getting "the pick of the litter", at least in my opinion, any day!

When I first called to enquire about bear, I immediately asked if he was good with cats... we had a failed foster experience with a terrier mix from the local SPCA, and unfortunately, my cats paid the price; I'll get more in depth into that later. I was told that bear is very cat friendly, and oftentimes went home with clinic workers who have both dogs and cats, and there was never any problems at all. I was also told had free range of the office during business hours because bear is VERY anti kennel, and his crying melts everyone's heart... so he is primary a free range pooch. I let the vet know (the rescue group we adopted from is run out of and sponsored by a vet clinic) that I was a stay at home mom, and that I thought he would be perfect for us because he wouldn't have to be locked up for hours at a time since I was home 99% of the day.

The first time we went to meet bear I insisted on seeing him interact with a cat, first hand, just to make sure that we were going to be his forever family, and for that to happen I had to know, before we signed paperwork, that he would be friendly with our two fur babies that already share our home. Bear didn't show any aggression when we did the "cat test" at the clinic, and in fact? It was the total opposite! His little tail wiggled so hard his entire backside was moving, as he licked and nuzzled the very annoyed cat. I was just over the moon, and I knew for sure, without a doubt, that Bear was going to join our family and that it was meant to be! My husband and I happily filled out all the paperwork while the kids finished up their visit with bear.

Our cats were raised without a dog in the home, except for occasional visits with family members dogs, so they are always pretty cautious around them at first. As much as we all adore dogs (especially boxers!), I knew we couldn't adopt one until we bought a house and had a privacy fenced in back yard; it was hard for everyone to wait, but landlords can be weird about animals in general, especially big dogs, so the decision was made that we would wait until we purchased our own home. In march of this year that dream finally became a reality, and I promised the kids that after we got our finances straight (after the money hemorrhage known as escrow), we could finally find adopt. We have a 4 year old tabby mix named Emma Stone, and a 1 year old rescue ragdoll named Johnny Cash (I know I know I pick silly names) and the most definitely rule the roost! Both cats have long since been fixed, still have their claws, and are super loving constant cuddle bugs as a rule. Um... yeah... let's l just say the initial introduction did NOT go very well!! Bear was leashed, but as soon as we walked through the door and the cats saw him, they immediately started to hiss and flip out in a total panic. Bear is a dog, so obviously his instinct was to chase them when they ran, but he was leashed and didn't get too far. Johnny freaked out so bad he ran into the closed window trying to get outside, and was jumping five foot in the air having a total spaz attack for a good 30 seconds until he finally ran into the bedroom following Emma, and neither has left our room since. The crazy part is that they're very tolerant of my husbands aunts boxer (sugar) when we dog sit once or twice a year, and although they aren't what I'd consider best buddies, they aren't scared of her and never hide. So their reaction isn't based on the boxer breed whatsoever and must be because of the failed foster I stupidly took in, who turned out was very anti cat, anti dog, and anti anything that got too close to me. We took care of brownie for a whopping 14 hours before she tried to attack my older female cat, and even leashed, it was not a pretty sight; Emma most definitely kicked her ass, but both cats were very shaken up for a day or so after she left. I thought for sure they would be settled and secure enough to not react the way they did when meeting bear, as the failed foster fiasco was over a month ago, but I was very wrong :'(

Anyways, since the initial spaz out, the cats have been staying in our bedroom closet on the very top shelf, and they refuse to come down except to eat and use the cat box, and it took 24 hours before I could even talk them down to eat or go potty at all. They don't want to be petted or messed with and they cower away from me when I reach for them; their eyes are HUGE like they think I'm going feed them to the dog or something! I definitely sense that they feel very betrayed that I brought another dog into their home... and they breaks my heart :'( Even though we have a baby gate up and keep the door to the bedroom shut most of the time (providing a "safe zone" as suggested from the various articles I've read), they aren't sleeping in our bed which indicates that they are very scared... they ALWAYS sleep at the foot of our bed no matter what. Bear is very obviously curious, and is constantly going to the gate trying to sneak a peek into the no go zone. I always redirect him back to the living room, and I definitely don't feel that he wants to harm the cats in any way... he just wants to meet them and make friends.

There is absolutely no way I am giving bear up, because I know he isn't going to hurt anyone, so the cats will just have to acclimate to their new "brother" as best they can. I do feel very guilty about everything though, and was wondering if anyone had any further advice as to what I should do... if anything at all. I don't want to push them and make things worse, but it has been 2 days now, and I'm scared that if they aren't properly introduced soon, this could become a lifelong issue that makes everyone pretty miserable. I've tried to crate bear and get each cat down individually to show them that he is not a threat, but he whines and cries so much while crated, they flip out all over again and jump out of my arms and run back to the closet. Johnny even bit me yesterday when I tried carry him into the living room, and he has NEVER shown any sort of aggression towards anyone... not even my 16 month old who regularly tries to pick him up by his tail (sounds terrible I know but he's just that laid back); he's always been so easy going and tolerant, as ragdolls typically are.

I'm very stressed about the whole situation, if you can't tell. I love all of my fur babies so much, and I never imagined things would be this rough starting out, which is very naive in hindsight :( What really sucks is that besides the cats? Everything else has been WONDERFUL!!! The kids are in love, just like my husband and I are, and bear is the perfect combination of playful and fun, while still being laid back and incredibly obedient. He even wore a princess crown and cape yesterday while he enjoyed a tea party with our 9 year old daughter, complete with dog biscuits and water in his fancy cup; his butt wiggled in excitement the entire time, and he never got annoyed or tried to leave the room... he's just THAT amazing! I don't think he is the problem in any way, and if I'm being honest? I think this is all my fault. I brought a dog into our home, without any knowledge about her temperament, and completely traumatized my cats :'( I was trying to do a good thing, but it totally backfired and now I'm pretty lost as to how to fix this situation I've created.

Thank you so much for any advice you have to offer, and I'm sorry this turned out to be so long! I just wanted to give you as much information as possible in the hopes that it would help you to help me... you guys know the breed, so ANY help will be much appreciated. Thanks again!
 

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The cats will figure it out. They've had run of the house up until this point so they are likely just not happy about the change. Leave them be and they'll come around. You know what they say about cats and curiousity!
 

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TIG is still a pup, though roughly 60lbs, and Louie (our massive cat=25lb of hair and muscle) is about 6 years old. We rescued Louie at 2. These guys sleep on each other and for the most part gently roughhouse if that's even makes sense.....lol. Not the same situation, but sort of if you factor in the energizer-puppy element. Louie didn't take a shine to TIG until he was about 6 months old and was pretty stand-offish and even territorial until TIG outgrew him.
I'd have to agree with Enfield on this. Let the cats have a couple of weeks to "get over it", and they will, they'll just be jerks about it usually. If your cats like to curl up on you at all, It's been my experience that being a buffer between the cat and dog while they both sort of "Den-Down" with you, greatly speeds up the process.
I think this is better for you with Bear being an adult, and I've had this same experience long ago with an adult Corgi that we introduced to an established house cat. Corgis aren't known for being well suited for cats either and we still had success.
Just my 2 cents, and I'm no animal expert, so I'm curious if this has been a method of success for others or if maybe this isn't a good idea for any reason. Good luck Bearmom!!
 

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In all honesty, I think you need to take a deep breath and relax... lol


Allow time for adjustment, your not going to get a big happy family after a few days, a week or even months.. especially when it comes to cat.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
The cats finally started sleeping in the bed again last night, so that's a positive step in the right direction! Bear sleeps on the couch because I can't stand to hear him crying and whining until he settles down and finally falls asleep... it breaks my heart and he already knows he has me wrapped around his paw lol! I do crate him when we leave though; I'm not bending that rule for his safety. Since he doesn't chew anything up or make messes, I don't really see the point in putting him in "doggy jail" at night because we're just in the next room, only separated by a tall baby gate, and he sleeps hard since he's worn out from playing with the kids all day. He has, for the most part, behaved himself like a perfect gentleman (minus chasing after the cats) in every situation he has been put in since we brought him home! Bear definitely has more than enough snap to understand that if he screws up and breaks my trust, he will lose his comfy couch nighttime privileges... and considering his disdain for being crated? I don't think he'll be silly enough to mess all that up I do have to report that Mr. Man did get into a bit of trouble for the first time yesterday evening. He did his best to covertly get an open can of wet cat food off the counter as soon as I had my back turned! Sadly for my poor bear bear he's rather loud and clumsy... when I heard him making suspicious noises I turned around and caught him RED HANDED standing up on his back legs trying to knock the food down on the floor with his front paws like a little turd! Much to his dismay, his punishment was 5 long, hard minutes of solitary confinement in his crate, and a stern talking to for his momentary lapse in judgement! I took a video of his dramatic protesting which is pretty hilarious... or pathetic, depending on your viewpoint

Anyways, back to the cats and the dog (I ramble and I'm sorry for that)! I had Bear leashed pretty much 24/7 the first day or so, but since the cats haven't been venturing out of our room, I took the leash off yesterday afternoon. Bear likes to be able to follow the kids around everywhere since he legitimately thinks he is their nanny/personal bodyguard/bestest buddy, and I try to clean up when the kids are occupied and didn't feel like tagging along constantly, so I went ahead and made the mistake of letting him wander his portion of the house freely. Unfortunately, Emma got brave this morning and decided to walk into the living room to check things out, and that would have been okay had I followed protocol and kept him leashed like I'm supposed to. As soon as she jumped the gate bear heard her, and before I could do anything to stop him, he was trying to chase her down.... but thats because she ran! Luckily Emma cleared the gate before he ever got close, but unfortunately for bear, his doggy breaks are not very effective on hardwood floors and he slid into the gate pretty hard. Not gonna lie, I laughed a little! Okay.... If I'm being honest? I laughed my butt off You should have seen the look on his face after it all played out; you would have laughed too! It really isn't funny though because he thinks it's great fun to chase them, and laughing is far from the serious reprimand he deserved, and chasing the cats, even if they do run, is simply not acceptable behavior his tail wags the entire time he tries to interact with the cats, and I don't feel any "bad vibes" or malicious motives from bear whatsoever... not even when he's trying to catch one of my poor kitties... he's just curious, I'm sure of it. Hopefully I can keep on top of things better to avoid situations like that from happening in the future. I started attempting incentive based training following the whole "the cats don't exist so stop looking for/at them" method. I use treats as a reward for listening when I tell him "no cat!". I read that's one of the best ways to stop the chasing since supposedly he will start to associate ignoring the cats with treats and praise, and lose interest in chasing them... so we're crossing our fingers and praying it works!

The cats are obviously getting braver and a little more comfortable because they are no longer holed up in the closet, and have started sitting in the window when he goes outside to potty, either out of curiosity, or just to tease him... I'm not sure which, or if it's a little bit of both. The window nonsense started last night, and I was irritated and happy for progress all at the same time. When bear sees the cats in the window he starts jumping and talking in an attempt to get them to come play, and he gets so fixated on making that happen we both wind up freezing our butts off. He doesn't potty until I break the cat spell with a treat and a stern redirect command, and it's a massive pain in the butt. I feel bad because he's always the one who gets griped at, but cats are cats and they do what they want! Considering the cats aren't running and don't freak out when they see bear acting like a spaz just outside the window, I'm feeling slightly better about everything today... but not much. I'm sure we will get there eventually, I just have to be consistent

I really appreciate all your help and advice!! I just want to make sure everyone is happy, and hopefully I figure things out and everything calms down soon! One thing is for sure, he's already spoiled rotten! 20 new toys, at least 5 different types of bones (he's very good at showing me the treats he'd like to take home when we're at petco ), 3 jackets and 2 sweaters in just a few days isn't too shabby for a handsome guy who was once abandoned and alone I know boxers don't like the cold, and he can't just wear the same old jacket every day, right? I learned to ignore the guidelines on the packaging the hard way, and that bear is a solid XXL in any and everything that has to go over his super broad chest! My husband has literally banned me from petco and petsmart after we (okay I) spent $300 on our mommy/puppy shopping sprees. I guess he doesn't know that big box stores and online retailers sell sweaters and fun doggy stuff, too, since my credit cards haven't been cut up yet :p

On another happy note, I'm super excited because bear is adjusting so well to his new food! I mixed the kibble the vet sent home with his new food (don't worry it's grain free and formulated just for boxers!!) until I ran out of the supply they sent home this morning. He hasn't been extra gassy or had diarrhea or anything, so I think it's a good fit for his tummy. He also hasn't tried to mark anywhere inside, and goodness am I thankful for that, because one of the rescues I was approved through warned that was probably going to happen if we chose to adopt a male... but nope, not our bear! He is SUCH a good boy, and if the cats could stop running, and they could get to know each other, life really would be perfect


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Discussion Starter #7
https://vimeo.com/194408455

Too bad for Bear the academy of motion picture arts and sciences has yet to start handing out "best leading pooch in a Snapchat short film" oscars to dogs, even if they are more talented than Meryl Streep on her best day he's so pitiful you can't help but feel bad for him! Lol

After crating the dog before we left to do school drop offs this morning, my son told me "if I didn't know you were a nice mom, I'd think you were a pizza head! Bear bear is sad mama, let him out!! He's crying!!" My poor son has a soft spot for animals just like I do... he gets his love of nonsensical and silly nicknames from his father, however.


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In all honesty, I think you need to take a deep breath and relax... lol


Allow time for adjustment, your not going to get a big happy family after a few days, a week or even months.. especially when it comes to cat.


I think I'm so stressed out because I never expected this type of reaction since our cats have always been so tolerant of sugar. We did a "cat test" at the rescue and saw that bear was not aggressive at all, so my confidence was overinflated, I guess. I was just so sure it was going to be like pet sitting sugar... that the cats wouldn't be super thrilled, but would deal with it all in stride. I never in a million years dreamed that they would completely alter their lives out of fear, confining themselves to one room, and looking at me like I've betrayed them when I try to interact with them. Of course I also never thought bear would try to chase them, so what do I know? Lol

I'm just scared someone is going to wind up hurt, and if that happened I would never forgive myself We have hardwood floors, and I'm worried about bear's hips in general, since boxers are prone to dysplasia, but the way he's running around like a mad man, chasing the cats and slamming into stuff because he can't get traction? It just freaks me out. I grew up with a "zoo" on a farm. My step dad took in any and every abandoned, hurt or displaced animal who needed help. Of course we did our best to keep everyone safe, but very rarely two formally friendly animals would get into it for whatever reason (usually food) and the absolute worst feeling in the world is not being able to get a fight under control in time to save the weaker animal I think that, combined with the recent rescue disaster which traumatized the cats (apparently worse than I thought), has me on edge. I truly believe that Bear doesn't have a mean bone in his body and that he would never intentionally hurt Emma or Johnny, but at the end of the day who really knows? What if one of the cats attacks him and he loses it? I wish they would just chill out long enough to meet, and stop acting like animals! Sorry, stupid joke lol.

I guess the wonderful introduction and seamless transition i had built up in my head was pretty much impossible :( I feel guilty for stressing the cats out so much, but at the same time, this is Bear's house now, too. I just have to do the best I can to make sure things go better from here on out and quit wishing things were perfect


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Like I said... just breath, it has to be expected.. I brought an 8 week old puppy home and introduced him to a 22lb male cat who hated dogs, and I mean hate... they eventually worked things out, once the cat established rank "king of the castle" and the dog was a dirty civilian they all soon got along, it's not going to work over night. Here we are today 2 years later... we now have two cats and a dog 20161203_103800.jpg

And if any other dog comes In the house the cats go right back to absolute hate. Cats ..

I wouldn't worry too much... breath:)
 

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Like I said... just breath, it has to be expected.. I brought an 8 week old puppy home and introduced him to a 22lb male cat who hated dogs, and I mean hate... they eventually worked things out, once the cat established rank "king of the castle" and the dog was a dirty civilian they all soon got along, it's not going to work over night. Here we are today 2 years later... we now have two cats and a dog View attachment 118170

And if any other dog comes In the house the cats go right back to absolute hate. Cats ..

I wouldn't worry too much... breath:)
 

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We have 2 cats (5yrs and almost 2yrs) and have a boxer puppy (5 months). Our puppy gets along with one cat (the younger one) and not the other (they bark/hiss at each other but never hurt each other). I'm just gonna let them figure it out from here on out, there's only so much I can do to try and make them get along. Maybe they will eventually, maybe they won't. But they can tolerate each other enough to live together (they aren't constantly barking/hissing, it's only if one walks by the other, which doesn't happen often as the dog hangs out mostly upstairs and the cat mostly downstairs).

I think you need to give them more time to get used to each other. Our younger cat didn't originally get along with the dog, although there was no hissing, but he'll now jump up on my lap even if the dog is there (which he wouldn't even do 2 weeks ago!). It's taken awhile but they're adjusting, just give them time.
 

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Apparently they got into it again when I was out of the house and my husband was home. He said Bear had Emma on a corner and she was totally flipping out trying to get away, and bear was nudging her with his head like "why don't you love me!" Those were he's exact words. I guess next time I ask him to keep the dog leashed he will listen :/ my husband doesn't even like my cats much, but he was very upset about the whole thing. Probably more because he was terrified of my reaction had Bear hurt her.

Ughhhhhhhh


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our boxer was a pup but when he would chase we taught him no, then later leave it. We continued those commands as he grew when he wanted to play with the cats but we didn't intervene. He learned to leave them alone. Occasionally he will want to nudge one with his nose and we just say leave it. But its not unusual now to find both he and one of the cats sleeping together.

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Well I'm no help but I can commiserate! We have to keep Duke (our Boxer) and Dusty (our cat) separate at all times. Our cat is skittish and scared of everything and ALWAYS runs away from Duke which causes Duke to want to chase.
We spent a couple of weeks away over the summer and our friends watched Duke for us. They also have a dog and a cat, difference with their cat is that it doesn't run away when the dogs get close. It just hunches up and hisses and swats. So wouldn't you know it, Duke was FINE with their cat! Ugh! We've essentially given up on trying to integrate our cat and Duke. We have so much else going on in our lives that I'll be honest, we just gave up!
I hope that's not the case with you. Hopefully Bear and your cats get used to eachother and the chasing ends soon!
 

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Well I'm no help but I can commiserate! We have to keep Duke (our Boxer) and Dusty (our cat) separate at all times. Our cat is skittish and scared of everything and ALWAYS runs away from Duke which causes Duke to want to chase.
We spent a couple of weeks away over the summer and our friends watched Duke for us. They also have a dog and a cat, difference with their cat is that it doesn't run away when the dogs get close. It just hunches up and hisses and swats. So wouldn't you know it, Duke was FINE with their cat! Ugh! We've essentially given up on trying to integrate our cat and Duke. We have so much else going on in our lives that I'll be honest, we just gave up!
I hope that's not the case with you. Hopefully Bear and your cats get used to eachother and the chasing ends soon!


That's what I'm so worried about :/ my husband hates having the cat box in our room, and I have to change it daily which is obnoxious. They get brave and venture out sometimes but it always ends in disaster then last night this happened. I didn't know if I should congratulate him for fencing a possum, which are disgusting and gross and I'm glad he scared it off, or if I should just take him inside because I don't want him chasing anything to discourage his prey drive. I thought he had a stray cat fenced at first because of all the hissing I heard... but thank goodness he didn't. I also learned last night that Bear could bark! Before then I had never heard him do anything but whine https://vimeo.com/194698628


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That's what I'm so worried about :/ my husband hates having the cat box in our room, and I have to change it daily which is obnoxious. They get brave and venture out sometimes but it always ends in disaster then last night this happened. I didn't know if I should congratulate him for fencing a possum, which are disgusting and gross and I'm glad he scared it off, or if I should just take him inside because I don't want him chasing anything to discourage his prey drive. I thought he had a stray cat fenced at first because of all the hissing I heard... but thank goodness he didn't. I also learned last night that Bear could bark! Before then I had never heard him do anything but whine


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I really hope this doesn't happen to you! Luckily we have a large finished basement, so that's the cat's domain. It's still a bit annoying having them separated, but it works for us. Been this way for the last 4 years now... Duke's prey drive is intense! He is also a great guard dog. If anyone comes within 100 feet of our house, he's at the door barking! Crazy dog thinks he owns the street. lol

You just got Bear so hopefully he will settle in nicely and stop chasing the cats!
 

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Hmm ... I've been off line for a bit .. hardware "issues" with my laptop .. time for a replacement. Then .. get "this" one fixed. :)
There is no "mystery" as to why the cats trust the "other" Boxer/Dog and "not" this one?? There is only one rule in Cat v Dog relationships ... "The Dog Never Chases The Cat!"


The cats "trust" the other dog "because" he is not charged with "bad energy" the cats ... "understand" that ... "you" can't control this dog! I .. am not an "Expert" per say ... except for with Cat v Dog ... I kinda sorta am. :).

I was a pretty crappy at the "Cat Rescue" thing so at my high point ... I wound up with 18 cats and 5 dogs. And in 18 years I have never had a single Cat Dog issue. :)

My dogs don't "Chase Cats" the cats are non "entities." Indoors or out ... my dogs "never" step one foot towards the cats. The cats are free to engage or not with the dogs ... as they see fit!

Dogs that are "other wise" perfect ... get returned all the time from "Cat" first homes ... becasue ... the dog won't get along with my cats! Happens all the time. :(

Soooo ... the "time out" thing ... yes that's cute. Dogs don't work like that ... no one that is "successful" in rehabbing dogs does that??

Dogs "understand" "Rules Structure and Limitations." That ... is what is missing here. :)

In a nut shell "assuming" these are "indoor" cats?? Then the rules need to be for the dog and not the Cats. Speaking for myself ... I don't care what the cats do??

I can't control them?? But the dog ... yeah that's a bit different! "Indoors" the rules for the dog are ... "No Free Roaming!" The dog needs to be trained in "Place" or in his "Crate" indoors ... period end of discussion!

If you "train" your dog to ignore the cats ... the cats will get that! Once they understand the dog is "under control" then they will will "relax!" Train the "Place Command" and institute a no "Free Roaming" in the house policy .. and your cat issues ... will be solved!

If ... sigh ...you want to the "Couch" thing (and I would not) then incorporate the "Couch" in "Place" training ...he can get up there but he is not free to leave it unless given a release! Not something "I" would do but ... people do stuff.

In any case the long version of this "advise" is found here ...
German Shepherd Dog Forums - View Single Post - My 11 month old GS is crazy!

And ... not liking the "Counter Surfing" thing. A "Bonker" is an ideal solution for that crap!! It's a "towel bound with rubber bands or a pair of socks" and when the dog exhibits the "unwanted behavior ... you throw the "Bonker" and "hit them in the head with it!" Three times at the most and that problem solved! Or do something else but bare in mind ... that emergency surgery to remove crap from a dogs stomach that he ingest is $2500 to $4500 surgical procedure ... if your lucky.

Uh oh battery issues ... gotta go!
 

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Well things went well for a week. Bear wasn't chasing the cats and was responding well to the "no cat" command and acting like an angel, looking away when he saw one pass by. The cats finally felt comfortable enough to leave the bedroom, and seemed to pick up on the fact that they couldn't run by the dog, but if they walked everything was fine. So yeah, everything was great for a solid seven days... until this morning; now my back porch looks like a crime scene.

I'm watching my friends son today for her, as it is Christmas break and he is not in school, but she still has work. I'll admit, I was distracted and bear getting "beat up" was my fault. I thought Johnny was in the garage, but someone let him inside the house. The kids startled the cat, and while I was bringing bear inside from going potty, Johnny tore off out the back door. Before I could do anything to stop him Bear was chasing Johnny. By the time I could get everything under control there was blood everywhere, and we were all freaked out and upset. Bear didn't hurt Johnny at all, and I'm well aware that had he wanted to,the cat would be dead... But Johnny got bear with his claw pretty good on his ear, and there was so much blood EVERYWHERE that the kids thought the cat was really hurt so they started bawling. We wound up having to wrap Bear's ear in gauze and tape it to stop the bleeding. All in all this morning has pretty much sucked, and I'm feeling horrible about what happened.

I'm not sure if bear will ease up now that he's felt the wrath of cat claws, or if it will be that much worse. The cats are holed up in the closet again... all that progress right down the drain






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