Almost three months ago I told you about Shelby and how she was sent to me to try my patience. She’s still working hard at it. In fact, I don’t think she even has to try, it just happens naturally. When I first wrote about her I mentioned that she still had a bit of shyness and insecurity to deal with. Forget it! That’s all over with! She runs the house and all its environs with an iron paw.
No longer does she steal into the bedroom, click, click, clicking across the floor, removing a slipper to put near her while she sleeps on the couch at night, senses alert and still watchful for any lurking danger. I do miss that for some reason. Nor does she hide some of her body parts under the bed when she feels guilty because she now never seems to feel guilt. Her actions are justified because she is who she is.
Shelby has taught me to not leave anything on kitchen counters or the stovetop that I don’t want removed. She is a good trainer. I have lost little lately but for one exception. A few days ago I returned from the grocery store, emptied the numerous plastic bags and put my purchases up and away, leaving out just some produce that I normally don’t refrigerate. Needing to make a living to pay for my next shopping trip, I went down to the office and continued working on a project. By the time I came back upstairs, the sun had gone down and the house was settled in winter gloom. Halfway up the stairs I noticed something in the middle of the living room rug that had not been there earlier; it was brown and roundish. A potato? No, I hadn’t bought any. I gingerly picked it up to take a closer look, and then I thought about turning on a light. It was brown but as soon as I started peeling back the skin, realization hit me. OMG Shelby ate the avocado and left the pit! My suspicion proved correct as I found a small scrap of green, bumpy skin. Shelby had bypassed the bananas and tomatoes and chose the avocado as her dog treat. I figure she must be Irish, stealing peas, broccoli, lettuce and now avocadoes.
Remember the evil devil puppy across the street? The puppy has grown and is now larger than Shelby. Though they’ve never been formally introduced, his presence has given Shelby many hours of joyful barking, growling and posturing. Sadly he and his family are in the process of moving, leaving their house and yard vacant. She will hopefully soon encounter another adversary of equal stature to keep at bay. I thought she had one but things just didn’t work out that way.
A day or so before Thanksgiving a cat started hanging around the house, peering in through the windows and trying to get inside any time a door was opened. I have had cats in the past; past is where I want them to stay. She was driving Shelby crazy and doing a good job doing the same to me. Beside the hassle of getting through the doors there were the late night walks when there’s no creature stirring except me and the dog that I’m encouraging to do what has to be done quickly. We could feel these green, glowing eyes staring right at us. Shelby is not alone, I’m sure, in not performing well with an audience and this just added to the time spent in the cold and wind. I checked throughout the neighborhood but nobody claimed missing a cat.
As the days grew shorter and the temperatures drastically dropped I resigned myself to making a little shelter under the front stairs so the cat would at least be able to get out of the wind. The cat which my youngest grandchild named Oreo, took this as a sigh of permanent residency. Having a cat living outside my home with a dog that wanted to eat it became commonplace. Sometime during Christmas week though they made a truce which still holds. When I take Shelby outside Oreo greets us and she and Shelby nuzzle and sniff each other’s behinds. Once this ritual is over Shelby walks the outside perimeter of the property while Oreo follows but nearer the house. Shelby doesn’t try to kill and eat the cat and the cat has given up on jumping on the dog’s back. I don’t know if they will be BFFs but it’s a start at world peace.