A Dog Loved A Cat: Part 1 by Rachael Ikins

A Dog Loved A Cat: Part 1

by

Rachael Ikins

As the song said “People let me tell you ‘bout my best friend”

It is not true that cats and dogs don’t get along.
Katie was 8 years old when 8 week old dachshund puppy Sassie came to live with us. My marriage ended not long after and when we left we took Sassie, too.

“Ready for a chase. Jump, Katie!”

The Pushme Pullyou in one of its many configurations.
Sassie also became little sister to then 11 year old dachshund, Lowrider. He was our “grumpy old man” and tolerated a puppy. Katie and he went way back to before the ex. marriage and had survived the fights, the abuse heaped at me and kept me going through darkest times as I finally made the decision to leave.
In our new place, the 4 of us were shell shocked survivors who came to revel in the peace, calm and quiet.
Spoonie sisters.
Always ready for the smallest patch of sunlight
Dreaming of spring, shoulder to shoulder, having each other’s back.
True love, soul deep, transcendent.

On a road trip to visit a friend. Katie in her posh carrier.

An autumn morning on the balcony. Any sun found the 3 of us there with houseplants, Katie’s catnip plant and my morning coffee as long as the weather lasted. Katie was not a cat who enjoyed being held. Rather she used me as a perch or a warming device and that was okay with me.
What’s next? Sharing secrets.
Katie developed a heart murmur and several other health concerns often seen in Devon rex. She was taking a steroid for asthma at age 12 which thinned her hair and especially her ears where I applied the cream.
In our second larger apartment, the chaos of moving over, new furniture and more space, the girls napped.
Even with a grumpy old man.
A few days before we lost our Kate June 22, 2016, the girls relished some sun together in the hammock on our balcony.
And savored later sunlight in the bedroom. True love never dies it is just transformed into something different. It lives on even if bodies fail. Katie was 14 and died at an emergency clinic at midnight that year. I had just gotten home from there hopeful, exhausted, when the vet rang.
At 4 a.m. Sassie and I drove back to the clinic a good 45 minutes away, and they brought us our Kate.
A few months later Lowrider who was 18, blind and deaf joined Katie. We had adopted Ruby in summer she was also a rescue. March, Cato joined our family. December of 2016 Bug arrived. Thus begins part 2, a new story of a remarkable friendship between a dog and a cat.

Rachael Ikins

Rachael Ikins
Associate Editor Clare Songbirds Publishing House, Auburn NY
2018 Independent Book Award winner (poetry)
2013, 2018 CNY Book Award nominee
2016, 2018 Pushcart nominee
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