Thursday, December 4, 2008

Nick - Daisy's Nemesis

Daisy may be a Wonder Dog to you and I, but to another member of our family she is something completely different - an interloper.

You see in addition to Daisy, I also have a cat named Nick (short for Nicodemus). Nick is a character. Weighing in at about 20 pounds, he has all the attitude and personality that befits a cat his size. He rules the house with an iron paw and meows until he gets what he wants - and I do mean UNTIL he gets what he wants. Turning the water on in the sink (so he can drink from the faucet) is NOT an option; it is an expectation. Petting him when "he" wants to be pet is a rule. Although, I have repeatedly told him that it is  "I" who pays the mortgage on our house, he has decided that this is not a pertinent fact in his world. Attitude is everything when you're a cat. And, if  you are a cat owner; you know exactly what I mean!

One of Nick's favorite activities is to let Daisy knows where she stands (relative to him) in our household. When I first brought Daisy home, she was so afraid of this unusual looking animal that she would purposely avert her eyes so as not to make eye contact with him. In fact, she always went out of her way to avoid him. So, what did Nick do in return? Why, of course, he sat down in front of her, stared her down until he felt that she was sufficiently intimidated, and then he would move on.  

When I invited Daisy onto my bed on the Fourth of July (fireworks scare her), she immediately laid down next to me. What did Nick do? He meowed in protest, then sat down in front of her and gave her the "evil eye" until she got down off the bed. He even went as far as to walk over to her and sniff her as if to say "You stink. Get off MY bed."  No joke. 

Since then Nick has taken to circling the perimeter of the bed whenever Daisy enters my room so as to prevent her from jumping up onto it at all. Basically, he's taken to heading her off at the pass. 

When Daisy wants to come into the bathroom to say "Hi" to me in the morning, Nick races to beat her there. Then he blocks her entrance by sitting down in the doorway and staring at her. Daisy usually backs off and goes back to her favorite spot on the couch. Nick, seeing that his job is done, and that he has sufficiently scared Daisy away, heads back to my bedroom to once again claim the bed. His job is done.

Nick has even intimidated a few of my clients. Once he cornered one of my clients, a chocolate Lab named Lucy, in my office. He just sat in the doorway and stared her down. She attempted to go around him (staying as close to the wall as was possible) but Nick just turned on his "evil stare" and she backed up back into my office again. I finally had to rescue her from the dangerous beast.

Lately, Nick has taken to jumping over Daisy to get to me. Sometimes he even jumps up next to her, walks right over her (as if she doesn't exist), and then climbs into my lap as if to claim me as his own. I'm starting to suspect that this power hungry, ego-driven feline has become a little too big for his britches. I mean establishing who's top dog (or in this case, cat) in the household is understandable, but perhaps he has taken this a bit far. 

So, I've been working with Daisy to assert a little bit of dominance herself. Or, at the very least, enable her to move about the house without "super cat" restricting her movements. And, progress has been made. She is now more comfortable coming into the bathroom to say"Hi" to me in the morning. With a little encouragement, she actually walks past Nick (still avoiding eye contact with him) and comes to sit beside me. She also is more comfortable jumping up on the bed (on occasion) - mostly because she has seen other dogs do it with no fear of the cat on the bed. And, she is getting used to Nick jumping over her to get to me. In the past, she would run for her kennel (her safe spot). Now, she remains lying beside me; ignoring the cat.

Once again, I am amazed at Daisy the Wonder Dog's strength and resilience. Her past may have been awful, but the progress she makes every day is impressive. She is becoming more self-assured and confident, even engaging other dogs in play. And, she has taken on her nemesis, Nick, head on and started to deal with him in a way that is respectful but not fearful. What else can I say... Go Daisy Go!


  1. Hey, girls -

    I love to hear the stories about Daisy. Keep them coming. She is such an inspiration to me. I think many of us humans can take some lessons from her!


  2. Thanks Patricia! I'm having fun sharing all the Daisy stories. She's an inspiration to me!

  3. Hey- I love Nick's perspective as it reminds me to be more patient with Cricket. She is such a brat to Edward! growling randomly at him is her latest trick; although, it will stop soon as he completely ignores her - too funny.

  4. Neserkaln - I am sure you can relate to Nick's perspective! Cricket has been an only child for so long, so I am sure it is difficult for her to adjust. It's great to hear that Ed doesn't play into her theatrics. I'm still working to help Daisy on that one. Nick has been especially obnoxious of late to her, so I'm working to build her confidence. I hope Cricket and Ed become such good friend that they start to cuddle! Now wouldn't THAT be awesome?