I’ve always found that the idea that dogs and cats have “mortal enemy” inscribed on their genome to be highly overstated. When I’ve had dogs and cats living in the same house, they usually either learned to ignore each other or became buddies. Sometimes it was a cautious friendship — more like détente — but still, far from the outright, constant war that’s depicted in idiom, cartoons, and certain cheaply made children’s movies.
The National Geographic video below is a really touching example of a dog and a cat who put the lie to the “mortal enemy” myth. Tervel is a chocolate Lab who’s blind and partially deaf. His owner Anne says she doesn’t know for sure what happened to his senses, but she was told that he was thrown against a wall as a pup. That may have caused his loss of hearing and sight.
For a long time, Tervel mostly stayed curled up in his basket because wandering around the house just meant that he would get hurt by bumping into things. He lived like that until Anne acquired a stray cat named Puddy Tat.
Puddy Tat, by Anne’s own account, sounds kind of mean generally.
“He’s not very nice with the other cats,” she says. “He will bully the other cats a bit into submission.”
But Puddy Tat has become great friends with Tervel and begun to act as his guide so that the dog doesn’t have to just stay in the basket all the time.
“He prefers Tervel to any of the other cats,” Anne says. “I think he must have known that Tervel was blind, because he bonded with him straightaway.”
Tervel now counts on Puddy Tat to get him around the house. In the video, you can see the cat leading Tervel around the house, even nudging a door open for him. Anne says that having the cat around makes Tervel much more confident and willing to explore.
Check out the video. It’s definitely a sweet, nice addition to the day.
What about you? Do your dogs and cats fight, or have you seen them bond like this?
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