I wrote a long start to this post, but I just deleted it. Instead, my introduction is that I have been feeling the need to be needed more and more lately. I realise that’s pretty much selfish, but there you go. The two legged options in relation to that need don’t seem likely, so the next best plan: an animal.
I thought a lot. Then I thought I’d be really sensible and go and speak to my vet about the possibility of this, bearing in mind Norman. Don’t get me wrong here – Norman is a fantabulous furball, but he only needs me on his terms. I kind of need more.
The vet said that a dog would integrate far better with Norman than another cat. The issue is that Norman hasn’t been in close contact with dogs so how on earth did we work out if it was a reasonable option? My vet looks after both Sister’s dogs so knows them all well. He suggested that I borrow Lola, Sister 1’s calmest dog, for a weekend, keep everyone inside and see what happened. The massive benefit to this plan is that I could hand Lola back straight away should it all go pear shaped.
I couldn’t quite face a weekend or keeping everyone inside as Norman would have been restricted in where he could feel safe. So yesterday Lola came over for the day.
Within five minutes of arriving back at Pog Towers, I had to call Sister 1 to find out if I needed to get Lola to the vet as she’d eaten both of my ear plugs (I didn’t- they’re just the foam ones and she’d eaten them before apparently). Then Lola and Norman met. Norman puffed himself to at least three times his size, flew down the garden and spent the morning on next door’s shed roof, watching the intruder. The intruder then broke two of my sunflowers, knocked over and emptied my bin and trampled over my rockery.
Things calmed down a little. I got on with work, Norman got on with sitting on the shed roof and Lola got on with sniffing every centimetre of the house and garden, before taking over Normans favourite spot.
At lunch time Lola and I went for a walk. It was lovely – we saw horses, a donkey, a woodpecker and rabbits. And I discovered that Lola doesn’t do stiles. In fact, the only way we could get home (other than turning around and retracing most of our walk) was for me to lift her over the stile. It’s more tricky than I thought to hold a beagle while climbing over a wobbly wooden structure…
We got home I could hear a cat crying – it turned out it was Norman was sitting on the other side of the big fence at the end of my garden, covered in cobwebs and undergrowth… I persuaded him back into the garden and had a slightly surreal hour where I sat on a teleconference and Lola and Norman sat about six feet from each other, just staring. I don’t know if that is progress or if both were just planning the imminent demise of the other. In case it was the latter, I took Lola home as soon as work allowed.
Norman has of course been seriously needy ever since. I was bought a ‘gift’ last night and this morning, and other than that he’s not left my side. So now I need to decide whether I try another Norman / Lola meeting to see if building up gradually will help (as all the internet sites say), or if Norman and I are both better off with just each other. Sometimes four legged issues seem as complicated as two legged issues! :o)