Dear Paws to Talk,
I’m turning two soon and my family neglected to properly introduce me to cats. When I was a puppy, I met a few on the street when we were out. It all went pretty well until I encountered a couple of mean ones and also some who ran away.
So fast forward to now, I’m working as a Therapy Dog and on some of my visits a cat comes to the retirement home. I have to confess I’m obsessed by the cat AND I was even caught licking my lips (Mum’s not convinced it was a coincidence). How do I learn to chill when there are cats around?
Thanks for your letter. We know that cats can be tantalizing. They make funny noises, poop in boxes instead of doing their business outside like we do and can jump up on anything with great ease. This can be annoying. However, cats are animals just like dogs. They like a lot of the same things that we do. The next time you see one try to remember that. This is an adjustment and will take time.
Secondly, when you want to chase a feline out of the room, remember the job you have been hired to do. Are you going to leave the people who depend on you high and dry? Try to focus on the those who rely on you for happiness and comfort, when visions of a purring feline go through your mind. It sounds like you are good at your job. You don’t want to lose it by doing something silly. How else will you earn your treats? A life without treats sounds scary to us.
We didn’t grow up with cats and have had to learn to appreciate them through the years. It is not easy and sometimes our blood pressure gets high when a feline is around. Our human sister does Yoga, so we have learned some deep-breathing exercises from her which can be helpful when we want to tangle with a cat. We recommend you try it. Focus on something in the distance (art on the wall, a smiling patient, an unfinished plate of food) and breathe deeply. Do this for a little while until the urge passes.
We know you can keep yourself in check the next time you are around a cat. Write back soon and let us know how it is going.
Bella and DiDi
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