That Time My Dog Adopted a Kitten
And Taught Me That Cats Can Be Just As Smart and Obedient As Dogs
I have never been a “cat person;” I’ve always had dogs. In 2017, I was "mom" to two rescue dogs, a 8yo Beagle-shepherd mix named Lucy and a 1.5yo Great Pyrenees-mix named Faith.
In late October, my dogs and I were driving in a thunderstorm and I pulled into an abandoned gas station, concerned I might have a flat tire. Faith – who weighed about 120 lbs and did as she pleased – jumped out the window and ran over to the building. She ignored my shouting, planting herself in the pouring rain, wagging her tail and sniffing something next to the exterior side wall. So I grabbed her leash and went over to investigate (and then catch her LOL). She was licking a tiny kitten, sitting there all alone. Sunday evening in a small town means no shelters open, so I opted to take it home and see how it went.
He/she (we couldn't tell yet what its gender was) was the cutest thing ever. Tiny, eyes barely open all the way, and not eating solid food yet. I named it Linus and hoped it was indeed a boy. Within the first 2 hours he used the litter box I had picked up at the store on our way home, and within a day he was eating solid food.
He was curious and brave and hilariously entertaining, which I kinda expected — but I had no idea how smart kittens could be, nor did I expect him to bond to me so quickly. I had never bonded with any cat before, and in fact had been bitten by several as a child.
The kitten didn’t really know what to think about the dogs at first, and I kept them separated from him till he at least got used to me and the house. But from the first instant I picked him up, he purred nonstop when I was in the same room, and still does; he falls asleep purring while lying on me and purrs first hour or so he is asleep, though much more quietly.
He licked me all the time from the first day, and even though his little tongue is rough, I think it’s precious. From the first day, I would say “good kisses!” And within a few days he was giving me kisses on command (he still does). He frequently grabs my face with his paws (claws always in, though, never out) just so he can kiss my face or nose.
He would play-bite me a lot the first month. If he ever did it very hard, I would say “OOOWWWWWW” really loud, and he instantly stopped. When he would stick his face into my cup of milk, I would sternly say “NO!” and he instantly withdrew, and I rewarded him with affection … he now always stops whatever he is into when I just say “Linus, NO.” My dogs don’t even obey as easily and consistently as the cat does!
I am still, 2.5 years later, surprised daily at how smart and obedient he is. He loves me so much it’s just stunning. He comes to me when I say “Linus, come on,” and follows me like a puppy would in and out of every room. And he and the giant Faith quickly became BEST FRIENDS!
After a few weeks with us, Linus started “attacking” and playing with Faith’s big furry tail, and ventured up to her face eventually. Faith has always been very gentle with him and would stand/sit still as a statue while the cat alternately licks her face and play-bites her. When he starts getting rough and Faith is wincing (but she still doesn’t move a muscle), I scold Linus and he immediately stops biting, switching back to kisses. Their play quickly evolved into extended "wrasslin'" matches; sometimes Linus starts it and sometimes Faith does. It’s so precious.
I’m in love with my family! I am truly blessed. After a few really difficult years, I have a peaceful, safe home full of love, joy, laughter, and cuddles.