by Melissa Brunner
One is a kitten with all the hyperactivity one might expect of less-than-one-year old. The other is a dog that has surpassed his 15th birthday, content these days to lie around and watch the world.
The little one had a rough patch, spending four months at the vet and undergoing a couple surgeries to repair hernias. The old one has always ruled the roost while being the caretaker of the other five cats who also call our house home. When the oldest cat was a baby, we once came home to find its hair wet and spiked where the dog had been "bathing" him!
Perhaps it's because the little one knows what it's like to not feel well. Perhaps the old one still has some paternal instincts, or, perhaps, he's ready to have someone take care of him for a change.
Whatever the case, it's been amazing to watch the relationship between Skittles the kitten and Bam Bam the dalmatian. When Bam lies down, Skittles will cuddle up to him, often licking his legs or paw, sometimes wrapping her hands around a leg, sometimes curling up against Bam's belly. The first time we saw it, we thought it was cute. Now, it just seems to be where she wants to be.
I wonder what she's thinking. Does she want to take care of him and make him feel better? Or does she remember somewhere back in her animal brain that, when she was a tiny newborn out at the farm, her mommy carried her from her hiding spot over to Bam Bam, who was lying in the grass, and plopped her at Bam's feet? Does she remember that her mom said this guy was okay?
Bam Bam has gotten along with all the cats in our house (poor guy!), but the relationship with this one is something else. It's very sweet to watch.