The pet problem.

We have an opening for an animal in our house.  We are definitely a two-pet household and after my cat died this fall, my husband and I entered into half-hearted negotiations about whether to get a pet, what kind of pet to get and when this adoption ought to take place.

Goober, indulging his little catnip problem.

Currently our only pet is Goober the cat, a contrary creature whose issues are myriad. He likes people but can’t stand being touched, can’t hunt prey animals but violently repels other predatory animals from our yard, and would rather eat grass than tuna. The list goes on and on.

Most people who meet Goober like him. He’s unobtrusive and has a doofy kind of charm. But our cat has a dark side.

We adopted Goober because we thought he’d be a docile companion to our older cat, Copy.  Now our vet blames Goober for Copy’s death in November. I have a lot of good reasons not to believe that, but I will admit that Goober made Copy’s life hell. It looked playful to me, but recently something happened that gave me pause.

Earlier this week, in preparation for the blizzard, we tried to let Boyfriend the stray cat into the house. Goober, a delicate, neutered creature, waited until Boyfriend’s head was just inside the door. Then he attacked, driving the intruder off our porch and into the yard. I thought Boyfriend, who fights nightly in summer and is missing part of an ear, would be able to handle Goober. In fact, I’d even been a little concerned about Goober’s safety. Now I’m concerned for any small animal that enters his domain.

That rules out several potential newcomers. We won’t be adopting another grown cat, because a challenge to Goober’s feline supremacy will mean blood. Hedgehogs, parakeets, small dogs, toddlers, pot-bellied pigs, small dinosaurs and possibly ponies are also out.

I think we have no choice but to adopt a dog. A large, tolerant, mellow dog. Since I’ve been wanting a dog for a year, this would work out well for me.

My husband however, disagrees. According to my husband, the only creature on this planet insane enough to withstand Goober without posing a threat fits inside a teacup.  I’m not sure it’s wise, but my husband wants to get a kitten.

So it’s either a dog or a kitten. Both of these are exciting choices, but we’re at an impasse. If anyone has any thoughts on this, I would really love to hear them.

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14 thoughts on “The pet problem.

  1. No kitten. Much as I love him, Tom’s wrong about this.

    Why would you traumatize a dog by subjecting it to Goober’s abuse? It wouldn’t stay mellow for long…

  2. No kitten. It would be demonized by Goober.

    A dog would not be traumatized, but would ultimately put Goober in his place. The nature of bigness…does it all of the time.

    My dogs like to chase my cats all over the house. Not fun for the cats, not fun for me.

  3. I’ve known dogs who were traumatized by aggressive cats…all the more traumatizing because of the size difference.

  4. The Goob attacked and Boyfriend retreated because your house is Goobs turf and Boyfriend knows it.
    A puppy or kitten, introduced slowly, would be the best bet. Animals most definitely do respect youth. There will be shows of supremacy at first to establish the ground rules but it should work out fine. Look at how Toast sent the formidable PT Jones running for the hills.
    Youth is the key.

  5. You could get rid of Goober by giving him to the humane society. Harsh, but possible. You will most likely have a lot of years to suffer with an obnoxious pet like Goober if you keep him.
    My daughter recently adopted two 7 month old cats (brother and sister) from Paws, I think. They get along well together, are sweet and active but not hysterical or neurotic and – most important of all are nice and affectionate.

  6. Wow. Thanks for all the responses, guys. Especially you folks who just found the blog.

    I think we’re going to wait a little bit on getting a second pet. This post has forced me to realize that I’m still upset about Copy’s death and I’m not actually ready for another animal. When the time comes, we will talk with the vet about what kind of second pet to get (if any.)

    Goober is here to stay. We made a commitment to him when we adopted him. He’s not always the most convenient cat, but I’m not always the most convenient owner, so even if he remains an only pet, he’ll have a home here with us.

  7. Bravo! For the commitment to Goober (in spite of his “inconvenience”) and for figuring out what your heart wants and needs.

  8. i like how you say “hes not the most convenient cat, but i’m not the most convenient owner.” I totally understand that.

    I think if you were to get a dog, you could easily adopt a rescue dog with a good tempermant that would tolerate and possibly mellow Goober.

    The problem is that you can’t go into it getting excited at every cute dog you see (which is super easy). You need to “interview” the dogs in a sense and I’m sure you can bring home an easy going dog who will not feel threatened. I think the key to it is finding a dog who has good self esteem as crazy as it sounds.

    My dog is a rescue dog will low self esteem which causes her to act slightly aggressive to newbies. I bought her because my apt. lease said I could have a little dog, and she was cute yet didn’t look like a toy dog.

    My brother however kept going to the same shelter to find a dog and got let down quite a few times, but him and his wife developed a good relationship with the shelter and they ended up with an Excellent dog. She is very well manored, and isn’t bothered by my dogs occasional aggression, yet holds her own.

    Point of the long story- if you want another animal, regardless of which kind you settle on- you’ll definitely be able to get Goober and NewAnimal to live under the same roof. Worst comes to worse they ignore each other!

    Best of luck and keep us informed.
    And I think its excellent you’re sticking by Goober

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