The animals in your life

Dear Orlando

I feel the need to tell you about the animals in your life, as I think you’ll appreciate them. When I was little, we had a cat. She was called Trixie, but I was six years old at the time and unfortunately, I can’t really remember anything special about her. 

We then became dog owners and I have since had nine dogs in a row. I am 71 years old now and we are on our third Collie. Both of our daughters – who live and work in Edinburgh – also have pets. The eldest, Fiona, took pity on a Cocker Spaniel who had been abused by his previous owner and the case came to her through her work as a procurator fiscal. 

Our other daughter, Laura, decided to purchase a Ragdoll cat – a very large docile human-hugging cat. At Christmas they descended on us. Our seven-year-old Collie felt put out by an energetic Spaniel puppy and Laura kept the cat upstairs, where Georgie the Collie never goes. We were sitting at the table when I head the dog make a sudden movement and I was intrigued. When I opened the dining room door my heart stopped. On the first step was Bradley the Ragdoll cat and Georgie was inches away from it, making friends. It made me think. Is it humans who say dogs and cats don’t get on? 

Orlando, do you know many dogs?

Miller
Aged 71, Dumfries


Dear Miller,

How lovely to hear about the animals in your life, and what interesting questions you pose. 

Firstly, I must just say that there is a special place in hell, in my humble opinion, for people who abuse animals. It sounds as though your daughter Fiona does sterling work and that Harris the Cocker Spaniel is now in much better hands. He’s a very dapper chap!

Your photos of Bradley the Ragdoll were a little blurry, but I can see he’s a handsome devil too. To your questions though.

I have tried to trace the origin of the belief that cats and dogs do not get on, and while it does appear to be, in some part, a vicious rumour started by humans to create mistrust between felines and canines so that they stay in charge, it is also down to a matter of personality and general compatibility. I could scroll through my very popular social media accounts and see a constant stream of content depicting cats and dogs getting along famously, then step outside to take my afternoon stroll and see the grumpy Tuxedo cat across the road attacking dogs passing by with their owners, or the feisty Chihuahua down the road launching himself noisily at cats and dogs alike. 

Thankfully, I know and get on with many dogs, being the likeable and sought-after chap I am. I’ve recently made the acquaintance of a delightful young Collie named Murray and a very pleasing Spaniel pup named Breagh, so as long as they respect my boundaries, I think we’ll be firm friends. 

Yours Purrfully, 
Orlando

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