You can teach an old dog new tricks. In two years, Kenzie has come a long way with us. She used to be afraid of anyone who got too close to her. Physically, she would freeze in place. But, she kept her distance emotionally, too. Kenzie seemed to always expect the worst.
With consistent rules, routine, healthy diet and treat program, we all wore her down. Of course, at the root of all of this is love. Gradually, Kenzie caught onto this. She learned that Stella is her BFF, sister, and her anchor. Of course, Stella is the reluctant alpha-dog. Yet, she showed Kenzie the ropes, as well as the finer things in life.
Kenzie learned that good manners will get you healthy treats. She learned how to sit still, and how to shake hands (“Friends?”). She learned the wonders of freedom in a huge fenced yard, too. And, that squirrels are very fast. Kenzie learned about being a family dog.
Kenzie learned about comfy beds, and that they can be shared with cats. Who knew? She also found out that cats are actually pretty cool. Choe Jo taught Kenzie how to cuddle. She learned how to accept love.
It took Kenzie quite awhile to realize that this is a permanent arrangement. Once she realized that we are all safe and that she is safe with us, she developed separation anxiety. She could not bear the thought of Stella being away from her. She was terrified if we left home without her. Her panic was obvious. That was when Kenzie started carrying our socks around. She would steal them, put them in her bed, and sleep with them. She still does. But, it’s okay, because she feels better when she has our socks.
At eleven years old, Kenzie is right where she is meant to be. She is safe, loved, spoiled, and happy. She has several cat siblings who hang around her. She loves to run and gets the zoomies at least once a day. Her Sheltie sister, Stella, helps her run them off. When the zoomies are all depleted, there are nice comfy beds to relax in. She is happy, secure, and she is Home.
Life is good. Right, Kenzie? Happy, happy, happy. We plan on keeping it that way, too.
The Cat on My Head