Can you tell me how you became a dog and cat household?
Well, I grew up with animals of all kinds, but no matter what animals we had we always had at least one dog and few cats, my husband Kevin also grew up a cat and a dog. His mom restricted the number of pets they were allowed to have, where as my mom pretty much let us go nuts and try a little of everything.
How well does everyone get along?
By and large very well. Simply due to the number of pets, there are the occasional disagreements or offense taken to personal space being invaded. The biggest squabblers are Belle and Memphis, who are litter-mates, usually over the inability to share my lap.
May I ask where did you come up with the names for everyone?
*laughs* Oh, you just had to open up a can of worms didn’t you? I’ll start with the simplest ones:
Hank (Sheltie) came with his name, he was a rescue of sorts, his original owner didn’t want him anymore, his second owner couldn’t handle him, and us being friends with the second owner offered to take him.
Pete (Tabby) was named after one of Kevin’s previous dogs, he has a tendency to name cats after past dogs, which stops with Pete.
Chloe (GSD) also came with her name, my mom was the one who named her and couldn’t seem to come up with anything else, I think it fits, Kevin not so much.
Willow (Husky/Collie mix) took me three days to name, I was running all the names I could think of by her, and one day after watching the movie “Willow” I was discussing the movie with her and she kept perking up when I said Willow. So she basically chose her own name.
Memphis and Belle (fluffy white cats) were named after the famous Memphis Belle bomber in WWII I have a blog post with the story (Whats with the name?)
Putt-Putt (Mal/Aussie mix) also has a story behind his name, suffice it to say that all the parts to his name started out as nicknames that just stuck. (Putt-Putt the Fluffy-Butt Sasquatch Coyote-Dog)
Is Q.B. 2.5 short for something?
Yes, and no. Q.B. 2.5 is an interesting story, its starts with his mother’s namesake Cue Ball, a white GSD mix Kevin had that is one of those ‘Once in a lifetime’ type of dog. Our whole town knew Cue Ball! After she had passed Kevin came into possession of a white female cat, and he named her Q.B. 2 after Cue Ball. Well, she had kittens and one of the kittens was the spitting image of her and being a kitten and not an adult got the name Q.B. 2.5
Does he have cauliflower ears of were they removed?
They were removed. He rapidly developed skin cancer on his ears pinna and they had to be removed.
I read on the about page Memphis has HOCM, can you explain what that is?
HOCM, is Hypertrophic Obstructive Cardiomyopathy. Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy is typically when the heart is enlarged by the thickening of the heart walls. In his case it goes one step further and starts obstructing proper heart function, the walls of his heart are not only thicker, but are also starting to cause the valves not to close properly. Which in turn causes the heart to work harder and less efficiently. The first sign of this disorder is usually a heart murmur. He was diagnosed when he was 2 years old, he doesn’t need medication at this point in time since the progression is barely measurable. His cardiologist is happy with leaving him to live his life as is, but we do go in twice a year for an ultrasound to make sure it doesn’t suddenly get worse.
Since Memphis was born deaf, how do the others treat him different?
I don’t really think they treat him differently. They know something is different, but I don’t think they know exactly what. All the dogs pretty much ignore him since he is never phased when they start getting rowdy. The other cats tolerate him. He’s a very playful guy, and always wants to play and snuggle with them, but most of the time they don’t reciprocate, so when they give the vocal cues to back off, he can’t hear them and thinks they are playing with him. That being said when my husband and I merged households, Pete and Q.B 2.5 took to Memphis much better than Belle.
What tips/tricks do you have for people who are trying to manage a dog and cat household?
Regardless of who came first, the cats will need a ‘safe zone’ away from the dogs while they get used to each other. Cats won’t relax or sleep if they feel the dogs can get to them during the integration process, we also recommend fenced yards for everyones safety, and last but not least, make sure the dogs get plenty of exercise and attention and not just during the adjustment period. The dogs will be more focused on all the attention and going places over causing mischief with the cats.
Author’s Note: I was on the BlogPaws chat on Tuesday night and saw the name and immediately started a conversation. Many many thanks to Miss Victoria & her husband for answering the questions. Please go visit them on their blog Meet the Fur-Bombers, or their facebook page Meet the Fur-Bombers (catchy, isn’t it?)or catch them on Twitter @Furbombers.
This interview is a part of the Happy Tails theme, which shares stories of pets who were found, adopted and have their forever homes.
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