Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Animal House

Last week in the middle of snow central we came home to find Riley in our bare living room with his tail between his legs. I took a closer look and noticed a puncture wound on top of his head. What the hell? I thought, as I inspected it. There was a little blood, but it was pretty recent. I ran around the house looking for whatever he might have bumped into. It looked like the corner of a picture frame or something sharp might have fallen on his head.

But nothing in the house was out of the ordinary. 

Then I noticed he also had a similar mark at the end of his nose. But instead of being a hole. This looked like a cat scratch. Oooohhhhh! Really? Huh. Well, okay then.

I treated the cuts and then applied antiseptic to them. But -- within 24 hours the areas began to swell. Then on Sunday, a bunch of black on my dog's nose literally fell off. It was pretty disgusting. So, on Monday, I took him to see our vet, Dr. Mary Welle. He's on antibiotics now, and we're putting Vaseline on his nose to try and keep the area most, which is hard, because my dog is a licker. 

Anyone who knows us, or read the paper last Saturday, knows that we have five geriatric animals. They're all rescues. Our three black and white cats: Clawdio, Nyssa and Luke were all adopted over a decade ago from Fancy Cats Rescue Team in Fairfax, Va., when MacTroll and I served on their board of directors and volunteered between 5-30 hours a week doing adoptions, the newsletter, the volunteer schedule, etc. Later, after we moved to Champaign in 2003, we adopted Maya from the Champaign County Humane Society.

In 2001, we adopted Riley, our dog, from the Washington Humane Society in Washington, D.C. His prior owners had been arrested and incarcerated on drug charges. Riley was six months old at the time. And his name was Sergeant when we got him. As a puppy, Riley was very curious about our cats. And all of our cats pretty much ignored him, stayed up on the counters and out of his way. Until one day, Riley got too close to Clawdio, and Clawdio didn't like it. He flicked his tail at the dog, meaning, "Get away Blockhead!"

In puppy lingo, flicking your tail is a wag. It means you want to play. He moved forward trying to play with Clawdio. Clawdio puffed out his fur, hissed and opened his paw (but didn't use his claws) and smacked Riley on the nose. Riley got scared and ran. (Keep in mind, the two had been living together for over 4 weeks at this point.) Clawdio, much to everyone's surprise, PURSUED Riley. He chased him around in a circle from the living room to the dining room to the family room of our little condo twice, hissing and smacking Riley on his hind quarters the whole time, before I was able to intervene.

That is the one -- and ONLY -- cat/dog confrontation we have ever had in my house in the last 10 years--before last week.

Riley isn't talking about which cat kicked his ass. As far as I know, since the dog's pretty much always been at the low end of the dominance totem pole in the house, his interactions with the cats haven't changed. He's not going out of his way to avoid anyone in particular. I know it wasn't Nyssa because she's the only cat we have that's declawed. And, of course, the black and white mafia aren't selling each other out.

But this is what my dog looks like today. 

I guess it's a good thing we got that living room furniture yesterday. Here's Riley enjoying the oversized chair. :-) I'm pretty sure he wants to claim it as his own. 


Quigs78 said...

Aww! Poor Riley! I blame Clawdio since he's the invisible cat. It's just easier that way.

Anonymous said...

Wants to claim it? I think the deed is done. Poor guy--sorry he suffered the fallout of the species skirmish. We go to Dr. Mary, too. And I put the article in the mail today. --Molly

The Fearless Freak said...

Is it possible it wasn't one of the cats but some kind of critter from outside? Where you guys are, it is still practically country.

When I was a kid, my dog got into something outside and ended up with a perfect circle of fur falling out with two puncture wounds in the middle. It almost looked like a snake bite but they were some big puncture wounds.

Looseyfur said...

I don't think it could have been something else. Riley was fine without a scratch before we left the house. (I know because he was cuddled up with me in bed.) And then when we came back, the scratch/bite were pretty fresh. And the puncture wounds were pretty much cat width -- I only know that because my cats like to chew on my soft skin fruit in my fruit bowl from time to time...

imarogers said...

Poor Riley, that makes me sad for him.

Maybe he did it to himself so he could guilt you into giving him the big comfy chair. ;) He does look like he fits perfectly in it.

Amy said...

Aww poor doggie! He looks so sad and defeated on the couch. That's a true testament of what a good dog he is if not one of your cats had a scratch on them. Either that or you've got some bad ass geriatric cats.

Amy said...

This is "Harley Quinn" BTDub. ;-)