Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Hello Kitty

No, not this one.
This is a tale about two very naughty little spotty hound dogs who think they need to rid the neighborhood of squirrels, rabbits and cats. Over the summer Syd and Mac learned to watch for rabbits whenever we took them outside. They liked to pull and try to go meet the rabbits, but since the rabbits usually sat very still and didn't run, they could be convinced to walk in the opposite direction with just glances over their shoulders to watch the bunnies eat.
Then the girls discovered squirrels and everything changed. Squirrels run when they see the girls and the girls give chase screeching their excitement for the world to hear. Sydney has an extraordinarily high pitched voice and the moment she catches sight of a squirrel she uses it. Both dogs try to run after the fleeing squirrels even on leash and our shoulders have suffered from the pulling.
Now things have escalated. For several years there has been a mangy grey cat hanging around the neighborhood often sleeping in our hedge. I'm sure he also lives on birds in the hedge when he's not raiding trash cans. He's a mean old cat with no tail, half an ear missing and only one eye. He's been in plenty of fights over the years. My bigger dogs know enough to leave him alone as he'll hiss and swat at them, but the girls want to get him.
This cold winter he has company in the hedge. There is also a grey tiger cat with white face and paws. He showed up in the late fall and we see him wandering around the yard almost daily. We also hear a lot of yowling and screeching at night.
When the weather turned really cold a couple weeks ago, a black cat showed up. On warmer nights he sleeps on the porch chair and when the temps get low, he also goes into the hedge.
The old grey cat doesn't seem very social and he's taken to sleeping under the porch lately. Problem is that when we take the girls outside, he comes out to watch us. If Syd or Mac sees him, the screeching and pulling starts. So what to do!

This is what we decided to try. The Gentle Leader Head Collar. I bought one last week and tried it on Sydney. It worked immediately. No pulling and much less screeching. Since it worked so well, I bought one today for Mac. It also worked and we can now walk the girls without our arms being wrenched out of the sockets.
These are not muzzles. The dog can pant and drink and eat a cookie. They work by redirecting the dog. It's hard to pull your master down the street when you head is being pulled back toward them. Neither girl  fights the head collar though they obviously aren't crazy about them. These have solved the major problem, but another one remains.

Are all three of these stray cats males? Oh please let them all be males, the last thing I need to deal with is a litter of kittens.

By the way I do like Hello Kitty even if I don't know anything about her except that she's cute.


Ruby said...

Holy Crap!!! THREE KITTEHS??! Oh my! Sounds like my kind of funs!!! WooooHoooo!! Ya know, readin' abouts the gurls, I thinks maybe either I'm part 'Hound' or they are part 'Terrier', hmmmmm.
Wells, I hopes they are all males cause MORE kittehs wouldn't be good. Right now the kitteh to doggie ratio is right, and more kittehs would upset the balance of the world....
Oh, Ma tried that Gentle Leader leash thingie on Moi, and I jumped around like a bunny on caffeine!! Nopes, did NOT like that at ALL!!
Ma was mighty disappointed too, butts I had the last word, so...
Anyhu, good luck with the kittehs, and if you need a bigger solider for the fight, let me know...
Ruby ♥

gMarie said...

Oh Sue - three cats. Will you try to round them up and have them altered?

I trained Abby to heal on a similar head halter - she hated it. She learned quickly to walk without pulling. She hated it so much she would hide in the corner when it was walk time. I carried it in my pocket. g

rottrover said...

Is there a cat rescue that could maybe come and get the cats? It's SO cold!!

Jo's World said...

The dog-walking takes me back to when I first got Stella, just out of the slammer after a few months, so you can imagine what kind of walking she did, I tried the Gentle Leader, but she wasn't having it and we switched to another no pulling leash.

Why don't you call the dog pound, two of the cats sound like they would be home-able and the first one sounds like he could have every disease there was. This will probably not be a popular suggestion on this list, but its how I feel.

Are you feeling better, Sister?

Cheers and hugs,
The Non-writer

Bella Roxy & Macdui said...

We have lots of cats around us and we lunge! SHE tried the halter gentle leader on Roxy, but Roxy just wriggled out of it. Glad yours work.

XXXOOO Daisy, Bella & Roxy

Don't think those cats are males...just sayin'.

Molly the Airedale said...

You girls sure love livin' life! We both have Gentle Leaders too and neither one of us like them but our mom likes her shoulders - nuff said.

Love ya lots♥
Mitch and Molly

Amber DaWeenie said...

There's never a dull moment in your neck of the woods! :)

Marjie said...

Well, the girls sure do think up new puzzles for you to solve! I hope those cats are all males, because the last thing you need is to find a litter of kittens in the early spring. And maybe they will move on, since a yard full of dogs is not so cat friendly. Hope your SAD is diminishing a little.

Tammy said...

Hopefully they are all three males. So many kitties and people won't fix them. The shelters are over-run in Springfield (and well everywhere). We try and catch any strays and have them fixed but it's never ending (my Mom and I live in fear of a feral female cat showing up and having babies...). I wonder if you do not have a neighbor that has a female kitty though, if indeed they are all male there would be a reason they are all hanging around close together. Good luck with that anyway. I'm so ready for Spring but it doesn't sound like it's coming anytime soon. Great idea on the gentle leaders. Whatever works is my motto and it's certainly not going to hurt the girls. I have barky collies and anything that moves they bark at and can use the most shrillest annoying tone when they choose!

Take care,

SissySees said...

You had me at ... and screeching. Gg is getting one as fast as Amazon will deliver. I will have to get Vision Vet's approval for Sis, because as you know, Sis cannot have any throat pressure because of her glaucoma.

I hope the cats move on.

Matilda the Boxer said...

Gentle leaders are grreat! Lots of our foster homes use them, especially at pet fairs when there's a lot going on.