Dusty is not an incorrigible counter surfer. He is not a pantry raider with a death wish. He is not a giant cream goofus.
Dusty is a cat.
Oh, I know. From the photo he looks like a dog. I’m sure his canine parents and his breeder thought he was a dog. I’m sure when I’m walking him down the street on a leash that people think he’s a dog.
It’s a lie.
Dogs are adoring. They follow their masters and want to be picked up. They come when they’re called. They’re cuddly and happy.
Not cats. Cats climb to the highest points of sofas. They refuse to be picked up. They ignore you if you want their attention. They have their own agenda. They force you to do what they want. They take off and don’t come when you call them.
Well. That’s Dusty most of the time. He does have one canine habit. It’s a good thing he does, because it is the secret to controlling him. Dusty has what we call BOD. Ball Obsession Disorder. We can get him to do almost anything if we produce a ball as bait. He has a very impressive repertoire of tricks that he will do if you will throw a ball after he does what you ask.
Sometimes BOD saves his life. Every couple of years Dusty managed to break out of the house and took off running. The only fool proof way we discovered to get him back was with a ball. While he is tearing down the sidewalk at full speed, a ball thrown past him will exert a powerful force. You can watch the magic power break through his desire for freedom as he swerves helplessly to follow the ball.
He grabs it, and then he must return it. He needs it to be thrown again. He’ll drop it on the sidewalk just out of reach so you can’t grab him, but now you have him anyway. You throw toward the house, in successive throws and returns until you’re throwing it through the front door, and he is compelled to follow it in. Shut the door and he wags his tail as he takes his ball and collapses on his pillow.
Then he curls up and becomes a cat again.