My dog Maisy adores me.
She adores me so much that she follows me everywhere. She greets me when I first come in the door at the end of a long day. She'll curl in a ball at my feet while I sleep and she will stay there until I get up, no matter what. She's been very comforting during my recovery from surgery and chemo, a big furry electric blanket.
Before Maisy, there was Pounce. Pounce was brought home by my husband as a sleepy little kitten right after we got married, and we've been together ever since. But Pounce is different. Pounce has issues. Pounce was so traumatized by my mother-in-law's two year stay at our house five years ago that she spends most of her time under the bed, hissing at anything that comes near, except me. Larry says that she's crazy, and maybe she is. My son is seven years old, and she still acts like he's an intruder.
Pounce adores me.
Pounce loves to climb onto me while I sleep and curl up on my hip. She'll purr continuously, a comforting sound for me right now. Sometimes she'll inch her way up to my head and lick my head a few times, her grooming gesture a demand for some petting. I've fallen asleep to the sound of Pounce's purr, my brain relaxed into submission.
Unfortunately, Pounce and Maisy do not get along. Maisy sees Pounce and wants to chase and play; Pounce sees Maisy and wants to run and hide. After we got Maisy, Pounce just stayed under the bed, hissing and growling to let Maisy know that she meant business. Maisy didn't care. Maisy claimed the top of the bed once she was big enough. If Maisy was outside, Pounce would come out and visit, but the slightest noise and she skittered back to her safe place. I despaired of ever getting Pounce out from her hiding place, because every time I coaxed her out, Maisy would chase her back under there.
But an interesting thing has happened since I got cancer. It was subtle, so it took me a bit to notice. Maisy stopped chasing Pounce every time, and Pounce stopped running. I've seen them greet each other warily when they see each other. I've walked into the bedroom to find Pounce sleeping on top of the bed, and Maisy right next to her. During my after chemo naps, I've awakened to find Maisy at my feet and Pounce on my hip.
Somewhere along the way, Pounce and Maisy have reached a truce of sorts. Maybe it was their shared love of me. Maybe they knew I needed them to get along for right now. Maybe they just got used to each other. I don't care. I'm going to accept this gift from both of them, no strings attached, and enjoy it.