The love is there - A Dog and a Cat Waddles and Whisky
If you bring 'em up together, the love is there
Yes, a cat and a dog story...
This is a penned memory of a dog and a cat, and what happened way back in 1961.
I remember it as if it were yesterday, though it happened way back in 1962. I was on duty at Dubbo Aeradio with my friend Bob McPhee, awaiting the arrival of the Focker Friendship flight from Sydney.
“Dubbo, FNC, 30 DME on descent.”
“FNC roger Dubbo. Surface wind 320/10 knots, QNH 1013 no known traffic.”
“FNC copied- Your wife and baby are on board.”
My wife and 16 month-old-son, Stephen were inbound. I turned to Bob.
“Bob, would you mind holding the fort for 30 minutes or so whilst I pickup the wife and run her home. Rita told me she was bringing a dog with her; present from her brother. A pup, I believe. Shouldn’t be long.”
“Go ahead, mate.”
At Dubbo you could do that in those days.
I was about to pick my wife's suitcase when I remembered the dog. It had to have been freighted
I took my VW, which was parked beside the wall outside the building where I worked and drove the short distance to the Airlines of NSW terminal building. The dozen or so passengers had already disembarked, and my wife, Rita, was waiting for me, baby Stephen in one arm, a suitcase on the tarmac next to her, and a cardboard shoe-box under her other arm.
I kissed my wife and baby, was about to pick up the suitcase, when I remembered the dog.
“Better go and see if they’ve unloaded the dog’s crate yet. I nearly forgot.”
“No need- it’s here.”
“Eh?” I look around the terminal area.
“No- here- under my arm.”
Our cat Pebbles 1993 - 2001
A cat and a dog - well, now we had the...er...dog
I take the shoebox from under Rita’s arm. I notice it has a few holes punched in the top. I take off the lid.
That was my first introduction to Waddles. I could not believe a dog could be so small. It wasn’t much bigger than a mouse- but much hairier. Two big, innocent puppy eyes, surround by fur stared back at me. Waddles, our first dog, a miniature Sydney Silky, had come into our lives.
Well, I took the three of them home and went back to work.
The love is there - A tiny kitten was 'spirited' into our lives.
In the days that followed something else occurred: a tiny kitten was spirited into our lives. Cats often arrive like. I cannot recall where she came from now. She was a little tabby cat. We called her Whiskey.
So my family had grown: one wife, one child, one puppy, and one kitten.
The dog and the cat took an immediate shine to one another. Because it was cold at night, they slept in the same basket. They grew up together. They played together. They loved one another. Or maybe that’s not correct. I think most of the love came from the cat. The dog was a self-centred selfish little mutt.
Our cat outgrew the dog, giving the latter one big inferiority complex which just made him all the fiercer
As they romped and played and grew bigger, it became quite obvious that the cat would far outgrow the dog. Waddles remained tiny. Oh, sure, he grew up. But in full adulthood he was only about two thirds the size of the bulk of the cat.
But he bullied her. He would wolf down his own food and try to steal hers.
He pushed her around. Mind you, he never ever bit her. I’m sure the cat could have made mince-meat out of him. Instead, she loved him. Lay curled up around him washing his face, preening him I think she thought he was one of her kittens at times- kittens she could never have, having been desexed.
Waddles was oversexed to the point of being embarrasing
Waddles hadn’t been desexed. He was a pedigree- apparently. Worth money. Though we didn’t know that. Waddles was over-sexed. Small in body, large in libido. It you weren’t careful you find him trying to mount your shoe or your leg. Course, Whiskey the cat wasn’t having any of that. Sometimes there’d be a yelp as she smacked him with a closed paw.
Waddles was also one of the fiercest little dogs I ever knew. He had a real inferiority complex. He used to attack just about anything outside of ‘family.’ He harassed post men and telegram boys. He baled up school children. He even jumped on the hooves of the large Clydesdale draught-horse which sometimes stopped with it cart outside our place. The look of disbelief on this huge Clydesdale horse, as it looked down from a great height at this little ‘rodent’ trying to either bite it or mate with its front leg, was a treat to behold. Generally, the horse shook him off with disdain.
The Australian Wedge Tail Eagle rules in Australian skies
But the most memorable feat of pugilism and aggression I can recall I did not actually witness. I saw only the end result. A battered bird of prey.
Still, I can imagine what happened. Out at Dubbo there were always hawks, occasionally wedge tail eagles, on the lookout for prey. On this particular hot afternoon the cat was inside in a cool spot. Waddles, went alone into our back yard.
High above, a wedge-tail eagle circled. It’s eye’s picked up a little hairy rodent far below. Tugging in its enormous wings it dived. Down, down, down.
On the ground Waddles was suddenly covered by an enormous shadow. But he had amazing reflexes. The eagle suddenly realized its mistake. This was no rat. This was no field mouse. This was- “Gggrrrr!”
How the eagle saw our little dog!
The Love is There - When I came into the back yard I could hardly believe what I was seeing
When I came outside because of the commotion, I saw a sight I would not have believed had I not witnessed it. There, on the six-feet high paling fence was perched the sorriest bird of prey I’d ever seen. It was absolutely bedraggled. It seemed it was, temporarily, beyond flying. It had feathers ripped out of it. They lay in bundles all over the back yard. And there, jumping a good four feet into the air with every snarl, was a little dog almost rabid in his rage.
Dare attack me, would you!
We only had Waddles for a year...It was probably enough.
We only had Waddles for a year. We brought both dog and cat back with us to Sydney. The two used to go for walks together, late every afternoon. The dog would set off, the cat meandering along about twenty feet or so behind. When the dog stopped, the cat stopped.
One evening the cat came back. Waddles didn’t. We think he was stolen. He was, afterall, a pedigree.
Whiskey lay at the front door for days waiting for Waddles. You could almost see here crying. But he never came home. We had to bring a second cat into the home, another kitten, before all returned to normal.
Waddles, the figting-est, fiestiest, yappiest, selfish little dog. Yep. I remember him as if it were yesterday.
The fiestiest, fiercest and most ferocious dogs are often the littlest...take my word for it.
I hope you enjoyed this little yarn about a cat and a dog...or was it more of a dog and a cat yarn. Yep, Waddles did beat up a wedge tail eagle. Hard to believe, but it happend.
I hope you enjoyed The Love is There - A dog and a cat, Waddles and Whisky
No comments yet.
More on Tom
More by this Author
This little essay refers to both writing stories and orally telling stories. There are differences, of course, but there are even more similarities.
The story told here, A Korean Christmas, came from an conversation overheard. Just a couple of sentences, that's all. But that is how so many good stories come into being.
Hands can reveal character traits, the shape, the raise areas, the valleys, but even more finely, the lines on the palm - even the fingerprint whorls play a part in the ability for analysis.