Baxter and Nigel Loving Like Cats and Dogs by Foley Monster
People tend to think the battle between dogs and cats has been going on for centuries. The real struggle began when we became domesticated. We started to fight over attention and, most notably, the lap. When we were outside, we enjoyed chasing cats, but that was partially their fault because a cat scent can resemble a squirrel's if its blowing in the wind.
Before we began living together, dogs and cats ignored one another. We felt cats were overly prissy, totally untrustworthy, with sharp claws, and used sarcasm deftly. Cats thought that we were clumsy, drooled too much, and were obsequious. We were two species never meant to cohabitate. We are like the Democrats and Republicans of the animal world. I will let the reader decide which affiliation to assign their pet depending on which pet you like the most and political party you like the least.
Dogs and cats devoted themselves to humans. The difference being dogs put people first while cats keep the top spot for themselves. But the cats love their humans as much as dogs do. This mutual devotion has caused the strangest of mixed marriages, with cats and dogs forced to share the same abode.
Over time dogs and cats have built a relationship based on neutral respect and parental devotion, but every once in a while, the moon is holding water, dogs and cats become actual siblings.
This was the case with Baxter, the cat, and his bulldog brothim Nigel. He proceeded him to the Bridge by a few years. Maybe it is because bulldogs don't have the energy that terriers do or are not annoying, and they prefer to curl up in a sun puddle all day, which makes them the perfect companion for a laid back cat.
When Nigel found Lucy and Carli to take his place, Baxter agreed to serve as an older sibling to the youngsters and be a role model so Carli and Lucy would be the perfect dogs for their parents.
This week when Baxter crossed the Bridge, the first angel he wanted to see was Nigel. Unfortunately, a cat is required to cross the River on a Bridge designed specifically for kitties. Nigel would be there as an observer. That was not good enough for Baxter.
Frustrated that he was not getting his way, Baxter stopped midway across the bridge, jumped up on the wall, and settled in. This was a disaster. It caused a back up in production. Until we solved the slowdown some cats would be delayed in becoming angels. As anyone who has dealt with cats knows, when they make up their mind, there is no changing it. To break the logjam, I approached my kitty, counterpoint Cotton.
We had to act quickly. If Baxter didn’t cross the Bridge, the powers that be could subjugate him to being a ghost for eternity. Cotton agreed to let Nigel accompany us. During his life, Nigel has proven himself to be fair and understanding. He sat next to Baxter and said he would walk with him up to the spot where the swearing-in would take place, and when finished, they could live anywhere he wanted, which, we knew, meant with Nigel.
Baxter and Nigel walked down the aisle that led through rows of cats to honor Baxter, like a father guiding his daughter to the next life. After Baxter received the angel oath, he followed Nigel to his new home, a replica of their mortal house, except for the two people they missed the most.
Baxter and Nigel can teach us how to reach across the aisle from the dog side to the cat side.