23 July 2010

Ruby has a new hobby in that decorative, skull on a stick, serial killer kind of way.

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When people take up hobbies, they're usually for relaxation and fun. Competitive poker. Log rolling. Driving bumpy little 4WD machines through the desert. Doily weaving.

Then sometimes, they become obsessive. Yarn spinning. Yachts. Or can anyone say dog agility?

Ruby's always dabbled in Cat. Back in the day, Ruby, who sometimes we call Grandma now because of her super mannered, Sister Mary Ruby style behavior, even though she's only 9 years old. Ish. Her birthday's coming up. Oddly enought, it's conveniently located on the same day as Gustavo's, mine and Susan Garrett's. Anyways, back in the day, Ruby had what I late learned to call in dog training speak, High Prey Drive.

Meaning, if there was a critter, hasta la vista critter. Adios.

This was super for gopher removal at our house, but freaked me out and also translated to chasing skateboarders, soccer players, kids on bikes, skimboarders at the beach, pretty much anything that moved. So hence, dog training and then dog agility and fast foward now to Sister Mary Grandma, who primly walks at my ankle through the forest, moseys around at the beach, dabbles squintily in dog agility and basically demonstrates such lovely white glove manners that you would never in a million years believe she was once a critter killing terror terrier that could forage for food from on top of our refrigerator and flush birds out a bush and try to snap 'em up like waffles from the buffet line.

Now, she might glance over at the cat gauntlet on our street, but really. She's so over it. Ruby holds her head high, sniffs at the riff raff, and nary gives them the time of day. If she was a fashionista, she'd be the one in the heavy, knock off Chanel suit, with a matching hat and the buttons on the jacket buttoned up tight. And pumps. Kitten heeled ones. Get it? Kitten?

Because guess what hopped off the hay truck last week?

A load of hay came down from the mountain, where the feral colony of cats at our barn originates. They're the Deliverance cats, all cousin and brother and grandpa all at once to each other, black and white spotty cats. Supposedly they keep the rats out of the feedroom, but basically they drive me and the dogs crazy all day from their underground lair located conveniently under our tackroom.

The other day, 2 8week or so old kittens magically appeared. I know they weren't bred under the tack room, I've made sure the teenagers capture all the cats that appear and we pawn them off on all our small animal vet friends to spay neuter. These ones arrived in a load of hay and immediately found their aunt/uncle/cousin/grandpa kin under the tackroom. Right by my dog pen.

Ruby likes this.

A lot.

For the last week, her usually restful days of napping in her dog house have been overcome with 8 hours of obsessive staring and sing humming and trying to dig through baserock to Get The Kittens. Her whole life right now, basically revolves around Get The Kittens.

You walk by the pen, say hi to the dogs, the other dogs come over for hello and Ruby MAYBE bats an eye, but really can't be bothered due to Get The Kittens. Time to take a little walk at work? Oh no. Because of Get The Kittens.

Pretty much all I've seen of Ruby has been her butt up in the air, as she tries to work herself magically through or under her pen to become one with the underground lair so she can Get The Kittens.

She makes weird sounds all day. Creepy, feral, little sounds. The other dogs stay away. I think she's freaking them out. Otterpop and Gustavo enjoy a good cat chase, but that's about it. This is madness. Over the top. The Queen Mum of good dogs is no longer with us. The feral terrier has returned.

We walked in the woods the other night. Guess who jumped out of her little pill box hat, white gloves ripped off and flung into the trees with wild abandon. All bosom heaving, heavy breathing, full on diving into bushes after critter attack mode?

Ruby has a new hobby.


Elf said...

Good story. Crazy Ruby.

Anonymous said...

maybe if you'd spent the $$$$$ for a brilliant recall, ruby would not have this problem with kitties. or maybe it is normal cat hating behavior. for many terrier types, a world without cats is a better world...


team small dog said...

Will I forever be kicking myself in the behind, wondering, what if I had just spent that money on a brilliant recall?

Or we just keep working on those recalls. In our less than brilliant fashion.

Dom Casas said...

I'll be in ruby on rails training next week. So I told myself I should browse around the web and have a little review on what I'm up into. Thanks for this post.