Tale of Two Cats and Two Dogs:
Owly and his sidekick Iggy.
Molly and her sidekick Li'l Dude.
The same story.
Molly was a Jerry Lee type of German Sheppard: the medium brown body and black muzzle. She was from the pound, a young adult who had lived in the truck of an unemployed homeless rural western dude, with him. Molly hunted animals for his dinner and presumably shared it. She was a proud cold dog, a good watch dog, but not to be trusted with the ducks before I beat that out of her. She was the leader.
Li'l Dude was a starving abused infested stray from a convenience store on an Indian reservation. Molly had been here for a while when Li'l Dude showed up: It was the German's turf. Li'l Dude was partly the same kind of Sheppard Molly was and partly something smaller, possibly Pit Bull. People thought he was her pup, they looked so much alike. How he loved his bossy woman. The new arrival would not wear a collar for a year, and he chewed other dogs' collars off their necks. I guessed someone held him by his collar and beat him.
He cringed. When you petted him, he made noises like you were torturing him: They sounded vicious at the same time, snarling.
He was the follower. He whined a lot. He barked at random.
Likewise, Owly was the older cat. Both he and Iggy were the products of a Himalayan Gentle-cat visiting the feral peasant pussies of the ranch: cats who were genetically distinct and native to the continent: slender, longer tails, razor-sharp claws, elongated faces, very short fur and long legs: truly wild and not tamable by ordinary effort. Over the years, the Himalayan blood gentled down the gene pool, so that Owly – so named because his fur was so dense that when he turned his head it was like an owl turning its head: feathers straight out – Owly walked into the house and did not straightaway poop on the floor. He did get around to it, but I decided to tame him because he was gorgeous. Taming was a mutual ordeal.
Iggy was smaller and not as striking-looking, but here was another peasant who did not poop on the floor at all. Iggy was the lesser, he deferred to his boss cat. He looked like a pale imitation of the older resident: less distinct markings, shorter fur, softer gray and white than his cohort.
Molly and Owly shared the same fate: murdered by the western rural rubes who prey upon the pet animals of their betters.
Li'l Dude became the dog every man wanted and admired: He guards mommy and the ranch expertly, giving intelligent warning where before he had barked at random. He is now a prize who was the sidekick of his mate.
Iggy became the head cat of a pride of (now tame) kitties: 8 of them a close affectionate family.
It was not until Iggy became diabetic and went to live with the vet because the burdens of leadership were too great for his failing body that I realized how powerful a force he was among the cat family: They lost their political unity, going each his own way: No more eight-to-a-cuddle-heap. Iggy had taken over Owly's leadership position so seamlessly that no one noticed his achievement.
It is fascinating to realize that, but for the deaths of Molly and Owly, L'il Dude and Iggy would have remained vice presidents, and not developed the full personality that arises from responsibility.
Do you know someone this may be true of?