Time to experience the lighter side of my life.
The house was suffused with the warmth of a clove-studded ham baking in the oven most of the afternoon.
Half of it was enjoyed by the family late this afternoon, except for me, I missed dinner, I was out running errands. Upon my return, I went into the kitchen looking for the ham. It wasn't in the refrigerator, wasn't sitting on any of the counters, or the table.
So I of course asked, "Where's the ham? There's no way you all could've eaten the entire thing!"
"I don't know", from Mr. Son.
"I didn't eat any", from Miss Daughter.
"I thought you put it away", from Him.
"But, I just got home", from me.
One more thorough search in the fridge. Scanning the countertops, finally spying the empty platter in the sink, I again asked, "Okay, really, where is the ham?"
More shrugging of shoulders and puzzled looks.
"Cat could have gotten up there, but he couldn't have eaten all of it, he's way too small to have eaten that much."
"No it had to be Dog, there is no way Cat ate it! No way!"
"Dog's too old, his hips are too bad, no, he can't jump to counter heighth to get to the platter."
"Well, it's gone, any other theories?"
The only scenario possible, Cat is very capable of jumping up on the counter, has been shooed off many times.
Dog and Cat made a plan, completely Cat's idea, we know this, Dog is a chicken kinda guy, he would steal chicken, but ham is something he can take or leave. Cat loves food, he would eat all of the time if we allowed it.
Cat convinces Dog to keep watch for the pets, if a pet comes downstairs Dog is too give one of his whining tail wagging welcomes. Giving Cat time enough to jump down from the counter without being caught....he detests being called, Bad Kitty!
Dog agrees, on the condition that Cat drop pieces of ham over the side for him. The deal is made, paws are shaken.
How to prove this theory?
The clues: Two animals with extremely full, round bellies. Two animals in the very deepest of sleeps, a type of sleep that overindulgence brings on. Two animals that have the strangest of relationships.
Cat became the privileged indoor cat because he was orphaned at only a few days old. Even though we humans fed him, Dog was his mother, his playmate, his toy, his bed. Cat has spent months nibbling, biting, sharpening his claws, and pouncing on Dog. His favorite game is to wrap his paws around Dog's tail and ride it as the huge otter-like tail thumps on the floor in a happy wag. Cat runs, jumps and attacks Dogs feet as he makes his slow way across the rooms.
Dog allows this, has always allowed this from Cat.
Dog from puppyhood to now has never liked cats, in fact there were many years that we had to make sure Dog was watched at all times in the spring when the kittens would be brought outside the barn to experience the sun-warmed concrete entrance to the barn. Dog's hunting instincts seemed to take control of him at the first small mewling from a kitten, several kittens were found barely alive from the rapid shaking they received from young Dog.
Even though Dog is now 11, and has arthritus in his hips, which has considerably slowed him down. We were still quite wary of Dog and Cat being alone together when Cat was an infant, Cat was never allowed out of his crate unless a human was in the room also. But we soon became lax in our rules, because Dog never ever attempted to harm Cat, no matter how annoying Cat could become, and trust me, when he is in one of his "moods" the cat is a flashing ball of fur and claws.
Case closed, they ate the ham.