We have five pets. One dog (a sweet female labradoodle named Koda), two cats (striped female Sassy and black male Freddy) and two leopard geckos. But the geckos are irrelevant for this story. And most stories, for that matter. I’m not a fan of reptile pets.
We adopted Freddy as a kitten over a year ago. Freddy and Koda love each other and can play all day long. They play catch, with Koda always being “it” and Freddy flying from couch to couch to chair to couch again, never getting caught. When he needs a break from tearing around the house, he lies on his back on the couch and lets Koda mouth his paws and tickle his tummy while he meows loudly in mock protest.
We have Koda trimmed at Petsmart about twice a year. We should do it more often, but we usually don’t get round to it. When Freddy first met Koda, Koda was in need of a trim. She was a big, wild and woolly, apricot-colored teddy bear of a dog.
When Freddy first saw Koda after a shave, he was scared out of his mind. He hissed at her for days before things got back to normal. We assumed that he had figured out that it was Koda after all, and not some strange new dog.
Two weekends ago Freddy experienced for the third time Koda’s transformation into a dog a third of her previous size, smooth and silky, with eyes, teeth and poodle-pointy noggin all quite visible. And he still hisses. It’s been ten days now and they still haven’t played. Freddy comes up to us, meowing loudly as if something’s missing, but he totally ignores his best friend.
We are beginning to think that Freddy never does figure it out. That maybe he believes that the first Koda left, and he gradually became friends with the new dog who just happened to have the same name, and then that one left, and he had to make friends with a third dog, and now it’s happened again. Maybe he thinks he’s lost his best friend every time Koda goes for a trim, and he’s had enough.
It’s heartbreaking to think of, but quite possible.