Do dogs and cats look out for each other?

Word has it that dogs and cats don’t like each other very much. Does that mean they wouldn’t look out for a fellow four-legged creature? I’m not sure I ever believed that. And now after hearing about this family of pets, I’m more inclined than ever to think it’s a lie. This week we’ve turned the Pet Blog over to our new intern, Emma Nicholson, who tells us about how her family’s pets get along. By Emma Nicholson

When I was 15, my mom surprised me with a black-and-white kitten, Allie. That was the beginning of our pet family.

With her big round blue eyes and fluffy fur, she could have been a calendar cat. Good looks aside, as she grew older, her quirkiness emerged, earning her the title of Diva Cat. Allie often missed her target when attempting to leap and would scurry away in embarrassment. She also craved the spotlight; just in case walking back and forth in front of you didn’t win your undivided attention, Allie would scream – and she has some pipes!

Allie – a.k.a. Diva Cat

We later adopted Mischa, a cocker spaniel puppy. Like Allie, she was lovable and laid-back. Mischa and Allie didn’t fight, but they didn’t socialize either, often keeping to themselves.

Meanwhile, my brother adopted a stray kitty, Portia, at university. But when he moved into an apartment, he had to send her home to us in Sarnia, Ont.

That’s when the good life ended for Diva Cat.

Calling Portia playful wouldn’t do her justice. She preferred to terrorize. The bottom stair became the perfect hiding spot from which to attack your ankles. My ponytail stood no chance while dangling over a chair; to Portia, it was more attractive than a catnip mouse. Even my mother, who fed her daily, was ambushed when Portia entered a room. The only person Portia was loyal to was my brother.

Allie retreats as Portia stares her down.

While the rest of us could handle a swat or two from a 10-pound cat, Allie’s former life of leisure left her unable to defend herself. The same tricks that were being played on us were being played on her, except it was her tail being used as a cat teaser and her treats being snatched. Allie would scurry away to hide from her bully of a little sister.

We tried to help the petrified cat as best we could: playing with the pets individually, attempting to train Portia and feeding Allie her treats in a separate room. But the mischievous little sister was determined to wreak havoc – she even learned to open doors, a skill that remains a mystery to us.


In the end, it was Mischa who came to Allie’s rescue. Not being much bigger in size than Portia herself (and not having sharp claws to her advantage), Mischa still did her best to protect her feline sibling – taking a few swats to the nose in the process. The dog and cat stuck together, maybe for protection at first, but gradually they formed a friendship.

This summer, my brother moved into his own house around the block from my parents, taking his cat with him. With a house all to herself, Portia has no one to terrorize and has turned into a friendly and affectionate cat. At my parents’ house, Allie can finally come out from under the couch without fear of an attack.

Maybe some siblings are just better off as neighbours!

Do your pets get along? Has one ever come to the rescue of another?




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