Pets teach lesson about new friendships

By Tova Fruchtman

I’ve learned a lot about making friends while moving from place to place of late. I’ve learned about meeting people who are quite different from you and people who are almost the same and how either can end up as your friend.
Perhaps I learned the lesson first from my pets — Kitty and Callie.

Before we moved from Atlanta to Clovis about six months ago, Callie was my boyfriend Jeremy’s dog and Kitty was my cat.

Kitty was terrified of Callie. She spent the first three weeks at our house in Texico sleeping in the top of the closet.

And although she has always loved to sleep in the top of the closet, this time she waited until she was sure the coast was clear before she got down, made a mad dash for her food, quickly took down a few bites, and with a poofed tail jumped back up into the closet.

I had almost given up on them getting along, and then one day it happened.

They started playing. Timidly at first. Then the shyness wore off.

Kitty would wait for Callie to come into a room, run up, stand on her back legs, wrap her arms around Callie’s neck and start biting.

Of course Callie fought back, but not in full force. She pushed Kitty with her head, and then stuck Kitty’s head inside her mouth.

Kitty wasn’t deterred, and jumped right back at Callie’s head.

They went on like this, until usually Kitty hit Callie somewhere she didn’t like, and Callie walked away.
(It’s probably useful to know that Kitty was the runt of her litter and isn’t much bigger than Callie’s head.)

When we moved to Tucumcari, they were in for a new adjustment. Callie has always been a backyard dog — so instead of going on walks she usually gets let out in the back yard to go the bathroom.

Kitty loves being outside, but being right on Route 66 isn’t as conducive to her playing (although she has chased the birds out of every tree outside of our room).

Getting Callie to go to the bathroom on a leash was getting to be a real problem, so I decided to try something new. I would let her off the leash to run around a field behind our room and hope she would go to the bathroom.

It worked. Kitty had been coming out there with us, and now has started following Callie’s lead.

She walks with us to the back yard, and when Callie goes to the bathroom, Kitty finds her own spot and goes too.
Then, when they are finished, they both run back and wait at the door to the room for me to open it.

“Good girls,” I say, as I stick the key in the door, hoping everyone is lucky enough to have a friendship like theirs — where differences are less important than similarities, where even fighting is playful and fun and most importantly where learning from each other makes you better.

Tova Fruchtman is the Quay County Sun’s managing editor. Contact her at 461-1952 or by e-mail: