Between them, my dog, Ed, and Katrina's cat, Muzzy, are nearly three decades old. Keeping them apart has always been a priority. Muzzy is positively terrified of dogs, and Ed, well, Ed loves cats. Loves them. As in "Hey! There's a cat! Let me barrel right up to his face at 200 mph and say a jaunty How ya doin'!"
It is not a good match.
They've met twice. The first time was some eight years ago, when Katrina was ignoring my calls and door-knocks at 8am on a Saturday morning when I wanted to get breakfast. She was pretending to be asleep. Annoyed, I took Muzzy hostage. He went home with me. Ed was in my back yard, and Muzzy had the house to himself, but there was still that moment when Muzzy looked left and saw a wide-eyed dog through glass, looking back, going batshit. Muzzy froze in mid-stride. He held that position for some ten minutes, incapable of moving until the phone rang and sent him careening into a wall.
"You just killed your cat," I told a livid Katrina.
Ed and Muzzy did not see one another again until recently. They're both geriatric now, monuments to the horrible degeneration that awaits us all. They sleep all the time, and they're mere shadows of their exuberant, affectionate younger selves. As Ed cut through Katrina's living room, she spotted Muzzy on the couch. They regarded one another from five feet away, bored. Neither could be bothered to react to the other. That would require too much energy. If they interacted at all, it was clear, it would only be to compare the buzzes one gets from their various medications.