Charlie and Ivy have had their first real spat. It happened yesterday afternoon. Ivy is just a baby and quite lively and wants Charlie to play with her.

Charlie of course is 12 years old and not feeling all that well and doesn’t want to be bothered.

cone flowers

I don’t know exactly what happened because I was typing on this laptop. But Charlie got up from his bed next to me and leaned over to Ivy in the next bed and snapped at her not once, but twice.

Ivy paused, her eyes wide and surprised, then she jumped to the floor.

After awhile I went looking for her. Finally I found her in the pet crate I brought her home in in the corner of the living room on the floor over by the window.

I had not locked it, so she had just opened the little door and gone inside.

I tried to persuade her to come out, but she was having none of it. It was clear Charlie had hurt her feelings and she wanted some alone time.

Ivy on the coffee table

For the next hour or so I talked baby talk to her trying to cajole her back out. It kind of alarmed me because she had not gone into the pet carrier since the first week.

I told Charlie that he had hurt her feelings. At times he seemed emboldened and got down on the floor and went over close to the carrier and looked at her.

I think he wanted her to stay there awhile. And he wanted to let her know he had seniority around here.

I felt so sorry for her I nearly cried. Yes, I am that sentimental.

bread boards on wall

My next door neighbor came over around that time. I was giving her the rest of the house plants (oh, how I hated to see the last ones go) because of Ivy. She sat down and I told her what had happened.

She doesn’t have pets. She works so much that if she did have one it would surely be alone a lot.

I told her I had picked up barbecue the day before, one of those family packs, and would love to have her join me for supper. She said she’d fixed spaghetti and was thinking the same of me.

But then she got called in to work. Sometimes she works all night long.

I can see that we’re probably going to be both next door neighbors and friends.

Farmhouse style vignette

After she left I could stand it no more. I got down to Ivy’s level in the pet carrier and tried talking to her again, but she still wouldn’t come out. Finally I reached in and eased her out of the pet carrier. 

I held her and talked to her. I said Charlie didn’t mean it.

Charlie wasn’t too keen on listening to me baby her. For once I was telling him to leave her alone instead of the other way around. I told him Ivy just wanted to play.

Yes, I do try to verbally reason with my pets.

Charlie on the couch

Rationally I knew it was just a spat. But I don’t want Ivy to feel like she’s doing something wrong when she’s just trying to play.

Sometimes she likes to lie down next to him. Often he will get up and move.

I understand that Charlie just wants his space.

Poor little Ivy. She clearly did not understand why Charlie turned on her so abruptly.

Ivy in magazine container

I guess it was then that I realized how much I truly love her. That she had crept (or clawed) her way into my heart.

I will be her defender.

I will be her mother. She and her brother were found abandoned at just a few weeks old.

I need not have worried so. Before long Ivy was dragging the toilet paper off the roll. (I finally had to take it off the roll and put it in a drawer next to the toilet, where it may have to stay).

She was scooting a toy across the floor, zig-zagging from room to room at high speed. If there was a sport called cat hockey I’m convinced that Ivy would be a star.

She was on her hind legs trying to figure out how to turn the knobs on the dishwasher, which I’ve never used or turned on myself.

She’s such a curious girl and wants to check out every single thing in her world. She doesn’t get to go outside. So the 725 square feet of this apartment is the totality of her world, and what she can see out the window.

Yesterday I found that Ivy had put one of her toys in Charlie’s food and in the water bowl two separate times. Maybe Charlie felt invaded. Maybe he’s just being territorial over his food and wants her to stay out of it.

Ivy at the window

I love Ivy’s spunk and resilience. She is a source of constant entertainment for me.

She makes me smile. I’ve smiled more since I adopted Ivy than I have in many months.

But she also is just a little girl who can get her feelings hurt when she feels rejected.

What Mom wouldn’t feel her pain? Or not want to make it all better?

This apartment just wouldn’t be a home without Charlie and Ivy.

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  1. Hmmmm. I had two male dogs when I moved into my second home in 1990 – a big place with a huge back yard that I quickly had fenced in so I wouldn’t have to put the dogs out on leashes. I was 39 then and still full of energy and fully healthy (in comparison to my 67 now). One day I saw a TV spot for dogs up for adoption at the Humane Society, and I decided I had the space (and the funds) to take in another dog. While the dog I wanted to adopt had been quickly taken by another family (the one I saw on TV), I ended up with an oversized “puppy” who was a combination labrador and Doberman. She was 11 months old and still teething, but I didn’t discover the still teething part until after I got her home, LOL! She absolutely destroyed some drywall on the basement landing (another story). She was so sweet. Clumsy, as puppies often are, but big and 3 times the size of my Peekapoodle (Spencer) and my miniature Schnauzer (Jocques) (I didn’t name either of the dogs, those were the names the prior owners had given them when I privately adopted them). Tasha – the new dog on the block, pretty much left Spencer alone. I think she may have sensed that he was the second in command (I was first). Jocques, who had been Dog #2, took to harassing Tasha although he was much smaller than her. One day, she had enough and she nipped him pretty good on his nose. Boy, it must have hurt! I cleaned him up as best I could and scolded them both by sterning up my voice and shaking my finger at them (but secretly laughing inside). I left them alone after that. Jocques had learned his lesson, though. He didn’t tease Tasha anymore. They would still play tug with socks (Tasha was so good – she would let the smaller male dogs pull her all around the room!) Sometimes pecking order needs to be established and as hard as it is, we need to keep our nose out of it. Ivy has to learn how to read Charlie’s moods and respect his space, also his seniority. Don’t “baby” her, mommy, hard as it is. It’s part of growing up!

  2. Poor Ivy! I’m sure the fact that Charlie is still not feeling well played a huge part in him snapping at her. When we don’t feel well, we snap at others also, so I’m sure it is the same with animals. Poor little thing…going to her crate. I know her feelings were terribly hurt. I’m so glad she has someone like you taking care of her…I would have cried. On Hallmark’s Home and Family this week they showed a little dog that was deaf because she had bad owner’s and the owner performed some wrong breeding in her parents, so she ended up deaf. I cried over the little dog…just made me so sad! Love and hugs!

  3. Charlie is teaching Ivy what is acceptable behavior and what’s not. I think he is also letting Ivy know that he is 2nd in command after momma. My Molly snaps at a neighbor’s puppy when she gets in Molly’s face; I think it is how the puppies and kitties learn. Ivy will learn and I know Charlie is accepting of his baby sister. Ivy is very smart and she will catch on. I’m so glad you have a good neighbor as they make a world of difference. Enjoy your Thursday!

    Carol and Molly

  4. Animals need to get their pecking order set.. it may take awhile, but they’ll learn each other’s boundaries… just like Charlie “telling” her NO… don’t get into my stuff! Our 3 cats have their spats too… and I feel bad that sometimes our 12 yr old cat may get picked on, but she really doesn’t, because I’ve seen her stand up for herself against the younger “kids” if they go too far. And then 5 minutes later, they’re all playing again and chasing each other around the house! It took her awhile to get used to the kids, but they each have set forth their boundaries and for the most part, they all know how far they can go. Ivy will learn… and she may be a little taken aback by Charlie, but she’ll learn how far she can go! Don’t worry too much! Marilyn

  5. I think Ivy’s crate is her safe place cuz that’s probably where she went b4 when her feelings got hurt or she was scared of something.
    It’s alot better than them hissing and growling at each other! ?

    I had a feeling that your neighbor and you would become friends Brenda! That’s great! ?

    I’m friends with the neighbor in the upstairs apt house across my lawn. I tell her 3 kids to play on my lawn and not across the st. The cars go by too fast down our st and I’m always hollering for them to slow down! Her kids are 4,5,10 and they’re smart! The things the kids say are hilarious too! They show me their new dance steps, acrobats, ride their bikes, etc. My jaw aches sometimes from laughing so hard!

    Hope you had a great day today!

  6. Brenda – I have a 13 year old recuse dog (Buddy) He is a Jackapoo -(Poodle – Jack Russel mix) . Sweetest dog – we have had him for three years – we also inherited a cat from a neighbor – he came four years ago and never went home. I was told Buddy didn’t like cats – but from day one it was perfectly fine with the two of them – Storm (cat) sometimes really annoys Buddy – I watch her and she does it to get a reaction – and Buddy snaps at her – nothing serious – just a “stop it” warning – Storm could care less and just wanders off and before you know it she is snuggling in bed with Buddy – I don’t really get involved in their relationship[ – they work it out like brothers and sisters and would never harm each other – we keep an eye on them. But after three years together it is apparent they like each other. Charlie is old with health issues and Ivy is young and full of energy – it is totally normal. Cats can be stinkers sometimes – Love your blog…MEL

  7. I’m feeling bad for Charlie! He’s having some health issues and it seems as Ivy is running the show. He may feel a little jealous of her.

    You’re such a good momma that you will be able to make them both feel special and loved.

    If Ivy retreats to her carrier, that’s ok. Just let Charlie know he’s very special. Hope he feels better.

  8. “I will be her mother.” That line brought tears to my eyes. Of course you are her mother. Her hiding in her crate says it all-it’s her safe place. That, too, broke my heart. Yes, Charlie isn’t feeling well and lashed out. Prayers for the little guy’s health. Hugs & kisses to both of your babies.

    1. I agree with both Eileen and Brenda. But good for Charlie for trying to stand up for himself. Sounds like he may be a little .

  9. I think the comment that Charlie might not be feeling his best may be a factor. Ivy will bounce back. She has moved in and had the run of the place and it sounds as if Charlie has been doing a little thinking, he was here first, he’s the boy, he’s the dog, who IS this thing? Maybe he’s become less tentative and is asserting his dominance a little…something he wasn’t able to do with Abi. Nothing wrong with that. Also, keep in mind that Ivy can go places Charlie can’t go. They will find their ground and relationship together. Hang in there, Mama.

  10. Poor Ivy. It is definitely a challenge when you have a young pet and an older pet. We actually got Paris to keep Munchen company, Munchen was 13 and Paris was 6 months old, although they got along Munchen was set in her was and did not want Paris by her food, or anywhere near her bed.

    I am sure that part of the spat is that Charlie isn;t feeling 100%. I hope he is feeling better and better every day.

    How nice to have a new neighbor/friend. That is always a wonderful thing.

    How did all of your contractors in and out yesterday affect the pets?

    Have a great day.

  11. Oh poor little Ivy!! I understand completely – sometimes Molly wants to play and either Monkey or Lily doesn’t want to be bothered and will grumble or snap….they haven’t gotten into any real fights (thank God) but she’s been put in her place more than once! I always feel so bad for her….I have to pick her up and cuddle her and let her know she’s loved!

  12. I think when Ivy leaves things in Charlie’s food dish she is making an offering to him. That is the sweetest thing. She is trying hard to fit into her new home.

  13. It’s wonderful to hear the joy in your voice when you speak about Charlie and Ivy. I think getting Ivy has been the best medicine for you. I can almost see the smile on your face in your written words. Much happiness to you, Charlie and Ivy. Have a wonderful day!

    1. Sorry I haven’t been on top of the comments the past couple of days. With so many in and out of here it made it hard. Plus my hands are really hurting with the colder weather.

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