Beauty and the beast

While the title sounds good – and I make no claim to originality – it’s really quite unfair when my plan is to write about Beauty and Quillow. “Quillow” is the musical name I gave my new/old golden after he quickly squiggled his way into my heart. I have since learned I should have stuck to my original “Kwee-loh” as the correct pronunciation for tranquil but it’s stuck now.)

The truth of the matter is that, in this home, the only beastie is the seven pound cat, Beauty. She purrs infrequently but is very vocal in her complaints. I’ve never been told off so often by any other animal. And, as regular readers might recall, she has a very nasty tendency to bite. It’s the feral background, I’m told, though she uses it to express both displeasure and her pleasure as when she’d prefer I just keep petting. I find that difficult to do once the blood starts to ooze.

Although Beauty was adopted as Major’s replacement cat and adored him from the start, she learned to get along with Minor. Quillow was something else again.

I saw very, VERY quickly that Quillow was not a cat-dog. There are cat-people and cat-dogs and then there are the others. Coming into my home as a nine-year-old golden retriever, he was fine with Minor, even eager to traipse after his new buddy as he was shown “the ropes” (including some I wish he hadn’t). Nothing wrong with a cat, he supposed; he just hadn’t met one before.

Now, when Beauty is given her bedtime treat (her daily dollop of canned food), she becomes totally oblivious to anything around her except that food. With my encouragement (and under a very watchful eye), Quillow was able to walk right up to her, smell her in all the appropriate (or in-) places and so make an acquaintance.

He remained curious however. Her daytime complaints and requests always got his attention though it was obvious to all but the cat that he exhibited nothing more than canine curiosity. OK, if she runs, he chases. But that’s her fault and, by now, his chase lasts only two steps or so.

Quillow does remain the perfect gentleman. He is totally polite and accommodating. He may well be the only one who does listen to me. His love never varies. He brings me such joy and a true feeling of contentment just by settling down at my feet. Or on them.

Each morning, as I stop on my way to open the garage door for the dogs’ first “out,” I let Beauty out of her room. In the olden days (before Quillow that is) she’d stop and wait for a good rubdown, happy to be stroked as we greeted a new day, while loudly purring (yes!) away. She still comes to the door but, seeing Quillow there (Minor has no interest in this charade), parades back and forth right in front of him but refuses to come out.

This morning was the same as yesterday and the day before and … only Quillow not only laid down before her but flattened himself as far as he could in a show of good will. I got the message. I presume she did too.

She’s back to strutting around the house as she usually does.

We live in peace.

Susan Crossett is a Cassadaga resident. Send comments to