Our apartment in Cupecoy, Sint Marteen had close to 10 resident cats who would hang around the property, usually looking for food and attention. One day I was tasked with the job of feeding the cats daily on behalf of SXM paws, the organization that would lead me and my Fiancé to adopting Bear.
But before Bear came into our lives, we would give a lot of the cats’ attention as they liked to linger around our door, or sit on the windowsill to meow at me whenever I was in the kitchen. Sometimes when I would leave the apartment at least 5 cats would be there to greet me, most likely expecting a treat, and well Caribbean cats can be quite persistent. There were a few cats who would let me pet them, and some even enjoyed my murmuring and baby talk, especially the cat that we nicknamed Coffee. Coffee loved attention and head scratches, but one thing he did not like was puppies.In the following days of adopting Bear, I always remember how much I worried about him when I wanted to take him outside to explore and have fun, because the cats would always surround us, and I had no idea if that would lead to trouble. Bear loved the cats, but most would hiss at him because he was a wild puppy who at times could be a little too eager to play.
Coffee on the other hand would not only hiss, but would often try to find ways to maliciously scratch Bear. Even if Bear would be sniffing the ground, coffee would slowly walk up to Bear and swat him. I’m pretty sure Coffee was jealous that this new puppy was now stealing his attention. As time went on Bear learned how to act around the cats, and some even began to rub noses with him.Bear had two feline friends who seemed to adore him, the first was a cat named Daisy. Daisy would often rub herself up against Bear, or follow him on our nightly outings to the field. The other, was a cat who I un-creatively named “kitten”, who in a way grew up with Bear. Around the same time that we adopted our little fur-baby, Kitten who was in fact a kitten at the time showed up at our apartment building. I remember seeing both Bear and Kitten watching each other, and over time Kitten became one of Bear’s best feline friends. Kitten would always come running to find Bear, and he would always be happy to see her, greeting her with tail wags and a soft look on his face. The two could spend a good amount of time outside together. Here is a video I took of the two together:
Bear And Kitten Video
And then came the days when on some of my evening walks the cats would even follow me and Bear to the field. Can you imagine seeing me walking a puppy, with 10 cats following me around? Sometimes even the security guards in the area would comment, and on nights when it would be just me and Bear, they’d often ask where my cats were.One thing that I loved about having Bear grow up with our apartment cats was that he learned to not view them as prey. I would often see off leash dogs in the field go crazy at the sighting of a cat, that it could become dangerous if they were to chase them onto the road or get away from their owners. My fur-baby on the other hand would want to greet the cat, and resume sniffing or wanting to continue playing with the now distracted dog.
Raising your dog with other animals isn’t hard at all as long as you start them off young with early socialization to shape their view of what is or isn’t prey. Because Bear grew up with a lot of the creatures on the island of Sint Marteen, from iguanas, cats and chickens, those are for the most part animals he will ignore or not fight me to go after. From time to time Bear will get excited when he see’s a cat, but it’s simply because he wishes to play with it and if I give him the leave it command most likely he’ll leave the cat alone and continue sniffing around.
M & Bear