Unlikely friends?

Syltetøy, the young Siamese kitten we adopted in July, refuses to be intimidated by Candy, our ten-year-old black lab. In fact, they seem to be good friends. The other night, V and I were on the couch with Candy and Gjetost. Syltetøy wandered up, and I invited her to join us. She hopped up into the space in front of Candy and then settled down on her rear legs. Candy gave her a sniff, she sniffed back, and there they cuddled for the next ten minutes or so, until it was time for Syltetøy to get up and do some more of her important kitten work.

My favorite story, though, is from July, when we were staying with Jane. Syltetøy’s first vet visit revealed a yeast infection in her right ear. Sound familiar? Perhaps because Candy gets aural yeast infections all the time. It’s pretty routine for us to have to squirt Epi-Otic ear cleanser into Candy’s ears, let her shake it out, and then swab out the goop with a cotton pad. She hates it, and she invariably splatters us with the “fresh green apple!”-scented stuff, so we hate it, too. Imagine my joy when I learned I’d have to be doing the same thing to the wee kitty! It quickly became a favorite activity, though. See, Candy is so familiar with this procedure that when she smells Epi-Otic, she has a reflexive licking reaction; her job is to get rid of the stuff, after all! So after I squirted the stuff into the squirt’s ear, the squirt shook furiously to get it out, spattering me even more efficiently than Candy does, and then Candy kicked into action licking it off Syltetøy’s head. At first, the kitty was too startled to defend herself; then, she realized it was kind of nice, and she relaxed in my arms and enjoyed the maternal ministrations of the enormous black mama-kitty. Over the next couple days, she bonded even more with Candy, and eventually made her her plaything. Now sometimes Candy’s wagging tail is Syltetøy’s favorite toy–she bats at it just like a cat-dancer (those floppy wire thingies with the wad of cardboard that twitches spasmodically when whapped).

Recently I drained the juice from a can of tuna into Candy’s food dish, and Syltetøy was determined to get her share. This time I had a camera ready to capture the fun!