I forgot about Kiki...
There is a reason why I feed Kiki in the tractor shed instead of on the porch. Why her crate bed was moved to the tractor shed, too. Why I keep that crate on top of a table. And why I put her in that crate when Owl is going to be out and about. Frankly, it is a pain to keep managing Kiki the (formerly stray) cat and Owl and his cat obsession. But then I think of all the voles that Kiki has taken out of the yard. And the mouse traps that I have not had to bother with for two years. I read one time where an exterminator said that if you live where mice are a problem, feed a stray cat. I began feeding Kiki because the weather was freezing and she was so scrawny - but there have been fringe benefits.
There has also been Owl.
I LOVE Owl's intensity and determination but his obsession with cats is both fascinating and frustrating. I am convinced that it is entirely reflexive on his part. Owl sees a cat and another part of him kicks in. Grab first, grab fast, and ask questions later. He has gotten hold of Kiki before. One time, he discovered her in her crate bed (when it was still on the back porch) and pulled her right out of it. They tumbled down the porch steps wrapped in each others' clutches like one big screaming red and white fur ball. They went at it for a bit on the ground, then, leaving Owl with a mouthful of hair, Kiki streaked off. I did not see her for two days. Owl had some gashes on his face and on top of his head but of course that only made him "like" Kiki more.
I am probably 95% positive in my interactions with my dogs. Right or wrong, I am not opposed to punishment when I think the situation warrants, though. (Even so a weighty punishment is rare.) I did use all manner of techniques with Owl in this matter of cats after Kiki showed up on the scene. Including adversives. I concluded that the only truly effective way to disconnect Owl from his obsessiveness with them would be to use an e-collar. I decided not to go that route. It still briefly crosses my mind but Owl is 8.5 years old and it just isn't that important to me. I decided to manage his exposure to the cat and that has been working out pretty well.
Today, though, I forgot...
With Nexus and Owl both on lead, I opened the front door and there was Kiki. Before I could say "Owl," he snatched her near the top of her head. (Or maybe it wasn't her head, it was hard to tell.) It is a good thing she is hairy because hair is all that Owl came away with. I pulled him back into the house, closed the door, and told him in no uncertain terms to sit.
Then, because I like to take photos, I took some. So "The Cat and the Owl" comes with illustrations.
Taya is another reason I am glad to have Kiki here now. Taya is growing up with a cat and, while she likes to irritate Kiki at times, they often walk and run side by side across the yard. And Owl's daughter Pie lives nicely with the three cats in the Stock household.
ps Kiki is none the worse for Owl. When I went out to feed her a little while ago, she did come when I called for her. She hesitated to follow me when she saw Taya, then realized that it was "only" Taya and we all traipsed off to the tractor shed as usual.