There are two Shar Peis currently in my care. I am watching over them for a friend who is out-of-town for "the holidays" and such. As is true of the breed, they are calm, reserved dogs who also happen to be affectionate and very good-tempered. Good-tempered, or well-tempered? I think good. Anyway--they are really nice dogs.
Although I introduced Gurdy the Cat into the mix, and not everyone shares that sentiment. I particularly mean Gurdy. He wasn't happy about meeting them. At all.
Gurdy is not a fan of anything that walks on four legs. He had a particularly unpleasant (yet entirely harm-free) encounter with the neighborhood raccoon last year; since then, all quadripeds are out of favor in Gurdy's eyes. Nope. Upon meeting a friend's cat, Gurdy retreated to a corner and bowed his head in pathetic subservience, until I picked him up and took him home. He also doesn't particularly like birds, as they would swoop past his window where he'd sit in the sun, and it scared him in such a manner that he fell off his ledge a few times. And that was funny. Poor Gurdy. The world is full of dangers.
But back to the Shar Peis. So Gurdy is NOT a tough cat. He's part Siamese, so he's very small and bony; he has slightly crossed eyes, so he doesn't have the best aim and occasionally bumps into immovable objects. Not that he cares. He jumps around and plays constantly, leaping around the room like a parkour aerialist and chasing flecks of dust. However, when I brought him in to meet the dogs, he found the nearest bed and scooted under it. The dogs came over, gave the border of the bed a sniff or two, and then got bored and moved on.
For two days, Gurdy lived beneath that bed, emerging only for sustenance or litter box-related issues. I knew he'd get bored eventually, and emerge. Finally when he did come out, he slowly skulked around the room. The dogs watched, then sniffed, and then followed and sniffed, until they were both face-to-face with this strange, invading cat. Gurdy, for his part, sauntered into the middle of the room, and sat politely--with his ears back, eyes wide, completely still. A few feline growls ensued, followed by a canine growl and some huffs. Everyone moved very slowly, methodically, tentatively. Except for me. I just waited. Because it was obvious something was about to go down.
I don't know if he had been just sitting under that bed getting angrier with each passing minute, or if it took him that long to work out the details of his attack, but either way he was finished with living under the bed and he was out there on the dogs' turf looking for some trouble. And he was looking for it--straight at them, ears back, eyes wide. Mmm hmm. Let's work this out, right now. One of the dogs leaned in, staring down Gurdy as best as he could, and went for a too-close sniff.
Those Shar Pei muzzles are so big and fleshy, aren't they?
Gurdy, in what can be best described as a scene from "Kung Fu Panda," ejected himself up from the ground, leaped into the air and attached himself to the dog's face. BAM, one perfectly-aimed slash right across the snout. But as the dog snorted in shock he used the momentum of that strike to push himself down to the floor, and he bounced back up to give a few swipes to the other dog across the nose, who just yelped in dismay. Gurdy then rotated mid-air backwards, and upon landing he didn't miss a stride and took off running. It was almost beautiful, his aerial acrobatics. The dogs, and I, just sat there. Although only one of us screamed like a girl, praying the cat would not soon be murdered.
So the dogs chased after him, but it was too late. Gurdy was under the bed, howling, as they swerved back and forth along the edge barking and snarling. Not that they were very close. No, they stayed back at least a cat arm's distance. They're not stupid.
I put the dogs outside, and I waited a few hours to let Gurdy calm down before I went to grab him from under the bed. But there was no need. When I walked back in, he was sitting on a chair with his eyes half-closed, licking his paw. Perhaps he was upset his fur had been mussed in the fracas. Perhaps he was reveling in the taste of dog blood on his claws. I left him there, but he emerged a few minutes later and sauntered over to the sliding glass door. The dogs sat on the other side, looking in. Gurdy plopped himself down at the glass, and he did not blink as he stared them down, taunting them, like Daniel Day-Lewis in "There Will Be Blood."
The dogs, safe on the other side of the glass, turned. Heads down, they walked away. One of them glanced back at Gurdy while in retreat, and kept moving. Gurdy just purred, loudly.
Gurdy now sits in the middle of the floor. The dogs walk around him. Yeah. There's a new boss in town.