Zen of Rocky


ROCKY’S GIRL Rocky was a middle-aged bachelor when he left the shelter to live in his first permanent home. His former owner wrote “No time for Rocky” as her reason for relinquishing him. It thus seemed fitting that Rocky would be given the gift of time, along with the companionship of a (much) younger female. Rocky and Paisley’s relationship ran the gamut, from sharing every meal from the same dish to grooming each other to having some knockdown drag outs. They also developed their own personalities and interests, with time spent alone in their respective household territories. Their early bond was evident when Paisley escaped from the house one night and Rocky howled in the window until she revealed her outdoor hiding place with little mews. Paisley’s playful nature rubbed off on Rocky, and after a year, or so, Rocky started to play. His routines grew to include jogging after the sprinting Paisley or accompanying her on her indoor mouse hunts. Rocky himself did not hunt, but he was energized by Paisley’s skills at tracking and snaring indoor prey, along with spotting prey of interest out the window. At the other end of their relationship spectrum, Rocky had his cantankerous side. He was seen swatting Paisley if she did not provide on-demand grooming when he flung his head back, or he’d instigate a battle if she passed an errant look his way. Rocky also had a very fearful side, and became quite hostile if he smelled the scent of the vet’s office on Paisley’s fur. In general, though, Rocky was the gentlest of souls in all areas of his life. On Christmas Morning 2007, Rocky and Paisley shared a meal on a plate next to a small Christmas tree, as they had done since they arrived home from the shelter. Rocky then retired to the couch, and did not eat or engage Paisley again.