It was as if all his prejudices were confirmed in one . Magnus looked at the TV wide eyed and then accusingly at me as if to say “ Cats! See I told you !”
I perhaps should explain that Magnus is my dog . A stray found in Northern Ireland then re-homed to us.
He originally came with the name “Magners” but we struggled with that for two reasons . First, it is my wife’s favourite tipple and secondly hearing “ a pint of Magner’s please” repeated regularly, could have caused him performance anxieties when approaching his favourite tree . He prefers the ” little but often” approach .
In fairness his favourite pee spot is the Thyme bush in our herb garden .( Mental note to self : there are times when dried herbs can do, rather than fresh ones …see above.)
Hence “Magnus” and an embarrassing explanation to one of my closest friends to explain, “ no I didn’t name him after your first born , it was a coincidence. Honestly .”
Magnus is the only dog we have had who is an avid couch potato, TV addict.
True, his viewing selections are species idiosyncratic. Most Attenborough stuff is on his list, though he wasn’t too fussed with Blue Planet until the Whales started singing . The programme he did on Hyenas was compelling watching for him, head swivelling like a demented meerkat . As half a deerhound, you can also see him measuring up antelope and thinking “ You know? I think I could .”
But it was Nadia, the COVID 19 infected Tiger at the Bronx Zoo that got his attention this time . Our fault really, we inherited a very big TV when we bought this house, so a Tiger head 4ft by 3ft does capture the canine imagination.
But he also suffers from FAS- Feline Anxiety Syndrome .
This all came about through a chance encounter with KC (Killer Cat) a recent newcomer to the village 2 doors up. In a prescient move that reflects our current times, KC adopts a “social distancing” approach. This applies to most other living creatures but particularly, dogs. KC is just an angry cat .
Magnus until that point was curious of, but generally friendly, to most cats.Then KC beat the living bejesus out of him for having the temerity of coming within a foot of his tail. Since then he has steered well clear of cats but actually would cross the M8 in peak traffic if he saw KC.
Coronavirus is also a confusing time for Magnus. He can’t play with his friends because that necessitates the humans getting too close to one another. That is just weird because before they would chat interminably when all he wanted to do was chase seagulls. Humans are also now wearing muzzles .
He is also very confused by the Canine response in Ukraine. Our friend there confirmed that the total local down means you can only go out; to shop, get medicines and walk the dog . If you don’t have a dog ? It appears there is a black market in dog walking emerging. Dogs are flinching with exhaustion when they see the lead. A response beyond his comprehension .
Now an article showing that Cats ……even very BIG cats can catch C19 .
I am using all my former counselling skills with him.
“ No Magnus, there is no evidence of Cat to Human or Canine transmission. Get real, KC wouldn’t come near you anyway!
Chill, watch the warthogs.”