Marley the orange cat/dog

My husband and I like animals – or at least I do, which under the rules of marriage, means we do. We have 5 total:

  • Gus, the 8.5 month old Aussie puppy. He’s our sweetie and makes us laugh a lot. At about 55 lbs, he’s also the biggest guy in the house, but he doesn’t know it. He should top out at about 70 lbs, we think – 2x as big as the next larger dog, Sara. We got him last summer because we know that we’re going to lose one of the older dogs in the next year or so – they’re both well past the expected life span for their breeds.
  • Sara, the 13.5 year old red Australian Cattle dog. She blew her knees out when she was 5 and suffers badly from arthritis now that she’s old. She’s also losing her hearing but is still Queen of the house. She’s my first dog and clearly the best dog ever. When she was younger, she swam in the pool every day when it was warm – by herself if needed. She can’t step down into the pool now and stopped swimming last summer. Which broke my heart.
  • Lady, the 14 year old Border Collie mix. She’s almost totally deaf and blind and has never been happier. She’s always been a morose little dog and now no one can bother her. She’s also getting a little senile.
  • Xibalba, the 16.5 year old black cat. I got her when she was about 5 weeks old. She’s a little crazy but in a sweet way. She has almost no teeth now, but the vet says she should live to 20 or more. She’s finally adapted to the old dogs but the puppy has her worried. I’ve had her through my son growing up, 2 husbands, graduate school, just so much. Her name is the Mayan word for the Underworld, as my focus in Anthropology graduate school was the modern Maya.
  • Marley, the 9 year old orange cat. He’s been Sara’s best friend since he arrived at 12 weeks. They play games, chase each other around, curl up together to sleep. All the animals in the house think he’s a dog.

Marley hasn’t come home for 2 days and I’m worried. I’d hate to lose him – he’s Sara’s best friend. He’s also my bedtime buddy. He goes to bed with me at night and we spend 20 minutes in a petting frenzy before he lays down on my feet and goes to sleep. He’s a very good cat, even though he thinks he’s a dog.


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