Chewie, his nose to the ground, snuffled around the house, leaving no smell unsmelled. Snuffle, snuffle, snuffle, snuffle, BAM! Oops, that was the couch. Chewie gave it an indignant look for daring to get in his way, and continued his exploration. Snuffle, snuffle, snuffle, BONK! Hm. That was the bedroom door frame. Good thing Jojo was coming tomorrow -- the dog really needed the hair over his eyes trimmed a bit.
Meanwhile, there was still no sign of Boggs. I was starting to relax a little bit. Chewie happily wandered around the house from end to end until he had satisfied himself that he had seen everything there was to see (and smelled everything there was to smell). He then jumped up on the couch, settled himself on the top of the back (it was one of those overstuffed sectionals), and lay there panting and, apparently, inordinately pleased with himself. After looking around in satisfaction, he began the serious work of chewing on his feet.
Tomo, always the braver and more curious of the cats, had by this time appeared to see what was going on. The kitten-sized feline delicately wandered across the room, and approached the couch and this new person. She didn't seem very nervous -- just slowly climbed up onto the back of the couch and sauntered towards the dog.
The dog looked up.
The dog saw the cat.
Something obviously went off in the dog's head. I think it was "Hey, a new friend," but it could have been, "Wow, a moving chew toy." Hard to say for sure. At any rate, Chewie jumped up and leaped for Tomo!
For a moment, Tomo was too surprised to move. Chewie got his chin onto her head, pushed down, and began licking her ear, while she lay there with the most amazed expression you could possibly imagine on a cat's face. I could almost hear her thinking, "Okay. WHAT. In the HELL. Is THIS?" It must have been quite a shock: Charlie and I were, to a certain extent, cat people. We had always approached the cats slowly and with a certain amount of respect. Cats don't generally like sudden movements -- they prefer to have you slowly hold out your hand, or make a lap, or stand still so that they might deign to come and allow you to pet them. Cats appreciate a certain amount of distance; a bit of reserve, if you will. They do not appreciate anything which might interfere with their noble dignity.
Because of this, Tomo was obviously shocked by Chewie's effrontery. So much so that she lay there and let the dog slobber on her immaculate fur, licking her until her ear turned inside out and laid back against her skull. Then, suddenly, she seemed to figure out that it might be a good idea to get away. Just like that, she twisted out from under Chewie and was on the other side of the room in less than a second. (Tomo could, by the way, make a standing leap from the ground to the top of the refrigerator. She made the jump to the other side of the room in approximately the same manner.)
Chewie, enjoying the game, leaped off the back of the couch (somewhat less gracefully and with a mighty thud), and ran after her. I was a little worried (after all, I did love my cats), but Chewie didn't seem to be interested in biting or chewing on Tomo. Instead, he seemed to want to herd her in some direction.
Now this was a bit strange. After all, Cockers are hunting dogs, not herding dogs. Nevertheless, he ran after her, and sort of tried to nudge her along. Tomo was pretty fast, but the house was small and there was limited room to maneuver, so Chewie managed to keep up with her fairly well. I'm somewhat embarrassed to say that this went on for a good two or three minutes, while Charlie and I found ourselves almost helpless with laughter. We couldn't help it -- the look on Tomo's little face was absolutely priceless! She looked at the same time confused, indignant, and puzzled. Chewie and Tomo ran around (with Chewie's periodic bumpings into various odd bits of furniture) until finally Tomo resorted to the refrigerator trick. THUD! Chewie noticed the refrigerator only after bumping into it. He looked up at Tomo (who was daintily attempting to put her ear back the way it was) a bit reproachfully. Obviously, he felt that the game wasn't over, and that she had bowed out in a very unsportsmanlike fashion.
Tomo gazed down at the dog smugly. If she were a human, she'd probably have stuck her tongue out at him.
Chewie somewhat regretfully made his way back to his perch at the top of the couch, and resumed his foot chewing. I glanced around, but there was still no sign of Boggs. Things were mostly settled down, Tomo was safe on the top of the refrigerator, and no blood had been spilled. Maybe this would work out after all.