The cat and the dog at our house have a mutual dislike of each other, characterized by loud barking, sinister hisses and an ever-present threat of violence.
The dog is not a permanent resident, but only comes for visits. The cat, on the other hand, hardly ever leaves and considers herself the landlady to whom the rest of us are required to pay rent in the form of morning and evening kibble and a little pre-bedtime snack of milk laced with cream. If she doesn’t get her vittles on time, she raises a fuss and rubs on my pant leg, which means I have to clean it with one of those adhesive roller gizmos.
The dog is less demanding, but seems constantly hungry. If she happens to be in the house when we sit down to eat, she naturally expects to get her share, and if she doesn’t she turns on the poor-me face and stands on her hind legs like a ballet dancer.
But they never eat together. In other households, I am told, the dogs and cats tolerate one another, and while they may not share food dishes, actually will eat together on the same back porch or patio. Not at our house.
If I decide to feed the dog on the patio, the first thing she will do when I open the door and put her food dish out is bark and march up and down the patio to make sure the cat knows to stay away.
If the tables are turned, and I put the cat out with her food dish, the first thing she does is hiss like a steam engine. If they happen to see each other at that critical time, they will hiss and bark simultaneously, making no small racket.
They are not unlike the Palestinians and Israelis in that regard, except I think the odds of the Palestinians and Israelis making peace are greater than those for the dog and the cat.
But the dog and the cat have learned to co-exist, even in their enmity, and in that respect, I think they might have some lessons to teach.