By Matt Marine
Lots of people ask me, "Who is Cat-Dog and why do you call her that?"
Great questions. Cat-Dog, more commonly known as Cammie, is my family's 2 year-old Border Collie / Australian Shepherd / maybe something else mix we rescued from a Border Collie rescue shelter when she was about six months old.
She's a smart little pup who has a lot of energy and causes a great amount of mischief (and also joy) in our lives. She loves to go hiking and biking with me, but doesn't really like my four-wheeling adventures (she curls up in the back seat until we get to someplace she can stretch her legs).
Now, why do I call her Cat-Dog? To answer that, you've got to know a little more about me. I'm a cat person. We currently have four cats (and I could easily have more). Don't get me wrong, I love dogs too, but I've always been a cat person.
About a year before we got Cammie, a friend of ours told us that she thought a small dog would be coming into our lives and that it would be "my" dog. I didn't believe her. My wife had always been the dog person.
Then Cammie came to live with us. As much as I resisted it, Cammie and I seemed to be drawn together. When I would get out the shoelace to play with the cats, she would come over and play like she was one of them. She'd rather play with a string than a ball. She will catch lizards out in the back yard and play with them like a cat. Her favorite treat are, you guessed it, cat treats. She has so many cat-like traits that she became known as Cat-Dog (also to pay homage to one of my kids favorite cartoons when they were growing up).
So, that's her story and I'm sticking with it. If you ever see us out on a trail, come over and say hello, and don't forget the cat treats!
Besides Cat-Dog, we currently have a menagerie of other animals:
Rosie is a Australian Shepherd we got from Pennsylvania. She's a loveable dog who loves to play catch with a tennis ball, bark and raise kittens. She came from an awesome family of Aussie's and we miss her sister (Sabrina) and her aunt (Chelsea) who passed away a few years ago.
Gracie is a sweetheart that I think has some German Shepherd and lab mix in her. She follows my wife around like she's attached to her hip. We obtained her when my wife's good friend passed away in 2010.
Abbie came to us from a friend about ten years ago. She used to be a show horse, but has decided she'd rather take it easy and do tricks instead. She's a quick learner and can smile, bow, nod yes and no and pick up your backpack for you.
Tyson is a 15-year-old Maine Coon. He was named Tyson because when he was a kitten his paws looked were so big he looked like he was wearing boxing gloves. He's a great cat who just wants to live the rest of his life napping in the sun, eating good food and catching an occasional packrat.
Silver found us while we were camping in Silverton, Colorado (hence the name). He's a manx with what looks like some Maine Coon in him too. He came into our camp and immediately adopted us. We found the owner, who said she didn't want him anymore (she had two large dogs who didn't like cats). He rode home with us like he'd done it a hundred times. He still doesn't care much for our dogs, but is working on it. He loves attention and catnip.
Athena was rescued when she was about five weeks old when she was found by a friend (same one who owned Gracie) at her work. We had no intention of adopting another cat, but one look at that face and we couldn't say no. She's a little sweetheart who likes to climb trees and "hunt" in our backyard (our yard is fenced in so our animals can't get out, nor unwanted animals in). She doesn't like a lot of affection, but she's so cute, she gets it anyway.
Rosemary was adopted when a neighbor rescued a cat (who they didn't know was pregnant at the time) gave birth to a bunch of kittens. I had always been a fan of large male cats and had never cared much for small, delicate tortoiseshell cats. Rosemary changed my mind. She's a good girl who likes to eat (ie needs to go on a diet), nap on her princess pillow, play hide-and-seek and has an opera-like meow when she's hungry (which is most of the time). She is the princess of the household.
Our most recent additions to the family. My oldest daughter wanted some fish because they are relaxing to watch. I thought about getting her some piranha or oscar fish, but she opted for these guys instead (creamsicle Mollys).
To see more pictures of our animals, click here for the gallery.