We were quite certain that Cookie and Cinnamon would react differently when they saw us. Cookie would be ecstatic, whimpering, wriggling, wagging her tail as she tried to climb into our arms. Cinnamon would be aloof, sticking her little nose in the air and refusing to engage with us.
After a long, tedious journey which I might moan about at a later stage, we finally arrived at the kennels in Montfuron to pick up Cookie. Eager to release our poor neglected little dog from her prison, we leapt from the jeep and rushed into the building. There she was, ready and waiting, in her crate.
In the middle of the cattery.
Eyeballing a FLUFFY PERSIAN in the cage beside her.
Undaunted, the LSH called her name a couple of times - she completely ignored him. He bent down and quickly opened the cage. She darted from the cage, dodged his waiting arms and tried to work out how she could get at that FLUFFY PERSIAN, caged only inches beyond her nose!
We gathered her bits and pieces and said goodbye to the owner's father-in-law, who had kindly agreed to meet us there late on New Year's Eve. Then we grabbed Cookie's lead and hauled her out of the cattery, while she continued to pull and strain at the end of the lead, paws scrabbling on the concrete floor as she remained intent on getting into the FLUFFY PERSIAN's cage. We had to drag her out to the car and bundle her into her crate in the boot, but she was in such a state of cat fixation that she still didn't realise that it was US. About five minutes down the road, though, she began to whimper and whine - she had finally realised what was going on and that we were near home.
We carried on past our house to collect Cinnamon from our friends Bob and Jane. We knocked on the back door, and Cinnamon ran over to it, yapping loudly (this is normal Cinnamon behaviour, she thinks it's her job to repel all boarders). What was not normal was that when I opened the door, she immediately stopped barking and jumped up and down beside me, clearly thrilled to see us. I picked her up and she cuddled into me, licking my face enthusuastically - exactly the reaction we had expected from Cookie, in fact, and the complete opposite to what we had expected from the Small Brown one!
We said our goodbyes and thank yous to Bob and Jane and made our weary way home. Cookie continued to whimper in the back of the jeep while Cinny balanced on my knee, weaving from side to side as we rounded the corners. Once inside the house, Cookie finally went wild, running around hysterically, checking all the rooms in the house to make sure no cats had broken in while we were away.
Two days later and she is pretty much back to normal. She is reluctant to let us out of her sight, but is content to curl up and snooze so long as she can see us. Cinnamon, of course, settled in straight away, but then again, while Cookie was shivering in the cold, mountain-top kennels on Christmas Day, Cinny was stretched out in front of a log fire, watching Lady and the Tramp.
It's no wonder poor Cookie was a bit upset, really!