Growing up, my family always had at least one cat and one dog. Some were friends; others only tolerated each other’s presence. None got to choose the other. Raven and Woodhouse were a little luckier.
Christina and her fiancé, Vincent, knew they wanted to get a dog together.
“We had heard of the Tamaskan breed a couple years ago, and had always had that in the back of our mind,” Christina told Petcha.com. “We… wanted to make the right decision on breed, as the dog would be in our lives 10+ years and we knew we wanted to start a family eventually. We heard Tamaskans were great family dogs — good around kids and other small pets.”
The Odessa, Texas-based couple, who preferred not to give their last names, found a breeder and several months later a puppy was available. They brought the 8-week-old dog home in mid-July 2015 and named her Raven.
Given that Christina had grown up with cats, and Vincent grew up with dogs, the couple wanted to get a kitten companion for Raven. The decision to look for one came about a week after getting the Tamaskan.
“It had been almost a life goal for myself to have a puppy and kitten that grew up together, since introducing older pets to either cats or dogs doesn’t always go to plan,” said Christina. “I wanted them to grow up and bond together.”
So how did the couple choose the perfect kitten to bond with Raven? They let Raven make the choice.
They went to Petco and PetSmart on adoption days several times, Christina told us, but no kittens were available. This led them to the Lubbock Animal Shelter in Texas. They were told that shelter staff would be picking up kittens later that day and to come back around 3 p.m. to do a meet and greet.
“I mentioned to her that I wanted my puppy to meet the kittens, so I could determine which kitten was the best fit,” Christina said. “She said they normally don’t do cat/dog interactions, but since my puppy was only 10 weeks at this point, she said they could make an exception.”
And what a difference that exception made.
“Woodhouse was actually the first kitten that was brought out,” Christina told Petcha.com. “Raven went and sniffed him and he was really curious about Raven as well — smelling and head-butting each other. The lady at the shelter then brought out the other three kittens, one by one, and none of them really hit it off.
“Raven is a shy dog, and was especially shy as a puppy. None of the other kittens showed any interest, or [the kittens] seemed scared of Raven, and hissed, so that made Raven back away from all of them,” she continued. “We brought Woodhouse out again and Raven immediately walked back up to him. It was love at first sight! We took Woodhouse to the vet sometime in the next couple days, and he estimated that Woodhouse was born sometime mid June 2015 making him only a couple weeks younger than Raven.”
Raven and Woodhouse bonded straightaway. The shelter provided toys to take home, and the puppy and kitten played with them together, Christina said. Woodhouse even tried to nurse from Raven before bed.
“At one point Raven grabbed one of her peanut butter rawhides and held it for Woodhouse to lick,” Christina told us. “It was an instant bond!”
As I mentioned before, we'll be moving soon and I've been so busy with that and finishing up my last week of work that I haven't really had time to take many new photos, so here's a #tbt. This is my favorite picture of the two of them taken about 6 months ago! ———————-This is our entry for the #petsgoodlife challenge hosted by @kelly_bove @pitterpatterfurryfeet & @lizzie.bear ————— #cuddlebuddy #tamaskan #dog_features #meowvswoof #excellent_dogs #excellent_cats #cat_features #ravenandwoodhouse #pocket_family #pocket_pets_bestfriends
While the two BFFs don’t cuddle as much as they used to when they were younger, they are still very close.
“They always tell each other ‘hi’ in the morning and run up to each other,” Christina said. “Raven likes to greet [Woodhouse] by placing his entire head in her mouth. Their two favorite games to play are wrestling and tag. They take turns chasing each other around the house… When they wrestle, Raven likes to pin Woodhouse down. She knows they can play as long as they want, but as soon as Woodhouse makes a sound (we call it the squished cat sound), she is supposed to get up, walk away and wait for Woodhouse to initiate if he wants to continue playing. Woodhouse does start a lot of their play sessions.”
Just one look at their Instagram page and anyone can see that Raven and Woodhouse truly are the best of friends. They’ve even picked up a few of each other’s species’ characteristics.
“Raven acts like a cat. She really does. She is shy around strangers. You really have to work for her affection, but once you’re in, you are in for life and she won’t leave you alone,” Christina said. “She also hates being wet. If she does get wet, she will literally lick herself dry instead of shaking. She sleeps curled up in a ball as well.”
And Woodhouse the cat acts like a confident canine.
“Woodhouse, on the other hand, is not shy at all,” Christina said. “Any stranger can walk up into our house and pet him. He is also leash trained… I can take Woodhouse to somebody else’s home and he will just walk around and chill. He won’t go hide under a bed for days.”
The BFFs even greet Christina and Vincent at the door when they get home. They truly are one big, happy family.