Snapshots of Jigger

Ah, the holidays. Full of fun, food, and relatives. Kitten Thunder has always been pleased to see the grandparents come to visit. But this year they brought Cousin Jigger. And Kitten Thunder was mostly pleased to see HIM go.

It started with the “relatives are coming” cleaning of the house, which they can live with. But it included some weird cleaning. Like putting their food bowl on the table. And hiding all their toys.

Then Jigger arrived. Oliver mostly wanted to know WHY. Why does that thing move so funny? Why is it in the living room? WHY DOES IT JINGLE?!? Oli sat, calm but curious, on a shelf in the living room and watched.

Obi, my mellow boy, was not calm. And he never got calm. Maybe if he’d had four more days, he could have brought himself to interact with the dog and they could have been friends.

Maybe next time.


On Thanksgiving, we took Jigger to the dog park. He had a fantastic time. And it was a learning experience for me – the cats never want to go so I’ve never actually been IN the park. When we arrived, there was a couple with two puppies wrapping up their visit. Shortly after we arrived, a guy with three big dogs arrived. I was nervous. But I was nervous for nothing.

It seems that dogs who are allowed to go to dog parks have the same conversation, which goes:

“I’m at the dog park!”
“I love the dog park!”
“I have to run at top speed!”

It doesn’t matter that Jigger is a tiny hamster dog. But he did get to try out the agility course.



My mom had to drag him up the ramp the first time. The second time he had no interest in getting close enough to grab so she picked him up and put him here for a photo.

This may be his last brush with the agility course.


As we were finishing the loop around the dog park, a couple with a boxer puppy arrived. The big dogs ran up to him at full speed and started the conversation. Then they ran up to Jigger:

“There’s a new dog!”
“He loves the dog park!”

Then the puppy bounded up. He and Jigger exchanged the standard butt-related greeting and discussed their love of the dog park. Unfortunately, the boxer puppy – well taller than Jigger already – was bouncing up and down. He bounced on his new friend.

And it was on.

Jigger became a ball of fluff and flashing teeth. The puppy became a brindle flash of fur and teeth. There was a tremendous commotion as they went from friend to mortal enemies in a split second.

And then casual acquaintances as their leashes were reapplied.

No one was hurt – I don’t think there was any intention of violence from either of them, it was just a yelling match. But Jigger’s time in the big park was over. We moved him into the section for small dogs so we could all get back to happy and end the visit on a high note.

Jigger three friends came to the fence and tilted their heads. Why was their tiny friend in doggy jail? Jigger muttered something rude under his breath. My mom suggested to him that he didn’t have enough size to back up the big attitude he was developing.

By then the sun was setting and our dinner was settled. Maybe it was time to go home.


Oliver spent most of the weekend drunk with power. While he is not Jigger’s biggest feline cousin, he is definitely the tallest. And he discovered quickly that he was intimidating to the dog. And he liked that.

He also found that Obi needed to be defended. He like that, too.

But then a plot was hatched. Kitten Thunder spent a lot of time under the dining room table where they could watch in relative safety. With our coats hanging over chairs, it was a nice cave.

At one point, Obi crept into the living room. He waited until he was seen by Jigger, then ran full speed back to the table. Jigger, being wired to chase running things, followed. Right into an impressive right hook from Oliver.

I don’t buy for a second that this wasn’t planned.


By Saturday, we were all tired from the three days of fun and food and family. The Boy headed to Denver for a train show. My parents, with Cousin Jigger, headed back to Rock Springs. And Kitten Thunder and I headed to the couch for a well earned nap.




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