How two lifelong, committed dog people – and their three dogs – ended up with a cat named Newt

Guest Post from Maggie Marton author of


newtMy husband, John, spent most of his life afraid of cats. When he took a job in Louisiana, he moved down months before I could follow with our three dogs. He found an apartment, settled in, and started his new job.
Then, one night he called and said, “There is a kitten in my living room.”
“A what?”
“A kitten. A little black kitt… oh, no. She’s looking at me.”
Earlier that night, sitting in his apartment, he heard a soft mewing outside. He opened the door, and there she was: a tiny black cat with sparkling green eyes. She waltzed into his apartment, and made herself at home. John spent the next few months terrified of the kitten, who he named Newt after the character from Aliens.
Later, I joined him down south, along with our three dogs, Emmett, Lucas, and Cooper. Our dogs all have their own, ahem, quirks. We predicted that Cooper, who struggles mightily with impulse control, would have the hardest time adjusting to a cat in the house, while Lucas, who loves babies and small puppies, would adore her.
Emmett, we knew, would pretend she didn’t exist. That prediction we got right. The other two? Exactly opposite!
Cooper and Newt instantly took to each other, wrestling and running around the house, then settling in for a nap side-by-side. Whenever she walks in the room, Cooper wags his tail. He licks her nose; she paws at his feet and tail.
newtandlucasLucas, though, wanted to eat her. He has struggled with fear, and we suspect that he was terrified of her from the get-go. Regardless, we spent the next six months working through a series of desensitizing and counter-conditioning exercises to, first, deter him from eating her, and, second, encourage the herd to coexist peacefully. We didn’t want or expect Lucas and Newt to become friends. We just wanted them to be in the same room without him lunging and snapping or her swiping and hissing.
Thankfully, it worked. It took a ton of time and patience, but all four animals are sleeping peacefully scattered around my office as I type this!
And, it turns out, introducing Newt to the dogs was good for her waistline. More on that in my next post!
I’m so grateful to SlimKitty for letting me share Newt’s story!

Maggie Marton
Guest Post from Maggie Marton, author of
Maggie Marton is an award-winning pet writer who focuses on the animal-human bond in her writing and her advocacy. She also writes the dog blog

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  1. What a lovely story, cats and dogs can co mingle, so glad it worked out for you and my husband is not a cat person either and he is the first one to pick up MK and bring her in from outside.
    Sand Spring Chesapeakes recently posted…FitDog Friday~Wet Wubba FunMy Profile

  2. What a great story! Newt is a special kitty to win over the previously scared-of-cats husband and bond so well with the dogs. Good for the them for spending the time to help all get along. I know that’s not easy.
    Annie recently posted…Sunshine GoodnessMy Profile

  3. Great story! Some dogs and cats really can’t get along, but most of the time they have no problem and actually become friends.
    Emma recently posted…Mix and Match Fun For FourMy Profile

  4. Great story! Thanks for sharing on the pet patrade!
    xx husky hugz
    Jenna,Mark “HuskyCrazed” Drady recently posted…I see huskies in your future! – Pet PsychicMy Profile

  5. What a lovely story, a really great post!!! Thanks effurso much fur sharing 🙂

    Happy weekend

    Epic Purrs

    Basil & Co xox
    Basil recently posted…The Pet Parade #51 BLOG HOP Hosted by Rascal & Rocco Co-Hosted by Basil & Jan’s Funny Farm & Love is Being Owned By A Husky & Barking from the BayouMy Profile

  6. Every family that knits needs a cat! :-). You guys are awesome.

  7. I love that John was initially afraid of Newt, but that she is now a huge part of the family!
    Jan K recently posted…Give Cancer the Paw – Paying TributeMy Profile

    • I know – great story huh?
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