Cheeky has never met a cat she couldn’t befriend. The 14-year-old pup is an expert when it comes to dealing with them — thanks to her laid-back attitude and the many foster kittens her mom, Liz Heck, takes in.
But recently, Cheeky encountered one cat who proved to be a challenge.
About six months ago, a stray cat started visiting Cheeky’s family’s front porch to dine on the free food that Heck leaves out for homeless animals in the neighborhood. As time went on, the stray cat got bolder and decided to investigate the rest of Heck’s property.
“She climbed over the fence into our backyard,” Heck told The Dodo. “My wife went to let Cheeky outside, not knowing the cat was there, and the cat got scared and scratched Cheeky on the nose.”
Both animals were shocked by the run-in. But Heck and her wife knew the cat was coming around for a reason — she needed a safe place to stay.
“We then slowly introduced Cheeky to the cat, letting her know that Cheeky won’t hurt her,” Heck said. “Now, [the cat] has not left our backyard or porch hardly at all the past five days.”
Heck hadn’t realized just how close Cheeky and the stray cat, now named Sushi, had become until she walked outside one day and found the two animals snuggling happily together in the sun. It was clear that Cheeky had worked her magic, winning over the nervous cat.
“[Sushi] loves hanging out with Cheeky when she comes outside,” Heck said. “So now we put cat food on the back porch for her and put a heating pad in a box on the back porch, where she sleeps at night.”
“Cheeky is too big for the heating pad, but she always just comes outside to lay on her dog bed or in the grass when it’s sunny, and the cat loves to rub up on her and let Cheeky clean her head,” she added.
Sushi already appears to be spayed and “ear tipped,” but Heck plans on getting her vaccinated when she becomes more comfortable around humans.
“We make sure she stays warm and has fresh food and water,” Heck wrote on Reddit. “I plan on getting her flea prevention and taking her to the vet for vaccines since she’s decided my back porch is her house and my dog is her dog.”
Sushi is warming up to the idea of having a family and will come inside at night when it gets too cold. While the stray cat still enjoys her independence, it’s clear she appreciates having someone to snuggle and play with.
And for Cheeky, the more cat friends, the better.