William has always shared his home with cats. At first, there was Sam and Aurora (adopted when friends couldn't keep them), then Spot (adopted after he had been abandoned on our street), and now there is just Fred (adopted when his human died). William is very tolerant of cats, which is remarkable because the cats he has had to live with have not been very nice to him.
Fred is especially mean. He has been known to take swipes at William with claws unsheathed. On the rare occasions when I am upstairs and my Velcro dog is downstairs or vice versa, Fred likes to lie on the steps, blocking William's way. Remembering the abuse he has suffered at the paws of Fred, William won't pass him on the stairs. Instead he stands and whimpers until I come and intervene to protect him from Fred and his slashing paws.
Last week as I was working at my desk, William started barking. He was right behind me in the room, but I didn't turn around to see what the problem was. It was approaching 5 o'clock, about time for our afternoon walk, so I figured he was barking because he was ready to go out. I was very close to finishing what I was doing, so I kept writing feverishly, eyes focused on the computer screen, as I said repeatedly, "Just a minute, William. We'll go in a minute"--hoping he wouldn't lose control before I hit "Publish."
When I finally got up from my desk and turned to head downstairs, I realized William wasn't barking to go out at all. William's bed is in the middle of the floor in my office, and there, in the middle of William's bed, was Fred. William was barking because he wanted me to get Fred out of his bed so he could lie down.