Talk to the Paw: Moody Pets

by Karen Duvall

Have you ever noticed how your pets pick up on your moods? If you're feeling down, your beloved dog or cat instinctually knows you need a cuddle. Or if you're cranky, they may become subdued and avoid contact altogether. I'm a generally calm person and rarely get cranky (or if I do it's because of something they did).

When my pets get moody it's usually triggered by... Your guess is as good as mine. Who knows why they get worked up? But they have their ways, and they can carry on entire conversations with each other using just their body language and facial expressions. It's open to interpretation, which I'm always happy to do.

Kinsey, my dog, is typically very happy. Always high energy, always sassy, always wagging her tail, and always bugging the cats. At least that's how she is during the day. With her energy levels on extreme overdrive, she's bound to crash at some point and when she does, it's best to stay out of her way. She doesn't act like the same dog when she's sleepy and she wants nothing to do with anyone, including me. She's quick to snap and I don't think she's even conscious she's doing it. Kinsey is hyper alert when she's tired.

Teddy, Cody & Sammy

Kinsey: Asleep on the bed and snoring loudly.

Sammy (my little tuxedo cat) whispers: Just jump up on the other side of the bed. She won't even know you're there.

Cody (my black & white scaredy-cat): Not gonna do it. No how, no way.

Teddy (my 34-pound Tom cat): Come on, it's no big deal. Leaps up on the bed a few feet from Kinsey, who lifts her head and gives him the stink-eye but is too sleepy to do anything else.


Cody: That's easy for you to say, Ted. You're almost as big as Kinsey is. She doesn't intimidate you.

Sammy: Ah, come on, Cody. We need to stick together for body heat. It's below zero outside.

Cody: Teeth chattering. I'm plenty warm enough, thank you.

Sammy: Your gums are blue.

Cody: Backs up toward the bedroom door and shakes his head. No.

Sammy: Fine. Go ahead and freeze your nuts off. See if I care.

Cody: I don't have any nuts.

Sammy: Pauses. Oh, yeah. I forgot.

Cody: It's your funeral. Turns around and trots down the hall.

Sammy: Sighs. Coward. Hey, Ted, cover me. I'm coming up there.

Teddy: Yawns. What do you expect me to do?

Sammy: Give Kinsey a good smack on the nose if she goes after me.

Teddy: Hesitates and starts grooming himself. Sure thing.

Sammy: Narrows her eyes. I don't trust you.

Teddy: Stretches and lays on his side, yawning again. Why not?

Sammy: You don't exactly look ready to defend me.

Teddy: Not my problem.

Sammy: You're so lazy.

Teddy: Yeah? Tell me something I don't know.

Sammy: Crouches and prepares to spring. Here goes.

Sammy leaps onto the bed. Kinsey lurches up and barks then snaps at Sammy, barely missing her tail. Sammy hisses and smacks Kinsey hard on the nose once, twice, three times. Kinsey blinks, grunts, then lays back down on the bed.

Sammy: Breathing hard. Damn, I hate it when she does that.

Teddy: Yawns.

Sammy: Okay, move over, fat-boy. I need some body heat. Curls up next to Teddy.

Teddy: Bites Sammy's ear.

Sammy: Hisses. Hey!

Teddy glares and Sammy hisses again, then jumps off the bed and runs out of the room.

Teddy: Looks like we have the whole bed all to ourselves.

Kinsey: Stretches and yawns. I thought she'd never leave.


Karen Duvall is an award-winning author with 4 published novels and 2 novellas. Harlequin Luna published her Knight’s Curse series last year, and her post apocalyptic novella, Sun Storm, was released in Luna’s ‘Til The World Ends anthology in January 2013.

Karen lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and four incredibly spoiled pets. She is currently working on a new contemporary fantasy romance series.

Karen Duvall
Karen Duvall is an award-winning author with 5 published novels and 2 novellas. Harlequin Luna published her Knight’s Curse series in 2011 and 2012, and her post apocalyptic novella, Sun Storm, was released in Luna’s ‘Til The World Ends anthology in January 2013.

Karen lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and four incredibly spoiled pets. Writing under the pen name Cory Dale, she released the first book in a new urban fantasy series, Demon Fare, in December 2014. More about Karen on her website & GoodReads.

6 thoughts on “Talk to the Paw: Moody Pets

  1. You made me laugh out loud again, Karen. I love the thought of Teddy jumping up there in spite of Kinsey’s snooze…and Cody being too much of a scaredy cat to try. Every one of your Talk to the Paw posts makes me want to add an animal or two to my household….but I’m afraid Katie Cat would hurt them. 😀

    • Thanks, Pat! Ted is fearless, and so is Sammy, but her small size limits her bravado. Teddy often commandeers Kinsey’s crate as his own personal sleeping quarters. I have to coax him out so that Kinsey can go to bed at night.

  2. You’re so funny, Karen. I read your posts and automatically think of the antics of my two dogs. Unlike Pat, however, I wonder how I can decrease my surplus population! 😉

    • Thanks, Julie! I’d love to add more kitties to my menagerie, but 3 is probably enough for now. Though cats are fairly easy to care for, they still take a lot of time and attention. And mine tend to have, uhm, special needs. 🙂

    • Thanks, Julie. 🙂 Ted’s a bruiser, but he’s such a sweet kitty. His purr is so loud and deep it sounds like the growl of little dog. My sister-in-law has a little pug-chihuahua mix and when it growls I think it’s Teddy purring.

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