Before I get into that, let me backup and start with Sunday. On the eve of the first day of class, my anxiety was mounting due to my inability to decide who to bring to class, Nahum or Theo. So, I consulted with a previous graduate and my anxiety quickly calmed. (Thank you Lisa!) She suggested I not choose either-or but to bring both, which is what I did. Nahum was my starting cat and Theo was second string.
The class consisted of five dogs and my cat. Nahum was stressed. The combination of the two super-huge-giant dogs, three medium sized dogs and the unfamiliar space caused him a great deal of anxiety. About midway through the class Nahum was quite happy to turn things over to the backup cat.
Theo wasn't phased by the enormity of the two canine beasts nor the new space. He took it all in stride, spending his class time sprawled in my lap purring and occasionally meowing when he wanted the stalled petting hand to stop resting and resume petting.
On the ride home Nahum clearly communicated his displeasure with the whole experience and I realized then that he is not ready for such a class. As I am not a proponent of torture of animals, I can not willfully do something that creates that much stress on my Nahum. I don't know if he will ever be comfortable enough for such an endeavor but that's okay. I love him for his delightful way of being and his deliciously soft fur.
So, congratulations to Theo - he gets promoted to first string and Nahum gets to forgo the working life awhile longer.
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