Sunday, April 10, 2011

Benny's Back in Town

On Friday, after a five month absence, Benny made a return visit to our house. The cats received him in their usual manner - Zephyr with distance, and Skittles with a "Go ahead, make my day" kind of attitude. They all pretty much picked up where they left off last November.

None of you fine folks (except for Benny's dad, Frank) were following my blog back in the day when Benny first came around in the summer of 2007, so I thought I'd re-post my account of his first visit to my house. He was 6 months old at the time. He's now 4 years of age. The photos are from various other posts, all taken since that premier visit. I hope you enjoy them.

August, 2007:

This weekend we had a visitor. Having never left his part of the world before, he braved the
endless hour-long trip across the city, secured in his crate.

long drive

His arrival was announced by the alarming sounds of his tiny body flinging itself against the the walls of his carrier. As it turned out, the rackety disturbance was a
frenzied mere tail-wagging. He had energy to burn, and it appeared he might spontaneously combust if he couldn't explore his new surroundings RIGHT AWAY!

Benny is a six month old Jack Russell
Terror Terrier. To human feline eyes, he's kind of like a large gerbil on speed. My cats are familiar with, and tolerant of the neighbourhood dogs when one or another of them come to visit. They each deal with canine intrusion curiosity in their own way.

Zephyr, who is a
yellow-bellied cautious cat, tends to steer clear, and hide strategically place himself just beyond Benny's view - up on the fridge, or on a chair neatly tucked under the table.

zephyr closeup sunlight

For the most part, with Benny about, he stayed out of reach except when a bit of bird activity drew him to look out the back door. By then Benny was
mildly less energetic exhausted and only had to be restrained and muzzled told to sit and stay.

Skittles, on the other paw, is
a shit-disturber more adventurous, so he tended to be rather in-your-face visible and responsive to our interloper guest.


He loved nothing better than to punctuate Benny's
incessant playful barking with an occasional hiss-lunge glance, which would send Benny yelping and running for his life.


It was as if the very teeth that Skitty bared to him were actually buried deep within his flesh. He was most
yappy brave until the object of his terror showed signs of life.

Benny: WOOF (I'm so intimidating)! WOOF WOOF (You're terrified)! WOOF WOOF WOOF (I am SO the boss of you). Arf (Why are you looking at me?). Whimper (Make the bad cat stop glaring at me).

Skitty: Hisssss

Benny: YELP (I've been hit. I'm a goner)!

Skitty: (leaving the room): Mrrrow (Time to pick on Zephyr).

Benny: (chasing after him): WOOF!!! (I win! I am puppy, hear me roar!)


Poor Benny. He didn't really want to intimidate upset the cats, he only wanted to play. This workout, combined with catnip for Skitty made for a relaxing afternoon. He and Benny almost tolerated each other became quite content in each others' presence.

Like most
hyper-active toddlers energetic babies, Benny slept well that night. I'm sure that in his dreams he was successful at either permanently banishing a frightened Skitty, or winning him over as his friend. I'm thinking that the latter might not be impossible one day, when Benny matures some, and settles down.

Until then, Skitty will remain top dog at our house.


ADD (Attention Deficit Doggies) JRT's (Jack Russell Terriers) are very difficult to photograph, since they rarely stay still for a decent shot. Benny's ability to scamper just outside of camera-range places him in the company of other hard-to-capture creatures such as Leprechauns, Sasquatch and the Loch Ness monster.

Skitty's nemesis, Benny. Does he look demonic enough capable of harming an innocent cat?

No creatures were harmed in the making of this weekend. All scars currently present on individual animals pre-existed at the start of this event and in the nearly-four years which have followed, nothing much has changed.


Linda at To Behold The Beauty said...

This is hilarious! I LOVE Benny posts and have missed them lately. Your photography is amazing and really sets off the story. You should write a series of children's books featuring Benny and Skittles and illustrated with your photographs. I'd buy one.

That last shot of Benny is perfect. I'm sure Frank treasures it.

Anonymous said...

What an absolutely hilarious and adorable post. Your shots are fabulous and really capture the energy of a JRT!

Glo said...

Love the edited format of your post :) The photos are amazing. The eyes on Benny in the first one tell the tale...and the cats definitely look the part of top dog! The last one of Benny is purely adorable!

ADRIAN said...

Great pictures and a grand story.

Maggie May said...

I have always had a soft spot for Benny and he and the cats make wonderful photos.
Benny isn't much bigger than a cat..... come to think of it!
Maggie X

Nuts in May

sheril benedict said...

Wheuu... Great post !! n nice pic . its seems like benny is aggressive !!

Bob Bushell said...

Nice photos. Is he going to stay with you?

Anyes said...

It's the first time I read about Benny and I love it ;-) Thank you Hilary

Sueann said...

Great photos!! And Benny is quite the character!! Love it!

sage said...

What great photos and story... My dog doesn't like cameras, so I rarely post pictures. I think he is really afraid of the flash (reminds him of lightning) but he's skidish even of non-flash cameras and even cell phones pointed his way.

Nick said...

He's a Jack Russell, right? I wonder how many people call those dogs "Jack" and think it's terribly orginal? I've had wire haired terriers all my life, and they do NOT like cats. Fun piece Hilary.

Pauline said...

Do JRTs ever mature? I wish I had half that little dog's energy and zest! This whole piece made me grin :)

Brian Miller said...

ha love the one of him jumping over the cat...glad he came back by...sounds like a rather fun first meeting...

CiCi said...

Five months is a long time when you are missing someone. So glad Benny decided to visit.

CorvusCorax12 said...

how cute...i got a good chuckle

Tabor said...

The photos are so delightful. Benny is the cutest dog. Even the cats are sweet looking (and I am allergic to cats!)

Anonymous said...

awhhh ~ great action shots :)

Althea said...

Aww :)

Out on the prairie said...

That last shot is precious. I had a friend who would have me bring a dog over just to straighten out his cats.

June said...

I had not seen Benny-as-baby until now. What a little whiskery babydoll!

I well know the cattitude that can overcome nearly any dog's enthusiasm and curiosity. MiMau's got it in spades.

A great story.

ds said...

I missed Benny. Where has he been?
Such great photos--especially the last (amazing how angelic they can look when they want to, isn't it)!

Looks like it will be another exciting spring at your house!

Ruth Hiebert said...

Benny is adorable.Cute story.

Dianne said...

BEST post ever! ;)

I love how you captured Zephyr and Skittles so perfectly
truly demonstrates their feelings

and Benny!!!!!
I love that little guy

Siren wishes to tell Skittles that he is the coolest warrior cat ever

DJan said...

Great story! And you're right: this was my first time to learn about Benny. I really like that next to last picture with him in a smiling blur. He's a keeper! Has he mellowed at all since then?

Gary's third pottery blog said...

Oh Bennie! Gosh, the pic of him as a blur with the snarling cat, priceless!

Friko said...

Aww, sweeties all of them.
I bet they are a lovely houseful when they are asleep.

So, how's it going, any fur flying or casualties yet?

Anonymous said...

This is so funny - I suspect our Belle has some JRT in her, so I know what you mean about trying to photograph them - you did an awesome job, though! Great photos of the kitties and depiction of the chemistry over the weekend between them all!

Anonymous said...

Funny!!! Would love to have a Jack Russell one day, but I'm afraid all that energy overload in the house would cause me a heart attack. They are hilarious dogs.


Betsy Banks Adams said...

Hi Hilary, Great photos of Benny and the kitties... Even after four years, I think the kitties would win that battle!!!! ha

Benny is a cutie though. I love that one picture of him looking up at you with the sweetest expression...

Thanks for sharing.

ellen abbott said...

oh my gosh! he's no bigger than the cat.

Kristina P. said...

Oh, that is too funny!

I'm not really a cat fan, so I am rooting for Benny!

OmaLindasOldeBaggsandStuftShirts said...

Benny and Skitty have doubles here at my house. Ellie Mae and SJ Bunnifer.
Your photos are extraordinary, especially because your subjects weren't exactly just posing. Great story. I love this.
The Olde Bagg

Rosaria Williams said...

I don't know which part of this post I liked better, the pictures, the back story, the dialogue? So much fun in your house!

Nancy said...

This is so darn cute, I want to go right out and find a Benny & Skittles! I do admit to having puppy fever at the moment. I'm trying to resist, but it is soooo hard. It must be spring fever.

Unknown said...

So cute! Rules of order must be established.

Frank Baron said...

Nice blast from the past. :)

Well, as we now know, Ben and Skitty are practically brothers-from-another-mother. Ish. It's always a treat to see them interact the way they do.

I love that shot of pure glee as Ben stays one step ahead of Skitty's revenge. :)

holdingmoments said...

Great post Hilary. Raised some much needed laughs. :)

She Who Carries Camera said...

Okay, now all we need are the racoons to get in on the action again!!

lime said...

well, even of he's a challenge you do a great job of capturing him! the one of skitty hissing and benny running off just makes me giggle. benny looks like he's enjoying the chase actually.

Elizabeth Grimes said...

This was fun! I laughed at your descriptions. :) Those really are great photos as well.

messymimi said...

Read this to the family -- everyone laughed.

Glad Benny is there again.

Lisa said...

This is priceless. I laughed out loud. Love Love this post.
and I agree so much energy.

Karen said...

Lol....that last picture tells a thousand words!! :)

Unknown said...

Cute! I love how animals interact. Like the dialogue too!

Dawn said...

Absolutely hilarious!!!! It was a beautifully illustrated story:)

(Those are quite the teeth on that beautiful kitty;))

Midlife Roadtripper said...

Hahaha! Have to love that cat. I've heard "Wishbone" dogs are most active. Leaves me out.

Mage said...

Love, love, love this entry and the not at all intrusive photographs. LOL

SandyCarlson said...

That post made my whole weekend. You have me laughing and crying and smiling at the same time. That first photo is just a hoot. "How dare you restrain me?" the eyes say.

Benny is my hero. I love how he totally who he is and how you capture that.

He really does need his own talk show.

Hilary said...

• Well thanks, Linda. I've been thinking that I might put some time and effort into doing one or two of those self-published photos books available in so many places. Maybe over the summer. I'll keep Benny and Skittles in mind. :)

• Thanks, Lady Fi. I appreciate the kind words but does anything really capture the energy of a JRT? ;)

• Glo, thanks kindly. I'm glad you enjoyed the post. There have been several Benny posts over the past few years. Perhaps I'll resurrect a few more over time. :)

• Thank you, Adrian. :)

• Maggie May, thank you. You're right - Benny isn't much larger than the average feline and my cats are fully aware of that advantage. ;)

• Welcome, Sheril and thanks for the kind words. Benny is non-stop play but he's not aggressive in a bad way. He's never cruel to the cats and always pretty gentle. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Bob, he's a weekend visitor - along with his Dad. :)

• Thank you, Anyes. I'm glad you enjoyed it. :)

• SueAnn, thanks very much. He's a character and a half.. and then some. :)

• Thanks, Sage. That's too bad your pooch is fearful of cameras but understandable if he associates them with storms. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Thanks, Nick. He is indeed a JRT and generally terriers are not fond of cats but Benny truly does love Skitty (and other cats/kittens he's encountered). They have a lot of fun together despite the look on Skitty's face. The cat actually seeks him out to engage in this play fight. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Pauline, that's a good question.. and a valid point all in one small piece of rhetoric. ;) I'm glad you enjoyed the post. :)

• Brian, he's a crazy little dog and it shows in everything he does. He just loves life. :)

• Thanks, TechnoBabe. You and me, both. Benny and Frank, both. ;)

• Thanks, Twain. I'm glad you enjoyed it. :)

• Tabor, it's a good thing allergies aren't passed along through computers (like a virus). ;) Thanks for stopping by. I'm glad you enjoyed the post. :)

• Christine, thank you. :)

• Althea, thanks for the visit. Grab a chocolate on your way out. ;)

• Thanks, Steve. But what about a cat could possibly need straightening? ;)

• June, you've still never really seen him as a baby since most of these photos were actually taken since that was written. He was an adorable little thing, but I never got to see him until he was 6 months old. I'm glad you enjoyed the post. :)

• DS, Benny has been in "time out"... ish. ;) And truly, he's a wee demon but with the heart of an angel. He's a great dog. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Thanks, Ruth. :)

• Thank you, Dianne. What's not to love about Benny, eh? Let Siren know that Skitty would be happy to share his warrior secrets with him. He's anxious for allies. ;)

• DJan.. the words "JRT" and "mellow" just don't belong together. He has actually mellowed a tad, overall but not when it comes to my cat. They engage each other on a regular basis. There's a lot of hissing and scuffling sounds but overall, they're happy to play fight. And nobody ever gets seriously hurt. They're a blast together. Thanks for stopping by. :)

Hilary said...

• Gary, thanks. I'm glad you liked it. :)

• Friko, they are indeed sweeties. No casualties and lots of flying fur. It's kind of cute when they're asleep (this would be naps as Benny is crated overnight when he's here). Benny will inch his way up to a sleeping Skitty and gently nip his ear. Skitty will ignore that. Benny tries again a little harder each time until Skitty hisses at him and then the dance begins. They're quite hilarious to watch.

• Barbara, thanks so much for the very kind words. I'm so glad you enjoyed the post. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Di, they are certainly high maintenance in the sense that they need a lot of exercise lest they drive you crazy. Funny dogs, though and very intelligent. Thanks for the visit. :)

• Betsy, thanks very kindly. I think it's a draw between the canine and the feline. They both like to engage one another and since they're doing what they deem as fun, they each come out the winners. I'm glad you enjoyed the post. :)

• Ellen, that's true but he's WAY more powerful. He can dance circles around them.. and does. :)

• Kristina, I'll forgive you for not being a cat fan. Good thing it's not really a cat/dog fight. In the end, they're each quite pleased with themselves. :)

• Linda, I'd love to see your Ellie Mae and SJ Bunnifer in action, too. Thanks for the kind words. I'm glad you enjoyed the post. :)

• Rosaria, thanks very kindly. It's never a dull moment with these two. :)

• Thanks, Nancy. Puppy fever is dangerous and results in sleepless nights and wet floors. But so worth it. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Indeed, Susan. And they're meant to be changed at will. ;) Thanks for the visit. :)

• Frank, from the past and ongoing. Not too much has changed since their early days together. But they're always fun to watch. My favourite Benny manouever is that lunge, spin, "bite my bum" thing that he does. One day, Skitty is going to oblige him and we'll be back to yelps again. For a moment, anyway. It was good to see the wee brat again, and especially his dad. :)

• Thank you, Keith. I'm so glad to hear that. Keep smiling. :)

• Jillsy, funny you should mention them. The lady who raises the raccoons has two rescue cats, too. About a month ago she looked out the back door at night to see one of her cats playing with Binky, the youngest of the raccoon rescues. They were chasing each other all around the back yard under a bright, full moon. She said it was a moment she'd cherish forever. Too sweet. :)

• Michelle, there is no mistake about it. He absolutely loves the chase and being chased. He smiles all the way through the game. Skitty may hiss at him but he's enjoying it too. How else would one explain his coming around to seek Benny out to play/fight? Animals are so amusing. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Elizabeth, thanks very kindly. I had fun doing this post, back when I first tackled it a few years ago. :)

• Thanks very much, MessyMimi. I am too. :)

• Lisa, thanks so much. I'm glad you got a good laugh out of their antics. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Karen, yes it does.. and then some. :)

• Wendy, thanks kindly. I'm glad you enjoyed it. :)

• Dawn, thanks so much for the kind words. Very much appreciated. Skitty has pretty decent choppers for an old guy. Thanks for the visit. :)

• MJ, they are incredibly active dogs. No matter how tired he might be, he'd spring into action to chase something. He wipes me out just looking at him. ;)

• Ha, Maggie! I'm glad you enjoyed it. :)

• Sandy, thank you so much, my friend. I'm thrilled that this post pleased you. Don't those eyes just say so much? You've got Benny pegged. He most definitely is who he is - and proud of it! Maybe we should work on getting him a podcast. ;)

Unknown said...

What a beautiful dog and the Cats too! Alot of good fun here!!

Dave said...

Loved it Hilary. Your crossings-out made the story! Well done! Also loved the faces of your cats. I can tell that they are loved by you. It shows in a cat's face. That Benny is a character too - Dave

Kate said...

Well Benny and the cat look so good ! Have fun with your new visitor!
Ideal Pet
What do you have to say about your pet?

Shrinky said...

Oh Hilary, I just loved, loved loved this post! You captured some amazing shots, and the commentary is hysterical - thanks for making me laugh. Benny and his feline friends are simply adorable!

Unknown said...

This wonderful post and its photos have made my day Hilary! I have a toy poodle that has that same kind of kenetic energy as Benny. It took the household cat, Roscoe, a couple of weeks to realize that Lexi only wanted to play with him so that now, they actually play together!

Cricket said...

LOL. I have enjoyed many of your posts, but I don't think I've ever laughed so hard at one. You've used the strikethrough to wonderful effect, I think.

And I think the perfect accompaniment would have to be All The Cats Join In, by Benny Goodman.

photowannabe said...

Thanks for the hilarious repost. I'm glad I had a chance to read it. Hilary you have such a way with words and your pictures are terrific.
It seems life is never dull for a JRT.

Reb said...

Wow, is he four already! Great photos and story.

MaggieGem said...

Fabulous post, so nice to see the beginnings of Benny! Great shots and descriptions.

Daryl said...

I would love to have Benny come visit and meet Rose .. she constantly reminds Jack she is the Queen of the house and he's not to talk to either Toonman or me when she is present or can hear him being spoken to .. or maybe Skitty needs to come teach Rose how to be more tolerant ... in any case I am loving all these pix

Sandra said...

Love this post, Hilary. And the pictures are great. I especially like the one of Benny and Skittles wrestling. I always enjoy posts about Benny -- what a card. :)

Cloudia said...

One of the best blog posts EVER-

What captures!
What subjects!

What heart.

The web is SO big; lucky I found your wonderful blog.

Vandaag beste post!

Warm Aloha from Waikiki

Comfort Spiral



Liz Mays said...

How unbelievably cute! I love the story of their frenemyfriendship!

You are such a great photographer. I love, love, love seeing what you post!

NotaSupermom said...

Love the pet pictures. I've wanted a JRT for about fifteen years now.

I didn't get one when I had little kids and I put it off now because I'm not sure if I want a dog that's smarter than me.

Mental P Mama said...

Oh how I love this pup!!!

Indrani said...

Very funny, so well narrated. :)
The last shot is precious, love that look on his face.

Anonymous said...

Ha ha, playful Benny and fierce skittles

Cheryl Kohan said...

Soooo funny! I do love your pets...thanks for sharing them with us.

Years ago we had a Lhasa Apso named Hildy and a tabby cat named Jane who were best friends. That was fun.

Betty Manousos said...

Absolutely hilarious post! How did I miss this?

I can't stop looking at your photos.

They are gorgeous!!

Shammickite said...

Go get him, Skitty! Make him beg for mercy! Show him who's really the boss!

Sandi McBride said...

That Benny is one adorable little terror! I just wanted to cuddle him up and kiss his face!!! Thanks for sharing this with us Hilary.

Hilary said...

• Thanks, Michael. Nice to see you drop by. :)

• Thanks so much, Dave. You read catface well. ;) They're very lovable cats and therefore well-loved. They all have so much personalty.. the cats and Benny. Who could resist? Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Thank you, Kate. :)

• Shrinky, thank so kindly. I'm so glad you enjoyed the post. It pleases me to know that it made you laugh. :)

• Jane, thanks so much. It's always fun to see the creature figure out how others play. And it's heartwarming to see them take to one another. It's cool that you have similar dynamics going on at your place. :)

• Thanks very much, Cricket. I'm truly pleased that you got a laugh out of it. Thanks for the soundtrack.. of course it works well. :)

• Sue, thanks very kindly. I'm glad you enjoyed the post. You're right about life for and with a JRT. :)

• Thanks, Reb. Yes, Benny is almost an old man now. ;)

• MaggieGem, thank you kindly. Very much appreciated. :)

• Daryl, if Rose thinks she's queen of the house, she'd probably intimidate Benny. If he doesn't know his sparring partner, he becomes quite the scardy cat. ;) Thanks for the kind words. :)

• Sandra, thank you. He makes it easy to present a fun post. With Benny, what you see is what you get. :)

• Cloudia, thank you kindly. Such a lovely thing to say. That means so much to me. :)

• Thanks, BlueViolet. I like the term frenemy. It works for them. Thank you so much for the kind words. Very much appreciated. :)

• Nota, thank you. You made me laugh with your reasoning behind not getting a JRT. They are, in truth, a lot of work but that pays off with a lot of fun. And yes, they're very intelligent but they love us lowly creatures anyway. ;)

• MPM, how could you not? ;)

• Thanks, Indrani. We see that look a lot. :)

• Artswebshow, you've got that right.. almost. ;)

• Cheryl, thanks so much. It's always a joy to see them interact as long as they're not trying to kill each other. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Betty, thank you so kindly. It would appear that you haven't missed it at all. Your kind words are very much appreciated. :)

• Shammie, he doesn't need encouragement! ;)

• Sandi, he is indeed every bit as huggable and kissable as you'd imagine. Thanks very much for stopping by. :)

gz said...

just here via Gary's pottery blog.

Your double speaks/thinks are just right!!

abb said...

He is just adorable!

Claudya Martinez said...

This is my first time meeting Benny, but I love him.

Linda said...

As you know, I love Benny! It was great to read about his early days. He is such a rascal, but in a very good way!

Hilary said...

• Welcome, GZ and thanks so much for stopping by via Gary's blog. Your kind words are very much appreciated. :)

• TSannie, I won't argue that. Thanks for the visit. :)

• U-Mami, you and many others. What's not to love? ;)

• Linda, he's a lot of fun. I'm glad you enjoyed the post. :)

Kerri Farley said...

I ~ Love ~ Benny!

Hilary said...

Welcome to that club, Kerri. :)