“She decided my back porch is her home and my dog is her dog.”
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 his laid-back attitude and the many foster kittens his mother, Liz Heck, takes in.
But recently, Cheeky met a cat that turned out to be a challenge.
About six months ago, a stray cat started visiting Cheeky’s family porch to dine on the free food Heck leaves for homeless animals in the neighborhood. Over time, the stray got bolder and decided to investigate the rest of Heck’s property.
“She climbed over the fence in our backyard,” Heck said. “My wife went to leave 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 his wife knew the cat was coming for a reason—she needed a safe place to stay.
“We then slowly introduced Cheeky to the cat, letting him know that Cheeky wouldn’t hurt him,” Heck said. “Now, [le chat] hardly left our garden or porch for the past five days.”
Heck hadn’t realized how close Cheeky and the stray cat, now named Sushi, had become until she was walking outside one day and found the two animals happily snuggling together in the sunshine. It was clear that Cheeky had worked his magic, winning over the nervous cat.
“[Sushi] loves hanging out with Cheeky when she’s out,” 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 comes out to lay on her dog’s bed or in the grass when the weather is nice, and the cat loves to rub up against her and let Cheeky clean her head” , she added.
Sushi already appears to be neutered and “at her wit’s end,” but Heck plans to have her vaccinated when she’s more comfortable around humans.
“We make sure she stays warm and has fresh food and water,” Heck wrote on Reddit. “I plan to warn her of fleas and take her to the vet for shots because she has decided that my back porch is her home and my dog is her dog.”
Sushi warms up to the idea of having a family and will come inside at night when it gets too cold. Although the stray cat still values her independence, it’s clear that she appreciates having someone to cuddle up and play with.
And for the cheeky ones, the more cat friends, the better.
To learn more about Cheeky and her foster cats, you can follow her and her mom on Instagram.