The “alpha dog” in Mel Stack’s family is actually a cat named Pirate.
Stack has been on the board of the Halifax Humane Society for the past 25 years and the president for the past 20, a volunteer position that almost requires pet ownership. Eight years ago he got a call from the director of the humane society to come see a cat, who was adopted and named Pirate for his personality.
Pirate shares “his home” with another cat, Angel, and two dogs, Jimmy and Austin.
I was lured into this story by a simple question: “Would you like to write about a cat that thinks it’s a dog?”
Now my Samantha has a “dogesque” trait – she comes when called. I cannot say the same for the two canines in my home. But Pirate takes it a step further – she goes for walks with Stack and his pups. She doesn’t wear a leash, she does have cat pride, but she will weave under and around the dogs as they walk and sniff their way down the street.
The route takes unexpected turns when Pirate is along.
“She is very respectful of other cats’ territories,” Stack said. “There are certain points he won’t go past.”
Pirate also determines how long the walk will be, whether the dogs are ready to go home or not. Pirate will simply stop, sit and meow when he feels the group has had enough exercise.
The cat has also taken it upon himself to check in on neighbor Frieda Green from time to time, something Stack attributes to the fact that Green has no dogs or cats and Pirate gets 100% of her attention.
“He is definitely the alpha dog,” Stack said.