In 1983, I was touring as a storyteller/musician with 2 other friends. My cat Tigger toured with us (more stories about him in the future - recipient of my World's Smartest Cat award). One night somewhere in the midwest we stayed at a motel with a diner in front of the units. I noticed a gathering of felines behind the diner's kitchen door, feasting on leftovers in an almost perfect circle. As I wondered at this phenomenon, I saw a small, shaggy, scruffy-looking dog marshalling the troops - if one cat got out of line, she would nudge them back into the circle. If someone made a grab for another's supper, she was there to break up the fracas and restore order. It was amazing. Naturally we dubbed her "Sarge," and greeted her tail wags with enthusiastic pats.
When we were all abed and Tigger was curled under the covers with me, we heard a scratching at the door. I opened it up, and to my surprise, in walked Sarge and plopped herself beside my bed. Following behind her came 14 cats, who marched in and made themselves at home. Tigger at first took this all in stride, accustomed as he was for my penchant for taking in strays and finding them homes (after all, his own mother was a stray). But when 2 of the younger cats thought it was time to play with my top of the dresser stuff and disturb his beauty sleep, he sat up, walked to the end of the bed and STARED. When that didn't work, he added his HISS. They took the hint, and were soon snuggled up for the night. As for Sarge, she snored volubly by my bedside the whole night long (not unlike my husband, come to think of it), keeping me awake (again, like my hubby), interspersing the snores with little squeals and snorts. Her teeth stuck out of her face, so her mouth didn't quite close. Tigger looked at her then me in disgust and crawled under the covers to the bottom of the bed, where he remained until morning.
At dawn, Sarge snorted and stretched and walked about nuzzling the cats awake. I treated them all to cans of cat food (Tigger stayed in hiding), then ushered them out, with Sarge in the rear this time. Soon we were packed and ready to head on to the morning's performance. When we began to drive away, Tigger leaped onto the back seat and looked intently behind. There was Sarge, racing after our car as fast as her little legs could carry her. I asked Tigger, "should we take on a hitchhiker - with the motel's permission, of course?" He looked at me in disdain and replied with his eyes, "Why have a dog come along, when you already have a CAT?" Or maybe he was just saying, "Don't you dare..." I sadly watched the funny little gal recede into the distance, and wished her and her cat troop luck, love, and lots of warm dinners followed by sympathetic motel guests. Tigger crawled into my lap, ready for his pre-show nap.
This is a true story. Our old dog marshalls our cats only when they get rough with each other, but never in a perfect circle, and he would eat their meals rather than monitor them, given half a chance!