Ya know, I never used to believe dogs could express what I thought of as entirely human emotions. In the past, I've always been able to attribute my [Rainbow] dogs' reactions to various stimuli to perfectly animalistic (survival, in my mind) responses.
Now, however, we have a cat in the house frequently. And Magnum appears to be…well...jealous. He appears to hate it if the cat attempts to get my attention. He'll put himself in the middle of the cat and me and take a good slapping (cat's claws extended), rather than let the cat get any closer to me. He exhibits no growling or attempt to defend himself, he just won't let the cat get any closer.
He ignores the cat (except for a good sniffing when it comes in from outside--which the cat tolerates) otherwise, except for guarding his food from the cat (although it appears to be okay for him to eat the cat's food--which the cat allows with no problem).
Is it only because I am his provider? Is he trying to assert his dominance over the cat passively? He doesn't make a defensive move in this situation, just puts himself between me and the cat as quickly as he can.
This boy, out of all the dogs I've had, is my heart dog, but it just seems real weird to me that although there's no food involved, he won't let the cat approach me, given my understanding of anthropomorphism.
Your thoughts are much appreciated!