It has taken a while but I believe Truman and the dogs have come to an understanding about playtime. When Truman retreats to the lowest shelf at the end of the kitchen cupboards, he is to be left alone. I’ve noticed over the past week that when he’s “Cat on a Shelf” the dogs walk by and look at him but there’s no sniffing or whining to play or anything like that.
When Truman is in a feisty mood he may leave the shelf and go to another spot in the kitchen, where he’ll give a friendly swat to a passing dog and then they’ll start running around a little bit. He usually then immediately retreats to my office which is apparently another “safe spot” in the canine-feline understanding going on in this house. Once he’s by my desk, the dogs come to a halt.
It’s just the way of the world.