Cats are interesting people.
Not long ago, one of our older cats died. Her 14-year-old litter-mate spent days in apparent search for “Little Bit” around the house -- looking under beds and behind doors -- making noises somewhere between a meow and a low, lugubrious howl.
She even went on a temporary hunger strike. Maybe “strike” is not the right word. Perhaps a more accurately description is that she demanded more gourmet meals during her period of mourning.
The other remaining cat, a male I picked up 10 years ago at the retirement home while visiting my mother, was not concerned. When I found him, the stray, homeless kitten was sleeping in the sun on a porch rocker. He had ears the size of a full grown cat, but the body of youngster. We found out later, ironically, he can barely hear -- I guess that is why I was able to get close enough to him to pick him up. He was terrified, and if he had been bigger, I would have really been scratched up during the drive home. Actually, he just thought he was terrified of me.
When he arrived at the house to be “greeted” by three full-grown inhospitable felines, he discovered what terror really was. For more than a month we had to coax him out from under the various hiding places just to feed him. He and the two older sisters have never gotten along. The veterinarian told us not to worry, that they would bond after about six-weeks. That was a decade ago.
Recently, the two survivors have developed new personalities. Apparently, the deceased family member, the runt of the litter, was actually the Alpha Cat. We did not realize it, but looking back, she, due to her vivacious and attention demanding personality and -- to some extent her long illness -- dominated the other two felines.
Now they are in a constant struggle to determine who will be the new Alpha Cat.
It is interesting to watch their maneuvers and the “capturing” of territory. Preferred “territory” is a human lap, a coveted sunning spot on the porch, or a strategic bed location at bedtime.
It is difficult for either critter to get on the porch, as the Boss of the House keeps the door closed, but if someone does briefly open the porch door, a cat will instantly appear from nowhere.
We are watching to see who becomes the new top cat. Will it be “Paws,” the bossy old female white-footed-tuxedo, or “Ears,” the solid black male who can’t hear thunder?
Most of the world is controlled by bossy females -- so I am betting on Paws!
A reader told me the other day the the world must be in worst shape than first thought.
“It’s got to be bad,” she said, “if the Pope has turned in his two-week notice!”
She has a point.