I may have made the mixture too rich with Torvald’s name (which implies a king, war leader and general sort of mighty guy). He is friendly and a goof, but has no concept of restraint or moderation, and continues to queer the socialization process by hurtling at my other cats like a feline cannonball — stopping right before he collides with them in any way, but not before everyone has freaked.
We tried another encounter with Fergie last night. Fergie was tightly coiled in slumber until he heard the little bell on Torvald’s collar jingling up the stairs; lickety-split he shot under the CD cabinet only to find himself face to face with the invader. Fergie, usually the suave and parfit gentleman of cats, contracted into a dangerous-looking crouch and began to utter the long, throaty, moaning noise that cats use to blackguard one another at close range — one of that small range of feline vocalizations that says “it’s 1,000,000 B.C. and you’re going to die now.”
Torvald gazed at him thoughtfully.
Fergie hissed, seguing slowly into a moan like a kettle that has been turned back from the full boil.
Torvald took a step toward him and continued to survey him, tail twitching meditatively, like someone assessing an artwork to decide if it is real or fake.
Fergie backed up a little and turned flank on.
Torvald flopped to his side, curling one forepaw under and extending the other a little bit, suggesting the caption “kiss my ring.”
The moaning continued. It went on for something like five minutes, turning my nerves to jelly and my neck to stone. Finally the suspense even got to Torvald who rose tentatively to his feet, still showing no signs of any mood other than intellectual curiosity, and took a step toward Fergie. Fergie bolted, Torvald scooted after him, they both hesitated a moment and I dropped my ever-ready laundry basket over the Norse champion. It seemed a bit unfair since Fergie was the one creating all the bad feeling but Torvald is the known biter.
This is going to take a while but I keep hearing reassurance from the Engineer, who manages a household of nine cats (none, at the moment, were brought onto the premises by him, but he is the Identified Competent Person, a role I am only too familiar with). “It’s a guy thing,” he explains. I guess he would know.