Glacial Rapprochement

Not as in glaciers approximating across the moraine, but as in the speed of feline acquaintanceship.

Last night was a balmy night, and I let the junior kitties go out on the screened porch to listen to critters scurrying in the garden. At such times, I periodically let the insular, chauvinistic elder cats emerge from their penthouse upstairs and chance a look through the full-glass porch door. I suppose I have some illusion that if the pairs can look at each other without the chance to square off,  some sort of detente will begin to develop.

We need no one else. Thank you very much.

We need no one else. Thank you very much.

"Nonsense! You need me in your life immediately!"

“Nonsense! You need me in your life immediately!”

"And me!!! I'm winsome!"

“And me!!! I’m winsome!”

Fergie had been bonding with me, which he does by trampling the computer keyboard and my lap, turn about. After he tucked himself into the well-known meatloaf position on the office rug I roved into the kitchen for something and found the porch door ajar: cat herding Fail. The staircase to the top floor was standing open. I shut Agatha on the porch, tiptoed back to seal Fergie in the office, and stole upstairs to see what was afoot.

Nickel had been snoozing on a futon sofa in the spare room, it seemed, when Torvald marched in. Unlike his strategy on previous incursions, this time he was keeping to the floor and out of Nickel’s face. Perhaps he recognizes that, while Fergie is territorial and hostile, Nickel is flat-out psychotic. As I watched, he mooched around the room, cheek-marked various eminences, drew periodically closer to the sofa, then withdrew each time Nickel uttered her Balrog hiss, accompanied by a fierce grimace only slightly less terrifying than a Tibetan demon’s. At no point did she move anything but the muscles in her face. It was impressive. When Torvald put one forepaw upon the sofa cushion she added a deep, almost subsonic growl. He withdrew, marked a footlocker, and rolled on the rug exhibiting acres of fluffy abdomen. Nickel was unimpressed by this show of peaceful intent. Eventually Torvald sidled out the door, which I shut in sweating relief.

But you know, that wasn’t so bad, given that previous Torvald encounters have resulted in bites, Disney-like tumbles of fighting cats down the length of the staircase, and the discharge onto my bedroom carpet of several blasts from the shower massager to break up a clinch.

I have to figure out how to orchestrate another encounter. When I’m feeling sanguine.


4 thoughts on “Glacial Rapprochement

  1. I think I’m glad I have only one cat. Lola does love to sit on the back porch, where she enjoys listening to the birds and crickets, and watching squirrels. She used to fancy herself a great squirrel hunter, but has given up chasing them.

    One time the cat next door ventured into our yard. Lola and the neighbor cat hunkered down in a face-off, their noses about a foot apart. Then without moving a muscle, they vocalized primitive threats I didn’t know cats could make. The noises were downright unnerving, so I chased the other cat away.

    Amazingly, Lola and the little dog in the other part of the house have a grudging accommodation when their humans are present. The little dog is afraid of Lola’s claws. But Lola has a healthy fear of strange dogs.

    • The sounds they can make are amazing. Most of it is posturing, but it’s like the goddawful sounds monsters make in your nightmares. When cats were routinely left un-neutered and hence far more territorial, think what back yards must have been like. “Howling abuse at each other from point-blank range” is a way a favorite cat writer of mine put it.

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