Tuesday, October 15, 2013

You're one of my kind

One of the blogs I read is written by a collection of veterinarians who specialize in cats (yes, I do love kitties). There’ve been a lot of interesting articles on the blog but one in particular got me thinking about my own three cats.

The article discusses the nature of social groupings in cats and asks readers how many exist in their own home. Naturally enough, that got me to consider Wally, Eddie and Chloe.

Chloe has never been interested in other cats; in fact, for a long time she was downright hostile toward her own species. Little Sammie tried to kitty pile with her but she was having nothing to do with him. After he died and we got Wally and Eddie, they too tried to kitty pile with her. Age had not softened her solitary ways but the boys did not care. They still played with her and tried to snooze with her. The playing often got out of hand because she’d get angry with them and the kitty pile naps were a non-starter. Sometimes Wally could sleep near her after she was asleep but that was about as far as things got.

A long time ago!
The boys were a different story. They are litter mates and for the first few years, they slept in piles around the house, groomed each other and just generally behaved as though they were one cat in two bodies.

I’m not sure when things changed but certainly by the time we flooded the first time, they were no longer quite so cozy with each other. By then, we’d stuffed them in their carriers for a cross country move, and made them live for a couple of months in a teeny, tiny place that didn’t allow cats and certainly didn’t have any room for kitty romping. And then we flooded. All three were in the apartment with me when the water started coming in, and I’m sure they picked up on my own fear and uncertainty as I shoved them none too gently into their carriers. And of course who can forget the first night in the crack house hotel, followed by living for three weeks in the basement of a very generous friend and then moving again to a temporary apartment . . . yeah, that was a lot for the cats.

After reading that article, though, I realized we do have social groupings. It’s just that I’m at the center of these groupings. There’s Wally and me, Eddie and me, and Chloe and me. Wally and Chloe have a tiny bit of warmth to their relationship but I’m still in the middle of that. And I get in the middle of the Eddie/Chloe relationship because that’s still not a very friendly environment.

I didn’t put Kent in this diagram because I wasn’t sure how to depict his status. When he’s home during the day, Eddie sleeps on his lap almost all day long. That's hard to show in a diagram, wouldn't you agree? And I aligned the cats the way I did because Wally does mostly interact in a positive way with the other two. But they all swarm me.


Jeanne said...

All of our remaining cats were brought home at different times from the shelter, so none of them will curl up with any of the others. Tristan and Sammy sometimes tussle over dominance, and Sabrina does not tolerate Tristan near her at all. I think Tristan would like someone to play with but Chester was the one who would do that, to some extent. Our experience is that male cats get along better together.

kittiesx3 said...

I was very nervous about getting a female cat since the only other time I'd done that, I ended up for the first time in my life not liking a cat. That cat was just flat out annoying. I think Chloe's come a long way in her tolerance of the boys. She's still not comfortable with Eddie (with good reason) but she'll interact with Wally.