“We fooled around and fell in love.” We have a new tortoise shell calico kitten.
“She’s of feral origins,” they said.
“Oh, but she’s so cute,” I said.
“We’ve had feral cats before and tamed them,” he said.
But we forgot about the Queen at home, a 10-year-old calico who has her own wild streak. It is my theory that cats allow us the illusion that they are domesticated. They hang out with us because, frankly, humans attract mice.
We separated them at first, like the experts say. The kitten had been recently spayed. Plus, we wanted to gain her trust before trying to get the two cats to bond.
Being feral, however, the kitten escaped into the whole house and hid in a place we really couldn’t reach her. Did you know you had such places in your house? We didn’t. The big girl waited patiently with an occasional yowl. When the kitten came down, she made her move before we could blink. Instant fireworks. We thought the older cat was fat and slow. Let’s just say kittens breathe new life into everyone.
Since then, we’ve had a divided house: one cat in one part, one in another, with occasional attempts to bring them together. They stare at each other, the kitten anxious to play, the cat anxious to put an end to this intrusion once and for all.
“Have you called the behavior specialist?” the animal rescue friend asks.
“Have you consulted with an animal communicator?” my meditating friend asks.
“Squirt guns,” says the vet friend.
We’ve gotten out the old spray bottle we used to help our cat understand the rules in our house in her kitten days. No, you may not put your claws into me. No, you may not climb the curtains. A small squirt will disrupt an impending attack. If you can get there in time.
Cats are fast.
Let’s just say it’s been a month of intermittent fireworks punctuated by long periods of stalking and sulking. But peace will come, even to the most devious feline heart and maybe even to the most thorny regions of the globe. “Hope is the thing with feathers.”
No, wait. Please don’t kill the bird.