Our felines were exhausted from doing whatever it is that cats do during the day. Holly, our 4-month old kitten spent hours exploring the house, bouncing off of objects as if she were a steel marble inside a pinball machine. Sugar Plum, her older and more serene sister, opted instead, to spend the afternoon dozing in the sun, and thereby saving her calisthenics and wind sprints for her ritualistic 2:00 AM field games down the upstairs hallway. It’s how she keeps her fine figure.
Bringing the kitten into our household has been an easy adjustment so far. Sugar is accepting of Holly, in that she hasn’t snarled at her or ripped off an ear as a cat with a more surly, territorial personality may have responded. But our Sug is a lover, not a fighter. (A point that Happy the chicken might argue, but it’s true!) This being said, until the kitten grows into her adult body (which could take another month or two), Sugar keeps a respectable distance from the newest member of the family.
The two are more alike than different. Why wouldn’t they be? It’s not like one’s a giraffe. And yet, their personalities are special and distinct. At one point today, I couldn’t find the kitten. I walked upstairs to the second floor were I suspected Holly was poking around, seeing the sights. I lowered my head from my spot on the steps to peek under the guest room bed. This is Sugar’s hideout. Surely, the kitten would honor the domain of the elder feline. Eh – what do kittens care? Holly probably flipped her sister a, “Hey, wassup!” as she skidded around the corner. She may have even stopped to whack Sugar’s tail if it happened to flick while she was passing by.
Sure enough, Holly was in the guest room. I know this from the veiled eyes peering at me from the security of the bed skirt. Only it wasn’t the kitten’s eyes – they belonged to Sugar, and they were looking tense. Very tense. They had doubled in size and she was urgently trying use them to send me a telepathic message.
I took the hint and approached slowly – as if I would a pride of lions. (You’re right, if they were lions, I’d be running in the opposite direction screaming, “I don’t want to be pie!”) Seeking confirmation, I whispered to my older cat, “Is Holly in here…?” Sugar turned her head in the direction of the closet. She acted like she was hiding from a burglar. Clearly panicked, her entire body beseeched me. The scene was reminiscent of the scary babysitter story where the intruder’s phone rings from somewhere inside the house. (It was starting to spook me! Had the phone rang during all of this, I’d be changing my pants right now.) Since our interloper is all but a handful of fur and sporting a tinkle-bell collar, I figured I could handle the situation. I spotted her in the closet, just as my tipster had directed. Much to Sugar’s horror, Holly was checking out Sug’s personal litter box. Thank goodness she didn’t use it, or I’d be visiting the two of them in the gang unit of the cat penitentiary.
I scooped up the peanut without mishap and affairs settled back into an easy-going rhythm. I carried the baby downstairs to the master bedroom where she zigged and zagged under the night stand and onto the desk chair before finally running out of gas. She slithered in between the bed pillows and had herself a delightful catnap.
Thirty minutes later, with batteries fully charged, she was off again, this time to play with the dogs. If I recall correctly, she jumped over Sadie’s head, spun on her heels and stood upright to paw box with her lemon beagle buddy. Sadie wasn’t in the mood for boxing, but she did amuse herself by sniffing Holly’s behind. I suppose she’s still trying to figure out what kind of dog the kitten is. Sugar meanwhile, waited for Holly to disappear before sprawling over my bed and falling into a sound sleep while I worked at the desk tapping away on the computer. Did she dream of interlopers? Did she dream of giraffes making phone calls? I don’t know, but I probably will.
It is a privilege to work from home. Some may even say that I left the rat race. I say, that with these two cats around, I haven’t left the race at all. In fact, I have a front row seat.