You don’t know who is funny about sharing unless you put them in a position when they have to share. Case in point – Percy, our ten year old cat, never really bothers with her things. Not a big one to play, kinda just veges. So we get Lulu, now 8 weeks old, and except for Percy’s food, water and litter box and one bed, we let her use all Percy’s toys, Lamby – this knotty, wooly toy stuffed with catnip, the ball with the bell, the scratching post, you name it. When Lulu comes along Percy doesn’t seem to mind the toys so much as sharing the house with her. Doesn’t want her laying in her favorite spot in the sun, begrudges that she gets play time in our room at night before bed while Percy is locked out, is bitter, bitter that this 1.2 lb feline has claimed her place in front of the fireplace. It’s partly Percy’s own fault; she hisses and growls but ultimately yields to the demands of the kitten.
Yesterday we get Tessa, a biological sister to Lulu. We are trying to let her get acclamated and find her way and feel comfortable in the house. The rescue lady said they would hiss at each other for a couple of hours and then things would be fine. They would remember they had been litter mates three weeks earlier. So far no dice. The kicker is that Lulu is selfish. We thought she would be overjoyed at having a playmate, a companion. But nooooo. As I write this, Cathy is saying, “Lulu, Lulu! Lulu! LULU! More and more loudly. Lulu hisses and growls (which we had not heard before) and chases Tessa from all of her things. Tessa wants food or water – Lulu chases her. Tessa tries to get in the litter box – Lulu frightens her out of it. Tessa attempts to play on the scratching post – Lulu charges her. I am disappointed in Lulu. I had been duped by this little one. Lulu who will meow and need to be picked up and held in the morning until she gets herself fully awake. She purrs the whole time and will gently touch your face with her paws and kiss your nose and lips and snuggle with you. When she gets tired she climbs up into her bed and will even get in there if you tell her to. Lulu would sit so sadly when Percy would hiss at her – it almost broke my heart. Now she thinks she’s queen bitch on the block. Before coming up to write, Lulu chased Tessa from the scratching post. I grabbed Lulu and locked her in the powder room saying, “You know what’s yours in this house? Shit is yours. Stay in here.” Catching Tessa I placed her back on the post. Immediately Luly began crying. “What’s that?” I say to Cathy and Tessa. “Do I hear someone saying, ‘I want to share my things with my sister!’ I can’t be sure. Let’s wait a few minutes and see if we hear it again. “
“I am puckered I am so afraid of you right now,” Cathy reveals to me.
“I hate meanness,” I offer as explanation to minimize how crazy I really am. “It’s a good thing we don’t have kids,” I add. And I bet it really is.
Cathy rescued Lulu after five minutes (we agreed, plenty long for a creature with no sense of “time out.”) I know we should let them figure it out on their own but the bullying kills me. Mike says we micromanage the cats and we do and I/we are trying to work on that. I don’t want Tessa to feel so unsure of herself in these new surroundings that this sets a precedent of her being whipped all the time. ( I hate puns so I’m not using the entire phrase.) Not sure where the line is on intervening. I don’t know how people with kids struggle with these type things and with their actual kids no less.
When we first got married/ had our civil union on Friday, I joked to my mom, “Well now the cats aren’t bastards but at least one is still a bitch.”
Scratch that. Two might be bitches.