Thursday, December 22, 2022

A Tale of Two Cats

“There are two means of refuge from the misery of life - music and cats.”

― Albert Einstein

I couldn't agree more.

So what sparked this line of thought? Well,  the DIL and her progeny came for a visit over the weekend. My granddaughter, The Owl, has acquired a kitten, name of Sundae. An aptly chosen name as her coloring does rather resemble an ice cream sundae. She's nobbut a wee thing, around four months old. Curious and friendly she is, she seemed awfully delighted at having a new place to explore.

At first I was rather worried about our Anya's reaction to the little one, for Anya is old and set in her ways. She has ruled the roost since her sister Sasha passed away in July of 2021. She had lived in Sasha's rather large shadow for 17 years, now, at the ripe old age of 19, she is in charge, and she tends to get what she wants.

The Empress of Chez Sarge and the wee one met in the kitchen. Though The Owl had been cautioned about keeping track of her little furry companion, being after all, only ten years of age, she had lost situational awareness of her furry companion. There was Anya, there was Sundae. My eyes opened wide, much as if I saw a car sliding out of control on the highway with no way to stop it.

Sundae was excited, "Oh look, another cat!"

Anya was, I guess stunned, appalled, indignant, probably a mixture of all three, "What in the name of all that is holy is that?" At least that was the look on her face when she espied the wee kitten.

Then the wee beastie had the effrontery to try and sniff Anya. To get acquainted, dontcha know?

Anya was not diplomatic at all, she got low, the fur on her back came up, and she managed to hiss and growl at the same time. Anya, when she growls, is rather frightening, I wish I could pitch my voice as low as the sound which emanates from deep within her when she is angered by a thing.

When she and her sister were kittens she was the first to indicate that she was going to be in charge by placing a paw on Sasha's head and pushing her face into the food they were both trying to eat. Sasha was, however, going to have none of that. She shook off the paw, hissed at Anya, which surprised Anya, and then continued to eat.

I'm guessing Anya, who is normally a very laid back and timid girl, decided that a struggle for power wasn't worth the candle, after all, it was the two humans who controlled the food and water. The two-legged inhabitants of the house also provided treats and scritches, when scritches were needed. If Sasha wanted to be the alpha, well then, so be it.

Over the many years the two co-existed in our humble abode, Sasha ruled the roost. Hissing at any living thing which appeared before her eyes that wasn't The Missus Herself, Your Humble Scribe, or her sister Anya, whom she tolerated.

Quite honestly, my Dad was terrified of Sasha. She wouldn't go after you, but she had no hesitation rebuking any instance of lèse-majesté with laid back ears, a slight hiss, and a raised paw to let the unwary know that they had transgressed. The grandkids always referred to her as "the mean cat." (Bear in mind though that Sasha was utterly devoted to the full time human occupants of Chez Sarge, i.e. The Missus Herself and Your Humble Scribe - all the progeny being away at school for most of the year.)

So for years Anya was content to be number two, leaving the defense of the realm to her sister, content to bask in the attention of the humans and let Sasha do the heavy lifting.

Now Anya, as the de facto alpha, is the ruler of the roost, the queen of all she surveys, how dare this wee sma' thing attempt to make contact, indeed, how dare she enter the realm unbidden?

So we kept the two separate as much as possible, the kitten content to be anywhere but in the same room as Anya. Little Sundae came to us innocent and unafraid, by the time she left to go home with her humans I noticed a look on her face ...

"Man, I've seen things ..."

I suppose I should have played some music for the wee kitty, she needed soothing, that's for sure. Me, I could have used a stiff drink if I'd had to go through what Sundae went through.

Poor thing ...


  1. Our cat died in the house fire last year, things are sotra settled now and I was thinking about getting another cat... life is different without a pet.
    Use to be that it was not hard to find people giving away kittens, maybe I'm looking at the wrong time of the year? Maybe it's the universe telling me it's not time yet?.
    These things generally work out like they are supposed to...

    1. You might want to think about adopting an older cat as well, I've had friends who have been successful doing that. It also saves a furry one from an uncertain fate. It's your call, but it's a thought.

    2. +1000 on older pet adoptions. They are far less likely to be adopted, often come house broken and sometimes trained, and are very grateful - they seem to know they were rescued.

      Sorry to hear about your loss, Rob. That would be incredibly hard.

    3. Yes, get yourself a old moggie. They cat be the best kind of cats!

  2. Someone always has to be the Boss, how that works out is what makes life interesting. Sundae learned that early. That is a good photo of Anya by the way.

  3. Life experience is like that. You find out what bites, what's playful, what hates us. Innocence is like shiney newness. It gets rubbed off in spots over time. Soul wear...

    Hope The Owl learns a little about care and protection as a result, too. Ten is still quite youthful, but real lessons in life don't wait sometimes.

    Happy Christmas, Sarge, et al!

  4. I compare this with anyone, anytime, who brings a dog into the house our near the house or even somewhere in the neighborhood:

    Me: "Look, there is a..."


    Me: "Try not to tear the place up..."

  5. With 3 dogs and 3 cats in the house, it's pretty interesting around here. Schmedly (a tabby) is very much the leader of the gang. Even I have been known to take an order or two from her. The next in line, in her own mind, is Annie, a Dachshund, Rat Terrier, rolly polly mix. She tends to boss everyone around and nobody pays any attention to her. Which doesn't stop her from trying. The remaining 4, Cooper, Oscar, Mooshka and Moushka are pretty much live and let live. Cooper is nearly blind, so will bark and snap if surprised. Oscar is really old and has bladder control problems. Mooshka and Moushka are just friendly Norwegian Grays. Don't bother me, I won't bother you. Except when you open the back door to let Cooper and Oscar out to do their business. One must be looking for a near supersonic gray streak making a run for freedom.

    As happened, successfully, this morning.
    Life is good.


    1. We've got some folks at work like Annie. 😊

    2. Juvat, your life almost sounds as "exciting" as ours: One Dog (Poppy The Brave), one cat (A), three rabbits (I-bun, Joy and P), and two Guinea Pigs (M and P). Meals times are the most exciting as the guinea pigs start out as soon as I am around: "Hey! You! We are starving! It has been like 8 hours since we last ate. Move it, Laughing Boy." The rabbits then get worked out when they see I am down on the floor. I get the snack back and it rustles - now A the Cat is here for his morning treat and Poppy wanders up expectantly as well. Every morning and every evening, a circus of Nibble Rings.

    3. Twice you've made me laugh today ...

      Good on you mate!

    4. I shall count that both as an accomplishment and a fine Christmas present indeed.

    5. I had a Norwegian Forest Cat for twenty years. A superb brand of cat!

    6. TB - Laughter is always a great gift.

  6. Great encounters, yours and the comments. (There's a " the the " in your text.)

    1. Argh! (Should have been "to the," which has been corrected.)

  7. Dogs want to be part of your pack. Cats want to see your resume.


Just be polite... that's all I ask. (For Buck)
Can't be nice, go somewhere else...

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