Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Making Friends (Maybe?)

It's been almost eight months now since Emma, my mom's cat, came to live with us. When my mom died, it only made sense that Emma should come live with us. We had spent quite a bit of time with her during the previous three and a half years, so she knew us well even if she had never visited our home. Besides, although he might not admit it, my husband had grown quite attached to her.

The transition to our home was not without complications, however. We already had two cats who were quite accustomed to having run of the house. They tolerated the dog, perhaps acquiescing to the fact that he was here first, but I wasn't sure they'd be too keen on welcoming a new member of the family, especially a feline one.  

Then, too, was the fact that Emma is a bit of a bully.

Emma is the quintessential spoiled only child. Thanks to my mother's indulgences, she only likes the freshest of water and will not eat food that has been left in her bowl too long. At one point, she even had my mother trained to give her drinks of water out of a cup. (I actually witnessed this with my own eyes. It was pretty amazing.) She is large and likes to be in charge.

To deal with this, we decided that she would take up residence in the master suite. I'm sure she thought that was only appropriate and I am thankful that she allowed my husband and me to share the space with her. Over time, we thought, we would gradually introduce her to the other cats, and while they might never be friends, maybe they could come to some sort of understanding and general tolerance of each other.

The first few times we arranged face-to-face meetings ended in thunderous footsteps racing down the stairs and ungodly howling. Not exactly what we were hoping for, so we kind of gave up for a while, making sure to keep our bedroom door closed to prevent further hostilities. 

Then, the nighttime games began. We would sometimes awaken in the night to the sound of an object banging against our bedroom door. A quick inspection revealed the object was a cat. Emma and Benny were playing (at least that's what we'll call it) by sticking their paws under the door and attacking each other. Again, not exactly what we were hoping for, but it seemed like progress was being made. At least they were interacting without killing each other.

Quite recently, my husband made a bold move. He opened the door with Benny just outside. Fortunately, Benny had learned enough to know that darting into our bedroom was not a wise idea. Instead, he stood still and stared. Emma, for her part, did not charge toward him with murder in her eyes. She, too, stood still and stared. And then, she said, "Mew, mew, mew-mew," or something like that. I don't have any idea what she said, but Benny must have because he answered back a single, "Mew."

Now, this has become part of our going to bed routine: open the door and let the cats stare at each other and say a few words before we go to sleep. I would love to know what it is they're saying to each other. Whatever it is, it seems to be keeping the peace. At least for now.

Benny and Emma getting to know each other while practicing social distancing.


  1. Maybe some day they will actually be able to be in the same room without threatening to kill the other one.

  2. I love the paragraph about Emma drinking from a cup! So funny! This is so well-written!


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