Friday, July 9, 2010

Five cats is an awesome number of cats to have.

I brought my half of the wild kittens home two days ago, and we've been keeping them shut in the downstairs bathroom. This way, we're able to introduce the three older cats to the two new cats gradually. Mostly, the older cats have been allowed only intermittent glimpses of the kittens. These glimpses make their eyes widen in a combination of disbelief, horror, and anger.

However, a bit ago, I brought the kittens out to play with the best cat toy ever. A stick, tied to a string, tied to some feathers. I have two of them. And, as the kittens darted about on the couch I'd sequestered them on, chasing and pouncing on the feathers, all three of my older cats appeared around the edges of the room. Imperceptibly, they moved closer, until these three adult cats -- too cool or too lazy to play with feathers themselves -- were all peering directly over the sides of the couch. Watching the kittens. Enthralled.

If you can't see how awesome that is... I probably can't convey it. And, weirdly, based on the average number of cats per household, I'm guessing that most people out there somehow fail to see just how extremely awesome it is to have five cats gathered around one couch, playing with feathers and calculating the complexity of their relationships with each other.

See, a hierarchy of three cats is a very complex thing. (Theresa loves Heidi, but Heidi interprets her love as torture. Kelly thinks Heidi's fear of Theresa's love means that Theresa is dominant and, therefore, beats up on her. But, Theresa interprets Kelly's attempts to prove dominance as a sort of friendship. And, in the end, because none of them have the same motives or priorities, they completely fail to create a simple order of dominance.)

And a five cat hierarchy promises to be even more complex and fascinating.

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