Christmas is different this year. Two beloved feline family members are gone and a new one has come. Little, the one remaining from what such a short time ago was a family of 4, dislikes her new brother, Oscar. To expect a copacetic Christmas was out of the question; that we managed to get both into the same room was a blessing.
Used to be on Christmas morning, the cats would open their presents. We’d get them all catnip pillows at the House of Dreams Pretty Kitty Bazaar, wrap them loosely in tissue paper, and let the cats rip away. Harry was the best at it, having had the most practice. He’d get it between his paws, kicking with back feet and biting with fangy teeth until the tissue was but a memory. Soon enough, the others caught on. Christmas morning was a frenzie of catnip-crazed cats.
With the loss of the others, Little sunk into a funk. Thinking she would enjoy a new companion, we adopted Oscar. Oscar had his own baggage, however, and the 15-pound boy’s obsession with Little became bullying. He thinks she’s a play-toy; she thinks he’s the devil.
Still we have hope. We bought a toy called “Cat’s Meow” with a wand that goes around in a circle under a bright yellow cloth. Both cats are infatuated with it. As long as it’s on and going, they both sit next to each other, all animosity suspended while they contemplate this mutual prey.
This morning, I wrapped the catnip pillows as usual, wondering what would happen when we got the kitties together. It didn’t take long to find out.
Neither cat was interested in “opening” their presents, though we enticed them to at least give them a look.
With much coaxing, Little got hers open, but she was always looking over her shoulder for Oscar. That Oscar was ignoring her didn’t seem to make much difference, nor did the fact that we were keeping them safely apart.
Little didn’t pay much attention to her new toy, though she did sit on her tissue paper for a while before retiring to the kitchen for lunch.
Guess who moved right in the minute she was gone!
Merry Christmas everyone from the Hunt family