Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Prior Claim

Cat Watching

Lilly, trying to inch toward Sophie's food dish.

Sophie is our oldest cat. Ten years old, and no matter how much love and attention we give her...well...she's crazy as shit.

Any little thing bugs her. If you feed her and make an unintentional motion, or push a chair with your foot, or cough...she runs away and hides. If she squeaks for attention and you bend down to pet her, you have to do it very slowly. Too quick and she runs away and hides. If anyone knocks on the door, she runs away and hides. No casual visitor to our house has ever seen her.

She hates Marley, the male cat whom we adopted. If Marley comes into the house, she will hiss at him and then run away and hide. If Marley enters her last redoubt in my office, she will scream at him so loud that you can hear her from outside the house. If she's in a position to get past Marley in such a situation, she will run away and hide.

However, she does seem to tolerate Lilly. We suspect that it's for two reasons. Because Lilly is a female and she came into the house as a very tiny kitten and Lilly has never appeared as a physical threat to Sophie. Sophie never runs from Lilly (except on rare occasions when they play), but she does hiss at her quite a lot and slap her from time to time. I have never seen her run away and hide from Lilly, although she will hop down from the bed in a huff if Lilly comes in the bedroom and invades Sophie's space with us.
Marley, on the other hand, enjoys Lilly's company. He puts up with Lilly jumping on him and throwing her arms around his neck and generally bugging the shit out of him. He lets her eat out of his food dish.

Sophie will not allow anyone to share her food dish with her. If Lilly tries to do this, she will hiss at Lilly and slap the crap out of her. But Lilly will often inch up to the feasting Sophie and lie on the floor beside the food dish and pretend that she's not really interested. Of course if she persists, Sophie will hiss at her and slap her silly and chase her away (as she does in this series of photographs).

"I thought she'd never leave."

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