Cat vs. Cat — Day 2

I know, I know, you’d rather have Elf vs. Orc, but it’s been a busy few days, so you’re getting cat vs. cat for the moment.

Ben was cheerful this morning, stood on my knee and rubbed his head against my face. He doesn’t like to be picked up–the offender gets a gruff miaow and a mostly clawless flail–but he’s very into the head-butting. (This is not surprising, really–Athena’s the only cat I’ve known in a long time who genuinely loved to be picked up, and many of them are much nastier about it than Ben.)

Athena still doesn’t like the idea of Ben. She sat outside his door and hissed for a bit last night, and when we open the door a crack, she backs away hissing and growling. It’s a measure of what a nice cat she is that she hasn’t tried to take a chunk out of me at any point, even when I’m holding her and she’s growling and obviously stressed.

Ben watches all of this with an expression of polite interest on his face. Not a hiss, not a snarl.

Granted, he’s been in a room full of other cats for two months, so the sight’s not nearly so alarming, and this is Athena’s turf, so she’s gettin’ territorial. Still, we’re definitely doing this for Athena’s benefit, not Ben’s–he’s as casual as if strange cats sat and hissed at him every day (and now that I think of it, they probably did–it was a pretty packed shelter.)

He very much wants out of the spare room–he paws at the door, and he is extremely strong, even given the overscaled strength-to-size ratio of cats–but he doesn’t offer anyone violence. Even when James was holding the door open a crack, and Ben was systematically peeling James’s fingers off the door, he was careful to keep his claws in. I appreciate that.

Once I finish working on Digger this morning, I’ve got stuff to do in the studio, and I’ll take Ben in with me so he gets a little more contact and a chance to explore a new room. Athena is curled up in James’s chair, probably planning her next assault, which will no doubt involve more hissing, and perhaps running away.

That’ll show ‘im.

edit: Yesterday was also a good day because I saw a black vulture for the first time, surprisingly low over the road. Conveniently I had my Sibley Guide with me, and could ID him on the spot. So it was a good day all around, except maybe for Athena.

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