I mentioned last week that until Yuki builds up more strength and regains more control over his hind legs, we’re restricting his movements. He’s occupying the master suite: plenty of places to hang out, a favored locale for several of the gang, and frequently occupied by bipeds to give him snuggles. And, most importantly, no stairs. He’s definitely not ready for stair-climbing–no matter what he thinks.
He’s mostly putting up with it, but he dearly misses his favorite afternoon pastime: sprawling on the floor outside Maggie’s office and teasing the inhabitants, Kaja in particular.
We’ve never understood the root of their mutual antagonism, but it goes way back. In fact, the last time Yuki had to wear a Cone o’ Shame, it was because he’d incited Kaja to assault.
Since that attack, Kaja has been living in Maggie’s office, along with her littermate, Rhubarb. It was a joint decision: she largely refused to ignore Yuki’s attempts to tick her off, and he couldn’t resist teasing her, but wasn’t nimble enough to get out of her way. So when Kaja stopped roaming the house, we mostly stopped opening the office door except when we were actually walking in and out of the room.
But now, with Yuki confined to quarters, we’ve been leaving the door open in the evenings, so the Flying Monkeys can go exploring. And it’s working. Somewhat.
They’re not hugely brave about it, and oddly enough, Rhubarb has been more adventurous than Kaja. He’s made it down to the dining room and kitchen a couple of times, while she hasn’t even made it to the foot of the stairs.
But they’ve been doing the meet-and-greet with Lefty and Emeraldas, both of whom joined the crew long after Kaja gave up on the world outside Maggie’s office. Largely amicable meets, I might add–for local values of “amicable”.
Top to bottom and left to right: Kokoro, Rhubarb, Kaja, Sachiko, and Emeraldas.
Yes, five cats in one photo.
Even more impressively, Lefty and ‘Nuki were by my feet, well within sight and smell of the stairs, just ill-placed for photographic documentation.
We’ve been hopeful about reintegrating Kaja before, only to be disappointed. But this is an excellent sign.
I’ve been through many iterations of Cat Detente and Trying To Integrate. Currently, Nickel Catmium, AKA the Widow Of Windsor, will put up with big yellow Mystery because he was her late husband’s big dumb bowling buddy. But the minute she sees another cat on her rare ventures down the stairs, she books. The problem is that this makes Agatha The Burly Tortie chase her, trying to play. This always ends in a standoff under the bed.
At least it isn’t the predicament we had when Torvald was alive. His style was to hurl himself aloft in a flying tackle at any cat he saw in a misguided attempt to make friends. Seriously, not everyone wants to rassle.
We seem to do much better with integration than reintegration. I suspect a geographic element: newcomers haven’t fully claimed a territory, so they’re more willing to negotiate.
I suspect we’d have standoffs under the bed too, except that there is no under the bed. Hooray for built-in drawers! (We do our best to keep the top of the bed neutral territory. Some days it works better than others.)