neighborhood bully

I’m pretty sure that unless things have changed quite significantly since I was a small kid every neighborhood has its bully. As an adult in this particular neighborhood I don’t have to worry too much about that. My cats, on the other hand, have their paws full.

A few months ago I noticed that a small, scrawny black kitten was hanging out in our back yard. Now, I have a professed weakness for black cats. Many of you know that a few years ago I lost Gizmo. He and Tiger were litter mates and traveled with me from Dublin to Miami and then on to Toronto. In Toronto Gizmo became ill. It turned out that he had bone cancer and was no longer producing red blood cells. I certainly didn’t want his last days to be hooked up to tubes and gadgets in a vet’s office. I took him home and kept him as comfortable as I could for as long as I could. It was a horrible day that I had to put him down, but he had gotten so sick that he was no longer able to eat or keep fluids down.

My weakness for cats in general and specifically black cats drove me to feed this poor starving kitten. I promised CableDad that I would not adopt him as we already have 3 furry felines of our own and CableDad swears that’s enough for any one litter pan. However, I couldn’t just let the little guy starve and since he had decided that our yard was the place to be, I figured it was my responsibility to help him. I am sure that no one calls him their own and for that reason I intend to take him to the vet, have him vaccinated and neutered before releasing him back into the wilds of South Florida, but that’s a story for another time.

Fit (short for Hissy Fit), or so we have decided to call this kitten because of his tendency to hiss out his greeting to us each morning (It is decidedly not an unfriendly hiss, I just think he’s not really sure how else to say, “Good morning, thank you for breakfast.”), has a buddy. His buddy is an adolescent male gray and white cat. Buddy is not nearly as friendly as Fit. OK, well that’s not entirely true. Buddy is very friendly with me since I supply the buffet each morning. Buddy, however, is not at all friendly with Simba,Tiger and Eleanor. In fact, I’m sure he’s saying quite rude and inappropriate things to Eleanor in the afternoons as she gets quite worked up and smacks the glass when Buddy comes near. For Fit she will “chat” and rub her head on the door frame. Buddy apparently deserves to be smacked.

For those of you who don’t know my feline children, Simba is good natured. Simba is also fat and lazy. Very few things will get Simba motivated. Eleanor is the queen (named for Eleanor of Aquitaine, for any of you historically minded out there) of the house and insists that she rules the roost, no matter what CableDad says. Eleanor is also ridiculously fuzzy and decidedly lady-like. Pitching fits is not quite her style. What of Tiger you may ask? Well, Tiger likes everyone. In Dublin he used to invite the neighborhood cats around for dinner. None of my furry babies goes outside any more. They are all indoor cats, a fact that I think Buddy is exploiting.

In the mornings Fit waits patiently on the back doorstep until I come out with his bowl of food while Buddy hangs back, playing it cool, nonchalantly blinking his greeting at me until I go back inside. Fit hangs out for the day in the shade of our hedges while Buddy comes and goes, periodically stopping at the back door to look through the glass and see if any kitties are around to mock. If no one is at the back door he moves along. If he finds someone at the door, usually Simba trying to soak up some sun, he charges. Now, Simba is a full fledged wimp and will only run to get backup in the form of Eleanor. Ellie then comes to stand her ground at the door. She and Buddy will sit for a few minutes staring at each other and then he begins his shit talking. I can see him meowing through the glass and it is at that point that Eleanor loses her cool and starts slapping the glass. The ruckus this causes of course calls Tiger over to check out the situation. Tiger, my super friendly petting-whore of a kitty, gets himself all worked up and poofy the first time Buddy speaks to him. I can only imagine what he’s saying, but it sure as hell isn’t friendly.

CableDad insists that he is top cat and is on a quest to chase off Buddy but I don’t really encourage that.  I’m afraid that if he intimidates Buddy out of our yard Fit will follow and I’ve really grown attached to that little guy.  We’ll just have to figure out another way to deal with our neighborhood bully.

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~ by CableGirl on Monday, June 4, 2007.

One Response to “neighborhood bully”

  1. Cat politics are so weird. The next door neighbor’s cat, Mishi, spends a lot of time in our yard. Claudette ignores her when she is in the back yard. Mishi can come right up to the back porch and hang out and Claudette ignores her. But let Mishi come onto the FRONT porch and Claude hurls herself at the storm door trying to get out and kill that cat. I don’t get it.

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