Sometimes, I notice a sudden change in my cats’ behaviour. I realise that something has altered, and I know just when it happens.
Last Sunday was such a time. Parker, the new foster-cat, was out and about, released from the library. It has been the habit of the perma-cats to find spots, usually on furniture - human or feline - where they will stay for the duration of Parker’s release. Any ventures toward food or even the litter-boxes have waited until Parker went back into the library at certain times of the day.
Sunday, however, both Renn and Tucker left their defensive positions and wandered over to where the food bowl usually is found. (When Parker is loose, it is made unavailable.) Parker wandered between the two boys, and they didn’t flinch. It was so uncharacteristic of the situation since our guest’s arrival that I knew there had been a change.
A couple of nights ago, Cammie descended from her place at the top of the highest cat-tree to use the litter-box, knowing that Parker was free. The orange boy remained snoozing on the bed while Cammie went about her business - I made sure that he did not interrupt her - and the process may have been quite different had the princess met Parker on her way. But the fact that she used the litter-boxes, aware of Parker’s presence, when previously she had waited, was another change.
Last evening, Tucker cautiously ambled (if one can cautiously amble) to a water-bowl for a drink, pausing every few feet for signs of Parker’s approach. Parker was, once again, loose but, once again, snoozing on my bed. The roly poly satisfied his thirst, then went back to the hammock from which he had come.
Each of these occurrences were small events, and none of the perma-cats is oblivious to Parker. There are still hisses and growls (especially from Josie), and the road all must travel to acceptance is a long one. But, though these steps are tiny, they are steps, and in the right direction. If one wants to walk around the world, that is how one starts.